March 30, 2011

Hope in a Soap (It's Dope)

Soap Hope ( is an online retailer that sells all-natural beauty products at really rather irresistible discount prices. It also has a fiendishly complicated and counter-intuitive business plan that involves investing all of its profits in non-profit organizations (how does that work?).

The non-profits it funds benefit women in poverty, though, and include the awesome folks at
Chiapas International, The PLAN Fund and Esperanza International, so we'll give it a free plug here and trouble our brain with no further questions. Soap Hope also carries a few awesome brands, including Pangea Organics, Hugo Naturals, Acure Organics, and Mahya Cosmetics.

MDG might have spent more time with the rhyming dictionary, though. Soap Hope? What about Lotion in Motion? Hair Care? Cleaning With Meaning? Endless unexplored possibilities.

March 28, 2011

Online Charity Seeks Thrifty Animal Lovers

Online charity competition seeks animal lovers of every breed to vote for their favorite pet-related cause. Web site will donate top dollar ($500) to charity with the most votes. Two runners up will also each receive $250.

Visit for more details. Contest ends June 30.

March 25, 2011

Lights Out

This one’s super simple and only takes an hour. This Saturday, March 26, at precisely 8:30 p.m. local time, turn off your lights in honor of Earth Hour, a worldwide, collective display of support for the conservation and responsible use of our natural resources.

Go here to click the Earth Hour “light switch” and pledge your participation.

March 24, 2011

In a Pickle

How could I NOT write a post about a children’s media company called Little Pickle Press! I mean, c’mon, people, it’s almost too perfect.

Not only does this pint-sized publisher offer creative literature for kids – including What Does it Mean to Be Present?, What Does it Mean to Be Green?, and What does it Mean to Be Global? – its online store sells Earth-friendly backpacks, totes and lunch bags, sassy songs you can sing along to, and fun, family-friendly kits that help teach kids about the environment and fiscal responsibility. Can’t start learning about that stuff too early.

Of course, all Little Pickle literature is produced sustainably using New Leaf paper, soy inks and green packaging. Or you can choose to figure out what it all means in e-book form, which cuts production completely out of the cycle.

And because they’re all about the little ones, Little Pickle Press donates 10 percent of the purchase price of its books to Starlight Children's Foundation, which provides entertainment, education, and family activities to children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses.

Click here to help Little Pickle Press promote its mission of cultivating conscious, responsible kids who care about others, celebrate diversity, and defend the environment.

March 23, 2011

Friend of Folate

Show your fellow Americans that your region rules by clicking here to vote for it (Go Women of the West Coast!) during the March of Dime’s Girlfriends for Folate (or GFF) national competition.

Bayer and the March of Dimes are partnering up to promote awareness of this particularly important B vitamin, which includes the production and maintenance of cells and the reduction in risk of certain serious birth defects in the early stages of pregnancy. So, if you want strong, healthy cells and/or are of reproductive age, make sure you’re getting enough of it (400 micrograms/day.)

To become a GFF in your region – and, more importantly, raise $1 (up to $25,000) for the March of Dimes March for Babies - click
here to cast your vote. So far, the "Edgy East Coast" is in the lead with 42% of the votes.

March 22, 2011

Tap Happy

I’m a huge supporter of UNICEF and all they do for children around the world, but their newest promotion is a wee bit strange, to say the least.

An offshoot of its popular Tap Project (where diners donate $1 for a glass of tap water at participating restaurants), its new Celebrity Tap Pack initiative offers fans the chance to win an entire case of tap water from the faucets of four different celebrities including Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, and Adrian Grenier.

Each bottle – or, um, collector’s item - is emblazoned with the aforementioned celebrity’s name and likeness on it, and of course, contains the highest quality tap water available from these hand-picked musicians and actors.

You get one entry for every $5 donation you make (up to 20 max) until April 30, which means a mere twenty bucks gets you in the running for a chance to collect all four.

Feeling thirsty yet? If so, click here for your chance to score some thirst-quenching tap water and help UNICEF bring clean and accessible water to millions of children around the globe.

March 18, 2011

Give and Get at the Gap

If you’re in need of a few spring staples, shopping at the Gap this weekend could save you big money and help raise cash for few very worthy charities.

During the Give and Get event, March 17-20, you can save 30 percent off your entire purchase at the Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic and give back a full 5 percent (the store will take care of this part) to your choice of charities including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Feeding America, Teach for America, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Habitat for Humanity.

Simply print out this coupon, present it at register, and then pat yourself on your newly clothed back for all of the giving and getting you’ve just accomplished during your shopping trip.

March 16, 2011

Bullies Need Not Apply

As you might already know, MDG is no fan of bullies, intolerance, ignorance or cruelty. She is, however, a huge fan of superheroes, tolerance, creativity, literacy, and anti-cruelty.

That's why this poster struck such a chord. As well as promoting the powerful, important message that we need to do everything we can to
STOMP OUT BULLYING, I think you'll agree that it's truly adorable. I wish I could give credit to the creator, but I couldn’t track down a name. Whoever you are: kudos!

