Take The #40Pounds Challenge and change the world

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #40Pounds #CollectiveBias


School has been in session for almost two months now. I know. You don’t have to say it. Many of you didn’t start school until Labor Day. But in order to have longer Fall, Winter, and Spring breaks, something has to give. So that means a shorter Summer for us. For our three teenagers, that wasn’t exactly happy news. For our youngest? Well, she started counting down the days as soon as school was out in May.


Yes. She’s a goofball. And we love her.

So now we’re just a few days away from the end of the first Nine Week Grading Period. That means we’ve had plenty of time to work out all the kinks and become a fine-tuned, well-oiled machine when it comes to getting our three high schoolers out the door and on the bus by 6:30 in the morning. Right?

Well, not exactly.

I’m not going to lie. It’s still pretty stressful in the minutes leading up to the bus’s arrival. But there are still a few tricks we’ve learned along the way. I’m happy to share the wisdom we have gained over the last two months. 

1.) Pre-make Breakfast

You want your kids to start the day on the right foot. That means they need a good breakfast. I don’t know about you, but getting up at 5:30 in the morning to fix pancakes is not my idea of a good time. So we’ve started to plan ahead. Now I make giant batches of pancakes ahead of time and freeze them. When it’s time for breakfast, we simply grab a handful of pancakes out of the freezer and reheat them. It’s really that easy.

We’re also fans of making French toast, waffles, sausage biscuits, and breakfast burritos ahead of time, too. With the majority of the prep work completed ahead of time, breakfast is a breeze on school days. They simply reheat the premade breakfast, take their medicines, and have a glass of Emergen-C to start the day.


Available in the vitamin aisle at our local Walmart, Emergen-C is a great way to support immunity. It’s a tasty way to rejuvenate your morning. As they say, you can “Emerge and See. Emerge restored. Emerge replenished. Emerge Fortified*” Emergen-C® is packed with B vitamins, antioxidants† , electrolytes plus more vitamin C than 10 oranges^. With over 20 flavors, you have plenty of delicious varieties to choose from.

2.) Use Checklists

There’s usually a mad rush in the morning, just a few minutes ahead of the bus’s arrival. In the flurry of activity, there is a very good chance that something can get misplaced or forgotten as our gaggle of teenagers fly out the door. So even though they are seasoned veterans at this whole getting ready for school thing, we still use checklists to get everyone and everything out the door on time.


From eating breakfast to putting on deodorant to feeding the dog, we use checklists to make sure nothing is forgotten.

3.) Get Ready the Night Before

Nobody in our house likes to wake up early. We love our sleep in our family. So we want to do whatever we can to come as close as possible to jumping out of bed and walking out the door. So we get everything ready the night before.

Backpacks are packed. Clothes are chosen. Showers are taken. Vitamins, supplements, and medicine are ready. Everything is prepared ahead of time for the not-nearly-long-enough school night nap. Because we want to maximize the amount of time we get to sleep, we get as much ready the night before as possible.


The last thing one of the boys does before he goes to bed is put a bottle of water in the refrigerator. He wants to stay hydrated throughout the day. And he prefers his water to be refreshingly cold.

Who doesn’t?

This is a stark contrast to the limited access to clean water in many parts of Ethiopia. It’s a struggle to have clean water every day. Many girls and young women have to walk up to three hours in order to provide clean, safe water for their families. And they have to carry water containers that weigh up to 40 pounds.


Three hours a day.

For water that might not even be safe to drink.

That’s time that could be spent in the classroom. That’s time that could be spent educating and empowering these young women. Access to clean water is something we take for granted here in the States. But water changes everything.


In places like Ethiopia, it transforms a community. People are healthier. Schools are fuller. Families are strengthened. Crop outputs increase. Communities grow stronger. Lives are changed. I’ve seen it firsthand. Water changes everything.

And We Can Help!

Emergen-C has partnered with charity water to help transform the lives of communities in Ethiopia. For every picture uploaded to twitter or instagram that mentions @emergenc (that’s the same handle for both twitter and instagram) with the tag #40Pounds between now and October 31, Emergen-C will donate $5 to charity water, helping to provide clean water in Ethiopia! If you’re stuck and can’t come up with a photo idea, the photos tab on Emergen-C’s facebook page has some pretty spectacular examples.

Let’s Take the #40Pounds Challenge Together!

Seriously. I don’t know what you’re waiting for. Find something (or someone) that weighs around 40 pounds. Snap a picture. Share it on twitter or instagram with the hashtag #40Pounds and mentioning @EmergenC. Then get all of your friends to do it!

Share This Post!

Help me raise awareness of this amazing partnership between Emergen-C and charity water. Not only will you help others know about the struggles many women and girls face every day just to survive, but you’ll be able to actually help them do something about it!

Share your photo!

Can you do me a favor? Once you’ve uploaded your #40Pounds photo, could you drop a link your photo here in the comments? I want to see all of the amazing photos y’all can come up with. Together, we can help change the world.


Who’s with me?

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

† Zinc and Manganese

^Based on the USDA.gov nutrient database value for a large, raw orange.

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Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"

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These are such great tips to help get the morning off to a good start! I am definitely going to create an Instagram photo to participate in this challenge. I can’t imagine my kids having to lug such heavy jugs of water, water that might not even be suitable to consume, rather than enjoying their youth and receiving a good education. #client