July 30, 2013

Dig Into This

MDG definitely loves digging into a delicious plate of food, so when I heard about Stand Up to Cancer and MasterCard’s new Dig In & Do Good campaign, I knew I had to share. From now through September 28 each time you spend more than $10 for your breakfast, lunch or dinner -- and use your MasterCard –- the payments giant will donate one cent to help fund cancer research (up to $4 million). On Thursday 8/1 and Friday 8/2, it will double the donation to two cents per qualifying transaction.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re ordering a burger and fries from your favorite fast food chain or a filet from that fancy French bistro down the block; all restaurants are down with Dig In & Do Good (as long as you spend more than 10 bucks.) The only question I have is whether I’m going to dine in or take out.

July 26, 2013

This Will Make You Smile

Everyone knows that you’re supposed to brush your teeth twice a day, but did you know there’s a toothbrush that does way more than just clean your teeth and gums? Smile Squared makes biodegradable bamboo brushes -- housed in recyclable boxes -- that improve the health and educational needs of children around the globe. How, you might ask? By capitalizing on the popular one-donation-per-purchase business model, of course.

And at just $5.95 a pop, you should probably snag matching brushes for the whole family (they come in both adults and kids sizes). Smiles all around. 

July 24, 2013

Super Duper Saturday

If you haven’t gotten enough of Kelly Ripa on her morning gig all week, rest assured you can catch her again this Saturday (7/27) – with pals Donna Karan and Paula Patton – hosting the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund’s (OCRF) 15th annual Super Saturday live from The Hamptons.  Presented by QVC, CoverGirl and InSyle, the super fashionable fundraiser will feature its highly anticipated fashion “garage sale” with merchandise from over 200 prominent designers including Marchesa, alice + Olivia, DVF and Marc Jacobs, with all net proceeds benefitting OCRF.

For those of you watching from home, you can still snag deals on a ton of products ranging from apparel and accessories to jewelry and beauty items from 2:00-4:00PM EST on QVC. Who wants to be out in the heat anyway?

July 22, 2013

Lucky Little Guys

If you like supporting local businesses, then you’ll probably love Lucky Ant, a crowdfunding platform that supports the little guy (no franchises, chains or large corporations allowed!). With a minimum pledge of $5 you can help businesses in your community raise cash to help them grow into big fat corporations, chains … no, I’m just kidding!

Not only will your money help small businesses get stuff like the latest equipment, new staff, much-needed repairs and sometimes even a brand new location, you’ll be given a sweet reward (TBD) if and when the business reaches its goal within the three-week time limit. Mom and pop shops never had it so lucky.

July 18, 2013

Light the Night

Grab your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers and commit to joining this year’s “Light the Night” walk to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The one-hour fundraising event talks place at sunset in nearly 200 communities this fall (from San Francisco to St. Louis, Ft. Lauderdale to New York) and raises money to help the LLS continue to provide exceptional patient support services, advocacy for lifesaving treatments and the most promising cancer research anywhere.

You don’t need fancy fitness equipment for this leisurely walk in the park, meadow, fairground or field but most participants raise an average of $220 to support the fight against cancer. If you raise $100 more, you’ll be crowned a Champion For Cures and will get a chance to “light the night” with your very own illuminated balloon: white for survivors, red for supporters and gold in memory of loved ones lost to cancer.

Watch this video from the LLS and then take the next step to light the night to cure cancer.

July 17, 2013

Get On Board

Here’s a chance to help spread the love of reading and win some cash to send your kid to college. All summer long JetBlue is teaming up with Random House Children’s Books and “Magic Tree House” author Mary Pope Osborne for its Soar With Reading sweepstakes, with an aim of getting $500,000 worth of books into the hands of kids that need them.

Entry for this one is easy and fun. All you’ve got to do is describe – in 250 words or less - the magical places your child would like to travel to with Jack, Annie and JetBlue this summer. And I don’t think Disneyland counts!

For every sweepstakes entry received before August 31 (up to $500,000 worth) JetBlue will donate one book to Mary Pope Osborne’s Classroom Adventures Program. And you’ll have a chance to win one of four $5,000 college scholarships, round-trip flights on JetBlue or a Magic Tree House prize pack.

Help kids soar to new heights at SoarWithReading.com.

July 15, 2013

Keep On Clipping

If you’re already clipping coupons at CommonKindness, please continue to do so. I just wanted to let you know about couponsforchange.com’s latest initiative, “Million Meal Challenge,” which raises funds for Feeding America. With a goal of securing one million meals for families in need before August 1, it will offer two meals for every three coupons clipped on the site, doubling its everyday contributions.

After a quick check of the website, it looks like they’re more than halfway there with almost 600,000 meals so far. Click on couponsforchange.com and clip, save and fight hunger one (um, make that three) coupons at a time.

July 12, 2013

Cause of the Month

Following in the footsteps of other monthly subscription delivery services (beer, wine, cookies, coffee, fruit, flowers, beauty samples, pet products, organic foods, et al), each month Charity Sub showcases one particular cause -- i.e. the literacy gap, returning veterans -- and three corresponding charity partners, then lets you pick which one will receive your $5 donation. How easy is that?

For just $60 a year, you’ll be supporting a dozen different organizations through the power of collective giving.

July 10, 2013

Photo Opp

MDG is by no means an expert on Instagram, but is pretty sure all those retouched photos that people are posting aren’t raising a ton of money for charity. I do know, however, that for every photo you share through the Donate a Photo app from Johnson & Johnson, a dollar will be donated to important causes like getting lifesaving medicine to infants, restoring public parks, protecting kids from sports injuries and preventing babies from getting HIV/AIDS.

