June 30, 2011

Be Book Smart

If you believe that reading is fundamental for children of all ages, races, shapes, sizes and income levels, please join Macy’s in their “Be Book Smart” campaign to raise funds for low-income kids across the nation. Due to severe cuts to its literacy program this year (i.e. they’ve lost all federal funding), Reading is Fundamental needs your help more than ever.

The nation’s largest children’s literacy organization has partnered with Macy’s for the sixth straight year to raise awareness and money for children in underserved communities. Simply donate $3.00 to RIF at your local
Macy’s retailer, and in return, you’ll receive $10 off a purchase of $50.

Rest assured, 100 percent of all donations go to RIF literacy programs. So shop early and shop often until July 31.

June 29, 2011

(Booking) Queen of Hearts

If your social conscience is berating you for wanting to drop a large chunk of change on a slightly too extravagant (but long overdue) vacation, there's a new travel site that might calm your conflicted soul.

BookingQueen.com donates 15 percent of the net income it earns from every hotel and car rental reservation it processes to a select group of NGOs. The site has charitable agreements covering 60,000 partner hotels, 17,000 car rental locations, and 9,000 tour operators, so a do-gooding traveler is hardly spoiled for choice. Airfare will have to be reserved elsewhere for now, but I think they’re working on it.

You can help
CARE Denmark plant mangrove trees in Vietnam when you reserve a room in Greece or book a car in Brazil to support the Barefoot Foundation’s efforts to build wells for needy children in Niger.

Wherever you roam, going where your heart desires has never been easier.

June 24, 2011

Beauty Before Age

There can't be many (New World) brands that can boast that they've been around since the mid-nineteenth century, so Kiehl's celebration of its 160th birthday is pretty impressive.

Just think, at about the same time President Millard Fillmore (1800-1874) was inspiring a new generation of voter with chants of "Indeed we shall!"
Kiehl's started wooing cool chicks with its awesome hair and skincare products (Hello, Crème de Corps!). To celebrate this rather remarkable anniversary, the company is donating $160,000 to 24 charities around the world through its “Kiehl’s Gives” initiative.

You, the fresh-faced Kiehl's customer, get to decide how to divvy up the money by voting for the cause closest to your heart. If you need a bit of help deciding how to cast your vote, click
here to watch short video clips of Kiehl’s global ambassadors Julianne Moore, Pharrell Williams and the Scissor Sisters speaking out on behalf of their favorite children's welfare, environmental and HIV/AIDs charities.

Vote daily at
www.kiehlsgives.com until August 31.

June 21, 2011

Double Do

Giving just got easier, cheaper and bigger (in fact, twice as big) with new online service Double Impact. The hot-off-the-shelves social giving platform allows you to earn money for your favorite charity by taking simple, greener actions like turning out the lights, taking public transportation and shopping at your local farmer’s market.

All you’ve got to do is log onto the site through Facebook, choose from a list of charities, complete a few simple tasks (see above), and start reaping in the rewards (otherwise known as Impact Points).

As a way of thanking you for all of your “hard work,” consumer brands like
Earthbound Farms, Treehugger and HappyFamily will donate to charities including WWF, Healthy Child, Healthy World and Pesticide Action Network.

It doesn’t cost you a dime. Or, in fact, that much of your time. Click here to double your impact with Double Impact.

June 17, 2011

Make That Change

Thanks to a mind-numbing four-hour marathon of “The Glades” the other day, I was made aware of A&E’s new initiative “Real Life. Change.” Encouraging folks to make one positive change in their life – like quitting an addiction, saving money, losing weight, going back to school, being more positive, and volunteering more – each pledge earns $1 for the charity of your choice (up to $50,000.)

Admittedly, some changes require a bit more effort than others, but hey, the choice is entirely up to you. As a reward for your promised pledge, a donation will be made to outstanding organizations including the
Environmental Defense Fund, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the Salvation Army, DonorsChoose.org, the Animal Welfare Society, the Wounded Warrior Project, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and many others.

Join A&E celebrities like Gene Simmons, his wife, the woman on The Glades, and Billy the Exterminator in making one big (or small) real life positive change.

June 16, 2011

For Seniors Only

Betty White’s commercials for AARP proclaiming that people need to “Get Over It” have taken on a whole new meaning with the launch of its new online Web portal dedicated to older lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender Americans. Proving that “pride comes in all ages,” the bold new site features articles, current news, polls, quizzes, videos and other useful resources for older gay Americans (age 50 plus according to AARP) and their friends, family and allies.

I did a quick perusal of the portal and found several attention-grabbing articles including “The Gay Man's Guide to Dating After 50," “5 LGBT-Friendly Vacations,” “My Child Is Gay. Now What?,” “Educating Older Adults About HIV/AIDS” and “Defying the Macho Culture.” Oprah, eat your heart out.

Click here to join the proud new generation of AARP.

June 10, 2011

Smile Saver

Forty kids born with cleft lip and/or palate will receive life-changing surgery thanks to a fundraising campaign from Operation Smile and DentalPlans.com that runs through the end of June.

You can help put a smile on a child’s face by purchasing dental insurance on
DentalPlans.com (a portion of every plan sold goes to Operation Smile), sharing your favorite photo of a child’s smile on Facebook, or by Twittering about what makes you smile. Your picture, purchase or Tweet will surely raise a smile somewhere in the world.

June 9, 2011

Pinking the Lock

In a marketing masterstroke, Master Lock has introduced a line of specially designed pink locks (and other security products) to raise money and awareness for early breast cancer detection and prevention. Emblazoned with bright pink awareness ribbons, the limited-edition locks are a surefire way to scare away scores of would-be mischief-makers while earning big bucks to fund breast cancer research.

They’re also raising money for the cause through a free
game on Facebook, but the pink locks are way more fun to write about. Click here to help Master Lock unlock the cure for cancer and keep all your stuff secure with their cute new anti-theft wares.

June 3, 2011

Truly the Land of the Rising Sun

You’re going to have to wait a few weeks before you can get your hands on one of the chic charity tees from a fashionable new collaboration between the “SAVE JAPAN! PROJECT,” UNIQLO, and Condé Nast Japan. With a little help from 10 A-list celebrities and designers - including Lady Gaga, Karl Lagerfeld, Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Blake Lively and Gwyneth Paltrow – the project plans to raise more than $1 million for the Japanese Red Cross Society to aid victims of the Great East Japan earthquake.

Each of the
tees (which retail in the U.S. for $19.90) bears a message of hope and encouragement for the people of Japan. My favorite comes from Miss Lively: “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.” How inspirational is that!

Beginning June 25, you can get yours at a UNIQLO retailer in 11 countries around the world or at a
UNIQLO Web site near you.

June 2, 2011

Two-Tissue Tail

The Web site FallenDogs.com, which launched on Memorial Day, is an extraordinary testament to the purity of character that defines our canine companions. Dedicated to the bravery and loyalty of service dogs past and present, the site pays tribute to war dogs, police dogs, fire dogs, guide dogs, therapy dogs and more.

Be warned, the stories on the site are two-tissue tails. Sales of products featured alongside these stirring tributes – including Mutt Mitts, Flexi leashes and Kong dog toys - benefit charities that serve working K-9s including
Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Service Animal Registry.