August 30, 2010

Free For All

Love him or hate him, you'll have to admit that Keith Olbermann has been a tireless advocate of the National Association of Free Clinics (NAFC), helping to spread the word and raise a ton of money for this life-saving (literally) non-profit. Since October 2009, the organization has hosted eight free clinics – in cities including Washington, D.C., Kansas City and Little Rock, providing free medical and dental services to almost 100,000 patients.

The next free clinic is scheduled for August 31 and September 1 in New Orleans. If you live in the area and would like to donate some of your time, they’re still looking for volunteers. If you’d like to attend the clinic (free of charge, as the name might suggest), please click here for more information.

If you don’t live close by, you can still help by spreading the word about the NAFC or by donating a few dollars. All donations help support the 1,200 free clinics funded by the NAFC.

Click here for more information or to find a free clinic in your area.

August 27, 2010

A Real Angel

TV sex symbol and '70s icon Jaclyn Smith, a.k.a. America's favorite Angel, has been selling her fashionable wares at Kmart for 25 years.

To celebrate her quarter-century of business bliss, Kmart is donating proceeds from the aptly named "Jaclyn Smith 25th anniversary fashion and home collection" to support breast cancer research.

Beginning in September and extending through the end of October (which is Breast Cancer Awareness month), $1 from every purchase from this limited-edition collection will go to
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to breast cancer prevention, and to finding a cure for the disease in our lifetime.

The mega-retailer hopes to raise at least $100,000 from the promotion, so hurry into your nearest Kmart and search for stuff marked with a little pink ribbon (and a tag carrying the Jaclyn Smith brand).

Click
here for more information and to find a store near you.

August 26, 2010

Every Dog Has His Day


And it just happens to be today. Yep, it's
National Dog Day.

So go on and pet your pooch, cuddle your canine and manhandle your mutt. It is their day after all!

Pakistan Flood Disaster: Time to Step Up

The devastation caused by the recent Pakistan floods is staggering. According to CNN, more than 17 million people have been affected, 4 million are homeless, and 6 million are in need of emergency shelter. An estimated 1 million homes have been destroyed and 800,000 people are still only accessible by air.

Despite these numbers, international aid has been extremely slow to arrive on the scene. According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, 22 U.S. aid groups have raised a total of $9.9 million for the Pakistan floods, while within two-and-a-half weeks of the Haiti earthquake, 40 aid groups had raised a total of $560 million.

Angelina Jolie – actress, activist, and Goodwill ambassador for the United Nations - is hoping to shine a spotlight on this epic emergency by donating $100,000 of her own money to relief efforts. While most of us don’t have quite that much money to give, every little bit helps.

Click here for a list of organizations who need your support.

*Photo courtesy of NY Daily News

August 25, 2010

Great Gumbo, Zero Calories, Good Karma

With tongue firmly planted in cheek, online charity Web site Gulf Café (thegulfcafe.com) offers virtual diners the opportunity to order the very best menu items Louisiana has to offer - but instead of food, your check total buys you the peace of mind that goes with a cash donation to people hit hard by the Gulf oil-spill disaster.

Using the tagline “virtually the best seafood in the world,” the online café serves up “pretend” appetizers, entrees, desserts and beverages. Visitors to the virtual restaurant can “order” Gulf-specific
menu items including hush puppies, shrimp gumbo, fried crab claws, oyster po’ boy, crawfish boil, bananas foster, and the famous New Orleans’ hurricane, with 100 percent of the proceeds being donated to non-profit organizations in the Gulf region.

Click
here to “reserve” your table and sort-of order up some of the best seafood the Gulf of Mexico has to offer, all while helping Louisiana Gulf Coast residents recover from the oil spill.

August 24, 2010

Panda-Monium

If you like the idea of taking a month off work, travelling to China to study (i.e. play with) giant pandas, and then come back and blog about your experiences, keep on reading. (If you don't, please seek professional help.)

The
World Wildlife Federation (WWF) in China just launched a worldwide competition to find six Panda Ambassadors – or “Pambassadors”– to promote the cause of panda conservation around the world.

In order to apply, you must be between the ages of 18 and 40, have good writing and communication skills, be physically fit (and free of illegal substances) and be able to secure a tourist visa if selected.

