October 27, 2011

Yours Truly

It may not be the flashiest Web site on the block, but iTrulyCare is a handy new platform where charities can post events, sell tickets, fundraise and gather volunteers all in one place. It’s also a great spot to search for events happening in your hood.

A quick search of the site showed dozens of interesting events including Dine with Diego at Zoo Miami (Miami, FL,) Wine, Wit and Lit (Maryland Hts., MO,) Seats for Seizures…and All That Jazz (Baton Rouge, LA) and Strolling Supper With Blues and News (New York, NY).

There truly is something for everyone here.

October 26, 2011

A Good Match

What do you get when you couple high-end designer duds with respected charities? A brand new e-commerce site called Community Collection.

This almost unspeakably cool new Web site pairs some of the world's leading fashion brands with select non-profits, helping customers turn "conspicuous consumption into compassionate consumption." (Those are Community Collection's words, not mine - I love alliteration, but even I would have thought twice about that one.)

You may feel a little bit better about the $208 you spent on that adorable Equipment pink silk shirt when you remember that 20 percent of the sale goes to Girl’s Inc. Or that you’ve supported Operation Homefront with a pair of $330 Alexander Wang gold zip sunglasses.

Community Collection will showcase six new designer-charity combos every week, and spread the love across a mix of established and emerging brands. The site's current line up includes Current/Elliot and Goods for Good, Clare Vivier for Surfrider Foundation, Alexis Bittar for Flying Kites, Inhabit for World Wildlife Fund, Whetherly for Operation USA, and LNA for Partners in Health.

Click here to do as good as you look.

October 24, 2011

Tiny Tony Prints

With Halloween almost here and Thanksgiving just a little further around the corner, it’s about time to start thinking about holiday cards. One pretty cool new option this year comes from online stationer Tiny Prints, which has partnered with the Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation (EBMRF) to create hip holiday cards designed by A-list celebs including Jennifer Aniston, Eva Longoria, Catherine Bell, Zoe Saldana and Bridget Moynahan.

In keeping with the holiday spirit, proceeds from the limited-edition collection – which costs under $30 for a pack of ten cards - will benefit children and adults suffering from this painful skin disease.

Click here to choose between Zoe Saldana's candy canes, Jennifer Aniston's snowflakes or Catherine Bell's polka dots; then make it personal with your choice of text, fonts and images. Sort of a neat and different way to spread some holiday cheer, right?

October 21, 2011

Chasing the Dream

MDG is on top of things this week, bringing you news of a charity campaign BEFORE it actually happens. Novel idea, huh.

You’ll want to mark your calendars for Tuesday, November 8, as the first day to vote for how Chase Community Giving should divvy up $3 million amongst 100 small*, local charities across the nation (*501(c)(3) public charities with operating expenses under $1 million). It also happens to be the day many of you get to exercise your right to vote for government officials in your local and state elections. Always a good time.

Anyway, once you “Like” Chase Giving on Facebook, you’ll be given a total of ten votes. According to the official rules, you can only use one vote per charity, but I’m sure you’ll find dozens of charities that are worthy of your choice.

The top vote getter will take home $250,000, the next four will receive $100,000, and the remaining 95 will get $25,000.

October 20, 2011

Go With the Flow

Move over kickball and monkey in the middle: yoga might be rolling onto a playground (mat) near you. With the recent launch of its Yoga-Recess campaign, The Yoga Health Foundation is working hard to bring yoga out of the studio and into schools across the nation.

If you’re a teacher who likes the idea of integrating more balance - via Downward Dog and Dolphin pose - into your classroom, you could win a $500-$1,000 grant for explaining how you’d go about doing it (in 250 words or less.)

You should also include your name, phone number and e-mail, plus a few other details such as school name and address; grade or subject you teach; number of students you wish to reach; principal or administrator’s name, phone number and e-mail address; and finally, a little about your yoga background (if you’ve got one) in 100 words or less.

Now take a deep breath and be sure to send your submission to essay@yoga-recess.org before December 4. Namaste.

October 18, 2011

Phone It In

There's quite a lot to like about Nokia. In addition to making chic phones loved by chic Europeans (at least before the iPhone came along), the quirky Finnish phone giant's core values are just clunky enough to suggest that it used Google Translate for its English-language Web sites. I give you this: “Passion for Innovation, Very Human, Achieving Together and Engaging You.”

