Monthly Archives: February 2013

***Just a quick update for all of you that don’t follow my Facebook page:  TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO DONATE to Best Friends Animal Society!!
Please click to directly donate to the largest no-kill animal shelter in the United States.  The donations for this month have been PAWesome! 😉  People sure do love their fur babies.

Also, if you live in or around the Grand Rapids MICHIGAN area, I am still looking for help with donations with the following items:
~Nylon Leashes
~Nylon Buckle Collars
~Balls, Tennis balls, and Plush Toys
~Chewies and Rawhide (no Greenies please)
~Dog Biscuits, Training Treats, and Hot Dogs
~Dog Brushes
~Spray Cheese (in a can) — helps medication go down easy.
~Canned kitten and cat food
~Dry dog food
~Paper towels
~Mini paper plates
~Tall kitchen garbage bags
~Borax laundry powder
~Liquid hand sanitizer
~Dishwasher detergent
~Laundry detergent
~Liquid antibacterial hand soap refills
~Toilet paper
~Disinfecting wipes (Clorox or Lysol)
~Cat carriers and dog cages
~Towels of all sizes
~Bedding: bedspreads, blankets,flat sheets…USED are fine!

Need a little motivation to do so??  How about this?

ImageFor every THREE items purchased and delivered to me, you will be entered into a drawing to win a $25 Petco gift card.  You can find a bunch of these items at dollar stores, so it would only take spending $3 to get entered for the gift card!!  I will be collecting these items from now until Sunday, March 3rd @ 5pm EST.  Items will be distributed evenly between two local recue shelters in Grand Rapids:  Crash’s Landing ( and MacKenzie’s Animal Sanctuary ( If you are interested in participating, please message me for directions to my work so I can arrange to be there for the drop-off 🙂  Oh, and if you haven’t already done so, please consider sharing my blog with your friends, family and coworkers~the more people I have following along, the more these charities benefit!! xoxo ~Liz



~February 2013~ Best Friends Animal Society

Geez you guys, I can’t believe we’re already half way through February.  I am so SO sorry for not writing about this charity until now!! My health has been a real CATastrophe lately, and it’s been “ruff” on me 😉  The only way to make up for lost time is to amp up my effort.  And to write a good enough blog post to make you sympathetic to my cause.  I think that I can do both…..

[photo credit to]

[photo credit to]

Back in December when I was putting all of these charities together, I had not planned to specifically donate to Best Friends Animal Society.  In fact, if you look back at my original list it says “Humane Society for Shelter Pets.”  I selected the HSSP after doing some research into larger animal charities like the ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).  However, it sorta puts a snag in ones plans when it is discovered later that this particular charity is unable to accept donations…GAH!!   The Humane Society for Shelter Pets is devoted to encouraging people to donate LOCALLY and that’s what I liked about them.  I learned some very interesting things off of their website ( that I was not aware of before, and I thought you guys might find some of these interesting as well:

~ “Despite the words “humane society” in its name, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is not formally affiliated with any humane societies that operate at a city, county or regional level. HSUS does not run a single pet shelter. And the vast majority of its funds are kept for its own agenda. Only ONE PERCENT of its budget consists of grants to pet shelters.”

~ “Similarly, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is not affiliated with other local SPCAs (but does run ONE shelter in New York City). Generally, pet shelters are independent organizations.”

~ “It’s easy to forget local shelters and rescues who work tirelessly every day as we get mailing labels or see TV ads for national groups.  American Institute of Philanthropy, an independent charity watchdog, finds that the Humane Society of the United States (which is not affiliated with local humane societies) spends as little as 50 percent of its budget on programs and as much as 48 cents to raise every dollar.”


Now don’t get me wrong.  I am not against ANY place that takes in homeless, abandoned, abused, neglected and injured animals.  I think every one of these animals deserves the chance to have a good home, no matter where they end up getting placed.  It’s not like it was their choice that they got dropped off or taken in there.  However, I do believe that local shelters need far more financial help than the big guys.  Rescues and local shelters have to work hard to come up with enough donated money to house the animals, feed them, bathe them, clean up after them, and provide shots/vaccines/antibiotics and other medical care, as well as pay the full-time staff, the doctors that care for the pets, recruit volunteers and pay for the overhead costs of running their facilities.

Ready for why I chose Best Friends Animal Society??  It’s sort of a crazy tail (get it?! you get it right??) but let’s start with this guy and eventually I’ll get to the point:

Greg for the blog

This guy is my hero.  Also my husband, my best friend, my sidekick.
Next week he will be 9. MONTHS. SOBER.  It has not been an easy road, but we are so incredibly fortunate that we didn’t have to do this journey alone.  We have each other.  We have amazing family and friends.  We have compassionate counselors, a spectacular sponsor, and the support of AA meetings.  AND…we have the love and encouragement (and dare I say, friendship?!) of one of THEE coolest girls to ever exist on the internet.  Her name is Katy, and she writes the blog .  To be honest, I can’t even remember exactly how I stumbled upon her.  I do know it was just a few weeks after my hubby was released from detox at the hospital.  I was grasping for anything, anyone, that could help me make sense of the whole alcohol addiction thing.  Some kind of beacon that would show me there WAS a light at the end of the tunnel, that addiction could be overcome, and that life with an alcoholic didn’t have to be lived on pins and needles.

