Campbell’s Labels for Education

I’m a busy mom, I have three young children – when dinner rolls around I like making something quick and easy for the kids.
Right about now you’re probably wondering what this has to do with Giving Back. Well I want to show you how easy this style of giving really is.
Whenever I make soup for the kids, I cut the labels from the Cambell’s can and I collect them in my ever so fancy shoebox in the pantry and what I do with these is I donate these labels to the Campbell’s Labels for Education program – which provides free educational equipment to schools in need. It’s a fun, easy program where kids, families and members of the community work together for a common goal.

And if you’re wondering, really how much of a differene can soup can labels make? Today, over 80,000 schools and organizations are registered with Labels for Education, benefiting more than 42 million students. Over the years, people like you and me who collect soup can labels have helped Campbell’s to provide more than $100 million in merchandise to America’s schools!

The old adage, every little bit helps, really comes into play here.

FirstGiving.com ~ Online Fundraising For Everyone!

Non-profits and fundraising groups are always looking to raise funds online in a easy and simple way. FirstGiving.com provides exactly that! FirstGiving.com allows you to raise money online with your own personal donation website that you can get setup in minutes!

Recently, I decided to cut out an occassional luxury from my daily life and allot an equivalent amount of the money I saved to a charitable cause. Using FirstGiving.com, I set up my own fundraising webpage (free and fast, literally in less than five minutes) so that my money would go to a specific charity of my choosing; I made my first contribution of $5 (my afternoon latte, a pricey cup of coffee) and invited friends to do the same. Each time one of us passed up a little indulgence, we donated that amount through my fundraising website at FirstGiving.com.



The donations were modest in size—the price of a pack of mints, a magazine, popcorn at the movies—but I raised over $200 in less than six months that went to programs and services of the Save Darfur Coalition.


To find your favorite non-profit charity, go to FirstGiving.com and start an online fundraising website today!  This is especially great for those who are running charity marathons or other events that need to collect pledges.

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.

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.

“Love your Veggies” School Grant

Tweet to win a “Love your Veggies” grant from Hidden Valley!

As part of its continuing efforts to help schools instill a life-long love of vegetables in children, the makers of Hidden Valley Salad Dressings have announced that as part of its fourth annual Love Your Veggies™ grant program the company will also award one $10,000 grant to an elementary school through a special Twitter contest Sept. 21-Oct. 2 at @HVRanch.

Elementary schools will be asked to tweet their 140 character application—which can include a link to a Web site or photo—to @HVRanch and then launch a re-tweet campaign for their chance to win. Full rules and regulations on the Twitter contest will be available at LoveYourVeggies.com starting today.

Please follow Hidden Valley on Face book at http://www.facebook.com/hiddenvalley and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/HVranch

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.

Knitting to Change the Life of a Child

Amy Berman, a mother of two from Minnetonka, Minnesota, was enraged by a 2003 story in a Marie Claire magazine article reporting on the rape of thousands of infant and young girls in South Africa. Amy desperately wanted to help, but thought, “What can I do?” In the article, a child protection unit had mentioned that items of comfort, such as teddy bears, dolls, and books, were being delivered to the rape victims through the Child Protection Unit in Durban, South Africa, but that there was a need for more. “I knew I had to do something”, Amy says now. “But what comfort could I give?”
As Amy wracked her brain for ideas, she recalled how her own children had so often been soothed by the personalized teddy bears her mother had knit from an old World War II-era pattern. The children had loved those bears until they were threadbare. And the bears were lightweight enough, Amy realized, to be sent in bulk to South Africa. After a bit of digging, Berman’s mother found the pattern, and Amy started knitting. She made her first bear from washable brown yarn. She added ascarf and red felt heart, then embroidered eyes and a smile on its face.
Not long after finishing her first bear, Amy’s channelled her creativity into the founding of a popular charitable organization: Mother Bear Project (aptly named by Amy’s son Zach, who told his mom how proud he was of his “Mother bear” for what she was doing). In short order, hundreds of other knitters around the world joined Amy’s ranks, dedicated to helping Amy’s organization by turning their own hobbies into acts of love. Amy, her Mother Bear Project (motherbearproject.org), and its volunteers have put more than 33,000 bears in the arms of destitute and abused children, bringing them comfort and support, and letting them know, in Amy’s words, “they are loved unconditionally.”
Some things in this world cannot be made better by money—the sorrow of an orphaned child, the fear of a young rape victim, the hopelessness of a child battling AIDS. Instead, something as simple as a handmade teddy bear can do what our dollars cannot—bring a child hope, comfort, and the knowledge that he or she is loved. Confronted with an almost too-horrible scenario in Africa, Amy Berman could have just written off the situation as beyond her ability to help, and could have judged herself not up to the task of making a difference to children half a world away. Instead, she looked around her to see how she could help simply by using some thread—and her own creative skills. Take a look at http://www.motherbearproject.org/ to find out how you can knit to improve the life of a child in need.

MY NEW BOOK – Pre-order at Amazon.com

Want to help make your community, your town—your world—a better place, but don’t know where to begin? How To Be An Everyday Philanthropist shows you the way. A handbook, a resource guide, a call to action, and an inspiration, it offers 289 concrete, direct ideas for making a difference—all of which have nothing to do with the size of your checkbook and everything to do with using the hidden assets that are already a part of your life. Whether you’re shopping, working, exercising, or surfing the Web, there are hundreds of ways to slip small but deeply meaningful acts of philanthropy into your life, using 289 of the most innovative and effective charitable organizations around.

Have an old pair of sneakers lying around the house? Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program will recycle them into safe playground surfaces. getting rid of that old cell phone? Call to Protect will refurbish it as an emergency lifeline for abused women. Racking up frequent-flier miles? Donate them to an ill child so they can travel and get the care they need. Like to knit? Knit hats for cancer patients. Start a petition, sign a petition, send out an awareness e-mail, and network with like-minded givers and doers at Care2.com. There are ideas for giving things you might never have thought of—your hair, old prom dress, breast milk for African AIDS orphans. Ideas for using your hobbies, talents, time, trash, technology, and more. Each suggestion can be accomplished in the course of a day, most within an hour. 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.