Thursday, October 31, 2013

Moms Recommend These Halloween Ideas

Mom Bloggers for Social Good suggests these Halloween treats:

The World Wildlife Fund has provided fantastic animal-themed pumpkin stencils you can download and use for free to make awesome jack-o-lanterns. While you're downloading, consider a donation to the World Wildlife Fund to help them continue conserving nature and saving the world's animals.

Through Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF  you'll find a great opportunity to teach your children about helping other kids worldwide on Halloween night. Encourage your children to ask for donations for UNICEF in addition to candy while trick-or-treating tomorrow night. Then gather the money your children raise and send it to UNICEF USA. Children have raised over $170 million for children worldwide since 1950.
New York, NY 10038

Bead for Life

Ugandan women who need a sustainable job can work with Bead for Life to create their own microenterprises. Through Bead for Life, these women earn their own money - which is extremely important for women - and gradually pull themselves out of poverty.  Shop Bead for Life's Halloween collection to help these Ugandan women artisans make a living for themselves and for their families. 
Check out the shop right here

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Microlending benefits low-income entrepreneurs

October 30, 2013, 10:21 am

The number of micro-borrowers tripled from 2008 to 2011, according to data from the Aspen Institute and Grameen America, the U.S. arm of the nonprofit Grameen Bank, which pioneered the use of microlending as an anti-poverty tool in Bangladesh.
With 11 branches in U.S. cities, six of them in New York, Grameen America has 18,000 clients and has lent more than $100-million. The Times article focuses on a Queens branch that largely serves Latina immigrants, who primarily use the small, collateral-free loans to launch or maintain small businesses.
From Philanthropy Today

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

900 Pounds of Debris Pulled from Island Coast

CHANNEL ISLANDS, Calif. (AP) — Volunteer divers have dredged up 900 pounds of debris, a
half-dozen lobster traps and 1,400 feet of trap line in an effort to clean up the ocean around California's Channel Islands.

The Ventura County Star ( ) reports Sunday that the nonprofit group Ocean Defenders Alliance began scouring the area for abandoned ocean gear in September.

They have found everything from anchors to decayed traps. Last week, divers recovered a 200-pound net.

The Huntington Beach-based group formed more than a decade ago and has done much of its work around San Pedro. It has also worked off the coast of San Diego and Mexico's Baja California peninsula.

One volunteer says he once found an artificial reef with hundreds of toilets and tires off the Malibu coast.
Information from: Ventura County Star,

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Prize Goal: "...involving as much of a swath of humanity as possible"

The X Prize Foundation announced that it will launch three new prize competitions before 2020.

The announcement comes just one month after the foundation said it would launch the $2 million Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health X Prize for the development of a pH sensor to measure ocean acidification, and the three new projects will also be ocean-oriented.

But the exact goals of the new competitions, and the amount of cash that the winners will receive, is unknown – because it’s all up to the public.

“The grand challenges are problems of big importance for humanity,” says Paul Bunje, Senior Director of Oceans at X Prize, in an interview with the Monitor. “It’s critical for us that we are involving as much of a swath of humanity as possible.”

From the Christian Science Monitor

Foundation Chooses Net Zero Energy Headquarters

David Livingston photo
In the first year the David and Lucile Packard Foundation was in its new green headquarters, the structure generated more electricity than it used, becoming the largest building to earn the Net Zero Energy Building Certification.

The 49,000-square-foot building in Los Altos, Calif., features 915 solar panels that generate 300 megawatt hours of electricity per year, though a structure the size of Packard’s headquarters typically uses 700 to 800 megawatt hours annually. The foundation had to find energy savings to make up the difference.

For more read:

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Nation "Stuffs the Truck" with Food for the Hungry

A Santa Fe, NM food drive.
Food drives to feed the hungry have ramped up across the United States. Just search the internet for "holiday food drives" and it looks like every community is hosting creative ways to bring in staples to share.

 For instance, the Arizona Daily Star's report from yesterday begins: 
Local Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and Campfire Girls, as well as the town of Oro Valley and the Sun City Vistoso Cyclists, have already begun collecting food for what has become the largest annual food drive for the Interfaith Community Services Food Bank, 2820 W. Ina Road.

The rest of the Tucson community can join in, too.

The Seventh Annual Edward Jones Bag-a-Thon culminates in a public breakfast and community food collection day from 8 a.m. to noon Nov. 9 at the Edward Jones offices at West Lambert Lane and North La Canada Drive, with breakfast provided by Caffe Torino and Eegee’s.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cop Buys Groceries for Woman Stealing Food for Her Kids

Found this on Facebook yesterday:

The woman on the left is a mother from Miami who was so desperate to feed her hungry family that she was trying to steal a lot of food.

The woman on the right is Miami-Dade County Police Officer Vicki Thomas. Officer Thomas was about to arrest Jessica Robles but changed her mind at the last minute.

Instead of arresting her, she bought Robles $100 worth of groceries:

“I made the decision to buy her some groceries because arresting her wasn't going to solve the problem with her children being hungry.”

And there’s no denying they were hungry. Robles’ 12 year old daughter started crying when she told local TV station WSVN about how dire their situation was:

“[It's] not fun to see my brother in the dirt hungry, asking for food, and we have to tell him, ‘There is nothing here.’"

Officer Thomas says she has no question that what she did was right:

“To see them go through the bags when we brought them in, it was like Christmas. That $100 to me was worth it.”

But Officer Thomas did have one request:

“The only thing I asked of her is, when she gets on her feet, that she help someone else out. And she said she would.”

And guess what? The story gets even better.

After word got out about what happened people donated another $700 for Jessica Robles to spend at the grocery store.

And then best of all a local business owner invited her in for an interview and ended up hiring her on the spot as a customer service rep.

She started crying when he told her:

“There's no words how grateful I am that you took your time and helped somebody out. Especially somebody like me.”

And to think it all started with one veteran police officer trusting her “instinct” instead of going “by the book”.

Courtesy WSVN

Sidekick Cycle Game Benefits Needy

From Philanthropy Today:

A mobile gaming company that seeks to connect cellphone diversions and philanthropy has released its first project, a game that aims to raise money for a nonprofit group that provides bicycles to impoverished communities in the developing world, The New York Times writes.

The Global Gaming Initiative, founded in 2010, develops games around partner charities, which get money from players’ in-app purchases. Players of its Sidekick Cycle game virtually pedal through a series of African landscapes, performing jumps and other stunts.

Half the proceeds from Sidekick Cycle in-app purchases go to the charity World Bicycle Relief. The game itself is available for free for use on Apple iOS devices, and an Android version is in the works.