Create a World of Change

Just in time for the holidays and holiday shopping. HP announced the launch of a pilot program that allows U.S. shoppers to donate 4 percent of the purchase price of any product to a featured charity of their choice when they purchase through the Create Change program online at the HP Direct Store.

The objective of the program is to harness HP customer purchasing power to help make a difference in communities throughout the world. By buying any product at the HP Direct store through the Create Change portal at www.hp.com/go/createchange customers can support a range of charities in the areas of conservation, education, enrichment systems, healthcare support, disaster recovery and the battle to fight worldwide poverty. Contributions can be made to seven worldwide organizations: American Red Cross, CARE, DonorsChoose.org, Junior Achievement, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and World Wildlife Fund.

As part of the initiative, customers are encouraged to raise awareness of their cause of choice by personalizing a widget that can be shared on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter or MySpace. Customizable widgets also are available for blogs and personal websites to accelerate awareness through social platforms and encourage others to donate when making technology purchases from HP.

“The Create Change program extends HP’s long history of contributing to the communities it operates in, but places the decision about where donations are made into the hands of our customers,” said Michael Mendenhall, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, HP. “This program provides HP a powerful opportunity to ignite social media platforms, develop brand advocates and expand social investment in a new way.”

In 2008, HP made contributions totaling more than $46 million, with particular emphasis on advancing education and promoting entrepreneurship. Since 2001, HP has invested nearly $246 million in social projects. Additional information about HP’s Create Change program is available at www.hp.com/go/createchange. Follow HP on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/hpnews.

Say Thanks to Military Families

This week (Nov. 8-14), to focus gratitude toward the U.S. Armed Forces in honor of Veterans Day, Thank someone at ThanksforBeingThere.com

For every “Thank you” sent between November 8th and November 14th. State Farm will donate $1 to Fisher House. In total, State Farm will donate up to $50,000 to Fisher House (an organization that supports America’s military families in their time of need).

Take time today to send your gratitude to our service members. Let them know we appreciate them and are thinking of them! The message may be simple, but the impact could be huge.

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 :)

Donate Used Crocs!


If the kids have outgrown or worn out their Crocs, donate the waterproof hole-y shoes to charity. Soles United and Crocs have teamed up to launch Solesunited.com where you can donate worn-out Crocs shoes at participating retailers (for a directory of retailers go to http:www.solesunited.com). Soles United then sorts, cleans, grinds, and re-manufactures them into brand new shoes and donates them to needy children in Zimbabwe. For good condition Crocs, send them to Crocs for Orphan Tots where they will be distributed to orphans in the Congo. For shipping information in Canada and the U.S. go to crocsfororphantots.blogspot.com.

Why Should YOU Volunteer?

Forty years ago, a young dentist from Tucson named Sam Marascalo noticed that low-income families were staying away from the dentist’s chair. He decided to help found a free dental clinic at Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona, called St. Elizabeth’s Clinic (or “St. E’s”) where families who might otherwise be unable to afford quality dental care would have an opportunity to be seen by a board-certified dentist. Twenty years after Dr. Marascalo began volunteering his time at the clinic, his daughter married another dentist, named Phil Mooberry. Dr. Mooberry also joined the St. E’s team. The tradition took on a new generational dimension when Dr. Sam’s grandson, also a dentist, began donating his time to the clinic. The dentists at St. E’s see between twelve to fifteen patients a month, in addition to their regular load at their own offices. They provide indigent patients with vital dental procedures—from basic exams and fillings to dentures and crowns. By donating their time (and expertise), these volunteer dentists give back to their community in a way that transcends dollars and cents.

Stories like that of Dr. Marascalo and his son-in-law and grandson remind us that sometimes our time can be the most effective philanthropic tool we have. Charitable organizations are founded and spearheaded by individuals who are committed to and energized by the causes they fight for. Despite this commitment and energy, charitable entities face obstacles, some of them insurmountable. Charitieswant to reach out to every man, woman, and child who cries out for assistance; but sometimes their reach isn’t long enough——either because funds have run out, volunteers are scarce, or social pressures have put a damper on things.

As volunteers, this is when we step in. And an astonishing number of us do just that. More than 200 million people throughout the world volunteer to work on issues such as: promoting peace, helping animals, strengthening communities, protecting children, feeding the hungry, and preventing illnesses and disease. But in a world of six billion, the majority of them in need, even 200 million volunteers can’t do it all by themselves.

Finding time to volunteer is easier than you may think. It needn’t require a substantial and long-term time commitment; in fact, by carving out just few days each year, even a few hours, can create some powerful changes.

Why volunteer?
Ø Personal Enrichment. Have you ever given a special gift to someone for no reason at all? If you haven’t, give it a try. If you have, then you already know the warm feeling you get when you do something, of your own volition, for someone else. That feeling is no different from the feeling you get when you volunteer your time to help the less fortunate. Sure, it’s been said before, that giving back feels good—but do you know why we get that feeling? It’s because these experiences enrich, expand, and personify our principles. They give our lives a purpose that is greater than ourselves, even if it just brightening the day of an elderly neighbor by bringing him a hot dish once in a while.Volunteering creates in the volunteer a tremendous sense of empowerment. In a world where we, as individuals, seem to have so little control over whether good or bad things happen, knowing that you have changed something for the better, even if only a little bit, is extremely powerful.And that change doesn’t always, or even usually, come from money. All the money in the world won’t make a difference if no one is willing to do the work. The most plentiful crop will simply rot if no one harvests the fields. Our donations of time are just as important as the money we donate, because both elements are crucial to getting the work done.

Ø Profesional Enhancement. Along with a personal sense of purpose, volunteering adds dimension to your resume and catalog of lifeexperiences. Volunteer positions provide knowledge, tools, and new skills —great material for a resume or college application. In fact, some organizations won’t even consider your application unless you have done some volunteer work in your chosen field. Volunteer experience provides a unique opportunity to acquire and develop skills that can translate into a diverse career portfolio. In the business world, specialized skills such as problem solving, public speaking, project management, and team leading, are referred to as “power skills.” They are highly sought-after within the business community and often hard for companies to come by in new employees. Yet these reach skills are developed in a great deal of volunteer work! Your Volunteer activities clearly demonstrate to potential employers your ongoing commitment to your career and to the world.

Spiritual Enhancement. Many people choose to volunteer because the religious tradition to which they belong values such work highly. In most of the world’s major religions, charity it a cornerstone of the faith. Beyond duty, however, is the spiritual element of charity and volunteerism. Many people find such activities nourishing to their spirit. Hospice care, for example, can give volunteers a chance to provide comfort to someone at the end of his or her life, as well as strengthen one’s appreciation for life itself. Others find helping abused children to be sacred work, that helping even a single child stitches up a huge hole in the world. Whether volunteer work is a mandatory part of your faith or something that simply strengthens it, it can be transcedent in many ways.

Perhaps the most important thing we have to give is our time. We cannot give of ourselves if we do not first give the time to do what we’ve pledged to do. So get out there! With thousands of volunteer centers throughout the world and the Internet teeming with calls to action, a plethora of exciting opportunities await you.

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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.