Hip2Help

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Help Needed after Hurricane Irene …

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Hurricane Irene is still a major issue for many communities of the East Coast. At least 40 deaths due to the storm have been reported in 11 states, and thousands are still stranded and without power.  Many inland regions in Connecticut, MA, NJ, NY, & Vermont were extremely hard hit with torrential amounts of rain, unprecedented flooding, and downed trees and power lines. Three Hip2Save readers in flood-ravaged areas are asking for your assistance! Please read their pleas for help below:

Amy Fallas from Amsterdam in upstate NY: While walking through hard hit areas of my own town, I came across a family of five that had been greatly effected by this storm. Mom and Dad were busy cleaning and sorting through what was left of their home. Their three older sons were helping, and all alone playing with her Littlest Petshop toy was 6 year old Maria. I asked if it would be OK to just sit with her and keep her company. Maria is going into the first grade and she is very excited. I asked her what she thought of the storm and all the flooding and her response was both heart warming and heart breaking. Maria told me “It’s OK, because after every storm there is a rainbow.” So simple and so true. They say the greatest gift in life is the gift of giving, I would love nothing more then to be able to give Maria that rainbow.

Supplies needed in Amsterdam: Cleaning products, new or gently used clothing for men women & children of all ages, gift cards, non-perishable items, baby formula & baby food, diapers, wipes, personal care items, pet food, toys for boys & girls of all ages. Donations will be sorted by volunteers and distributed to the flood victims in need. Please send your donations to the following non-profit:

Liberty Arc
C/O Salsa Picante Carmen Irizarry
43 Liberty Dr.
Amsterdam NY 12010
(518)842-5080
(518)527-3235

Kristin Kilmer also from upstate NY: A friend and I are organizing a local fundraiser/supply drive for kids that are getting ready to start school soon & their families have lost so much. We are working a venue/date & list of items needed. Most of the focus will be on school supplies, clothes & items such as that. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. I will house all items until the event takes place. Thanks for your thoughts/prayers. Donations can be sent to my address:

Kristin Kilmer
115 Mountainview Ave
Troy, NY 12180


Stephanie Ackley from Vermont: I’m writing to you from Rutland VT. Our state was ravaged and destroyed by Irene. Roads and bridges are washed away, people are isolated and trapped in small towns, and two people are still missing as we try to pick up the pieces of this devastating event. The Vermont Strong Store isn’t my website, but I’m trying to help get the word out. T-shirts are for sale for $25. The proceeds go to the Vermont Foodbank to purchase supplies for the isolated towns and cities where people can’t get out of. I would greatly appreciate any word of mouth and all support related to this. My mom, brother, uncle and grand parents are just a few of the people that are trapped and can’t get to town.

Valerie from Connecticut: I’m at work typing this email to you and the Hip2save Readers. At 6am Sunday, my power went out in Connecticut at my home and my dear husband and I are still in the dark – 5 days later. Might have power by next Wednesday 9/7/11. Needless to say, our meals are much different. We purchase food each night at the store to grill, while listening to a small battery operated radio and heading to bed extremely early. Our older son attends college in Williamsburg VA and had to be evacuated by Friday and could not return to campus until mid day Tuesday. He did a road trip to Kentucky to visit new friends. He’s safe now. Our younger son, had to be moved into his new college in Mass; so packing was a challenge. But all and all, we are doing well. It’s amazing how we rely so much on electricity for everything. We have no land line phone service or cable either. I hope all the hip2save readers that were affected by Hurricane Irene are doing well. Would love to know.

Note: If you want to send cash, the American Red Cross will gladly accept your donation for use with people affected by Irene, floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes.

If you live in one of the areas that was recently affected by Hurricane Irene, please feel free to share your experience with us. In addition, I encourage you to mention any local non-profit organizations in your area that are in need of assistance.

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Hip2Help Tour Bloopers Video

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Enjoy!

* If you can’t see the video, go here to watch it.

Did you miss the other Hip2Help Tour Videos?! If so, click below to watch them all…

Video #1: Griffin, GA
Video #2: Alex City & Birmingham, AL
Video #3: Alex City, AL & Memphis, TN
Video #4: Calhoun County, AL

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Final Hip2Help Video (A Bittersweet Ending)

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**If you can’t see the video, go here to watch it.

* Did you see the first three Hip2Help Tour videos? check them out here, here and here!

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Hip2Help Video Update #3 (+ My Thoughts)

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So, our Hip2Help Tour came to an end on Sunday. It was bittersweet. I definitely felt sad stepping out of that bus… the bus I had called home for the past 8 days. At the same time, I was excited to be able to head to my real home and sleep in my much missed bed.

This tour was an incredible eye opener for me. Life is such a blessing. A blessing we all too often forget is a blessing at all. I am going to make sure to stop and smell the roses… take time each day to really take everything in. Take time to smile, laugh with my kiddos, and spend quality time with my hubby. I have a wonderful life.

