Day 9 of 30 Days/30 Ways: PLAY GAMES FOR A GOOD CAUSE

There are far too many ways to waste time online, as most of us have discovered firsthand. But sometimes it’s possible to engage in a little guilty pleasure and help someone out at the same time. 

For instance, if you feel like a slouch when you blow a half hour playing solitaire on your computer, try some “good gaming.” There are a small but increasing number of online games that aim to educate us (as they entertain) on a variety of social issues.

 

Today’s Action – Goof Off for a Good Cause

 
Learn new words with the free vocabulary test at FreeRice.org, and for every answer you get right, the United Nations will donate twenty grains of rice to international food programs. With difficulty levels ranging from 1 to 60, the game is sure to challenge every comer. Of course, the major gift of this rapidly growing website is the awareness it raises about the current crisis of world hunger. Check out these other online trivia games: HelpThirst.com and FreePoverty.com.
 
Have fun, enjoy the challenge AND make a difference!

Don’t Forget Our GIVEAWAY!!!

~ This month, Everyday Philanthropist will shine the spotlight on volunteers. Go to our Facebook page to share your personal stories, read firsthand testimonials from current volunteers and be inspired by the “30 Days/30 Ways” tips on how to lend a helping hand.



A prize pack, including signed copies of How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist : 330 Ways to Make a Difference in your Home, Community and World – At no Cost! (Workman, 2009) will be awarded to people doing good across the country.

In addition, you will be featured on Everyday Philanthropist’s blog and may be featured in an upcoming book. Here’s how to enter. Share your personal way of how you like to give back (no matter how grand or slight) at our Facebook Fan Page. Its that easy!


5 Winners will be chosen radomly and contacted after the contest closes on April 30th.


Also: Be sure to follow us on Twitter for more quick tips on giving back

Day 7 of 30 Days/30 Ways ~ KNIT FOR A CAUSE

Even the youngest among us can give back with a little pearl and stitch.

Knitting for a cause can be as simple as creating a winter hat for the homeless or it can involve knitting items to donate to people with cancer or to sell in support of a cause you believe in. Whether you have a special skill that you use in your professional life or a hobby you enjoy in your off-hours, your talents make you uniquely suited for a particular kind of giving—it’s just a matter of finding the right fit.

Today’s Action – Knit for a Cause!

Give Warmth in a War Zone

Founded by a knitter, Afghans for Afghans (afghansforafghans.org) provides hand-knit and -crocheted blankets, mittens, hats, socks, vests, and other garments to the people of war-torn Afghanistan. The organization takes its inspiration from the Red Cross’s old tradition of providing knitted items in times of war and crisis. Visit the organization’s website for details, as well as inspirational photos of volunteers, their creations, and the people who receive them.
 
Comfort an Animal

The Cage Comforter Program (pleasebekind.com) tries to make an orphaned animal’s stay in the shelter a little less traumatizing by replacing the shredded newspaper that usually lines the cages with small handmade comforters. The comforters give shelter animals something cozy to nestle in and aid in their transition to a new home once they’ve been adopted. If your local shelter doesn’t have a Cage Comforter Program, the website has instructions on how to start one.

Clothe a Baby

Clothing is a basic human need that goes unmet for far too many families. Newborns in Need (newbornsinneed.org) assists impoverished families of premature and newborn babies in crisis by distributing donated handmade blankets, quilts, and sleepers. Check out their website for patterns, preemie sizing chart, and donating instructions.

Don’t Forget Our GIVEAWAY!!!


~ This month, Everyday Philanthropist will shine the spotlight on volunteers. Go to our Facebook page to share your personal stories, read firsthand testimonials from current volunteers and be inspired by the “30 Days/30 Ways” tips on how to lend a helping hand.


A prize pack, including signed copies of How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist : 330 Ways to Make a Difference in your Home, Community and World – At no Cost! (Workman, 2009) will be awarded to people doing good across the country.


In addition, you will be featured on Everyday Philanthropist’s blog and may be featured in an upcoming book. Here’s how to enter. Share your personal way of how you like to give back (no matter how grand or slight) at our Facebook Fan Page. Its that easy!