Almost 25,000 photos have been donated so far, helping thousands of women, children and public parks get the help they desperately need. So, if you care, please share.

July 9, 2013

So Many Books, So Little Time

Macy’s and Reading is Fundamental (RIF) are poised to deliver their 10 millionth book this summer, but they need your help to do so (don’t worry, it involves shopping!).

During the 10th annual Be Book Smart campaign customers can give $3 at any Macy’s register before July 21 to provide a book for a child in their community.  And, as a reward for your good deed, you’ll receive a coupon for $10 off an in-store purchase of $50 or more. Stop by your local Macy’s to help more kids become book smart.

July 8, 2013

Prepare to be Omazed

Looks like Prizeo -– which I wrote about just a few short weeks ago -– has a bit of competition. Friendly, I’m sure.

I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but Omaze offers everyday folks – who aren’t gazillionaires -- a shot at winning a once-in-a-lifetime experience with their favorite artist, athlete, and/or luminary (are they referring to Tyra?) by handing over a $10 donation to a charity connected to said artist, athlete…you get the picture. You get more entries by donating more than the $10 minimum and by sharing with your friends and family.

The really exciting news is that Omaze's latest experience involves going behind the scenes with Stephen Colbert at The Colbert Report - not only hanging with the comedic genius and truthiest man alive, but also including airfare to NYC and accommodation for two at a 4-star hotel. Plus, your hard-earned dollars will benefit Urban Arts Partnership, which advances the intellectual, social and artistic development of underserved public school students through arts-integrated education programs to close the achievement gap.

You're omazed, deal with it. Go to Omaze.com before July 12 to enter to win this awesome experience.

July 5, 2013

Clipping Kindness

MDG has long been a champion of coupons but with the demise of the print newspaper (and the coupons contained within) my coupon clipping habits have sadly declined along with it. That’s why I was so excited to hear about CommonKindness, a free printable grocery coupon website that raises cash for all kinds of causes (and causes of kindness).

Simply sign up (it’s free!) on the site and pick which charity (or charities) you’d like to support. There are hundreds to choose from including Americares, the National Parkinson Foundation, ASPCA, Feeding America, United Way and The Salvation Army. Or you could pick an organization – a school, a food bank or an animal shelter - closer to home.

Then every time you clip a coupon -- and redeem it, of course -- you’ll raise funds for your favorite causes. In case you’re wondering exactly how it works, charities pay CommonKindness an advertising fee, then CK shares 20 percent of the funds it receives with organizations participating on the site.

If you were waiting for a celebrity angle, here it is. The site is currently offering a coupon for 50 cents off a 3- or 3.5-ounce bag of popchips (Katy Perry would really like it if you to chose her flavor: Katy’s Kettle Corn). When redeemed, 50 cents goes to the ASPCA. Plus, if you choose the ASPCA as your favorite nonprofit, CommonKindness will kick in an additional 5 cents for this great cause.

I can’t think of a better reason to say goodbye to those messy Sunday inserts and say hello to the future of CommonKindness.

July 3, 2013

I Hear Hope

If you’re looking for a fresh new summer playlist, The Summer of Hope album probably isn’t it. But if you’re looking to reminisce over some of the best summer-themed songs ever recorded – including Sheryl Crow’s “Soak Up the Sun,” The Go-Go’s “Vacation” and The Motel’s “Suddenly Last Summer” - I’ve got just the ticket. All summer long City of Hope is giving away free downloads of its Summer of Hope album (11 songs total) on iTunes with a minimum donation of $25, which goes to fund cancer, diabetes and HIV/AIDS research.

If Justin Beiber, Maroon 5, Carly Rae Jepsen and Nick Jonas all give it a thumbs up, it must be good, right? I’m just bummed Will Smith’s “Summertime” didn’t made the cut. Maybe next year. 

July 2, 2013

Fancy Cat

For the second year in a row, Friskies is offering cat lovers/filmmakers a chance to become the pick of the litter during its annual “The Friskies” contest. Submit your best footage by July 15 best footage (up to two minutes in length) in one of four different categories: cat comedy, rescue cat, catventure or pursuit of food/treat.

You’ll also need to fill out a submission form that includes your cat’s name, video title, your name and a few other personal details and send it to TheFriskies.com for a chance to win a $5,000 cash prize, a custom-made gold plated Friskies Catuette, and an invitation to attend the big award show in New York City this fall.

What’s in it for charity, you ask? Well, the real stars of this show are the rescue and shelter cats across the country. Throughout the contest Friskies will be donating more than 250,000 cans of cat food to 20 partner animal-rescue organizations including Fabulous Felines, Community Cat, Inc., Whiskers Project and Kitt Crusaders. Each will receive a minimum of 7,500 cans and will have the opportunity to increase the donation (up to an additional 10,000 cans per charity) based on their overall participation.

Good luck to all you cat fanciers out there! Stay frisky my friends.

July 1, 2013

Farm Aid

MDG has been a supporter of Farm Aid since she was just a wee little thing, back when it was just John Cougar Mellenkamp (yep he had a middle name back them) and a few friends raising money to help local farmers protect their farmland. Now the annual benefit concert can count Willie Nelson, Dave Matthews and Neil Young as allies -- along with the great people at The Good Food Movement – helping to keep family farmers on their land, strengthening and revitalizing our food system and supporting local, organic, humanely raised food. After all, this shindig is all about the farmer and their food. Quite right.

This year’s concert takes place at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY, on Saturday, September 21. That might seem like a very long time away, but tickets went on sale this past Friday, June 28 so you might want to add it to your immediate to do list.