Monday, December 21, 2009
SO I FOUND THE COOLEST SERVICE PROJECT!!! My brother Jeff lives at Camp Taji in Iraq, he is an attorney for the Army. He was deployed last summer from Ft. Hood, yes this is the same base where the shootings took place. As you know Iraq is a war torn country, the soldiers saw that the Iraqi children didn't have much, especially in the way of school supplies. So, some of the soldiers on the base in their spare time started a service project to help impoverished Iraqi children get school supplies, it is called Team Taji: OPERATION BACK TO SCHOOL.
My brother Jeff, emailed his friends and family to see if we could help collect any school supplies. I immediately wanted to help. Having been to third world countries, I have seen first hand how little children have, yet they always seem to be smiling some how. It is amazing how MUCH we have here in America, and where much is given much is expected. Plus having my own little child, it has made me so much more compassionate for the little ones where ever they are. But even more than that aspect, I really wanted to support my brother and the troops. This was such a neat thing they were doing and I wanted to help them to do it.
** Side note**
These soldiers sacrifice SO SO MUCH to serve our country. I never really realized it until I saw it first hand with my brother. He left a wife and 6 little kids at home to serve to keep us safe. All soldiers put their OWN lives at stake to protect us, EVERY DAY. Such a selfless act, and they are very proud to do it.
So about a month ago I took on the project. I knew it would take a great deal of time and effort, but I was willing to give it a go. I started to walk around to the businesses around my apartment to see if I could get any of them to donate. I wanted to get as many school supplies as possible, and I was all fired up after hearing about how cool the project was. The soldiers outlined what school supplies each child needed and called it a school kit. My initial efforts with the businesses were a little demotivating. All of them said no, except two, who gave me random pencil boxes and folders, which I was grateful. I decided I needed to recruite some help. I told the idea to my Relieve Society presidency and they loved it, so we decided to make it an enrichment program. One sister, Connie was super passionate about the project because her father had served in the first Iraqi war and she had lived on Ft. Hood! She jumped on board and we became partners and started our own Team Taji NY.
I realized some thing about this project as I was preparing to present it to my relief society. I learned that this simple service project is SO much more than giving kids school supplies, it is an opportunity to support our American troops, as well as help the Iraqi soldiers serve thier country as well. Jeff said that the US and Iraqi armies were giving out the school kits together, this was SO important for the Iraqi army to do because for SO long they have oppressed thier people instead of serving them. This project helps the Iraqi civilians to TRUST thier army rather than fear them, and intern as they trust thier army, it makes for a more stable Iraq. An Iraq where other countries do not need to be there helping out, including our precious soldiers. SO, as you can see, this service project is SO AWESOME on so many levels.
Anyway, after many late nights of putting together my presentation with pictures and all (thanks Jeff), it was ready. I gave the presentation to the sisters and it went really well, my brother Jeff even Skyed in to tell the ladies more about the project and give them his first hand expereince! That was the BEST part! After he spoke to us, we sang him a Christmas song and we were all moved by tears.
The next day Dec. 9th, Connie and got to work,
- we started a non-profit organization so that people who donate could get a tax write off,
- we started a website www.teamtaji.org
- email address firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook- "Operation Back to School-team Taji"
We wanted to give people more information about the project and try to get as many school kits as possible. If you are reading this and want more info, click on the link above to see a video of the project. Jeff was able to deliver some kits already! Also email us at email@example.com or go to our website. You can see more pictures on Facebook too.
I know most of the people that read my blog are my friends and family, if you want to help, I would LOVE your support, here is how you can help:
- Donate a school kit, Kits are $10- make your check out to "Team Taji" send it to:
- Team Taji
- 211 West 56th st. #27H
- NY, NY 10019
- Send ideas on how to get more kits to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Go to: Galleries> Video> Deadeye min 7
We went to St. Martin for Thanksgiving, just the three of us! It was so fun! We got up super early with Zoe every morning and hit the beach. Since we had been there last year, we knew the best beaches and we were glad we did because it cut out the exploration time.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Zoe hair has started to come in a ton lately and it seems to have grown mostly on one side! We had to stick it out in this picture to show how much hair she has gotten. The new things that Zoe is doing, eating all three meals in solids: breakfast lunch and dinner! She loves to sit up and play with her stackable cups. We found out that her favorite color is green because she always goes for the green cup, even if we hide it! She loves it when I sing Christmas songs to her, she gets SO excited and waves her arms. She also loves her new Sophie the Giraffe chew toy, she chews and chews and chews on it! It sqeaks so I always know when she is chewing on it. She loves shopping and running erins with me. When we are in the stores she just hangs out and looks around at all the new things to see. She LOVES talking and smiling at people in the elevator! If someone will say hi to her, she will smile at them. She likes people that have funny accents. The other day I was in the elevator with a Jewish woman who had a very thick New Jersey accent and Zoe just started laughing out loud, it was hilarious. Then the other day she did it again with another lady who was talking to me who had an accent too. She cracks me up.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
These pictures were taken from my apartment windows that face Broadway during the Macey's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Pretty AMAZING RIGHT!!! The parade is in only a couple of weeks!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Zoe and I had our one day of NEW YORK FAME with our picture taken and printed in the Daily News on Sunday Oct. 24th! We were out in Central Park at the pumpkin festival and the photographer came up to me and my pretty little pirate and started shooting. The title of the picture was " Walk the Park, not the PLANK" The bottom of the picture says, " MaryLynn Thomas holds 6 month Zoe, who donned a pirate outfit for yesterday's annual pumpkin festival in Central Park." The picture if you can tell, is actually an entire half a page!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
- Sucks on her hands all the time
- Makes noises, talks her own language
- Jumps on the Johnny Jumper
- Fights sleep- to our dismay!