Sept. 25: International Coastal Cleanup

Family time. Volunteering as a family is a great way to introduce your children to the benefits of giving back to their community and teach those values of respect and compassion. And, you’ll have fun!

Photo: Ocean Conservancy

Offer your services as a family just one day a year for communal events like International Coastal Cleanup day (coastalcleanup.org) on September 25. In partnership with organizations and individuals across the globe, Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup engages people to remove trash and debris from the world’s beaches and waterways, identify the sources of debris, and change the behaviors that cause marine debris in the first place. Sign up for a Cleanup near you and get involved today!

Day 28 of 30 Days/30 Ways to Give: BACKYARD PHILANTHROPY

“I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community . . .


and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.”

—George Bernard Shaw

 

 
Serving your community—the place where you live and work and where you’ve planted roots—is everyday philanthropy at its most relevant. Because when you serve your community, you serve yourself.
 
Today’s Give Back Action: Backyard Philanthropopy
 
Serving the Community Where You Live
 
United We Serve (serve.gov) is the U.S. government’s nationwide service initiative to encourage Americans to get involved in community service and develop “do it yourself” service projects. The website is a fantastic volunteer resource that enables citizens to search for service opportunities in their area or post their own. Here you’ll find handy toolkits for organizing a book drive, supporting a community garden, preparing your community for disasters, or tips on creating and managing your own project.
 

WORLD HEALTH DAY 2010

Today is WORLD HEALTH DAY!

We don’t need a lot of time or money to fight against disease, poverty and other ailments. What we need is knowledge.

Making a difference is so simple, once you’ve got the know-how. “How to be an Everyday Philanthropist: 330 Ways to Make a Difference in you Home, Community and World – At …no Cost!” has all the tools, actions and inspiration you need to make an impact.

How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist shows how just a few small changes to things we are already doing (shopping, cleaning, working, etc.) can make a difference in helping global, national and local charities assist the needy. Each chapter uses a different method of “everyday” philanthropy (such as using your body, your trash, technology, etc.) to solve problems requiring attention. For anyone who wonders, “what can I do?” This book gives you the resources, encouragement and advice you need to take action.
 

As President Jimmy Carter says of the book, “This timely manifesto will serve as a wonderful reminder that everyone can and should try to make a difference. It will inspire confidence that we can help make our world a better place.”
Buy, Borrow or Share a copy of this great book today!
Together, we have the ability and power to create a safer, happier, healthier place for all.

About the Book…

Almost every daily action can result in a small but deeply meaningful act of giving. Here are 330 unexpected ideas for making a difference – ideas that have nothing to do with the size of your bank account and everything to do with using assets you already have. As Julie Salamon, author of Hospital, says, “This book is the perfect guide for those who want to do the right thing, but can’t figure out how.”

• Donate Your Belongings: You’re not just giving away stuff: You’re keeping an abandoned animal warm, helping a woman land a job, making a sick child’s dream come true.

• Use Your Family: Give new meaning to quality time: Adopt a puppy; become a frog watcher; be a host family for the Fresh Air Fund; deposit change into a Giving Jar; sign up for Obama’s National Family Volunteer Day.

• Volunteer Your Talents: Match your skills with a cause: Are you a whiz at Web design; accounting; writing? Help a school in Guatemala design a brochure;organize the books at your community center; write a grant proposal for a local homeless shelter.

• Use Your Computer: Give back without leaving your desk: Use a search engine that donates money to charities each time you click; be a virtual mentor to an orphaned teen; sign online petitions about vital issues.

In tough times it’s more important than ever that people and communities pull together— How To Be An Everyday Philanthropist makes it easier than ever before.

DQ Miracle Treat Day is Coming!

Mark the calendar to buy a Dairy Queen Blizzard on August 13th! Miracle Treat Day is the day to enjoy a cool summer treat while helping support sick and injured children. Purchase a Blizzard at a participating Dairy Queen near you on August 13th, and a portion of the proceeds will go directly to Children’s Miracle Network.

Pick yourself up a summer treat and help make miracles happen all year long!

Go to http://www.miracletreatday.com/ for more information and participating stores near you.

