Sunday, January 29, 2017

Paying it Forward with Stonyfield Yogurt...Featuring Homemade Pampering Gift #StonyfieldBlogger

As most of you know, I'm a proud member of Stonyfield Yogurt's Clean Plate Club. I love using their delicious organic yogurt products to make good-for-you recipes all throughout the year...and I love their big hearts too! Last month, Stonyfield sent me a $50 VISA gift card to take part in their holiday Pay It Forward program. I could use the money any way I chose to donate to a cause close to my heart. What an opportunity! The holidays can be rough for those who lack the financial resources to provide holiday presents for their kids. Not that presents are the main focus of the holiday season...but every child deserves to have a little something under the tree on Christmas morning!

At my previous job, we provided holiday presents every year to high school students who otherwise wouldn't receive any gifts. It was such an amazing feeling to watch them open a present from their wish list during our annual holiday party at the school. I immediately knew I wanted to do something similar with my gift card. I contacted a local community service organization and asked them to recommend a school that might have some female students who were in need of a holiday gift. They helped me connect with a high school, and I took it from there!
I selected items for the baskets that my teenage niece would like -- fun items the students' family budgets might not permit. I wanted the items to be pampering...and definitely girly! Nearly all of the items were purchased at a "dollar store" so I could provide baskets for four young ladies. I started with a sturdy wire basket that could be re-used after the contents were gone. I lined each basket with a colorful towel, then filled it with a variety of items. The baskets contained a scented candle, candy, nail polish, hot chocolate, trail mix...and some cozy holiday slipper socks. 

When the baskets were assembled, I delivered them to the school's guidance counselor -- who distributed them to four young ladies who wouldn't have otherwise received a holiday gift. It was a completely anonymous act...I don't know who received the baskets, and the students don't know who gave them their gift. I'm so happy imaging their faces when they received a little bit of unexpected holiday cheer! I hope you'll look for opportunities to Pay it Forward in your own life during the coming year. It doesn't have to cost a fortune to do something nice for someone else...and it will also bring you immense joy and satisfaction!

Disclosure: This was a compensated post on behalf of Stonyfield Yogurt. They provided me with a $50 VISA gift card to purchase the supplies to make the donated gift baskets featured in this post. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

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