Photo Blogging Challenge – DIY

The June photo blogging challenge is “DIY” – which stands for do it yourself.

I may not be the one DIYing in every photo, but someone is.

Photo one:

I absolutely hate making raffle baskets. I’m fine asking for the items to be donated but putting the baskets together is my personal heck.

Despite that aversion, I put together about 45 of the 50 total raffle baskets for Quincy Pride Festival. (And I burnt myself out and quit the board. Oops)

Please ignore my messy background (I couldn’t figure out how to blur). The gift card bouquet is a display I’m most proud of the presentation.

Gift card bouquet for Quincy Pride

Quincy Pride Festival on June 6th was a success by every measure. I was in charge of everything fundraising related, and the dog show. $24,000 was raised, 90% personally raised by me. Fundraising is my favorite DIY and why my profession is nonprofit fundraising.

Thousands of cranes made by elementary and high school students in Quincy

My family had a wonderful time at the unveiling of the Quincy crane project. I believe every school made 1k to get a school wish. Great DIY students!

Fairy House in Dorchester

Thank you to whoever DIYed this fairy house behind a playground in Dorchester, MA! My daughter and her cousin Hollis adored it.

DIY bird attractors

When my father in law put fruit on the birdhouse, I was concerned all he would catch is ants. He had the last laugh and his DIY impressed me.

Bad call brick

Thank you to the crafter who thought of this then DIYed it! My father loved it as part of his Father’s Day present.

So there you go! From LGBT Pride Month in June, on we go to Disability Pride Month in July

4th of July weekend in MA is supposed to be cold and rainy, but I hope you have better weather where you are!

Black Lives Matter Quincy

Like most of the USA, my city of Quincy, MA is disheartened by the repeated news of black people being killed at the hands of police. Different names – same senseless deaths!

On Tuesday night, some of my friends in Quincy Neighbors Mutual Aid & March Forward Quincy planned what they thought would be a small vigil with maybe 25 attending.

4,000+ of us showed up – nearly all wearing masks

The vigil and march stayed peaceful.

My husband, daughter, & I were amongst the attendees. I was pleased to see many other families there as well.

Here are some photos I took of the vigil and march

Sign saying “Black Lives Matter in Quincy too”
Large crowd beginning to gather
Black Lives Matter in front of the statue of John Adams
Businesses feared violence and boarded up (didn’t happen)
My husband holding our daughter
Taking a knee to honor George Floyd
Koch is the Mayor of Quincy and that’s sadly a direct quote on the sign – specifically said about the vigil/march the sign was being held in!
Silence is compliance

Stop the Stigma 5K

One mile of my 5k walk (before my phone ran out of battery – oops)

May is mental health awareness month.

I am a firm believer in the “mental health is health” movement.

I am also a proud Major Depression survivor.

That doesn’t just happen and therapy and medication are what helped me. Whatever helps you – get help! Don’t suffer in silence.

Stop the Stigma 5k benefits Interfaith Social Services and their mental health counseling. This is the first time the event had to go virtual – due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I raised $350 and if you would like to donate, visit

I walked on Monday of Memorial Day at Abigail Adams Park in Weymouth. My husband and daughter joined me for some of the walk.

The walk was scenic but a bit surreal due to being in a pandemic still!

Unseasonably cold in May
Coronavirus safety sign
Wait for me Mom!!!
Flowers and water view

I’m glad I am back being active and it’s great to have my daughter involved. (She turns 2.5 this month! I feel like I blinked and time jumped.)

In my work life, I got a new nonprofit fundraising job a week before MA issued their stay at home advisory in March. Working from home (part time) with my daughter home too requires a lot of scheduling around her sleep – but our family of 3 is getting through fine. We’re grateful.

New England Aquarium

My daughter got a membership to the New England Aquarium for her birthday and we used it yesterday.

We had a great time!

Look at all the fish!

This sea lion was showing off to make my daughter laugh

Elise liked being able to touch these sculpture

Turtle! At the top of the Great Ocean tank

I got a ton of steps in for the day walking from South Station to the Aquarium, pushing the stroller around the Aquarium, and walking through Faneuil Hall to Park Street Station to go home.

There were still some Christmas store displays up

Wishing you all a fun new year!

More Winter Festiveness

This December was just so much fun for me and my daughter!

At the Thomas Crane Public Library Children’s Room, she proudly told me all the colors on the gingerbread house as she pointed to them


We went to Jordan’s Furniture Enchanted Village in Avon and my daughter loved the dogs in the display (They’re animatronic and moved their heads)


I went to the Quincy Winter Market on a snowy day



I saw Santa when I volunteered at the Friends of the Thomas Crane Public Library table at a holiday fair


Our family of 3 visited Bass Pro Shops to meet Santa…the picture didn’t come out well but Elise high fived him as we left


She loved watching the fish at Bass Pro Shops though with her Dad


Finally, here I am on Christmas Eve, wearing a Santa hat


I hope your winter has been filled with joy!

Seasons greetings for whatever you celebrate and even if you don’t celebrate anything, I hope you’ve found some relaxing days.


My 2019

Danielle, Getting Fit in MA, where have you been?!

My 2019 has definitely been interesting and blogging took a backseat.

Biggest news is I graduated Emerge MA signature political canidate training program and ran for City Councilor in Quincy, MA.

