Updates on the site: Check out the "Fan Photos" page to see TONS of new sh0ts from the Rochester signing. Thanks to Courtney Ceci Havron Garrow for taking the candids (and for flying in from LI for the signing!!!).The fans in Rochester are awesome! We tried to take as many fan photos as possible but we didn't catch everyone. Take a look and see if you can find yourself or someone you know! Pics from the Buffalo signing will be posted next week.
Today's post will be brief; I promise to write more next week for those of you checking for updates. Thank you for your emails! I love hearing from you. Feel free to comment on the blog posts as well.
There's so much happening in everyone's lives, and no one recognizes that better than I do. However, I'm hopeful that October finds many of you thinking about how you can give back , or how you might help others who find themselves in less fortunate situations...like those with cancer. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and you'll find many opportunities to purchase products at major retailers like Sephora, Coach, Ann Taylor, Coldwater Creek, Oakley, Estee Lauder, New Balance, and more where some portion of the proceeds from your sale go to places like Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Young Survivor's Coalition, or the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. While it's wonderful to shop at places donating monies to cancer causes, it is perhaps more wonderful to write a check for as little as $10 directly to your favorite breast cancer charity. That's something you can do anytime of year. I call your attention to this simply because there are so many wonderful causes out there that the temptation to buy yourself a pair of new kicks from New Balance in October might make you feel as though you've done you're part. And certainly, it's wonderful to shop products with a purpose, but your efforts are still needed elsewhere. In our society of instant gratification, buying a pair of Oakleys or a Coach bag for a cause seems to fill that niche nicely--where you give and receive, and all at the same time! My caveat comes in with this: There is no such thing as instant gratification. Buy Oakleys or a Coach bag or that super cute lip gloss from Clinique at Sephora if you'd like, but also find a way to commit at least some of your time to helping people who need it. No matter where you are in life, you can reach out to those in need more directly than doing what you normally do in a shopping mall. One of the ways I use my talents to help others is by developing a website and webmastering the site for a grass roots charity that benefits a regional family who lost their mother to breast cancer and also raises money for another local organization that helps women with breast cancer get the money they need for treatment. You can check it out: www.StephsFund.org I started the site several years ago. I also post frequent updates on Twitter about charitable opportunities for a variety of causes; this month, of course, the focus has been on breast cancer. The other way I volunteer my talents is by helping local students who need assistance with writing college essays and other application materials for scholarships and financial aid; I've helped close to 200 students over the last five years in this way, not only in gaining admission to college, but also, get some kind of grants or scholarships to help with tuition as well.
So consider what might work best within your busy life; if it's buying that Coach bag or pair of pants for a cause--that's great. But think about at least one other direct way you might reach out. We are all limited by a variety of circumstances; perhaps this isn't the year for you to do more. My best hope is that you find some way to interact with others in need; not only is it inspiring to your life and those you share your life with, it's also the most remarkable thing we can do as human beings. Everything else is sort of meaningless if we let our lives pass us by without doing more for others.
Best wishes! See you in Buffalo on Saturday!