On a related note, a current national campaign from
Love Our Children USA focuses on preventing bullying in all of its vicious forms, including cyber and digital attacks. Click here to literally – and figuratively – help them stomp out this time-old, but surmountable, problem.

March 15, 2011

The Tax Preparer Giveth

Given the fact that we all have to face the tax man (or woman) at some point or another, and that many of us are too arithmetically challenged to file without the help of a certified nerd - apologies, "tax preparer" - you may be interested to hear that a firm called Jackson Hewitt Tax Service is offering to donate a portion of its proceeds to good causes during the month of March.

As a part of its month-long “
Big Checks for Charity” campaign, the nation’s second largest tax company is offering coupons and charitable support for a number of local and national charities, donating funds for every early bird tax filer who uses its service.

I would offer you specific details, but the press release doesn’t really give any, and a Google search for "tax preparation" short-circuited my already limited ability to absorb financial information and rendered me unconscious for several hours.

here to get a jump on your 2010 taxes and help a few charities while you're at it.

March 10, 2011

When Craig Speaks, Listen

The man behind one of the planet's most influential lists – that would be Craig - just announced his new “20-year plan,” and it’s a pretty big deal, even if he does say so himself. Through his brand new Web site, “craigconnects,” he wants to help identify, connect, and protect individuals and organizations that are doing good in the world. He's pretty adept at turning the world on its head - there's a reason the local newspaper business is on its last legs - so when Mr. Newmark speaks it's worth paying attention.

He’s already got a pretty impressive group of
organizations listed on the site in various areas including community building, social media for social progress, journalism integrity, open and accountable government, service and volunteering, veterans’ issues, and peace in the Middle East.

If you’d like to recommend one of your own, simply click on the “
Connect with Craig” button at the top of the site. Just make sure you’ve read the “Purpose of craigconnects” before doing so. Those are the rules.

You should also know that craigconnects is not a fundraising or grant-giving organization and is a completely separate entity from craigslist. No used coffee tables, CD collections or offers of long walks on the beach, please.

here to help Craig achieve his dream of connecting the world for good.

March 9, 2011

Music That Matters

Patagonia (MDG’s favorite eco-friendly outfitter) continues to stand out as a planet-pleasing pioneer with a tuneful new fundraising effort called The Patagonia Music Collective.

The company has teamed up with a slew of eco-friendly musicians – including Pearl Jam, Jack Johnson, Bonnie Raitt, Maroon 5, Ziggy Marley, Los Lobos, Philip Glass, and Switchfoot - to offer exclusive tracks for just 99 cents each, with every penny going directly to green charities of the artist’s choosing. It seems these musos know of what they speak: among the destinations for your hard-earned greenbacks are reputable organizations such as
Earthjustice, Freedom to Roam, Environmental Justice Foundation, South Coast Habitat Restoration, The Ohio River Way, The Conservation Alliance, and Reverb. Then there's Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, which is by all accounts a reputable charity, but would be an even better name for a band.

So whether you’re into reggae or roots, hip hop or pop, classical or country, click
here to jazz up your music collection and sing a song for Mother Earth.

March 3, 2011

Snack Attack

If kids are going to eat frozen pizza bites - and they are - and Farm Rich is going to sell kids frozen pizza bites - which it will - then why not add to this symbiotic relationship a little philanthropic stardust?

That was a rhetorical question. Anyhow, the Georgia-based food company is hosting a contest to celebrate the charitable works of this diminutive, yet very influential demographic.

Do-gooder kids ages 7 to 17 (U.S. residents only) have until May 31 to enter the “Kids Who Give” contest and show the world how much better their philanthropic good deeds are than other kids' philanthropic good deeds.

Three winners (grand, first and runner-up) will be chosen from three age-based categories: 7-10, 11-13, and 14-17. The grand prize winners in each age category will pocket $2,500 for their favorite charity, a $500 gift card, lots of Farm Rich goodies and an all-expense paid trip for two to NYC for the 2011 Kids Who Give Awards dinner.

First place winners get $1,000 for their favorite charity, a $250 gift card and a bunch of frozen snacks. You can probably guess what the runners up receive, but just in case, they get $500 for charity, a $150 gift card, and yep, more tasty snacks.

If you’re still with me, please click
here for more details about how to be a Farm Rich Kid Who Gives.

March 2, 2011

Moving Forward (But Hopefully Able to Stop!)

I thought that Oprah had the market for car giveaways cornered, but it seems like Toyota is upping the ante. Starting March 7, the company is giving away 100 vehicles in 100 days to 100 deserving nonprofit organizations as a part of its "100 Cars for Good" program.

Registered 501c(3) non-profit organizations are invited to apply online at Toyota’s Facebook page between March 7 and 21 for a chance to win a new set of wheels (six-year, 100,000-mile warranty and fully operational brakes included). A brand new Toyota Prius, Tacoma, Tundra, Highlander Hybrid, Sienna, or Sienna Mobility could be yours if you’ve got the winning answer to how you’re going to use it to do good in your community. Meals on wheels, anyone?

Click here to see how you could add some automotive zip to your local charitable efforts.