Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Greetings friends! I hope everyone is enjoying this lovely summer weather! So what's new? Well, in good news- 5 of the Rev Girls, who are the cheerleaders for the New England Revolution soccer team, will be attending the Date Auction! They will be mingling with guests, posing for photos and one of the Rev Girls will be a bachelorette in our auction! How cool is that? That will definitely help bring extra guys to the Date Auction.

It never ceases to amaze me how poor the quality is of some of the items that people donate. 70% of what people donate has to be discarded. Our guidelines are very clear on our website, but still people don't follow them. I opened up a box of coloring books tonight that had been mailed from across the country- it was filled with coloring books that had been drawn in, pages ripped out or were old and yellowed. They were definitely not in the condition that was suitable to be given to children. Recently, I had half-empty boxes of crayons donated to us. I don't understand why people spend money and put time and effort into mailing items that are clearly not following our guidelines. It gets frustrating because I have to spend time sorting out all the donations and discarding items- it isn't easy to have to discard of large quantities of stuffed animals weekly. I don't want to appear ungrateful- because I really appreciate that people want to help and there are plenty of people that donate lovely items, but I don't understand why people make the effort to either drive here or mail items that are clearly old or in poor condition. If they really want to help our efforts, it would be better if they could save the $5 or $10 in postage and donate online to us so that we can get the items we actually need.

Well, that's the latest for tonight. I'm off to work on our fashion show fundraiser posting for our website and then read for a bit. I'm still reading Cuckoo's Calling and loving it. My sister gave it to me- she always makes excellent book recommendations. I've already had watermelon, then cherries, followed by leftovers, so probably should cease eating for the night. Until tomorrow friends...

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Latest and Greatest

Greetings friends! Well, I've been doing pretty badly with blogging lately- I need to get back on track. So what's new? Well today, I was a guest on the Colin McEnroe show which is on the Connecticut NPR affiliate. They were doing a show about stuffed animals and they invited me to be on the show to talk about our program and the difference that a stuffed animal makes for a child who has been through a traumatic events. It was a nice interview and I was really happy that they included us. I love doing radio interviews and it is particularly great that we've now been on NPR! I will have a clip from the show put on our website soon.

The end of the month is approaching and I'm getting nervous. It means that the Date Auction is rapidly approaching. We're in a good shape for the event, but it is always so nerve wracking. The main push now is to recruit some more fun and outgoing bachelors/ettes. We've already recruited some good ones, but definitely need more. I'd love to get some prominent Bostonians as well. Right on the heels of the Date Auction is our fall fashion show and then right after that is the Anniversary Celebration. Ah, so many events! If  you think about it all it gets very overwhelming- so I try not to do that. I break every day down into small tasks, otherwise it is so overwhelming it can be hard to make any progress. There are also grants that I need to work on as well.

Well, there's lots more to write about but I'm getting tired and can't think of anything. Watermelon is calling my name from the kitchen, so I'm heading that way... Until next time friends...

Monday, July 14, 2014

Health Insurance Quest

Greetings friends! So what's the latest? Well, I'm on a mission to get new health insurance and so far it has been a rocky road. I've been getting insurance through the business section of the MA Health Connector. I received a letter last month saying that we had to reapply for insurance and a choose a new plan as of September 1. That sounded simple enough, but little did I know. I went online and had some issues even starting a new account-  I finally filled out the application and sent in the required paperwork to prove that we are a business. I received a phone 4:30 Friday afternoon- which is an odd time to make an important call- from the Health Connector saying that my paper work wasn't sufficient. They need a form that we don't fill out because it doesn't pertain to us as a non profit. I told the lady that the paperwork I had submitted was fine when we applied in 2012- I don't understand what had changed. She said first that I had applied with my "old number" instead of reapplying. I hadn't done that- I had filled out a new application and the computer generated a number. I had to do it twice for it to work. Then she said that the requirements to make a business eligible are now different and unless we could supply this form then we wouldn't be able to get business health insurance through the connector. Today, I went online to apply for individual insurance- I applied for premium assistance, but my application stalled early in the process and I kept getting a message saying they couldn't verify my identity. I then had to call their help number- which requires pressing many buttons until you get someone. The lady on the phone still wasn't able to verify my identity- she asked me if I had just moved. I've been living at the same address for 13 years. It's the only place that I've ever had my driver's license address at. I'm registered to vote here- it should be really easy for their system to be able to confirm that I live here. I had to mail in a copy of my driver's license and a document which has my address on it. She said that in a week it should be verified and then I can continue the next step in obtaining insurance.

It is frustrating to go through this process. Health insurance is expensive- there are so many plans to choose from- most of which have very little difference- and most of which are lousy plans. There are 3 levels of coverage (gold, silver, bronze) and within those levels there are 3 levels- and within those levels there are a bunch of different plans- and seriously, most of them are dreadful. They have high deductibles, some of them have a 30% co-pay which is outside of your deductible, others have high fees for any tests that you need- and they all cost serious money. The least they could do is make it a simple process. I don't understand why the business requirements had to change so that we're not eligible anymore. It amazes me to think that a number of people had to come up with this entire system and then other people had to approve the system- didn't someone take a moment and think about what a confusing mess it was? It is really dreadful. For the richest and most developed country in the world, it doesn't seem right that the health insurance system should be like this.

Anyways, that's my news for tonight. Hopefully, things will get straightened out and I can get good health insurance at a decent price. I'm covered until September 1 with my current business plan. On that note, I'm off to eat some more watermelon and read for a bit. Until tomorrow friends...

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Welcome July

Greetings friends! Well, I'm a little late to the party with welcoming July- it has arrived over a week ago. So what's new? Things are moving along well. I've been getting some great calendar photos lately, so I'm really excited about that. We have a bunch of new children featured which is great. I'm not done with calendar sponsors, but we're making progress. I'm only at the half way point for photos, so there are still a lot to be done.

Last week, we donated stuffed animals, books and coloring books/crayons to a family homeless shelter which is going to be opening up in Providence this fall. It is called the Holy Family Shelter. It is being run by St. Edward's Church. A volunteer, Patti, emailed me last week and asked for help with items for the shelter. They closed a school this year and are renovating it into a shelter. The Church also has a food pantry and a medical office where a doctor meets patients weekly for free. The Church looks like it is doing a lot of great work in the community. I was happy that we were able to help and offered to donate more items if they need them once the shelter opens. Here is a photo from the donation.
Tomorrow morning, the first email blast recruiting eligible single guys and ladies for the Date Auction goes out. I waited until after the 4th July to officially start recruiting because it felt like it was too early- people don't really pay attention. However, we did sell another ticket for the Date Auction over the weekend which was excellent. I've been working on getting our promotions and partnerships lined up for the Date Auction marketing. Most of the big ones are taken care of, but there are still a few more things that need to get finalized. I also need to follow up with some gift bag donors to start getting items in hand.

Well friends, I'm off to do some office organizing- happy to say that my desk is getting neater and doesn't resemble a tornado landing zone- perhaps just a mild hurricane! Until tomorrow friends..