Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 334

It was another really really cold night out on the SafeHouse lot. When I got there I said my hellos and made my rounds to as many people as I could.

I was talking to one gentleman about music and what he listened to. He also talked some about his music and he let me listen to one of his songs. It sounded good! The gentleman who talks to me about his relationships was there today and we got a chance to catch up. He shared his latest relationship woes and plans for his next relationships. He talked about living life like The Bachelor (that's what I think it is) and is considering dating multiple people and eliminating them as he takes them on each date - he swears that this would not be like The Bachelor!

I met someone new yesterday and had shared some information about SafeHouse with him yesterday. We talked a little more today and he told me about himself. He is from New York and had to come down here for some work. He now wants to go back to school and get a business-related degree. He is a little quiet, has a good sense of humor, and seems very patient. I hope he gets to his goals!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 333

Its getting colder and its dark too early which makes it harder to get out to volunteer in the evenings. But I still made it to SafeHouse today and got to catch up with one gentleman who lives under a bridge not too far away. We chatted about my vacation and the weather there, then the weather here. A lady sitting next to him joined our conversation and we started talking about the snow forecast and the worst weather each of us has seen.

I talked to another gentleman about food from different parts of the city, state, country, and world. He likes learning about different cultures so he had a lot of questions for me.

Once everyone went inside, I helped put chairs away and then caught up with another awesome volunteer. It was a nice, quiet evening and I'm glad I was able to make it down there. Back again tomorrow for more catch up conversations!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 332

It was a busy night at SafeHouse this evening! I got there early and had a chance to catch up with some of the guys out on the lot. I spoke to the gentleman who volunteers at the food bank; he talked to me about the referral process for services for homeless people and how sometimes it gets really tedious because you need a referral for another referral which is then for the service you need. It seems like a lot of paperwork and some of it gets redundant! He also spent some time downtown while Occupy Atlanta was at Woodruff Park so he shared stories of what he saw going on.

The group serving this evening always have a great meal but didn't have a lot of volunteers with them so I spent the rest of the evening helping them put together meatball subs with oreo cookies and a fruit cocktail. They also had lemonade, hot chocolate, and coffee. They had enough food for two servings so everyone was happy about that!

I also got to catch up with some of the other volunteers - it's always a good night when they're there :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 331

Between Chandni's jet lag, my itis from Thanksgiving, and it being Football Sunday... we decided to stay in today. I started to look at, and wasn't inspired, so I ended up logging onto While freericing, I managed to catch up with a few friends, and according to Marcus about 500 grains of rice could possibly feed one person. So at about 1,500 grains of rice - I think we were maybe able to help 3 people... At 2070 grains of rice, the words began to repeat themselves, so that's where I stopped for today. Back I go to watching DA BEARS game! I hope everyone enjoys the last of their thanksgiving weekend! Happy GIVING!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 330

Landed in Atlanta at 630am and made it to SafeHouse at 11am for their Chili Block Party! I met Dona as she led some volunteers to neighborhood parks to invite people to the party. There were a lot of great volunteers there and there was a medical clinic, a foot care station, a table set up for referrals to programs, clothes to pick from, haircuts, game tables, and live music! It was definitely a treat for everyone there.

Once I got to the block party it was all about saying hello to everyone and catching up with them. I hadn't seen one of they guys in several months, it was really good to see him and catch up on what he's been up to. He still volunteers a lot but no longer has his apartment but says he's okay with that for now. There was a lot of checking in with people,conversations about my holiday, and conversations about Thanksgiving.

It was great seeing so many volunteers come out on a Saturday morning to make this event a success, and even better seeing so many younger volunteers!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 329

I spent my last morning in Gabs (for this trip) at the Baylor Clinic and I can't believe how fast time went by, a combination of having tons of fun with the kids and whenever I'm leaving home it feels like the last few hours fly by!

Two other volunteers joined me this morning and we had about 15 kids to hang out with. There were a lot of different activities going on and I was surrounded by a few younger kids - we made cars out of lego and had car races, caused accidents, and drove all over the tables and benches! The kids then drew pictures and wanted to show them off as soon as they got done drawing so I went from one to the next praising their creativity - they loved the extra attention!

Before leaving I sat with one of the younger boys as he read a short story book with me. I asked him questions after each story and he was excited each time he got the question right.

I had a great time meeting the kids and hanging out with them. And I look forward to going back some day! Now back to packing :(

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 328

Last minute errands kept me from going to the clinic this morning so I visited

I clicked to donate for many causes: children in need, the rainforest, big cats, breast cancer, rescue pets, seals, oceans, primates, global warming, violence against women, and wolves.

