Gift of Life: Recap from 17th Annual Late Winter Conference

Gift of Life (GOL) joined our 17th Annual HJ Sims Late Winter Conference February 25-27 in San Diego. GOL was represented by Alicia Lorio, a leader of their Young Professionals Committee in Orange County; and GOL blood stem cell donor, Alec Nadelle.

Alicia shared GOL’s history and spoke about the importance of growing the GOL stem cell registry to give second chances to those afflicted by blood and bone cancer. Before introducing Alec, Alicia shared how individuals can get involved with GOL and increase the number of those within the registry by encouraging individuals to swab their community and swab at their workplace.

Next, Alec shared his experience with GOL. He donated blood stem cells in November 2012 to a (then 71-year-old) woman battling a fast-moving form of Leukemia. The presentation left attendees feeling truly moved.

The team was excited to share an update about the amazing CSR partnership that HJ Sims and GOL have shared during the last two years.

From running fundraising drives to sponsoring the Steps for Life events to helping underwrite equipment for a
new state-of-the-art Stem Cell Collection Center located in Boca Raton, HJ Sims continues to be honored to support GOL and their mission to cure blood cancer through marrow and stem cell donations. GOL has facilitated nearly 3,600 transplants since its inception.

For more information, visit www.giftoflife.org

How to Cultivate a Green Thumb This Spring

Gardening and getting your hands a little dirty by digging in the soil can be an incredibly healthy hobby: Gardening can reduce depression and anxiety, help people lose weight, and increase quality of life and overall sense of community, according to Science Direct.

Not everyone, however, is a natural-born gardener – it takes time and trial and error. If your previous efforts at growing plants and flowers, or fruits and vegetables, have been less-than fruitful, there is hope.

Check out the following helpful hints for cultivating your very own green thumb:

  • Relax. Even the best gardeners in the world have made plenty of mistakes. Recognize that Mother Nature can be fickle, weather is not predictable and perfection is not really the goal. Rather, half the fun can be in the planting, watering and watching.
  • Plan. Depending on where you live, you will likely have more success with plants that grow well in that area. The National Gardening Association shares a zone map that can help you learn more about your location and what might grow well there. You can also talk to others about hardy plants that tend to thrive where you live.
  • Enlist help. Invite family or friends to contribute to your garden – kids are often more willing to eat vegetables they have grown themselves – or check out local community gardens. You can quickly double your expertise when you engage others in your planting and growing efforts.
  • Keep it simple. You can consult with a local nursery center to determine the best options for your garden. Peppers, tomatoes, basil, onions and chard as well as sunflowers and dahlias are often great starter choices. You can always expand in the future.
  • Gear up. A shovel and gardening gloves are good tools to have on hand. Garden scissors and a small trowel may also come in handy. Perhaps, some knee pads will offer comfort when you are digging in the dirt, planting seeds and tending to the garden.
  • Water and weed. You will not need to dig into the soil every day, but pay attention to how your garden is looking and growing. Ensure plants are watered regularly and that weeds are removed at least weekly. A little maintenance can go a long way towards creating an attractive and functional garden.

Finally, you can always consult with local experts at the growing number of farmer’s markets, nurseries or gardening groups. Many of these green thumbs would love the chance to share their passion with you and offer more tips on growing a gorgeous garden this year.

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