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Archives for the ‘Community’ Category

Bigelow Tea Honors National Day Of Service And Remembrance

You don’t need an excuse to help others and make a difference in your community, but the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance is a wonderful reason to volunteer – especially as you pay tribute to and remember the 9/11 victims, survivors, and those who rose up in service in response to the attacks. As a family-owned company with long-standing roots in our community, Bigelow Tea takes pride in the work our employees do year-round to assist organizations, those in need and great causes. Here are a few of our favorite stories:

Passing on sustainable practices to future generations.

“Inspired by the results of the composting program here at Bigelow Tea, our family also included composting into our weekly schedule at home. We have been separating out most of the kitchen waste, tea bags (a lot of those) and paper towels, etc. since the summer of 2013. Now that my children are older, the do-it yourself-style sand box has been ‘up-cycled’ to ‘organically’ create good soil over time… This is one way our children are learning that maintaining the cycle and balance in nature is possible even in a suburban environment and a small contribution like ours can make a difference.” Gabe K, Fairfield, CT

A source of inspiration.

For more than 18 years, Caroline House has successfully taught immigrant women English (ESL).  Caroline House also provides a free preschool, after-school and summer tutoring to elementary and middle school children, citizenship classes, and life skills classes. Caroline House has recently instituted a Sources of Inspiration Board. These women will serve as a resource for Caroline House students (and all of us!) for inspirational stories to give hope for the future. We are honored to have Janned Serrano as our first Sources of Inspiration Board member. She is Executive Assistant to Cindi Bigelow, President of Bigelow Tea, and Community Relations Coordinator.

Janned Serrano’s advice to Caroline House graduates:

  • Surround yourself with English-speaking people.
  • Speak English everywhere, even if it is not perfect.
  • Don’t be afraid to say “what does that mean?”
  • Read books written in English.
  • Take a risk. If someone asks you if you want to do something, say yes, even if you don’t know how.

Helping those in need.

“I was coming to work around 6:30 a.m. [one day] and… there was a soldier in full uniform with all his medals waiting by the side of the road. It was a rainy day and… he needed a ride to Boise. I stopped and offered to give him a ride to his destination. It turns out that he was going to a Wounded Warrior presentation… but his vehicle had a flat tire and he had to go on foot. He (Jim) told me his dilemma about being a forty-year veteran and how hard it is to get a job after being in the military that long; that the money just doesn’t last as long and not having a job does not help either. He told me a story about applying for a security job at a computer company in Boise and that he was told that he did not have enough experience in security to be considered for the position. I dropped him off at his destination, gave him my gratitude for his service and some money… If that is impacting our community in a positive manner, then I do that every day by serving as a leader in my community.” Javier Reyes, Boise, Idaho

Caring about the bees.

“I participated in a worthwhile community event, ‘Bee Night,’ which took place at the Medical University of South Carolina’s Urban Garden located in downtown Charleston. Bee Night was an event hosted by the Bee Cause Project, an organization whose mission is to educate young people about the importance of honeybees and their wellbeing. They do this by installing beehives in area schools. In 2013, the USDA released a report with concern that the U.S. does not have enough honeybees to pollinate crops, which would impact our nation’s food supply. Along with the many beehives that they have installed in area schools, they have installed an observation beehive at the MUSC Urban garden, a garden whose mission is to build a healthier community by growing crops and educating people with local, nutritious food. This Beehive was unveiled at ‘Bee Night’ and the community was invited to attend the special event. I took several gallons of unsweetened tea to the event. We sweetened the tea at the event with the honey produced by the bees and attendees enjoyed Charleston Tea Plantation tea sweetened with local honey.”  Jane Knight, Charleston, SC

Our community garden which grows fresh vegetables for the local Bridgeport Rescue Mission is another example of giving back as well as the annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge which has raised over $1.4 million for local charities since its inception thirty years ago.

A big part of #TeaProudly is being able to share stories and memories which includes efforts make in service to others. Share your stories about something as involved as landscaping or building a house for a family in need, or as simple as brewing a cup of tea and sharing some time with a homebound person in your neighborhood. Regardless, take time to think about what you can do in honor of this day of service. Cheers!

Bigelow Tea’s 30th Annual Community Challenge Is Almost Here!

Get excited, because Bigelow Tea’s Annual Community Challenge is about to turn the BIG 3-0! Running? Check! Walking? Check! Family-friendly fun? Check! Goodie bags and raffle prizes? Check and check! Seriously, this is the place to be on September 24! Plus, 30 is a pretty special milestone – come help Bigelow Tea celebrate this fantastic community event. Here are the details!

