Constitution Day Celebrations

Guess who’s 227 years old today? Our American Constitution! And since 1911 our country has been celebrating this day in a multitude of ways. Teachers will spend the whole week around September 17th teaching students about this important document, and how it is truly a living, breathing document with current ramifications upon our 21st century lives. And if you’re no longer in school, but still want to take part in Constitution Day/Week, there are a lot of ways to do that!

Check out your local library or community center. See if anything is going on that’s related to the celebration. Many local communities have a reading of the Constitution, along with festivities at local government buildings. It’s a great way to experience the Constitution, with those in your own community, and to meet local government officials.

Other festivities that are going on over the country include historical reenactments of the99 signing of the Constitution, which brings to life the culture and the structure of society at the time it was signed. Also, many government buildings will be handing out printed versions of the Constitution along with small tokens of patriotism like American flag lapel pins or other patriotic lapel pins depicting iconic American imagery.

High schools sometimes perform patriotic displays from the dance or cheer-leading squads, and non-profits sometimes pick days and weeks like this to push information on getting out the vote for local elections and other local business.

However you do it, take a moment to celebrate Constitution day! Whether it’s by reading the Constitution, wearing patriotic lapel pins, or registering to vote. It may not be as flashy as the 4th of July, but in terms of significance, this document is just as important as our independence day, because like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution provides a map of how our government can run, what it can and cannot do, and after 227 years, it is still just as relevant as it was the day it was signed.

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V-Day, Kennedy, the Beatles, the Berlin Wall, 9/11… “Where Were You?”

I hadn’t even had my coffee yet. I had news radio on while I got ready for my college classes, and at first I was sure what I was listening to was a joke, like that old Orson Wells radio drama, The War of the Worlds? I was listening to a really elaborate, not really funny radio gag. Until I finally did go down for that cup of coffee and turned on the TV news. This was no joke.

I didn’t go to any of my classes that day.

Instead I went to my parents’ house and sat with my mother, glued to the TV, clutching coffee cups that did nothing but get cold in our hands as we watched with increasing shock6671 at the aftermath of the first tower being hit, and then witnessing live footage of the second tower’s horrifying demise. Even 13 years on I still remember the looks on the faces of the New Yorkers who were fleeing the area, covered in chalky white dust, their faces just as white beneath it: from fear, from disbelief, from burgeoning grief. For all Americans everywhere, starting in New York city and bleeding out, the world stopped spinning. Like a carousel grinding to a halt.

Today, over a decade removed, I still feel a heaviness on this day. The world according to the US has long since started its motors back up, the gears are all moving together again, moving us forward. But on this day everything slows a little bit still, the memories flood, the sadness over all those lives lost, and lives changed, fills my head. An entire generation is growing up “post-9/11″. An entire generation only knows the world according to terrorist threat ratings and has no memory of the New York skyline with the original Twin Towers standing proud.

But Americans have a lot to be proud of and a lot to look forward to. We’ve come back strong from that dark day, and though we’ve stumbled a few times in our attempts to reassert ourselves, we’re definitely standing tall again. We’re amazing that way, and have been since we were just a fledgling collection of colonies, braving the unknown for dreams of a better tomorrow. It’s our neverending dreaming that has not changed in over 300 years.

So on this day, we at PinMart just want to say thank you for all the reasons you purchase our products, because they’re all so very American. From the little league teams buying trading pins, charities using awareness ribbon pins to raise money for cancer, for Fortune 500 companies thanking their employees with gold plated service pins. You help us at PinMart fulfill our desire to keep America great. You inspire us!

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To Ice or Not to Ice?

Love it or hate it, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has had a big impact not only on the ALS community and the research that is being done to help alleviate and eventually eradicate the disease, but also on how we view and experience the act of giving. Creating an active way to give back, and providing a platform for us as Americans to show off, as we so seem to like to do, while also building awareness and funds for a critical disease was a brilliant idea. Some feel it has gone too far and turned into more of a publicity stunt than anything else, but the numbers don’t lie: $80 million dollars have been raised in response to the ice bucket challenge. That’s compared to the under $2 million raised by this time last year.

