Wine Pairing Tips for a Cure

My sincere gratitude to Gwendolyn Osborn, Director of Education and Content and resident wine expert for Wine.com for today’s guest post on Wine Pairings (using fabulous wines that give back!). xo!:

Over twenty years ago the pink ribbon was introduced as the official symbol of Breast Cancer Awareness month (now known fondly as ‘Pinktober’ to many). Here at Philanthropistas.com and Wine.com we’d like to raise a glass to the anniversary of the powerful symbol and the importance of awareness, specifically with a few of our labels at Wine.com that give back directly to the National Breast Cancer Foundation:

ONEHOPE California Chardonnay – ONEHOPE donates 50% of profits from the sale of every bottle of its Chardonnay to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. This Chardonnay is handcrafted with a blend of grapes from select vineyards throughout Napa, Sonoma and the      Central Coast of California. It is blended with Muscat and Chenin Blanc,  displaying a pale gold color with aromas of fresh apple blossom and      honeysuckle, and flavors of crisp pear and apple. The balance of oak and bright acidity makes it a great match with broiled or grilled seafood,      poultry dishes and a wide assortment of cheeses.

J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon –  J. Lohr donates $2 of the sale of every bottle of Carol’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. This Cabernet Sauvignon is a classically dark color with a bright hue with aromas of currant, cherry and black plum, complemented by a bouquet of roasted hazelnuts and espresso. The entry is fruit-driven and supple, while the finish shows an integration of fruit and oak components from the  traditional French oak barrel aging.

Wines 4 Cures 4 Her, Chardonnay – 4 Her Chardonnay was created to raise funds and awareness for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. This is a classic, cool-climate example of Chardonnay – clean and crisp, with flavors of lime and green apples, with a hint of vanilla. It’s a great match for scallops with mango salsa.

Cheers to a happy ‘Pinktober’!

Gwendolyn Osborn is the Director of Education and Content and resident wine expert for Wine.com. She’s a wine educator at heart, hoping her enthusiasm for wine will increase peoples’ enjoyment of the beverage. She received the Diploma in Wine & Spirits through the London-based WSET though this is by no means an end to her studies – wine knowledge is a never-ending pursuit – the more you know, the more you learn you don’t know and the more you want to taste!

 

Children’s Safe Drinking Water

An estimated 1.1 billion people worldwide are without access to clean drinking water. That’s approximately a quarter of the world’s population! 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.

Day 30 of 30Days/30 Ways to GIVE: Make a Difference, Everyday!

We’ve reached the end of our “30 Days/30 Ways to Give” program.  I thank you all for taking part in this inititiave during National Volunteer Month and I hope you each take something away, that you can do in your daily life, from this blog.

Mother Theresa once said, “We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” Consider these words as you silence that little voice that says, “But I’m only one person,” and remember that small actions and decisions can add up to great change. There are thousands of people out there who feel the same way you do, who want to leave our world a better place—with everyday philanthropy, perhaps we can.

Stay tuned…

Day 13 of 30 Days/30 Ways to Give: DRINK FOR CHARITY

As a true wine enthusiast, I definitely love trying new varities. And quenching my tastebuds while satisfying my appetite for social change is always a bonus. With that in mind, there are a few wineries with big hearts that are bringing about a flood of goodwill, by donating proceeds from the sales of their product to charitable causes.



Today’s Give Back Action: Toast to a Good Cause

Ehlers Estate is one such winery that produces beautiful wines for the discriminating wine aficionado.  Held in trust by the non-profit Leducq Foundationy, Ehlers Estate donates one hundred percent of the proceeds to cardiovascular research.


Fledging Wine – Is a Twitter wine project that promotes literacy around the world. For each bottle you buy, $5 will be donated to Room to Read, a transformational non-profit that brings books, libraries and ultimately literacy to people in the poorest areas around the world.


Humanitas WinesHumanitas is a unique winery with a very compelling story. Simply put, they make wine, sell it, and give the profits to local charities! Donating all profits to three specific issues-affordable housing, illiteracy and hunger, this winery reaches out to charities’ regional chapters within communities where they wine is sold.