5 Winners will be chosen radomly and contacted after the contest closes on April 30th.


Also: Be sure to follow us on Twitter for more quick tips on giving back

Day 6 of 30 Days/30 Ways ~ PLANT SEEDS OF CHANGE

It is easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the poverty, hunger and war we hear about everyday on the news. Oftentimes it seems that relief efforts are just throwing money into a gaping black hole.

Throwing your hands up in despair is the same as surrendering, the same as saying that there is no possible action you could take that would make the slightest bit of difference. I don’t mean to rain on your parade, but that is a flawed premise. Take a minute to remember the times when people extended a kind word or gesture to you. No matter how minute or unconscious it was in absolute terms, enough to warm your soul.

Today’s Action –  Help Plant Seed Of Change.

Got a garden? Why not spread your prizewinning tomatoes all over the world by donating seeds to Association Kokopelli? This initiative endeavors to help Third World countries to develop sustainable, organic agriculture by providing the seeds with which families can start community gardens. A stable source of food is one of the best ways to help impoverished families break the cycle of famine and dependency. For more on the Seeds For Life Campaign, check out kokopelli-seeds.com.

Don’t Forget Our GIVEAWAY!!!


~ This month, Everyday Philanthropist will shine the spotlight on volunteers. Go to our Facebook page to share your personal stories, read firsthand testimonials from current volunteers and be inspired by the “30 Days/30 Ways” tips on how to lend a helping hand.


A prize pack, including signed copies of How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist : 330 Ways to Make a Difference in your Home, Community and World – At no Cost! (Workman, 2009) will be awarded to people doing good across the country.

In addition, you will be featured on Everyday Philanthropist’s blog and may be featured in an upcoming book. Here’s how to enter. Share your personal way of how you like to give back (no matter how grand or slight) at our Facebook Fan Page. Its that easy!


5 Winners will be chosen radomly and contacted after the contest closes on April 30th.


Also: Be sure to follow us on Twitter for more quick tips on giving back

Day 5 of 30 Days/30 Ways ~ TURN YOUR PET INTO A VOLUNTEER

People aren’t the only creatures that get sick or injured. Pets do too. Every day dogs just like yours need blood transfusions.

You can sign up your family pet as a blood donor with the nearest canine blood collection agency. The donation procedure is simple, and your pet is not sedated. Instead of juice and a cookie, your pet will get a treat and belly rub.

Although dogs are currently the leaders in veterinary blood donation, some collection locations are now taking blood donations from cats and other animals. Get in touch with The Pet Blood Bank or Canadian Animal Blood Services to see how your pet can help another animal in need.

 

Don’t Forget Our GIVEAWAY!!!


~ This month, Everyday Philanthropist will shine the spotlight on volunteers. Go to our Facebook page to share your personal stories, read firsthand testimonials from current volunteers and be inspired by the “30 Days/30 Ways” tips on how to lend a helping hand.


A prize pack, including signed copies of How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist : 330 Ways to Make a Difference in your Home, Community and World – At no Cost! (Workman, 2009) will be awarded to people doing good across the country.

In addition, you will be featured on Everyday Philanthropist’s blog and may be featured in an upcoming book. Here’s how to enter. Share your personal way of how you like to give back (no matter how grand or slight) at our Facebook Fan Page. Its that easy!


5 Winners will be chosen radomly and contacted after the contest closes on April 30th.


Also: Be sure to follow us on Twitter for more quick tips on giving back

Day 4 of 30 Days/30 Ways ~~~The One-Day Volunteer

Volunteer Opportunities Unlimited!

Charities couldn’t accomplish all the great things they do without the amazing help of volunteers.  You don’t have to have a lot of time on your hands to make a valueable contribution to the causes you care about.  Many volunteers “specialize,” choosing one charitable event that they can  come out to year after year. 

Some sign on for spring shifts, manning the barbecue at community fairs or overseeing fun activities at festivals and golf tournatments that benefit nonprofits.  Others prefer summer or winter opportunities, like helping out charitable lemonade stands or gift wraps centers at Christmas where money is raised for worthy causes. 

Ongoing regular volunteer opportunities are definitely available, but even if you can only devote one or two days a year, it is an important endevour.

