Love, Juliebug: July 2016
Inhumane factory farms are not what I want to support with my grocery budget. I try to keep in mind what I am spending my money on and what that says to food companies about the treatment of farm animals. Join me in taking the pledge to give farm animals better lives.

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Aside from the people who are vegan, most everyone I know buys meat, eggs, or dairy at some point during the week/month/year. And those of you who do – have much more buying power than you probably even realize. By buying welfare-certified animal products, or more plant-based products, you send a strong message to food companies that you care about the treatment of farm animals. Just an average size family spends hundreds of dollars a month on meat. Imagine if every single consumer used that buying power to purchase welfare-certified meat instead of the meat from inhumane factory farms. What a difference that would make!



As you may already know, most of the nearly 9 billion animals raised for meat, milk and eggs in the US are suffering in inhumane factory farms. And animals are not the only affected, as factory farms impact human health—they can be breeding grounds for dangerous pathogens and the antibiotics used to prevent disease create the potential for dangerous, drug-resistant bacteria to develop. To fully harness the power of our collective purchases and demand better lives for farm animals, the Shop With Your Heart initiative launched by the ASPCA gives consumers the resources to recognize, locate and demand meaningfully welfare-certified meat, eggs and dairy products as well as plant-based alternatives.

Will you take the pledge? 

Everyone who signs the pledge also gains access to an exclusive Shop With Your Heart Grocery List, including welfare-certified and widely available plant-based brands. Make Heart Hands for Farm Animals! Pose with your hands in a heart shape and post a photo using the tag #shopwithyourheart and @ASPCA to let your friends know you believe in a more humane world for farm animals. Don’t forget to tell them where you shop to find more humane products—give the stores a shout-out by tagging them, too!
It's nice to know there is real help available to those who need. Please be sure to read the following post and not fall victim to scams! 

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If you have ever been a home owner then you will understand when I say that buying your own home is one of the most gratifying feelings in the world. Not simply because you know that you are financially stable enough as an adult to purchase a house, a place with four walls and a roof; but because you know and understand that you are about to create a generation full of memories with your family. What others may have overlooked, you saw as a chance to transform those walls into a place that is only yours. Unfortunately, sometimes bad things happen – and you are left wondering how you are going to pay your mortgage. If this has happened to you – you are not alone! June is National Home Ownership Month, but many Americans are still struggling to make their mortgage payments. About 1 in 17 homeowners nationwide have fallen behind on their mortgage payments, putting them at a higher risk of foreclosure.

 

If you are in a situation where you need help, be cautious! Tactless foreclosure rescue and mortgage modification scams are a growing problem. Scammers will make promises that they can't keep, such as guaranteeing to "save" your home or lower your mortgage payments, usually for a fee, and sometimes even claiming that they have direct contact with your mortgage company. These scams could cost homeowners thousands of dollars – or even their homes. If you or someone you know needs help with their mortgage, please keep these things in mind: • Through the federal Making Home Affordable program, many homeowners have received much-needed help to reduce their monthly payments, get mortgage relief, and avoid foreclosure. • Telephone scammers often request payment by wire transfer services similar to MoneyGram, or completion of paperwork containing your Social Security Number. Do not make any mortgage payments by wire transfer, or provide any personal information, in response to these calls. If you receive unsolicited calls, always check with your mortgage company using the phone number on your mortgage statement, or call 888-995-HOPE™ (4673) to check its legitimacy. • Beware of telephone calls urging you to take advantage of the Making Home Affordable Program. Beware of anyone seeking to charge you in advance for mortgage modification services. In most cases, charging fees in advance of a mortgage modification is illegal. • Paying a third party to assist with your application may not improve your likelihood of receiving a mortgage modification. Beware of individuals or companies that ask you for payment, tout their success rate, or claim to be Making Home Affordable (MHA) or Home Affordable Modification (HAMP) experts. • The Making Home Affordable (MHA) housing counseling experts at 888-995-HOPE™ (4673) are available around-the-clock (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), in over 170 languages, and at no cost. They will help homeowners understand their options and design a plan to suit their individual situation. infographic-housing-councel Homeowners who are struggling to make mortgage payments can call 888-995-HOPE™ (4673) or visit MakingHomeAffordable.gov for free resources and information to help them deal with their mortgage problems and avoid foreclosure. Making Home Affordable is a free government resource that can help make paying that mortgage easier. Help from MHA provides incentives and flexibility that you might not have otherwise. The program can help you identify your situation, explore program options, prepare what you will need to move forward and apply for the right solution based on your individual circumstance. Help from MHA provides incentives and flexibility that you might not have otherwise.
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