{Reader Check In} How Are You Doing?

I wanted to take a moment and check-in  on you, readers of shemakescents. With all that is going on in the world know this, you are loved and you are important. Here at shemakecents.com that love and importance of human life transcends race, gender, class, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and any other ways that people are discriminated against. Be safe out there and keep pushing toward whatever goals you what to meet.52 Week Challenge

With that being said, I want to encourage those of you who are still committed to the 52 Week BINGO Money Challenge. I am so proud of you! Saving money is the easiest part, the discipline to be consistent every week is the challenge. Today I crossed off $19.00 which puts my at a total savings of $1,194.00 (YTD).  I am so close to my 1st goal of paying off my credit card balance largely in part to my discipline and support from other people in the challenge.  The goal is to go into the month of August with a zero credit card balance.  Stay tuned!

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 If you would like to leave an encouraging message below or an update on your savings goals, I invite you to do so in our comments section below. 

{World Recycle Week} How To Save On Purchases By Donating Unwanted Clothes

“90% of textile waste is recyclable”

Yesterday after my outdoor yoga class, my friend Dana and I found our way into H&M where the window featured signage about World Recycle Week.  During the campaign period, April 18-24, H&M aims to collect 1,000 tons of unwanted or worn out garments from customers worldwide in its more than 3,600 stores. The initiative is part of H&M’s goal to close the loop in fashion, recycling unwanted garments to create recycled textile fibers for new products.

Woman Closet

The timing could not be more perfect because I have started a Purge, Edit, & Organize (post coming soon) overhaul for my closet.  My plan is to sell the clothes that I no longer wear or fit properly.  Whatever doesn’t sell will be split between the Goodwill and women’s shelters in Atlanta.  Everything else, that I would have normally tossed, will go to H&M for recycling.  I’m not sure if this is the case for all locations, but my local H&M is offering 30% off your entire purchase if you bring in items for recycling.  This could be a win-win situation if you are in the market for a trendy new piece to add to your wardrobe or home.

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{Monday Motivation} Refresh Your Priorities

Happy Monday!!! Today’s Monday Motivation goes out to my family.  This past Saturday, my eight year old cousin Kentric  Stubbs Robinson had a wish granted by Make-A-Wish Mississippi; hours later, he lost his battle to a rare blood cancer.  How lucky we all are to have someone that makes saying goodbye so hard.  He was a fun, curious, and kind child who had a talent for dancing and was not afraid to show off this skills.d139bf05ffd9df77232d7081b6371a1f

Today I motivate you to stop existing in this world and start living! Be like Kentric.  Do something that feeds your soul; that’s where true happiness lies.  If dancing is your passion, then dance.  If reading brings you peace, make time to read.  If your happiness is in the kitchen, cook. If helping others is your thing, go volunteer with an organization you admire.  Just don’t waste the time you have left doing things that don’t feed you mentally, spiritually, or physically.  Starting today, refresh your priorities.  You will be a more fulfilled person for it.  

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{SMC Announcement} Danielle Boler for FeeX

FeeX LogoJust recently I teamed up with a company called FeeX to join the conversation of about money for their company blog.  The content is a mix of personal stories, financial insights, news, and interviews and I am honored to be a part of the discussion.  FeeX is a free service that uncovers the hidden fees in your retirement accounts—initially IRAs—and estimates the damage that these fees are inflicting on your retirement savings.  Are you one of the 7 out of 10 Americans that are completely unaware of the fees eating away at your retirement savings?  I think this type of service is cool and a great way to learn more about retirement savings while adding my twenty-something voice to their blog.  Check me out!

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{Donating to My Alma Mater} Why I Give Even When I’m Saving

One reason that I have over $20,000 in student loans is because I chose to attend Spelman College, one of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges and #1 ranked HBCU. I was offered full music and academic scholarships during my senior year of high school to other colleges and turned them down to attend a school Forbes ranks among the nation’s top ten best women’s colleges. I got a little “something something” based on my academic achievements, but when everyone beside you is a Valedictorian and Salutatorian of their high school class, just being in the top 5% isn’t really scholarship worthy.  While I know my parents supported whatever decision I made, I am sure on some level my Dad’s wallet would have been very okay with a FREE education, elsewhere.

