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We MADE it!

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Empowerment
We MADE it!

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Miracle Moment®

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,

When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,

When the funds are low, and the debts are high,

And you want to smile, but you have to cry,

When care is pressing you down a bit,

Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

—Anonymous

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MESSAGE FROM CYNTHIA BRIAN, Founder/Executive Director

WE MADE IT!!! Twenty years of serving our communities and country through numerous life-changing outreach programs with 100% volunteer positions and no paid staff! What an accomplishment for everyone involved. On September 9th, 2019, Be the Star You Are!® is 20 years old. Yes, it has been a labor of love for me to trudge forward despite our numerous setbacks. There was a time when BTSYA had only 43 cents in the bank and I knew I would have to close the doors within a week because we just didn’t have the funds available to proceed further. Sadness filled my soul.

Then a miracle happened. Actually…THREE miracles in the same day. 

  1. #1 I opened the mail from my 18-year-old daughter who had just started her first year of college and was also working to pay her expenses. Out fell a check for $100 with a note that read, “Mom, this to help Be the Star You Are!® continue its great work. I know I’ll always have you, but if you quit, the other kids won’t have you. You CAN’T quit.”
  2. #2 The phone rang and a restaurant offered to give a percentage of their proceeds for a full day to Be the Star You Are!® 
  3. #3 A big envelope arrived from the kids at juvenile halls that we had been providing free books and reading circles to for several years. In the envelope were numerous hand-written thank you notes from these incarcerated youth. The hand-crafted cards were colorful and happy with mostly misspelled words and messages saying “thank you, gracias, or love you for caring”. One note read “Not only was this my very first book, but it was the first gift I’ve ever received.” But the note that tugged at our heartstrings the most said the following: “Thank you for saving my life. Without Be the Star You Are!®, I would have committed suicide.”

With those three “coincidences” occurring on my darkest day, I went outside at night to look to the heavens. “If I’m supposed to keep up this mission of empowering women, families, and youth, I need to see a sign. Please send me a shooting star.”  Yes, I was praying for a signal. And miracle #4 transpired. A bright star shot across the dark sky going from the far left to the far right so that there was not a chance I would miss it. 

It hasn’t been easy leading a non-profit but we are still here and we are always making a difference. I am honored to work with women, families, and teens. Their successes in life give me great joy.

I want to thank every person and business who has crossed paths with our outreach through two decades: volunteers, sponsors, beneficiaries, and donors. Be the Star You Are!® has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals across the globe. We donated over $2 million in resources with a 100% volunteer workforce. Read about our amazing accomplishments at http://www.bethestaryouare.org/positive-results . Special thanks to Lamorinda Weekly, Mechanics Bank, and Moraga Hardware and Lumber for recent donations and to Justine Christoff for creating our new logos.

BTSYA still struggles to get funding and we hope you will be generous and make a tax-deductible donation to help us celebrate our 20th birthday. You can donate through PAYPAL GIVING FUND with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

We are not throwing a party or a gala, even though we wanted to, as we will use every donated penny to help others live and thrive.

No, I never quit. And I hope you will follow your heart and never quit either.

In the trilogy of Be the Star You Are!® books, I always include the poem, Don’t Quit.  You can support the charity by buying books, at https://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store . 

But I leave you with the last verse:

For Life’s battles don’t always go

To the stronger or faster man.

But, sooner or later, the man who wins

Is the one who thinks he can.

—Anonymous

What I’ve discovered is that success rarely comes on the first, second, third or fourth try. Sometimes even the hundredth. Keep trying and don’t give up. Even when you are rejected unnecessarily, consider each rejection as character building. You are a miracle of life, and you can do it. Give yourself a break, but never quit. You are a star! Embrace each “no” and exclaim, “Thank you, I am now that much closer to a yes!”

Together WE CAN!

Thank you for being part of our galaxy.  Make sure to visit http://www.BTSYA.org to see our gallery of photos from the past twenty years. In this newsletter, we share a few!

Our new motto is “Communicate, Collaborate, Innovate!” Hope you’ll join us.

Blessings and Gratitude,

Cynthia Brian

Founder/Executive Director

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556

Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org

https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org

http://www.BTSYA.org

DONATE: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

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VOLUNTEER WRITES ABOUT BTSYA EXPERIENCES

Volunteering is a great way for teens to band together or to work individually to make a difference in the community. BTSYA offers the opportunity to become a leader and learn communication skills with its numerous volunteer opportunities. Brigitte Jia is a university sophomore interested in helping to bring the flaws of society to light. A volunteer with BTSYA, she is a host and reporter on Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio, artist, and published writer. She enjoys reading, playing the violin, and weightlifting. http://www.expressyourselfteenradio.com

Read Press Pass with the full story from Brigitte:

https://blog.voiceamerica.com/2019/09/07/be-the-star-you-are-501-c3-celebrates-20-years-serving-the-world/

Read the newspaper article: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1314/Local-literacy-nonprofit-celebrates-20-years-of-service.html

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COME SEE US AT THE PEAR AND WINE FESTIVAL

On Saturday, September 28 from 11-3pm, Event Teen Director Siri Phaneedra and BTSYA volunteers will be offering fun and free activities at the Be the Star You Are!® booth at the Pear and Wine Festival at Moraga Commons Park in Moraga. Henna, face painting, reading circle, pop up concert, teen radio reporters, and more will be available to celebrate our 20th anniversary. The canopy will have the name of our sponsor, The Lamorinda Weekly. Stop by with the family, enjoy the festivities, and make a tax-deductible donation. More info at bestpear fest.jpg

https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org/events

To aid with sponsorship, email info@Bethestaryouare.org.

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FIND BOOKS AND HONEST REVIEWS

Be the Star You Are!® partners with The Reading Tub to increase literacy by offering first hand, honest reviews of books for young people. BTSYA Star Book reviewers read and write reviews which are published at The Reading Tub at  https://thereadingtub.org/books/be-the-star-you-are/

and also in our creative community at http://www.btsya.com/book_reviews.html . You’ll find more than 3000 reviews of books. We thank Founder and Executive Director, Terry Doherty, for her passion and dedication to books while collaborating with Be the Star You Are!®

WOW! 20 years. That is awesome. Perseverance and passion … you have them in limitless supply.” Terry Doherty, Founder and Executive Director, The Reading Tub

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Cynthia Brian books banner.jpgBUY BOOKS

‘Give yourself a boost of positivity by buying copies of our signature books in the Be the Star You Are!® series. 100% of the proceeds benefit the charity and you’ll treasure the stories for a lifetime. Buy now at https://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store.

PPS: Read how BTSYA is Making a Difference: https://www.ibpa-online.org/news/460747/IBPA-Member-Spotlight-Cynthia-Brian.htm 

DONATE: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

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“I Am Because We Are” 

by Karen Kitchel

Photo from Wiccanbipolarforum’s Post

An anthropologist proposed a game to the kids in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told them that whoever got there first won the sweet fruits.

When he gave them the signal to run, they all took each other’s hands and ran together, then sat in a circle enjoying their treats.

When he asked them why they chose to run as a group when they could have had more fruit individually, one child spoke up and said: “UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?”

‘UBUNTU’ in the Xhosa culture means: “I am because we are.”

Contributed by volunteer Karen Kitchel who is passionate about scattering kindness. Currently, she serves meals to the homeless, is a volunteer teacher, writer, job coach, and mentor. She wrote the chapter, The Gift of Adoption, in our book, Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World and she continues to volunteer as a contributor to our newsletter. www.scatteringkindness.com

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LEND US YOUR EARS!

Get inspired, motivated, and informed with our two upbeat, life-affirming, innovative radio broadcasts from Be the Star You Are!® Radio heard on the Voice America Network, Empowerment Channel. StarStyle® airs Wednesdays LIVE from 4-5pm PT with host Cynthia Brian as your empowerment architect bringing you edu-tainment that will change your life for the better. http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are

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Express Yourself!™ airs on Sundays at 3pm PT with teen and young adult hosts interviewing a variety of authors, musicians, celebrities, and experts on topics of interest to the younger generation. https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2014/express-yourself

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Visit www.BetheStarYouAreRadio.com to see the descriptions and photos.