The when and the where

This year’s event will take place on Sunday, September 24, at the Wakeman Boys & Girls Club in Southport, Connecticut! Lace up your running shoes and join in the 5K Road Race or 2-Mile Fitness Walk; participants receive t-shirts and goodie bags, plus are eligible for the chance to win great raffle prizes.

Totally family-friendly – bring the kids!

The kiddos will love the KidZone, which is open to Pre-K through 6thgraders, includes a 100-yard scamper and 1-mile run, along with Hula Hoop, zig-zag and jumping challenges. Also, there’s free babysitting for all runners and walkers, so you have no excuses! Woohoo!

Don’t forget the after party…

As if a fun run isn’t enough of a party, sit back and listen to live music outdoors while nibbling on tasty bites from the post-race food buffet. While you’re there, don’t forget to take a picture with Biggie the Tea Bar Mascot!

Most importantly, give back!

What’s best about the event is that it’s a fun way to give back to the community while having a great time with family and friends. Since the event’s inception, Bigelow Tea has raised more than $1.2 million dollars for local charities that provide everything from educational services and counseling, to shelter and food. The event raised $150,000 last year, so let’s do our best to beat that number this year!

Okay, I’m in!

Run, don’t walk, to the registration page… it’s going to be tons of fun and you’re not going to want to miss it!

It’s moments like crossing the finish line at the Community Challenge or knowing that you’re contributing to local charities that you can be proud of. And they make great memories to share with friends or family over a cup of tea, whether it’s been a few days or a few decades. This event is definitely worth joining or supporting if you can, and worth raising a cup to no matter what. It’s just one of many reasons we can all #TeaProudly. Hope to see you there!

Honor Labor Day With Love, Kindness & Generosity

Labor Day, a time to celebrate American working men and women. Today almost 160 million Americans work. A job is one of the critical elements to allowing individuals and families to have stability in their life. So let’s honor this special day and celebrate with love, kindness and generosity to all those around you.  – The Bigelow Family

How To Make An Amazing Outdoor Garden (You Can Use Tea!)

Yes!!! April is National Garden Month so that means it’s time to get ready to enjoy all those gorgeous colors that will bloom soon (if some haven’t already)! Plus, it’s that time of year to take on an outdoorsy project – like making your own garden of course!

Bigelow Tea has a lot of experience doing just this- our community garden 

grows fresh ‘n’ delicious goodies such as tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, squash and basil. We even donate our bounty to local nonprofit organizations where they help feed those who may be less fortunate.

And of course, Bigelow Tea has also cultivated a rather, um, large garden—the Charleston Tea Plantation! (See the pic of all the rows of beautiful tea above!)

On a smaller scale, whether you are interested in growing your own garden so you can feed your family or help give to others- here’s a super idea: You can start a garden using tea bags! How cool is that? Try some of these tips from a tea fan:

  1. Begin with a plate, platter or disposable serving tray lined with unbleached paper towels.
  2. Place moistened tea bags, which have been prepared normally using boiling water, on the tray.
  3. Using a small blade/knife or your fingers, make a small slit in the tea bags (large enough to plant your seeds).
  4. Take 2-3 seeds and push them into the slit that you made in the tea bag so that the seeds are slightly covered by the tea leaves.  Keep in mind that because the tea leaves are moist, some of the contents of the tea bag will get on your fingers- don’t worry, just make sure that the seed is in place.Put your tea bag garden in a sunny area and wait for your seeds to sprout.  Be sure to keep the paper towels moistened1 Depending on sun exposure, temperature and watering, seeds should begin to sprout in 10-15 days. When watering, pour water onto the paper towels, not directly onto the tea bags.
  5. Once you have a small sprout, take the whole tea bag and plant it in either a raised bed or container.  The tea bag will become fantastic compost for the garden!

Another simple way to get gardening is to start with herbs. It’s an easy way to get going with that farm to table concept!

So how does your garden grow? Share your green thumb tips with us! Be sure to tag #TeaProudly so we can use some tips for our own gardens!

11 Tips To Help Celebrate American Heart Month!

bigelow tea wear red healthRed is Bigelow Tea’s favorite color this month! “Go big or go home” they say, so we’re pulling out all the stops to mark American Heart Month this year. We started by grabbing our most-loved red clothing items (and what a great chance to wear that red lipstick sitting in the drawer!) for National Wear Red Day on February 3rd, we have a “Healthy Eating Challenge” throughout the month of February for all employees, and we have our “Exercise Challenge” where we are urged to exercise 30 minutes, 3 times per week throughout the month.  So why should we all put so much “heart” into this month? Let’s get serious for a second. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year. We can all make a difference by getting the below important info out to friends and family:

  1. study by the Boston University School of Medicine found a strong link between drinking black tea and arterial health in people who have heart disease, and we’ve mentioned before that black tea, studies say, has been shown to reverse abnormal functioning of blood vessels.
  2. Educate yourself on the signs/symptoms of heart disease
  3. Visit your physician for a regular check up
  4. Eat nutritious food
  5. Exercise daily
  6. If you smoke – make the effort to quit
  7. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
  8. Try to manage your stress through relaxation techniques/meditation
  9. Monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol
  10. Help others by encouraging them to join you
  11. Laugh loud and laugh often!

