Natural Disasters: Let’s Help Those Affected

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March 11, 2011 — First I was shocked to hear about the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit northern Japan. Then I was overwhelmed with a deep sadness as I heard about the death toll and the number of people still missing. However, the enormity of the devastation did not really sink in until I saw before and after photos of the wreckage. I am not Japanese and this happened on the other side of the world, but my heart poured out for the survivors as I saw them left with nothing, desperately looking for missing family members. And as we anxiously tracked the status of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, we were reminded that all of us are connected…regardless of race, country or even continent.

Nature does not discriminate. No matter where we live, we are not immune. In the U.S., who can forget how battered New Orleans was in the wake of Hurricane Katrina; and even more recently the flood in Minot, North Dakota.

I wanted to do something, but as just one person, felt helpless. However, when we combine our small efforts we can make an impact…giving the disaster survivors a small ray of hope that maybe, just maybe, they can climb out of the wreckage. That the world has not ended. That someone out there cares.

And so I eagerly jumped in to help the Ingredient Challenge Monday Virtual Bakesale and the Sakura Garden of Hope Fashion Benefit.

Ingredient Challenge Monday Virtual Bakesale

Sunny and Shea of Ingredient Challenge Monday are hosting a virtual bake sale to raise funds for the American Red Cross. The American Red Cross aids victims of devastating natural disasters, provides humanitarian care to the victims of war, and offers community services that help the needy; support and comfort for military members and their families; the collection, processing and distribution of lifesaving blood and blood products; educational programs that promote health and safety; and international relief and development programs.

I am donating eight Smoked Bacon Caramel Popcorn Balls to the ICM Bakesale. These sweet, salty and smoky treats are a modern take on the classic holiday popcorn balls. They are perfect as gifts, or as a take-home favor for your party or dinner guests. I recently made these as bridal shower gifts for my friend Shirley. I can ship anywhere in the continental U.S.

I urge you to skip a week’s worth of lattes and bid on the delicious treats in the ICM Bakesale. Check out the blog hop photo links at the bottom of this post to see some of the bake sale items. The bakesale started and you can now bid on the yummy treats!

Sakura Garden of Hope Fashion Benefit

Allison and Winny, who I previously worked with in Passport to Asia to raise funds for the American Cancer Society, are hosting the event Sakura Garden of Hope to benefit ShelterBox. ShelterBox provides disaster relief by delivering boxes of aid to those who are most in need. Each box supplies an extended family of up to 10 people with a tent and essential equipment to use while they are displaced or homeless. You can even track the box you donated to its final destination.

Even if you are not a fashionista, it is worth attending the benefit. A mere $15 admission (or $25 for two) includes desserts and tickets to win raffle prizes provided by the generous sponsors. And you can feel all warm and fuzzy that your admission will go toward helping devastated families all over the world through ShelterBox. I will be providing Pretzel Covered Chocolate Bon Bons throughout the evening. I am so lucky to be associated with caring friends: Yuui is providing her make-up and styling expertise for the fashion show, while Evelyn from Blue Star Aqua and Flora from Twee-tea-licious are also sponsoring the event along with Su’s Bake Shop, Decadent Minis, Cupcakes for Events, Gilt Groupe, Tokyo Kaleidoscope, Ambrosia Sullivan, and Crime Scene Lounge. Follow the Sakura Garden of Hope progress on their blog.

If you cannot make it to the event, please consider making a donation of just $5 and leaving a comment below. Our goal is to raise $2,000…which all of us can do together. A small gesture to each of us is a life-saving act that gives the survivors of natural disaster hope.

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