March 3, 2014

Summer Special

With the Sochi Winter Olympics firmly behind us, it’s time to look forward –- and show your support for -- the 2014 Special Olympics happening this summer. Toys “R” Us would like you to do so by texting “CHEER” to 80888 to make a $5 donation during its #CheerOnAChampion campaign.

If texting isn’t your thing, you can also show your support for the Special Olympics and Best Buddies by helping spread the word to end the derogatory use of the r-word. And I'm not talking about the one in between the words Toys and Us.Take the pledge at r-word.org.

February 27, 2014

Would You Rather

I think it’s safe to say that most teens are pretty clueless when it comes to personal finance. That’s exactly why DoSomething.org and H&R Block are teaming up on a quirky new campaign called “Would You Rather?”
Between now and April 3 teens can text their friends with wacky money saving and making situations that they can choose between. For instance would you rather A) share your spring break room with your entire extended family OR B) not go on spring break? I clicked on the former and got a reply, “Hope the bathtub’s comfy." Not the most helpful tip I’ve ever received, but I guess if it gets teens thinking about money, it’s all good. The site does say that the experience is followed up by action steps and tips to get teens thinking about and saving for their financial. I just didn’t play until the end.

To participate in the WYR campaign and be entered to win a $3000 scholarship text “START” to 38383 or visit dosomething.org/wyr.

February 24, 2014

This Could Change Your Life

I loved this month's issue of Self which included how Olympic freestyle mogul skier Heather McPhie practices a super simple morning routine that she says changed her life. Every morning she writes down three things she wants to work on like drinking more water, being more patient etc. Then at end of the day she adds three things that went well. That sounds like a really easy task to add to my daily “To Do” list, starting tomorrow of course!

February 21, 2014

World Spay Day


This year marks the 20th anniversary of The HSUS and Humane Society International’s World Spay Day (Tuesday, February 25). Help save the lives of street dogs, companion animals and feral/stray cats by hosting or attending an event or by donating at worldspayday.org. There are hundreds to choose from all throughout the month of February.

February 19, 2014

Eggcellent

MDG is a huge fan of reading be it magazines, books, blogs, newsletters, emails, food labels (just kidding, sort of), etc. And as a former Reading Partners’ tutor and current after school program aid, I know crucial it is to get kids reading at a very young age. 
Which is where Reading Eggs comes in. An award-winning online program – also available on iPad and Android - it teaches kids ages 3 to 13 how they can get from A to Z with the help of one-on-one lesson plans, interactive animation, fun educational games and exciting e-books.
And during Reading Eggs "Read-to-Cure Challenge" from now through March 7, every parent and teacher who signs up for a free five-week trial will garner $1 for the National Children’s Cancer Society. How ‘bout them eggs? Sign up at ReadingEggs.com.

February 17, 2014

Ring Leader

Yesterday I caught the very last day of “The Art of Bulgari: La Dolce Vita & Beyond, 1950–1990” exhibit at the de Young museum here in San Francisco. And besides seeing a ton of spectacular looking gems and jewels, I also got a chance to learn about its current “Stop. Think. Give” campaign to raise funds for Save the Children.
Backed by a pretty fabulous looking list of celebs including Sting, Olivia Wilde, Ricky Martin, Isabella Rossellini and Jessica Biel, the Italian jeweler is offering a specially designed sterling silver and ceramic Bzero1 ring (which features the Save the Children logo engraved in the inside) for $420, with $90 going to charity. And just so you know, that 90 bucks will buy books for 18 children in Brazil, provide training for 13 teachers in Indonesia, ensure safe drinking water for one student and their family in Uganda and/or buy 50 boxes of colored pencils for young migrant children in China.
I know that it's too late for Valentine's Day, but I'm pretty sure Mother's Day is just around the corner, right? Click here to stop, think, give and help save children around the world. 

February 13, 2014

LinkedIn to Something Good

You probably already use LinkedIn for professional reasons (congratulations on your new job btw) but did you know that you can also use it to do some good? Simply add the Volunteer Experience & Causes section to your profile and voila, you’ll be able to browse hundreds of volunteer opportunities – including ones to sit on the boards of some pretty cool companies (the Met!) - based on your area (s) of expertise.

Use your rad skills – copywriting, photography, accounting, graphic design, project management - to make a positive impact in your community at volunteer.linkedin.com.

February 10, 2014

Random is Good

Just a quick reminder that today kicks off Random Acts of Kindness Week (February 10-14). So go feed a few meters, surprise a friend (or stranger) with flowers, share your snack with someone on the bus, donate used books to your local library, open the door for the lady in front of you, buy a latte for the dude behind you or choose something crazy and kind of your own. 

Let’s keep this random thing going all week long.

February 6, 2014

Give Smarter

It looks like Miss Do-Gooder is going back to school! I just signed up for my first ever online course – Giving With Purpose – courtesy of edX.

In case you’re not familiar, edX is a non-profit created by the founding partners of Harvard and MIT whose mission is to bring the best education to people of all ages across the globe (where there’s Internet access at least). They offer FREE interactive classes and MOOCS on everything from computer science and engineering to philosophy, physics, music and medicine. Oh, and philanthropy.

The official title is “Giving With Purpose: How to Get the Most Out of Your Charitable Giving,” and its offered by the Learning by Giving Foundation with support from Northeastern University. Students (that’s me) will get a chance to nominate nonprofit organizations in and around their communities to receive real-money grants. A minimum of $100,000 will be distributed to the organizations ranked highest by students using a peer review selection process based on course concepts. I feel smarter already.