A Dollar to Bring Safe Drinking Water to Communities in Need

An estimated 1.1 billion people worldwide are without access to clean drinking water! That’s approximately a quarter of the world’s population – without safe drinking water.
Don’t you think that water should be seen as a basic human right and not a luxury?
I thought so. Here’s what you can do to help provide fresh water to those in need for only pennies a gallon. Head over to Children’s Safe Drinking Water at http://www.csdw.org/ and make a donation to a program that distributes PUR packets (a powder that makes unsanitary and potentially deadly water drinkable).
For a donation of just $0.10 you can provide one packet that will clean up to 10 litres of water!
A donation of $1 will provide a child with fresh drinking water for 50 days.
And, a donation of $30 gives an entire family clean water for a full year.
I made a $30 donation today and I’m so excited that one family will receive the healing and life-sustaining benefits from their new supply of safe drinking water. Please join me in supplying more families with PUR packets! Go to http://www.csdw.org/ to make a donation. And, while you’re there, check out the PUR water purification demo video :)

Why I’m Cleaning out My Closets, and Why YOU Should Too…

I swear my closet has clothes dating back to the late 80’s. After reading Peter Walsh’s book, “It’s all too much” I decided to go deeper into the recesses of my home and “really” declutter. First stop – the closet. Now, I had de-cluttered many times and I thought I did a good job. This time around, however, I noticed I had two briefcases (very nice ones and still in good shape) and a business suit wrapped neatly in plastic from the dry-cleaner’s, that hadn’t seen the light of day since 1991 (according to the cleaner’s invoice).

Seeing as I have since upgraded both my professional attire and briefcase, I’ll be donating these spare relics in my closet to my local chapter of Dress for Success (http://www.dressforsuccess.org/) – a nonprofit organization that provides unemployed women with professional gear for job hunting and interviews.

You may not think that a circa-91 suit could make much of a difference, but to an unemployed mom looking for a job, that still-stylish suit could provide the confidence needed to ace an interview.

Go to http://www.dressforsuccess.org/ or http://www.thewomensalliance.org/ to find out where you can donate your used professional gear. You can also contact shelters for abused women in children in your area, to see what clothing donations they will accept.

Whether your business suits and accessories are topping Vogues “Most Wanted” or are dating back to another era like mine, somebody, somewhere can use what you’ve got!

A Call to Serve

First Lady Obama announced the commencement of United We Serve, the US Government’s nation-wide summer of service initiative that encourages Americans to get involved in community service and to develop “do it yourself” service projects. The website, Serve.gov is an online volunteer resource that enables citizens to search for volunteer and service project opportunities in their localaties.

Watch the video below to hear Mrs. Obama’s message on service and log on to the United We Serve campaign at http://www.serve.gov/ to get involved.

Switch a Hobby Into a Helping Hand

According to Nancy Monson, author of The Healing Power of Crafts, hobbies and crafts are a multibillion-dollar industry in America. Over three-quarters of American households have at least one family member who spends an average of 7.5 hours per week engaged in a beloved hobby or pastime. Creative outlets such as painting, knitting, gardening, and carpentry provide talented crafters with opportunities to express themselves artistically while producing something other people can enjoy or use. While some people may have an innate talent for writing or an aptitude for technology, others are gifted singers, golfers, or even great history buffs.

These kinds of hobbies produce objects that can, believe or not, be used in a way that makes a massive difference in the world.

Painters can teach art classes to special needs children. Singers can use the beauty of their voice and love of song to bring lessons and music to inner city children who’s schools can’t afford an arts & music program. History buffs can assist museums, present guided tours for the community, and present history lessons for teenagers through school outreach courses. Even golfers can share their love of hobby, in a positive way; offering free lessons on the weekend to engage troubled teens in a meditative sport that requires focus, commitment and patience. A golfer could also volunteer to serve as a golf historian in the community – where they would collect, preserve and share golf’s rich history with others and organize fun golf tournaments to benefit charity.

Anybody who has gift, talent, special skill, or love a pastime can make a change in the world by sharing it with others in some way! Look at local community centers and outreach programs to find out how your hobbies can be put to good use.