Sunday, May 31, 2009

Blog changes

Beginning June 1, the format of this blog will change. Mostly because I'm fresh out of ideas, and secondly, because I know my 12 readers will understand. I won't be posting daily, but I will be doing more research in order to produce better content that both expounds on ideas we've already covered and ones that offer new ways to give without spending.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Day 150: Learn what NOT to give

Broken appliances or electronics.
Stained or torn clothing.
Broken furniture.
Old computers.

Rule of thumb: Call and ask your charity what is unacceptable. A few of the items listed above can be recycled, which is great. But don't burden the organization you're trying to help with things that can be recycled or should just be thrown away.

Day 149: Educate yourself

Find a topic close to your heart and learn as much as you can about it and then educate others. Become a local expert, one journalists turn to for information on the topic. Get as involved as you can and inform as many others as you can.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Day 148: One click at a time

One click at a time is a Web site devoted to organizing all the click-to-give sites out there in the webosphere and putting them in one place for your convenience. All funds are sponsor driven.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Day 147: Hurricane preparedness

Make sure your elderly neighbors and relatives are prepared for hurricane season.

Coordinate an evacuation plan.
Check for supplies: batteries in flashlights, bottled water and canned foods are necessities.
Help them secure their homes.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Day 146: Enter sweepstakes

Check out for tips and tricks to win free prizes. You can donate all or a portion of your winnings.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Day 145: Donate magazines

Give your magazines to schools or Sunday schools so they can be used in libraries, classrooms and craft areas. Classwork assignments for primary-grade children, for instance, often consist of finding pictures of words that start with certain letters.

You also might consider bringing them to your nearest senior or community center.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Day 144: Donate stock

A gift of stock or other securities can make a world of difference in your personal charitable and estate planning. Since many securities have appreciated in value since their purchase, they make an attractive gift under current tax laws. Consult your financial adviser for details.

Day 143: Care for your elders

Know the 10 signs on Alzheimer's disease.

1. Memory changes the disrupt daily life.

2. Challenges in planning or solving problems.

3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks.

4. Confusion with time or place.

5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships.

6. New problems with words in speaking or writing.

7. Misplacing things and inablility to retrace steps.

8. Decreased or poor judgment.

9. Withdrawal from work or social activities.

10. Changes in mood or personality.

This information was provided by Check Web site for more detailed information.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Day 142: Recycle plastic grocery bags

If you choose not to use reusable shopping bags (and if you do, be sure to wash them regularl as a recent study showed a link to such bags and food poisoning), Winn-Dixie asks that you please support their recycling efforts by returning the plastic bags, which are made out of 20 percent recycled materials, to any Winn-Dixie store.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Day 141: Free poverty

See how many cups of water you can donate by testing your knowledge about the world. Each correct answer results in 10 cups on your behalf.

Here are the rules, from the site:

"Your mission here is to locate the place given to you [e.g. Rome, Italy] and how many cups of water we donate on your behalf depends on how accurate your answer is. Once you have located one city or landmark, another location will be shown to you. You may play the game however many times you wish. Of course, the more you play and the more you are correct, the greater difference you will make with your donation. If your answer is correct, 10 cups of water will be donated. The further away you are from the location, the number of cups will decrease. If your answer is nowhere near the exact location, no cups of water will be donated. Therefore by playing this game, not only are you doing a good deed for others, but you are also gaining knowledge for yourself."

I am horrifying terrible at this. It's geography. I'm embarrassed. I scored 45 on my first attempt.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Day 140: Pampers rewards

Pampers Gift to Grow rewards program enables you to collect points that can be redeemed for gift cards or other rewards by posting a code inside its packages.

Another option is to redeem your points to help Marach of Dimes. Now through June 30, you can donate your points to help fund research, community services, education and advocacy to save babies' lives.

For every point you donate, Pampers will donate $0.10 to March of Dimes, up to a total of $20,000.

Day 139: Consider UPromise

If you don't have children but are close to someone who does, volunteer to help them contribute to their UPromise fund.

UPromise is a college savings program in which things you do every day (shop online, buy groceries, eat out at restaurants) earn cash.

All your earnings go directly into your Upromise college savings account. Then, you decide if you'd like to grow them tax-free in a 529 plan to pay for college, use them to pay down a Sallie Mae student loan, or receive a check for college expenses.

Before I had children, I signed up and saved for my nephew. Just ask the account holder to send you a friends and family e-mail in order to sign up.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Day 138: Vote for Feeding America

Target is giving away $3 million, and you decide who gets how much.

By logging in or signing up on Facebook and voting each day through May 25, you can help an organization earn a percentage of the $3 million Target is giving away to 10 charities later this month.

By logging in or signing up on Facebook and voting for Feeding America each day through May 25, you can help it earn a percentage of the $3 million Target is giving away to 10 charities later this month.

Vote for Feeding America now!

The more votes Feeding America gets, the more dollars they receive to help the more than 25 million hungry Americans they assist each year. These dollars are more important now than ever as we approach summer, when many children are left without free and reduced-price school breakfasts and lunches.

You can vote once every 24 hours until May 25.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Day 137: Collect Tyson labels

Joining Box Tops 4 Education and Campbell's Soup labels is Tyson's Project A+. Clip and save Tyson labels, turn them in to your school, and your school receives 24 cents from each label collected.

