Saturday, December 31, 2011

Guardian Angels for Soldiers' Pets

When a soldier is deployed, everything, including a beloved pet is left behind.  "This left the deploying active duty military pet owner with only one option, which was to relinquish their beloved pets and pet ownership rights to an animal shelter or rescue group never to see their pets again, know if they got a new good home, or ended up being euthanized," explains the website that represents a nonprofit group called Guardian Angels for Soldier's Pets (GASP).

GASP formed in 2005 to  "...find a caring, loving, and safe home to care for them during the pet owner’s deployment to fight the global war on terrorism (combat and peace keeping missions), but had not been able to find someone to care for them."

Friday, December 30, 2011

Gaga & Bieber: "Celebs Gone Good"

A recent The Hollywood Reporter story announced the celebrities voted who gave the most:

For the second consecutive year, Gaga tops the Celebs Gone Good Top 20 list, courtesy of Hot on her heels is another pop superstar, Justin Bieber, who jumps to the No. 2 spot from last year's position at No. 10, with George Clooney rounding out the top 3.

Gaga instituted the Born This Way Foundation to help empower youth.  And teen pop star, Bieber, was recognized for his support of Pencils of Promise, "an organization which has built 41 schools in Laos, Nicaragua and Guatemala," according to the news release.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Army of Young To Change World For Good

  • Bring Your Dog To A Hospital
  • Teach Your Grandparents Technology
  • Teens for Jeans--Help the Homeless

Each of these ideas come from a website that encourages teens to act positive and "Do Something Good."  The website?

The site offers causes that range from stopping abuse to war, peace and politics. recently awarded "Do Something" with a $2 million grant to " build our army of young people who are changing the world for good."

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Helping Your Neighbor Made Easy, allows people who need emergency help getting food or paying the electric bill to tell their stories; donors read those stories and make donations targeted for specific individuals or families, writes a recent USA Today story.    Here is more from USA Today:

Attorney Brad Newman, 41, started GiveLocally a little more than a year ago. Bo Young, 38, an Atlanta entrepreneur, came on board late last year. They purposely chose not to be a non-profit.
"The philanthropic model needs to be more accountable, so we are accountable to our donors and our investors," Newman says. "We operate like a business. We operate as a Web start-up. Our product is to help people. Our mission is to do it efficiently."

At a time many Americans are struggling, Newman and Young say their business fills a niche. "We chose this model because we want to be self-sufficient," Young says. "We are hard-working Americans helping one another, and we're not relying on charity or government to do it."

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

U.S. Ranks "Most Charitable"

WASHINGTON, D.C.///December 19, 2011///The United States now ranks the highest in terms of charity in a massive global survey that put the nation in fifth place in 2010, according to CAFAmerica, a member organization of the United Kingdom based Charities Aid Foundation International Network of Offices, providing charitable financial services to individuals, global corporations, charities, and foundations. 

According to those surveyed, two out of three Americans said they donated money to charity (65 percent), more than two out of five volunteered their time (43 percent) and roughly three out of four helped a stranger (73 percent).  The new “World Giving Index (WGI) 2011” report is based on over 150,000 Gallup polling interviews with members of the public in 153 countries. The 2011 report looks at three aspects of giving behavior of individuals in the preceding month, asking if they have donated money to a charity, volunteered time to an organization, or helped a stranger. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Yes, Kmart Shoppers, There is a Santa Claus

December 19, 2011, 10:25 am
Shoppers at Kmart stores in several states are finding their layaway accounts for Christmas gifts being paid in full by anonymous donors, according to the Associated Press.

Executives with the retail chain said the phenomenon appears to have begun in Michigan and spread to stores in Indiana, Iowa, Montana, and Nebraska, with dozens of customers being notified that their balance for toys and children’s clothes have been fully or nearly covered.

Benefactors generally ask to help families that are deferring payment on items for young children. At an Indianapolis Kmart on Tuesday an anonymous woman reportedly paid layaway orders for as many as 50 people and handed out $50 bills as she left the store.

