Valentine’s Day Hershey’s Chocolate Giveaway

One hundred years ago….one man decided to make a difference.

Milton Hershey was a candy man….but he never forgot where he came from, or just how much he valued what little education he received.  It was shorty after 4th grade that he had to leave school in order to help support his family. After tasting failure not once, but twice – Hershey succeeded with the special concoctions we now know as Hershey’s candy.

With success finally realized, he founded the Hershey Industrial School – which was later renamed for its namesake in 1951 – the Milton Hershey School.  This school, according to its website, is “the nation’s largest cost-free, private, coeducational home and school for children of families of low-income, limited resources and social need.”

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More than 1800 students, from Kindergarten to 12th grade call the Milton Hershey School their educational home. And these students don’t forget the gift they have been given – they are choosing to make a difference in their own communities – a recent poll of alumni indicated that 80% volunteer and collectively, they donate more than $10 million annually to local charities.

Little did you know, that you are helping these students every single time you buy a Hershey’s Chocolate bar.  In honor of the 100 year anniversary of the school – you can now note a ‘thank you’ on the back of the traditional Hershey’s bar.

Hershey’s chocolate is a weakness of mine.

I keep the traditional Hershey’s chocolate bars hidden around my home so I always have a little available at a moment’s notice – because sometime…..I just need a little. (Don’t tell my family)

If you would like us to send you a Hershey’s Chocolate bar  – enter a comment below – telling us at least ONE thing you have done lately to make a difference for someone else.

How fun to combine a Make a Difference Monday post with a Hershey’s Giveaway!

The giveaway will run until February 28th….Three Winners will be chosen at random.

ExtraordinaryMommy.com is not responsible for prizes that are shipped from outside vendors or sponsors. All entries will be pooled together and one (3) winners will be drawn. The winner will have two calendar days to reply via email. Unclaimed prizes will be placed for availability to newly chosen winners after that time. Giveaway is open to all U.S. residents only, must be at least 18 years old to enter. One entry per person, entries accepted through February 28, 2010 ending at exactly 11:59 CDT. This contest is sponsored by Hershey’s – as they will be providing the chocolate for the giveaways!

Make a Difference Monday

In just a matter of days I will pack up my car and head to Nashville – setting my sights on the Blissdom Conference.

This will be my second year…

Last year I knew no one and was absolutely petrified.  And if the Twitter chatter is any indication, there are a lot of people in that exact same frame of mind heading into this year’s conference.

How does  this fit in to Make a Difference Monday?  Well, there is something you and I can do to make a difference for some of those people, mainly women, brave enough to venture away from their computers and engage face to face.

Start here: Smile. Ohhhhhh….the relief that climbed from my toes when someone smiled at me.  That simple gesture says a million things: “nice to see you”, “I like your dress”, “we’re glad you’re here”, “come on over and chat”.

And you know what?  All of those things make a difference. Especially when you are new, especially when you don’t know anyone, especially when you are looking for someone to confirm that you made the right decision to come.

This I know for sure – some of those people who first smiled at me are among those I adore today.

(I’m looking at you Rachel, Mishelle, MeganAlli, Amber, Robin, Jyl, Carissa, Josh and Rebecca, Anissa, Kim

Smile. You have the power to impact an entire event for someone…..and they just might turn out to be your new ‘somebody’.

Wouldn’t it be nice if they remembered your ear-to-ear?

What are you doing to Make a Difference this week?  Do share.  I’m always most inspired when I hear what others are doing for good.

Make a Difference Monday

I never said that ‘doing the right thing’ or ‘being a good example’ is easy.

In fact, though this may seem like a silly example, I sometimes find it to be a challenge.

Holding a door open for someone?  Easy Peasy.  Donating money to Haiti?  Didn’t even think twice.  Talking to my kids about sharing?  Essential.

But fighting jealousy?  Painful.

You may or may not know that my husband just spent the past week in St. John.  He was with his mom – it was an award trip for her work.  You also may or may not know that the ocean is an essential part of my soul (I was raised in California, but of course, now live in St. Louis) especially at this time of year.  So, I wanted to go.

To be fair, Jeff’s mom was kind enough to take me with her a couple of year’s ago – so this trip, was, in fact, Jeff’s turn.  But that did not change the fact that his going caused a nearly physical pain.

I was so bloody jealous.  I found myself picking fights with him before he left.  I couldn’t stop picturing the water, feeling the sun on my face, smelling the salt in the air. In case you are wondering, this type of behavior DOES NOT make a positive difference for my children.

So, in the middle of the night, as he was getting out of bed to leave on the trip, I made a decision. I would grow up. I would, painful or not, be happy for him.  He deserves good and beautiful things.  He needs some peace and quiet in his life.

So, every time he called, I was happy.  I didn’t complain.  I avoided any type of guilt trip.

The more I focused on being happy for him, the more I found that I was, in fact, happy for him.

And it paid off.  My kids never experienced the nastiness that jealousy can inflict.

And better yet, Jeff came home last night….and thanked me for being so happy when we talked.  It alleviated the guilt he felt for going.

Win-win.