And when the likes of Bill Gates and Superman have done it, it was a no-brainer for our S566fearless leader, Steve Geyer, president of PinMart, to do it as well. Posted last week on our Facebook page, Mr. Geyer took the plunge and donated to the cause on video, wearing awareness ribbon lapel pins on his shirt as he did so. Even living in Florida, a bucket of ice water is a bit more than refreshing! So we wanted to thank him for his donation, his bringing awareness to the cause, and everyone else who has done the same.

For those out there not keen on the challenge, for whatever reason, there are still so many other ways to contribute to ALS, or any other cause near and dear to your heart. Purchasing products that donate proceeds to charities is a great way to give back and get a little bit in return. Various awareness ribbon lapel pins on our site result in donations to causes when you purchase them through us, as well as other products, from rubber bracelets to lanyards. And of course you can participate in runs, bake sales, and other fundraising activities. Or just go to the website of your favorite charity and click “donate” to do your part with as little muss and fuss as you please!

Whatever your feelings on the ice bucket challenge, this phenomenon has raised awareness not only for ALS, but about the idea of donating and charities in general. It is reshaping how we as Americans give, and that’s unequivocally a good thing. Everyone can donate something, be that time, money, or products like awareness ribbons, to their favorite cause. From the controversial to the conventional, donations create change. Do your part!

 

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August Is Cataract Awareness Month

Cataracts effect roughly 50% of Americans who are at or older than 80 years old. One in two! Facts like that are equal parts startling and even a little bit comforting to know. Startling because that implies that roughly 150 million Americans suffer from this side effect of old age. Comforting because if and when it happens to me at least I’ll know I’m in good company. But you would think that if half of our octogenarians are experiencing cataracts, that the act of removing and treating them wouldn’t be an issue, and yet it is. Which is why August has been designated as National Cataract Awareness month.

Cataracts are a clouding of the lens of the eye, which reduces the amount of light that can enter the eye, and this clouding increases over time if not treated and can result in complete blindness. The good news is that cataracts are almost always treatable with surgery and many times those who receive surgery can see better than before they even had cataracts. The bad news is that many Americans will put off cataract surgery until their sight is highly compromised, despite the reduced quality of life that cataracts cause.481 The reasons they put it off are usually relate to misconceptions about the surgery and subsequent healing period following the surgery.

That’s where awareness programs come in. Through campaigns that set up booths and kiosks in places that cater to older Americans, these programs aim to clear up the misconceptions related to cataract surgery, and increase the speed at with those dealing with cataracts undergo the surgery. Most of these programs are highly non-invasive and consist mostly of brochures about the process coupled with promotional items, like awareness ribbons or rubber bracelets, provided by local ophthalmologists. Removing the mystery of the surgery and making surgeons accessible to potential patients increases their likeliness of addressing the cataracts sooner, and restores their previous good vision to them sooner. And in a world this strange and beautiful, nobody who has the choice should ever miss a thing.

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4 Common Organizations that Benefit from Embroidered Patches

When you run an organization or a business, creating a sense of unity is incredibly important. You will also want a way to ensure that the world knows about you and your mission or offerings. Although a t-shirt or a logo could work, there are other, more distinctive options that are worth looking into. One of the best ways to let people know of your organization and to create a sense of camaraderie amongst your members, employees, or volunteers is to use embroidered patches.
There are plenty of organizations that can benefit from embroidered patches. Here are just a few.
1. Sports Teams
If you run a sports team, such as a little league baseball team, an embroidered patch can display the person’s membership and enthusiasm to the rest of the community. This makes your players feel special and, of course, a true part of the team. The great part is that, with customized patches, any type of sport and any logo can be represented – from teenage soccer teams to college lacrosse and beyond. Also, each member can have their team number and name on the patch, making everyone feel like they stand out.
2. Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts

One of the best ways to show off your scout troop pride is by using an embroidered patch. In fact, earning patches is one of the hallmarks and major goals of scouting – the more you have, the more you have achieved in the organization. In addition, the patches can even be worked into the arts and crafts portions of scout activities. After all, nothing looks better on a scout uniform than a classic embroidered patch—or patches—that can be sewn or ironed onto them by the members themselves.
3. Military

The military is one of the most well-known organizations to use patches. They are an Patches_Row_3important part of the uniform, often indicating rank and the specific position a person holds, and complement the pins and insignias that bedeck a uniform. These patches can also commemorate particular assignments and missions.