From the gazllions of applications “
Project Panda” receives, 12 semi—finalists will be selected to fly to China for a week of training. Then, six lucky “pambassadors” will be chosen to spend a month at the Chengdu Panda Base studying the bears’ habits and witnessing the birth of ridiculously cute panda cubs.

You’ve only got until September 5 to apply for this once-in-a-lifetime gig. Click
here for more information and to get your “pambassador” application.

August 20, 2010

Cover Dog

Help the ASPCA pick their 2011 calendar cover model. Click here to choose between best buds Deisel and Delila, Hector, a very stunning Siamese, Lloyd and his two Boston terrier sisters, and Daisy, a black and white speckled mutt with big floppy ears (pictured here).

You've got until September 3 to cast your vote for the ASPCA's cover dog.


August 19, 2010

Lemons for Life

I’ve got yet another way for you to help in the fight against cancer (specifically childhood cancer). Drink lemonade this Friday, which happens to be National Lemonade Day.

I’m not sure if
Alex’s Lemonade Stand (an awesome charity founded in memory of Alexandra “Alex” Scott, who by the age of eight had raised over $1 million for cancer causes through lemonade sales) came up with this “national holiday,” but you’ve got to admit it’s a pretty sweet way to raise money for charity.

This Friday only,
Daily Grill is donating 100% of its proceeds from sales of its delicious fresh-squeezed, hand-shaken lemonade to Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. And, Hot Dog on a Stick – otherwise known as “America’s favorite producer of sizzling hot dogs on a stick” - will donate 25 cents of every large lemonade drink (I'm not guaranteeing it’s either fresh-squeezed or hand-shaken) sold tomorrow.

Click here for more information on where to quench your thirst this Friday and fight cancer doing it!

August 18, 2010

Superman Makes the Grade

With an awesome title like 'Waiting for Superman,' a director who won an Academy Award for 'An Inconvenient Truth,' and a partnership with online classroom charity DonorsChoose.org, I have a feeling this educational documentary (which maintains only a metaphorical connection with superheroes -- but you won't find any other spoilers here) is going to make the grade.

And if the film's pre-opening numbers are any indication, it may even make a few bucks. You see, the clever folks at
Paramount Pictures (and a few other film companies to boot) have come up with a campaign to entice people to pledge to see the film before it even opens.

How? With ingenious gift cards, since you asked.

The charitable chaps at DonorsChoose.org are assigning a $5 gift card to each and every person who pledges to see the film before it opens September 15. And according to their “Pledge Progress Meter,” more than 37,000 people have already signed on the dotted line.

The gift cards can be redeemed on the
DonorsChoose.org Web site, and the proceeds fulfill requests from public school teachers for things like paper and pencils, musical instruments, camcorders, printers, microscopes, and other essential classroom materials.

Click
here to take the pledge or text “PLEDGE” to 77177.

August 17, 2010

Kickin' Cancer

USA soccer star Landon Donovan is following in the footsteps – or, um, tire tracks – of another great athlete, Lance Armstrong, in the fight against cancer. He’s teaming up with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) to launch a ten-day mobile giving campaign to raise money to defeat childhood cancer. Get it? Ten days, number “TEN” jersey?

Anyway, you’ve got until August 26 to help him raise a bit of cash for a very worthy cause. Just text “GOAL" to 90999 to donate $10 to the LLS. Or give online at www.lls.org/10.

Your ten bucks can help go along way toward kicking cancer's butt.

August 13, 2010

Pop Tart Paradise

People need more fun in their lives. This truth we hold to be self-evident, but just to be sure tasty toasty pastry people Pop Tarts have said it again in this press release.

In order to bring more fun to overly serious citizens who are frittering away their shot at frivolity, Pop Tarts is hosting a contest which will reward a $25,000 FUNd (get it?) to the family (or individual) who comes up with the best concept for “creating and spreading fun with their family and in their community.” Sounds fun, which would of course be the idea.

It’s entirely up to you whether or not you include pop tarts in your video, but it definitely needs to be no longer than two minutes in length (and no shorter than 30 seconds), no larger than 10 MB, completely original, and FUN.

You’ve got until August 27 to submit your video
here. One finalist will be selected each week during the contest (which began August 9 – sorry! MDG's been on vacation). The three selected finalists will receive a trip to New York City in September, where Caroline Rhea – aka their spokesperson – will reveal the Pop-Tarts™ $25,000 FUNd recipient – aka winner.

Click
here for more details about the Pop Tart mission for fun. You know you want to.