August 31, 2011

Caddy for a Cure

I might as well stick with this week’s sporting theme and tell you about a cool new campaign called Caddy for a Cure. The program gives ordinary folks the opportunity to caddy for a golf professional on the PGA or LPGA Tour and raises money for various children’s charities including Birdies for the Brave and the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund.

This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity doesn’t come cheap (bids start at around $200), but its does allow you to get up close and personal with the likes of Tiger, Phil, Ian, Yani or whoever else you might like to take a swing at – um, I meant with.

For more information about Caddy for the Cure, please click here.

August 30, 2011

Football Friday

In anticipation of football’s big fall comeback Friday, September 9, The National Football League (NFL) is partnering with the United Way for its Back to Football Friday campaign. With dual goals of tackling childhood obesity AND promoting good old-fashioned team spirit, the promotion provides fans with numerous ways to get involved and raise money for the cause.

Here are just a few.

Schools can get in the game by organizing a Back to Football Friday bash. The schools that show the most NFL team pride and commitment to kid’s health will compete for a chance to be named one of 34 NFL PLAY 60 Super Schools, receive an NFL team celebration and a $10,000 health and wellness grant.

Companies can encourage employees to donate $5 to the United Way in exchange for permission to get pimped out in their finest NFL team gear on BTF Friday.

Employees can contribute to the cause by transforming their work cubicles into the ultimate NFL fan zone. The owner of the winning cubicle will take home tickets to Super Bowl XLVI.

Regular folks can compete for the coveted title of “United Way Super Fan” by hosting a tailgate party, organizing a fundraiser, or getting tons of friends and family members to support the cause on Twitter or Facebook. Super fans should submit their best stories and photos here for a chance to win a trip to Super Bowl XLVI.

Please visit www.backtofootball.org for more ways to support the United Way’s war on childhood obesity.

* photo courtesy of www.obesityhelp101.com

August 26, 2011

Animal Farm

Where can you enjoy a nice walk, raise money for abused and neglected farm animals and meet some very nice folks? At one of the hundreds of Walk for Farm Animals events being hosted by Farm Sanctuary this fall.

This amazing organization – with 25 years of service under its belt – is one of the country’s biggest advocates of farm animals. Operating animal sanctuaries in New York and California, the organization has literally rescued thousands of distressed farm creatures since it was founded in 1986.

Click here to meet this year’s adorable animal ambassadors including a chicken named Georgia, a sow named Nikki, a rooster named Apollo and a duck named Eva. Think of them as your personal cheerleaders for the walks, which take place between September 10 and November 6, depending on where you live.

To find a walk near you, go to www.walkforanimals.org. There you can register, join a team, start a team, or even join a “virtual” walk. Registration is $15 for adults, $5 for teens, and kids under 12 are free.

Click here to walk your way to a healthier future for farm animals.

* photo courtesy of treehugger.com

August 25, 2011

Rally Around This

It's pretty appalling that schools nationwide are cutting back on children’s valuable recess time. What’s next, evil playtime snatchers, naptime?

Well, Dannon and its Danimals brand aren’t taking this news lying down. They’re rallying moms and kids across the nation to take back recess time with an ingenious new initiative called “Rally for Recess.”

You can join this crucial cause by collecting codes from specially marked Danimals products and then registering them (along with your school) online. Participating schools will compete neck and neck to win a $20,000 playground makeover, complete with an ultimate all-day recess celebration.

To keep things fair, schools are separated into five different leagues - Badger, Wildcat, Gator, Bear, and Rhino – according to their student size. You’ve got until February 8 to score big for your school and help re-instate recess for good.

Learn more about Rally for Recess here.


August 24, 2011

Spend a Penny

It's back-to-school time, and I'm sad to report that even MDG can't keep the inevitable end-of-summer blues at bay. In the spirit of turning lemons into lemonade and defining clouds by their silver linings, however, we can report a nifty new promotion from JC Penney that will effortlessly generate much-needed charity dollars for a few priceless after-school programs.

The mega-retailer recently launched its “Pennies from Heaven” campaign, which asks customers to round up their change to the nearest dollar on their purchases. JC Penney hopes to raise $1 million in pennies, dimes, nickels and quarters for programs including The Boys and Girls Club of America, the YMCA, the United Way, F.I.R.S.T. and the 4-H.

You’ve only got until August 27 to cash in on this cool campaign. Click here for store locations.

August 19, 2011

Good for All

If you’re looking for a fast, free way to find meaningful volunteer opportunities in your community, check out All for Good, a Web-based service that allows you to quickly sift through more 150,000 postings until you find the right one for you. With a few clicks, you can easily narrow down listings according to your interests, skills, location and timeframe.

So whether you’re seeking a one-day beach clean-up project or a weekly tutoring gig, chances are All for Good has you covered.

August 17, 2011

Owning Owney

MDG is powerless to resist some stories, even if they're not strictly charity-related. This one features a charismatic canine and benefits the US Postal Service - which, given recent news, seems like it could use a bit of a boost. That's a twofer.

For a mere 44 cents, you can own a tiny piece of postal history by purchasing an “Owney the Postal Dog” postage stamp. These new forever stamps commemorate Owney, a rascally terrier mix who used to ride the postal trains way back in the late 1800s. Adored by public and postal workers alike, he's currently "resting peacefully" (i.e. stuffed and on display) at The National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C.