Kmart representatives said they have done nothing to instigate or spread word of the giving. “It is honestly being driven by people wanting to do a good deed at this time of the year,” said Salima Yala, a vice president with the company’s layaway division.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A 1000 Gifts For Senior Citizens Missed by Santa

Pennsyvania college students recently sorted, tagged and wrapped about a 1000 holiday packages for senior citizens who would, otherwise, be without a present under the tree on Christmas morning, reports The Times-Tribune:

“…dozens of students…sponsor a program where students and faculty can purchase and wrap presents for local senior citizens who would otherwise have nothing to unwrap on Christmas morning….This year…about 1,000 gifts, all of which fulfill wish lists filled out by area seniors….”

Friday, December 16, 2011

Mud & Volunteers Create Energy Efficient Housing

“In this challenging economy when people are struggling to afford housing and other basic essentials, it is admirable that you and all the good people involved with Adobe in Action are working not just to help provide any home for a deserving family in Espanola (New Mexico) but a home that is both energy efficient with the use of classic adobe bricks and sustainable with passive solar design. We commend you on combining sustainability with heritage values while meeting real economic needs in our time," said the president of an environmental group when awarding the  2011 Conservation Quest Champions Prize in New Mexico.

Adobe in Action, in coordination and partnership with other entities, promotes access to affordable, quality, sustainable and energy efficient housing to those who have fewer resources. This year the organization has employed thousands of labor hours from dedicated volunteers and students from over twenty distinct groups in exchange for education in traditional brick building skills. All told, volunteers have produced over 6,000 adobe bricks which will be used to build Adobe in Action’s first home for an Espanola family in need, notes a Dec. 16, 2011 media release.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Basic Need: Shoes

In sub-Sahara Africa, alone, 20 million children will never own a pair of shoes.

The barefoot facts: "As the skin on the bottom of the feet toughens and thickens, large cracks can form, which allows parasitic infections such as hookworm and threadworm to penetrate the skin. In addition, constant cuts and scrapes to the feet and ankles frequently become infected and many of these infections can lead to ulcers and worse...In addition to infections brought on by external injuries, a child's bare foot is particularly at risk of infection by hookworm. Especially at risk are children living in African and Southeast Asian countries, where hookworm infections are about 60 times more common," notes the nonprofit Soles4Souls -- a nonprofit that procures shoes and distributes them to those in need.

Soles4Souls collects new shoes to give relief to the victims of abject suffering and collects used shoes to support micro-business efforts to eradicate poverty.  
Soles4Souls’ other two divisions, Clothes4Souls and Hope4Souls, provide the same relief and support through clothing and other necessities.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Boomers Post Nonprofits On To-Do Lists

From The Chronicle of Philanthropy:

?More than 12 million Americans from 44 to 70 years old would like to start nonprofits or businesses that solve social problems, according to a new study by Civic Ventures, a think tank in San Francisco. The report, which was supported by the MetLife Foundation and compiled by Penn Schoen Berland, a marketing-research firm, also found that more than half of those 12 million Americans say it is very likely they will start such an organization within the next five to 10 years."

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Rebuilding Joplin, Mo Schools After EF5 Tornado

A generous community came together after the May 2011 EF5 tornado destroyed or severely damaged Joplin, Mo schools.  Here's a list of some of the volunteer fundraising and efforts to help the schools rebuild:

$25,000 from Freeman Health Systems
$22,500 from Anderson Family Charitable Foundation & supporters
$1400 from New Jersey 5th Grade student
3000 books from 13-year-old California student
$850 from Webb City students
$7500 & truckload of supplies from Parkway School students
School supplies from 3rd grade student
$500,000 from United Arab Emirates
$50,000 from Liberty Bank
From Texas donors:
  • around 70 bikes and scooters

  • over 330 pairs of shoes

  • 230 backpacks filled with toys, craft supplies, and other supplies for kids aged pre-school through eighth grade

  • 40 boxes of books for school libraries and classrooms

  • 10 "treasure" boxes for Pre-K and kindergarten teachers

  • $263,000 in classroom supplies from Learning Resources
    $360 from 9-year-old who held a car wash
    $250,000 from Satterlee Family
    $20,000 from Blue Springs School District
    $250,000 from Humphrey Family

    Friday, December 9, 2011

    Wishbook Benefits Soldiers and Military Families

    The USO Wishbook is a new online catalog for giving to US military troop and family. One can tailor a gift from a $25 phone call or a gift box for the children of deployed soldiers, called Growing Up Brave, or one can Build a Bike for a Wounded Warrior " extraordinary gift for some truly extraordinary people – our wounded warriors. Each bike purchased with this gift will be custom built for their specific injury, and each bike will be used to restore hope and confidence, and the joy of once again being active with their families and friends," for $5000.


