July 29, 2010

Farm Walk

You’ve got a month (or two, depending on where you live) to get in shape for the 2010 Farm Sanctuary Walk(s) for Farm Animals. The non-competitive, annual charity walks take place in various cities throughout the U.S. and Canada in September and October, and are a hugely important part of Farm Sanctuary's fundraising and outreach efforts for rescue, education and advocacy work.

If you can’t attend one of the walks, you can always donate to the cause.
Click here to find a walk in your city and help put an end to cruelty of farm animals.

July 27, 2010

On-The-Go Philanthropy

It was inevitable that someone would eventually come up with a user-friendly mobile “app” that makes giving from your smart phone a piece of cake. PocketPhilanthropist – a free iPhone and iPod touch application available at iTunes - allows users to make charitable donations with literally the touch of a finger.

Featuring a different charity every week, this super-cool download allows you to donate as little as $1 (more if you like, of course) to the featured cause, as well as share information about it with others via your address book. It’s not the fanciest app out there – yet – but it’s definitely worth downloading.

Throughout the months of July and August, PocketPhilanthropist is competing in the Pepsi Refresh competition in hopes of winning funds to make the app even more awesome (and raise a ton of money for charity). Show your support for them
here.

July 22, 2010

What Would You Do...?


Attention Kmart shoppers (and Sears)! You’ve got a chance to win one billion points - half to keep for yourself and half to give away to charity.

In celebration of the one-year anniversary of their
Shop Your Way Rewards program, the two mega-retailers are co-hosting a contest called “What Would You Do with One Billion Points?”.

If you’re already a member, all you need to do is submit a 45-second video explaining what you’d do with ... one billion points (someone in marketing earned their salary with that campaign title, huh). If you're not already a member, simply click here to get with the program.

You’ve got until October 5 to submit your video and to rally support from all your friends and family members (who also must be Shop Your Way Rewards members). Remember, it’s not about how clever or funny or touching your video is; it’s about how many votes you get in the end (which is November 5.) The winner will be announced on or around November 14.

Go
here for more details.

July 21, 2010

Be A Good Neighbor


With testimonials like “It’s the best thing since sliced bread,” and more than 746 fans/likes on Facebook so far (since launching about two week ago), the new site NeighborGoods may just be on to something. Think of it as a teeny tiny Craigslist where you can borrow or loan out your stuff (or skills) to your neighbors for free (or be a jerk and charge a fee if you’d like).

It’s a great way to save money (why buy when you can borrow?), and possibly even get to know your neighbors (gasp!) in the meantime.

Just type in your zip cope and search for that set of golf clubs that will enable you to start swinging again. Or tell your neighbors about your mad knitting or cooking skills. It’s all about connecting, people.

I did a search in my neighborhood and there were 630 people within 50 miles sharing 349 items. Click
here to find out what your NeighborGood has to offer.

July 20, 2010

Bar Hunger

If you’re a Snicker’s snacker, you might want to chew on this little nugget (or is it nougat?) of information. The famous chocolate bar maker has teamed up with Feeding America to help “Bar Hunger” in the United States.

Snickers is kicking off the campaign with a base donation of 2.5 million meals and will donate an additional meal (up to 3.5 million meals) for every text it receives from specially marked Snickers wrappers. Just look for the special nine-digit code and either text it to 45495 or enter it online at www.snickers.com. 


Click here for more information about how to help bar hunger once and for all.

July 16, 2010

Lip Service

Move over Avon, Mary Kay has a new lipstick that’s changing the life of women and children across the U.S. From now until September 15, $1 from each sale of their new “Beauty That Counts” creme lipstick will be donated to the Mary Kay Foundation, which is dedicated to ending domestic violence against women.

The lipstick - available in Confidence, Inspiration, and Compassion – costs $13 and is available from your local Mary Kay independent beauty consultant. Click
here to find one in your area.

July 15, 2010

Scoop It Forward

I know that I mentioned Target not too long ago, but I couldn’t resist telling you about a new promotion it's running with Ben & Jerry’s called Scoop It Forward (how awesome a name is that!). From now until August 31 you can get a FREE pint of two new flavors (available exclusively at Target) – Berry Voluntary and Brownie Chew Gooder – simply by registering to volunteer at a nonprofit in your area.

Go to www.volunteermatch.org/scoopitforward, plug in your zip code, and search for one of the many volunteer opportunities. Then just sign up for one (after entering a few personal details) and forward it to five of your favorite friends. You and your comrades will each be rewarded with a coupon good for a free pint.

Doing good and eating ice cream: the very definition of a sweet deal.

July 14, 2010

Beyond Pollution

If you’re looking for ways to help alleviate the decimation visited upon the Gulf Coast’s residents, wildlife and habitats by the cataclysmic BP oil spill, you’ll find below a short list of ways you can help in the rescue and relief efforts.

Even if they do succeed in capping it, the impact of the spill will be felt for years to come, so now’s the time to step up.

(And before we get to the do-gooding, consider the lunacy that has to prevail when someone is allowed to drill a hole that they have no idea how to plug up. It’s the ultimate triumph of greed over common sense – think of that when you vote for more or less government in November).

Save a Pet

Animal Rescue New Orleans (
www.arno.org) is seeking donations for their Pet Retention Program ($25 per month) so that families who have lost their jobs since the oil spill don’t have to lose their pets as well. Your money will sponsor a family’s pet by paying for food, medical care, transportation to and from the vet, dog beds/houses/crates – and even pet carriers to make sure the families have provisions to evacuate, if necessary, with their pet.

