Making a Difference

Thankful Thursday: Be A Blessing

Some time ago, I did a blog post on packing a blessing bag…… It is something I wanted to do but just never seemed to get to.  This post inspired someone to make it her mission.

I met Maxine through this “purse gig”.  She was on my team for a little bit.  She and I stayed in touch over the last few years by praying for each other and just being there for moral support.  She reached out to me to ask for some suggestions on growing a ministry which is near and dear to her heart.   Here is Maxine’s story in her own words…..

Awhile back I decided to do bags for homeless people. Nothing elaborate just simple items like a toothbrush, toothpaste, small soaps, a pen, a little note pad, a pair of socks, a razor, a pack of Kleenex, a granola bar, some cheese crackers, small snacks, hand sanitizer, and a rain poncho.  I was working as a home health care  aide and traveled on the bus every day.  I always carried a couple with me and if I came across someone in need I would give them one . I don’t put cash in them simply because you just never know.  Many people hustle for money for other things. Fast forward to now. I’m driving for Lyft and I come across a good number of people so I started doing it again.  Handing bags out to those who are in need – usually when I stop at a traffic light.  You can kind of tell who’s legit and who’s not when you hand it to them.  But regardless, I try to help everyone I can. I use ziplock bags to hold the items. I want to continue this ministry but I am struggling.  I come across a great number of people every day while I’m out driving.  I’ve been doing this all out of pocket!   The time has come when I can no longer afford to do it and it is breaking my heart . We are ourselves are  living in a hotel.  God has blessed up and we  get through day by day.  He makes a way!  Even when I cannot see it, He makes a way.  I am reaching out to others for donations – monetary and for items to fill the bags.

The hotel where we are staying has offered to do some extra soaps and shampoos to help.  I am reaching out to churches and other organizations to see if they can help with individually packaged snacks and things.  But there is still a gap.  The need is so great….

I am reaching out to my readers and my friends.  Won’t you consider helping?  Maxine has set up a PayPal account to collect monetary donations (  Every little bit helps.  She lives in Chicago, so if you have any suggestions or contacts please let us know.  I’m trying to help her keep her ministry alive….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!


Hope Wissel

Thankful for Military Families

In the midst of all of the struggles and strife in our county, I am blessed to be part of a company who makes a difference in the lives of so many people.  Giving is so much a part of who I am and I love the opportunity to help locally as well as knowing the company I represent is doing it as well.  The following is re-post from my Thirty One website….

Those who know us know we’re a company driven by our mission to strengthen families. This commitment extends beyond our Thirty-One Gifts circle to reach military families across the country. Since 2013, Thirty-One Gives has proudly partnered with Operation Homefront to help make sure U.S. military families in the greatest need can enjoy a full holiday meal – and more.
About Operation Homefront

Operation Homefront is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose stated mission is “to build strong, stable and secure military families so they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect.” For more than 15 years, it has provided financial assistance, transitional and permanent housing programs, and caregiver and family support services to the military families who need them most.

Holiday Meals for Military

One of Operation Homefront’s key services is Holiday Meals for Military. The goal of this program is to distribute complete holiday meal kits, which include everything families need for a spectacular holiday meal: turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing and vegetables – plus additional food for a holiday breakfast. Military families in need are invited to pick up the kits at their local base.
The program began in 2009 as a result of a stranger paying for a military family’s Thanksgiving groceries at a supermarket in Utica, New York, near Fort Drum. When the man behind the family in the checkout line saw them removing food items they could not afford from their cart, he paid the $12 for their groceries – then worked with Operation Homefront to start Holiday Meals for Military. Since then, the program has served nearly 200,000 military children and close to 60,000 military families.

Read more about this touching meeting and how it led to the formation of the Holiday Meals for Military program.

Proudly supporting those who serve

Since 2013, Thirty-One Gives has provided 14,500 Large Utility Totes to hold all the food items families receive through Holiday Meals for Military. Aaron Taylor, Senior Director of Media Relations for Operation Homefront, shares that even soldiers and their families who aren’t familiar with the Thirty-One Gifts brand “immediately recognize the totes as something special. They add a level of excitement to our programs, and our staff and volunteers are always proud to give a bag from Thirty-One Gifts to these deserving families.”
Here’s what just some of the recipients had to say about their new Thirty-One Gifts products:

Operation Homefront is amazing…We got two huge bags  full of ingredients to make a meal and a pretty carrying bag.   Marcy R.

