September 28, 2010

Swapaholic

If you’re more into swapping than shopping, Swap.com might be your kind of site. They take your old stuff (for now you're limited to just books, CDs, movies and video games), give it to someone who wants it, and you get something of theirs in return.

It doesn’t cost a dime to “do” the actual swap; all you pay for is the shipping. You simply list all of your goods that you want to trade (i.e. your Danielle Steele collection), as well as the ones you’d like to receive (the Lars Stieg collection)
here.

Then, they’ll show you what items you can receive in exchange for your cast-offs. I’m pretty sure that Stieg tops Steele, but I could be wrong.

There’s no bidding, haggling, auctioning, or money exchanged. Just good old fashioned swappin’. Click
here for more details.

September 24, 2010

Nature Calls

If you’re lucky enough to live near one of our nation’s awesome national parks (392 of them in all), you can visit any of them this Saturday, September 25, for absolutely free. For that one day only – otherwise known as National Public Lands Day – park visitors pay no entrance fees, commercial tour fees or transportation entrance fees.

So go and enjoy the great outdoors this weekend, before Mother Nature takes a turn for the worse. Click
here to find a park near you.

September 23, 2010

You Had Me At Cupcake

You’ve got until Sunday, September 26 to have your cake, eat it too, and help raise money for CancerCare for Kids, an organization that provides free support services to kids and families fighting cancer. More than 700 bakeries, “cupcakeries,” and grocery stores across the country are participating in the seventh annual Cupcakes for a Cause, donating a portion of their sales to this wonderful organization.

If you can’t find a participating cupcake location near you, fear not: you can get your cupcake fix – and support the cause - at
CupcakeStop.com, which ships anywhere in the continental U.S. for FREE. Choose from dozens of cancer kickin’ flavors like banana chocolate chip, chocolate caramel pretzel, hummingbird, Nutella crunch, psychedelic tie dye, tiramisu, and vanilla strawberry, to name a few (there are literally dozens of flavors to choose from).

Click
here to help Cupcakes for a Cause with this sweet program.

September 22, 2010

Ship it Forward

eBay is giving its Green Team members (over 250,000 and growing) the first shot at a pilot promotion/program called “the Box.” (This has nothing to do with that dreadful Cameron Diaz film, so it's safe to read on).

The mega-online retailer is printing up 100,000 boxes (available in three different sizes) and giving them to its Green Team members. These unique “shipping containers - made from 100% recycled content, FSC-certified corrugated cardboard - are designed to be reused, sent from eBay seller to buyers, and then sent further along, and so on and so on, until the end of their useful lives.

The intent behind “the Box” is to encourage sellers to reuse their boxes and to encourage buyers to become sellers. eBay estimates that if every box gets reused at least five times, they could protect nearly 4,000 trees, save 2.4 million gallons of water and conserve enough energy to power 49 homes for a year. Pretty impressive for something as simple as a mailing container.

If you’re lucky enough to receive one of “the Boxes,” you’ll be able to write little messages on them for the next person in the chain. Great for all you struggling poet shippers out there.

Click here for more information about how you can ship it forward.

September 21, 2010

Oreos Delivers a Big Hit on Hunger

It seems that the issue of hunger in America is gaining more and more corporate attention, a sure sign of deep economic troubles. Oreos is lending its weight to Kraft's "Huddle to Fight Hunger" campaign by marking the start of the 2010 NFL season with a limited edition "Football Oreo," a football-shaped, creme-filled morsel of sweet cookie.

Oreos is one of 10 Kraft brands contributing to the program (Oscar Meyer, Maxwell House and Kool-Aid are among the other household names participating in the campaign). And to show that it’s a team player, Oreos is generously donating the monetary equivalent of 500,000 meals to
Feeding America, the nation’s leading hunger relief organization.

Fans/likers can join the “Huddle” by visiting the “Get in the Game” tab on the Oreo
Facebook fan page. For each person that joins the “Huddle” during the football season, Kraft Foods will donate the monetary equivalent of one meal to Feeding America. You’ll also be entered for a chance to win a VIP trip to the “Kraft Fight Hunger” Bowl game in San Francisco on January 9, 2011.

Click here to learn more about how you can sack hunger and help feed America.

September 20, 2010

A Crafty Idea

If you’re crazy for crochet, nuts for knitting, or passionate for pottery, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores is giving you a chance to show off your crafting skills, raise money for charity, and win cool prizes during its “Craft for a Cause” promotion.

Simply create an item using the craft of your choosing – a quilt, sweater, mittens, doggy dish, blanket, etc. - using materials from your local Jo-Ann store. Then donate your crafty creation to your favorite charity such as a woman’s shelter, animal rescue, or soup kitchen.

Finally, log on to Joann.com/craftforacause before October 30 to fill out an entry form and submit your receipt and photo(s) of your donated item(s).

The top five entries – based on quality, creativity, and the usefulness of the item for the chosen charity – will win a $1,500 Jo-Ann gift card. That buys you a lot of wool.

Charities with the most donations will be eligible to win up to $50,000. The top three charities will be voted on by crafters across the country at the store’s Web site between November 7 and December 4.