To sponsor or advertise on any of our programs, please email info@BetheStarYouAre.org.

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DISCOUNTS & MORE

 We appreciate a direct donation most of all via PAYPAL GIVING FUND at https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

Checks can be sent to PO Box 376, Moraga, California 94556

Other easy ways that assist our mission and don’t cost you a penny!

1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases https://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882

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2. Discounted books at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/shops/be_the_star_you_are_charity

3. Buy or Sell on EBAY:http://givingworks.ebay.com/charity-auctions/charity/be-the-star-you-are-501-c-3/1504/?favorite=link

4. Use GoodSearch to search the web & buy from your favorite stores. Choose Be the Star You Are as your charity to support. You can log in with Facebook, too!http://www.goodsearch.com/goodto-go/be-the-star-you-are

5. Shop at over 1300 stores on IGIVE: http://www.iGive.com/BTSYA

6. BTSYA Logo Store: http://btsya.rylees.net

7. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash back at 3300+ popular online stores, then donate a percentage to BTSYA:https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc

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8. Designer Clothes to Buy or Sell: https://www.unionandfifth.com/charities/be-the-star-you-are-moraga-ca/shop

9. Buy “Read, Lead, Succeed” T-shirts and tanks $19.99 at StarStyle® Store: https://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store

10. Are you a gamer, lover of new software, or other digital content? Buy all of your favorites at Humble Bundle. http://ow.ly/cYs130iN6n4

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Direct Links you can use for Be the Star You Are!®

Positive Results: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/positive-results

About Us: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/about_us

Programs: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/programs

How to Help: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/how-to-help

Blog: https://www.bethestaryouare.org/blog-1

Events: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/events

Contact us: http://www.bethestaryouare.org/contact

GREAT NON PROFITS REVIEWS: http://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/be-the-star-you-are-inc/

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GUIDESTAR: https://www.guidestar.org/profile/94-3333882

We invite you to volunteer, get involved, or make a donation. Make a DONATION through PAYPAL GIVING FUND and PAYPAL with 100% going to BTSYA with NO FEES:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

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A FINAL STAR SPARKLE

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

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Be the Star You Are! 501 c3, PO Box 376, Moraga, California 94556.

Celebrating 20 years of stellar service to the world!

Be the Star You Are!®

PO Box 376

Moraga, California 94556

Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org

https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org

http://www.BTSYA.org

All donations are 100% Tax Deductible according to law. Thank you!

https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

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Read the newsletter: http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/672296/250bd40a0e/288055965/ac7221bc2f/

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Mother Knows Best

Posted by Editor on
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Empowerment
Mother Knows Best

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My mother said to me,

“If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general;

if you become a monk, you’ll end up as the Pope. 

Instead, I became a painter & wound up as Picasso.”

~Pablo Picasso

Aren’t Moms the greatest? 

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a world-famous ball bouncer because I thought I was fairly great at bouncing balls and catching them. My mother told me to go for it. 

Then, of course, I added to my “want to be” numerous times while both of my parents applauded my bravado. My hands were either always writing or digging in the dirt and I wound up as The Goddess Gardener!

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When I lived in France I had the opportunity to investigate the majestic gardens of the charming chateaus. The elegant gardens mesmerized me, especially Château de Chenonceau spanning the River Cher in the Loire Valley where females ruled the designs. But it was the gardens of Impressionist artist Monet that influenced me most. The first time I visited his Giverny masterpiece, a profusion of magenta, pink, and purple tulips augmented by white bearded iris greeted me. It reminded me of my time living in the Netherlands where fields of tulips thrived amongst the windmills. The color scheme was enchanting.

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After returning stateside, I determined to model my landscapes after Monet’s painter’s palette with plants that only reflected a variety of shades and hues of purple, pink, blue, and white. My Mother warned against such folly. “Gardens are filled with the colors of the rainbow. Just wait. Mother Nature will decide what’s best for your garden.” 

 

Of course,cynthia brian-books-events.jpg I didn’t listen because I had my mind set on a specific plan. I planted a variety of species that boasted my favorite colors including iris, gazania, lilac, wisteria, tulip, anemone, periwinkle, jasmine, ice plant, freesia, candytuft, azalea, camellia, fuchsia, rose, rhododendron, and more. For the first two years, my landscape did resemble an Impressionist painting. It was spectacular. azaleas.jpg

Then a seventeen-day freeze occurred killing most of my plantings. When spring arrived, many of the plants sprouted once again but this time they were yellow, orange, white, or red. The hybrids had reverted to their native colors after the freeze. Mother Nature was teaching me who was in charge.

I embraced my Mother’s approach to gardening to allow all the colors of the rainbow to shine in my garden. Soon the burgundy grew next to the orange gazania, and yellow daffodils sang along with the fluorescent pink ice plant. The effect has been stunning.

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My Mom also warned against invasive plants that mask as attractive: ivy, mint, Mexican primrose, vinca, jasmine, and the worst of which is Euphorbia esula, also known as leafy spurge.  All of these grow in my garden and I am constantly pulling, prodding, and attempting to keep these handsome, yet insidious species in check. 

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Although lovely mixed with flowers cascading from a container, in the ground, ivy climbs and chokes trees, killing them. Ivy is also a favorite habitat for rats. Mint is delicious muddled in mojitos and chopped into salads, but not so exciting when it spreads to your lawn. Mexican primrose with its dainty pretty pink flowers spreads quickly jumping into spaces where other plants are preferred. It looks dreadful when it develops powdery mildew towards fall. Vinca major (big leaf periwinkle) may take years to become invasive but with conditions of deep shade, it can smother the diversity of other plants with its very dense vegetation. Cut it back or pull out the stragglers. Jasmine has the most beautiful fragrance, especially in the evening. A few cut blossoms perfumes entire rooms, however, this vine twines around bushes and flora smothering the entire plant. It is critical to contain these plants and keep them in check by pruning and pulling out the ones growing in places you don’t desire.

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Which leads me to the worst invasive in my landscape––euphorbia esula, commonly known as green spurge or leafy spurge. A single pot of euphorbia is charming with its magnetic chartreuse leaves and yellowish green bracts. The problem begins when the seed capsules explode sending seeds fifteen or more feet in the distance. If allowed in bare soil, the complex root system spreads rapidly both horizontally and vertically for many yards. In spring the plants grow three or four feet high, blocking sunlight, stealing the water and nutrients from other plants. Toxins in Euphorbia esula prevent other plants to thrive. Deer and rabbits won’t eat it, although goats and sheep tolerate it. The milky sap is a skin irritant to humans. If left unchecked, this invader will take over hills, dales, and neighborhoods.  The striking euphorbia esula encompasses a hillside, yet I am not willing to let trespassers into my formal beds. Daily I patrol and pull out the intruders. 

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A cavalcade of color delights me in my spring garden. Currently boasting beautiful blooms are bergenia, lavender, ranunculus, Dutch iris, bearded iris, rose, forget-me-not, daffodil, tulip, calla lily, California poppy, snowball, snowdrop, blue star, geranium, calendula, citronella, hyacinth, ice plant, wisteria, lilac, snapdragon, cyclamen, oleander, Jupiter’s beard, azalea, fuchsia, breath of heaven, camellia, hellebore, nasturtium, sweet alyssum, osteospermum, cornflag, clematis, mock orange, petunia, wood hyacinth, alpine strawberry, fava beans, and a plethora of other splendid multicolored species.

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My gardener Mom was right about being inclusive with garden color and watchful for the expansion of invasive vigorous vegetation. It is always good to have a guide on the side. Mother Nature will always have the final say.

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I recently visited my daughter to help with her landscaping needs. When I asked her what she wanted me to plant, she responded, “Mom, you always know best!” 