How are you taking care of your heart this month? Post a pic, either in your fave red outfit or while doing a heart-healthy activity, and tag  #TeaProudly. (Extra points if it features a cup of Bigelow tea!)

Bigelow Tea Thinks Pink During October

milk-breast-cancer

October marks National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Bigelow Tea is proud to “think pink” and commemorate the countless women, men and families who have been impacted by the disease. While we honor survivors, patients, and those who are no longer with us, we also pay tribute to advances made in medical research and patient care over the past three decades.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, with the exception of skin cancers. About 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime, and according to the American Cancer Society, there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a way for medical professionals, service organizations and government agencies to collaborate to promote breast cancer awareness, share information about the disease and provide greater access to services.

While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to put a plan in place to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same. This October—and every month—make the commitment to take the steps to protect yourself and your loved ones. A few of the steps that are key for early detection include mammograms, clinical breast exams and monthly breast self-exams. Habits that can help reduce your risk are maintaining a healthy weight, staying physically active, eating fruits and vegetables, not smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption.

bigelow-tea-breast-cancer-awareness-pinkIn Bigelow Tea’s home state of Connecticut, the rate of incidence of breast cancer is among the highest in the nation. That’s just one of the many reasons why we’re so passionate to promote breast cancer awareness and early detection. This year, we are a proud sponsor of the Pink Pledge, a month-long, community-wide effort to raise funds for the Norma Pfriem Breast Center, which provides medical excellence, compassionate care and lifesaving programs to all women, regardless of their ability to pay. On October 1, we were at the Pink Pledge kickoff event, which included a Stroll for Strength — a walk by survivors, family members and supporters — and ceremony that culminated in the activation of pink street lights in downtown Fairfield, Conn.

Join us in recognizing Breast Cancer Awareness Month and raise a cup to those working so hard to put an end to this prolific disease.

Top and bottom images provided by Pink Pledge.

Mark Your Calendar: Bigelow Tea’s 29th Annual Community Challenge Fundraising Family Event Is Almost Here!

bigelow tea community challenge

Run, don’t walk to Bigelow Tea’s 29th Annual Community Challenge! This yearly event takes place on Sunday, September 25th at the Wakeman Boys & Girls Club in Southport, Connecticut and offers more family-friendly fun than ever! Lace up your sneakers and join in the 5K Road Race or 2-Mile Fitness Walk; participants receive tee shirts and goodie bags, plus are eligible for the chance to win great raffle prizes. There’s also free babysitting for all runners and walkers, so you have no excuses! The kiddos will especially enjoy this year’s brand new KidZone, which is open to Pre-K through 6thgraders, includes a 100-yard scamper, 1-mile run, and hoola hoop, zig-zag and jumping challenges. After all that activity, sit back and listen to live music outdoors while nibbling on tasty bites and enjoying free tea samples at the Bigelow Tea Mobile Tea Bar. While you’re there, don’t forget to take a picture with Biggie the Tea Bar Mascot!

The whole event is a fun way to give back to the community while having a great time engaging in some friendly competition with family and friends. Since the event’s inception, Bigelow Tea has raised over $1.2 million dollars for local charities that provide everything from educational services and counseling to shelter and food. The event raised $145,000 in 2015, so let’s do our best to beat that number this year!

Register in advance before September 16th for a lower price.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Bigelow Tea Proudly Supports USA Troops On Memorial Day and Every Day!

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Memorial Day is not only the official kickoff of summer, but more importantly, it is a time to remember and appreciate all of our armed servicemen and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our great country.

At Bigelow Tea we have a long standing history supporting our troops including our official sponsorship of the USO. This is a continuation of our Tea for the Troops program, which third generation president and CEO Cindi Bigelow says is “our way of saying thank you to the men and women fighting for our country.” Since the program started in 2009, almost 4 million bags of Bigelow tea have been sent to bases in Korea, Iraq, Germany and Afghanistan.bigelow tea memorial day

