Thursday, April 30, 2009

Day 120: Find volunteer opportunities

If you're willing to give your time but are just undecided on where you feel your time would be best spent, check out volunteermatch to find a good fit. This site has made more than 4 million referrals. All you have to do is enter your ZIP code and keywords describing the opportunity you're looking for. You can even search for virtual opportunities.

There are 57,925 current opportunities.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day 119: Donate a car

I knew that Bridge House in New Orleans had wonderful commericals, but I wasn't sure what services it rendered. According to its Web site, "For fifty years Bridge House has served as a substance-abuse treatment center of last resort. Every day we accept and treat those to whom most other institutions deny admission: the homeless and indigent drug and alcohol abusers of our community. The only requirement for admission is a sincere desire to change, and we accept individuals without regard to race, religion, sexual orientation or ability to pay."

The other thing I knew about the organization is that it accepts car donations. I've always wanted to keep a car long enough to donate it (my first car was totaled, my second was gumbo-ed out {another story} and my third was flooded out). Oh, they also accept boats, too. For information on how to donate your car, click here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Day 118: Get tested

Raising community awareness is vital to prevention and understanding the spread of HIV and AIDS.

Schools, clubs, businesses and other groups can call upon NO/AIDS staff members and volunteers for workshops, lectures and seminars on AIDS-related subjects.

NO/AIDS also offers free and anonymous HIV testing. No blood, no needles, just an oral swab. It offers testing Monday through Saturday. Call the hotline at 504-821-6050 to make an appointment.

For more information, go to

Monday, April 27, 2009

Day 117: Donate unused leave time

I came across an article that states that some employees, in particular federal government employees, can donate their unused leave time to others, such as disaster victimes. Check with your employer to see if this applies for you. I know it doesn't for me.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Day 116: Technology Trade-In Programs

Here's a way to not only help the environment but help you save money as well. The next time you upgrade computer, camera or other technological equipment, check with your retailers trade-in/recycling program. Vendors such as Radio Shack, HP and Gateway will take your outdated equipment and turn it into a credit on your new purchase. If your item has no value, the often will recycle them free of charge.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Day 115: Help Grow Your Soup

Every time you click here on the "grow" button, Campbell will donate 50 seeds to Future Farmers of America. When you request a packet of tomato seeds, it will donate 100 more. You can even recycle your soup can, it's the perfect size for seedlings.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Day 114: Contact your local animal shelter

Animal shelters often are looking for volunteers to walk or feed the animals, pass out flyers looking for adoptive parents, collect newspaper or blankets to line cages. Call your nearest shelter to find out its specific needs.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Day 113: Virtual Caregiving Part II

CarePages Web sites are free patient blogs that connect friends and families during a health challenge. Offer to maintain one for an ill family member or friend. They can update you with doctors appointments, test results, etc., and you can update the masses.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Day 112: Double Up on Dinner

The next time you cook a batch of gumbo, jambalaya or a casserole or stew, double up on ingredients and send half to an elderly neighbor or stressed out friend.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Day 111: Click for a Cure

If gets 200 clicks in April, it will donate $10,000 to research, and each click in itself generates a free mammogram. The contributions are made by non-profit Right now, it is at 66 percent of its goal with nine days left. You can send an e-card to inform others about the cause.

Day 110: Adopt a Highway

Hawaii and several other states have adopt-a-highway programs in which groups come together to help maintain a stretch of public road. If your state doesn't have such a highway (apparently Louisiana did before Katrina but does not now), pledge to make sure an area near you remains litter-free.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Day 109: Start a carpool

After last summer's crazy gas prices, a few of my coworkers began carpooling. Their only question one year later is: Why haven't we been doing this all along? They have found they save money on gas, reduce their dependence on foreign oil and are able to vent to one another before taking work issues home with them.

Day 108: Virtual caregiving

If someone you love is ill and you'd like to find a way to help them through the crisis without being intrusive, check out and Here you and others can sign up to prepare and deliver meals or provide other specific types of help.

I apologize for the lateness of this post. (I switched my settings to Pacific time to get it in on time.) I'm attending a friend's wedding in Hawaii, and while I made it here in time, my luggage has not (still has not actually). So I am at the mercy of the kind folks at American Airlines to deliver not only my bathing suit and clothing, but my laptop charger and video camera as well. I do have my next few days' posts prepared, it's just a matter of finding a way to get them on the Internet to you. Thanks for understanding!!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Day 107: Get neighbors involved

Pick a drive - clothing, books, DVD, cell phones, toys, etc. Then create a flyer to distribute to your neighbors asking them to participate. Tell them you are collecting (insert items here) for (insert charity here) until (insert deadline here). Ask them to kindly leave items on your porch, back yard, whereever you like and deliver them on the designated day.

I think that lots of times people want to help, they just don't want to take the initiative. So by taking those early steps, you can help inspire your neighbors to be more giving.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Day 106: Donate expired coupons to troops overseas

U.S. military families stationed overseas can redeem expired coupons (for up to six months). Manufacturers coupons only, no Internet or "in-store" coupons. has a list of addresses of military bases that you can reference. Click here for the list.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Day 105: Sign up for Ashton Kutcher's Twitter

Celebrity Ashton Kutcher has challenged CNN to a Twitter contest. If he reaches 1 million Twitter followers before April 24, he will donate 10,000 mosquito bed nets to charity for World Malaria Day if he wins.

