D-I-Y Kindness-Chic: Quilts for Kids

(Photo Source: Etsy.com)

Each year more than 6 million children in America require hospital stays.  As wonderful and healing as hospital’s are, sometimes that therapeutic experience can be a little scary for young ones.

To make the stay a little less daunting, caring company, Downy  partnered with the nonprofit organization, Quilts for Kids to provide handmade-with-love blankets to the youngest of patients requiring a hospital stay.  Since 2009 Downy’s Touch of Comfort program has delivered more than 20,000 warm and cuddly blankets to help soothe hospitalized children.

If you’re a D-I-Y giver, with a flair for quilting, head over to downy.com.  Although the company has filled its quota of hand-made quilts, it makes it super-easy for sewers (even beginners) to get involved in the do-good, give-back efforts with Quilts for Kids, by offering a free downloadable Touch of Comfort heart quilt pattern  – the perfect way to cover someone with love!

TurboTax Giving $100,000 To Charities via Facebook

TurboTax, the tax filing-software company, is getting into the holiday spirit by giving away $100,000 to charities of consumers’ choosing on Facebook. TurboTax promotes charitable giving at the end of each year to help people secure last minute tax savings. This year, they are taking things one step further by launching Giving Gives Back on Facebook and donating $5 in consumers’ names to causes ranging from emergency preparedness to lending a helping hand to America’s youth.



You can donate to your favorites by “Liking” TurboTax on Facebook and selecting your charity here.


Included below is the release explaining the charity giveaway.



SAN DIEGO – December 7, 2010 – Tis’ the season for spreading holiday cheer. Not only will charitable contributions help those in need, in many cases, it can boost your tax refund as well.



“There are a number of ways to save money and give back. Charitable donations made before Dec. 31 can be an easy way to lower your tax bill and give back to the community,” said Bob Meighan, CPA and vice president of TurboTax.


Tips for Making Giving Give Back:


· Think about it: Consider the types of charities you want to give to. What really moves you and makes you want to give?


· Make it count: Before you open your wallet, open your browser. A quick search will help you pick an organization that is eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions so that your contributions count.


· Act fast: Dec. 31, 2010 is the deadline for making charitable contributions count on this year’s tax return.


· Don’t forget the little stuff: Some out-of-pocket expenses like parking, supplies and mileage driven to and from volunteering at a qualifying charity are deductible.


· Keep documentation: Make sure to keep receipts for both cash and in-kind charitable donations. Every receipt should include the charity name, date, amount of your donation and the resale value of any items you may have received for your contribution.


Let TurboTax Donate for You


Through Dec. 31, 2010, TurboTax will donate up to $100,000 to a selection of charities on behalf of consumers. Causes range from emergency preparedness to lending a helping hand to America’s youth. Simply visit the TurboTax Facebook Page or givinggivesback.com to find out how you can have TurboTax donate $5 to the charity you select. For tax tips and tricks all season, visit the TurboTax Blog.


About TurboTax


TurboTax is the nation’s No. 1 rated, best-selling, do-it-yourself tax preparation software. Available on desktop, online and mobile, TurboTax helps more than 20 million people a year easily and accurately claim every deduction and credit they’re entitled to, so they get the biggest tax refund possible. For more information, visit the TurboTax press room.


About Intuit
Intuit Inc. is a leading provider of business and financial management solutions for small and mid-sized businesses; financial institutions, including banks and credit unions; consumers and accounting professionals. Its flagship products and services, including QuickBooks®, Quicken® and TurboTax®, simplify small business management and payroll processing, personal finance, and tax preparation and filing. ProSeries® and Lacerte® are Intuit’s leading tax preparation offerings for professional accountants. Intuit Financial Services helps banks and credit unions grow by providing on-demand solutions and services that make it easier for consumers and businesses to manage their money.
Founded in 1983, Intuit had annual revenue of $3.5 billion in its fiscal year 2010. The company has approximately 7,700 employees with major offices in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, India and other locations. More information can be found at www.intuit.com.


Intuit, the Intuit logo and TurboTax, among others, are registered trademarks and/or registered service marks of Intuit Inc. in the United States and other countries.