How are you making a difference?  Share a story in comments.  Tell us about something you have done, something you want to do or something you witnessed someone else doing…..  your stories make a difference.

Happy Monday, friends.

Make a Difference Monday

It is Monday.

What are you doing to make a difference in your world?  To be an example of giving for your children?

I’m thinking the word ‘Haiti’ just might be on the tip of your tongue.

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Millions have been donated.  Celebrities have larger than life checkbooks, but you and I?  We likely can’t afford to write a check for $1 million dollars (though we’d do it if we could).

I wrote a post the other day with ways you can help.  Did I miss a something?  How have you made a difference?  Did you pledge to give up your coffee money?  Did you bring baby supplies to your local church?  Did you text ‘Haiti’ to the American Red Cross and donate $10? Did you offer a percentage of sales from your website or plan a local event?

I want to know.  I helped the best ways I could – donated to the Red Cross, to our church and I’ve been working to spread the word via posts and social media.  It is a cliche – but, I believe knowing how to help is powerful.

Since Make a Difference Monday is a new project for me, I am feeling my way.  I added the Linky last week, but it sat silently within the post….so, for now, we will Make a Difference via comments. Please share how you are making a difference this week – and it doesn’t have to be Haiti related.

Please feel free to add links within the comments. If adding the Linky at a later date would inspire more participation, I’ll be happy to bring it back.

Until then, thank you for joining Make a Difference Monday.

Make A Difference Monday – One Good Deed

I am determined my small people will grow into kind and giving souls.  I want them to think of ways to help others.  Since I do think the best approach when dealing with small people is to apply the old standard, Monkey See, Monkey Do – I decided to start a quid pro quo sort of game – with the one caveat being an element of ‘pass it on’.

Every day I will go out of my way to do something extra nice for each of them.  In turn, they must do something ‘extra nice’ for someone else.  Yesterday, while they were eating breakfast, I ran upstairs and made their beds for them.  Typically, they are expected to do that on their own.

I told them when they went to their room, they would see that I had done something nice for them – and it is now their job to do something nice for someone else.

My plan was to revisit the good-deed-doing at the end of the day, but within 15 minutes, Coop went around the house collecting some toys for Delaney to take on a car trip to see their cousins.  His smile in my direction told me everything I needed to know.

One small step for Mommy, one huge step for Coop’s future wife….I am raising a kind boy.

If you are new around here, welcome.  I’m glad you are here.

One of my personal mottos is ‘Give Good, Get Good’. And that is the motivation behind these Monday posts.  We are just getting started, so I hope you will be back every week to spread a little joy of your own.

What have you done in the past week to Make a Difference in someone’s world?  Or have you witnessed someone ‘giving good’?

Tell us how your 4 year old tried to hold the door open for a new mom with a stroller, or how you paid for the car behind you in the Starbucks Drive thru.  Share about your favorite charity – and link to them, so we can be inspired by a new cause. Tell someone else’s story – you witnessed children filing into a nursing home to sing for the residents, or saw a teenager stop what he was doing to help an elderly woman who had spilled her purse.

Do you know of a product we buy that may donate to a certain charity?  Or a company that dedicates proceeds to a cause close to their heart?  Share it.

Don’t you think….if we can share the good, it will spread?  Well, that’s what I hope.


Make a Difference Monday

I will be talking about my goals/resolutions/plans for 2010 in a post later this week…..I’m still wrapping my head around it all, and the truth is, I always plan for the ‘new stuff’ to take full effect on my birthday later this month.  So, I have a little time.  I figure my resolutions should coincide with my new year. Makes sense, right?

However, there is one thing I want to share with you now.

Make a Difference Monday.

You know I have a passion for ‘give good, get good‘ – meaning pay it forward, give a little, make a change, make a difference.  I’m not talking about big donations or dedicating hours of volunteer time – though both are fantastic if you can swing it.  I’m thinking about all the small ways you can make the world a better place – all the ways you can be the example of good for your kids.

If there is anything I am learning as a parent – especially as the small people continue to grow AND get smarter (who knew?) – it is that I have to do as I say.  So, giving lip service to ‘being a good person’ doesn’t actually work as a guide for them, if I am not, in fact showing them how to do it.

I can always use a little inspiration, as I am sure you can – so will you join me?  Will you try to do one thing each week – big, little, great, small…that puts a smile on someone else’s face? And then will you share it?

Tell us how your 4 year old tried to hold the door open for a new mom with a stroller, or how you paid for the car behind you in the Starbucks Drive thru.  Share about your favorite charity – and link to them, so we can be inspired by a new cause. Tell someone else’s story – you witnessed children filing into a nursing home to sing for the residents, or saw a teenager stop what he was doing to help an elderly woman who had spilled her purse.

Do you know of a product we buy that may donate to a certain charity?  Or a company that dedicates proceeds to a cause close to their heart?  Share it.

Don’t you think….if we can share the good, it will spread?  Well, that’s what I hope.

I’ll have a post and a McLinky set up every Monday  – so you can link back to a post you have written – or you can put your thoughts in the comments.

This is the beauty of Make a Difference Monday.

Looking forward to sharing a little, ‘give good, get good’……