June 28, 2013

Show Some Passion

Do you have a passion project that you want to share with the world? What if I told you that you could win $2,000 from American Express for doing exactly that?

If you’re not sure what the heck a “passion project” is, you should go to youtube.com/americanexpress and check out two short videos featuring two very passionate people who are making a big impact in two very different ways. Scott Harrison brings clean water to developing countries all over the world; Rebecco Lando proves that you can cook just about anything with five simple tools.

Scott Harrison Brings Clean Water to the World: http://youtu.be/1nOcp16exF4
Rebecca Lando Shows You Her Tools http://youtu.be/PsGFGp9TX44

If you want to be in the running for this month’s prize, you need to submit your idea by Sunday, June 30. If you can’t make that deadline, no worries: Amex will be awarding 70 makers, creators and mold-breakers – 10 a month until the end of the year - $2,000 each to help fuel their own #PassionProjects. All you have to do is submit a great idea, a photo and a short pitch for your inspiring project at http://www.youtube.com/user/AmericanExpress/MembershipDoes.

June 27, 2013

This is Greekin' Good

As if I needed another reason to support my bi-weekly Ben & Jerry’s habit, I just found out that their new Greek frozen yogurt flavor Liz Lemon supports Jumpstart -- a national early education organization serving children in low income neighborhoods -- and for which Tina Fey has been a longtime advocate.
MDG can definitely vouch that this lemony-blueberry-y flavor is pretty Greekin’ good, almost as good as their highly addictive Strawberry Shortcake Greek yogurt. That stuff is ridiculously Greekin’ good! 

June 25, 2013

Check It Out

The next time you’re stocking up on sunscreen, bug spray and beach towels at your local CVS/pharmacy, why not add an extra buck or two at checkout to support ALS research? With no known cause or cure for this debilitating disease, the ALS Therapy Alliance (ATA) could certainly use all the donations it can get to connect renowned scientists from across the globe to fund cutting-edge research.

Help ATA get closer to a cure by shopping at CVS before June 29.

June 24, 2013

When the Movie Costs Less Than the Popcorn

MDG is more of a matinee movie kind of girl but may have to reconsider after learning about AMC’s new Summer Nights programs. From June 24 through August 14 moviegoers can see some of last year’s biggest blockbusters including The Dark Knight Rises, Django Unchained and The Hunger Games for just $3.00 a pop (*on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights at 10:00 p.m.) with a portion of the proceeds going to The Will Rogers Institute, Autism Speaks and The Autism Society.

Heck for that price MDG might even have to go see what G.I. Joe had to retaliate against. Go to www.amctheatres.com/summermovienights for a full list of movies and participating theatres in your area.

June 21, 2013

Spark Some Change

Change has to start somewhere and Microsoft is banking on five enterprising young do-gooders to get things started in their communities and around the world. From a select group of 20 finalists, you, the public, are invited to vote for which whippersnapper you think has the spark to ignite the flame of transformation.

Five lucky youngsters will win an all-expenses-paid volunteer trip to Kenya, $2,500 to help turn their charitable idea into a reality, select tech toys including an Xbox 360 and Windows 8 Phone and all the training and resources a budding philanthropist would expect from a global company like Microsoft.

You have until June 24 to cast your vote for which young world-changer deserves to win Microsoft’s YouthSpark Challenge for Change.

No Nukes

MDG tries to stay out of politics, but with celebrities like Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Martin Sheen, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro and Naomi Watts behind this movement, who am I to not help them spread the word about Global Zero? In case you haven’t seen the new PSA, its message is clear: eliminate all nuclear weapons by 2030.

If you’d like to see a nuke free world, visit globalzero.org and sign the petition, learn the facts, start a GZ chapter and urge President Obama to lead the way to zero.

