Friday, March 12, 2010

Hearts For Haiti NJ 2010 - Unite and Inspire

I want to introduce you to a wonderful organization - Hearts For Haiti NJ 2010 - co-created by a friend of mine, Lauren Cantor!

It all started as a discussion between a mother and her child. Elle Cantor, a third grader at Torey J. Sabatini Elementary School in Madison, New Jersey, was watching “Good Morning America” with her mom, Lauren Cantor, as part of a daily morning routine before school. On this particular day, the GMA team was covering the story of the the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Elle was very disturbed by the images she saw on television, especially those of the Haitian children, so she asked her mother how she could help. Like many other children affected by this disaster, she started brainstorming about how to raise money in her school. Her initial ideas included a lemonade stand, a bake sale, and a toy sale; then she came up with the idea to have an art sale at school. With the assistance of her mother, the idea was expanded, and the concept for Hearts for Haiti was born.

The concept: Recruit local artists to create original art inspired by the tragedy in Haiti. These designs would then be converted into 4×6 note card replicas of the original art and sold at Torey J. Sabatini Elementary School in time for for Valentines Day. Eventually, some of the designs would also be made into T-Shirts and sold at the school, as well. As soon as the first Madison artist committed to the project, Lauren pitched the idea to Elle’s school Principal, Michael Post. He liked it so much that he asked to share the idea with some of the other Principals in the school system, and Dr. Richard Noonan, Superintendent of The Madison Public Schools . What started as a small fundraiser for one little elementary school, within hours turned into a fundraiser for the entire school system.

In a period of just one week, the word spread even further. The response was awe-inspiring. Fifteen local artists willingly enlisted, businesses joined in as sponsors, private Madison schools signed up to implement the fundraiser in their own schools, and residents generously volunteered to roll up their sleeves and jump in to help. With the support and endorsement of the local chapter of the American Red Cross, The Madison Chamber of Commerce, several Madison schools, local and family owned businesses and a very talented artistic community, our small suburban town of Madison, New Jersey, with a population of approximately 16,500, banned together to rally for the cause. Miraculously, Elle’s idea for a single elementary school fundraiser turned into a major community initiative.

(the above text taken from Hearts For Haiti NJ 2010 website)

Also, if you'd like to support Hearts For Haiti NJ 2010 by purchasing a Hot Tops!(tm) Bottlecap Necklace, go to In the comments section of your order, specify you'd like $2.50 from the purchase of your Hot Tops!(tm) to go to Hearts For Haiti NJ 2010.

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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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