May 27, 2011

Crowdsourcing Is In Fashion

It was only a matter of time before someone came up with the idea for a Kickstarter-esque online platform that funds socially minded projects. Yoxi (pronounced YO-see) combines elements of creative competition, game playing, strategic planning and team spirit to challenge teams of players to solve a particular social problem.

Their current competition –“
Trim the Waste of Fashion” – takes on the global problem of garment manufacturing waste. I bet you had no idea that one pair of jeans travels to seven different countries before landing in your shopping cart. Or that an estimated 15-20 percent of fabric ends up on the cutting room floor, without a chance of ever becoming a shirt, a pair of shorts, or even a sock. That's got to be expensive for the manufacturer, too.

Anyway, if you think you’ve got the
solution on how to cut the colossal carbon footprint that fashion creates, you could pocket $40,000 to help get you started on your project. All you’ve got to do is assemble a three-person team, create a pitch video and submit it before July 1.

If you’re not into playing games, you can still participate from home by voting, commenting, pledging, and promoting your favorite team(s)

May 26, 2011

Youth Movement

How does a 17-year old California student get write-ups in high profile business media outlets - including Forbes and Fast Company – within a mere week of launching her Web site? By creating the world’s first student-run non-profit social network for social good. (Great idea, even better PR smarts. Someone has a promising career in marketing if they want it.)

iCAREweCARE is dedicated to helping young people pick the global issues they are passionate about – including poverty, education, domestic violence, the environment and women’s rights - and then find organizations in their community that address these issues. The site also provides ways for high school and college students to reach out to their friends and families for charitable support and encourage them to join in activism action - by volunteering, for example.

The site is still in its infancy, but can already boast a team roster from several smarty-pants schools including Yale and MIT. Click
here if you care to learn more about iCAREweCARE.

May 25, 2011

Bag It

Thanks to the marketing geniuses at JetBlue Airways and, you’ve got a chance to get hold of excess baggage from celebrities including Lindsay Lohan, Chelsea Handler, Donald Trump, and Taylor Swift. More than 50 famous musicians, actors and athletes have generously donated autographed bags, briefcases and other personal belongings to JetBlue’s Celebrity Baggage auction.

100 percent of the auction’s proceeds – which Is hosted by eBay - benefit’s mission of empowering America’s youth to get off their butts and do something good. Like, say, staying out of jail or not falling in with the wrong crowd.

You’ve got until June 6 to snag a bag (and two roundtrip tickets anywhere JetBlue flies) if you’re the highest
bidder. At the time of this post, Chelsea Handler was in the lead with a bid at $530.00, with Lindsay close behind at $375.00.

If bidding exorbitant amounts of money for a bag isn’t your thing, you can also raise money for the cause the old-fashioned way, by liking JetBlue on

May 17, 2011

Gimme Shelter

Do you have a superb story (and/or fabulous photo) showing your unique relationship with your rescue pet? If so, you could win money for your favorite 501(c)(3) pet charity, bring awareness to the problem of pet homelessness and take home a bit of cash for yourself.

All you’ve got to do is submit your story and photo
here - before May 31 - for PetSmart’s People Saving Pets: My Magnificent Adopted Pet Online Contest. I’m pretty sure that the name speaks for itself; but I can add that the first place winner takes home $1000 for their favorite animal welfare organization and a $500 Visa gift card for themselves. And that the second and third place winners don’t go home empty handed (additional prize details here.)

If you’ve got a magnificent memory of your adorable adoptee, go
here to submit your entry and help raise much needed funds for thousands of furry friends across the country.

* Photo courtesy of

May 11, 2011

First Class Effort

In MDG's humble opinion, Feeding America's Stamp Out Hunger Day - which takes place this Saturday, May 14 -- is one of the year's best charitable initiatives. Now in its 19th year and going stronger than ever, the nation's largest single-day food drive has to be the most convenient do-gooding opportunity out there.

All you have to do is leave a bag of non-perishable items (from peanut butter and rice to canned tuna, beans, fruits, vegetables and soup) for your postal carrier to pick up. You don't even have to leave the house - it doesn't get much easier than that, surely.

Virtually Edible

Share Our Strength, the charitable nemesis of childhood hunger in America, is holding its second annual Food Blogger Bake Sale on Saturday, May 14, giving you the chance to sample baked goods from many of the nation's top food bloggers at dozens of events nationwide.

Online epicures taking part in this one-day "bake-off" include
Fancy Pants Foodie, Mother May Have, Kate in the Kitchen, What’s Gaby Cooking and The Life & Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch (list compiled on the basis of absurd nomenclature, in case you hadn't guessed).

here to find a sweet sale in your city and provide funds for the more than 17 million American kids who go hungry.

May 6, 2011

Producing the Goods

Attention shoppers: there’s a bushel of hope in your local produce section. The fruitful folks over at Produce for Kids are teaming up with 16 national grocery store chains to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network-affiliated hospitals.

Their scrumptious spring campaign - Get Healthy, Give Hope – raises money from the sales of popular fruit and veggie items from
companies including Dole, Del Monte, Marie’s, Nature Sweet and Tropicana. From now through July, go ahead and pounce on that pomegranate; endure for a durian, fondle some fennel and rumble off with a rutabaga. The more produce you purchase, the more cash goes to local children’s hospitals.

For more information about giving kids more helpings of health and hope, please click

May 5, 2011

Dwell On This

Is it actually possible to design an entire house for less than it costs to stay one single night at a luxurious five star hotel? Well, the folks over at $300 House think the answer is “yes” and they’re calling on designers and architects around the globe to submit designs for its $300 House Challenge.

If you thought designing a “simple” dwelling for less than $300 was a daunting task, keep in mind that your plan must also adhere to a long list of requirements including that it cannot be smaller than 2.2m X 2.2.m; must have space to sleep and cook, have access to light, drinking water, and electricity; be constructed with material that will resist the elements for 50+ years; be secure from animals and criminal elements; and be resistant to fire, storms, earthquakes and other natural disasters. It does NOT, however, need its own sanitation system. That, thank goodness (for the designers, not the incoming occupants), will be housed in a nearby communal facility.

You’ve got less than three weeks (May 26) to enter your innovative idea against some very stiff competition including “huff'n'puff,” “Tuck India Team,” “WIGWAM,” "iBrick," and “woody-hoody." Ever a champion of diligence, I’ve actually scanned some of the recent
entries and am absolutely astounded by (and quite jealous of) the habitations on offer.

The grand-prize winner – selected by the online community and an expert panel of judges - will receive $25,000 cash and have the chance to actually build their $300 creation during a two-week workshop in rural Alabama this June.

here if you think you’ve got the chops to create an affordable housing solution for the roughly two billion people living in adverse poverty. Two billion!

May 4, 2011

Frigidaire Gives American Office Workers a New Favorite Pastime

Frigidaire is throwing a bit of a curveball over the next few weeks with a very simple, ridiculously addictive online baseball game that raises money for Save the Children. Not for me to say if the financial donations the company is making for each visit to the mound are worth the inevitable loss of millions of productive man hours and a massive hit to the economic recovery ... but it's hard not to like something this fun that raises money for such a great cause.

The connection between kitchen appliances and baseball may not be immediately obvious, but then you realize it also features Jennifer Garner. So that clears that up.

Swing your virtual bat
here from now until June 8.