Tag Archive | philanthropy

Giving Tuesday

Charities Fight Consumerism with Giving Tuesday

By Susanna Kim (@skimm) 

Nov. 26, 2012

photo credit: Noah Sheldon

There’s Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and now charities are starting what they hope will become a national day for giving that will join the holiday lexicon: Giving Tuesday.

As of Monday morning,#GivingTuesday had 2,106 partners listed on the movement’s website, including corporations, nonprofits, schools and religious groups.

The idea for the campaign sprung from Henry Timms, deputy executive director of the Jewish community center 92nd Street Y, and Kathy Calvin, CEO of the United Nations Foundation. Timms began thinking about the concept during the holidays last year, and the idea gained momentum this past spring.

“When 92Y’s Henry Timms called he explained the opportunity this way, ‘We have a day for giving thanks, two days for getting deals. Why shouldn’t there be a day for giving back?'” Calvin said.

She said the UN Foundation loved the idea.

“There are so many creative ways that people can volunteer and donate in today’s world of social media,” Calvin said. “A national day of giving back around the holiday shopping season just makes sense. It helps people everywhere make the most of their philanthropic side.”

The organizers, including public relations firm Fenton Communications, are asking partners who have the capability of collecting data to report how much they raise on Tuesday, how many people volunteered at an event, or other relevant information. They hope to report those figures Wednesday.

But will Giving Tuesday catch on, especially in light of the expected increase in retail holiday sales?

Devin Hermanson, senior marketing director of relief organization World Vision, said he hopes so.

According to a phone survey by Harris Interactive and World Vision, 83 percent of Americans say they would prefer to receive a meaningful gift that would help someone else instead of a traditional gift like clothing or electronics.

However, the percentage of people willing to give a charitable gift as a present has fallen.

Last year, 51 percent of U.S. adults said they would be “more likely” to give a charitable gift as a holiday present. This year, that percentage dropped to 45 percent.

“Holiday shopping is treated like an Olympic event,” Hermanson said. He hopes the same attention will be paid to Giving Tuesday.

Here are some ways organizations are participating in Giving Tuesday and ways you can give:

Union Settlement Association

The Union Settlement Association is a service organization serving East Harlem in New York City. Since 1895, the organization has provided meals, childcare and a myriad of services to the community.

“We’re just thrilled to be involved and have this kind of national effort in community service and giving back,” said Sara Stuart, director of development and communication of the Union Settlement Association. “That’s what we do in East Harlem.”

Stuart said it’s especially important to talk about giving back after the destruction from superstorm Sandy.

Stuart said people are encouraged to not just give money, but their time. The association is promoting community service by encouraging people to make public pledges. A group of volunteers are distributing 300 buttons around New York City that have the words, “I’m Giving…”

World Vision

Relief organization World Vision is promoting giving to Sandy victims as part of Giving Tuesday.

In addition to the organization’s giving catalog, this year, people can donate “gifts” on behalf of loved ones for “Disaster Response in the USA” and money will go to recovery efforts on the East Coast, such as flood clean-up kits, blankets and hygiene kits.

Devin Hermanson, World Vision’s senior marketing director, said he hopes Giving Tuesday fights what the nonprofit industry calls donor or compassion fatigue.

“Sometimes people feel overwhelmed and they don’t see their dollars at work. We need to do our part to show people the benefit of their donation dollars,” he said.

Shoe website Sole Society is donating shoes to Soles4Souls, which donates shoes to people living in over 125 countries, for every pair purchased as part of Cyber Week.

Macy’s “Believe” campaign’s Santa letters are one way for people to give back. Bring stamped letters to Santa to their local Macy’s, and for each letter received, Macy’s will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish Foundation, up to $1 million.

Macy’s has donated nearly $5 million to Make-A-Wish over the first four years of its “Believe” campaign, helping make wishes come true for children with life-threatening medical conditions.

For every dollar donated for a measles vaccine from Nov. 1 to 27 to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, an anonymous donor will match each dollar up to a maximum of $15,000 to help save lives of 600 children a day who would otherwise die from measles.

For just $5.72, UNICEF can provide enough doses of the vaccine to protect 20 children.

For the last 65 years, the mission of Heifer International, based in Little Rock, Ark., has been to work with communities to end hunger and poverty. Donors can purchase a Heifer International gift on behalf of a loved one this holiday season, including $20 for a flock of chicks for a family or $275 for a girl’s education by paying for her school fees and supplies. Heifer International works in 42 countries, including China, Nepal, Brazil, Rwanda, Armenia and the U.S.

