Let’s Talk About Women…

So here is the deal.

Women make up 50.8% of the United States population.

100% of those women have (or have had) periods. (gasp! WHAT? Yes, it’s true.)

Unfortunately, not all of these women have access to tampons. Or pads. Or any type of feminine hygiene product of any kind.

In fact, thousands of women in the United States live on the street. These women have to make choices about food, water, and shelter each day… and at times they don’t even get to make the choice between pad or tampon. These women go without feminine hygiene products; or worse. Sometimes these women only have the option to choose one item each month; which causes toxic shock syndrome or even death.

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This is a serious problem in our country and in our area. There are a number of organizations rising up to help with this issue (listed below). But there are ways that you can be involved too.

If you live in North Louisiana, you can donate to a ministry called The Hub. This outreach in Shreveport, Louisiana donates items, classes, and time to those on the street and one thing desperately needed is feminine hygiene donations.

If you are in this area, please take the time to consider giving physical boxes of feminine hygiene products or monetary donations that go directly to this cause. If you have some boxes you would like to donate but don’t know where to go or cannot make the drive, I will be donating all the boxes I can on March 4th. You may contact me if you wish to drop off your donations. Please join me in serving the women in our area. By donating these items, pads and tampons are no longer a luxury, but a right to hygienic living and dignity for these women.

Much love. Much grace.

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Organizations Specific to Feminine Hygiene:

Distributing Dignity

Camions of Care

Feel free to fill out the contact form if you have questions about dropping off donations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This Is YOUR Summer

I have been particularly struggling with this idea for some time now, not because I don’t think it needs talking about, but because I wasn’t sure I was qualified to write about it. Body confidence, and confidence in general, is something I have struggled with for a while. For many women, this struggle is a life-long battle in loving herself.

This summer I am going to write about the most difficult topic; self-worth.

Let me preface this by saying I am not a professional by any means. I don’t know five easy steps to loving yourself, I don’t know how to help you lose/gain weight, nor do I have a killer workout to help you with your booty gains. I am just a 23 year old woman who knows the struggles of finding, keeping, and desiring self-love. All I know is what I wish someone would have told me, or what I wish I would have listened to about loving myself.

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Those are the things I am going to work on in myself and try to share during this season. This won’t be every post, but it is a theme that I am wanting to challenge myself during these warmer months.

Much grace. Much love.

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If you have a story or comment or anything you would like to share on this topic, please let me know by contacting me. I would love to hear/share your story in growing or searching for coming to like/love your physical self.

4 Things Student Teaching Taught Me

In honor of graduating next Saturday (AH!) and having officially finished my Student Teaching portion of my Undergrad, I wanted to share some of the the many things I learned through this clinical experience.

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Here is what I learned while student teaching this year:

1.) Teaching is the MOST selfless thing on this planet.

Honestly. I had the opportunity to work with some stellar teachers, and they work so hard for their students. Not only are they taking care of the day-to-day lessons, but these teachers also go to pep rallies, sporting events, and choir events to support the students. Teaching takes so much planning and after “work hours”… way more than I ever imagined. There are teachers who work so hard, not just so the students know the material, but so that these students can be successful, contributing citizens in the future. Many people see teachers as just educating students in necessary material for college or career paths, but teachers are also filling roles of missing parents, mentors, or just someone to talk to. This is what makes a teacher so selfless; the compassion and unconditional love shown to the students… no matter what.

 

2.) When you have teachable moments, they are awesome.

Sometimes my lessons go exactly as I plan, but usually the lessons turn into a loose interpretation of how I intended them to be. This is mostly because the class I mostly taught was Psychology, so there is wiggle room for discussions and questions from the students. There are so many teachable moments the students brought up with questions about real-life situations that I never could have planned. These were my favorite moments in the classroom.

3.) You will love the kids, all of them.

Yes, even the ones who test you and test you. The ones who you have to repeatedly tell to get off Instagram or shush during a lecture. All of these students are something else, something special. After I finished my student teaching I seriously missed those kids (still do) I want to see each of them grow and succeed. I didn’t think it was possible to come into a class for just a few months and really feel such a compassion for these students, but I learned every student’s name and I genuinely cared about each one.

 

4.) The kids will change you more than you think.

For real. These kiddos changed me so much. This quarter of my undergrad was the most stressful yet, but the students were very understanding and so encouraging. I learned so much from them. I learned how to be compassionate and patient no matter what is happening in my life; because they need me. I learned that kids are always looking for mentors and need them dearly. They make me want to be a better person, and strive to always be compassionate to everyone I meet. They taught me so much… and they can teach us all some of these things.