How adorable is that?

Anyway, Nokia is searching for charities that embody those values for its Nokia Care US Contest (clunk!). If you know of a nonprofit that fits the bill, you’ve got until November 2 to nominate them, and give them a shot at winning $2,500.

Just submit a short essay (250 words maximum) that conveys what the charity means to you, along with a photo that captures the good it does, to na.ps@nokia.com.

October 13, 2011

Boxed Good

If you’re the type of person who: a) likes surprises, b) enjoys eco-friendly products and c) fancies delivery, I’ve got the perfect new service for you. Conscious Box – created by three enterprising young lads – is a monthly subscription service that delivers one box full of handpicked healthy, organic goodies right to your doorstep each month.

For $19 per month (contents are worth $30 or more) you’ll receive an assortment of unique, all natural goods ranging from fair trade food items to vegan beauty products. I spotted a few familiar brands on the site including Larabar and Glee Gum, but it looks like you have to actually order a box to see exactly what’s inside!

The suspense is killing me.

October 12, 2011

Artfully Done

Grab your camera, sketchpad, easel, or pen tablet (preferably one made by Wacom) and snap, sketch, paint or “pen” something new for Wacom’s “A Thousand Forests” contest. Although the competition is inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s famous line – “the creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn” – your artwork doesn’t need to be poetry, nature or nut-related, it just needs to be, um, artful.

For every entry it receives, Wacom will donate $5.00 to the International Child Art Foundation (ICAF), whose mission is to integrate the arts with science, sports and technology for the development of children's innate creativity.

A few of the top entries so far include “Portrait of Sal,” “Bunnicorn,” “Guardians of Sherwood,” and “Bewbits the Cat.” You’ve got until November 30 to submit your own work of art – along with a brief description - and have a shot at winning an all-expenses paid trip to the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops in gorgeous Santa Fe, New Mexico.

October 11, 2011

Just Be Cause

You’ve got a little over two weeks left to vote for your favorite charity during the “Cause Layouts Choose Your Cause” contest. Click here to pick your favorite cause – and their corresponding Facebook charity layout - including Invisible Children, Not for Sale, Petfinder.com, and National Parks Foundation.

You have until October 31 to cast your vote and be entered to win a $1,000 prepaid Visa card for your efforts. What you do with the money is completely up to you.

October 7, 2011

Streets Ahead of the Mainstream Media

Kudos to Sesame Street for creating a new Muppet who will raise awareness of the widespread, and shamefully under-reported, issue of hunger in the United States. Lily, a fuchsia-colored 7-year-old, will make her debut in a one–hour primetime special called “Growing Hope Against Hunger” on Sunday, October 9.

Cookie Monster must be feeling awful. Anyhoos, tune in on Sunday to learn how this iconic show will deal with an issue that affects 16 million children in the U.S.

October 5, 2011

Tricks and Treats

If the goody aisle of my local grocery store is any indication, Halloween must be just around the corner. Which, of course, means…it’s almost time to Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF.

With 61 years under its belt, the original Kids Helping Kids program has glammed things up a bit this year with an angelic new ambassador – Heidi Klum – who will serve as the official host of its first-ever Trick-or-Treat for Halloween costume party. Supporters can click here to create a cool virtual costume, plan a Halloween shindig, share spooky stories, create a fundraising page or donate cash to this great children’s cause.

The iconic orange donation boxes are also getting a makeover this year with the addition of a Microsoft tag, enabling young trick-or-treaters to collect cash and/or smartphone swipe. Not a bad trick if you ask me.

Order your tricked out boxes online at www.trickortreatforunicef.org or by phone at 1-800-FOR-KIDS while supplies last.

October 4, 2011

A Million Moms

ABC News is partnering with the United Nations Foundation for its Million Moms Challenge, a new campaign that hopes to connect at least one million Americans with millions of moms in developing nations to promote healthy pregnancies, safe births and thriving babies. You don’t have to be a mom to help a mom; you just need to add your signature to their petition.

Then, “like” them on Facebook to kick in a $1 donation from Johnson and Johnson (up to $100,000.) It only takes a minute to be one in a million.