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A Mother ‘s Gardening Guide for May from Cynthia Brian 

  • WARNING! Don’t buy Euphorbia esula no matter how much it captivates you, as it is not containable. 
  • BUY your Mother the perfect garden gift for Mother’s Day, Growing with the Goddess Gardener and receive a plethora of extra goodies that she’ll love. Visit http://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store
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  • EMPTY standing water from any receptacle as mosquitoes are breeding including birdbaths and animal water bowls. Check rain gutters and storm drains. Stock ponds with mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis) which are free from vector control,
  • WEED while the soil is still moist, digging up the roots. The smaller the weed, the easier it is to pull out. Don’t allow the plant to go to seed.
  • REPLENISH mulch as it decomposes. Mulch deprives weeds and seeds of sunlight while enriching the soil. Add three inches to beds and keep a few inches away from tree trunks.
  • FERTILIZE roses with alfalfa meal to add acid to the soil. 
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  • PREVENT ants from protecting aphids around bushes and trees by using sticky barriers.
  • LEAVE grass clippings on lawns to provide nutrients and don’t mow when the lawn is wet.
  • VISIT the Be the Star You Are! booth at the Moraga Faire to pick up complimentary potpourri to celebrate Mother’s Day and buy raffle tickets for the opportunity to go to an A’s batting practice to meet the players. http://www.BetheStarYouAre.org/events
  • PATROL for invasive species and eradicate them from your yard.
  • ATTRACT beneficial insects and pollinators to your garden by planting swaths of aster calendula, California poppy, fennel, and Queen Anne’s lace.
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  • PREPARE your vegetable garden. Check your local nursery to buy edibles you enjoy, specifically tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant.
  • PLANT color spots of petunia, begonia, cosmos, and marigolds.

Wishing every Mother a month of peace, joy, health, and love. Thank you for being and knowing best!

Read more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1205/Cynthia-Brians-Gardening-guide-for-May-Mother-Nature-knows-best.html

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Cynthia Brian

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, is a New York Times best-selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are1® 501 c3. 

Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show and order her books at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy a copy of the new book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. 

Available for hire for projects and lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

Weed, Feed, Seed

Posted by Editor on
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Empowerment
Weed, Feed, Seed

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“Nothing is so beautiful as spring when weeds, in wheels, shoot long, and lovely, and lush…” Gerard Manley Hopkins

While cleaning out our parent’s ranch home I found a book published in 1918 belonging to my grandfather. The title is The Herbalist by Joseph E. Meyer, 1878-1950.  The cover showcased a line drawing of an apothecary’s garden. The first page warns in big bold letters “Special Attention: The botanical materials, medications, and recipes of this book are not intended to replace the services of physicians.”

Being the major gardener and herbalist that I am, I was thrilled to discover this tiny tome filled with information that is pertinent over a hundred years after publication to those of us who love to grow our own food. After reading about the anatomy of plants, the epitome of botany, and the medicinal uses of plants, I excitedly went into the garden to find weeds to feed me. Then of course, it was time to throw seeds to beautify what will become my late spring landscape.

Since the rain and hail we experienced in March, weeds are ubiquitous. Before seeding, weeding is essential. If you like to be adventurous while consuming a nutritional boost, separate the dandelions from other discarded weeds. Dandelions originated in Greece and have been enjoyed as greens in salads or sautés for centuries. Dandelions provide calcium, vitamin K, vitamin A, E. riboflavin, and iron. The dried root is a beneficial home remedy as a diuretic plus dandelions inhibit inflammation.  Consider adding this food to your menu.

After a thorough weeding, it’s time to seed the garden with beautiful flowers and delicious vegetables. Always choose quality seeds. Plant seeds in the correct light situations. Refer to seed packets for information when the most auspicious planting window is and where the plants will thrive. Make sure to prepare the soil properly by weeding and composting or buy good soil.

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When planting indoors, choose a south or west-facing window to provide adequate light and warmth. Natural light is always best for helping seeds to sprout but you can always purchase grow lamps. Fluorescent tubes will work when placed two to four inches above the seedlings and left on for eighteen hours per day. If you are planting on a porch, be mindful of frosty evenings where you’ll need to provide heat.  Speed seed germination with a heat mat that you place under trays or containers and remove the heat mat once the seeds have sprouted.

A container for planting seeds can be anything that is at least two-three inches deep with a drainage hole. You can use milk cartons, cell packs, recycled plastic, or clay pots. Even old coffee mugs can be re-purposed as long as you add gravel to the bottom.  Get creative, re-purpose, and re-cycle.  

Keep the soil moist but not soggy. When a plant has two sets of leaves it’s time to feed them with a half-strength fertilizer and get them to sunny locations outdoors as often as possible.

I prefer to sow directly in the ground and have experimented with seeding as early as March. However, my experience has instructed me to spread seeds when the soil is warm in late April, thinning as necessary. Follow instructions on seed packets for best results. Keep in mind that you will not have 100% germination. Sow an amount of seeds that is several times the amount you wish for best results. For small seeds like arugula and greens, I carefully scatter attempting not to have the seeds clumped in one area. All plants need room to spread. For plants growing in cells or trays, I usually transplant in May and have found that these plants tend to do better than those that were planted in early spring. Planting in sets of odd numbers, three, five, seven, nine, or more provides a cohesiveness and richness of texture.

Growing a beautiful garden from seeds is easy and inexpensive. You may have to provide netting to keep hungry birds, roaming rabbits, and ravenous deer out of your yard. 

Spring is a time to weed, seed, and feed, both metaphorically and literally. I love experimenting in my garden and hope that a hundred years from now my books will be as relevant to readers as The Herbalist is.

Seeds to start indoors or in a greenhouse:

Broccoli

Brussels Sprouts

Cabbage

Cauliflower

Eggplants

Peppers

Tomatoes

Perennial Flowers

Seeds to sow in containers or directly in the garden:

Arugula

Basil

Beans

Beets 

Carrots

Cilantro

Corn

Cucumbers

Greens

Herbs

Kale

Melons

Nasturtiums

Parsley

Parsnips

Peas

Penstemon

Radishes

Spinach

Swiss Chard

Squash

Sunflowers

Zinnias

Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for April

  • CONTROL snails with organic treatments. You can hand pick them, put out bowls of beer, add copper tape to ornamentals, throw egg shells in affected areas, or scatter Sluggo. Eliminate watering at night when snails feed. They multiply and flourish in the wet and damp. In dry weather they will retract into their shells sealing off the opening with mucus. Snails can be dormant for four years.
  • RAKE lawns to remove debris and aerate. If fertilizer is needed, this is the time to apply.
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  • DON’T eat the mushrooms growing in your yard unless you are certain they are edible. Consult a mycologist as many mushrooms are toxic and potentially fatal if ingested.mushroons growing in garden (1).jpg
  • VISIT Wildlife Earth Day at Wagner Ranch in Orinda on Sunday, April 22 from 11:30-4pm. Several community organizations will also present earth-friendly endeavors. I will be autographing my newest book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener as well as talking about botanicals.  For more information on this nature-lover’s event organized by the naturalist guru, Toris Jaeger, visit https://fwrna.org/wildlifefest/
  • PLANT agastache, columbine, penstemon, salvia, and trumpet vine to attract hummingbirds. When the threat of frost is finished, hibiscus, bougainvillea, and citrus can planted. 
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  • BUY discounted tickets to the June 15th Oakland A’s versus Los Angeles Angeles Baseball Game with a portion of proceeds benefitting the 501 c3 charity, Be the Star You Are® http://www.BetheStarYouAre.org or go find your seats to buy directly at https://groupmatics.events/event/Bestar
  • EAT your dandelions for a wealth of nutritional and medicinal benefits. And Italian proverb instructs ““He who wants to eat a good supper should eat a weed of every kind.”
  • WALK in the woods, a park or hug a tree to get your dose of forest bathing known as the Japanese tradition of shinrin-yoku.
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  • SAVOR springtime. It’s the bugle baby for beauty, fragrance, and new life.cynthia brian.jpg

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing.

Read more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1203/Cynthia-Brians-April-Gardening-Guide-Weed-seed-feed.html

Cynthia Brian

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, is a New York Times best selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are1® 501 c3. 

Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show and order her books at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy a copy of the new book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. 

Available for hire for projects and lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

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The Language of Trees

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Empowerment
The Language of Trees

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“The ax forgets, the tree remembers.” African Proverb

Do trees have feelings? Do they communicate with one another? As I watch the leaves unfurl and the blossoms bursting on the trees in my landscape, I have a sense that my trees are talking and communing with one another. With the celebration of Earth Day on the horizon, this was an opportune moment to research the language of trees.