4. Local Organizations
Many types of local organizations could also use embroidered patches to great effect. From the local book club to the fire department, most groups want to have a sense of purpose and belonging, and patches can give them that. Since some of these types of groups may not have uniforms on which to place a patch, you could always offer customized totes, messenger bags or even t-shirts.
These four different uses for embroidered patches are very common. However, nearly every club, organization, or even business could benefit tremendously from having them. Just remember to have a specific logo design in mind and you will be ready to go!

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National Immunization Month

School starts this week for most of the nation’s children, and with that come a lot of things to check off your to do list. Things like new backpacks, school clothes, supplies, lunch boxes and even just getting children back into a school time schedule state of mind, from bedtime to scheduling in homework time again. But another vital component of that to do list should be to check and make sure your kids are up to date on their immunizations. While it is a somewhat contested topic amongst individuals, the majority of Americans understand the importance of preventing their child from getting dangerous diseases like chicken pox to polio.

But when parents and kids have so many things to take care of before school starts, vaccines are often pushed back or ignored entirely, and that’s a dangerous procrastination. Vaccines not only protect your child, but they help protect the entire community your child is in, because if your child is immune from these diseases, they cannot contract and spread it either. With the news filled with Ebola concerns the issue of vaccinations for preventable diseases is also becoming a very popular topic.

So get your kids into their pediatrician this month before school gears up. And if your kids 1481revare among the many who are scared of shots and doctors, consider ways to make the experience as fun and painless as possible. Bring your children’s favorite portable games with you to play in the car and at the doctor’s office while you wait. Distract them during the actual doctor visit with questions about your children’s favorite things, whatever they may be. Or perhaps pin on a guardian angel pin before they go in, as a way to protect them and make them feel more brave.

However you handle immunizations, make sure you get in for them during the month of August, which is National Immunization Month. The more you can do to prevent illnesses, the less you and your community has to worry about, and the more time you kids can spend being kids… and doing homework. Ugh.

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3 Common Organizations that Benefit from Challenge Coins

If you want to show someone in your organization how grateful you are for their work, there are multiple ways to do so. Many employers like to send out e-mails to their organization highlighting an employee’s dedicated efforts, and other businesses partake in an “employee of the month” type of award program. Any type of recognition is a great idea – you can help to boost a worker’s self-esteem while simultaneously congratulating them on their achievements.

One of the greatest tokens of appreciation can be challenge coins. Many organizations and businesses use these coins, though they are most well-known in the military. A challenge coin is a small two sided coin or medallion that bears a logo or insignia of a particular organization. Not only can these customizable coins prove to be a nice way to show your gratitude, but they are also an easy way of signifying that a person is affiliated with your organization.
Here are three organizations that can benefit from challenge coins.

 
1. The Military
Coins mean quite a bit to men in uniform, especially the military. This is a perfect way to Coin-Image-3highlight an individual’s rank and participation in a certain company. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces have a very long tradition of carrying coins in order to symbolize unit identity, as well as brotherhood.

 
2. Police Officers
Challenge coins are a great idea for the police force. They can not only instill a sense of camaraderie in officers, but also a sense of pride. As with the military, coins can be used in the police force to indicate the rank, squad, or department of each member, giving the person holding them a sense of individuality as well as community.

 
3. Businesses
In any business setting, a challenge coin can be useful in several ways. Many businesses these days are using them to commemorate company milestones. They are also a major way to celebrate success and encourage employees by recognizing their achievements.