    Thursday, December 8, 2011

    A 1000 Trees A Year for One Cool Earth

    One Cool Earth is a registered nonprofit devoted to planting as a means of creating a sustainable planet.
    Projects are holistic with five goals for each project:
    ·         Education
    ·         Restoration
    ·         Beautification
    ·         Human Utility
    ·         Economy
    “We currently plant over 1000 trees each year with the help of hundreds of volunteers, and both numbers  continue to grow,” notes the organization’s web site.

    Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    Teens Benefit From Celebrity Clothes Donation

    Children's Resource Network, a local nonprofit program  that allows disadvantaged and homeless teens or their parents to pick out and try on donated clothing, took in a large donation of stylish clothes delivered by a handsome young man who looked like a movie star.  As he helped the nonprofit's president and CEO load clothes into the back of her car, he introduced himself.  "Hi, I'm Zac Efron," greeted the popular celebrity.

    Efron donated over 300 pieces, and signed a few, that will be available to regional teens in the Teens Closet, a small portable building where clothes are distributed.

    High school students volunteer to help sort and organize donated clothing.

    Source:  San Luis Obispo Tribune


    Tuesday, December 6, 2011

    Helping With Modest Needs

    • Furniture Maker Lost All Tools In a Fire: Needs Help Getting Livelihood Back
    • Chemotherapy Took My Hair, Need Wig to Feel Like Me Again
    • Husband Sidelined by Brain Infection: Help Us Keep Our Home
    The above pleas for help are typical of the circumstances of the average  low-income worker whom conventional philanthropy has forgotten.

    Modest Needs has a simple mission: to  work to stop the cycle of poverty BEFORE it starts.

    "We do this by empowering compassionate members of the general public to safely and securely help hard-working, low-income households to afford the kinds of short-term emergency expenses that we've all encountered before: the unexpected car repair, the unanticipated visit to the doctor, or the unusually large heating bill, for example.

    Since 2002, by working together in this very 'modest' way, Modest Needs' donors have stopped 10,082 low-income individuals and families from entering the vicious cycle of poverty and a lifetime of dependence on the public welfare system for their survival," the website explains.

    Friday, December 2, 2011

    Promoting Anti-Bias and Diversity Training Programs

    The Anti-Defamation League's A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute provides anti-bias education and diversity training programs and resources. The Institute seeks to help participants: recognize bias and the harm it inflicts on individuals and society; explore the value of diversity; improve intergroup relations; and combat racism, anti-Semitism and all forms of prejudice and bigotry.

    Thursday, December 1, 2011

    Battle of The Toucan Benefits Mayan Culture

    Maya Archaeology Initiative Logo

    Toucan Sam
     Defending their Fruit Loops Toucan Sam, Michigan Kellogg Company's cereal mascot, was, they claimed, much too similar to the toucan logo used by the Maya Archaeology Initiative, a San Francisco nonprofit group.

    But according to a Detroit News story, the battle of the toucans took a peaceful flight with the cereal maker giving "...the green light to continue using its rendering of a toucan, and will contribute $100,000 toward establishing a Mayan cultural center."

    The Maya Archaeology Initiative's mission includes,

    "... to provide the means to protect and improve northern Guatemala through a range of diverse programs including:

    1) To provide educational opportunities and training in Mayan history and culture for Guatemalan young people. This includes sharing artifacts and antiquities at interpretive centers, explaining the significance of Maya history in world history, and fieldwork at archaeological when possible.

    2) To encourage conservation of the Peten rainforest’s animals, plants, and natural resources. To this end, MAI works with other NGOs seeking protection for the region's invaluable natural resources;

    3) To support research in new areas of Maya archaeology, including pressing for protection of Holmul, Cival and nearby sites;

    4) To protect cultural and historical resources, and to make them available to the public through digital means where possible;

    5) To help communities better their standards of living by supporting sustainable tourism and promotion of traditional arts and handicrafts."