Valentine's Purge: Charity Sells Unwanted Gifts From Exes

Donate Your Heartbreak

Valentine's Purge: Charity Sells Unwanted Gifts From Exes

Let's face it: Valentine's Day isn't always conversation hearts and red roses. For a lot of people, Love Day blows (and not in a good way). So to the singletons and the recently jilted, I give you “Donate Your Heartbreak.”

The charity website WebThriftStore.com will happily sell unwanted presents from generous exes, putting back the sweet in a relationship gone sour.

Think of it as eBay for lovers.

So raid your drawers. Those fuzzy dice and silk boxers aren't healthy keepsakes. Far better to pay it forward. And judging by some of the gifts on the site—like a $6,000 pair of pearl, onyx, and diamond earrings—love isn't for cheapskates. Those currently in a happy romantic place can expect to bag themselves a bargain, and their partner would be none the wiser.

“They’re really beautiful, but obviously our breakup turned them into a bad memory and I was ready to let them go,” said Rachel Berman, whose earrings are going for a steal at $1,499. And Berman has decided to spin those bad memories into positive ones. Her choice of charity—an animal welfare group—will see 80 per cent of the proceeds from the sale of her gorge earrings.

It's not all jewelry on the so-called cash-for-pain site; there are some random items up for grabs, like a pair of colourful flasks.

“Charities want cash, they don’t want stuff,” said co-founder of Web Thrift Store, Lynn Zises. “We knew there was a good opportunity out there.”

After some relationships, don't you feel you deserve compensation for the wasted time and energy? Not only is the emotional purge gratifying; sellers get a tax break. And it's a lot safer than having a bonfire in your backyard... 

You tell me: what's the worst (and best) gift you've ever received from a lover?

Autism "Sensory Friendly" Screenings Offered at Cineplex

Making Movie-going accessible to all Canadians

Autism "Sensory Friendly" Screenings Offered at Cineplex

If you are a family affected by autism, this is going to be the best Valentine's Day gift ever. Cineplex and Autism Speaks Canada have joined forces to offer "sensory friendly" (SF) screenings at some of their locations across Canada.

According to a press release, certain theatres will be showing new releases in 2D with "increased auditorium lighting, lower volume, and smaller crowds" to audiences who typically wouldn't be able to catch the latest movies owing to sensitivities to noise, lights, etc.
“Our goal is to make movie-going accessible to as many Canadians as possible,” said Cineplex VP, Pat Marshall. “This partnership with Autism Speaks Canada provides an opportunity to see the latest family movies in a comfortable environment, at a reduced price.”

Talking to Kids about Autism and Difference

Wait, it gets better: the screenings will take place during off-peak hours, often before theatres open to the general public, and families will be allowed to bring in their own snacks to allow for dietary restrictions (many people with ASD follow a gluten-casein-free diet). Participating theatres will also provide a "calm zone" where families can go if they need a break from the movie.

Better, still: Every member attending will be charged child fare. The first SF screening, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, will take place on Saturday, February 14, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. Cineplex will release forthcoming dates and booking information two weeks prior to screening.
Here is a list of participating theatres: 

  • Cineplex Cinemas Langley (Langley, BC)
  • Cineplex Odeon Sunridge Spectrum Cinemas (Calgary, AB)
  • Cineplex Odeon North Edmonton Cinemas (Edmonton, AB)
  • Cineplex Odeon Centre Cinemas (Saskatoon, SK)
  • SilverCity St. Vital Cinemas and XSCAPE Entertainment Centre (Winnipeg, MB)
  • SilverCity London Cinemas (London, ON)
  • Galaxy Cinemas Waterloo (Waterloo, ON)
  • Cineplex Cinemas Mississauga (Mississauga, ON)
  • Cineplex Cinemas Vaughan (Vaughan, ON)
  • Cineplex Odeon Morningside Cinemas (Scarborough, ON)
  • Cineplex Odeon South Keys Cinemas (Ottawa, ON)
  • Scotiabank Theatre Halifax (Halifax, NS)

Since some kids with autism "look normal," I wonder how Cineplex will vet bookings, and I pray the system won't be open to abuse by others. I also would hope the SF screenings will be open to those with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) who may not have autism.

As a parent with a child on the spectrum, I can't tell you how welcome this news is. Even with noise-cancelling headphones, my six year-old son flatly refuses to go to the movies. It breaks my heart because I have so many happy memories of going to the cinema as a child. Hello, Lady and the Tramp. Hello, E.T.! Not only is this now an activity that we can enjoy as a family (there are few), but it also provides a bridge for my son in which to connect to other kids.

For further information on SF screenings, visit Cineplex.com/SensoryFriendly.



What's Inside These Stuffed Toys is the Stuff of Nightmares

It's truly Weevil

What's Inside These Stuffed Toys is the Stuff of Nightmares

It's the stuff of nightmares, and it could be living inside your child's prized stuffie collection. An Oregon mom who made a horrifying discovery about her daughter's Cozy Hugs microwavable stuffed animal now wants to alert others.

When Kamren Weiler saw a little tear along the seam of her three year-old daughter Kinley's favourite cuddle toy, she couldn't believe what she saw: bugs - hundreds of them. She opened up the doll to find an infestation of still-squirming critters inside.

The aromatherapy stuffies, filled with wheat and lavender, are designed to be warmed in the microwave to soothe children. Indeed, Kinley loved the doll and even took it to bed with her. A fact that now gives her mom the heebie jeebies.  

How to Organize Stuffed Animals

Aside from the initial gross-out, Weiler became concerned that the bugs could have spread. "...I tore my daughter's whole room apart," she said. "Where could those bugs have gone. In her shirt, in her clothes?"

The answer is: potentially yes, and yes. After all, kids aren't the only ones who love Cozy Hugs. Grain weevils are attracted to the wheat stuffing. 

Turns out, Cozy Hugs has long been fielding complaints over bug infestation that in some cases had spread to beds and closets.  

Apparently not all microwavable, grain-filled items on the market are created equally. Another manufacturer, Cozy Plush, claims it takes care to treat and screen its products before shipping. 

Weevils are actually little beetles, and are pretty harmless unless you count damage to food items. Pest control is recommended. 

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to torch a few innocent plush animals... 

Image Source: YouTube