One of the greatest things about challenge coins is that they can be customized to fit the needs of any organization. Whether you want a specific color scheme for your coin or the company logo, you can choose a unique coin that will reflect your intended purpose and recipients. A challenge coin can truly instill confidence, a sense of community, and self-esteem for an organization or business and its people.

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August is Medical Alert Awareness Month

Pinmart- Infographic- Month 35

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How Military Challenge Coins Work

A military challenge coin is a commemorative coin made especially for a specific unit or branch of the armed forces. Many units carry their own challenge coins and there are many hundreds (if not thousands) of variants that make wonderful additions to a military paraphernalia collection. However, challenge coins are not only collector’s items – they are also in active use for “challenges” in the U.S. military today.

If a military unit has its own challenge coin, then in theory every member of that unit should carry their coin at all times. This is not a military regulation, as challenge coins are an informal tradition and are not normally given official support. However, if a member ofcn359 a unit fails to keep their challenge coin on them or cannot find it quickly, they may find themselves losing the next challenge.

A challenge can be initiated at any time in any place, although they are most common when troops have down time in the bunk or when they are out on the town. In order to initiate a challenge, a unit member only needs to draw their own coin and either hold it up and announce the challenge—often in a loud and defiant way—or tap, slam, or clink it onto the table or another surface. This immediately signifies a challenge to all unit members who are present.

When so challenged, unit members must respond by presenting their own coins. Normally they slam them on the table in turn or hold them up to prove that they have their coin in hand. A challenge involves a real risk: if a unit member who was challenged cannot present their coin immediately, they lose and must buy a round of drinks for all the others who were challenged and the challenger himself. But if everyone challenged can present their coins, then the challenger is the one who loses and must buy a round of drinks for everyone else.

There are some special rules involved. When challenged, a service member may take a single step and reach an arm’s length way to get to their coin, such as a challenge in the shower room. And coins normally cannot be drilled to be worn as a necklace; they must be intact. And if a service member drops their coin by accident, they have just initiated a challenge whether they wanted to or not.

Challenge coins remain in regular use by may units today, and are occasionally even given out as awards by officers. In the civilian world, they are among the most fascinating and diverse military memorabilia.

Do you have any challenge coins?

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Our Lapel Pins Made Martha Stewart’s Real Weddings Magainze!

Lapel pins are great alone or – as shown in the Spring 2014 edition of Martha Stewart’s marthastewartsealReal Weddings magazine – great with a card.

The pairing of lapel pins and stationary creates awesome presentation cards that PinMart has been selling for a while, and this awesomeness didn’t go unnoticed by the editorial team for Martha Stewart’s Real Weddings magazine. In the Spring 2014 edition for Real Weddings, custom PinMart lapel pins were paired with witty words and warm-colored designs printed on high quality stationary by PaperPresentation.com.

pinsoncardsSome of the Real Weddings presentation cards in the magazine included a save the date, getting married, and see you soon card – great for people who like to keep things casual and classy at the same time.

According to PinMart’s very own Cheri Dominelli, who helped facilitate the feature in the magazine, “The concept is an innovative use of our pins in a simple yet splendid visual.”

And the visual is stunning indeed. As seen in the “OH SNAP!” card, graphics on the stationary were used to complement the pin. By adding a flash! graphic to the corner of the camera pin, a sense of action is portrayed – a great example of how things on stationary don’t always have to appear to be.. well, stationary.

Another great example of this actionable feeling portrayed by the presentation cards is seen on the “BON VOYAGE!” card. Unlike a printed graphic of a plane, the plane pin gives the recipient of the card something to touch and experience. Also, the plane that pops off the stationary creates a feeling of flying upward… toward the sky… headed to Paris.

If you’re interested in creating presentation cards like those featured in Martha Stewart’s Real Weddings magazine, you have two options:

1. You can purchase pins and stationary separately (pins from $1.50 at PinMart.com and stationary from PaperPresentation.com from $8.00 for 25 sheets)

2. You can purchase per-designed presentation cards from PinMart.com.

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