Kind Snacks

Health-food maker Kind Snacks is offering a $5 discount on its Snack and Give Back cubes. Celebrity makeup artist and guru Bobby Brown, newsmaker Arianna Huffington and rocker Grace Potter have stamped their names on three cubes. The cubes come with their favorite Kind bars and will benefit the Broome Street Academy, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and the Alzheimer’s Association Committee, charities important to the three women, respectively.

The codes for the discount are: KINDBOBBI, KINDARIANNA and KINDGRACE. They expire on Dec. 31 at midnight EST.

Kind Snacks guarantees a donation of $10,000 to each partner’s charity.

source: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/charities-introduce-giving-tuesday-combat-consumer-holiday-shopping/story?id=17778557#.ULTiGuTLTyI

I have received many responses to many of the posts on this blog, thus far. However, may I request that you please reply in the comment section of the blog  – as opposed to on Twitter, Facebook, emails, etc. – so that all responses will be together. Your comment may be helpful to others who come across something that they can relate to. You can comment anonymously.

Thank you and many blessings.


Homeless Boy Wins $130,000 Peace Prize

The obstacles seemed insurmountable for a 13-year-old Filipino street kid. Forced to scavenge for his survival from the age of 2, sleep in a coffin and run away to seek help after he was badly injured, Cris “Kesz” Valdez had every reason to merely look out for himself.

But at age 7, he started a foundation, the Championing Community Children charity, to help fellow homeless kids, and his selfless work has been recognized with the $130,000 Children’s Peace Prize.

You are wonderful,” Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu told the young philanthropist at a ceremony at The Hague. According to the KidsRights Foundation, Cris has helped about 10,000 kids by distributing flip-flops, toys, sweets and clothes in Cavite City, just 18 miles south of the capital Manila.

“My message to children around the world is not to lose hope,” he said. Cris also wants to educate them on good hygiene and their rights.  The prize money will go to fund charities of his choosing. Cris would like to get an education and eventually become a doctor.

Cris’s plight is not unique in his country. About 246,000 street children in the Philippines are subjected to abuse, violence and child labor.

source: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/homeless-boy-wins-130-000-peace-prize-142221812.html

I have received many responses to many of the posts on this blog, thus far. However, may I request that you please reply in the comment section of the blog  – as opposed to on Twitter, Facebook, emails, etc. – so that all responses will be together. Your comment may be helpful to others who come across something that they can relate to. You can comment anonymously.

Thank you and many blessings.

USA Today ‘Kindness Challenge’

On Monday, July 17th – Martin Luther King Jr. Day – USA Today launched the ‘Kindness Challenge’ on The Rachel Ray Show (click on links below for more info). With so many negative and horrific reports in the news, positive news stories are sometimes overlooked; it is wonderful to see those who choose to make a difference to better the world in which they live. The young people below are great role models for not only their peers, but for us all.

All Kindness Challenge participants are alums of teen non-profit DoSomething.org, one of the largest organizations in the U.S. that helps young people rock causes they care about.

NOTE: If there is a young person in your life, encourage them to get involved in their community by joining http://www.dosomething.org/


Meet the five Kindness Challenge participants!

Kylie Kuhns
Age: 13

State: Mifflinburg, PA
Project: Kelsey’s Dream

Background: After her sister passed away from cancer, Kylie was inspired to help other children and their families battling with the disease. She started Kelsey’s Dream Foundation that donates Chemo Ducks, a cuddly toy and education program designed by the non-profit Gabe’s My Heart, to children’s hospitals across the country.

“Kindness Challenge” Goal: I would like to provide a Chemo Duck to as many children diagnosed with cancer, as possible. We started with Pennsylvania, and accomplished that goal. Then I decided that the Chemo Duck is so cute that every child with cancer, on the East Coast, must have one. Two years later, only Florida remains. This will require about $17,250.00 to supply Chemo Ducks to the Pediatrics/Oncology units in Florida.

What inspires me to give back: I chose to create this foundation because my sister and I were directly affected by cancer. My older sister, Kelsey, was diagnosed with Leukemia one month before her fifth birthday. Kelsey later went into remission. After 2 ½ years in remission, the cancer returned. The doctors suggested a Bone Marrow Transplant. I was excited when I found out that I was a perfect antigen match and willingly became my sister’s Bone Marrow Donor. After a two-year fight, Kelsey later passed away as a result of the disease. Because of the impact of this experience, I wanted to help other children, and their families, who have been diagnosed with cancer.

