Following this notion, USA Today launched a contest through social-networking site Twitter that was unlike any of its kind. Twitter users were asked to vote for their favorite charities using the hashtag #AmericaWants, thus entering the non-profits into the first ever USA Today campaign for charity; the prize: a full-page ad valued at $189,400. After days of tweeting, it was clear that what America wanted was the non-profit To Write Love On Her Arms to receive the ad.
(Or for those Twitter-savvy, it looked more like this: #AmericaWants @TWLOHA to get a full-page ad in USA Today).
Today, America got what it wanted.
For those who haven’t heard, To Write Love On Her Arms is a non-profit based in Cocoa Beach, Florida; the NGO is dedicated to raising money for and awareness about those suffering from depression, addiction, self-injury, or suicide.
Now, those are weighty subjects by anyone’s standards, but what makes TWLOHA so effective is their message that the stigma facing these topics needs to be removed, and that it can be done so through open and honest conversations. Recognizing that these conversations were going to be difficult and that it would take the individuals having them much courage, TWLOHA turned to social networking site MySpace to launch their story.
More than three years after the non-profit was created, TWLOHA has more friends on MySpace than any other non-profit, and the organization has raised more than $700,000 for treatment centers, as well as directly answered 150,000 messages. With slogans like “rescue is possible” and “stop the bleeding,” TWLOHA quickly made a splash.
The fledging charity raised money and awareness by finding people where they were: online. TWLOHA also made shirts, given to Hayley Williams of Paramore, the men from Switchfoot, and many more, to raise awareness for the cause, proving just how important and integral to success it is to reach out to those most vulnerable in new and unheard-of ways.
I cannot adequately express how important TWLOHA’s message is to me, so I will just serve as the messenger for today. To quote their full-page ad, “You are not alone. Hope is Real. Help is Real. Your Story is Important.”
Please go and pick up a copy of the newspaper today; it may start conversations that change lives.
For more on To Write Love On Her Arms, visit their web site at www.twloha.com or follow the organization on Twitter: @TWLOHA.
The picture above is the copyighted logo of TWLOHA; I do not own the photo or the logo.
Ah, prêt. Meaning “ready” in French and usually followed by "a-porter," it is a sign that the seasons are changing, the couture houses are burning the midnight oil, and New Yorkers are anxiously awaiting this season’s runways show.
But have you heard about Prêt-A-Manger? Translating as “ready to eat” – or in the restaurant’s opinion “Just Made” – Prêt-A-Manger is a self-described cross between “a good restaurant, an Italian coffee bar and a bullet train.” And believe me, they’re not lying.
Since arriving in New York this past weekend, I’ve been keeping my eyes open for some good eats (because what else is an Italian girl raised in the South supposed to do?). While there are many worthy contenders on my “must-eat” list, Prêt-A-Manger stood out above the rest, which is why I found myself at their 55th Street and 6th Avenue location this past Tuesday. Don’t worry if you don’t have time to hop on the subway to get to Midtown; Prêt-A-Manger boasts 24 locations in New York City alone!
To cut to the chase, the food was excellent, the prices reasonable, and the employees charming. One of my favorite things about Prêt-A-Manger is how passionate they are about the entire process. When you look on their walls, you’ll see that they never keep their sandwiches overnight to sell the next day. In their words, they “never have, never will.”
So whether you’re in Lower Manhattan, Midtown East, or Midtown West, check out Prêt-A-Manger, which is sure to lull you out of your Dunkin Donuts obsession. To find the Prêt-A-Manger nearest you, visit http://www.pret.com/us/find_a_pret/.
The Heart of the Matter
As Prêt-A-Manger never keeps their food overnight, they are looking for charities or shelters that are in need of their sandwiches and food that hasn’t sold. If you know of a charity, shelter, or organization that would benefit from receiving Prêt-A-Manger’s sandwiches, please contact Danielle Penn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I know I promised a post on what to eat in Midtown and when you’re on your way to a Broadway show, but I’m preempting that post for one about fashion – because as much as I love food, fashion comes first, especially when it involves venturing to the Empire State Building.
Yesterday, my post centered on the staggering costs of most high couture pieces, and I offered up Barney’s and Bergdorf’s as places to hit for a sale. But let’s get real for a minute. For most of us, any piece of clothing priced over $1,000 is not considered a sale; if anything, it’s considered a splurge that requires postponing a mortgage payment to afford. To be honest, as much as I love designer brands, I’m much more content to head to H&M for their dresses, which are priced starting at just $34.
Which brings me to the point of this post: no matter what price point she shops at, every woman carries a bag of some sort. I was lucky enough to be able to visit the LeSportsac offices at the Empire State Building today, and I cannot rave enough about their affordable and beyond cute bags.
Coming in different styles and patterns (did you know they produce ten different patterns a month?!) these bags are wonderful, because they are fashionable, practical, and recessionista-friendly. Starting at just $20, these bags come in all forms: cosmetic bags, baby bags, and even bags for the guy in your life.
Of course, only buyers and the occasional lucky blogger get to have a sneak peak at LeSportsac’s showrooms in the Empire State Building. For those of you New Yorkers craving a budget-friendly price tag on a bag sure to make all your friends jealous, check out LeSportsac locations on 118 Greene Street, 1065 Madison Ave., or 656 Avenue of the Americas.
Special thanks to the lovely Katie Rehbein, the specialty account executive, who gave me a behind-the-scenes peak at what LeSportsac has to offer this season. For more information on LeSportsac, check out their web site at http://www.lesportsac.com/.
Unless you've lived under a rock for the past two decades, you've heard about Sex and the City. You might have even gone so far as to label your closest friends as a "Carrie," "Samantha," "Charlotte," or "Miranda." And even if you haven't, it's clear that SATC has transcended generations, continents, and decades. Whether you watch to see the women fall in love, drink late night cosmos, or navigate the city that never sleeps, one thing is clear: no matter what these women do, they look fantastic while doing it.
The clothes that Samantha, Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte wear are often thought of as a fifth character in the series, and they do not come cheap. The wardrobe for the SATC2 movie cost an estimated $10 million; this doesn’t include the looks that were taken right off the runways – those were listed as priceless. It comes as no surprise then that Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall, and Kristin Davis wore looks equally as jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring as their alter egos at the movie’s world premiere last night.
For the unlucky majority that didn’t have tickets to last night’s screening, many fashion and gossip sites posted pictures of the stars as they arrived in front of Radio City Music Hall. Sarah Jessica Parker stole the show in her vintage Valentino gown, but all the ladies looked spectacular. The stars, including Chris Noth and Sarah Jessica Parker, were even nice enough to cross the street where hundreds of the series’ fans were waiting to greet them.
For those of us who don’t have those millions to spend on our wardrobes, we have to settle for the steals we find along the streets of Madison and Fifth Ave. Stuart Weitzman is having a trunk show featuring his fall and winter looks this week until Friday, which is sure to satiate any shoe lover’s fantasies, at least until the September runway shoes. Barney’s is having a sort of pre-sale, which includes some great markdowns on designer gowns on the 2nd and 3rd floors.
Even if you don’t have the money to spend, it’s worth it just to stop by and take a look at the wonderful displays, including one featuring mannequins wearing Rochas designs surrounded by upside-down hanging fans.
For those of us on a stricter budget, H&M is a must; they update their stock almost daily, and it’s often more well-made than what you would find at Urban Outfitters or other retail chains.
Stay tuned, because coming up, you’ll get the dish on Barney’s and Bergdorf’s sales next week, as well as some tips on what to eat when you’re on the run in Midtown or on your way to a Broadway show!