December 24, 2012

Snoball Effect


A small pledge engine called Snoball hopes it will create a big “snoball” effect by inviting people to make and share small donations based on an event of their choosing. For example, you could choose to donate $5 to the YMCA every time the Lakers win. Or pledge to give $10 to a local food bank when you check in to your local coffee shop.

Your “snoball” can be tied to whatever charity and/or event you can think of. Or you can join someone else’s snoball online or on Twitter, Facebook or Foursquare. It’s 100 percent free to sign up, and 93 percent of each donation goes directly to charity (with over 1.7 million for you to choose from). Get the ball rolling here.

December 21, 2012

Puppy Power


During our hundreds of visits to nursing homes, senior centers, schools and hospitals over the past few years with Mini, a 12-year-old spaniel mix, I've seen firsthand how just how much humans can benefit from animal assisted therapy.

That’s why I was so thrilled to turn on the TV this morning and see a beautiful golden retriever -- wearing a bright blue SPCA work vest –- providing much-needed comfort and healing to the residents of Newtown. Such a beautiful sight.

If you’ve got a pup that loves giving love, you can learn more about SPCA’s wonderful Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) program here.  

December 18, 2012

Strange Bird


MDG is proud to bring you one of the more bizarre gamified online promotions of the holiday season, "Holiday Turkey Bowling – Strike Out Hunger" from Peapod, the country’s leading online grocery service. In this addictive bird tossing extravaganza, players can choose their very own virtual turkey to be bowled down a virtual bowling alley to raise money for local food banks within its delivery areas.

For every game played at Peapodturkeybowl.com, the online grocer will donate $1 (up to $15,000) to help strike out hunger in communities across the nation. Click here to roll the bird.

December 14, 2012

12 Days of Publicity

Miss Do-Gooder is waiting with bated breath to see if her favorite local charities made the cut during Walmart’s “12 Days of Giving” campaign. If you're wondering whether your fave nonprofit won a share of $1.5 million in grants, click here or go to www.facebook.com/walmart

Which charity are you rooting for?

December 12, 2012

You Collect from iCollect


If you’re planning on hitting up H&M anytime soon, be sure to bring along a bag or two of used clothes (any brand will do). Not only will you get a store discount for your efforts, you’ll be helping the chain with its new recycling campaign iCollect.
 
Click here to learn more about H&M’s eco-friendly initiative coming soon to a store near you.

December 10, 2012

Lovely Lady

Why not show your support for all things environmental by stamping this year’s seasons greetings with Lady Bird Johnson souvenir stamps. They’re the same price as all the other ones, but these Forever stamps celebrate the First Lady who literally changed the face of America by leading campaigns to clean up our cities and restore all the beautiful things we had either damaged or destroyed (and I’m guessing it was quite a lot!)

You can find sheets of lovely Lady Bird stamps at your local post office, at usps.com/stamps or by calling 800-STAMP-24.

December 6, 2012

Label Love


Where have you been my whole life How2Recycle labeling system? Finally, someone -- thank you Sustainable Packaging Coalition! -- has created a simple, clear, consistent label that tells me exactly what to do with my empty container/bottle/box/bowl/jug/lid: does it belong in the blue recycling bin and, seriously, must I REALLY rinse it off before placing it there? From now on, that little label will tell me everything I need to know.

And we’re not just talking about a few labels on a few obscure products. These ingenious How2Recycle labels can already be found on select products from Minute Maid, Microsoft, Estee Lauder, Clorox, Best Buy, Seventh Generation and General Mills. And the best news is that more and more products will be added over the next few years. Fingers crossed, the labels will appear on the majority of consumer product packaging by 2016. Now that is something to be seriously thankful about this holiday season.

December 4, 2012

Pin It to Win It


MDG still hasn’t jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon, but she's interested to see how a few crafty marketing types have created a “Pinticularly” nifty –- and nice -- use for it this holiday season. HSN’s new “Pin to Give: Deck the Halls for St. Jude” campaign has kindly pledged that for every eligible holiday-themed board submitted through December 31, it will donate $1 St. Jude.

So, if you’re an aspiring interior decorator/“Pinner,” click here to learn how your pinning can help bring a bit of holiday cheer to some very sick children.

December 3, 2012

5,000 Reasons to Share the Joy

Cost Plus World Market wants you to share the joy – along with a few personal details on its Facebook page – during its third annual “Share the Joy” sweepstakes. You have until December 21 to enter to win a $5,000 American Express gift card for you, along with $5,000 for your charity of choice.

Go to www.facebook.com/worldmarket for all the facts on how five lucky winners – one each week - will be sharing a heck of a lot of joy this holiday season.