Kelsey was a very kind, giving person, who touched many people’s lives. Hopefully, I can help bring smiles or some happiness to the children that go through what I had seen my sister struggle through for eight years. She always smiled no matter how sick she was, and always cared about others. I hope I can bring smiles to the children because I know she would want us to do that.

Lizzie Marie Likness
Age: 11
State: Atlanta, GA
Project: Lizzie Marie Cuisine

Background: In efforts to combat obesity in her community, Lizzie opened Lizzie Marie Cuisine — a culinary business baking and selling all-natural goodies at her local farmer’s market, and created a website to teach people how to cook healthy food.

“Kindness Challenge” goal: My goal for the Kindness Challenge is to finish my cookbook — “Tasty Tidbits: Educating Today for a Healthier Tomorrow” — in the six-week deadline. It has always been a goal of mine to have my own cookbook, and completing the cookbook will be a great experience. By creating my own cookbook, I will be able to teach many more people how easy it is to make delicious, simple and healthy meals. Creating a cookbook will help me not only impact my community, but impact families all over America.

What inspires me to give back: Giving back is very important to me since I have been given so many life-changing opportunities. I think giving back to my community by cooking healthy is the best way to use my talent. Whenever I hear someone say, “I can’t wait to make this at home!” it makes me feel like I’ve impacted their family in a great way. If I can change one family’s lifestyle for the better, I know I’m one step closer to changing America’s lifestyle for the better.

Adin Lykken
Age: 19
State: Wheaton, IL
Project: Woofin and Hoofin

Background: Adin began the Woofin’& Hoofin’ 5K race and Doggie Dash, consisting of a one mile jog for pet owners in and their dogs to raise awareness for animal cruelty in homes.

“Kindness Challenge” goal: Woofin & Hoofin hopes to produce our first annual Puppy Palooza, a fun musical competition featuring major high school bands. While building energy for our summer race events among the student population, we hope to bring the cause of animal welfare onto center stage. Coupled with increased sponsorship and proceeds from the sale of puppy chow, Puppy Palooza will help us meet our most ambitious fundraising goal ever for the DuPage County Animal Shelter this year.

What inspires me to give back: I give back for the vision of a world where Woofin & Hoofin isn’t needed. When I visit the DuPage County Animal Shelter, I see the eyes of a caged animal meeting those of a growing family, and I know that soon, that animal will find love in its life. While experiencing such small steps toward a better world for our furry friends, I feel gratified that teenagers can find the energy to bend a community toward a common cause. On race day, I have that rare feeling of participating in a completely positive movement.

Name: Allison Nguyen
Age: 17
Location: Houston, TX
Project: Iced Capades Cakery

Background: Allison donates cupcakes on a monthly basis to local homeless shelters to host birthday parties for whom they are otherwise unaffordable.

“Kindness Challenge” goal: Because many of the children in shelters have fallen on hard times, I would like to improve our birthday party experience to make the celebrations more memorable and fun. In a few years, I want them to look back on their birthdays with fondness. To do so, we need to increase our volunteer pool, donations, and funding.

What inspires me to give back: I am inspired by the look of pure joy on the faces of a children who receive our gift. Many shelters and parents don’t have the money or resources to provide a luxury like a birthday celebration for these shelter children. From my own experience, I know that my days as a kid revolved around the major milestones like my birthday. Every child deserves their own special day dedicated to them. I want to make sure that kids at shelters can get the recognition on their birthday that they deserve.

Name: Jason Shah
Age: 21
Location: Cambridge, MA
Project: INeedAPencil.com

Background: Harvard student Jason Shah was inspired by a 15-year-old he tutored in West Philadelphia who couldn’t spell the word “ball.” How would this kid ever go to college? Jason could help him with school, but what about the SAT? So Jason started INeedaPencil.com, a free online tutoring system designed to help underprivileged youths prepare for the SAT. INeedaPencil.com has helped over 30,000 students increase their SAT scores, by an average of 200 points.

“Kindness Challenge” goal: With the big picture idea of helping as many students as possible, INeedAPencil.com is aiming to build out its network of partners by adding 50 new organizations during the Kindness Challenge to an existing network of 150 known partners. These partners enable INeedAPencil.com to scale by tapping into larger, persistent student bases and ensuring students have a structured environment in which to complete practice materials on INeedAPencil.com. Partners include schools, after-school programs, and community-based programs. We provide partners with an understanding of how the site works, counseling on how to manage students, and partner-specific tools to enable the partner to track student progress.

