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March 10, 2010 > Poetry goes eco

Poetry goes eco

By Julie Grabowski

Poets are challenged to go green for Kate's Caring Gift's 2nd Annual Environmental Poetry Contest. As an online supplier of organic and eco-friendly products, Kate's Caring Gifts calls for creative, original entries in limerick or haiku form on themes of nature, the environment, or organic and green living.

"We created the contest because we wanted to do something that was fun and a little unusual," says President and Founder Kate Amon. The inaugural contest in 2005 brought in over 100 poems from all across the country. "When the entries came in, we were amazed. They were beautiful, funny and thought provoking. We were thrilled and we knew we had to do this again, we just didn't think it would take us five years."

Founded in 2004, Kate's Caring Gifts offers a wide selection of environmentally sensitive and ethically manufactured items, from organic and fair trade coffee and tea, chocolate, and body care to toys, accessories and home dˇcor. "The birth of our two kids made us evaluate our choices," says Lee Amon. As they grew more and more educated about healthier and natural alternatives, they saw the tremendous amount of conflicting and confusing information out there and realized that they could do something. "We could help a lot of people by providing choices and information," says Lee. He calls his wife's research work manic, as she is very conscious about ingredients and has a strong screening process for incoming products.

Kate's Caring Gifts began online and also occupied a traditional store in Irvington for a few years. In 2007 the Amons decided to focus on the online side of the business and moved to a warehouse on Warm Springs Boulevard. Several of Kate's Caring Gifts suppliers are also based in Fremont, and the Amons are eager to help the East Bay and their own town get greener.

The poetry contest is another way to get people involved and spread the word with a little fun. The numerous social networks have made communication easy and widespread, and with Earth Day coming up, Lee says it's the perfect time to launch the contest again. So far entries have already exceeded those gathered for the first contest. "We would love a local person to win," he says.

Best Environmental Limerick and Best Environmental Haiku entries must be made online and submitted by March 19. Participants are allowed to enter both categories and may submit as many poems as they like. Finalists will be selected by Kate's Caring Gifts and then posted online for public voting from March 26 through April 15. Winners will be announced on Earth Day, April 22. Two prizes will be awarded in each category with winners receiving a $100 gift certificate to Kate's Caring Gifts for first place, and a $50 certificate for second place. Those looking for inspiration or a refresher course on limerick and haiku construction can visit to view past contest submissions and winners.

Kate's Caring Gifts also welcomes visitors to their warehouse store located at 45953 Warm Springs Blvd., Unit 2 in Fremont. Hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. They suggest calling ahead for anyone making a special trip.

For more information on the 2nd Annual Environmental Poetry Contest or to learn more about Kate's Caring Gifts, call (510) 656-4438 or visit

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