IKEA ANNOUNCES FINALISTS OF “LIFE IMPROVEMENT SABBATICAL CONTEST”

IKEA ANNOUNCES FINALISTS OF “LIFE IMPROVEMENT SABBATICAL CONTEST”



Contest Winner – Determined by Public Vote – Will Receive $100,000 to
Advance Project that Improves the Lives of Others


CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. (December 13, 2010) – IKEA, The Life Improvement Store, announced today the five (5) finalists of the Life Improvement Sabbatical Contest who are in the running to win a year-long sabbatical* (worth $100,000) to improve the lives of others. Understanding that people have a desire to be a positive force within their community, IKEA offered this unique contest to give one deserving winner the opportunity to pursue their passion, and share their experience with the world. From December 13, 2010 – January 17, 2011, the public can vote for their favorite project online at http://www.thelifeimprovementproject.com/ to determine the winner, who will be announced on January 31. IKEA will donate $1.00 to Save the Children’s U.S. Programs for every vote received (up to $50,000).


“We have been touched by the thoughtful, passionate ideas that were in the nearly 2,000 contest submissions; we want to commend everyone for their heartfelt commitment to improve the lives of others,” says Leontyne Green, Marketing Manager, IKEA North America. “IKEA believes in creating a better everyday life for the many people and we are excited to support the winner in advancing his or her passion project that will impact the lives of many.”


The five (5) finalists (in no particular order) are as follows:


· LaJuana Moser (California City, CA): As a foster mom, LaJuana created bags4kids after years of seeing foster children moved from home to home with only the clothes on their backs. She has since delivered over 8,000 bags filled with personal care products, toys and other necessities for these children. With funding, LaJuana would expand bags4kids to reach more children in need in California and across the country.


· Ralph Johnson (Hempstead, NY): Ralph has been bringing the wonders of science to at-risk students for nearly two decades, exposing them to programs in agricultural science, medical investigation, forensics, and science research. His educational and mentoring efforts have changed more than 800 teens’ lives. With funding, Ralph will expand the program to reach nearly three times the amount of students in New York communities.

· Kyria Henry (Round Hill, VA): At just 12 years old, Kyria Henry founded paws4people, and later paws4vets, training and pairing service dogs with children, seniors, seriously ill and disabled people, and war veterans needing assistance. A year-long sabbatical will allow Kyria to devote her full attention to the paws4vets program, providing service dogs to assist retired and active-duty military veterans as a tool to ease emotional, physical and psychological traumas and help them return to normal life.

· Philip Filner (Lutherville, MD): When retired scientist Philip Filner learned about an unused greenhouse at Baltimore’s Northwestern High School, he knew it was an opportunity to give hands-on courses in biology and environmental science and set students on a path of discovering future career paths. With funding, Philip could create a teaching laboratory, using the greenhouse as a facility for experiments, skilled crafts, and a tool to encourage students to ask questions and learn about nature.

· Elizabeth Woods (Waxhaw, NC): After losing her son and her Special Forces husband, Elizabeth created Soul Widows, a support group and online community of resources, forums and retreats for others experiencing loss. With funding, Elizabeth hopes to provide regular meeting spaces, fund therapists and allow continued support to widows through her organization.


In addition the year-long sabbatical* (worth $100,000), the winner will also receive a 3-day/2-night trip to a spa resort in Phoenix, AZ, (date TBD) to participate in a one hour life coaching session with O, The Oprah Magazine’s life coach Dr. Martha Beck, and will be featured in advertorials in issues of O, The Oprah Magazine. The public can also continue to follow the winner throughout the year as his/her project is chronicled on http://www.thelifeimprovementproject.com/.


IKEA launched the Life Improvement Sabbatical Contest as part of the company’s Life Improvement Project, an initiative designed to educate, inspire and empower people to improve their lives at home, as well as the lives of others in their community. In addition to the contest, the national program consists of a series of free Life Improvement Store Seminars for consumers, hosted in IKEA stores across the U.S. and a Life Improvement Co-Worker Challenge to provide $10,000 each to support five winning community projects suggested by teams of IKEA employees (co-workers) across the country. This challenge gave IKEA co-workers the opportunity to win additional funding and support for a local charitable organization/cause of their choice. The winning community projects will be announced in late-December.


For more information on The Life Improvement Project, including the Life Improvement Sabbatical Contest, Life Improvement Store Seminars and Life Improvement Store Challenge, visit http://www.thelifeimprovementproject.com/.


* The grand prize winner is not required to take a leave of absence from work. If the grand prize winner chooses to take leave from employment to work on their project, they can utilize a portion of the prize toward living expenses.

ABOUT IKEA


There are currently more than 300 IKEA stores in 38 countries, including 37 in the U.S. Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings company, has offered home furnishings and accessories of good design and quality at prices so low that the majority of people can afford them. TIME Magazine listed IKEA as one of the top 8 most global eco-conscious companies. IKEA incorporates sustainable efforts into day-to-day business and continuously supports initiatives that benefit causes such as children and the environment. For more information, go to IKEA-USA.com.