Live On, Give On, $100 Giveaway!

Today is a Medtronic sponsored post with a fantastic giveaway, so keep reading for how you could win a $100 Visa Gift Card!.

The last couple weeks have been extra busy as I’m volunteering for the local high school’s dance teams again. We had a competition last Saturday, and another one this Saturday. It is especially fun to work with the youngest team as they are learning new skills each week. It’s important to me to give back to the community as being on the dance team taught me about respect, time management, and working with others.Dance Coach FeetThe Bakken Invitation by Medtronic has 10 honorees who have continued to Live On and Give On despite having a health challenge. There were submissions from around the world, but I’m inspired by Gretchen Merritt a Minnesota girl who is raising awareness for Freedom Firm while managing her type 1 diabetes.

“In 2007, I started volunteering with Freedom Firm, after learning about the issue of sex trafficking. I first volunteered in India to directly serve girls who were trafficked and then continued to volunteer back in the U.S. by help raising funds, recruiting volunteers and educating others about modern day slavery. I joined Freedom Firm full-time in 2009, becoming their first employee based in the United States. For nearly six years, I worked to raise awareness, raise funds, work with volunteers, and educate the community about trafficking.

One of my readers will be given a $100 Visa Gift Card to make a positive impact in their community. I know how I would spend $100! The High School I coach at has made great improvements to their weight room since I graduated in 2006. However, there is still a need to make the space more welcoming to beginner athletes.

Typical High School Weight RoomThe weights below are what is available at the Yoga Studio I teach at, and what I see available at the YMCA, as well as other community weight rooms. The coated weights feel nicer, and the lighter sizes allow anyone to start strengthening their muscles, no matter what their starting point is.

Weight Lifting for BeginnersI feel that the earlier people are introduced to exercising and strengthening their bodies, the more likely they are to live healthier, happier lives. I also feel that when people feel good about themselves, they are more likely to reach out and do more for others, as Gretchen is showing us. While the lack of accessible weights doesn’t anger me, the idea that someone wants to be healthier, but doesn’t have the tools to do so, does.

Gretchen Merritt MedtronicYou must leave a comment through the rafflecopter below to be considered for the $100 Visa Gift Card. In the comment, make sure you answer both questions: 1. What Story most inspired you? 2. How would you spend $100 to give back to your community?

There is an additional entry for following me on twitter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you so much to Medtronic for creating the 2014 Bakken Invitation Award, and sponsoring this giveaway.

The prize will be shipped the week of January 5 or January 12. Participants must be 18 years or older and be US based.



  1. What a cool giveaway! I loved Clint Benson Doyle’s story. God has a lot in store for that young man! I would take the $100 and donate it to our local food shelf. We were going to make a donation before Christmas anyway!

    1. Great idea! I heard a couple weeks ago, that the most requested food at Food Shelves is Coffee, which I 100% understand and support.

  2. What a wonderful post and link. Goosebumps. Rajnikant’s story about made me cry right here at my desk. Nothing breaks my heart more than children not having necessities and comfort. In a world where so many have SO much-much more than they need, myself included- why do so many others go without even the most basic needs? We’ve become a society where we would rather our kids have video game consoles and flashy name brands than a comfortable bed or warm coat. While $100.00 won’t provide a bed for a little one, being an excellent shopper, I could make it provide a warm coat for several kids.

  3. oh gosh! i was going to say clint benson doyle too! but go figure, cause i love the healing power of the arts. i would start a free little library for my neighborhood 🙂

  4. Samantha Petersen! I know someone who had scoliosis since a child and realize how can impact how you feel about life, and she embraces it! I make fabric flower accessories and give them to disadvantaged girls and women, and also sew fleece mittens for all ages for the mitten drives.

  5. Haruko Sato inspires me the most. Her determination of getting better and helping others is so powerful and really resonated with me. With $100 I can adopt one more family to help with holiday wishes from gifts to meals.

  6. Gretchen’s story really touched me because I have a cousin with Type I diabetes who is not doing well right now. I would use the giftcard to make blankets for the cancer center in my area.

  7. Lucilla Bossi’s story inspired me. I would donate to my local soup kitchen. $100 feeds everyone dinner for the night.

  8. Gretchen’s story inspired and moved me the most. I think I would use the funds to buy yards of flannel fabric to make swaddling blankets like I did last year for new mother’s who are poverty-stricken.

  9. Haruko Sato would be my favorite story; she braved surgery to help to lessen the effects of her condition and keeps a very positive attitude.

    I give to my local food bank regularly and donate to charities that care for the elderly in hospices in our area and would use the card in these areas.

  10. My favorite stories were either Krystal’s or Gretchen’s. Diabetes work is so important, both medically and socially! I would use $100 to give back to my community by donating it to a local food bank or soup kitchen to provide meals for families who cannot afford them

  11. Samantha Peterson’s story really moved me she is so brave.

    If I won this one I would give back by donating some food to local charities and animal shelters.

  12. I was inspired by so many of these stories, but I’ll have to say I as inspired by how Clint Benson inspires the heart-brain connection in young people with disabilities. I have experiences so much growth and healing through the arts and know how powerful this is.

    If I won the $100, I would donate it to Redeemer Center for Life, a nonprofit in North Minneapolis. They facilitate art, music, dance, and cooking experiences with people of all ages and abilities in the Harrison neighborhood.

  13. Wow, all of these amazing people inspire me to go after my goals and do good for others. I like David Watkin’s determination to overcome his obstacles and start running again. I love to do things for people who are least expecting it. I would like to make care packages for people in my grandma’s nursing home. I would include a nice card, a treat, and maybe a picture drawn by my sons. I know it would brighten their day.

    1. Oops, I forgot the second half of the question. I would use it to buy gifts for some elderly people at the local nursing home who have no friends or family to visit them on Christmas.

  14. Clint Benson Doyle because he has fought adveristy and is now helping children with disabilities. He is an inspiration to the kids and to everyone.

    I would give back by using the gift card to buy some warm blankets for the homeless shelter.

  15. Gretchen is my favorite as well but they are all amazing! No one should have to live as or be sold into any type of slavery.

    I would buy items for our church pantry and baby corner. We donate monthly but this would be great to give extra!

  16. Haruko Sato I loved the best!! They are all so inspiring!! I would help by helping rescued pets in the area. Giving them a second chance on life is so important when their are so many families that have good homes for them. I would donate to local resuced animals shelter!

  17. I really liked Gretchen’s story.
    I’d use this to buy some things from the wishlist of our local Ronald McDonald House.

  18. I am inspired by Rajnikant Reshamwala and all the work he has done with young people — 75,000 of therm. I would use the money to buy blankets and things for the homeless shelter.

  19. I was inspired by the story of Lucille Bossi who has been living with Parkinsons for 30 years.

    I plan to use this money (stretched with coupons and sales) to make donations of personal care items and baby items to our local womens shelter.

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 AT gmail DOT com

  20. I would use this money towards buying additional teaching materials for the underprivileged kids in my community that I teach tennis to.

    I really loved David Watkin’s story because of the influence that sports had in his life.


  21. I thought everyone’s story was beautiful and really love how each individual faced their obstacles with strength and courage. Clent Benson’s story was one of my favorites. I love that he is living life to it’s fullest and also helping our younger generation discover their passions.
    I volunteer at a shelter close to my home and love and appreciate the relationships that I have built there. I love hosting small events for them and would use the money towards creating more care packages for families in need.

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