Go here for more information about how to get crafty for a cause.

September 18, 2010

Hello Yellow

LIVESTRONG Day is just two weeks away (Saturday, October 2) which means a) you’d better find something yellow to wear and b) you’d better find a Livestrong event in your area at which to wear it and show your support.

339 events are being held in more than 296 cities in 44 different countries around the globe. Click here to see if yours made the cut. If not, you can always host your own darn party on Livestrong Day. Here’s how.

Click here to help raise awareness of the 28 million cancer survivors worldwide and help make the world a bit yellower by celebrating the Livestrong way.

September 17, 2010

Walk it Out

It’s a curious paradox that the U.S. simultaneously has staggeringly high obesity AND hunger rates, but that’s what the statistics tell us. I’ve discussed in past blogs how organizations like Feeding America are trying to deal with the latter; now here’s a way to help with the former.

This September and October, dozens of cities across the country are hosting their annual
Walk from Obesity, to raise awareness of this epidemic and to support initiatives focused on education, research, and the prevention and treatment of obesity.

All proceeds from the walks benefit the
Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). Over the past seven years, the walks have raised almost $4 million to help fight this serious disease.

Click
here to find a walk in your area. Then call, write, text, email, or social network your way to getting lots and lots of sponsors.

September 16, 2010

Retrieving Labradors

Avon is calling on you to help provide emergency medical attention to rescued Labrador Retrievers. They’re partnering with LABMED - an Internet-based non-profit founded in 1996 – to raise money for abandoned and/or injured Labrador Retrievers in need of rescue.

A percentage of EVERY sale made between now and September 28 will be donated to LABMED. Just be sure to enter the code “LABMED1” when you check out.

Click
here to help LABMED break the 1,100 mark (the number of dogs they’ve funded since 1996) and help them help even more Labs in need.

September 15, 2010

Good Works And Art

If you like your art cheap and charitable, check out online gallery Edition One Hundred. Each of the exclusive, hand-signed works of art – available in 100-print runs - is just 100 bucks, with 10 percent of every purchase going toward a charity of the artist’s choice.

The site currently features two curated exhibitions:
I LOVE LA and Freedom + Revolution. Click here to get some cool art and help charities such as Homeboy Industries, The Humane Society of the United States, and the Abolish Slavery Coalition.

September 13, 2010

Lose It For Good

Grammy and Academy Award-winning musician/actress/spokesperson Jennifer Hudson is putting her weight behind Weight Watchers’ new “Lose For Good” campaign. The promotion – now in its third year – seeks to fight hunger in America by increasing awareness of the issue and providing access to nutritious food for those in need.

Through October 23, as Weight Watchers (WW from here on out) members and online subscribers work hard to shed the pounds, WW will donate up to $1 million to two leading hunger-fighting organizations,
Share Our Strength and Action Against Hunger.

There are some terrificly creative ways for you to get involved with the campaign and help fight hunger in the U.S.:

- If you’re a WW online subscriber, you can start building your very own "Success Wall," which is constructed (virtually) of collected food that represents your own personal weight loss. On October 23, you can donate the food at an official Weight Watchers event at a food bank or food drive (details at
www.meetup.com/weightwatchers)

- Look for the "Lose For Good" tab on the WW
Facebook page, where you can find the latest information and videos throughout the campaign.

- On the six Tuesdays during the campaign, online subscribers can participate in specific tasks; for each task, WW will donate $1 to Share Our Strength and Action Against Hunger (up to $5,000 each Tuesday as part of the larger corporate donation.)

- Finally, on September 14, WW is hosting Lose-A-Palooza, a one-day social media event where WW will donate $1 to Share Our Strength and Action Against Hunger for every accepted mention or acknowledgment of "Lose For Good" made that day via blogs, Twitter, Facebook and check-ins via foursquare (up to $60,000 as part of the larger corporate donation).

Go
here for more information about Lose for Good and the battle against hunger.

September 10, 2010

Big Cat Brew

Help a lion out – literally - by switching your morning brew to Roar Blend coffee, an exclusive blend developed by family-owned Newhall Coffee Roasting Company.

The company says that $4.00 of the sale price from each 12 oz. bag ($10) will be donated to Tippi Hedren’s Shambala Preserve, home to approximately 65-70 rescued big cats including lions, tigers, cougars, black and spotted leopards, servals, bobcats, Asian leopard cats, a jungle cat, a lynx, and one very magnificent liger; all of whom will live out their lives with dignity at Shambala. (MDG thinks they are also in an unrivaled position to answer the question: Who wins - lion or tiger? Though of course we all know who wins because only one of them is King of the Jungle).

Look for the bag with a big lion on it (Zeus, the preserve’s star attraction.) Or click here to order online.

September 9, 2010

Stand Up

I’m not a huge fan of Friday night TV, but this week’s programming (on all four networks!) is shaping up to be a bit more interesting than your typical Friday fare. It promises to be bold, entertaining, funny, sad, dramatic, educational and, most importantly, giving. Yep, in case you haven’t guessed, it’s a telethon (but no, it’s not Jerry Lewis’ effort; that happened last weekend).

