Friday, July 4, 2008

How we're starting our Fourth of July out with a bang - Diva Style!

We're turning our Fourth of July festivities into something bigger this year - we're raising money for Half the Sky Foundation, an organization created to help China's orphaned children.

Every year we do what most American families do on the fourth of July -we cookout, watch our children play in the backyard, eat ice cream, then watch the sky light up with magical fireworks. All of us become kids again as we take the time to enjoy one another, slow ourselves down to appreciate the lights in the sky and reflect upon how lucky we are to be a part of this wonderful country.

One of my neighbors, Diva Jen W., is hosting this year's Fourth of July celebration! At her celebration, she has decided to honor Half the Sky Foundation, the organization that helped her and her husband, Peter, connect with their daughter, Leah, a once orphaned child from China. If it were not for this organization and the freedoms affored to us by our own country, Leah would not be here in America today, nor would the lives of her parents be as rich and complete.

When her guests have asked what they could bring to the party, Jen W. has simply asked that they bring a small monetary contribution ($1-$5) to be donated to the Half the Sky organization. With just a handful of guests, we're likely to raise a couple hundred dollars for this organization. Wow!

It's really that simple, yet makes such a difference in the lives of these children and their future families.

We'd like to hear from you. What charities do you support? Would you consider doing something similar at your Fourth of July party to support your charity? What other ideas do you have?

Happy Fourth of July!

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Easy Chicken Pasta

Easy Chicken Pasta

What's For Supper Ya'll?

White Beans, Pasta and Chicken
8 ounces dried cavatappi, fusilli, rotini, ditaloni, or other short pasta tubes
1 15- to 19-ounce can cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
12 ounces cooked chicken, shredded
1/4 cup snipped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley sprigs (optional - I usually skip it)
Olive oil (optional - but I recommend at least a little for moisture)
1. In a large saucepan, cook pasta according to package directions; drain well and set aside.
2. In a blender or food processor, combine 3/4 cup of the beans and the chicken broth. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Place bean puree in pan used for cooking the pasta; bring to boiling. Return pasta to pan.
3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook garlic in 1 tablespoon hot olive oil for 1 minute. Add tomatoes; cook for 1 minute. Add the remaining beans, shredded chicken, snipped parsley, pepper and salt. Heat through.
4. Add the tomato mixture to hot pasta; toss to cost. Top with parsley sprigs and additional olive oil. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
Posted by Stacy Nelson, Easy Dinner

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American Red Cross