At the insistence of his wife, German forester, Peter Wohleben, authored an accidental best seller, The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate. The two of them live in a cabin in the remote village of Hummel where Peter manages a nature reserve.  He has become a spokesman of sorts for protecting and respecting the rights of trees.

Although trees don’t form words as humans do, they do communicate, and are more alert, sophisticated, and social that we expected. Trees form alliances with other trees of both their own species and others to survive and thrive.  They connect via underground fungal mycorrhizal networks, a symbiotic relationship between tree roots and fungi. As they scavenge for nitrogen, phosphorus, and other nutrients, the fungi consume thirty percent of the sugar photosynthesized from sunlight then feed the trees. This fungal internet of thin threads known as mycelium also can also transport toxins to keep competing plants from establishing nearby. Eucalyptus and sycamore commonly exhibit this behavior. Biologists have termed fungi to tree communication the “wood wide web” showcasing how interconnected and interdependent nature is.

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Using pheromones and scent signals, trees also talk through the air. Research was done several years ago with acacias on the savannas of Africa. When giraffes began chewing on the leaves of the thorny acacia, the tree sensed the wound sending a distress signal in the form of ethylene gas to neighboring acacias. The trees receiving the message of imminent danger pumped quantities of tannins into their leaves, which can kill an herbivore.

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Trees differentiate between an animal attack and a human cutting a limb. When a branch breaks or is sawed off, the tree sends chemicals to heal the wound. And trees remember.

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Trees also have a sense of smell and taste. When  an elm or pine is attacked by leaf-eating caterpillars, the affected trees detect the saliva. Pheromones are released to attract parasitic wasps. The wasps lay eggs inside the caterpillars, and the wasp larvae eat the caterpillars from the inside out. 

Dr. Suzanne Simard, a forest ecologist with the University of British Columbia is renowned for her extensive scientific research into mycorrhizal networks and “hub trees” or “mother trees” as she prefers to call the biggest, oldest forest trees. Mother trees are not necessarily female but they do have the most fungal connections to nurture and support the saplings.  Their deep roots suck up water and send it to fellow trees along with other nutrients and distress warnings. Her lab studies found that defense signals traveled between a diversity of trees within six hours. Not all scientists agree with Simard and Wohleben that trees are sentient beings. Several scientists have countered that plants and trees do not possess intelligence and are instead genetically programmed by natural selection to do a job automatically. 

Being the nature aficionado that I am, I vote for team Simard and Wohleben. Over the past few years I’ve been carefully studying my hillside pine trees as they twist to be closer to each other. Although each tree was originally planted to give a wide berth for each canopy to grow straight and tall in an effort to reach optimum sunlight, as the trees matured they tended to gravitate towards one another, mingling their branches. The pine that was planted furthest away from its siblings actually lurched sideways forming an arch until its branches touched the closest pine. I can’t help but think that this small group considers itself a forest family or at least very dear friends. When my “mother” Japanese maples leafs out, the other two develop their leaves within two days. My fruit trees of the same species always bloom together as if on orchestral cue. The willows in the creek appear to be supporting the oaks and bays with a communal sharing of resources.

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Simard detects a spiritual expression in the forest and Wohleben has been accused of being a tree hugger, although he states that he doesn’t believe trees respond to human hugs. We do know for certain that trees provide beauty while cleaning the air, combating climate change, and absorbing CO2. They provide oxygen, keep us cool, prevent erosion, supply us with food, offer playtime for kids, and help us heal faster. Trees furnish us with wood for homes, furniture, and warmth while allowing wildlife to flourish and reside in their branches.  An area without trees feels arid, vulnerable, and ugly. 

Trees are our allies and they are definitely talking to us. Clear cutting and climate change will kill our trees and our forests. We need to plant trees to capture carbon and encourage kids of all ages to climb big trees. We need to acknowledge that global warming is real and that our trees are desperately warning us of the disasters to come if we don’t create a movement for change. We need to listen to our vegetation as their memories are living, long, and lasting. 

We are all one interdependent, interconnected community. Stop. Look. Listen. Learn the language of trees and celebrate Earth Day with me. 

Cynthia Brian’s Mid Month Gardening Guide for April

  • VISIT Wildlife Earth Day at Wagner Ranch in Orinda on Sunday, April 22 from 11:30-4pm. Several community organizations will also present earth-friendly endeavors. I will be autographing my newest book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener as well as talking about trees, flowers, and other botanicals.  For more information on this nature-lover’s event organized by the naturalist guru, Toris Jaeger, visit https://fwrna.org/wildlifefest/, https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1204/Red-legged-frogs-and-friendly-goats-welcome-visitors-to-Wagner-Ranch-Wildlife-Festival.html
  • ENJOY the lilacs and wisteria in full bloom.
  • WATCH the leaves unfurl on your deciduous trees and become more aware of how different species of trees support one another. 
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  • REMOVE old foliage around the new growth of perennials.
  • PREVENT disease and rotting by keeping mulch several inches away from stems of plants and shrubs.
  • CREATE a habitat for birds that prefer staying close to the ground by making a small pile of twigs and clippings in your side yard. You’ll attract white-throated sparrows and dark-eyed juncos. 
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  • ADD a clean birdhouse to your landscape for bird to make their nests. You’ll be the beneficiary of joyful tweets and twerps. 
  • UTILIZE the monthly gardening tips in the book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener available with free seeds, herbs, and more from http://www.CynthiaBrian.com/online-store.
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  • FERTILIZE fruit trees with a high nitrogen organic fertilizer. Best time is right before the bud break, although trees that need food can be fertilized through June. Don’t fertilize in summer or fall.
  • PICK tulips for indoor vases.
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  • BUY discounted baseball tickets to the June 15th Oakland A’s versus Los Angeles Angels directly at https://groupmatics.events/event/Bestar with a portion of proceeds benefitting the 501 c3 charity, Be the Star You Are® http://www.BetheStarYouAre.org 
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  • SCATTER pollinator friendly wild flower seeds to celebrate Earth Day.

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing.

Read more: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1204/Digging-Deep-with-Cynthia-Brian-The-language-of-trees.html

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Cynthia Brian

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, is a New York Times best selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are1® 501 c3. 

Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show and order her books at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy a copy of the new book, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. 

Available for hire for projects and lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

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Sow Spring

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Empowerment
Sow Spring

 

freezias succulents.jpgBy Cynthia Brian

“All through the long winter I dream of my garden. On the first warm day of Spring I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar.” Helen Hayes

My cell rang as I juggled to open the front door, arms filled with books. I pressed the speaker button and in the few seconds it took me to say “hello” my daughter’s excited voice chimed, “Mom, I hear the frogs singing. It’s springtime!”

As winter bids farewell, the male troubadours “de printemps”, fill the early evening mist with their mating croaks to entice the females. Their call is joyous, raucous, and a welcome harbinger of new life. My garden has erupted in a cavalcade of color as one blossom after another unfurls its beauty. Cherries, chestnut, plum, crabapple, Asian pear, Western red bud, and tulip magnolia are magnificent with their new wardrobes of rose, white, pink, and purple. The feathery fronds of fennel glisten in the sunlight. The fragrance of freesia, narcissi, and stock perfume the atmosphere. Periwinkle, also known as vinca, enhances garden beds with its tiny blue flowers. Even my roses are blooming earlier than normal. Hellebores, more commonly called Lenten roses, inject the earthy colors of browns and grays into the landscape. As their spring sepals emerge, vibrant hues of purple, green, blue, lavender, red, and pink brighten shady gardens, eventually fading in color variation. It seems that all of nature has been holding its breath until the frogs returned cueing the melodic symphony of nature.

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On the first seventy-degree weather day, I was outside in my bikini and shorts digging in the dirt.  Thickets of weeds sprouted after the recent rains. The good news is that they are easy to pull with the dampness of the soil.  If you planted cover crops, it is time to turn them under. Once weeds are eradicated, rake the ground before scattering seeds. I’m a fan of California poppies, not only for their shimmering range of sherbet colors, but also because they tolerate extremes in weather, are resistant to deer munchies, and reseed easily. Even the recent hailstorm won’t adversely affect poppies. As soon as you can work the ground, sow seeds directly into well-drained beds and plant in full sun. Even if the weather is cool, poppies can handle light frost, so sow now!  If you haven’t amended your soil with compost, you may need to fertilize.  Keep the soil moist then thin seedlings to about six inches apart to allow for the plants to flourish.

