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Mar 032010
 

I’ve blogged before about this great organization, spearheaded by Sylla Sheppard-Hanger and now joined by the dedicated Geraldine Zelinsky.  I’ve known both of these remarkable ladies for over 15 years now.  How time flies when you’re working hard and having fun.

Flag_SBProds_2010_280 For those of you who aren’t familiar with UAE, here is their mission, “The United Aromatherapy Effort, (UAE) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit Charitable organization born out of the September 11th tragedy. The mission of UAE is to provide stress relief and aromatherapy to relief workers, and troops during emergency work and afterwards. We collect and disseminate donated aromatherapy products to those affected by disaster or war  in conjunction with chair massage and other natural therapies. Historically we have responded to the World Trade Center Disaster, NY (2001), Florida Hurricanes (2004), the Gulf Coast affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita (2005-6), and in 2007-8 the California wildfires and the Gulf Coast Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Recently in 2009 we shifted our focus to the Military, both abroad and at home and are now supplying 4 Soldiers on the Ground (Afghanistan and Korea) with donated aromatherapy supplies they then disseminate to other soldiers.”

Since the beginning, Samara Botane has been happy to be donating diffusers, essential oils and aromatherapy products to bring stress relief,  help with minor skin problems and aromatic uplifting to those brave persons who serve so valiantly in times of emergency and disaster through this heartfelt organization.  Starting last year, UAE began working with troops in the field in Afghanistan and N. Korea.  A lovely thank you from troops outside Kabul at Camp Phoenix was the flying of the American flag on the base in honor of UAE last December 21. The flag was carefully removed, folded and sent to Sylla along with a letter from Brigadier General, Lawrence E. Dudney, Jr. expressing the gratitude of the troops.  The flag has now been travelling across the country from company to company while we all take pictures of it in our shops and warehouses.  Ultimately, Sylla and Geraldine will make a collage of the photos to send back to Brigadier General Dudney, Jr. to share with the troops. 

Mar_Rob_Flag_2010_325 As we did this, from opening the package with the flag to carefully replacing it securely to ship on to the next UAE company supporter, it has been an emotional time. We feel pride well up in our throats, as well as apprehension for the safety of our troops in our hearts.  We hope that we are doing some small thing for those who do so much, and it’s nice to know their appreciation.  We certainly appreciate them.

Rob and I took these casual pictures on the fly over the weekend, while squeezing a short break from taking inventory working with a temporary professional crew. I wanted to have our great staff in the pictures, but the timing didn’t work out and they weren’t here.  We are in our ‘blending room’ where staff fills thousands of those little bottles of essential oils and I work to formulate new blends for products when I’m not in the office on the computer or planting and tending the gardens.  The sign in the window is from our first store in Seattle, with the original Samara Botane logo and hand wrought copper samaras; a nice reminder, a glimpse of the evolution of our journey every time we look out that particular window.

I know these are tough economic times for many of our clients and customers.  UAE can always use money for postage and shipping, even in small amounts if you can spare it.  I’m sure they would appreciate hearing from you. 

 Posted by at 4:20 pm
Dec 022009
 

We operate on a calendar year, so the month of December is filled with inventory, reorganization and analysis to assess what changes should be made in the upcoming year that allow us to serve you better.   This in-depth scrutiny includes taking what I refer to as our ‘heart and soul’ imagetemperature.  It is a time to review whether or not we are effective in our tithing to pay it forward. It is a time to make sure that our gratitude for so many wonderful clients and customers is being adequately and honestly shared with those who need it.  A favorite project is our involvement with Trees for the Future, a worthy endeavor started by Dave and Grace Deppner and incorporated as a 501(c) 3 public charity in 1989.  Here’s how it works.  We pledge 50 cents to TREES for every order we ship which insures that one new tree will be planted somewhere it is needed.  This effort has now assisted thousands of communities across the globe in planting millions of trees, which, in turn, has restored life to land previously degraded by fires and floods or abandoned.  The trees provide food, fodder, fuel, fertilizer and medicine for farmers as well as biodiversity for the landscape.  It is an awesome endeavor, magnificent in its simplicity.  It insures that our (and your) 50 cents take root and grow to exponentially serve as only Nature can.  Read the Trees for the Future 2010 Plan to learn more.

We are also long-time supporters and contributors to United Aromatherapy Effort, spearheaded by Sylla Sheppard-Hanger and assisted by Geraldine Zelinsky.  We provide aromatherapy supplies and products that UAE then distributes to our troops in Afghanistan and first responders to emergencies around the globe. For the latter, they partner with volunteer body workers who provide on-the-spot aromatherapy massage for the brave first responders during sometimes endless hours assisting in disasters.  UAE has recently been approved as a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, retro to 2006. As the war in Afghanistan continues to escalate, our troops need all the support we can provide them to help combat colds and flu naturally, lighten their moods with environmental fragrance and generally ease stress and tension with aromatherapy.  The holidays are especially tough.  Any monetary contributions you can make are more than welcome.  UAE could use help updating their website and is looking for someone to help out.

Another of our longtime favorite nonprofit efforts is Midwives on MOMSchris-dressed-in-elder-clothers_215 Missions of Service.  This wonderful humanitarian organization teaches maternity care and safe birthing skills to women in Africa (primarily Sierra Leone where their services are very much needed).  Valid statistics and clinical evidence show that there is an impressive improvement in maternal and infant health as a result.  Samara Botane provides essential oils and aromatherapy products to support their efforts.  You will see when exploring their website that there is a great need for more volunteers (and of course money) to keep this awesome effort thriving. 

We would enjoy learning about what you do during this season of giving.   What are some of your favorite organizations or charitable activities?

ONE MORE THING
The Samara Botane Treasure Hunt has now concluded.  It has been a huge success and we have some very happy winners.  Those who agreed to be publicly acknowledged are listed on the store landing page (through the store door).   We’ve extended 15% off on discountable items through Friday, December 18 which is still in time for delivery before Christmas.  We’ve decided it’s a good idea to have an annual treasure hunt . . . what are your thoughts?

 Posted by at 8:03 pm
Jun 052008
 

I’ve recently read that our food system is responsible for one-third of global greenhouse emissions.  When you think about bananas being shipped to a U.S. port, then transported by container truck to a distribution point, then trucked across your state to your local grocer, this begins to make sense. 

Here’s a great little calculator to help you compare the relative carbon impacts of your food choices.  The nifty thing is – if you reduce emissions by your eating habits, you will also be eating healthier and maybe learning to grow your own garden and shop at your local farmer’s market (supporting your regional food supply).

You handmade products manufacturers might want to look into being a vendor at your local farmer’s market.  You’ll make good contacts for fresh herbs and flowers to use in your products.  It’s a great way to expand your networking . . . all the time helping the environment.  Excellllent!  (Stroking imaginary beard.)  

 Posted by at 6:04 pm