Saving Wildlife

The
Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary – the largest wild bird hospital and bird sanctuary in the United States – needs kennels, towels, gas gift cards, paper towels, and bottled water to help staff and volunteers rescue, repair, rehabilitate and release injured birds back into the wild
. You can mail or drop off items to 18328 Gulf Blvd., Indian Shores, Florida, 33785. If you’re in the area and would like to become a volunteer (on an emergency call basis), please e-mail jessicag@seabirdsanctuary.com or call 727-392-4291. I’m sure they would also welcome any cash donations.

You can also support the
National Wildlife Federation by texting “WILDLIFE” to 20222 to automatically donate $10 to help wildlife affected by the oil spill. You can also make a donation via their Web site or by calling 1-800-822-9919.


Help a Fisherman, Oysterman or Shrimper

The
Gulf Relief Foundation provides relief to the fishing community of the Gulf Coast and helps with long-term efforts to restore and protect America’s coastal wetlands. If you‘re the texting type, you can make a $10 donation by texting “GULFAID 10” to 27138. If you’d rather donate a different amount just replace the “10” with the number of U.S. dollars (no $ sign) you’d like to pledge. If texting’s not your thing, click here to make a donation via their Web site or call 504-841-2380.


Buy a shirt

Threadless – an awesome online T-shirt seller with a history of doing good (for 10 years) – is donating 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of its “PeliCAN” T-shirt to the Gulf Restoration Network, a 15-year-old environmental organization that’s actively working to provide independent monitoring of the BP oil spill. Get yours here for just $10.

If pelicans aren’t your thing (you know what I mean), you can design your own shirt
here for a great cause at Kenneth Cole’s Facebook page. Mix and match 12 slogans, 14 colors and various graphic designs to create your very own custom tee for just $35, with all net profits going to aWEARness, The Kenneth Cole Foundation, which supports clean-up efforts in the Gulf.

New Dawn

Dawn dishwashing detergent is widely considered the safest, most effective way to clean oil off animals’ feather and fur without irritating their skin. The company has donated millions of the bottles of the stuff over the past 30 years to help save wildlife. Now, when you buy a bottle of their “wonder liquid” and enter the activation code online at www.dawnsaveswildlife.com, they’ll donate $1 to the International Bird Rescue Research Center and the Marine Mammal Center.


And, finally, click here for a great list of charities that are helping out with the Gulf spill courtesy of the ever-wonderful Charity Navigator.

July 13, 2010

Pack Attack!

July is almost half over, which means that back-to-school is right around the corner (sorry, kids). To celebrate this dubious opportunity to sell loads of crap, Staples and DoSomething.org have teamed up for their third annual “Give-Back Pack” initiative, which provides needy kids with basic school supplies like notebooks, pencils and pens to help them – you know – learn and stuff.

There are two ways you can help with the promotion. From now until September 18, go to
www.staplesgivebackpack.com
and choose your favorite “pack leader” (choices include musicians Kellie Pickler, Drake Bell and Jason Derulo). Each celebrity will donate $1 to Do Something 101 for each member to join his or her pack (up to $5,000).

If you’re not into the whole pack mentality thing, you can also help by dropping off school supplies to the “Do Something 101” collection bins at any Staples store across the U.S. Each store has partnered with a local non-profit organization to make sure your supplies will help students in your own community.

Click
here more information about how to do something 101 with your give-back pack.

July 8, 2010

Cookies for a Cause

Move over cupcakes, cookies are making a comeback! Baking for Good, an online bakeshop that combines sweet treats with charitable giving, offers 14 delicious varieties (and nine types of brownies).

The all-natural, organic goodies – which include oatmeal raisin spice, gingersnaps, peanut butter w/chocolate, whoopie pies, lavender shortbread, chocolate crackle and white chocolate macadamia - are priced from $14 to $24 a dozen, with 15 percent of the profits going to the charity of your choice.

If you’re looking for cookies for a special occasion, they’ve also got iced sugar cookies (each one decorated by hand) for everything imaginable including birthdays, graduation, weddings, new baby, sports themes, animal themes, rock and roll themes, school themes, princess themes, Western themes, or you can customize your own.

So whether you're looking to get yourself some gingerbread generosity or chocolate chip charity, click
here to browse the bakery.

July 7, 2010

Be a Hero

Sheryl Crow has joined forces with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to promote its Humane Hero program, a monthly giving program (which is tax deductible) that helps the HSUS tackle all types of animal cruelty, from shutting down puppy mills to ending the barbaric Canadian seal hunt.

If you sign up to become a “hero” in the next three weeks (by donating any amount of money), you’ll not only get the sheer satisfaction of helping animals in need, you’ll also receive a free download of Ms. Crow’s new song “Our Love is Fading,” which isn’t available to the general public until July 20.

Click
here for more details and to become a hipster hero for animals.

July 1, 2010

Star Power

American Girl, a store dedicated to girls and the dolls they love, has launched a new charity campaign called Shine On Now, inviting girls everywhere to team up to raise $1 million in clothes, books, dolls and money for four separate charities (Kids in Distressed Situations, National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions, National Wildlife Federation, and Save the Children).

Well, it's not actually asking girls to donate $1 million worth of these items; the goal is to collect one million stars (the virtual kind) from www.shineonnow.com by the end of the program - American Girl will pay out $1 million of products once the star count hits seven figures.

You can also download a pretty comprehensive little toolkit, which includes sign-up sheets for friends and family, save-the-date cards, fundraising and donation tips, and information about each of the charities.

Once you've registered to be an American Girl Ambassador, you create a list of friends and family who you'd like to tell about the program. Next, you’ll hand out save-the-date cards to remind them what the program is all about and when they can start taking action. Finally, you and your friends can start donating stars – up to 100 each day – beginning July 15.

It's all a huge marketing ploy, of course, but it's a generous one. I say the ends justify the means.

You’ve only got until July 31 (no pressure), so start star gazing.