Danielle Kempe in a blue blazer holding 2 Danielle Kempe for Quincy signs and waving

I didn’t get through the preliminary election in September but I’m still proud of the race I ran – knocking 4k doors and winning 3 of 5 precincts.

I received great press and endorsements too. Thanks to all my supporters! Mass Alliance put it best at their Celebration of Progressive Champions event last week: I’m a “future winner”.

Emerge MA gave me a group of women that are now sisters and it’s the network I didn’t know I needed.

My daughter is turning 2 at the end of December. She proudly told everyone to “vote mama”

Now that my campaign is over, I’m looking to return to work as a nonprofit fundraiser.

The winter holiday season will be very busy but I wouldn’t change it.

Wishing you joy in whatever you celebrate!

YWCA Cambridge

It’s International Women’s Day and I can’t think of a better time to write about the YWCA in Cambridge, MA.



You may think of the YWCA as a gym, but it’s actually a nonprofit that does so much more!

The YWCA Cambridge is an institution in Cambridge and Marshfield, a cornerstone for providing safe, affordable accommodations for women and families and an advocate for human rights.

With 103 units of single room occupancy housing for single women and a 10-bed shelter for homeless families, the YWCA is the city’s largest residential housing provider for women.

Our Marshfield Branch, offers a reasonably priced summer day camp program to families in Marshfield and the surrounding communities.

The YWCA Cambridge is dedicated to eliminating racism empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

As far as health and wellness:
Boston Classical Soo Bahk Do, a Korean martial art, has recently become a YWCA Cambridge program. The main building hosts classes in Tai Chi, Latin Dance, Pilates, Gyrotonics, and more!

When my baby is a little older, I’ll get a sitter and sign up for a workout class.

Since I’ve worked in fundraising for nonprofits for over 10 years, I love when I can support other nonprofits and get a workout at the same time!

Healthy and Back to Nonprofit Fundraising



Aliza Sherman, Beth Kanter, and me at a book tour event in Boston for Happy Healthy Nonprofit

I hate starting posts with iterations of “it’s been too long since I wrote” because that means life got in the way.

For 2016 and even the beginning of this year, I’ve been focusing on getting my health back on track. Thanks to some amazing doctors, my health issues seem to have resolved!

As anyone knows that has been sidelined by an injury or health related issue – your focus unfortunately gets singular to getting well. In my experience, that meant fitness was just not a priority. Nor was writing blog posts. (I missed writing too!)

The great news is, I can tell I’m back to my old healthy but over-scheduled self. I’ve been able to take on some nonprofit volunteer commitments and am happy about it.

When I’m working (still job searching but hopeful) I’m a nonprofit fundraiser. I’ve got about 7 years of experience in fundraising and I love it!

I’m currently temping as a fundraising staffer at a community health center in Boston. It makes me so happy to be back working on fundraising activities! I find myself humming a happy tune when I’m being a nonprofit nerd, looking at 990 tax returns for funders to see if they could be a fit for our nonprofit, based on who they have funded in the past.

One of the volunteer commitments I mentioned is serving on the planning committee for Community Servings LifeSavor event. I’m working on asking for donations for the balloon pop portion of the fundraising event. It makes me so happy to be able to use my fundraising skills to help a nonprofit I’ve volunteered for and admired since 2002.

Community Servings believes food heals. They live that mission by  preparing and delivering 9,600 meals each week to individuals and families who are homebound and living with critical and chronic illnesses. The made-from-scratch meals are medically tailored to meet the nutritional and medical needs of clients who are fighting illnesses like HIV/AIDS, diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and many others.

If you know of anyone that may be willing to donate an item or gift certificate for the LifeSavor fundraiser for Community Servings, let me know & I can send you details.

Another nonprofit commitment has been serving on the development (fundraising) committee for is Lady Project. I’ve been helping them with some grant research and writing. I also help with overall fundraising strategy and attended a development committee meeting in Providence on Saturday morning. It’s very exciting times for The Lady Project with the opening of our new space for nonprofit events and celebrating our 18th chapter joining us!

I have time to read again (YAY) and I finished The Happy Healthy Nonprofit earlier this month. I highly recommend it! The photos above are from earlier this month when a book tour took the authors to Boston to record a podcast. I greatly enjoyed being in the audience.

I’m currently reading Joan Garry’s Guide to Nonprofit Leadership: Because Nonprofits Are Messy. I received an advanced copy of Joan Garry’s Guide to Nonprofit Leadership because I’m also volunteering as part of her book launch team.

I’ve read Joan Garry’s blog for years – must read for funny but realistic advice for nonprofit staff, board members, and volunteers. Her book is WONDERFUL! I hate putting it down and read it every chance I get. I even stopped playing Pokemon Go on my subway commute to and from my temp employer, so I can read this book instead.

So, I think you can tell, I’ve been busy and I feel like myself again!

My work schedule right now won’t allow me to return to November Project, but my next goal for myself is to find a way to schedule fitness activities back in my life.

City Awake Our Convention

I’m proud to be a City Awake Delegate.

City Awake Delegates is a nine-month interactive platform designed to mobilize and empower young adults to become valued stakeholders in the civic dialogue of Greater Boston.

Our kick off event was Our Convention – a one day conference at the Edward Kennedy Institute in Boston.

Here are some of my photos from the day:



Me, proudly holding my delegate book






The keynotes were in this replica of the US Senate

So cool!




I’m looking forward to lots more learning during the 9 months of this program.