Alright, so before posting the 3rd video, I thought you all may be interested in hearing a little bit about how it was traveling in a bus with 9 kiddos and coping with a nasty bug that we all seemed to catch… yes, a total of 21 of us caught this very contagious virus.

I started to feel sick on the night of the 7th and when I woke up on the 8th (at 3:30am due to us having to be in the next town by 9:30am) I knew I was the next victim. I tried to sleep during the long drive and constantly awoke to that horrible nauseous feeling. Once we arrived at the hotel, I could barely walk to our hotel room as the little black dots started to form and dizziness ensued. I literally crawled on the elevator and when I tried to crawl off (according to my husband who was carrying all the luggage) I fainted, hit my head on the elevator door and then threw up all over the carpet in the hotel hallway. Even worse, I threw up right next to a trash can. Yes, it was not fun and pretty embarrassing as all the hotel employees assumed it was a child, but no… just Collin. :)

And on another note, traveling with nine kiddos. Well, it definitely made things very interesting. Yes, we dealt with rambunctious and wild kiddos. We dealt with tears and fits… kicking and screaming. But I don’t regret, for even a second, the decision to bring them.  They saw and they learned so much in each stop we made. They cried and laughed… and loved! They all know, even more so now, that life should never be taken for granted.

Ok, so here’ the 3rd video… and stay tuned for the 4th video soon (and possibly a 5th bloopers video! ;) )!

** If you can’t see the video, go here to watch it.

Written, Directed, Edited and Filmed by Isaac Deitz (http://www.tubopopcorn.com/)

* Did you see the first two Hip2Help Tour videos? check them out here and here!

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Hip2Help Tour (Alabama Update)

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*If you can’t see the video, go here to watch it.

Written, Directed, Edited and Filmed by Isaac Deitz (http://www.tubopopcorn.com/)

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Hip2Help Video Update (Griffin, Georgia)

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Wow! The last few days have been a whirlwind filled lots of sweat, smiles, laughter and tears and very little sleep. We left Griffin, GA yesterday after a fun-filled day at a local park and a morning shopping trip with our 2 sponsored families, the Wrights and the Duffeys. I am so thankful to Hip2Save readers Brandy and Carrie for arranging the entire event, coordinating volunteers, soliciting donations, and welcoming me and the entire Hip2Save team to their wonderful town! I am also so grateful to all of you for sending in donations; without you, none of this would have been possible.

If you can’t see the video, go here to watch it.

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Hip2Help Tour Update

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Don’t you think the pictures above say it all?! We are up to our neck in moving boxes thanks to the generosity of all of you. We will officially embark on the Hip2Help Tour first thing tomorrow morning as we begin our journey from Jacksonville, NC to Atlanta, GA. We will then meet up with the rest of the Hip2Save Team (my mom, sister, niece, nephews…) and will then make our first stop in Griffin, GA on July 3rd! We can’t wait! :D

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Hip2Help Tour Update: We Are Leaving this Week…

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Wowza! I cannot believe that I will be heading out on the Hip2Help Tour from North Carolina in less than a week?! Thanks to all of you awesome readers and sponsors, I have a garage FULL of donated items (I have received so many packages that my house is starting to fill up as well!). I literally get goose bumps and teary eyes when I really take the time to look around at the boxes that surround me and realize how many of you took the time and money to put together these wonderful packages. Thank you, thank you, thank you! This tour would not be possible without all of you!

With that being said, I received so many Hip2Help T-Shirt orders today that I am almost completely sold out of the shirts. Again, a BIG thank you for all your support! So, I will be taking down the shirt order form shortly.

As you know, we are sponsoring 11 families throughout the tour. I wanted to do one final post about their top needs as of today. If you are able to send any of the items below, it would be much appreciated!

Griffin, GA (Click here for the donation mailing address for the families below)

The Duffey Family:

* Size 3 shoes (Boy)
* Size 12 shoes (Girl)
* Toys

The Wright Family:

* Christmas Tree
* Toys for the children (art things like paint, pencils, paper)
* Pink comforter for girls Twin bed

Elmore County, AL (Click here for the donation mailing address for the families below)

The Hall Family:

* Sheet Sets (queen for a female, twin and full for a male, and a king for parents)
* Bathroom linens
* Living Room furniture

The Stewart Family:

* Sheet Sets (twin and full size bedding for 3 girls)
* Personal Toiletries

The Meadows Family:

* Gift cards (Lowes, Home Depot, WalMart, Kohls, WinnDixie)
* Twin and Full size bedding
* Toys for a 10 year old boy who loves reading Warlock books

Memphis, TN (Click here for the donation mailing address for the families below)

The Carruth Family:

* Baby items (size 2T clothes and size 4 diapers)
* Home improvement store gift cards and a handyman to help fix issues with the used trailer that they just moved into.