June 19, 2013

Snoop Says

Call me cynical but I’m not sure if Snoop Lion’s No Guns Allowed movement is more about promoting his newest album, “Reincarnated” (and its new single No Guns Allowed), or if it’s really about getting serious about ending senseless gun violence in our country. Either way good for him for getting the conversation started (or is he actually keeping it going?) about this important issue, especially among youths.

You can join the NGA movement by signing a petition on Causes.com that urges legislators to promote responsible gun ownership. You can also support the Gun Buyback Amnesty program in Newark, NJ, by purchasing a cool one-of-a-kind bangle bracelet fashioned from illegal guns taken off the streets. Or you can join Snoop Lion in conversation with Congresswoman Maxine Waters on Saturday, June 29, at the JW Marriott in Los Angeles.

Or you could just go out and buy his new album. It might be quite good!

June 18, 2013

Long Day Ahead

It’s probably a little late to organize your own team for The Longest Day, but you can still join one of the hundreds of teams across the US raising funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s care and support on Friday, June 21 (yep, the longest day of the year). With a focus on patience, strength and endurance, supporters will be hiking, biking, running and rolling -- from sunrise to sunset -- to advance this important cause.

After a quick glance at the website, here’s a short list of teams (and their leaders) that caught MDG’s eye: “Meet Virginia”, Holly Bowers, Tempe, AZ; “The Silver Slippers”, Judy Click, Raeford, NC; “The Hard Day’s Night”, Jill Rezek, Lexington, MA; “Daddy's Rebels”, Jack Jenks, West Jordan, UT; and “Friday Bridge Club”, Robert Loudermilk, Visalia, CA. Click here for the entire list, including how much each has been raised so far (Sagamore Bridge Club is currently in the lead with $34,073).

Why not spend the longest day of the year showing your support for the more than 5 million Americans (and over 15 million individuals caring for them) living with Alzheimer’s disease? I can’t think of a better way to pass a hot summer morning, noon and night.

June 17, 2013

Get Worth It

Let me take a moment to ask you a few questions to determine whether you’re a woman of worth. Are you 18 or older? Are you female? Are you a US citizen? Are you an inspirational leader who can demonstrate the impact of your work within your community? And, finally are you a fan of L’Oreal Paris on Facebook? If not, what are you waiting for?

If you answered “yes” to all of the above questions, you’re certainly qualified to enter to become one of L’Oreal’s ten Women of Worth and compete to win $10,000 for your favorite cause. Heck, you could even be chosen as their National Woman of Worth Honoree, pocketing an additional $25,000.

The only bad news is that you’ve only got until Friday, June 21 to enter at WomenofWorth.com. Just do it. You and I both know you’re worth it.

June 14, 2013

Bank On It

This post’s for you US Bank customers. If you’re looking for a way to help the victims of last month’s tornadoes in Oklahoma and surrounding areas, look no further than your local ATM. Through Monday, June 17, US Bank customers will be able to make donations directly to the American Red Cross at the more than 2,000 US Bank ATM machines located across the nation. So, while you’re getting a little for the weekend, why not give a little back?

P.S. If you’re not a US Bank customer, you can still show the Red Cross some love (in the form of a $10 donation) by texting REDCROSS to 90999.

June 13, 2013

Books Out For Summer

LitWorld is teaming up with Scholastic to keep kids' noses buried in their books (or smushed up against their tablets) all summer long. During the Scholastic Summer Challenge, schools can compete for the most reading minutes logged by their students for a chance to win some pretty cool prizes (i.e. books and other literary paraphernalia).

The school with the most minutes wins a visit from Dav Pilkey, author of the very popular Captain Underpants series. Great stuff, if you haven’t read it yet. Parents can also get in on the challenge by following an online calendar with daily tips, booklists, videos, Facebook chats and “Free Fridays” throughout the summer. Go to scholastic.com/summer to learn more.