Beginning at 8:00 PM ET/PT on Friday, September 10, a whole slew of celebrities, musicians, comedians, and other perfectly stellar, um, stars are getting together to entertain, inform, educate, and raise money for Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), the biggest cancer-fighting campaign in the history of television.

SU2C brings together the best and the brightest minds in the cancer community, and encourages collaboration instead of competition. They’re currently assembling “Dream Teams” of scientists, clinicians, technicians and other experts who will focus on a specific cancer problem, rather than on “cancer in general” (fortunately - at least for the future of oncology research - that's my term, not theirs).

So tune in and stand up to cancer this Friday. Or sit down and tune in and stand up to cancer. Whatever, just watch the show, and click
here for more details.

September 8, 2010

Browser with Benefits

Next time you’re browsing for bargains or surfing for celebrity gossip, consider skipping the obvious search engines (for brevity's sake, we'll accord them the collective appellation Bingloo!) and give GoodSearch.com a try. Each and every time you type in a term with this Yahoo-powered site (D'oh! So much for the statement against corporate search behemoths), you’ll raise one cent for charity.

That may not sound like a lot, but think about how much you could raise in just one “I’ve-got-nothing-to-do-and-the-boss-is-gone" afternoon (I’m not the best at math, but I’m sure it’s at least a dollar or two, depending on how fast you type). And, remember, every bit helps.

There are over 92,000 nonprofits to choose from, covering everything from animals and education to human rights and hunger relief. Since launching in 2005, GoodSearch has helped raise $17,000 for Best Friends Animal Society, $5,900 for Heifer International, and $12,300 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The more you search, the more you raise. Click here to get started.

September 7, 2010

Peace Be With You

If you’re a lover of music, promoter of peace and fighter for FREE stuff, this festival is for you. The 9th annual “September Concert” kicks off its weekend-long celebration of free music on September 10th in venues all over the world.

From September 10-12, you can enjoy a huge variety of free music including a pop/rock festival in Menlo Park California, a police choir in Edinburgh, a flute/cello/violin concert in New York City, a five-piece jazz band in Albuquerque, New Mexico, an international orchestra in Rome, and a children’s choir in London. The three-day music extravaganza is courtesy of The September Concert Foundation, which promotes the celebration of peace and humanity through music.

Click
here for a complete listing of free concerts.

September 3, 2010

Now Hear This

Is your inevitable response to anyone who isn't shouting directly in your face a quizzical “Huh?" or a distracted "What?” Are your parents and siblings constantly telling you to “Turn the damn TV down!”? If so, you're either a bored and inattentive friend/family member with selective hearing loss, or one of the millions of people worldwide who are genuinely affected by hearing impairment.

Anything that affects one in six of the world's population is a serious issue, and the folks at hearing-aid company Phonak -- who admittedly have a vested interest in raising awareness of the problem -- are trying to do something to help. Phonak's new new campaign, “Hear the World,” has attracted the support of an impressive cast of “Hear the World" ambassadors including Sting, Amy Winehouse, Peter Gabriel, Renee Zellwegger, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jude Law, Moby, Annie Lennox and Common.

If the campaign could have been more imaginatively named -- they did just substitute "feed" for "hear," after all -- it is a well-meaning and legit initiative targeted at an important global problem. So click here to visit the Web site, listen to interviews with the ambassadors, take an online hearing test, find out how loud your city is on the Global Sound Map, and learn what you can do to help.

September 2, 2010

Get Your Golf On

If I told you that you could play a round of golf and at the same time help provide post-secondary educational scholarships for families of wounded and fallen American military service men and women, would you be game?

Well, you’ve got a shot this Labor Day – otherwise known as
Patriot Golf Day – to add a few greens ($1 per round) to your greens fees to help military families in need. You’ve actually got the entire three-day holiday weekend (September 3-6) to golf and give back.

With support from The
PGA and the United States Golf Association, thousands of golf facilities across the country will be collecting donations and raising awareness for the Folds of Honor Foundation, which supports military families in the aftermath of their tragedies.

Since 2007, the golfing events have raised more than $5.3 million, allowing the Folds of Honor Foundation to award 1,163 post-secondary educational scholarships.

So dust off those clubs and click here to find a Patriot Day Golf
event in your area.

September 1, 2010

Shop and Share

If you’re comfortable sharing your shopping habits with friends and family, and you’d like to justify a shopping spree by telling yourself that it’s just a way of giving back to society, then you’ll appreciate the new shopping/social media site Endorse for a Cause (EFAC).

It’s almost quite simple. Sign up at
www.endorseforacause.com, pick a charity – CARE, Kiva, Feeding America, The American Red Cross, The Humane Society and The Nature Conservancy are all represented, to name just a few – and raise money for them by shopping online at more than 500 stores and sharing news of your purchases with your entire social network.

If your friends take the time to
click on your link and do a bit of their own shopping and sharing, EFAC will collect money from the retailers and donate it to your chosen charity. The more friends you have that have friends who have even more friends that join the “cause”…well, you get the picture.

You can also look for Endorse for a Cause widgets on leading retail sites such as Target, Starbucks and Old Navy. Click here to indulge in some altruistic retail therapy.