Click here to add Owney to your stamp collection (or, if you were born before 1902, use him to pay for postage).

August 16, 2011

CLASS Acts

On September 17, San Diego plays host to the third annual CLASSY Awards, America's largest philanthropic awards ceremony. Who's going to walk away with the top prizes? That's entirely up to you.

From now until August 26, you can vote for your favorite do-gooding organizations in 12 different categories including Charity of the Year, Most Creative Fundraiser, Most Innovative Use of Social Media by a Charity, Young Nonprofit Leader of the Year, and Philanthropic Small Business of the Year.

There are way too many class acts to mention here, but nominees include The Hugs Project, Puppy Prodigies, Karma Builders, Up Dog Fitness and Marley’s Mission. Click here to vote, and stay CLASSY, my friends.

August 11, 2011

App to the Future

Attention app do-gooders. AT&T is looking for eco-friendly applications with an environmental or energy-efficient edge. During its “Power Your Future” contest, the company is giving away a cool $25,000. The winner will take home $20,000 and the first runner-up will pocket $5,000.

Winners will also receive free promotion at AT&T stores across the country, a trip to Vegas in January for the 2012 AT&T Developer Summit and the possibility of being preloaded (the app, that is) on future AT&T smartphones. You’ve got until October 11 to submit up to five applications at http://att.promo.eprize.com/app/.

Who knows, your winning app could be the key to a more energy-efficient future.

August 10, 2011

Happiness Is a Good Book

In less than a week (August 15 to be exact), online bookseller - and MDG fave - Better World Books will hit the monumental milestone of $10 million raised for literacy projects around the world. Last time I checked, the ticker at the top of their homepage read $9,975,580, so they might even get there sooner than that.

Beneficiaries of BWB’s incredible outreach include Books for Africa, Invisible Children, Room to Read, National Center for Family Literacy, Worldfund, The Prison Book Program, Open Books, and The Robinson Community Learning Center.

BWB is celebrating this literary achievement by donating one book for every new "Like" on Facebook and "Follow" on Twitter until August 15. Each and every one of the donated books is earmarked for kids in need at Feed the Children.

Reading and giving - what a combination!

August 8, 2011

Picture of Health

The can-do folks over at Team Continuum recently released a cancer-kicking interactive Web site called Pixels of Promise. As the name suggests, the site uses pixels as a way to showcase the myriad of people it supports: from athletes and patients to hospitals and other healthcare facilities. If you’d like to get your very own pixel, click here to select your spot on the page and make a donation.

Since 2003 Team Continuum has provided immediate and vital, non-medical assistance to cancer patients and their families such as paying household expenses, offering friendship and moral support, and funding health care facilities to enhance the delivery of care, communications and educational services. You can support them in these efforts by sponsoring a pixel on their page and making a monetary donation.

You can also help TC celebrate its brand new site by entering its “Pictures of Promise” contest. They’re looking for photos or images that show who or what inspiration helped you withstand and overcome a particular hardship or adversity in your life. The first place winner takes home a $50 gift card to 1-800-FLOWERS. They're also offering TC T-shirts to anyone who participates in the contest to promote engagement.

Submit your entries by using the hashtag
#picsofpromise, or go to www.pixelsofpromise.org for more information.

August 4, 2011

The Faster The Better

Laptop giant Lenovo is celebrating the launch of its Enhanced Experience 2.0 for Windows 7 program - I'm sure it's geekishly spiffy software - with a novel new campaign.

Their “EExtraordinary 10-Second Hero contest” is seeking doers around the world who have accomplished a good deed in 10 seconds or less. If you or someone you know fits this description, simply tell Lenovo about it here.

Go to http://lenovo.promo.eprize.com/hero to learn more about this short, but sweet promotion that’s awarding $50,000 to the winner’s charity of choice.

August 3, 2011

Big Smile

Move over Colgate and Crest, Tom’s of Maine is kicking some butt with its new 50 States for Good initiative. It’s got $150,000 in sponsorship funds to share with six lucky non-profit organizations, each of which has done a deal of good in local communities across the country.

There are 20 great grassroots organizations to choose from including Blue Water Baltimore (Baltimore, MD,) One Warm Coat (San Francisco, CA,) Katie’s Crops (Charleston, SC,) and Gotta Have Sole (Cranston, RI.) So whether you’ve an animal lover, peacekeeper, nature nerd, or children’s campaigner, there’s a cause you can count (or vote) on.

Click here to help Tom’s of Maine give away the goods to a few grassroots do-gooders.

August 2, 2011

Young at Heart

A group of like-minded under-thirty-somethings has banded together to form Buy Young, a consumer movement that supports American businesses created by people of a certain age and an entrepreneurial disposition (over-thirty-somethings need not apply). The new initiative comes courtesy of OUR TIME, a national nonprofit trying to expand the reach of American males and females under the age of 30.

The good news for all of you older do-gooders out there is that you don’t have to be under 30 to buy into Team Buy Young; you just need to give them your coveted email address. When you’re accepted, you’ll have access to discounts from youth-led companies like Rent the Runway, airbnb, and Baking for Good.

The charity component here is that you’re supporting a national non-profit, one that also happens to be young, fabulous and (hopefully) charitable.