Michelle-Obama-Speaks-at-Spelman-College

Why I Spelman

Making the choice about where I would attend school was the first major decision that I ever made for myself.  It marked the transition from childhood to adulthood and  helped shape the course of not only my career, but also my life. In the end, I did not even consider the price of tuition (estimated $120,000) because I knew without a doubt, that Spelman was the right place for me. From the moment I walked onto the campus, so many beautiful, intelligent, and diverse women from around the world welcomed me. For the first time, I was “at home” in an academic space where standards and honor are raised.

spelman oprah

Why I Give Even When I’m Saving

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Earlier in my matriculation, I noticed the presence and pride of the alumnae. I was told that I was standing on the shoulders of greatness, hard work, and those who came before me.  Now is my time to help provide opportunities that help prepare the next generation of women who will change the world.  Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum acknowledges in the 2012-2013 Report of Philanthropy that “a college education is a privilege.”  According to Tatum, “We live in challenging times when educated women are needed more than ever.  The generosity of alumnae, corporations, faculty, friends, foundations, parents, staff, and our current students has secured vital financial support to develop  these change agents.  [Spelman] appreciates your contributions to scholarships, facility, renovations, innovative initiates such as Wellness Revolution, faculty and student research, and support of Spelman’s Annual Fund- all of which are critical for Spelman women to succeed.”  Yes, I have financial goals and a financial plan; but there is nothing like going back and seeing the women who are now standing on my shoulders and in need of support.  Giving back doesn’t always have to be in the form of financial contribution, however, I do highly recommend it.  Every year, Spelman announces a goal for it’s Every Woman Every Year campaign.  This year’s goal, like the year before, is to surpass 50% alumnae participation or 8,667 alumnae donors by April 11, 2014, the 133rd Anniversary of Spelman’s founding.  I make my contribution every year on this date and charge every Spelman alumna to show the impact of her voice, by making a contribution to Spelman in honor of our founding.  If you don’t give back to your school, I encourage you to do so.   If we don’t invest in where we came from, how can we expect anyone else to?

Happy Founder’s Day Spelman College

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{Happy B-day Colin} Lonely Boy Will Get A Bday Surprise That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity

imagesWhen I think back to my birthdays as a child, I remember having fun with my friends from school, the neighborhood, and summer camp. My parents would throw me awesome parties with cool theme cakes and everyone would have a great time. Colin, a 10-year old boy with a disorder similar to Autism or Asperger Syndrome, has yet to experience the fun times with friends that were customary for birthday’s of most kids experience. When asked by his mom if he wanted to have a birthday party, he told her “there wasn’t a point because he has no friends”.  According to Colin’s mom, “he eats lunch alone in the office everyday because no one will let him sit with them, and and not force someone to be unhappy with his presence, he sits alone in the office”. After hearing this, his mom came up with an idea to create a Facebook page. She thought if she could create a page where people could send him positive thoughts and encouraging words that would be better than any birthday party would. She hoped to get 1,000 likes and since starting the page 15 days ago, she is up to 1.9 million likes and a slew of beautiful wishes to share with her son on March 9th when he turns 11 (it will be a surprise). I am sending him a card with a few goodies and I wanted to share the opportunity to be a part of this beautiful gift with all of you. If you would like to help, you can write on his wall here, or you can send him a card or letter to the PO Box 756 Richland, MI 49083-0756.

Check Out This Picture of Colin’s Parents at the Post Office!

She Makes Cents

Happy Birthday Colin from She Makes Cents!

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{Woman To Watch} Abi Ferrin

 Meet Abi Ferrin!