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Sow Spring Seeds

For a succession of blooms, scatter seeds from any of your favorite annuals. These plants are pollinator attractors, enjoy plentiful sunshine, and most are excellent as cut flowers.

Alyssum

Aster

Baby Blue Eyes

Baby’s Breath

Bachelor Buttons

Black Eyed Susan

Bluebell

Calendula

Candytuft

Cornflower

Clarkia

Coreopsis

Cosmos

Forget-Me-Not

Gaillardia

Hollyhock

Lavatara

Marigold

Poppy

Stock

Strawflower

Sunflower

Zinnia

My preferred time to spread seeds is right before a shower. Keep an eye on the forthcoming weather and plan accordingly. The rain will give your seeds a deep drink and you won’t have to water immediately.

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Grab your hat, gloves, a spade, and packets of seeds to enjoy the renaissance of nature. Dig your fingers into the soft earth and watch your spirits soar. As the renowned horticulturist, author, artist, and garden designer, Gertrude Jekyll wrote, “The love of gardening is a seed that once sown never dies.”  Be reborn this spring.

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Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for March

  • PLANT rhubarb for a pretty perennial that will supply you with plenty of ruby red stalks for pies and tarts this summer. Cut off and discard all rhubarb leaves as they contain poisonous oxalic acid.
  • INVEST in roots of asparagus. Asparagus can take up to five years to produce spears but will continue to offer a bountiful harvest for twenty years. Experiment with Purple Passion (purple is the color of the year!) for a sweet, tender, and mild flavor.
  • PULL weeds as soon as you see them sprout while the ground is still moist.
  • CHOP down cover crops and hoe into the soil.
  • FERTILIZE lawns to give them a good boost of nitrogen and nutrients for the forthcoming season.
  • PICK established kale and other greens before they go to seed.
  • CHECK irrigation system for breaks or leaks.
  • BUILD raised beds for your vegetables and herbs. Your back will thank you throughout the year,.
  • ADD fresh compost to all garden beds.
  • SEED or re-seed lawns. I recommend Pearl’s Premium for its durability, deep roots, and need for minimal water. http://www.PearlsPremium.com.
  • PRUNE privets into hedges and bushes unless you want tall trees.
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  • LOOSEN compacted soil by turning amendments into the soil with a garden fork.
  • CLIP boxwoods and shape as needed.
  • HARVEST beets that were planted in fall.
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  • BUY discounted tickets to the June 15th Oakland A’s versus Los Angeles Angeles Baseball Game with a portion of proceeds benefitting the 501 c3 charity, Be the Star You Are® http://www.BetheStarYouAre.org
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  • START seeds of tomatoes indoors or a in a greenhouse.
  • CONTINUE to pick up all fallen camellia blossoms until there are none left on your bush or tree. My tree had thousands of blooms this year. My daily regimen includes collecting at least 100 or more spent blooms.
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  • CHECK the weather forecasts to know when it’s going to sprinkle or rain. It’s best to sow and fertilize at this time.
  • SUPPORT eco-therapy and walk in the woods. Forest bathing or shinrin-yoku has been scientifically proven to improve our immune systems.
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  • FOR more spring landscaping tips, buy Growing with the Goddess Gardener, www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store.

Read more at https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1202/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Sow-spring.html

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Happy Gardening and Happy Growing!

Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, raised in the vineyards of Napa County, is a New York Times best selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are1® 501 c3. 

Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show and order her books at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Available for hire.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

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Summer Love! By Cynthia Brian

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Empowerment
Summer Love! By Cynthia Brian

“The Summer Of Love was something special, We were so young and so free” Jefferson Airplane

A Message from Founder and Executive Director, Cynthia Brian Fifty years ago was the famous or perhaps infamous “Summer of Love” in San Francisco where over 100,000 young people migrated from around the world essentially launching the global hippie explosion of a counterculture revolution.. Maybe you were there or maybe you are the child of a flower child and completely exhausted from hearing about the good ‘ole days of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll. The nostalgia surrounding that complex time period is being showcased in multiple museums and exhibits around the San Francisco Bay Area. If you want to take a stroll down memory lane for a flashback of the 60’s, make sure to check out the various events. School is out, Father’s Day is here, graduations, birthdays, weddings, camping trips, water sports, barbeques, and multiple outdoor activities highlight the summer season. Whatever you do, be safe, smart, and enjoy your family and friends as they are precious.

 

The Moraga Faire booth was a huge success. Again, our gratitude to sponsors Michael VerBrugge Construction (http://www.mvcremodeling.com) and Realtor Elena Hood (http://www.Orinda.com) as well as authors Brooks Olbrys(http://www.blueoceanbob.com) and Diana Zimmerman (http://www.kandide.com) Teen event coordinator, Chelsea Pelchat, did a fantastic job of organizing the day and the BTSYA volunteers were stupendous. Thank you all. Be on the lookout for a summer event to be announced. Speaking of events, the 20th anniversary of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 will be September 9, 2019.

We want to celebrate in style and are searching for a dedicated and experienced volunteer who wants to chair and coordinate a 20th anniversary party. If that is YOU, shoot me an email, Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org and let’s talk. If you’d like to be on a committee, email me as well. Make sure to check out our new creative community at http://www.BTSYA.com. Web volunteer, Tim Barger, who helped design our website is available for hire at http://www.Timbarger.com. Since online shopping has become the norm for so many people, please scroll to the end of this newsletter to make your purchases through one of our partners who will donate a percentage of your total to Be the Star You Are!® All of your favorite stores and brands are represented so that you can buy what you wish while increasing literacy and positive media. During the summer, make sure to read books and read to your children.

 

“To be a leader, you must be a reader. Read, lead, succeed.” Check out this great article in the NY Times on how to raise a reader: https://www.nytimes.com/guides/books/importance-of-reading?utm_source=sharetools&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=website

 

Happy June, Happy End-of School, Happy Father’s Day, Happy Vacation. Make this YOUR summer of love. My virtual door is always open. Sending summer love, Cynthia Brian Founder/Executive Director Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 http://www.BetheStarYouAre.orghttp://www.BTSYA.org Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org PO Box 376 Moraga, California 94556 925-377-STAR NEW DESIGNER PARTNER-Union and Fifth Union and Fifth is the newest BTSYA partner who raise money for charity by selling donated and pre-owned designer clothes, shoes and handbags.

To Donate Clothes: Sign up to donate your clothes via Be the Star You Are!® as your chosen charity. Download a free shipping label. They authenticate, photograph, list, and sell your items. Be the Star You Are!® will receive 75% of the sale. You receive 100% tax deduction. SHOP top brands like Chanel, Louboutin, and more up to 90% off retail.https://www.unionandfifth.com/charities/be-the-star-you-are-moraga-ca/shop Cowboy Nonie’s Online Boutique Two sisters, Amber and Lacy, have launched a new on-line boutique specializing in country chic clothing for women and children. Named as a tribute in memory of their country girl mother who died in May, 2016, Cowboy Nonie’s Boutique boasts beautiful items in sizes 0-3XL because the sisters want ladies to feel confident and sexy no matter what size they wear.  Amber and Lady design many of the shirts, hats, dresses, and onesies.  They proudly have the majority of their merchandize manufactured right here in the USA! Their husbands built them a mobile fashion trailer complete with a fitting room to resemble a small store front making it possible for Cowboy Nonie’s Boutique to travel for home parties, events, festivals, and more. When you want to feel a little bit country and a little bit rock ‘n roll, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/cowboynonies/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel And soon their web site will be launched at www.cowboynonies.com. WANT TO WRITE A CHAPTER IN OUR NEW BOOK? Volunteers, radio reporters, supporters, and beneficiaries are invited to submit a short chapter for our third book in the Be the Star You Are!® series. Titled, Be the Star You Are!® for Millennials-Celebrating Gifts of Positive Voices in a Changing Digital World, this book is bound for greatness. If you love to write and want to participate, please email Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org for guidelines. Deadlines are fast approaching.