November 30, 2012

Dear Santa


I’ve already made my annual trek to Macy’s to ooh and ahhh over the adorable SFSPCA puppies and kittens up for adoption (the window displays are pretty awesome too). But it looks like I’ll be making yet another trip to Union Square this holiday season to drop off my letter to Santa… stamped and addressed to Santa Claus at the North Pole, of course!

Yep, Macy’s “Believe” campaign is back again this year, bringing holiday cheer – and a $1 donation (up to $1 million) – to the Make-A-Wish Foundation for each Santa letter it receives. Click here to write, decorate and print your personalized letter and be sure to drop it off at a Macy’s near you before Santa’s mailbox gets too stuffed (he’s already received over 300,000 letters so far!). 

November 29, 2012

Park Power


The National Parks Foundation has two bits of news to share with you this holiday season. First, it recently launched its “45 Days of Giving” campaign, which aims to raise $450,000 in much needed aid for America’s 398 national parks. It’s pretty straightforward -- there’s no need to friend, text, tweet, or pin. Simply give what you can at www.nationalparks.org/Give45. You’ll be helping the foundation protect our nation’s glorious parks system – from the Grand Canyon to Gettysburg - for hopefully way more than another 45 years. Happy anniversary NPF!

The other big news is that Neil Patrick Harris has been tapped to host the 90th annual national Christmas tree lighting (presented by the National Parks Service and NPF, of course) in Washington, D.C. The live broadcast will also feature performances by The Fray, Jason Mraz, James Taylor and Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds. You can catch the ceremony streamed live at www.thenationaltree.org on December 6th at 4:30pm EST or catch one of the many reruns that will air nationally on public television throughout December.

November 28, 2012

Clicking to Cleanup Sandy's Aftermath


You’ve got a few days left to make your clicks really count toward helping thousands of people and animals impacted by Superstorm Sandy. Just hit the “click here” buttons at both The Animal Rescue Site (www.theanimalrescuesite.com) and The Hunger Site (www.thehungersite.com) through the end of November and GreaterGood Network will divert 100 percent of the “click” donations to groups working on hunger relief, clean-up and animal rescue in areas affected by the storm.

Your free clicks will support dozens of local and national nonprofits including Community Food Bank of New Jersey, Woodbridge Animal Shelter, St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center, Animal Alliance, Rescue Bank, ASPCA, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), and the Humane Society of United States (HSUS). Click here to lend your support to the Atlantic Coast cleanup.

November 27, 2012

One Day of Giving


I’m not a huge fan of naming days (or months for that matter) just to get the masses to do what someone thinks they should or shouldn’t do, but I’m definitely in favor of celebrating #GivingTuesday, which happens to be today. Giving – whether it’s cash, time, a compliment, a box of chocolates, a smile, a hand with groceries, helping someone cross the street – is way more satisfying (in my opinion) than being bombarded with a zillion Black Friday, Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday deals that end at midnight sharp, so you better get your wallet and buy something you don’t want or need or even worse, can’t afford.

Click here to show your support for giving, instead of gobbling up more stuff, this holiday season.

November 21, 2012

Do This Instead


Instead, a newish app created by the talented Texan team at Oven Bits, encourages people to use the money they might have spent splurging on stuff like a steak dinner, a venti pumpkin spice latte or a night out at the movies and donate it to charity instead. Your decision to brown bag it for a week – or forgo your daily afternoon treat - could send big money to one of over 100 charities including Autism Speaks, Charity: Water, American Cancer Society and American Red Cross.

Click here to turn one small sacrifice into a huge win for charity. Small giving is, after all, the next big thing.

November 15, 2012

Polar Bears Live!


Explore.org is on a mission to make Polar Bear Week (unfortunately it ends November 16) as wildly popular as that “other” animal week. With a slew of social media on its side, the organization hopes to build awareness about the devastating effects climate change is having on the everyday lives of Arctic polar bears, through a 24/7 live stream.

The best time to catch a glimpse of the bears’ slow (even slower when there’s no ice!) migration across the Canadian Arctic is between 10:00AM and 4:00PM CST. Click here to be captivated by the impossibly cute Canadian cubs or – if the bears didn’t get the day’s memo - a screen of white, fluffy Canadian snow. If it’s the latter, no worries, the feed will be live until the end of the month.

November 14, 2012

Dare to Do Good!


With its new iPhone app, Budge is urging Gen Y youngsters to invite their friends, family and co-workers to meet a challenge of their choosing, all in the name of charity. Touted as the only social, mobile micro-donation platform, Budge makes it easy and fun to give small-ish amounts to causes people care about.

After downloading the app, users can challenge their friends to just about any activity – or “budge” - they can think of: to a friendly board game, to a pizza-eating contest, to dye their hair purple, to a scavenger hunt, to not speak for a day, etc. You get the picture.

