Festive Designs for Your Independence Day Celebration

By Julia Marchand

With Independence Day right around the corner, you may be looking for new and exciting ways to celebrate. Of course, a parade and fireworks are basically mandatory, but don’t forget to dress up yourself and your home! These are two of my favorite ways to enjoy holidays since they really set the tone for whatever merriment is approaching.

Photo 1                                                      Image via GoodwillEasterSeals.org 

The first thing I like to do to prepare for an upcoming event is to pull together at least one themed display at home. Just setting something up on a tabletop or bookshelf doesn’t take long, but can make a great statement. You don’t even need to have guests over to appreciate it! I find that changing up my surroundings even just a little at a time keeps my home feeling fresh and inspiring. This quick and patriotic display made by Sarah for Goodwill Easter Seals (Saint Paul) is exactly what I’m talking about. It’s bright, bold, and brilliantly priced since she found everything at Goodwill!

Photo 2                                                                                                                     Image via GoodwillFabulous.com

Be a firework this fourth by decking yourself out head-to-toe in red, white, and blue like Molly and Penny, the sisters behind the blog Goodwill Fabulous. Can you believe that the dress Molly scored for $4.99 from her local Goodwill originally retailed for $138? That’s about 96% off! I’d say the hunt is well worth it for a price like that. What do you think?

Photo 3                                                                                                    Image via ItAllStartedWithPaint.com 

Another aspect of Independence Day that I truly adore is how social the holiday is. This is not one of those intimate family days like Easter nor is it a one-on-one type evening like Valentine’s Day. It’s an all-you-can-eat, everyone’s invited, break out the sparklers kind of jubilation! As such, it might be a good idea for you to have some snacks and activities on hand. Here are some fantastic ideas for themed décor and pastimes from Marion Goodwill Industries (OH) including the super simple silverware stash above!
But perhaps the most patriotic thing about celebrating the Fourth of July by shopping at your Goodwill is that every dollar you spend is going back into your own community. Eighty-three percent of collective revenues raised through the sale of donated goods support and grow Goodwill’s critical community-based programs and services. Thrifting at Goodwill is such an easy and effective way to help keep your unique community strong to ensure that we can continue to applaud it every July 4th for a very long time.

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Put Dad First This Father’s Day

By Julia Marchand
“Parenthood is the hardest job you’ll ever love.” This sentiment shared with me by my mom has been echoing in my head since she said it about a week ago. I know I’m not the only one to agree because my husband and I have had similar, perhaps less eloquent, conversations on the topic. The nights can sometimes feel never-ending, and the days, just as exhausting, so I know how lucky I am to have a partner with whom I share all of the diapers, giggles, tantrums, and snuggles. It’s because I, too, am experiencing all of these parental trials, that I am really excited to celebrate my husband (and my own dad) on June 17 for Father’s Day.

Photo 1

Image via saltandpeppermoms.blogspot.com

Finding the right gift to show Dad that you care is a difficult thing to do and only gets harder as his super-Dad years stack up. Thinking back over my decades, it’s easy to feel like I’ve run out of ideas! As the blog Salt and Pepper Moms points out, you can only give him a new grill or tie so many times. That’s why I love their idea of curating a customized Father’s Day Favorites basket just for him. Grab a cute, but inexpensive, basket from Goodwill® and go to town filling it with all of his favorites. The basket can be reused around the house after for organization that fits into your décor scheme, but that’s just the cherry on top. The real gifts are the sweet printable cards that you can download and have family members fill out to be included in the basket. Kiddos can draw dad (or grandpa) and share their favorite things about him. More than the treats or usefulness of the basket, Dad will have these thoughtful mementos to hold forever.

Photo 2

Image via facebook.com/cincigoodwill

If he isn’t a big snacker and you can’t find anything small to fill his basket, the best starting point is probably still to think about what the father in your life really loves. Is it gardening? Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries (Cincinnati) had some great ideas for Dads with green thumbs; thrift a book of gardening tips and some track down some seeds (or even saplings!) then spend the day together in the garden. This is such a wonderful idea partly because time is the best gift you can give and a day together is exactly that, but also because watching something grow that you planted together is like watching the relationship blossom over time, too.

Photo 3

Image via goodwilleasterseals.org

And while we’re on the topic of investing time, now is the perfect opportunity to applaud Goodwill Easter Seals (St. Paul, MN) for their FATHER (Fostering Actions To Help Earnings and Responsibility) project. This is an ongoing effort through which Goodwill invests time working with fathers to overcome barriers that prevent them from supporting their children. Being jobless while needing to support a family would make an already trying role even more difficult so Goodwill generates opportunities for people to build brighter futures for themselves and their families through initiatives like this.
You can help support this mission simply by donating to and shopping at Goodwill this Father’s Day! A basket, a book, or even some new clothing, will all be appreciated next Sunday as long as they’re accompanied by a great big hug and two wonderful words: thank you. Even through the rough patches, Dad has always put his kids first; on Father’s Day it’s our turn to return the favor.

 

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