One day at a time. Offer your services as just one day a year for communal events like International Coastal Cleanup day (coastalcleanup.org) or Family Volunteer Day (disney.go.com/disneyhand/familyvolunteers/).

Don’t Forget Our GIVEAWAY!!!
~ This month, Everyday Philanthropist will shine the spotlight on volunteers. Go to our Facebook page to share your personal stories, read firsthand testimonials from current volunteers and be inspired by the “30 Days/30 Ways” tips on how to lend a helping hand.

A prize pack, including signed copies of How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist : 330 Ways to Make a Difference in your Home, Community and World – At no Cost! (Workman, 2009) will be awarded to people doing good across the country.



In addition, you will be featured on Everyday Philanthropist’s blog and may be featured in an upcoming book. Here’s how to enter. Share your personal way of how you like to give back (no matter how grand or slight) at our Facebook Fan Page. Its that easy!


5 Winners will be chosen radomly and contacted after the contest closes on April 30th.

Also: Be sure to follow us on Twitter for more quick tips on giving back!

Day 3 of 30 Days/30 Ways ~~~WE COULD ALL USE a LITTLE SOUL~~~

While our basements burst at the seams, millions of people around the world and in our own communities struggle for even the basic necessities. According to the 2007 U.S. Census Bureau statistics, over 37 million people in the United States live below the poverty line. That’s a shocking 12.5 percent of the population who don’t have enough money to cover food and shelter, much less “extras” like clothing, transportation, school supplies, and household essentials.

Today’s Action – Donate Shoes.

When Wayne Elsey, a shoe company executive, watched news reports following the horrendous 2004 Asian tsunami, one image in particular haunted him—that of a single shoe washed ashore in the disaster’s grim aftermath. Wayne, started Soles4Souls (soles4souls.org), which collects gently used shoes and distributes them to areas struck by natural disasters, to shelters, and to other facilities or groups that serve people and communities in need. There are over 1.5 billion pairs of unused shoes lying in the dark recesses of our closets.
Use them or lose them! Send your shoes to
Soles4souls.org.

Reuse a Shoe



Nike’s Reuse a Shoe (nikereuseashoe.com) program will turn your old, stinky running shoes (of any brand) into surface material for playgrounds, basketball courts, or running tracks. The program helps eliminate waste by finding a use for millions of pairs otherwise unusable athletic shoes—any brand, any condition. Mail in or take your worn-out sneakers to the nearest Reuse a Shoe drop-off point at participating Nike stores.

Don’t Forget Our GIVEAWAY!!!
~ This month, Everyday Philanthropist will shine the spotlight on volunteers. Go to our Facebook page to share your personal stories, read firsthand testimonials from current volunteers and be inspired by the “30 Days/30 Ways” tips on how to lend a helping hand.



A prize pack, including signed copies of How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist : 330 Ways to Make a Difference in your Home, Community and World – At no Cost! (Workman, 2009) will be awarded to people doing good across the country.

In addition, you will be featured on Everyday Philanthropist’s blog and may be featured in an upcoming book. Here’s how to enter. Share your personal way of how you like to give back (no matter how grand or slight) at our Facebook Fan Page. Its that easy!

5 Winners will be chosen radomly and contacted after the contest closes on April 30th.


Also: Be sure to follow us on Twitter for more quick tips on giving back!

Day 2 of 30Days/30 Ways of National Volunteer Month – GET CLICKING

I have a little secret: Because I work at home most days, I stay in my pajamas as long as I can. I watch my children play outside my office while I tap away on my computer, catch up on e-mails, and prepare my writing assignments for the day. Early morning is a wonderful, relaxing time in my home. I enjoy the leisurely pace (and the comfy work clothes) and look forward to the day before me. Oh, and one other thing: I contribute in various ways to at least twenty charitable causes online, without spending a dime, every single day, all before I finish my morning coffee.


This is something most of us don’t realize—you don’t need to leave your computer to make a difference. The Internet has reinvented the world of giving and activism making it’s easier than ever to support the causes we care about. That’s good for us, and it’s especially good for the groups that benefit from our support.
 
Today’s Action – Get Clicking!