A Father’s Day History by Karen Kitchel Sonora Louise Smart Dodd first brought up the idea of a Father’s day in 1909. She wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart.  When Sonora’s mother died in childbirth with her sixth child, William, who was a veteran of the Civil War, was left to raise the newborn and five other children by himself on a small farm in Washington. Sonora realized how strong and unselfish her dad had been raising his kids as a single parent and she thought there should be a day to pay homage to him and other Dads like him.  Sonora wanted Father’s Day to be celebrated on the first Sunday in June because it was close to her Dad’s birthday. Instead the first Father’s Day celebration took place on June 19, 1910 in Spokane, Washington.  In 1966,  President Lyndon Johnson made the third Sunday of June Father’s Day, but it wasn’t until 1972 that President Richard Nixon made Father’s Day a national holiday — about 60 years after Mother’s Day had been made a national holiday. Other countries also picked up on the idea of Father’s Day. While many followed suit by celebrating it on the third Sunday in June, some decided to honor Dad on different dates. And what’s the best gift you can give if you’re lucky enough to have a Dad?  Write him a note and just tell him that you’re glad to be his child. Happy Father’s Day to all who hold this very special title! Some heroes don’t’ have capes. They are called DAD! 
Karen Kitchel is a Community Volunteer who is passionate about helping those who are homeless or disadvantaged. She previously served as President of Cheerful Givers, a nonprofit organization, and Director of BI University at BI Worldwide. She can be reached at karenkitchel@comcast.net Shop, Give, and Get Connected

 

If you would like to make a direct donation to our giving fund, please visit our Paypal page!https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/search-cause?charityId=1504&s=3

Ways to Help 1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases http://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882

2. Discounted books at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/shops/be_the_star_you_are_charity

3. Buy or Sell on EBAY:http://givingworks.ebay.com/charity-auctions/charity/be-the-star-you-are-501-c-3/1504/?favorite=link

4. Use GoodSearch to search the web & buy from your favorite stores,. Choose Be the Star You Are as your charity to support. You can log in with Facebook, too! http://www.goodsearch.com/goodto-go/be-the-star-you-are

5. Shop at over 1300 stores on IGIVE: http://www.iGive.com/BTSYA

6. BTSYA Logo Store: http://btsya.rylees.net

7. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash back at 1800+ popular online stores, then donate a percentage to BTSYA: https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc

8. Designer Clothes to Buy or Sell: https://www.unionandfifth.com/charities/be-the-star-you-are-moraga-ca/shop If you would like to make a direct donation to our giving fund, please visit our Paypal page! https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/search-cause?charityId=1504&s=3

Be the Star You Are!® charity. Every Season is for Giving Make a donation today.

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GREAT NON PROFITS REVIEWS: http://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/be-the-star-you-are-inc/ Please join us on Star-Style Radio and Express Yourself! Teen Radio. Please also visit our calendar to find local events. http://www.BetheStarYouAreRadio.com Care to see what other people are saying about us? See our reviews at Great Non-Profits! GREAT NON PROFITS REVIEWS: http://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/be-the-star-you-are-inc/
 Thanks for supporting Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3  HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL OUR DADDY HEROES! Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3 PO Box 376 Moraga, California 94556 www.BetheStarYouAre.org www.BTSYA.org 925-377-STAR info@BetheStarYouAre.org Read more at http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/672296/3d8fdc4852/288055965/ac7221bc2f/

April Beauty By Cynthia Brian

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April Beauty By Cynthia Brian

“We become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions.” Aristotle

A Message from our Founder, Cynthia Brian

Happy Easter, Happy Passover, and Happy Spring!
This is a time of rebirth, resurrection, and redemption. The vernal equinox provides the impetus for us to become the person we want to be.  While cleaning our closets, we clean our minds and refresh our souls. I love this time of year when all of nature is singing the praises of renewal.
The Moraga Faire is our big event on Saturday, May 13 from 11-4pm. Thanks to Michael VerBrugge for once again sponsoring our event and Brooks Olbrys and Diana Zimmerman for donating books to be given to children and teens. Read Chelsea Pelchat’s, our event coordinator’s note below. We hope to see you there. If you’d like to sponsor or volunteer, email me Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org Make sure to visit www.BetheStarYouAre.org to find out more about our events and projects.
The volunteers and I are working on the third book in the Be the Star You Are!® series titled Be the Star You Are!® for Millennials. We are excited about this outreach project and hope to have it published by the end of this year.

With the April 15 tax day nearing, remember you can still make tax deductible donations to Be the Star You Are!® Donate by check to PO Box 376, Moraga, Ca. 94556 or directly on-line through PAYPAL where 100% benefits the charity with no fees attached. https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/search-cause?charityId=1504&s=3

Our greatest pride are our two positive message outreach radio broadcasts. Tune into our two radio shows for positive, upbeat information and entertainment. Our YA show, Express Yourself! airs Tuesdays at NOON PT on the Voice America Kids Network. http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2014/express-yourself with descriptions at www.ExpressYourselfTeenRadio.com . If you are a young person interested in becoming a radio personality, email me for details. Every Wednesday from 4-5pm PT LIVE, our radio broadcast StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® brings you the information and inspiration you need to thrive on Voice America Network, Empowerment Channel. http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are  . Check out more at www.BetheStarYouAreRadio.com  .

We were very honored to receive a letter of recognition of California Assemblywoman, Catherine Baker. You can read it by clicking here.
Read a book this week. Buy a copy of our Be the Star You Are!® 99 Gifts for Living, Loving, Laughing, and Learning to Make a Difference from our store at www.StarStyleRadio.com/store.

Our motto is “Read, lead, succeed. To be a leader, you must be a reader!”
Have a beautiful rejuvenating April.
Cynthia Brian
Founder/Executive Director
Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org

Moraga Faire News

The annual Moraga Faire is coming up in about a month. Every year, Be the Star You looks forward to running a booth at this event, as it’s always been a great success and experience for all volunteers. For the most part, our volunteers will be helping out at our booth and offered a variety of tasks to choose from (e.g. face painting, photography, “scouting” for donations and bringing people to our booth) Although I will be providing the volunteers with some snacks and water, you can also bring money to buy from food trucks at the festival. And of course, we won’t keep you confined to the booth at all times- you can take a break from time to time and walk around the park (it’s held at the Moraga Commons Park) to take a look at the other booths. Last year I collected a bunch of pens, notebooks, flashlights, and first aid kits.
The shifts are from 8:30-12:30 and 12:30-4:30. If you choose to stay for the entirety of the event, you will get 8 hours of community service. Each shift counts as four hours. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me via email or text (9252866338). I will be sending out a reminder in a couple of weeks, as well as a few days before the event. Once again, we greatly appreciate your help 🙂  See you there! Chelsea Pelchat

Spotlight on Volunteer, Joven Hundal
“Be the Star You Are is one of those unique nonprofits that helps its volunteers just as much as it helps the community. I can personally attest to the many different benefits and opportunities that it provides. Whether it’s empowering young people through various forms of media or sending books to relieve victims of natural disasters, Cynthia Brian and Be the Star You Are truly care to help. On a weekly basis, teens are able to share their viewpoint on important issues that affect them and others. Our thoughts get broadcast for the entire world to hear. At its core, Be the Star You Are fosters the next crop of world-shakers to develop into their full potential and express themselves!”
Tune in to Express Yourself!™ Teen Radio where Joven is a reporter: www.ExpressYourselfTeenRadio.com

INTERESTED IN BECOMING A RADIO REPORTER
Express Yourself Teen Radio is looking for talented and dedicated individuals to join our radio family of reporters. Young adults ages 13-30 are encouraged to apply. Email Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org for information.

The Power of a Smile!