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Obviously, these are only a few things I learned while Student Teaching… other things were far harder lessons than anticipated. There are some things I regret… like leaving in such a rush and not being able to have a proper good-bye with the kids, but the highlights definitely made this process worthwhile.

Also, shout-out to my mentor teacher; without him, I wouldn’t have made it as far as I did!

 Much love. Much grace.

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If you are interested in giving to your local school system, here are some great organizations to help with various needs of the school-age students in your area.

Schoola

Teach for America

Stand for Children (Louisiana Based)


Life As An American In Europe

Taylor has been a friend of mine for over eight years. He is such a sweet person and I am so excited to have him on Go Giver! He is currently going to school overseas reversing his role from a welcomer of international students to becoming one himself.

Introducing our first  of “Perspectives Men”,  Taylor Anderson! 


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Living in Germany has definitely been a huge change in my life. I had to learn the national language when I came here and there are some things that classes can’t teach me. I have to venture out of the classroom to experience the culture first-hand and how to use the language in everyday life. By learning the language, I have grown to love the people here. I find them to be wonderful caring people, and I value the friendships I have made here. I love being able to go see my friends close by, being able to go out into town, and meeting up with people to talk.

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All this to say… It isn’t an easy life.

I have had days when it is frustrating that I can’t talk with another person and they can’t understand me.

I have had days when I wish I had enough money to run home really quickly just to be with my family during a problem.

 I am trying to live a life with no regrets.

I only have one shot to do things and I have a big list of goals that I want to accomplish and I don’t want anything or anybody to get in the way of my goals.

Yes, it may seem a bit strange that I decided to study abroad for a full year of my life. It might be strange that I have decided to do something different than most people in the US would not choose to do. In the end I don’t regret making the decision to go study abroad in Germany.  I have been able to learn so much about myself.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Getting out of my comfort zone has really brought a new perspective about life and the love I feel towards international relations and the cultures around the world. Studying abroad is not for everybody, but I do value and respect people who take it upon themselves to travel. To see the world and to care for other people who might not be Americans. You never know when someday you might need a person that you can’t understand or is not like you. People need to care for people that are different and or who might think in a different way. 


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Taylor Anderson is third year junior from the University of Southern Indiana. He is studying International Studies, German, and Anthropology currently in Marburg, Germany at Philipps Universität Marburg as an international student. He is a proud United States citizen living in Germany and is truly enjoying learning a new language and culture.  By being an international student he has learned that one country does not have to define a person, but instead people can be defined by multiple cultures.

A Letter To My Galentines

Ever since I first heard of Leslie Knope’s idea for Galentine’s Day on Parks and Recreation, I loved it!

For those who don’t know, Galentine’s Day is February 13th, the day before Valentine’s Day. It’s a day to celebrate the sweet girl-friendships you have in your life.

This year as a part of my resolutions, I am trying to be more available and intentional with the sweet ladies in my life. I have allowed myself to be very selfish with my time and now I am trying to give more time to be with friends.

Many of my Galentine’s live out of state (or even out of country!) so this post is dedicated to those sweet ladies (and really any sweet lady!) who are such great friends.

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Dear Galentine,

Girl. You are the best. No REALLY. You are such a wonderful person in my life! You are not only super cool, but you are just full of such life.

Our friendship is something else.

Whenever we talk on the phone or see each other in person, we always pick up where we left off. The silly jokes, the hugs, the tears, and the laughs are always there… no matter what. No matter the distance or time that passes, we can always come back to each other.

You are encouraging.

There are days when I am upset, lonely, or sad; and somehow you know about these days! You send me “Happy Mail” or encouraging messages to lift my spirits. I don’t believe these happen by chance… because they always come at the most perfect times.

You are so graceful.

Like really. I am so bad at being a pen-pal and being intentional (I am trying to change I promise!) and you treat me with such grace and forgiveness. You don’t get upset when I am late with a Christmas gift, if I wait 5 months to send a card, or don’t message you back right away. You are just so understanding and full of love.

You are so loving.

Girl, you listen to me. You listen to my frustrations about school, my confusion about the future, and the joys that happen in my life. You grieve with me and rejoice with me. My triumphs are your triumphs and vice versa. You constantly point me back to what’s important. You bring such joy with your kindness.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Please know that you are so loved and appreciated on this day (and everyday!). You matter so much to me and I am so glad you are in my life. While you are a bit far, that’s okay. We have Facetime right? I love you, Galentine!

Much love. Much grace.

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Ps. This is the cutest cartoon ever. 🙂

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