Join today at

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Day 104: Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity offers opportunities for individuals and groups to help build (or in New Orleans' case, rebuild) houses. To volunteer, read their FAQ. Read safety guidelines before registering. Check their volunteer calendar for opportunities.

Volunteer Groups, will need to visit the group volunteers page, and individuals must visit this page for more information.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Day 103: Campbell's Labels for Education

On Day 10 I blogged about Box Tops 4 Education. Campbell's also has a program to benefit schools, the Labels for Education program. Clip and save UPC codes on labels and bottle caps from participating products and send them in to earn reward points for your school. Products include Campbell's, Franco-American, Spghettios, Swanson, V8 and Prego. Five-point products include For more information, go to the program's Web site.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Day 102: Create a cookbook

A cookbook is a great fundraising idea. People love seeing their name in print, and submitting their favorite recipe is an easy way for them to do that.

You can even get kids involved by asking them to give their parents' recipes. We made such a cookbook when I was in grammar school, and we had some responses such as: "Then you pizza in the microwave for 40 hours; my mom makes pisketi and four meatballs; and my mom gets all our food from MawMaw's house."

Collect recipes from school, church, work. Get everyone involved. Have a contest to pick a cover drawing, print them out and sell.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Day 101: Donate a prom dress

It's prom season! This year, when the teen nearest and dearest to your heart has celebrated her big day, talk to her about donating her dress to, which is a national network that connects dress drive organizations that help get special-occasion gowns to girls who cannot afford them.

If she seems reluctant, just tell her Taylor Swift donated hers!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Day 100: Make a bucket list

Make a list of 50 things you want to do or accomplish before you die and make at least five of the items include volunteering or supporting your favorite charities. You can pledge to take a volunteer vacation to a disaster area or to help build a house for Habitat for Humanity in your area. You can consider becoming a more active member in your community. You can vow to complete 365 days of giving without spending! And if you come up with 265 more ways, send them my way!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Day 99: Share your children

If you are blessed with a beautiful child or children, share the joy they bring to you with those who can use a lift, such as the elderly or infirm. If you feel uncomfortable bringing them to a nursing home or hospital, consider your local senior center, which is full of vibrant souls.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Day 98: Recycling Cell Phones Part II

Recycling mobile phones was one of the first entries created on this blog.

But seeing as this is National Cell Phone Awareness week, I'm taking this opportunity to remind you of some other ways to reuse those handheld devices.

The EPA has lined up several big name partners, including AT&T, Samsung, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless that will offer promotions, contests or giveaways, along with easy in-store or online recycling opportunities. Other participants include Best Buy, LG Electronics, Motorola, Nokia, Office Depot, Sony Ericsson and Staples.

Find a cell phone recycling location near you.

Other ways to recycle the phone are as follows: turn old cell phones into prepaid calling cards that members of the U.S. military overseas can use to reach family back home. The program works with Recellular.

Wirelessrecycling. A portion of the money generated by recycling your cell phone will go to a charity of your choice.

Eco-cell partners with conservation organizations so that nonprofits benefit from the donation of your used cell phone.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Day 97: Donate technology

Free Geek is a non-profit community organization that recycles and refurbishes used technology and provides computers, education and job skills training to volunteers in exchange for their services.

Free Geek grants computers to schools and charities who benefit others.

It recycles to keep toxic e-waste chemicals out of landfills.

We provide classes and technical support to ensure successful reuse for our computer recipients.

For more information, click here.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Day 96: Record your family history

Instead of buying expensive gifts, create a family tree to share with your loved ones. Take the opportunity to interview your elders and document your history. It's a gift that will last a lifetime and a great way to learn from those who have been through it all and lived to tell about it.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Day 95: Write a thank you note

Pen a thank you note to a teacher, coach or mentor who made a difference in your life. For bonus points, make it someone whom you haven't contacted in more than 10 years.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Day 94: Be positive!

"If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change your attitude; Don't Complain." - Maya Angelou

Check out A Complaint Free World. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to positively transforming the consciousness of the world.

This is going to be a huge challenge for me personally, but I'd love to see how far I can go.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Day 93: Register through Wedding Channel

If you're making wedding preparations, will contribute 5 percent of each purchase off your registry. Here's how it works:

Just register with any partner store on and select a charity. If you've already registered online or in-store, you can still select a charity to participate.

Participating retailers include Tiffany & Co., Bloomingdale's, Macy's, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, JCPenney and Amazon.

Or you can create a charity registry, where your friends and family can donate to your favorite organization as their wedding gift to you. You can select up to four charities and still have a traditional registry as well.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Day 92: Calculate your ecological footprint

Find out how many planet earths it takes to support your lifestyle at

First you create an avatar, which will represent you throughout the quiz.

Answer a few questions, such as how often do you eat meat each week; how many miles you drive per week; your average electricity bill, etc.

After taking my quiz, if every person lived like me, we'd need 5.4 earths to survive.

After pledging to reduce the amount of animal products I eat, buy fewer packaged products and only purchase EnergyStar appliances, my footprint was reduced to 4.4.

To take the quiz, click here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Day 91: Update your paperwork

This year, as you're getting your finances in order, consider adding your favorite charity a beneficiary of your will, pension plan or retirement fund. It's a matter of deciding what percentage you're comfortable giving and filling out some paperwork.