April 29, 2013

Tow the Line

A few week’s ago, I wrote about an initiative from World Vision called “Do the Famine.” It appears they’re not the only show in town that’s raising awareness about world poverty.

With support from celebrities like Ben Affleck, Josh Groban, Sophia Bush and Debi Mazar, the “Live Below the Line” campaign asks participants to subsist on just $1.50 a day for five full days to better understand just how good they’ve got it (and how tough life can be for more than 1.4 billion people around the world). This one’s not affiliated with any particular religious group; its roots are actually Australian via the Global Poverty Project.

Help Ben and friends put an end to extreme poverty by living below the line from April 29 to May 3. Just think of all the money you’ll save on groceries.

April 25, 2013

One A Day

I’ve blogged about a lot of great iPhone apps, but unfortunately this one’s just for Android users. Called “One Today,” the app -- offered in a limited pilot test via Google Play -- encourages users to donate one dollar per day to select nonprofit organizations.

Every day the app presents users with information about one different charity, allowing them to choose whether or not they’d like to kick in a buck for the cause. A few of the projects currently offered on the site include Ashoka, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Pencils of PromiseTeach for Health and Trees for the Future.

What a wonderful way to do one good thing today and every day, wherever you are.

April 24, 2013

Recycle With Kiehl's

Here’s yet another reason to love Kiehl’s. The cosmetics company is partnering with Recycle Across America to help make recycling more simple and effective (hint: it’s all in the labels!) in schools across the United States. And they’ve enlisted Alanis Morisette and Zachary Quinto to help.

The fabulous old school skincare brand (founded 160 years ago) is donating up to $50,000 from the purchase of its limited edition ultra facial cream ($46.50), which was designed by the aforementioned eco-conscious artists/celebs. Get schooled at Kiehl’s.

April 22, 2013

Makeup a Difference

Every girl understands the transformative power of great make-up. Now, QVC and CEW (Cosmetic Executive Women, Inc.) are teaming up to prove that a makeover can make a huge difference for people living with cancer.

During the Beauty With Benefits charitable event (Thursday, April 25, 9:00-11:00 p.m. Eastern), net proceeds from sales of 15 amazing brands -- including Clarins, Clinique, Fresh, Josie Maran, philosophy and Tarte -- will benefit Cancer and Careers, a CEW program that helps people with cancer to thrive in their workplace.

With free shipping and free samples, shopping for that perfect shade of lipstick never meant more.

April 19, 2013

Call Me Crazy

While many blogs out there are talking about how awesome Jennifer Aniston’s legs looked in those short black shorts she wore to the premiere of Lifetime’s “Call Me Crazy: A Five Film,” I’ll be discussing a slightly more charitable angle. Starring a slew of talented actors including Melissa Leo, Jennifer Hudson, Octavia Spencer, Jean Smart, Brittany Snow and Sarah Hyland, "Call Me Crazy" is actually a compilation of five short films centered on mental illness.

Each of the shorts -- named after its main characters Lucy, Eddie, Allison, Grace and Maggie –- shows how powerful relationships built on hope and triumph result in a new understanding of what happens when a loved one struggles with mental illness.

Lifetime Television partnered with The National Alliance for Mental Illnesses (NAMI) for the film, which sheds light on this important cause and reduces the stigma surrounding those who live with mental illnesses (one in four adults in the U.S.). Grab a hanky and tune into the world premiere this Saturday, April 20 at 8:00PM ET/PT.

April 18, 2013

One Fund Boston

You always read (or hear) warnings not to trust charities that pop up right after a tragedy. But surely if two politicians -- Boston mayor Tom Menino and Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick – announced it themselves, it must be legit, right?

Launched with a $1 million commitment from John Hancock and support from scores of other individuals and corporations (local and national), the One Fund Boston was created to raise money to help families impacted by the tragic events that took place during the Boston Marathon. Your funds will go a long way to help heal this great American city.

April 16, 2013

Cruel Beauty

MDG had NO idea that companies in the United States still test cosmetics on animals. And we call ourselves civilized?

By contrast, Europe recently came to its senses and ended this barbaric practice for good (in part due to 40 years of tireless campaigning by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV). Now it’s time for the rest of the world to follow suit. 