I love love love the tote bag that I got at the Holiday Meals Event!   Brooke O.

Thirty-One Gives throughout the year

We have been blessed with many more opportunities to show support for our soldiers and military families through this important partnership since 2013, having provided more than 68,000 products to Operation Homefront overall, with a retail value of $2.8 million.

This includes 2,075 Zip-Top Organizing Utility Totes to serve as baby bags, which have been given to new mothers at Operation Homefront’s Star-Spangled Baby Showers. Plus, 6,800 military kids have received our thermal totes as part of the Back-to-School Brigade™, Operation Homefront’s nationwide school supply collection campaign.

“Our military families are dedicated to service,” says Aaron from Operation Homefront. “Even small gestures in recognition of that service show that the American people are grateful for our men and women in uniform, and the families that also serve our nation alongside them. The impact of our partnership with Thirty-One Gifts is to remind these families that they are appreciated by everyone.”

Visit Operation Homefront online to discover ways to give and learn how you can get involved with their programs today to help military families find relief, resiliency and recurring support in times of need.

Will you help to make a difference in the lives of others?  Click on the link and share the name of someone you think needs some loving….

Give Back with Me

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

A Blessing Bag

safe_image-1.phpI LOVE to give back and today, I wanted to share a tip from ModernParentsMessyKids.

Whether you live in the city or in the suburbs, there are situations that tug at your heart strings especially when we see someone we want to help, but just don’t know how. Maybe it is encountering a homeless person on the street.  Maybe you have been asked for money outright or maybe you have seen them holding a sign sharing their misfortune.  Whatever the situation, you have wanted to help but just weren’t sure, right?

As a recovering addict, I will admit giving money to someone always concerns me.  “There by the grace of God, go I”.  So if I walk by without doing anything, I feel awful.

One of the BIGGEST requests that I have heard from those who are homeless is that they need – Socks.  Think about it –  it’s easy to find food. Shelters and non-profits offer warm meals to anyone that walks in.  Clothes can be gotten as well. But, the homeless don’t use washers and dryers, so a clean pair of socks is a luxury item.

How easy would it be to carry a pair of socks everywhere? Maybe a pair in your purse and a few pairs in the car. Blessing-Bag-Kits

What if you took it one step further….. Make a Blessing Bag. The items are easy to get and can keep forever in your purse or car. The essential items that we take for granted can lift the spirits of someone living on the street.

Start with a Gallon Size Ziploc Bag.

  • It will help to keep everything together & in one place so they can easily access the supplies in their bags/backpacks
  • Keeps the items from spilling/leaking in their bags
  • The bags can later be used for other storage options within their bags – storing toiletries, snacks, etc

Here are some of the things that you can include:

  • Hand-Warmers – especially during the winter, but even on a chilly evening these area a blessing.
  • Bag of Quarters – These are nice to include for washing clothes at the laundromat. You can put them in a snack-size Ziploc bag to keep them contained.
  • Bottle of Water – Mini water bottles work great
  • Band-Aids – are sometimes needed but not something they would be able to spend money on or think about having.
  • Baby Wipes – a small pack of baby wipes help with feeling clean & fresh
  • Hand Sanitizer – another great option to help them feel cleaner
  • Wash Cloth

Toiletries: if you have a lot of items to include, travel-size toiletries work great

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste (travel size if you have a lot of items to put into your bag)
  • Floss
  • Soap (hotel soaps are great)
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo/conditioner (hotel one are the perfect size)
  • Comb
  • Personal hygiene items for a woman (tampons, pantiliners, pads, etc)
  • Sunscreen (depending on time of year)
  • Chapstick
  • Personal Items: New Socks, New Underwear, Inexpensive gloves
  • Non-Perishable Foods: Granola Bars, Energy Bars, Tuna/cracker packs, Trail mix, Raisins, Peanuts, Fruit cup/ applesauce cup (& include a spoon), Gum/hard candy, Hot Cocoa/Spiced Cider Mixes or on-the-go coffee mixes

You can get a FREE printable checklist by clicking HERE

The specific items can be changed, but be sure that any food you use is non-perishable. And remember, food is most likely easy to find, so toiletry items are especially appreciated.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

What’s Your Motivation

Operation Spring Child

Throwback Thursday is my first “gives” project. These 6 zipper pouches were delivered to Ocean Medical Center for the kids spending Easter in the hospital.  Filled with lots things to keep them busy and that they could share with their siblings.

That actually leads me into today’s blog..