The winning "budge" can be published to Facebook, with the loser donating a preset micro-donation to one of a handful of charities including African Services, BreastCancer.org, Envirolution, The United Nations World Food Program USA and READ Global. Click here to start budging someone near and dear.

November 12, 2012

I'll Snack to That!

KIND Healthy Snacks (KIND) is hoping you’ll be kind to yourself and others by taking part in its new Snack & Give Back campaign. They’ve recruited a few do-gooder, health loving heavyweights -- including Arianna Huffington (Huffington Post), Bobbi Brown (Bobbi Brown Cosmetics) and Grace Potter (Grace Potter and the Nocturnals) -- to create limited edition, personally curated KIND cubes.
   
A portion of sales from each cube ($43) which include the GPS for the Soul Cube, Eat Pretty Powerful Cube and the Grace Potter Backstage Snack Pack (apparently not a cube) will benefit each celebrity’s chosen charity: The Committee to Protect Journalists, Broome Street Academy and the Alzheimer's Association respectively. Of course the cubes are filled with delicious and KIND healthy snack flavors like Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan, Madagascar Vanilla Almond and Pomegranate Blueberry Pistachio + Antioxidants.
 
KIND cubes do not contain any political messages, beauty products or music selections. How very unKIND!

November 9, 2012

Go Green at Walgreens


It might not be exactly beautiful on the outside (in my opinion), but Walgreens new line of green home products, Ology, is evidently very eco-pretty on the inside. Billed as being free of any harmful chemicals, the nationally accessible and affordable line includes baby care, laundry, cleaning products, personal care, CFL bulbs and an array of everyday essentials like toilet paper and tissues.

Click here to learn more about the brand that I’m sure is going to give Method – and a few other awesome eco-friendly companies - a run for their money.

November 8, 2012

More Mo's, More Money


We’re already a week into Movember, so chances are you’ve noticed more and more men sporting moustaches or “Mo’s” in support of men’s health and the prevention of prostate cancer. And who better to help them style their brand new staches than Gillette, the best a man can get (or so they say).

Throughout the month of November, Gillette will hit the road on an eMO’gency Styler Tour, providing gratis styling services and grooming advice to lads in need. It will also feature an entire library of Mo styles – including “the Gunslinger” and “the Horseshoe” - on its Facebook page along with some freaky type of technology that allows men to create a time lapse “Mo’ Growth” video of their moustache growing journey that they can share with friends. I’m sorry, but that’s just a bit weird.

Most importantly, however, is that for every photo uploaded, Gillette will donate $1 to support the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Click here to learn more about how growing a Mo could help change the face of men’s health.

November 2, 2012

The Colonel is Calling


KFC is looking for a few thousand fans to Pass the Bucket to raise money to fight hunger. You don’t literally have to pass any buckets of The Colonel’s original recipe or extra crispy chicken; you’re simply asked to share – with your friends and family -- KFC’s Recipe for Hope image on its Facebook page.

For each and every image shared, the popular fast food chicken chain will donate $1 to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), up to a maximum donation of $10,000. For all you non Facebook fans out there, you can also make a donation to WFP at participating KFC restaurants through Nov. 18.

Click here to help the Colonel share his recipe for feeding those in need.

November 1, 2012

Just the Ticket


After a very lengthy pilot phase, TicketsforCharity.com recently announced it will launch for real on January 15, 2013. With support from more than 100 well-respected charities, 50 top NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and MLS teams, dozens of artists including U2, Katy Perry, John Legend and James Taylor and 50 blue chip corporate partners, the site now needs your help in gathering one million members before its national launch. Don’t worry, registration is completely free and takes less than two seconds.

To get on the pre-list, simply click here and type in your email address and location. Before you know it, you’ll be helping TFC turn your tickets into a bit of cash for some great causes.

October 30, 2012

Good Greetings


Americans sure are a sucker for greeting cards (to the tune of $7.5 billion each year!). Wow.

If you’d like to spread some of that cheery ol’ cash to a charitable cause this holiday season, check out CardsThatGive.org. The site lists more than 150 organizations including Alzheimer’s Association, God’s Love We Deliver, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, National Wildlife Federation and The Marine Mammal Center that sell greeting cards to support their programs. I guarantee you’ll find a card with your cause on it. 

October 28, 2012

Go Boo at the Zoo


I promise this will be the only post about Halloween, but I couldn’t resist sharing the news that dozens of zoos and aquariums across the country are hosting EEK-o-friendly events – with frightful names like “Boo at the Zoo" and "Zoo Boo” - leading up to this scarily popular holiday.

Visitors shouldn’t expect to find ghoulish conventional candy or cheap, plastic costumes on display; these zoos are promoting a leaner, greener Halloween with healthy organic snacks and DIY costumes. Click here to go boo at a zoo near you.