To get the ball rolling, The Humane Society of the United States has launched the Be Cruelty-Free campaign, enlisting celebrities including Paul McCartney, Ricky Gervais and Ke$ha to pressure scientists, cosmetic industry leaders and Congress to reject this cruel and needless animal experimentation. 

You can do your part to end animal testing for cosmetics products -- which, appallingly, still happens in 80 percent of the world -- by signing this pledge from The Body Shop and Cruel Free International, or by supporting the Be Cruelty-Free initiative. It’s way past time to take the cruelty out of cosmetics.

April 12, 2013

Soap Solution

This post was originally going to shine a spotlight on the launch of the “Hyatt Thrive Global Month of Community Service,” during which nearly 100,000 employees/associates at 480 properties around the world agree to volunteer their time and efforts in their communities during the month of April. But then, further into the press release, I learned about Hyatt’s newest nonprofit partner, Clean The World. Newshound that I am, I knew that was the real story.

In a nutshell the organization collects, recycles and distributes discarded soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and lotions from the hospitality industry (everyone from the Best Western in Siren, Wis., to the Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows) and donates them to impoverished people around the world. Since being founded in 2009 it has partnered with dozens of NGOs including Covenant House, The Salvation Army in Central Florida, St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, Floating Doctors and The Las Vegas Rescue Mission and helped prevent millions of deaths caused by hygiene-related illnesses every year.

Big kudos to CTW for cleaning up the world one tiny toiletry at a time.

April 10, 2013

Go Wild

I’m not going to give away my age my admitting exactly many years its been since I heard John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High” blasting from my parent’s record player, but let’s just say it’s been a while. Now, 15 years after his death, ATO Records is celebrating his life and music with the The Music is You: A Tribute to John Denver.

With covers from his most popular songs (Leaving on a Jet Plane, Sunshine on My Shoulder, natch) performed by musicians including Dave Matthews, Train, and Lucinda Williams, the album will also raise funds for The Wilderness Society.

Help protect our nation’s wild wildlands with some sweet folksy music.

April 8, 2013

Do the Famine

MDG has never delved into the religious arena, but there’s a first for everything, right? Without getting too preachy, International humanitarian organization World Vision hosts a bi-annual event called the 30 Hour Famine. During “the Famine,” Christian youths learn about hunger, raise funds to help the hungry and then go hungry themselves for –- you guessed it -- 30 hours straight. Since 1992 teens in the United States have raised more than $120 million to fight hunger through this initiative. Pretty powerful stuff, whatever your faith.

Fight hunger and injustice everywhere by joining in the famine April 26-27.

April 5, 2013

Park It

Just a quick reminder that this year’s National Park Week happens April 20-28, with gratis admission April 22-26 only (sequester anyone?). So, unless you live in Delaware –- the only state without a national park – you can stroll, run, bike or simply revel at the spectacular scenery for FREE for five full days, courtesy of the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation. Go to nps.gov to navigate your way to a free park day.

April 4, 2013

Fundly to the Rescue

If you’re looking for a way to promote your upcoming charity run, walk, bike, hike, swim, dance or other athletic event (hula-hooping anyone?), you’ll be happy to hear that Fundly has your back. The free philanthropic social network recently announced a few new features – and a new friend - to help all you movers and shakers achieve even more fundraising success.

According to its site, Fundly is offering new event registration and ticketing features that make it a lightning-fast platform for run-walk-bike volunteers and others looking to organize campaigns. Plus, it just launched a brand new partnership with Charity Dynamics (they do clever marketing stuff). So go get busy with fundly.com.

April 2, 2013

Bear(y) Autism

MDG might be a bit too old for her own Build-A-Bear, but that doesn’t mean she can’t support its awesome partnerships with charities like Autism Speaks. Their lengthy relationship, which began in 2005, has already helped raise more than $545,000 for children and families impacted by autism. And, after perusing photos of its new Autism Speaks Bear, I’m confident they’ll raise thousands more.

During its Light it Up Blue campaign this April, $1 from the sale of each blue beary special teddy ($18) and 50 cents from every AS bear-sized tee shirt ($7) will be donated to Autism Speaks. Guests can also donate any dollar amount to the charity when they check out at Build-A-Bear Workshop stores in the United States or online at buildabear.com. Help build a better future for kids with autism.