I also went to their petition site and signed petitions for the following: end attacks on women's access to birth control (surprised to be the first one signing!); asking donor governments to publish what they fund; and asking Germany and France to keep their promise to the world's poor.

Last day at Baylor Clinic tomorrow, then back to Atlanta...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 327

I had my largest group of kids at Baylor Clinic today, and it was a lot of work keeping up with them! The kids come to the clinic about once a month for their check ups. It's coming up to a month since my first visit there and today I had three kids from my first week. It was wonderful seeing them again and even more fun because they know me and were eager to talk and play.

I started the morning playing soccer with some of the younger girls - I'm defs getting better :)

Games of Jenga and the world puzzle are my favorites so of course there was a lot of that.

And while all of this was going on I had one little girl who demanded attention for showing off her hula hoop skills! It was a morning of being everywhere all at the same time, but still a morning filled with the kids laughing and smiling - so worth it!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 326

Back from safari! I donated rice through freerice this evening. I donated 2000grains of rice while learning the capitals of countries around the world.

Educational and a great cause! Love it!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 325

Like Jiten said, the internet has been down for the past few days so I was unable to blog yesterday. But here is how my Monday morning went:

I spent the morning hanging out with the kids at Baylor Clinic and had a wonderful time. This was the smallest group of kids I've had, as well as some of the oldest. There were several teenagers in the group who were content kicking around the soccer ball, while teaching me some fancy kicks. I soon left them though to hang out with my newest little buddy.  He's an adorable 5year old. We pushed around hula hoops (which were almost as tall as him); he soon became confident in his skills and started rolling out three at a time, and every time they collapsed would burst out in laughter.

We both then moved on to work on a puzzle. He was adamant about doing it so I helped him and one of the little girls put it together. They were so serious while doing it and had the proudest smiles once it was done.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 324

Today was another day of Virtual Volunteering. While sitting at home and watching the Atlanta Falcons game I played some free rice. I donated 5000 grains of rice while brushing up on my chemistry, english, and french skills.

Giving is just that easy. Give it a try and see how much rice you can donate by going to


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 323

Another day on

I started with simply reviewing a website geared towards raising funds for childhood cancer - 

I then gave feedback on an Ad to recruit board members for Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine.

I also helped spread the word about the We Women Foundation's online campaign Educate One, Empower Thousands - check them out on facebook!

Lastly, I took action to support the Water for the World Act. Clean water and sanitation are basic human rights. But 2.6 billion people lack access to improved sanitation, including 1.2 billion people who have no facilities at all. The majority of the illness in the world is caused by fecal matter -- in fact, 50% of the hospital beds in the developing world are occupied by people suffering water-related diseases and, every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease. Among those with the least access to clean water are the more than one billion people around the world who live in slums.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Day 322

Cold/Flu symptoms stopped me from going to the Baylor Clinic today so while stuck in bed I wrote some letters for human rights through Amnesty International:

I've been reading the Guantanamo Files and am horrified with the treatment of prisoners (or rather, the many innocent people) held there, so today's letters were for the people being held there.

The first letter I wrote was to stop Congress from making Guantanamo permanent. We are facing one of the biggest crises at Guantanamo since “war on terror” detainees were first transferred there nearly 10 years ago: Congress may soon vote to make indefinite detention and unfair trials permanent. The 89 people there who are approved for release could remain forever. The 46 slated for detention without charge could be denied due process forever. The 36 referred for prosecution could only be tried in unfair kangaroo courts. The United States government should be protecting human rights, not violating them.

Along the same lines I wrote a letter urging the Senate to remove Guantanamo provisions from the National Defense Authorization Act that has provisions that would keep Guantanamo open, further entrenching indefinite detention and unfair trials.

The next one was to ask our government to charge or release Shaker Aamer, a former UK resident detained at Guantanamo, who has been held without charge for nearly 10 years – despite the UK government’s repeated requests that he be returned to his wife and four children in London. Indefinite detention is a human rights violation. It must end.

The last one I wrote was for Saeed Mohammed Saleh Hatim who remains detained in Guantánamo without charge or trial after eight years, despite the fact that on December 16, 2009, US federal judge Ricardo Urbina found his detention unlawful and ordered his release. The government is appealing Judge Urbina's ruling and it is not known when the US Court of Appeals will hand down its decision. I wrote to urge the administration to release Saeed Mohammed Saleh Hatim immediately and allow him to be reunited with his family in Yemen.