Five minutes a day on click-to-donate websites will cover some serious philanthropic ground. Sites such as HungryChildren.com (where your click will help provide food, medication, and other necessities to a child), the Tarahumara Children’s Hospital Fund (giveaminute.org), where you can click to donate one minute of medical care to a child), and TheChildHealthSite.com (which helps children get the health care they need) all are set up to receive donations from advertisers and sponsors on a per-click basis. My daily click-to-donate sites are Care2.com, TheHungerSite.com, and TheNonProfits.com, which support causes ranging from feeding abandoned animals to educating children in developing countries. To find more check out Charity Click Donation (charityclickdonation.com).
 

Don’t Forget Our GIVEAWAY!!! ~ This month, Everyday Philanthropist will shine the spotlight on volunteers. Go to our Facebook page to share your personal stories, read firsthand testimonials from current volunteers and be inspired by the “30 Days/30 Ways” tips on how to lend a helping hand.



A prize pack, including signed copies of How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist : 330 Ways to Make a Difference in your Home, Community and World – At no Cost! (Workman, 2009) will be awarded to people doing good across the country.


In addition, you will be featured on Everyday Philanthropist’s blog and may be featured in an upcoming book. Here’s how to enter. Share your personal way of how you like to give back (no matter how grand or slight) at our Facebook Fan Page. Its that easy!


5 Winners will be chosen radomly and contacted after the contest closes on April 30th.
 
Also: Be sure to follow us on Twitter for more quick tips on giving back!
 
 

Day 1 – 30 Days/30 Ways National Volunteer Month – Volunteer Opps

Welcome to Day 1 of our 30 Days/30 Ways to Celebrate National Volunteer Month!

Today, we’re going to focus on “traditional” volunteerism and give you a few options to get started both in your community and around the world (even from the comfort of your computer).

It’s important to keep in mind that “volunteerism” is not a sprint, but rather a marathon of sorts. We don’t want to fall into the trap of overextending ourselves – we’re already busy enough! Therefore, we need to find an activity that we can work into our already hectic schedule – and commit to it. Drastically and abruptly changing a routine all at once may to lead to feeling overwhelmed.

A more realistic approach to volunteerism is to take it one step at a time – be flexible and work with charities who offer “flexible” opportunities (there are plenty of them!). For example, I recently spoke with a busy mother of three from Long Island New York, who volunteers a few spare hours each week as a career mentor for other women, via the Internet. If free time is a major obstacle to volunteering, consider using online tools to reach out to the charities in need. Volunteering online is a great way to help make a difference in someone’s life – whenever it’s convenient for you to get connected. Little by little, a few balanced hours of volunteering, will make an impact.

Local Opportunitiesserve.gov its the US Government’s nation-wide service initiative that encourages Americans to get involved in community service and to develop “do it yourself” service projects. President Obama is asking all Americans to participate in the economic recovery by getting involved in their community service efforts. The website is an online volunteer resource that enables citizens to search for volunteer and service project opportunities in their areas. On there, you’ll find handy toolkits for organizing a book drive, supporting a community garden, preparing your community for disasters or creating your own project and finding the help you need if you’re already involved in community service.

Online Volunteering – Log on your computer to Become a virtual volunteer for the United Nations at onlinevolunteering.org and experience the flexibility of internet volunteerism.

Think of giving is an opportunity, not an obligation.

Don’t Forget Our GIVEAWAY!!! ~ This month, Everyday Philanthropist will shine the spotlight on volunteers. Go to our Facebook page to share your personal stories, read firsthand testimonials from current volunteers and be inspired by the “30 Days/30 Ways” tips on how to lend a helping hand.
A prize pack, including signed copies of How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist : 330 Ways to Make a Difference in your Home, Community and World – At no Cost! (Workman, 2009) will be awarded to people doing good across the country.

In addition, you will be featured on Everyday Philanthropist’s blog and may be featured in an upcoming book. Here’s how to enter. Share your personal way of how you like to give back (no matter how grand or slight) at our Facebook Fan Page. Its that easy! 

5 Winners will be chosen radomly and contacted after the contest closes on April 30th.

Celebrate Earth Hour 2010 by turning off your lights March 27

Earth Hour is almost here! 8:30 pm, Saturday March 27, 2010

Last year hundreds of millions of people across the globe turned out their lights for Earth Hour. This year the goal iso reach 1 billion people! Together, by spreading the word, we can reach that goal.