WHAT motivates you to FOCUS on what you are doing? WHY is it important to you?

I know you are saying things like – To earn an income.  To be home with my family.  To impact the world.  To share my message.  To get out of debt.  To do meaningful work

So, here is my next question?  If that is REALLY what motivates you, why are you possibly struggling with growing your business, focusing on the things that need to be done and being consistent?  Don’t get me wrong, you are not alone.  The truth is that we really aren’t usually motivated by what we SAY we are motivated by!  I admit, I fall into this category too.

Those individuals that you know who are ROCKING their business are the ones who are SUPER CLEAR on what motivates them.  I came across a story about Sarah Kay Hoffman and her business ‘a loving spoon’ nut butter. She is passionate about healthy food, real food and nutrition. She also believe in Yumminess with a capital Y!

Sarah works a full time job, has an almost-2-year-old and STILL is cranking out weekend trade shows, doing full production of her product and media left and right. Rumor has it that you may see her on Season 8 of Shark Tank! #WOW!

What moves her to keep on? Despite fatigue, toddler momhood and even health challenges, she is ALWAYS moving forward!! She is RELENTLESS!

Here’s a clue… orphans. Yep. Sarah has a heart for orphans, for foster care adoption and it all starts at home. She and her husband fostered their little love until their recent adoption and because she has such a heart for this cause…a portion of EVERY JAR she sells goes towards orphans.

This is what keeps Sarah FIRED UP.  At the end of every month, she is thinking things like:

  • How can I make that orphan check bigger?
  • What media outlets will have the best results for my orphans?
  • Which influencers can share the story to impact the orphans?
  • How do I help more-more-more orphans?

This is different than ‘How can I make more money?’ or ‘How can I quit my job?’ or ‘How do I get to xx jars a week?’ or ‘How do I book more parties in a month?’

It is the fuel for your business.  That is where I am right now in my business… passion is to help women who are struggling especially single moms who are trying to make their life better.  See I was there – I was that single mom who fell into drug addiction who spent a few months being homeless.  With support and encouragement, I was able to turn things around.  Now I want to do the same for other women.  So what do I need to do?

Focus on THAT.

CAN it really be that simple?  The truth is that it can be that simple.  Get crystal clear on what you want to do.  Focus on what motivates you at the end of the day, the month or the year. Of course, I want to pay off credit card debt but to be honest, that is not what gets me up every morning and in my office.  What gets and keeps me in my office is my desire to bring a smile to the face of a woman who is struggling – to make her sparkle even if it is only for a moment.

Let me ask you again, what motivates you?  Is your answer different now?  Share your thoughts with us.  If you have a product that “gives back” let me know, I would love to share it with others.

Have  ThirtyOne-derful day!


Hope Wissel

Back to School?!?

back to school thermal no date

We are on the tail end of this month’s “giving back” program – FIGHT HUNGER Campaign.  We did chemo comfort bags and zipper pouches for our soldiers. We raised money for Smiles for Trevor and Relay for Life and we have helped families. When I began my journey with Thirty One, I wanted to make a difference in the lives women and families and you are helping me do it!  Because of YOU, my AMAZING customers, hostesses, family and friends – we are making a difference.

Okay, so I am sure you can guess where this is leading…. YOU GOT IT – we need more sponsors.  Word got out and I have had more requests than I currently have sponsors for so I am putting out a plea for YOUR help.  BREAKING NEWS:  We are teaming up with Haven/Beat the Streets in Ocean County to bring a smile to the kids who are living in motels/ shelters.  I am so excited about this joint effort.

So, here is what is happening:

I am providing THERMAL LUNCH TOTES to children who are currently homeless – living in motels.  I will be using my commission to fill the thermals with some healthy snacks along with tips on inexpensive ideas for healthy lunches. I mean let’s be honest, the FREE lunch program doesn’t always have foods that kids eat.  No hate mail PLEASE because I know that there are some places that have great meals but let’s be honest, not all of them do.

So, for $20, you can sponsor a thermal tote filled with healthy snacks for a child in need. If finances are tight and you can’t donate, maybe you know a business that may want to help, GREAT! Let me know or forward this information to them. I will supply a list of business sponsors in every thermal tote along with blogging about them – FREE advertising for helping out a great cause. Where else could they get FREE advertising for $20?

Won’t you help to make a difference today? You can fill out the form below or contact me directly. I will be happy to invoice you. Let’s bring a smile to the face of as many children as we can this school year. The deadline is July 9th!

Have ThirtyOne-derful day!