Hard Work Pays Off

For the last few months, I’ve been working my butt off.  A lot of things have happened recently.

First of all, the wonderful manager of WAR Chest took a well deserved trip.  So for the past 6 weeks, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to work in the store on Friday’s.  It was so much fun!  I absolutely love talking to people and doing everything in the store!  I can’t think of one thing I dislike. 

She has also asked me to help plan events for the boutique, which I am so excited about!  Event planning is one of my favorite things to do.  It’s challenging, keeps me busy and I love coming up with creative new ideas! 

Not only that, I’ve been taking some photographs of volunteers as models.  This is something so new to me.  I love photography, but I don’t typically take photos of people so I’m learning the best ways to pose people and how to direct them to create the perfect shot.

Through that work with the boutique, I’ve been contacted by a local fashion blogger to potentially take photos for her blog!!  I should be meeting with her soon and I am so excited!  Also, a volunteer wanted to hire me to take photos of her grandsons.  How exciting is that?  I can maybe start making a little extra money doing something I love and continue to perfect my skills.  With student loans to worry about, any extra income would be wonderful.

I’ve taken over the Instagram account for Feral Fixers, a local cat rescue.  I’ve also been working more of their events and trying to help with marketing as best I can.  They’ve been working so hard to place so many cats and kittens in a home.   If you live in the Chicagoland area (especially Dupage County) check them out!

On top of that, I’m still doing a fundraising walk with my sister, my best friend Kristiii and my sister’s friend for Mutual Ground and I’ve just signed on to run a 5k for Traffick Free.

Finally, my pride and joy.  The last few months I’ve been working on a seminar to raise awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault.  I have been emailing back and forth with Benedictine University and finally scheduled a time and reserved a room.  They have been so immensely helpful, I can’t even put into words!  It’s been really long days and nights, scheduling photo shoots for marketing material, editing those photos, adding our information, writing event details, setting up accounts, sending out press releases hoping to be picked up by someone, creating contact lists and so much more. 

I’ve been working so hard to get everything together and it is finally happening!  So far 9 people have officially registered and we are hoping for many many more.  I am getting to the point where I am almost completely exhausted, but so excited at the same time.

If anyone is interested in coming you can register at www.1is2many.eventbrite.com

I can’t thank the people who have been helping enough and I’m so excited to see the outcome of this event! Keeping my fingers crossed!

♥ Meggie

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Real Heros

Today, Recycled2New attended the Frosty Claws event for Feral Fixers.  For those of you who don’t know or have just started following my blog, Recycled2New is my Aunt’s business and everything she makes is completely recycled.  She is a mailwoman and has many corporations on her route that just throw away: paper, color samples, thread, just about anything you can think of.  She makes notebooks and earrings and envelopes and scrapers and cat scratchers and more, out of all that!!  You can visit our Facebook at facebook.com/recycled2new.

Next Feral Fixers!  Feral Fixers is a nonprofit that my aunt and I work closely with. They trap, neuter and release (TNR) feral cats.  The friendly cats and kittens are kept and prepare for adoption.  This is a reasonable alternative for the massive feral cat problem.  Cats can have multiple litters in a year so their populations grow so rapidly that for a while  the county’s solution was to put them all down, which is awful.  You can visit Feral Fixers at www.feralfixers.org to learn more and see how you can get involved if you like.

Now that’s out-of-the-way, the turnout was AMAZING!  Feral Fixers had over 100 pre-ordered tickets, which was a massive increase from last year and Recycled2New made three times the amount of money for Feral Fixers than we did last year! There were so many people I met/  I just love meeting people who are really active on the Facebook page, to be able to put a face to the person.  We also met so many new people who were just amazing.

One woman, my aunt knew because she was on her mail route.  This woman was 72 years old and had more pep in her than most people my age (22)!  She was tiny and looked so frail but was the COMPLETE opposite.  She was helping us move things and sell!  She was so friendly and when it came time to tear down everything, she helped us with EVERYTHING!  My aunt told her that I was collecting clothing for WAR (Women at Risk) International and this lovely woman said she might have some things to donate.  After the tear down was complete, she came up to me and we just talked. She said this past year, in the few months before Christmas, she lost her husband, son and her sister.  It sounded like her sister was sick for a long time and this amazing women said she didn’t know what to do with all of her sisters clothes and that this would be something nice to do with them.

I told her she was such an amazing person, going through so much and being so strong. I gave her a hug and she just laughed. Do you know what she said to me then?  She said “Well, some people are so much less fortunate than us and it’s nice to give to them”.  A women who had just lost her husband, son and sister in just a few months and right before Christmas told me that.  She is an amazing woman!  When my aunt came back up to us, she looked at my aunt and said “Your niece want to adopt me!”, grinning madly.

She also took the balloons left over from the event and was going to write notes to the family she lost and send them into the sky.  Then use the rest to decorate their urns in her house.  She told us this with a massive smile, saying that she was so excited she didn’t have to blow up her own balloons and how happy she was.

She never stopped smiling, you could see that she was sad and she missed her family so much.  You could see in her eyes she was hurting and sad, there was no way to miss that, but she was just so strong and positive.  It honestly shocked me when she said that some people we less fortunate than us, just what an amazing woman, I don’t have any other word to use!  She is an honest to God hero, an unspoken inspiration, motivator and a wonderfully positive person.

She is someone who people can learn from, a woman who has gone through so much hardship and sadness and she is still so positive and always thinking of others.  Every time you think you have gone through someone difficult, just remember, there is someone out there who is going through someone just as bad or worse and keeping their chin up, being as positive as they possibly can.  Just be positive and view every obstacle and hardship in your life as a stepping stone that really does make you stronger and with the right attitude and friends  and family, you can accomplish anything in the world.  She proved to me that it was true, she is my real hero.

Recycling with Family

So today was the Cantigny Green Fest for Recycled2New (you can check out our Facebook here and our Twitter here and our Pinterest here).  If you haven’t read any of my past blogs, Recycled2New is my Aunt’s baby,   She loves to reuse and recycle.  She’s a bit of a hoarder, just like me.  We find things and just can’t get rid of them!  For example, magazines, you can do so many things with magazines: envelopes, beads, switch plate covers, notebook covers.  Why throw them out when you can use them and make something beautiful!?

She started selling all of her creations, necklaces, notebooks, scrapers, cat scratchers, earrings, just about anything you can think o.  Everything is made completely from reused or recycled items!  Friends give her things or she finds places that are going out of business or thrift stores and works away.

We had our largest show today!  It was so much fun, but absolutely frigid.  It was probably about 40 degrees for most of the morning and started warming up at 1 in the afternoon, only getting to the upper 50s in the shade, but that’s Chicago weather for you!  At least we missed the rain.  I was just dreading the moment when I would be standing there freezing in my layers and then get wet.

For this particular show, all of our profits went to Feral Fixers, an organization that serves DuPage County.  They trap, neuter/spay, and release feral cats to stop the populations from growing.  Those cats that are gentle will be put up for adoption, but the cats that are too aggressive to be adopted will be released where they were captured since they probably grew up in that area and know all of the dangers of the area.  You can visit their website here and their Facebook here.

Of course I love running all of the social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Email, Website) and meeting so many wonderful new people, but most of all I love working with my Aunt so much!  She is so easy to work with and I love spending time with my family.  Family is the most important thing in my life and I don’t think I could ever find a job that was so much fun!