By Karen Kitchel

The power of a smile has been documented by activists, singers, and authors since time immemorial. When we feel great, a smile comes naturally. It’s an outward sign of joy, happiness, appreciation, amusement, excitement, or contentment. Scientists have found that smiling on purpose can help people feel better. Smiling on purpose changes brain chemistry. So it can be a big help to people who are dealing with depression and anxiety. In one study, researchers discovered that people who intentionally smiled, ended up feeling happy.
There was an interesting article in Forbes magazine called “The Untapped Power Of Smiling” written by Ron Gutman, CEO of Health Tap. A study examined the smiles of students in an old yearbook, and measured their well-being and success throughout their lives. By measuring the smiles in the photographs, the researchers were able to predict how fulfilling and long lasting their marriages would be, how highly they would score on standardized tests of well-being and general happiness, and how inspiring they would be to others. The widest smilers consistently ranked highest in all of the above.

3-D ultrasound technology now shows that developing babies appear to smile even in the womb. After they’re born, babies continue to smile, mostly in their sleep, and even blind babies smile in response to the sound of the human voice.
A smile is one of the most basic uniform expressions of all humans. Smiles have the same meaning in all cultures. More than 30% of us smile more than 20 times a day and less than 14% of us smile less than 5 times a day. Children are said to smile as many as 400 times per day!  Have you ever wondered why being around children who smile frequently makes you smile more often?  Two studies at Uppsala University in Sweden confirmed that other people’s smiles actually suppress the control we usually have over our facial muscles, compelling us to smile. They also showed that it’s very difficult to frown when looking at someone who is smiling. This occurs even among strangers.
In a study conducted in the UK, British researchers found that one smile can provide the same level of brain stimulation as up to 2,000 chocolate bars.  And unlike lots of chocolate, lots of smiling can actually make you healthier. Smiling has documented therapeutic effects and has been associated with reduced stress and lowered blood pressure. If that’s not enough, smiling also makes us look good in the eyes of others. A Penn State University study confirmed that when we smile, we not only appear more likeable, but we’re actually perceived to be more competent.
So now, whenever you want to look great and competent,  reduce your stress, or whenever you want to feel as good as when you’ve enjoyed a stack of chocolate bars, or if you want to help yourself and others live longer, healthier happier lives, just SMILE!

Karen Kitchel is a Community Volunteer who is passionate about helping those who are homeless or disadvantaged.

Shop, Give, and Get Connected
If you would like to make a direct donation to our giving fund, please visit our Paypal page!
https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/search-cause?charityId=1504&s=3
Ways to Help

1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases http://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882
2. Discounted books at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/shops/be_the_star_you_are_charity
3. Buy or Sell on EBAY:http://givingworks.ebay.com/charity-auctions/charity/be-the-star-you-are-501-c-3/1504/?favorite=link
4. Use GoodSearch to search the web & buy from your favorite stores,. Choose Be the Star You Are as your charity to support. You can log in with Facebook, too! http://www.goodsearch.com/goodto-go/be-the-star-you-are
5. Shop at over 1300 stores on IGIVE: http://www.iGive.com/BTSYA
6. BTSYA Logo Store: http://btsya.rylees.net
7. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash back at 1800+ popular online stores, then donate a percentage to BTSYA: https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc

If you would like to make a direct donation to our giving fund, please visit our Paypal page! https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/search-cause?charityId=1504&s=3

Links you can use for Be the Star You Are!®
Positive Results
About Us 
Programs
How to Help 
Blog
Events
Contact us
GREAT NON PROFITS REVIEWS

Please join us on Star-Style Radio and Express Yourself! Teen Radio. Please also visit our calendar to find local events. www.BetheStarYouAreRadio.com
Care to see what other people are saying about us? See our reviews at Great Non-Profits!
GREAT NON PROFITS REVIEWS: http://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/be-the-star-you-are-inc/

Thanks for supporting Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3
Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3
PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556
www.BetheStarYouAre.org

April Newsletter: Read our BTSYA April Newsletter

Spring Forward By Cynthia Brian

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Kids
Spring Forward By Cynthia Brian

A Message from our Founder, Cynthia Brian
“Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.”
― Ray Bradbury


Spring Fling
Congratulations to all of the volunteers and supporters of Be the Star You Are!® as the charity has once again been honored as a TOP NON PROFIT by Guidestar and Great Non Profits, an accolade that Be the Star You Are!® has received every year since the awards have been given. Be the Star You Are® has been offering services to our communities, country, and world since 1999. We are small yet mighty! Thank you to everyone who believes in our mission of empowering women, families, and youth through increased literacy, positive media messages, and tools for living.  Read more here .


On May 13th, Be the Star You Are!® will be participating in the 11th Annual Moraga Community Faire. Thank you to Michael Verbrugge who is once again sponsoring our booth. Make sure to visit his web site for your remodeling needs. Gratitude to our two best selling authors, Diana Zimmerman and Brooks Olbrys who have donated books that BTSYA will give to kids and young adults. Additional sponsorships are available. Please email me for details, Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org
Our volunteers are our greatest asset so we have decided to profile a couple of our stars each month as they write in their own words how volunteering with Be the Star You Are!® has impacted their lives.
With the April 15 tax day nearing, remember you can still make tax deductible donations to Be the Star You Are!® I much prefer to donate to this charity where I know the money is making a difference to increase literacy and provide positive media and message entertainment than to give my extra dollars to Uncle Sam. Donate by check to PO Box 376, Moraga, Ca. 94556 or directly on-line through PAYPAL where 100% benefits the charity with no fees attached.
Make sure to visit our website to find out more about our events and projects. Join my power party every Wednesday from 4-5pm PT LIVE on our radio broadcast StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® bringing you the information and inspiration to thrive. Check out more at our site.  

Read a book this week. Visit a library or bookstore. Our motto is “Read, lead, succeed. To be a leader, you must be a reader!”
Wishing you a beautiful vernal equinox. Spring has sprung and nature is reborn in all its glory!

Cynthia Brian
Founder/Executive Director
Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3
http://www.BetheStarYouAre.org
Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org
PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556

Communicating Across Generations
by Karen Kitchel
Communication is a simple process of using words, sounds or behaviors to exchange information.  This process, however, can be challenging when those words and behaviors mean different things to different people.
Age differences don’t need to translate into more difficult communication.  Bridging age gaps does  often involve a bit more effort and investment in the relationship—at least at the beginning. Why? People are products of their history, their environment and all of their experiences, so people from different generations often have very different life experiences that shape how they think, what they value, and what drives them.
However, we shouldn’t assume that because people are a certain age, they will act a certain way. Think about the 70 year old computer whiz who designs websites and blogs, the 25 year old who is not computer literate or the 55 year old who regularly runs marathons.  What’s important is to be open to various communication styles and make a real effort to get to know individuals.  To do that, try asking what challenges they are facing, since we all have challenges!  You may be surprised by some of the things you have in common and want to know more about each other’s different experiences.
Some Tips:
1. Recognize  that  individuals each have their own personality, experiences, beliefs and goals.    Labeling everyone as the same doesn’t work.
2. The stories you can tell. Genuine interest in another’s life unlocks conversation like no other key.  Sharing tales creates common ground.  Sharing lessons learned from past mistakes  can connect  the older generations with the younger generations.
3.  Social media can help or hurt.  Today’s constant technological advances can cause struggles. However, social media can also present the perfect opportunity for the younger generation to mentor its elders on using technologies and understanding social media.  Likewise, the older generations can mentor younger generations on the importance of face-to-face interaction and interpersonal skills critical to success.  In-person meetings benefit everyone.
4.  Ask questions.  Open-ended questions (those which can’t be answered with a yes or no) allow for more information to flow and result in more productive conversations.  Everyone needs to feel safe to question and know he’s being heard.
Remember that generational differences can inspire greatness.  And in the words of someone who invented a character that hopefully will be remembered by many generations:
“If I were given the opportunity to present a gift to the next generation, it would be the ability for each individual to learn to laugh at himself.”- Charles Schulz
About the author:
Karen Kitchel is a Community Volunteer who is passionate about helping those who are homeless or disadvantaged. Previously she served as President of Cheerful Givers, a nonprofit organization, and Director of BI University at BI Worldwide. She can be reached at karenkitchel@comcast.net