The Jackson Family:

* Furniture or gift cards/certificates to stores that sell furniture or other household items (ex: Target)

The Houston Family:

* Home Improvement store gift cards (Lowes or Home Depot)

The Hunt Family:

* Gas gift cards

Calhoun County, AL (Click here for the donation mailing address for the families below)

The Thornton Family:

* Shop Vac for Dad
* New Queen bed for Mom & Dad (they have a Queen mattress) – bedroom colors are red
* Things for the Kitchen for cooking (colors in new kitchen will be orange)
* Clothes for 15 year old daughter (Size 2 long; Small-Medium shirt); her bedroom will be black, turquoise, and white
* End tables for living room (living colors are light green)
* Computer Desk for Mom (her room colors will be yellow and black)
* Gift cards to Lowes

The Keener Family:

* Dresser or chest of drawers
* Towels and wash cloths (neutral colors)
* Twin size, full, and queen bedding
* Water guns
* Shoes size 12 for boy
* Toy box and Art set
* Gift cards for home improvement stores (i.e. Lowes) for replacing baseboards and fixing up the floors.

And don’t forget about our awesome sponsors… check them out by clicking here. :D

* If you are local (or willing to make the drive!) to Griffin, GA, Elmore County, AL, Memphis, TN, or Calhoun County, AL, then we want to meet you! :D Please come out and join us at one of our community events in these areas. Click here to find out what will be taking place in or around your community.

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Introducing 3 More Families..

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As most of you know, we will be embarking on the Hip2Help Tour in early July and are planning to sponsor between 1-3 families in 4 different communities along the way. Thanks to the help of Hip2Save reader volunteer Kim Campos from Memphis, Tennessee, we are honored to introduce three more of our sponsored families in Tennessee, the Carruth, Jackson, and Houston families. Here are their stories:

The Carruth Family
The Carruth family lost their home of 9 years and nearly everything inside it this past April/May when flood waters crested above windows of their mobile home in Frayser, Tennessee. Nearly everything was lost due to the flood and resulting toxic black mold was left behind. Ms. Carruth’s son, her son’s girlfriend and her grandson (18 months), who all stayed with her, also lost personal belongings, clothing, and baby items. When asked what she and her family are most in need of, Ms. Carruth replied:

*Diapers (size 4), wipes and baby care supplies
*Boy summer clothes (Size 2t)
*Dining room table and chairs
*Living room furniture
*Mattresses: 1 twin, 1 full

The Jackson Family
Ms. Jackson is a 69 year old recently widowed woman who lost her mobile home to the recent flooding in Tunica, Mississippi. She was able to save her clothes, mattresses, washer, and refrigerator, but lost everything else and her mobile home is a complete loss. When asked what she needs the most, she replied: 

*Furniture (dresser, lamps, etc, she lost everything)
*Bed frames (2 full sized)
*Clothes Dryer
*Food
*Microwave 

The Houston Family
In the spring of 2010, Mrs. Houston’s den which sits lower than the rest of the home, was flooded with several inches of water due to an overflowing Mississippi River. She was not so lucky this year as the river left her entire home under several feet of water. She is able to still live in her home but is currently working on replacing sheet rock, floors, and more. At 81 years old, Mrs. Houston is lively yet, understandably, having a difficult time coping with the fact that “everything is ruined.” Here is what she needs:* Furniture (especially a couch and chairs)
* Personal care items
* Food
* Household items 

Please mail donations for these 3 families to the following address:
Note: If your donated items are not immediately needed by the family, they will be stored in this location until we arrive in July.

Kimberly Campos
Attn: Hip2Help Tour/______ Family (please specify the family)
5412 Peyton Randolph St.
Bartlett TN 38134
* Please contact Kim at 901-355-4243 if you have any specific questions about donating to these families.If you’re new around here, you may be asking yourself “What is the Hip2Help Tour?!” Click here for more information.

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We Love Our Hip2Help Sponsors…

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Before I highlight all of the awesome companies below that have helped contribute to the Hip2Help Tour, I wanted to mention that I will personally be heading over to the Petco in Wilmington, NC tomorrow, June 18th, from 2PM-4PM. Tina, one of the department managers for Petco, has offered to host a pet drive and all of the items that are donated at this drive will then be given to pets in need in Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee via the Hip2Help Tour. If you are local to Wilmington and have a stash of pet coupons that need to be used ;), then come on out and join me (if you want to donate but are in need of some great pet coupons, be sure to ask for Tina when you arrive as she just may have some high-value coupons for you to use!). Maybe we can do some shopping together?!


Petco Pet Drive

Where: Petco, 324 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403, (910) 799-2472 ‎
When: Saturday, June 18th, from 11AM-4PM (I will be there from 2PM-4PM)
What: All donations collected during this drive will be donated via the Hip2Help Tour to help animals in need.


As I said last week, the outpouring of support for the Hip2Help Tour has been amazing and humbling. I wish that it was possible for me to personally thank all of you that have sent free product coupons, toys, clothing, food, personal care items and more. Your generosity and willingness to give back is inspiring! In addition to all of you wonderful Hip2Savers, there have been many companies who have reached out and offered to help. Please see the growing list of our awesome sponsors below:

(To see all of the sponsors, click the link below “Read More/Post Your Comments”)
Read More / Post Your Comments »

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