Cindi and Bigelow Tea Project Manager Tim Richmond (pictured), an Iraq war veteran, cycle alongside service men and women in Warrior Week’s Ride 2 Recovery Memorial which Bigelow became a sponsor of in 2015. Cindi and Tim will do the same this year along with a total of ten Bigelow Tea employees.  Additionally, the welcome reception at Military Village is presented by Bigelow Tea.  Later in June Bigelow Tea will sponsor, with founder Jason Redman, The Combat Wounded Coalition which will be holding their 7th Jumping for a Purpose skydiving event for combat wounded warriors in conjunction with the USO’s Patriotic Festival at the Virginia Beach Ocean front June 3rd – 5th. Warrior jumpers will skydive onto the ocean front between 1st and 4th street all 3 days. This event empowers wounded warriors to overcome fear through skydiving, which helps them realize they can overcome the other challenges and obstacles they may face in life as a wounded warrior

“At Bigelow Tea, whose company mission it is to enrich life’s everyday moments by infusing passion into all we do, we are grateful to our service men and women, to Jeff Hill and the USO for allowing us to be even a small piece of everything they do to improve the lives of our beautiful troops,” said Cindi.

Happy Memorial Day to everyone!

Bigelow Tea Sponsors The Pink Pledge For Breast Cancer Awareness

bigelow tea pink pledge

It’s time to think pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month! This year in Fairfield, CT, hometown of Bigelow Tea and Bridgeport Hospital’s Norma Pfriem Breast Center, the annual October campaign has special significance as the center celebrates its 15th anniversary. The Pfriem center has joined with the Town of Fairfield to mark this significant milestone with the Pink Pledge, a month-long, community-wide effort to raise funds for the center’s programs while promoting breast cancer awareness and early detection.

As a Pink Pledge sponsor, Bigelow Tea is thrilled to help “turn the town pink” for the month of October!

Bigelow Tea and the Eunice & David Bigelow Foundation are proud, longtime supporters of the Norma Pfriem Breast Center, which provides medical excellence, compassionate care and lifesaving programs to ALL women, regardless of their ability to pay.

Pink Pledge kickoff festivities will take place on Thursday, Oct. 1st, rain or shine, at Fairfield’s Sherman Green Gazebo in the heart of the downtown area. A Stroll for Strength (just under a mile) starts at 5:30 p.m. at the center’s offices at 111 Beach Rd. and will be led by a pink Fairfield Police cruiser as walkers make their way to the gazebo for a 6 p.m. ceremony. Cancer survivors are invited to add their Signatures of Strength to the car that evening and throughout the month. Fairfield businesses have pledged to support the Pfriem center during October and will offer special promotions and events.

“Bigelow Tea is pleased to support the Pink Pledge in honor of the awesome services the Norma Pfriem Breast Center provides to women and families in our community, ” said the Bigelow family.

Ever since Ruth Campbell Bigelow started the company that bears her name 70 years ago (yes, Bigelow Tea celebrates an anniversary this year, too!), community involvement and good corporate citizenship have been essential elements of the Bigelow Tea mission. Ruth, who had breast cancer herself, would indeed be honored to know that Bigelow is taking part in the Pink Pledge to benefit the Pfriem center.

For more information or to register for the Stroll for Strength, please contact Christina Casimiro at christina.casimiro@bpthosp.org or 203-255-5300.

 

Bigelow Tea Is Counting Down The Days Until The Community Challenge!

bigelow tea community challenge

On your mark, get ready for a morning of family fun and fitness at the 28th Annual Bigelow Tea Community Challengethis Sunday, September 27 at the Wakeman Boys & Girls Club in Southport, CT! From face painting and music to food samples and raffle prizes, as well as a special appearance by Biggie the Bigelow Tea mascot and the Mobile Tea Bar, this time-honored charity event has something for everyone.

The focus, of course, is on the 5K Race, 2-mile Fitness Walk and Kids’ Fun Run that last year generated $130,000 for 18 Connecticut charities. But this great cause has also evolved into a wonderful way to bring the community together each year to enjoy good friends, good times, good food and be eligible to win great raffle prizes, like 2 Tickets to the Giants/Cowboy Game, 2 Tickets to the Giants/Jets Game or Canondale Quick 6 Fitness Bike!

bigelow tea mobile tea bar

And this year, you can be among the first to sample Bigelow’s new Home Blend Organic Iced Tea served from the Bigelow Mobile Tea Bar, a super-cool converted 1977 Airstream trailer that will be crisscrossing the country in honor of Bigelow Tea’s 70th anniversary.  Biggie is always happy to pose for a picture that you can share on social media with the #bigteabar hashtag for a chance to instantly win prizes.

Music by radio station Star 99.9FM is sure to add to the festive atmosphere. Register in advance or come on down to the Wakeman Boys and Girls Club in Southport on Sunday! Race day registration begins at 8am. The first 1,000 registrants will receive a free T-shirt and a goody bag that includes a “Constant Comment”® 70th anniversary tea tin. Can’t wait to see you there!