Spotlight on Volunteer Brigitte Jia
Radio Host and Reporter, In her own Words
“I love BTSYA! I joined in 9th grade and the organization has become a big part of my life. I’m proud to be part of Be The Star! You Are and I personally think that this organization is unique in its message and goal of literacy and positive media. BTSYA has brought me so many opportunities. I’ve interviewed best-selling authors, TV show stars, anime voice actors, artists, and even a numerologist, a cryptologist and video game creator on Express Yourself, our teen outreach service radio. I talk with other teens every week on the radio, discussing our views on current events and societal values. Through BTSYA I get to host and volunteer at local events and see how books and positive media impact the citizens in my town, and I’ve been able to give back to my community in an innovative way that really matters.
BTSYA is made up of purely positive energy. Being part of it has helped me pull negativity away from my life so well that I’ve even been able to see my political views from another light; I am rather more liberal in terms of beliefs and views and when I am on Express Yourself! I interact with people who identify as conservative and they have helped me realize that at the end of the day, we all hold the same human-ness inside and we all wish to make the world a better place no matter what our political views are. I think with America’s recent political climate that this is the kind of thing that is important—positive media that reinforces the good within us and pulls us away from squabbling over who’s on what side. And I think BTSYA really accomplishes just that.
In the three years that I’ve been part of Be The Star! You Are, I feel that I’ve really grown as a person and as a volunteer. With the help of the support network BTSYA provides and under the guidance of Cynthia Brian I’ve been able to learn and find a path to the good in my everyday life. Right now, I’m improving my communication skills by finding and helping to coordinate guests for the radio show! I’ll close this review by letting everyone know that honestly Cynthia Brian is the positive force behind this positive media charity—she is absolutely wonderful and she is key to our efforts and improvement. Working under her guidance for these past three years has been incredible and she is so positive even when times are tough; I can’t claim Cynthia as my specific role model because honestly she’s so inspiring that she’s everybody’s role model!”
Tune in to Express Yourself! every Tuesday at NOON PT on The Voice America Kids Network.  
Shop, Give, and Get Connected
If you would like to make a direct donation to our giving fund, please visit our Paypal page!
https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/search-cause?charityId=1504&s=3
Ways to Help

1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases http://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882
2. Discounted books at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/shops/be_the_star_you_are_charity
3. Buy or Sell on EBAY:http://givingworks.ebay.com/charity-auctions/charity/be-the-star-you-are-501-c-3/1504/?favorite=link
4. Use GoodSearch to search the web & buy from your favorite stores,. Choose Be the Star You Are as your charity to support. You can log in with Facebook, too! http://www.goodsearch.com/goodto-go/be-the-star-you-are
5. Shop at over 1300 stores on IGIVE: http://www.iGive.com/BTSYA
6. BTSYA Logo Store: http://btsya.rylees.net
7. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash back at 1800+ popular online stores, then donate a percentage to BTSYA: https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc

If you would like to make a direct donation to our giving fund, please visit our Paypal page! https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/search-cause?charityId=1504&s=3

Links you can use for Be the Star You Are!®
Positive Results
About Us 
Programs 
How to Help 
Blog
Events
Contact us
GREAT NON PROFITS REVIEWS 

Please join us on Star-Style Radio and Express Yourself! Teen Radio. Please also visit our calendar to find local events. www.BetheStarYouAreRadio.com

Care to see what other people are saying about us? See our reviews at Great Non-Profits!
GREAT NON PROFITS REVIEWS: http://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/be-the-star-you-are-inc/ 

Thanks for supporting BTSYA!
Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3
PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556
www.BetheStarYouAre.org

http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/672296/d7e25a1009/288055965/ac7221bc2f/

Share the Love By Cynthia Brian

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Empowerment
Share the Love By Cynthia Brian

2017-brian-banner-radio alone copy

A Message from Founder, Cynthia Brian
Although February is normally the wettest, coldest, most wintery month of our year, it is also a time to share the love. Here at Be the Star You Are!® we are gearing up for spring activities and seeking sponsors for our events.
 
We are very proud of the success and outreach of our two affirmative radio programs. Broadcasting LIVE since 1998, our upbeat, positive lifestyle radio program, StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® brings innovative information and inspiration to the masses every Wednesday from 4-5pm PT/7-8pm ET on the Voice America Network, Empowerment Channel.  
Liz Auilar
Our young adult radio broadcast, Express Yourself!~™, showcases the talents of tweens, teens, and young adults with fascinating guests and themes that are pertinent to millennials.  Listen to an original show Tuesdays at NOON PT.

We would love to showcase your company, service, or expertise on either of our shows through a sponsorship collaboration. Please email me for information Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org.

Together with the hosts and reporters on Express Yourself1™, we are excited to announce that we are working on our third book in the Be the Star You Are!® series., with a working title of Be the Star You Are!® for Millennials-How to Positively Express Yourself in the New Digital Age. Our book will be published by Waterside Productions sometime later this year.

In the meantime, you’ll want to pick up first edition autographed copies of our other books, Be the Star You Are!® 99 Gifts for Living, Loving, Laughing, and Learning to Make a Difference and Be the Star You Are!® for TEENS, Simple Gifts for Living Loving, Laughing, Learning, and Leading at our store. Case discounts available.
http://www.StarStyleRadio.com/store  All proceeds from sales benefit the programs of Be the Star You Are!®.

With the April 15 tax day nearing, remember you can still make tax deductible donations to Be the Star You Are!® I much prefer to donate to this charity where I know the money is making a difference to increase literacy and provide positive media and message entertainment than to give my extra dollars to Uncle Sam. Donate by check to PO Box 376, Moraga, Ca. 94556 or directly on-line through PAYPAL where 100% benefits the charity with no fees attached. https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/search-cause?charityId=1504&s=3

Stay warm, dry, and in touch with us. We send you gratitude and lots of love.
cynthia in pink
Cynthia Brian
Founder/Executive Director
Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3
http://www.BetheStarYouAre.org
Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org
PO Box 376
Moraga, California 94556
BTSYABernieBTSYATEENS-GOLD
Shop, Give, and Get Connected!
If you love to shop online, you’ll love the ways you can be donating to Be the Star You Are!® without spending a penny more, and sometimes saving a lot. The next time you want to buy ANYTHING, click on one of our links and you’ll
be supporting BTSYA while getting the best value for yourself!

Ways to Help

1. AmazonSmile donates .5% of purchases http://smile.amazon.com/ch/94-3333882
2. Discounted books at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/shops/be_the_star_you_are_charity
3. Buy or Sell on EBAY:http://givingworks.ebay.com/charity-auctions/charity/be-the-star-you-are-501-c-3/1504/?favorite=link
4. Use GoodSearch to search the web & buy from your favorite stores,. Choose Be the Star You Are as your charity to support. You can log in with Facebook, too! http://www.goodsearch.com/goodto-go/be-the-star-you-are
5. Shop at over 1300 stores on IGIVE: http://www.iGive.com/BTSYA
6. BTSYA Logo Store: http://btsya.rylees.net
7. Giving Assistant: Shop. Earn. Give! Use Giving Assistant to earn cash back at 1800+ popular online stores, then donate a percentage to BTSYA: https://givingassistant.org/np#be-the-star-you-are-inc

If you would like to make a direct donation to our giving fund, please visit our Paypal page! https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/search-cause?charityId=1504&s=3

Links you can use for Be the Star You Are!®
Positive Results
About Us 
Programs 
How to Help 
Blog
Events
Contact us
GREAT NON PROFITS REVIEWS 

An Update From Public Relations Intern Liz Aguilar
After New Years Day, I left for my next great adventure in Nicaragua – the land of lakes and volcanoes! I spent my January Term leading a service trip to a rural village called Zacataloza in the northern mountainous jungle. Our service team spent three weeks building a school for local children and learning more about their culture. As a reflections leader I was able to help my team reflect on their privilege, service, and desire to continue participating in civic engagement even after the trip. Overall, the experience was extremely rewarding, we finished building the school for Zacataloza, and we continued to explore different regions in the country. 

Now that I’m back at DePauw University finishing the remainder of my studies, I can’t help but reflect on how meaningful all of my experiences were abroad. I plan to continue working as an intern for student off campus study to try and help students pursue incredible opportunities that will help them grow. But for now – here’s some beautiful pictures of the last of my 10 month journey off-campus!

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