Please read through some of these cases (Guantanamo Files is a great place to start) and stay informed with what's going on - the human rights violations you will read about are truly horrific and disgusting! Hoping and praying for those still going through the torture...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 321

Today was quite a crazy day. Hema spoke with Vearn and was informed that there was no service today at SafeHouse. Then roughly around 5pm, I get a call from LeBlanc saying that there was going to be service. A youth pastor that usually comes to SafeHouse about once a month happened to come by today and noticed that there was no service. So on the spot he decided to sponsor the meal and do a service.

I arrived at SHO and there was so much to be done. The pastor had ordered 25 pizzas from Fellini's Pizza and they needed to be picked up. So we went to Fellini's, stopping at Publix on the way to buy lemonade, and picked up the pizza. When we returned to SHO I helped pack the plates up with food. We packed them pizza and brewed some coffee. In a matter of two hours, we were able to prepare a meal for about 100 people. :)

Hema was not able to make it to SafeHouse on the short notice, but she had already done some work on and donated 2000 grains of rice, since she thought we would not be able to go to SHO.

In the end, I was glad I was able to make it to SHO today since it had been quite some time since my last visit. It was great to see people come together at the last minute to help out and get a meal served. Thank you to everyone that was there today and was good seeing everyone again :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 320

Giselle covered today and between her new job, familial obligations, and the tornado warnings last night (j/k)... Giselle still made the time to log onto before the clock struck 12! We're dedicated to Chandni's mission to complete the remainder of these 46 days seamlessly and make whatever impact we can!

Being fluent in Spanish, she dominated that Spanish category and donated 1200 grains of rice!

She also stopped by Kroger to purchase a few canned goods to donate towards Hosea Feed the Hungry. Her work place is hosting a canned food drive.

In the meanwhile, I've been coordinating with all of our friends to participate in Safehouse Outreach's Christmas Party, and sponsor a child for Christmas! Giselle's about to pick her kid and let me know (lol).

If any of you are still interested, please contact me and Chandni via email so we can give you additional details!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 319

All that clicking that they do.... Does it even make a difference?!? Well logging onto today answered that question for us and you! "Since Children International became a part of the Click-to-Donate program in 2004, Care2 has sponsored 16 needy children from nine countries -- contributing over $21,000 to their care. Thank you to those who continue to click each day, providing children with materials and opportunities for a better life." That's just one example! And I'm certain there's several more testimonials as to how we make a difference within the Care 2 community. Hema, Raksha, and I were all able to login to Care2 this evening and make a difference.

Here's what Hema had to say... "Here is what I did on Care2. 1. I signed a petition so that Pennsylavania will develop stronger laws about reporting child abuse. Recently, Penn State's football coach failed to report instances of child abuse that occured for many years. We do not want to have another repeat of this. 2. I signed a petition that would save the lives of street dogs. There are a lot of dogs that are homeless all around the world and they all face being poisoned, electrocuted or shot as a result of misguided efforts to manage overpopulation. HSI (humane society international) will work with local communites to prevent these dogs from being killed and getting them the help they need to find a loving home."

Along with that, I stumbled upon a video on a mutual friends site for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. The video was on Youtube, and for every view a $1 is donated! I'd shared the video with friends, and here's what one had to say... "Kim M. Braud - Wow, that is powerful! Very touching - thanks for sharing.." 

It wasn't a physical day for us as planned, but we are grateful for the opportunity to be able to contribute our time and efforts online. It's simple, it's easy, and we can all do it. What can you do to give back during the holiday season? Just look around! Ask. We'd be glad to help!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Day 318

After a morning safari (on horseback) I was rather motivated to sign some environment and wildlife petitions on

The first was to save pandas by protecting their homes; then to protect the Arctic refuge, home to polar bears, musk oxen, caribou, and millions of birds from around the globe; another was a petition to reforest and rebuild Haiti's environment; the last was to keep endangered spider monkeys in Nicaragua safe.

I also visited the click to donate section on the website as well as those on

Another quick way to make a difference :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 317

It's been a wonderful day in Gabs, so I'm ending it with a visit to

I started with Insight Prison Project. Their mission is to transform the lives of those impacted by incarceration through programs designed to develop behavior inspired by insight, accountability and compassion. They asked for some feedback on their website:

The next one was helping Bend Spay and Neuter Project with simple fundraising ideas. As well as reviewing their website and providing feedback on the appearance of it:

Hoping you all have a good Sunday!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day 316

While surviving the 100degree weather on a Saturday afternoon Aarti and I (well mostly Aarti) chose to freerice for today's giving. She stuck to the world map and donated 8000grains of rice (yes she knows her countries!!).
Give it a try!