September 28, 2012

One Small Step

Fitness sure does feel good! With the free Charity Miles app for iPhone and Android, you can walk, run or bike your way to a better world. 

The handy new(ish) app tracks your distance-based achievements and donates a certain amount of money to your choice of nine charities including ASPCA, Autism Speaks, Habitat for Humanity, Pencils of Promise, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Per mile, bikers contribute 10¢ and walkers and runners earn 25¢ towards the $1,000,000 total sponsorship pool. Click here to make every sweaty personal milestone count for charity.

September 27, 2012

Every Dog Has His Day

It looks like CNN's Anderson Cooper has a bit of competition when it comes to the hailing of heroes. Kristin Chenoweth and the American Humane Association are celebrating the spirit of an entirely new species at the upcoming Hero Dog Awards.
The finalists have already been voted top dog in eight categories: Law Enforcement/Arson (Jynx), Service (Holly), Therapy (Stella), Military (Gabe), Guide (Tabitha), Search and Rescue (Soot), Hearing (Tatiana II) and Emerging Hero (Daniel).
Vote for one of these courageous canines before October 5 at, then tune in to see all of the patriotic pooches strut their stuff live on the Hallmark Channel on November 8, 2012 at 8:00 pm ET/PT.

September 24, 2012

Satisfy Our Stomachs

If you’re planning on dining out in the next couple of weeks (i.e. before the end of September), why not choose from one of the more than 8,000 restaurants that support Share Our Strength’s Dine Out For No Kid Hungry campaign? With a list that long, there’s bound to be something that satisfies both your taste buds and your wallet.

I just took a quick look online and found oodles of familiar chains like Corner Bakery Cafe, Macaroni Grill, Arby’s, Bruegger’s, Papa John’s Pizza and Denny’s as well as smaller, possibly lesser known restaurants like Shari’s CafĂ© & Pies (San Bruno, CA), Buffalo Wild Wings (Roseville, MN), Nia Mediterranean Tapas (Chicago), and Nonnas Citi Cucina (Englishtown, NJ).  I would make a comment about all that searching making me hungry, but... Never mind.

Click here to find an SOS restaurant near you.

September 21, 2012

Trick or FEED

I understand that one can only own so many reusable tote bags (darn you Baggu!), but the new FEED Trick-or-Treat bags are just too adorable to pass up, plus they help provide life-saving nutrition for children around the world. 

For every $18.00 FEED bag purchased through HSN, a $3.50 donation will be made to help support UNICEF’s malnutrition programs. That’s enough to provide one child in the developing world with a one-year supply of micronutrient powder.

Click here to treat yourself to FEED’s new bag.

September 20, 2012

Hear You ROAR

Animal Planet is once again asking its viewers to vote with their pocketbooks for the animal welfare groups that make them want to roar. During its eight-week R.O.A.R. (Reach Out. Act. Respond) initiative – from now through October 31 - seven nonprofits will have the chance to receive dollar-for-dollar matching contributions up to $120,000 from the sale of Animal Planet consumer products.

In addition, the charities -- American Humane Association, Earthwatch Institute, Jane Goodall Institute, National Wildlife Federation, Foundation, Villalobos Rescue Center and the Equus Foundation -- will compete for an additional $20,000 in bonuses in four categories: top monthly fundraiser, most unique monthly number of donations, most number of "shares" on Facebook and a judges' award for the overall loudest ROAR.   Click here to make your roar heard for these awesome animal charities.

September 18, 2012

Cat Race

You’re probably familiar with the Oscars, the Emmys, the Golden Globes, the CMAs and quite possibly even the VMAs. Now, dear readers, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to America’s newest talent contest, “The Friskies.” The nationwide competition – which celebrates cat videos, for crying out loud – will honor the Internet’s most original cat videos with significant prizes and charity donations.

You have until October 12 to send in your best camera work (under three minutes) in one of four categories: 1) Catness: the essence of cat behavior, capture a cat just being a cat, 2) Catcom: capture a cat in a humorous situation, 3) Catventure: capture an indoor cat on an adventure and 4) Catch All: miscellaneous category for entries that don't fit in to one of the other categories.

The grand-prize winner receives a whopping $15,000 and the honor of “Best Video,” and each of the four category winners takes home $2,500. In addition, 12 finalists (three from each category) will receive a cat statuette and a one-year supply of cat food, courtesy of Friskies.

Last but not least, Friskies has committed to donate 125,000 cans of cat food to dozens of cat shelters across the country. Further, each time someone enters the contest, votes, or likes or shares a video, five additional cans of Friskies will be added to the stack, up to a total of 250,000 cans. Click here to enter the cat race.

September 14, 2012

Take Part

Nineteen teachers across the nation hope that you’ll take part in “TakePart’s Great Back-to-School Challenge” from now through September 30. With charity all-star on board, these talented educators will shine a spotlight on projects ranging from giving school supplies to military kids in Mrs. Whorley's class at Hazelwood Elementary School in Clarksville, Tenn., to funding microscopes for Diane Frame’s kindergartners at Gibson Caldwell Elementary School in Clarksville, Tex. Yep, same city, different states. Go Clarksville!

Click here to help TakePart and to fund the future one classroom at a time.

September 13, 2012

On the LevelUp

MDG is going to level with you. She’s not the most tech savvy person on the planet. I’ve got a few favorite apps, but I certainly never imagined using my phone to pay for anything. Then again, I never imagined one talking to me either.

Then along came LevelUp – branded as the smartest way to pay with your phone - and its new “Causes” feature. Just download the app and then use it to pay for stuff (at participating locations) AND support your favorite causes by donating a percentage of the savings you’re already getting by using it. It’s all a bit techie for me, so here’s exactly how it works – word for word - from the folks who designed it.

“Simply launch the LevelUp app and head to the "Donate" section under "Settings." There you can see a list of all the Causes currently on LevelUp including Feeding America, Jumpstart and the Massachusetts Democratic Party. Pick your favorite one and the percentage of your savings that you'd like to donate. Remember, that percentage only applies to the money you're saving (not spending) when you pay with LevelUp.”

Another really cool feature is that when you try out a new place – like Big Fat Pita in Los Angeles or Duck N’ Roll Truck in Chicago - you'll instantly get a few bucks to spend there, plus you’ll unlock more savings if you go back.  Pretty cool, huh.

Click here to LevelUp the playing field (sorry, I couldn’t resist!) for lots of cool causes.

September 11, 2012

Free Pancakes!

Who doesn’t love a plate of delicious, homemade buttermilk pancakes, especially when a) you don’t have to cook them yourself b) a restaurant is giving them away for free and c) your glutenous gluttony is for a great cause? 

No, this post isn’t about the other (more International sounding) pancake house; it’s about Perkins and its upcoming celebration of Give Kids the World Pancake Day -- on Saturday, September 15 - when the popular restaurant will be serving up free short stacks all day long.

In lieu of paying for the pancakes, Perkins hopes that guests will consider making a donation to Give Kids the World, a Central Florida nonprofit resort that provides weeklong, cost-free fantasy vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses. Sounds like a delicious deal to me.

September 6, 2012

Chase to the Finish

From now through September 19, 196 charities from across the U.S. are competing for a piece of Chase’s $5 million philanthropy pie, one $10k-$250k grant at a time.  I wish I could be a bit more specific about which exact charities are in the running, but there seems to be a bit of a glitch on its Facebook page. Fingers crossed it will be fixed by the time this is posted.

But, with almost 200 charities to choose from, I’m certain there’s something for everyone. Click here to help Chase grant a brighter future for a heck of a lot of great causes.