Three Weeks Until Black Friday With a Heart of Gold!

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Three weeks until our 4th Annual Black Friday with a Heart of Gold!

We kicked off our GoFundMe Campaign today for Black Friday With a Heart of Gold! Three years ago, at the age of six, my daughter curiously asked me what Black Friday was all about. (Original post here) At that time, it was all but impossible to avoid the flyers, signage or commercials playing on the radio about one retailer or another. I hate the idea of the competitive shopping on that particular day, the aggression, the greed- all of it. Too early in the morning to answer convincingly, my attempt to make it seem like it was not a big deal at all, failed miserably and my kiddo decided that she wanted to participate in the shopping frenzy. I poured another cup of coffee and wondered how could I turn the ugliness of that day into a teachable moment? And that’s whenBlack Friday with a Heart of Gold was created.

What is #BlackFridayHOG?

The first year, it was $100, at our local Target store. The catch? We would ONLY shop for gifts to be donated to the local Westchester Christmas Dinner . They host local families in need on Christmas Day, providing them a festive feast, entertainment, music, new and gently used clothing… and Christmas gifts of course!
schwark-blackfridayshopping2013-2When things were too difficult to even set aside the previous year’s amount, we told our friends and family about what we were doing. We looked for 10 people to donate $10, and we raised around $300! Not only did we increase our Black Friday with a Heart of Gold budget, but we recruited a few extra shoppers that joined us as well as friends who did their own Black Friday with a Heart of Gold, shopping with the purpose to donate.

Even our favorite local bookshop, Little Joe’s Coffee and Bookstook it upon themselves to create an event that we joined in on, sewing together stockings and stuffing them with goodies to donate to military members. Talk about HEARTS OF GOLD?! Sure, we did our shopping at the nearby big box shop, but with the extra funds raised, we also supported our small town businesses as well because THEY support us in countless ways!

There have lots and LOTS of glittery, golden, hearts on Black Friday over the past few years, and we want to keep it going! I’m not sure when something actually becomes a tradition, but Black Friday with a Heart of Gold is now just as much a part of our Thanksgiving weekend as the turkey or pumpkin pie.

Black Friday with a Heart of Gold 2016

This year is no different. We’ll sit around and discuss the things that we are most grateful for, and to be honest, this year we have quite a list. We’ve been blessed so many ways.

Last year, a week before Thanksgiving, when my daughter asked about Black Friday with a Heart of Gold, my first reaction was to try and convince her to keep it small. Finances were as tight as I could have ever imagined, but I was confident that we were going to be able to get close to our original $100 that we spent that first year. Simple and close to home sounded good to me.

But this girl is good at challenging me, pushing me to think bigger when my first reaction is to keep things small. She asked if we could also shop for food to donate to the Community Center of Northern Westchester last year. If there was any doubt in my mind of her understanding of who we are truly shopping for on Black Friday, she swept it away. It’s not just about toys or games wrapped with ribbon and bows, but it’s about food and clothing and shelter and warmth.

I’ll be honest, this year is still very much a struggle for us, but we’ll give what we can, and we invite YOU to join in on the fun of Black Friday with a Heart of Gold! Take advantage of the sales and promotions and shop for toys, gifts or food to donate! Support local charities that assist those in times of need or when they are facing life’s unexpected twists and turns. Reach out to those less fortunate or to those suffering. Be the light in this sometimes dark world.

littlecandle-shakespeare-1-schwark-1024x640If you can, please, tag your photos on social media with #BlackFridayHOG so we can follow along with you!

Your involvement is something that I can point to, telling my daughter that SHE inspired good deeds in others. Like creating ripples upon the water’s surface, her acts reach further than she ever imagined. If you don’t want to brave the stores on Black Friday, I wouldn’t blame you one bit… BUT… you can still get involved by donating directly to any of the charities below or by helping us reach our spending goal this year!

 

I’ll kick us off with our $100 start, but our fundraising goal this year is an additional $300. Here’s the breakdown of how much and where we hope to spend this year’s extra funds:

*$100 – for our local Target run  to donate gifts (like Barbies, Legos, gloves, etc.) toWestchester Christmas Dinner )
*$100 – grocery shopping for the food pantry at Community Center of Northern Westchester
*$200 – to “Shop Local” at our small town stores for gifts to donate to the Westchester Christmas Dinner. (Why double? Because by supporting local businesses, you are giving back to the community in other ways.)

Follow along with us at KellySchwark.com .

Thanks in advance and we look forward to seeing how YOU celebrate#BlackFridayHOG!

Help spread the word!
*Scroll down to see more photos from over the years
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