Fashion Cents She Makes CentsAbi Ferrin is a fashion designer, humanitarian, a woman who uses her “cents” to ignite awareness in global issues and define what that success means to her… oh and did I mention that she is our November Woman to Watch (#w2w).  She defines success  as “a moving target”, explains Ferrin in an email interview with She Makes Cents.    ABI FERRIN, the company,  is the versatile and sophisticated fashion brand that offers  easy-to-care-for fabrics providing a chic solution for women of all ages and body types; remember the 5- Way Nikki Dress?  Each of her Made in the U.S.A. garments feature  hand-crafted adornments made by women rescued from the sex trade and other forms of abusive employment in Nepal and Cambodia.  Ferrin adds, “My idea of what [success] is always moves ahead, so I can never seem to quite feel like I am there yet. Ten years ago the company I have created today would be a huge success in my mind, but now that I am here I have so much more I want to do! I think being successful is an ongoing project, measured by reaching certain benchmarks along the way. If you can see that you are impacting people’s lives in a positive way as a result of your daily existence and making a difference in this world, then you are successful”.  Yes, there are plenty of successful women to watch in business, but it is Ferrin’s impact on others that I find compelling. 

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About the Freedom Project

The Freedom Project is the branch of Ferrin’s business that focuses on giving back by incorporating vendor businesses that are created for and by marginalized people. For example,  all of the buttons and most accessories are from Sak Saum in Cambodia, which rescues, restores and rehabilitates trafficked people. These people then become a part of the Sak Saum business once they are healthy, and as a vendor she gets to be a part of supporting their ongoing success and empowerment through their own efforts and responsibility!  Ferrin explains, “Freedom is the most important thing to me. I knew I wanted my fashion company to have substance that went past making people look good. I wanted to empower women to step up their daily style and feel good about themselves, while still living their lives”.  Congrats Abi Ferrin for being our November Woman to Watch. 

For more information about The Freedom Project, please visit www.abiferrin.com or www.saksaum.com

Let’s Be Social!

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UN Women Uses Search Engines For Powerful Ad Campaign

I saw this picture and immediately typed “women should” in a search engine. #eyeopening

{Souls Saving Soles} Spelman Sophomore Launches Shoe Drive to Benefit Homeless Children & Familes

Spelman-College

student_imaniwhite

I received an email yesterday from my alma mater about a Sophomore by the name of Imani White who is making her mark in Atlanta.  Since boots are made for walking, the C’2016 biology major, has launched an effort that epitomizes the lyrics to this classic Nancy Sinatra song.  White recently launched “These Boots Are Made to Walk,” a boot and shoe drive designed to benefit homeless children and families in metro Atlanta.
Working in partnership with the Spelman College student organization Pretty Brown Girls, White is accepting all kinds of shoes – from sneakers and boots to casual shoes and dress shoes – in children and adult sizes. She hopes to collect 500 pairs of shoes to benefit the Atlanta Women and Children’s Shelter, Atlanta Union Mission, Gateway Shelter, Atlanta Children’s Shelter, and Salvation Army, among other organizations.
“This is my way of showing that one little effort can help so many people,” said White, who serves as vice president of Pretty Brown Girls.

homeless-shoes-190x260-process-s175x239This really got me thinking about just how blessed a lot of us are and just how easy it is to take even the smallest things for granted.  If you are in the Atlanta area and want to take part, shoes can be dropped off every Friday through Friday, December 6, 2013 from noon to 4 p.m. in lower Manley of Spelman College. If you are not in the Atlanta area but would like to help, please forward, facebook, and tweet this article to let people know or better yet, plan a shoe drive in your area.

 For questions, contact White at mailto:madetowalk@gmail.com.

This profile was featured in the Spelman Connection. Subscribe Today.

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{Causes We Support} One Day Without Shoes

Put yourself in someone else’s shoes by taking off yours!

One Day Without Shoes is TOMS’ annual day to bring global awareness to children’s health and education by going without shoes. It’s amazing the conversations that can ignite when we come together to create positive change.  I can’t wait to see all the ways people are going without shoes around the world to generate conversations about children’s health and education. Let’s get people talking.  If you are social media, use hashtag #withoutshoes

day-without-shoes

More info at www.onedaywithoutshoes.com

Leave Your Footprint!

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