Click here to see if your school is registered.

Click here to register your school.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Day 136: Recycle THIS

This site from the UK is so fun. Recycle This is a site where you can submit questions on how you can recycle "insert object name here" and they'll give you a new way to use said product. For example, what to do with old name tag/ID badgets, a toaster grill, laundry detergent bottles, silk scarves, broken bike helmets and so on.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Day 135: Use the web

Check out

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Day 134: Learn about charitable tax deductions

By educating yourself on the laws regarding charitable donations, you can make more informed decisions on the things you want to part with. Since tax law is not my specialty, here's a link to 'Lectric Law Library.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Day 133: Vote for a new playground

Kellogg's Frosted Flakes is rebuilding America's playing fields. More than 1,000 fields were nominated and 100 remain. Vote by May 31. The top 30 vote-getters will get a new field.

You can search for fields in your area by state or zip code. I voted for Pelican Athletic Club in New Orleans.

Day 132: Get teens involved

Do you know a teenager who doesn't text? Me either. So send the one you love to, a youth community-service non-profit, where they can sign up to receive text messages when volunteer opportunities arise in their area. Or, they can text "do something" to 30644, where they'll be prompted to enter their zip code. All opportunties are screened for legitimacy, so it's safe as well.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Day 131: Spend your vacation helping others

This is one for the truly selfless. But every spring break I see hundreds of teens and young adults venture down to southeast Louisiana to help in recovery efforts, and I can't help but be touched. They work with Habitat for Humanity and other organizations to rebuild houses and playgrounds. Obviously, these are extraordinary people doing extraordinary things. But for those of us who don't have the time during our usual schedules to volunteer, sacrificing one day of free time might not be asking too much.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Day 130: Check out GiveStream enables you to set up a virtual mall that your supporters can search and shop, with a portion of each sale going to your organization. Here's how it works:

The merchant finder is a web tool that links to hundreds of leading online retail merchants. Supporters will generate contributions to the organization on every successful purchase originating from the organization's GiveStream Center.

The product comparison engine is a web tool that enables organization supporters to search and compare products offered by hundreds of leading online retail merchants. The search helps organization supporters to find and compare the best deals. Supporters will generate contributions to the organization with every successful purchase originating from the Organization GiveStream Center.

The GiveStream Web Search lets your supporters generate contributions to your organization through their everyday searches. The GiveStream Web Search is a Toolbar powered by Google, which ensures the quality of the results.

For more information, check out their FAQs.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Day 129: Double your donation dollars

This blog focuses on free ways to donate to charity, but when you find that you have the dollars to donate, look for ways to make it go as far as possible. For example, in the month of May, BD (a global medical technology company) will match dollar for dollar every donation received by the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. for information on that program, click here.

Many corporations offer similar matching programs, as well. Check with your employer for details

Friday, May 8, 2009

Day 128: Send your mom an e-card for Mother's Day

For every Starlight Mother's day card you send, the Starlight Children's Foundation will get $1 (up to $25,000). Send one to your mom, mother-in-law, grandmother, godmother, a special aunt or other maternal figure. Click here to get started.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Day 127: Play word games

At, play word game puzzles to donate to the charity of your choice. You may choose from the following:

Donate 10 oz. of drinking water
Give 10 grains of wheat
Put a child in school for 10 minutes
Save 10 square inches of rainforest land

Challenge your friends to see who can get the highest score.

There are charts that show how much the site has raised. Good luck!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Day 126: Utilize YouTube

Create a video for your cause and post it on YouTube. Create a montage of different events you've been a part of, or simply state why you're an advocate and how others can help your efforts. Anyone who does a search for your organization will find it, and they can spread the message as well.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Day 125: Help a family in need

ABC's Extreme Makeover is looking for "deserving families and deserving people — people who have amazing strength of character and who put their own needs aside to help others."

If you know of a family in desperate need of home repairs or renovation, click here for information on how to nominate them.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Day 124: Start a recycling drive

If you have access to recycling paper, cans or plastics, but your employer, school, church or organization, doesn't, consider forming a team to take over those duties on a biweekly or monthly basis. Many centers pay for scrap metal, so it's a good way to raise money for your cause if you have the manpower.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Day 123: Donate your timeshare

Trying to unload a timeshare and having no luck? You can donate it to a cause and receive a tax deduction. More than $3 million in time shares have been donated as of January.

For more information, click here.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Day 122: Take action daily

Make a difference with care2, where you are given daily directions to make a better world. The site will track your progress and give you cumulative results of others as well. For example, it will send you a link that has 10 sites that will make contributions based on your click to charities such as save the baby seals and the rain forest, stop domestic violence against women and race to help children in need.

Click here to sign up for daily actions.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Day 121: Learn to help a choking victim

The first order of business, as silly as it seems, is to ask the victim if he or she is choking. If they can verbally respond, air is getting through, so let the person try to dislodge the item on their own. Just stay near and be prepared to assist.

If they cannot speak, immediately begin performing the Heimich maneuver. If you have help, ask someone to dial 911.

Wrap your arm around victim's waist.
Make a fist and place your thumb beneath the victim's abdomen, below the rib cage and above the navel.
Grasp your fist with other hand and quickly thrust upward.
Repeat until item is dislodged.