And then….. there she was.  Bright blonde hair and glossy red lips and sassy cat-eye frames.  Standing in a dumpster!  What the hell was this chick all about?!  I started stalking browsing her Facebook page.  She is a self proclaimed “Proud drunk” ~ sober now for 11 years.  She is a vegan.  She hates when people act like dicks.  She has two kitty cats named Sally Boy and Eliza Jane that are like babies to her, and she wants to take in rescue babies just like she takes in rescue pets.  She has been homeless, jobless, friendless, hospitalized, committed, and jailed.  But she has also been given a second chance, and because of that this woman lives, breathes, oozes gratitude.  She is funny.  She is smart.  She is compassionate.  She is supportive.  She is SOBER.  I fell in love 😉  I started commenting on her page, and she would comment back.  I was inspired and hopeful and I wanted hubby to be as well.  I purposely would leave her page up on our laptop, knowing that he would open it and see it.  Would he take the bait and check out what she had to say??  Turns out he would.  And I’m pretty sure my hubby is in love with her now too…which is cool with me, because I totally get it.  She is the bees knees and the cat’s meow and any other weird animal expression you can come up with.  In a weird way, she brought my hubby and me together in this battle despite the fact that she’s never met either one of us in real life.  She is special.

Best Friends Animal Society

“Go. Go NOW and donate. For the love of snips and snails and puppy dog tails, send us $10.00 so we can survive and thrive!!!” ~Fido

And so to show our gratitude (there’s that word again) we have chosen KATY’S favorite animal rescue as February’s charity.  Best Friends Animal Society is located in sunny and warm Kanab, Utah and is the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary for homeless, abused and abandoned pets.  They own nearly 3,700 acres, and they lease another 17,000 acres of state and federal land.  Almost 30,000 people travel there each year to meet and work with the animals, including Katy herself!  Best Friends “fights discrimination against pit bull terriers, battles commercial breeding operations and keeps community cats safe and out of shelters with trap/neuter/return.”  They work to spay and neuter pets, save lives and reduce euthanasia rates.  They are doing good things.   If you have an extra ten dollars in your account this minute, this week or this month, P*L*E*A*S*E consider visiting Best Friends Animal Society at and clicking on the orange DONATE TODAY tab in the top right corner 🙂  And please let me know if you do!!!  I always want to make sure you know your donation is appreciated.

*** More to come tomorrow on a project my sister Ellen and I are working on for some local shelters near us in Michigan.  And pictures next week of some volunteer time with my little girl!! xoxo ***

Service and Soup and Satisfaction, Oh My!!!

Phew!  It’s after midnight here in the Mitten State, and that means I am officially racing into February hot on the heels of S*U*C*C*E*S*S.  It is officially the end of my January charity~ God’s Kitchen/Gallery 303!  Too bad that I could also add Surgery and Sickness into those “S” categories above.  January is always, ALWAYS “sick month” in our house.  64-16-36!  And no, those aren’t my measurements…that is the temperature range in Michigan in any given 24 hour period.  It’s hard to stay healthy when you’re shoveling snow in your shorts 😉  Playing both nurse AND patient this month has kept me from detailing my first charity as much as I wanted to on this page.  From this point forward, I definitely want more blog action than Facebook action (…by the way, did you know there’s now a Facebook fan page you can follow for??  Check out for my quick posts and fast links to my donation sites!)   But I digress.  Let’s get back to the important shiz… WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  [If you’re a parent of a toddler, or have been one in the last 10 years, you’ll know to insert a little Dora booty shakin’ action here].  When I thought this up and planned this out and posted it online, I got excited but I really didn’t think there was that fat of a chance that I would be able to pull this first charity off.  I thought getting HALF of the money might be pushing it.  I doubted that people I had never met before would find my little pee-on blog and Facebook page and commit to following me.  And I planned on most of you not sticking around to help hold me accountable for my actions.  BUT APPARENTLY I THOUGHT WRONG because slowly, but surely, so many of you are finding me and telling me that I was RIGHT 🙂 





[This is Mama Sue, mother of of my ex-high-school-boyfriend-who-is-still-like-a-brother-to-me.]

Oh, and I guess more importantly she is the reason that I chose God’s Kitchen/Gallery 303 to launch my project 😉   As soon as I posted “The List” of the 12 charities I had chosen to work on, she was on the phone with me immediately.  She was soooooo excited for me!  And that got me all excited too.  Mama Sue is a volunteer for God’s Kitchen and Gallery 303.  She is one of hundreds that they need.  She took me down there for my first time so I didn’t have to feel like an idiot.  She gave me a tour of the soup kitchen, the art gallery, the food pantry, and the baby pantry.  We toured the kiln room where volunteers fire thousands of pottery bowls for the main fundraising events.  She showed me where they assemble all of the Meals on Wheels deliveries for the home-bound.  We went past freezer after walk-in freezer of frozen food, and shelf after shelf after shelf of canned goods and non-perishable items that don’t last on there very long.  There are a LOT of hungry people, you guys.  And it goes fast.