No. 99 Wayne Gretzky Estates, a winery in Vineland, Ont., in the heart of the world-renowned Niagara region, helps to make the world a better place. A portion of the proceeds of No. 99 wine sales go to Gretzky’s foundation, which helps underprivileged children across Canada play sports. So far, the foundation — which started in 2002 — has raised more than $1 million (close to $50,000 of that from wine sales), which it has distributed to charitable groups, sports teams and sports centres across Canada.


Here’s your chance to raise your glass for a good cause.  Remember: Drink responsibly and live charitably!
 
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

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 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 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.

DonorsChoose.org offers unique philanthropic sale for Presidents’ Day

Remember this organization I talked about in How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist – Donorschoose.org?
Public schools are struggling more and more to come up with the money for basic classroom supplies, and teachers often have to purchase essentials using their own money. DonorsChoose.org helps fill this gap in a very simple way. Teachers post requests online (all requests are verified by the site) for items they and their students desperately need. You choose a project and the amount you would like to give. DonorsChoose.org then distributes the supplies and makes sure each donor receives photos and thank-you notes from the students.

Well, it gets even better!

This weekend online education charity DonorsChoose.org and the Pershing Square Foundation are teaming up to offer a Presidents’ Day Sale worth caring about.

Every project request submitted by a public school teacher at DonorsChoose.org that supports American History or Civics 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. This philanthropic sale starts on Thursday, February 11, and runs through Monday, February 15.


The Presidents’ Day offer is the first in a new series called “Almost Home,” made possible by a $1 million grant from the Pershing Square Foundation. Over the next four months, funding will be implemented as five site-wide “Almost Home” offers, each pegged to a specific theme day. For a limited time each month, “citizen philanthropists” will be challenged to activate matching funds from the Pershing Square Foundation by completing the funding on classroom projects meeting the theme day’s criteria.


Here’s how the “Almost Home” series will work this Presidents’ Day Weekend: each qualifying project will display a specialized logo that is easily identifiable to donors looking to maximize their impact on students at a low personal cost. As with any project request at DonorsChoose.org, donors can contribute any dollar amount to classroom projects during each “Almost Home” campaign. Once a project is completely funded, DonorsChoose.org will purchase the requested materials and send them directly to the classroom. Donors will hear back from them classroom they supported in the form of photographs and student thank-you letters.


Classroom project requests that support Civics and American History will come from public and charter schools in all 50 states over Presidents’ Day Weekend and range from a New York City classroom in need of a computer to compete in a nationwide history contest, to a classroom in Los Angeles that needs reading supplies to teach eager first generation Americans about U.S. History.


About DonorsChoose.org
Founded in 2000, DonorsChoose.org is a nonprofit website where public school teachers describe specific educational projects for their students, and donors can choose the projects they want to support. After completing a project, the donor hears back from the classroom they supported in the form of photographs and student thank-you letters.


To date, 118,000 public and charter school teachers have used the site to secure funding for $45 million in books, art supplies, technology, and other resources that their students need to learn. Through http://www.donorschoose.org/ individuals from all walks of life have helped 2.8 million students from low-income families.




About Pershing Square Foundation
Founded in December 2006 by William Ackman, The Pershing Square Foundation has made donations and pledges of approximately $40 million since its inception. Areas of support include, closing the achievement gap in education, global health care, human rights, poverty alleviation and the arts, with a focus on social enterprise as a vehicle of delivery.


Help St. Jude in Target’s Super Love Sender Promotion

Facebook users can help the kids of St. Jude at no cost, thanks to Target’sSuper Love Sender promotion.
Target is giving away $1 million toSt. Jude and other charity partners, and Facebook users will determine how much each charity will receive.

From now through February 14, visit www.facebook.com/target to send customized, football-inspired, Valentine’s Day video cards to friends and family. You may send up to 10 cards per computer per day. St. Jude will receive one vote for each card sent.

The total number of votes will determine the percentage of the $1 million that St. Jude will receive.

On February 15, Target will announce the final donations to each charity. Funds donated to St. Jude through the Super Love Sender promotion will support the hospital’s groundbreaking research and lifesaving care, including the St. Jude School Program.
Join or log in to Facebook and visit www.facebook.com/target to get started.