October 25, 2012

Make a Difference Day


If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, I may have just the plan: volunteer to make a difference during the 22nd annual “Make a Difference Day” (Saturday, October 27). Co-sponsored by USA WEEKEND Magazine and Points of Light, the nation’s largest day of community service offers thousands of charitable projects you can help, including “Providing Socks for the Less Fortunate” in San Francisco, “Shopping on Lake” in Chicago, and “Food for All” in Washington, D.C.

And to prove that no good deed should go unnoticed (or unpunished), Newman’s Own will award $10,000 each to the charities of 13 different volunteer efforts, a grand total of $130,000. Thank you, Mr. Newman!

Click here to join the nation in making a difference.

October 24, 2012

Car Sharing and Caring


If the words “Zipcar” or “Zipster” mean nothing to you, the contest I’m about to mention probably won’t have a heck of a lot of meaning. But for those of you who are at beck and call of this fast-growing car sharing company, I’m here to remind you that you’ve only got a couple of days left to vote for the charitable cause you'd like to see take home $5,000 (and a Zipcar for a day) during its Get Out and Give challenge.

Click here by Friday, October 26 at 12:00PM EST to cast your vote for Daniel’s Operation Access, Leeni’s Suicide Prevention Fundraiser or Odunola’s Project Ascend.

October 22, 2012

Youthful Ambition


Nestle is working hard to change the world through its Very Best in Youth competition. Open to young people aged 14-18, the contest is searching for a slightly random total of 18 role models, leaders and change makers who inspire their communities, churches and schools to make a difference.

To put yourself in contention, you should be prepared to answer a few tough essay questions, submit two letters of recommendation (one from school, the other from someone who knows you well), provide a copy of your transcription or most current report card, and show proof that your parent or legal guardian is cool with your entry.

All that hard work could pay off in the end with a $1,000 donation to the charity of your choice and a trip to Los Angeles for a three-night, four-day adventure including a red-carpet gala and awards ceremony in July, 2013. Click here to demonstrate your youthful ambition by November 8.

October 17, 2012

Dogs Fly Free

I’m going to let brilliant newsman/anchor/funnyman Brian Williams do the all talking about a pawesome charity called Pilots N Paws – including heroic volunteer pilot Jeff Bennett, who has personally saved thousands of shelter/rescue animals with the gift of free flight. Click here to meet man’s best friend! 

October 15, 2012

Fantastic Stuff


I can’t think of a better duo to help educate kids and their parents about organic foods than PBS Kids and Whole Foods Market. The 100 percent natural partnership recently launched its “Fantastic Organic” campaign, delivering healthy doses of facts, tips, activities, videos, games and recipes both online and in select stores.

I just took a quick peek at the site and found interviews with “Fantastic People” like Sue Conley and Peggy Smith of Cowgirl Creamery (who make some of the best cheese I’ve ever tasted!), ideas on how to “Shop Fantastic” -- including how to find a local farmers' market -- and advice about how to “Cook Fantastic” club sandwich kabobs.

If you’ve got a Whole Foods in your area, you can look forward to “The Hunt for Organics,” an in-store scavenger hunt that the whole family can play. You can entertain the kids while you all shop by sending them on a quest to match organic foods with labels and count their progress along the way. Plus, when you've completed the hunt, you can enter a grand prize drawing to win a one-year supply of Organic Valley products. Delicious.

Click here to learn why going organic is simply fantastic.

October 12, 2012

Prize Patrol


Three charities –- St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the ASPCA –- are in the running to receive big checks from Publishers Clearing House during its second “The Give Back” campaign. Although we’re not talking about a multi-million dollar payout (remember those darned mailers?) the first-place charity will be awarded $50,000, and $35,000 and $25,000 will go to the second and third place nonprofits respectively.

You’ve got until November 5 to vote for your favorite cause on the PCH Fan Page on Facebook. Then, just sit back and wait to see whom The Prize Patrol surprises with a big fat – or not quite so fat – check later on November 8.

October 10, 2012

Not Gone Fishin'


Well, you can still go fishin' – and even keep and eat certain types of fish - but One World One Ocean would like you to know which particular fish are on the overfished list (and therefore not cool to catch, buy or consume) during its GO Fish! campaign this October: a.k.a. National Seafood Month.

You can show your support for the sustainable seafood movement by submitting a 1-minute video -- by October 22 -- featuring your favorite sustainable fish joke, story, restaurant, recipe or tale. The person with the most fish-friendly topic will take home a $500 prize.

I’ll give you a heads up that Atlantic salmon, Chilean sea bass, black tiger shrimp, red snapper and Bluefin tuna are beyond off limits, so please keep the tuna salad recipes to yourself for now.

Click here to see the list and to learn other ways you can help ensure a healthy future for fish and for us.