Category Archives: Uncategorized

Light up fall: AYL TC80 LED flashlight review

Fall activities often call for a flashlight.  Whether it’s visiting a corn maze after dark, trick-or-treating on Halloween, or just dealing with the time change and earlier sunsets, a flashlight is handy during autumn.

This fall I was happy to have the chance to review a 4-in-1 multi-function LED flashlight, the AYL TC80 flashlight (available at  I received the flashlight for free to facilitate my honest review.

When I opened the box, I was impressed with the solid construction of this flashlight.  It costs less than $15 on Amazon, but it’s a quality flashlight made with solid, aircraft-grade anodized aluminum.

AYL TC80 LED flashlight

The AYL TC80 LED flashlight is a compact model with a telescoping handle that slides out for more light options.

The flashlight requires four AAA batteries.  I was glad that it takes a smaller battery instead of a big C or D size battery, which I never seem to have on hand.  I’ve learned to always have AAA batteries, so the flashlight was ready to go quickly.  You simply unscrew the end magnet and the battery cover to install the batteries.

The flashlight features a bright LED light in front, and the handle telescopes out to reveal a dual white LED and red blinking LED light on one side along the body.  A single power button toggles through each light option.  I like that the power button is blue so stands out against the black body of the flashlight.  You can twist the front end of the flashlight to adjust the front beam focus from narrow to wide illumination.

A magnet on the back end can make this flashlight hands-free.  I appreciate the usefulness of that feature.  I tested the magnet’s hold on the side of a metal filing cabinet, and it attached well.

AYL TC80 LED flashlight

The AYL TC80 LED flashlight in hands-free mode with the end magnet attached to a metal filing cabinet. This photo shows the center red flashing LED in use.

I was impressed with the overall usefulness of this flashlight.  It’s handy for everyday use, such as those fall activities I mentioned above.  The features also make it great to have on hand in case of an emergency.

Between the water resistance, the hands-free magnet, and the bright illumination, this flashlight would be very useful in an emergency situation.  It will be an ideal addition to my travel necessities in the car.

Disclosure: I received the AYL TC80 4-in-1 multi-function LED flashlight for free to facilitate my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Charity begins with homes: The New Story Charity story

I like to do what I can for a good cause.

When New Story Charity reached out to me recently, I had not heard of the organization.  It’s still pretty new after launching in November 2014.  It’s not listed yet in the charity rating guides that I check, like Charity Navigator,, or Charity Watch.  But I like the story and the cause, so I’m highlighting their work here today.

In the short time since New Story Charity was founded, it has been successful in its mission to transform slums into sustainable communities.  In 2015, New Story’s summer goal was to crowdsource funds for 100 homes in Haiti 100 days.

The first tent slum they targeted in Leveque, Haiti, has been fully funded to transform the community with 151 homes.  On the New Story Charity website, you can see the homes and learn about the families that live there.

New Story Charity picked up backing from Y Combinator in 2015.  Of 104 startups featured on Y Combinator’s summer 2015 demo day, VentureBeat called New Story one of the 11 you should know.

Now they’re targeting a new slum village in Nuevo Cuscátlan, El Salvador, for transformation with permanent, safe homes for the 90 families living there.  The New Story website has pictures and stories about the Nuevo Cuscátlan village and the families who will be helped through crowdfunding to provide the money for the new homes – around $6,000 per home.

The New Story website says 100% of the crowdfunded donations directly fund home construction.

Kiss Campaign

In June 2016, New Story Charity is starting a campaign to target another issue: a health crisis in Mizque, Bolivia.

People living in this remote village are at risk of serious health problems caused by a parasitic disease, Chagas.  It’s transmitted by the “kissing bug,” which spreads congenital heart disease.  The disease carried by a bug that lives and thrives in the cracks of their mud shacks.

New Story Charity is launching its Kiss Campaign to say #AdiosChagas!  It’s designed to fight Chagas disease by crowdfunding to provide safe homes that help reduce parasitic infestations.

Get involved

Want to get involved?  Check out the New Story Charity website to see all the crowdfunding projects you can support.

For parents, the stories on the website allow you to feel a personal connection with the families you help.  It’s a great way to help kids see the need in the world and small ways they can help.  Even if it’s just donating $5 to this or another charity, kids will feel good about helping kids like themselves have a better life!

Support Global Handwashing Day on October 15, 2015

Proper handwashing is so important, especially at this time of year.  Cold and flu season begins in the fall, but handwashing helps control the spread of germs that cause illness.

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) points out, “Regular handwashing, particularly before and after certain activities, is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others.”

Just follow the CDC guidelines to wash your hands effectively.

  • Wet hands – use clean, running water (warm or cold), then turn off the tap before applying soap.
  • Lather hands with soap – cover the backs of hands, between fingers, and under nails.
  • Scrub hands – rub vigorously for at least 20 seconds.  (That’s the amount of time it takes to hum or sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.)
  • Rinse hands – use clean, running water to rinse them well.
  • Dry hands – use a clean towel or air dry them.

In the United States, we have easy access to everything we need to wash our hands properly.  People living in developing countries don’t always have the same advantages we have.  But you can help!

In observance of Global Handwashing Day on October 15th, Dial Rewards is offering a way to support handwashing education in developing countries.

I recently wrote about how to join the new Dial Rewards program.  Once you’ve joined, all you have to do is login at and enter the code “WASH9” on your account.

Dial Brand will donate $1 for every code entered (up to $50,000) to support global handwashing education.

It’s an easy way to help support handwashing initiatives in developing countries!