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It’s amazing how, the second Labor Day weekend was over, my email inbox starting filling up with event invitations. August was dead quiet, and I not-so-secretly like that. Summer is for barefoot evenings curled up in a patio chair enjoying the sunset. Fall, however, is for reconnecting, catching up, and kicking off events’ season. I am always a fan of wine for a good cause and am happy to share Raise Your Glass for Jimmy, a wine event happening this October 2. Please see below for details.

The sixth annual Raise Your Glass for Jimmy presented by the Jimmy Fund Council of Greater Boston will take place 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2at the Battery Wharf Hotel in Boston. All proceeds support adult and pediatric cancer care and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Admission to the event includes a wide variety of beers and wines to taste from August West Wines, Blue Hills Brewery, Boston Bottle, Gordon’s Fine Wines and Liquors, Mayflower Brewery, Medusa Brewery, M.S. Walker, Plymouth Bay Winery, and Wormtown Brewery. The event also includes hors d’oeuvres, live music, and a silent auction.

Tickets are $75 per person, and early bird pricing is available with two tickets for $125 if purchased before Sept. 21. The first 150 guests at the door will receive a $25 gift certificate from Tresca. For more information, visit

About The Jimmy Fund

The Jimmy Fund ( solely supports Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, raising funds for adult and pediatric cancer care and research to improve the chances of survival for cancer patients around the world. The Jimmy Fund is the official charity of the Boston Red Sox, the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, the Pan-Mass Challenge, and the Variety Children’s Charity of New England. Since 1948, the generosity of millions of people has helped the Jimmy Fund save countless lives and reduce the burden of cancer for patients and families worldwide. Follow the Jimmy Fund on Facebook: and on Twitter: @TheJimmyFund.

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Tags: beer, Boston, Boston blogger, charity, events, Jimmy Fund, wine

On our first full day in Tanzania, we had breakfast and a briefing at Moivaro Lodge, our home for the first two nights of the trip, and then we all piled into a bus for our day at Shanga & Riverhouse, about 20 minutes away.

Kindness About Shanga:

Set under the towering Acacia trees of Tanzania, East Africa, Shanga is a heartwarming project dedicated to supporting and empowering disabled community members. With breaking down obstacles for disabled Tanzanians and a commitment to environmentally sustainable business practises as its core values, Shanga is a for-profit company that raises standards. Now comprised of a bustling workshop, open-air restaurant, and three trendy boutiques, Shanga has grown exponentially from what started with one beaded necklace and a desire to help those in need.

Shanga is simply amazing. People with disabilities, some who might otherwise be tossed away or ignored by society, are empowered through art, and they make some beautiful things on-site using recycled materials. Trash is a big problem in Tanzania; people burn it, and there was plenty along the side of the road, so being able to channel that trash into beautiful merchandise goes a long way in keeping this beautiful country clean.

Before we took a tour at Shanga, we had a sign language lesson where we also learned some Swahili words. Our lesson was held on a sprawling lawn on pink and green couches made from old beds. It was a stunning, festive space, and we had a great time learning and laughing.


Shanga and River House After our lesson we toured Shanga’s art workshop areas and got to meet some of the artisans behind the glassware, beads, paintings, and fabrics for sale in the store.  Our guide Paul was kind and fun, and he really showed pride in the people working with him.

craft demonstration

recycled glass As we wound our way through Shanga, we marveled at beautiful decor like walls of recycled wine bottles that magnified the warm light and made a lovely noise when gently moved.


Shanga Tanzania Shanga has people making beaded jewelry and cloth from recycled materials. We all fell in love with stuffed elephants made from mens’ shirts. I think we bought most of their supply for kids in our lives.

colorful cloth

weaving There was so much talent, pride, and focus in the artists at Shanga, and it was fun to watch them work.

Shanga and River House At the end of our tour, we had time to check out the on-site restaurant, which was to die for. I want to go back and have another wedding there.

River House

We left Shanga with hand blown glass Champagne flutes, stuffed elephants, and a beaded Christmas ornament to remind us of our travels, along with a major respect for the people living and working at Shanga. It was well worth the trip and an enchanting place to spend the day.

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Tags: Africa, art, charity, Tanzania, Travel, travel blog, Travel Tuesday

One of the things that I hate most about winter is the worry that it is so, so difficult for so many people and animals. Ask my husband, I truly do lay awake at night worrying about the cats outside, kids without coats, and most importantly, the homeless. And while we are active in charities we support throughout the year, I feel like winters like this leave almost a helpless feeling at times. There seems to be SO MUCH need. Where do we even start?

When I saw Hadley’s Urban Grape blog post the other day, I thought it was the perfect place. The Urban Grape stores are more than just wine stores; they are places that so many Bostonians have come to love over the years because of the beautiful spaces, events, and people.

The blog post introduced me to the Old South Church’s Boston Warm. The Old South Church is a place where, whenever nearby, I have found peace and welcome, especially in the weeks that followed the Boston Marathon bombing. It is warmth, and it has opened its doors to people who need it most during this awful winter. In addition to providing day shelter, they are collecting items for people in need. You can visit their Amazon wish list here.

The Urban Grape is getting involved and giving you even more incentive to visit their stores this weekend.

From their blog post:

From Thursday to Sunday of this week, we will be collecting donation items for #BostonWarm at both of our stores. If you bring a donation in during this time, you will receive 10% off beer and spirits purchases (no minimum or maximum) and bottles of wine, or 20% off cases of wine (12 bottles of wine). Applies to in-stock items only.

Donations include:
- Non-perishable food. Canned items must be in pop-top lids.
- Warm hats, scarves, mittens, gloves and socks. No other clothing items please (they cannot store them on the other side)
- $43 checks made out to City Mission Society with Boston Warm in the memo line. This is to rent storage lockers where the homeless can store their items.

Let’s continue to show the world that we are a community who takes care of one another, even when it seems like everything is going wrong around us.

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Tags: Boston, charity, community

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