Giving With Purpose doesn’t start until the end of March, so there’s still plenty of time to register. Hope to see all of you in class!

February 4, 2014

New Kid on the Block

I just moved into the coolest new community, one where I can pool my charity dollars with like-minded neighbors who care about some of the same things I do: animal welfare, women's issues and education. And all it took to join was a promise to pledge at least one dollar a month. No moving trucks, no long-term leases and best of all, no packing or unpacking.
The premise behind Givelocity is that it doesn’t always take giving a ton of money to feel meaningful; sometimes a buck or two will suffice. And a little really can go a long way when it's combined with donations from new friends and neighbors.

Here’s how it works:

1.) Go to Givelocity and look for neighborhoods that support causes you care about.
2.) Move in and choose how much you want to pledge every month.
3.) Vote for causes with your neighbors. 

Your combined neighborhood pledges go to the winning causes every month. Everyone gives. Everyone votes. Everyone is happy. The end.

January 30, 2014

Doggone Hero

All dogs are heroes in my opinion, but some definitely go above and beyond the call (or bark) of duty. And that’s where the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards comes in. Each year it accepts nominations for dogs that protect, comfort, serve and sometimes even save us in some pretty spectacular ways.

You’ve got until February 28 to nominate your courageous canine in one of eight categories: Law Enforcement Dogs, Military Dogs, Arson Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, Guide/Hearing Dogs, Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs and Emerging Hero Dogs (for ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things). Beginning in March, the general public will narrow the field down to 24 semifinalists (the top 3 in each category) and in June it will be whittled down to eight inspiring dogs by celebrities including Betty White, Whoopi Goldberg, Joey Lawrence, Miranda Lambert and Kristin Chenoweth.

All eight furry finalists will be flown to Hollywood with two of their human friends to the AHA Hero Dog Award gala this summer where they’ll stroll the red carpet, conduct VIP interviews and sit front and center at the awards show where the winning 2014 American Hero Dog will be announced. Each of the eight finalists will win $1,500 for their chosen charity and the top winner will receive an additional $5,000 for their favorite cause. 

Vote for your favorite hairy hero here.

January 28, 2014

Grow Some Hope

Launched on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, msnbc’s new initiative Growing Hope shines a light on Americans across the country who are making a real difference in their communities through volunteerism and service. It also highlights how some of its hosts are helping grow some hope of their own: Chris Jansing shares her passion for Bottomless Closet, Lawrence O’Donnell gives back through K.I.N.D., Krystal Ball supports FAIR Girls and Andrea Mitchell grows hope through America's Promise Alliance.
Share your own ideas for growing hope at msnbc.com/growing-hope.

January 24, 2014

You Go Girls

Miss Do-Gooder is definitely happiest when she’s eating healthy and being active – yoga, hiking, running, body pump classes, walking the dog – each makes me feel strong, confident and ready to conquer the world. 
So when I read about Activyst, a company that creates bright, bold, functional athletic bags and apparel to support girls’ sports worldwide, I knew I’d found a kindred spirit. Founded by Leigh Orne, Katie Rock and Blair Warner, Activyst’s mission is simple: to catalyze change in the world by helping more girls play sports.

I recently ordered one of their adorable blue tees ($32), boldly proclaiming that I’m now an “activist.” I can’t wait to wear it in support of getting more girls to get out there and be more active. Become a girls’ activyst here and show how strong girls will help create a strong world.

January 22, 2014

Salute to Seniors

Over the years, I’ve written a lot about contests for kids and women. Now I’m really pleased to share one that’s strictly for senior citizens.

The Salute to Senior Service program recognizes the remarkable contributions of adults age 65 and older who give at least 15 hours a month to their favorite causes. From now through March 1 you can nominate yourself or vote for one of dozens of featured volunteers who pack “to go” backpacks for low income school children, write thank you cards for donors, raise funds for walkathons, refill bird feeders/mow lawns, lead fitness classes for fellow seniors and deliver food to families in need. It’s really quite a list.

One national winner will take home $5,000 for their favorite nonprofit; state winners will receive $500 for a charity of their choice, all courtesy of Home Instead, Inc. Click here to support a senior or to send a salute of your own.

January 20, 2014

Highly Rated

I recently got an email from Charity Navigator asking if I knew that they were a charity. No, was my response (in my head); I had no clue. Although in retrospect, its .org status should've tipped me off.
After skimming through the email – and learning that less than 1% of its users support its work - I promptly clicked the “donate” button at the bottom of the screen and gave them some Miss Do-Gooder love.

If you’re one of the 4.2 million people who visited Charity Navigator last year, you already know how truly valuable the site is when it comes to rating which charities are doing the best work out there and which ones could frankly do a little bit better. If you haven’t, click here to view CN’s Top 10 Lists, Hot Topics and some great Tips for Donors.

Then you can decide for yourself whether they deserve a donation of their own.

January 16, 2014

Market for Good

If you’re in the market for handmade goods that give back, TOMS has you got you covered. Each and every carefully curated product (from cool, up-and-coming companies) featured in its new “Marketplace" supports a specific cause: children, education, health, job creation, nutrition and/or water. You’ll find unique and unusual bags, home goods, apparel, accessories and tech items, all easily sortable by cause, region or brand.
Miss Do-Gooder really likes the look of the Herero Headdress Bracelet benefitting The Base Project as well as the Spring Floya Wristlet supporting Joyn. Because as you all know, one can never have too many bags.

Check out TOM'S new Marketplace here.