Feeling Frosty

Here's an, ahem, cool idea. All Father’s Day weekend long (June 16 and 17), participating Wendy’s will donate 50 cents from the sale of every Frosty product -- including its waffle cones and floats -- to Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, a group that supports efforts to match America’s foster children with prospective adoptive parents. Last year they raised a whopping $1.5 million; this year they’re shooting for $1.7 million.
If you’re stuck inside this weekend because of our miserable weather, or don’t happen to have a Wendy’s in your neighborhood, you can still foster a bit of goodwill by sharing a story, image or video about your first Frosty experience via Twitter or Facebook. Just make sure to use the hashtag #FirstFrosty and keep it clean, people. Every share garners a $1.00 donation to help children in foster care. Enjoy!

June 12, 2013

Star Power

If you love celeb-focused charity auction sites like Charity Buzz, but, perhaps, lack the financial resources ($13,500 for a meet and greet with Beyonce!) to come close to winning one of their auctions, you may want to check out a new charity fundraising platform called Prizeo. Their premise is simple: donate a small amount of money to a celebrity’s charity and you’ll get a chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime experience (music, sports or fashion) – for you and a friend – with that celebrity.

For instance, right now on the site you can donate as little as $3 to Alicia Keys’ charity Keep a Child Alive for a chance to join her on an all-expenses paid trip for two to the Rock in Rio festival in Rio de Janeiro this September. Pretty cool, right?

The more money you donate, the more entries (and goodies) you’ll receive. You can also increase your odds of winning by spreading the word on Facebook and Twitter. What you can’t do, however, is pay for the prize. The winner is chosen at random. 

Go to prizeo.com to help Ms. Keys keep a child alive, and to check out other opportunities to hang with your favorite stars.

June 11, 2013

Shoe In

Attention shoe lovers: DSW needs your help handing out a $75,000 grant to one very lucky nonprofit. Between now and June 19, you can choose which of eight finalists including Autism Speaks, Shoes That Fit, Children’s Hunger Alliance and Mid-Ohio Foodbank will take home the money.

Go to facebook.com/dsw and click on the Shoe Lovers Care tab to vote once each day for your favorite charity. And, perhaps, reward yourself with a new pair of shoes while you're at it.

June 7, 2013

Beauty Every Which Way

With the launch of its new “Values Inside Out” charity initiative, Sephora is hoping to beautify its customers from the inside out (or is it the outside in?). Either way, the important thing here is that the mega beauty retailer is offering its first ever cosmetic collection – called YOU + SEPHORA – to benefit local charity partners in communities across the country.

For each and every $20 beauty kit (cosmetic pouch, glitter eyeliner, lip gloss and nail polish) sold, $13 will be donated to each store’s charity of choice including La Casa de Las Madres (San Francisco), Boys and Girls Club of New Orleans (Metairie, LA), Hoof Beats to Healing (Salt Lake City, UT), and Porch Light, Inc. (Madison, WI). All online kit purchases will benefit the American Heart Association.

Show your local Sephora store some big, smiley, glittery, perfectly made-up love beginning June 1.

June 5, 2013

Winning Words

Who doesn’t love a good crossword puzzle, especially if it earns cash for a charity in need? At charitii.com each and every correct answer scores a donation for great causes including The Nature Conservancy, charity: water, The Oaktree Foundation and Invisible Youth Network.

Oh, and I should probably mention that the word games are all multiple choice (each level gets a tiny more difficult) and are a heck of a lot easier than the ones in the daily newspaper (remember those?). Go ahead and have a little fun while you’re learning and earning money for a cause that you care about.

June 4, 2013

Lifesaving Movies

MDG is giving two thumbs up to the always amazing AMC, which has partnered with (RED) to donate 40 cents to the fight against AIDS for every theater ticket sold for Hangover 3, The Great Gatsby, Fast & Furious 6, Epic, Mud and Star Trek Into Darkness.

Why 40 cents rather than a dollar, you might ask? Because that’s the amount it costs for a full day’s worth of lifesaving HIV medicine in sub-Sarahan Africa. Yep, less than half a buck. You’re gonna have to move fast on this one though, the promotion ends on June 10.