Got plans for the big night yet? Find an event in your city: Canada  United States

Or try these Earth Hour App’s:

Twitter
The Twitter widget


Add a Twibbon to your avatar


Facebook
For your Facebook profile

Other Facebook App, where you can flick the virtual light switch and show your friends you’re committed to Earth Hour

Mobile
Keep up to date on all the Earth Hour excitement, straight from your Blackberry!


Websites
Create a virtual lantern and embed it on your site so others can to! –


Looking for even more inspiration? Vote on your favorite video or photo essay in the Earth Hour Every Hour Contest for great weekly prizes: http://share.wwf.ca/!

Become a Part of Something Great – Be a Mentor

Here’s a simple way you can provide children with a better future:
Contact a local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (bbbs.org) or Boys & Girls Clubs of America (bgca.org) to learn how you can get involved.

It is the perfect time to discover your local Boys & Girls Club and its role in the community. From homework help, open houses and parades to picnics, performances and fundraisers, there are many opportunities to learn how you can make a difference in the life of a child.

Visit your local Club and learn how we are helping young people BE GREAT!

Watch:  Ashanti shares why she supports Boys & Girls Clubs

Donorschoose – Spring to Action charity sale.

With education budget cuts rampant, thousands of classrooms across the country simply do not have the funding to purchase even the most essential supplies that students need to be successful.

Here’s a great way for you to help this week…

In celebration of the start of spring, online education charity DonorsChoose.org and the Pershing Square Foundation are trying something new: a charity “sale” to support public school students and teachers across the U.S. For three days this week, every request for classroom materials/supplies submitted by a teacher at DonorsChoose.org that supports health, sports, music and the arts will be discounted to within $100 of completion. Everyday citizens will be challenged to complete the funding for discounted projects, which primarily serve high poverty classrooms, before the offer expires. The “Spring to Action” starts tomorrow, Tuesday, March 23, and runs through Thursday, March 25.

The “Spring to Action Sale” is an innovative philanthropic play on a traditional retail model that comes as part a new series of offers called “Almost Home,” made possible by a $1 million grant from the Pershing Square Foundation. Here’s an example of how funding is implemented: an eligible project request that initially costs $650 will receive $550 in matching funds from the Pershing Square Foundation as soon as donors – everyday citizens — contribute the first $100. In other words, it’s a sale on charity.

The first offer ran over Presidents’ Day weekend and applied to all project requests focused on American History and Civics. Donors across the country funded every eligible project — 675 projects in 24 hours.

As with any project request at DonorsChoose.org, donors can contribute any dollar amount to classroom projects during each “Almost Home” offer. Once a project is completely funded, DonorsChoose.org will purchase the requested materials and send them directly to the classroom. All donors will receive photos of the project taking place, a thank-you letter from the teacher, and a cost report showing how each dollar was spent. Donors who fund the entire $100 cost will also receive hand-written thank-you letters from the students.

Classroom project requests that support health, sports, music and the arts come from public and charter school teachers in all 50 states. A few examples:

New York City classroom
Los Angeles classroom

Friday Follow on Everyday Philanthropist Blog!

Welcome all Friday Followers! This is such a great blog hopping event.  Thank you to all my Everyday Philanthropist Blog followers and WELCOME to my new followers!

Friday Follow

Smart Spending – Hitting the charity malls

Forget the standard mall and head online to help give your favorite charity a much-needed financial boost…just by shopping.

Consumers can help their favorite causes by shopping at GoodShop.com where they can choose from more than 1,000 well known retailers including Target, Apple, Macy’s, Best Buy, Amazon, and others. Each time you shop on Goodshop.com retailers donate a percentage of your purchase to your favorite charity.  

The shopping experience and the prices are exactly the same as going to the retailer directly, but by going through GoodShop.com, up to 30% of the purchase price is donated. In addition, GoodShop.com provides you with coupons and deals for the stores. So, not only are you helping charity,  but you’re saving money while doing so!

More charity malls:

IGive.com

BringPetsHome.org

UptownLiz.com

GivingPal.com

If you’re going to shop online, shop through these sites and make your money count!