~ SOUP ~



Best high school friends EVER. Anna, Jilaine, Lindsay M, Erica, Krista, Sarah, Andrea, Lindsay D, and Becca (not pictured)  ❤

Back in December, I contacted the woman in charge of throwing the “Paint Parties” for my charity’s biggest fundraising event Soup’s On For All which you can read about here –> (  I am lucky enough to have friends that will drop almost anything to be there for each other.  They told me to just name the date and time and they would be there for OUR paint party.  We had appetizers and pizza and bubbly grown-up drinks and laughed until we cried.  I’m not going to name any names, but some of our bowl were preeeetttty interesting, to say the least! LOL!


Most of my friends were also able to attend the Soup’s On For All event with me this past Monday, February 28th at a downtown club here in Grand Rapids. We missed the ones that couldn’t! xoxo  

This fundraiser was so much fun.  There were 5 (five!) floors of different soups, breads, dips, cupcakes, candies, and drinks for you to sample until you could burst, all served by local celebrites and law enforcement.  There was live music and dancing.  There were raffles, and an amazing gospel choir that could be heard from top floor to bottom, and all of those painted bowls to take home as souvenirs to remind us that people go hungry EVERY. DAMN. DAY.


Oddly (and funny!) enough, we never saw our bowls put out!!! The volunteers told us that some of the boxes hadn’t even been opened yet, but we’re thinking they just didn’t want to hurt our feelings if people were subjected to our “art” and had a bad reaction  😉



So, you guys…like I said before….WE DID IT.  Not just me, because I told you from the second I started this that it was impossible for me to do alone.  WE did it.  Wanna know what WE did?!

~ WE exceeded the  $100.00 donation goal by twenty five extra dollars.  In addition to the $10 donated by my family, I would also like to acknowledge/thank/adore Jenn, Linnaea, Todd, Jamie, Kathy, Jeana, Ralph, Emilija, and Kim for their monetary contributions and support of my very first charity, as well an anonymous donor who sent $10 as well!!  Oooooh, the mystery!! 😀  If you donated as well, please let me know so I can shout you out some love.
~ WE as a group accounted for 11 tickets at the Soup’s On For All benefit at $50/ticket. I’m horrible at math, but I used my daughter’s sparkly blue calculator to figure out that we sent $550.00 to the fundraiser just on that one night.  And no, I am not kidding about needing that damn calculator.
~ WE collected 12 boxes of baby clothes, 6 bags of baby food and juice, 3 boxes of blankets, and 2 boxes full of diapers, as well as snowpants, jackets, boots, toys, sippy cups, formula, diaper bags, shampoo, conditioner, toilet paper, paper towel, and a huge helping of non-perishable food items all for God’s Kitchen.  So far.  I have more items still being donated over the next few days.  I will accept donations as long as they are coming at me.

I’d like to finish up with two last things I was very honored to receive.  Below is a copy of an email sent to my friend and donor Linnaea:

From: Peggy Helsel <>; To: <linnaea> Subject: Elizabeth’s Blog Sent: Wed, Jan 9, 2013 8:11:15 PM 

Good afternoon, Linnaea.  Thank you so much for your support of those we serve!  Thanks, too, for sending on the information about your friend Elizabeth and her wonderful challenge to support our community throughout the year.

I just loved her blog.  I am guessing that you all had a good time while painting your mugs!  Could you have Elizabeth contact me or send me her e-mail.  I would love to thank her and learn more.
Thanks again.

Peggy Helsel
Vice President of Philanthropy
Catholic Charities West Michigan
360 Division Ave. S – Suite 3A | Grand Rapids, MI 49503
o: 616.551.5662 | c: 616.295.0509”

V.I.P. folks.  She’s V.I.P. for this charity!!!  All smiles when I got that email.
And last but not least……


This is the cookbook I received from Mr. Rob Miller, executive director of God’s Kitchen/Gallery 303. I got to meet him in person and explain what I was doing with my blog. He thanked me and gave me the official Soup’s On For All cookbook, even though I assured him I would likely burn my house down if I tried to cook anything out of it. No joke. Take-out is my middle name.

And my apologies to anyone who is not a Michigan State Spartans fan, but my hubby and my baby girl are, and I missed them all night while I was at the benefit and I knew they would love this soup bowl as their souvenir!  Special thanks to my friend Jilaine (Mama Sue’s daughter and dedicated U of M fan) for wrestling it off the table before anyone else could have a crack at it 😉

Alright, I’m off to get some sleep for a few hours, and then I will be back later in the day to present February’s charity!  Peace out, trouts.

Want to see the complete list of charities I’ll be donating to this year???  Please check out that post by clicking here –>


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