What inspires me to give back: I was raised by a family that taught me that education was the ultimate enabler. Knowledge is power. It wasn’t until I was 15 that I really witnessed students who did not have a fair shot access to quality education. It seemed unfathomable that what I had been taught was the ultimate enabler was not available to some people who had done nothing to deserve that. So I decided to do what I could to change that.



Teen Starts Website to Save Needy Children Around the World

Placer High School senior Alex Darrow asks Auburn business owner Marti Thompson for a contribution to his new website, which seeks to raise money for needy children around the world as it fashions the Web's largest photo mosaic. The goal is to have more than 112,896 photos submitted – with each contributor donating $5 to charity.

By Melody Gutierrez

For almost two years, Alex Darrow saved the money he earned from his dishwashing job at a pizza place and stashed the cash he had received for Christmas and his birthday.

Many 16-year-olds would be saving for a new car, but Darrow was saving to launch a website that aims to raise money for needy children around the world – and create the world’s largest photo mosaic at the same time.

Only after thee Placer High School senior laid the foundation for the site, PictureTheWorld, did he tell his parents. Darrow still hasn’t clued friends in to what keeps him so busy during the week as he goes door-to-door to Auburn businesses seeking support.

“I didn’t want to tell my parents if it was going to fail,” he said. “They are definitely proud of me.”

The concept is this: A person visits www.ptwonline.org and donates at least $5, then uploads a picture for the mosaic. The proceeds will be split among philanthropic groups such as 88Bikes, Doctors Without Borders and UCSF Beniof Children’s Hospital.

The goal is to have more than 112,896 photos submitted so that the PictureTheWorld mosaic would become the world’s largest, beating out the current record holder in Birmingham, England.

So far, Darrow said 35 people have uploaded pictures. If the record is broken, Darrow’s project would raise at least $560,000.

Darrow, who named himself executive director of the site, said he will not take a salary. He said he’s spent $1,400 of his own money on the project.

“I wanted something everyone could participate in that translated into a global community,” Darrow said. “It shows hundreds of thousands of people coming together. Each photo has a story behind it.”

Josh Wagner said he was struck by the creativity of Darrow’s project when the teen first contacted him for help with the website’s finances.

Wagner is executive director and founder of Cultural Media Services, a nonprofit that provides an umbrella program for other organizations seeking tax-exempt status.

He said Darrow is his youngest client.

“I think there is a lot of possibility,” Wagner said. “For someone of Alex’s age to start something so innovative and creative, he has great potential and he’s already starting to realize that.”

After officially launching the website in May, Darrow was having difficulty getting the word out about his project. So, he researched public relations firms and e-mailed Nelson Hudes of Hudes Communication International in Toronto.

Darrow told Hudes his budget. It wasn’t even close to what Hudes normally charges.

“I thought look, it’s a 16-year-old kid who is trying to launch something and it sounds like a winner,” Hudes said Friday. “I didn’t want to take his money. He is trying to give back. What 16-year-old tries to raise money for needy kids around the world?”

Hudes helped Darrow rework his press release, gave him contacts to news organizations, and told him to keep sending e-mails to as many reporters as possible.

Darrow can’t explain what prompted his passion to help others. He said science fiction television shows sparked his interest in inventions, such as his idea for a silicon mat that would stick to a computer monitor and make any computer a touch screen. He went as far as taking that idea to a venture capital group, where he said he received good advice.

He said PictureTheWorld is close to his heart because it can make a difference for needy children.

“Kids don’t deserve to suffer from diseases and illnesses,” Darrow said. “I want to make their lives easier in any way I can. I guess I just wish more people my age would do this type of thing.”


• A person visits http://www.ptwonline. org and donates at least $5, then uploads a picture for the mosaic.

• The proceeds are split between philanthropic groups.

• The goal is to have more than 112,896 photos submitted so the PictureTheWorld mosaic can become the world’s largest.

source: http://www.sacbee.com/2010/09/18/3038328/teen-sees-photo-site-aiding-needy.html

The Giving Pledge

I just read about this a short while ago and it brought a smile to my face. To see a story about those with wealth giving up the majority of their fortune. Now, THAT is inspiring. Wow!

SEATTLE – Forty wealthy families and individuals have joined Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates and billionaire investor Warren Buffett in a pledge to give at least half their wealth to charity.

Six weeks after launching a campaign to get other billionaires to donate most of their fortunes, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. released the first list Wednesday of people who have signed what he and Gates call the “giving pledge.”

Buffett decided in 2006 to give 99 percent of his fortune to charity. Then, he was worth about $44 billion. After five years of investment returns while making annual gifts to five foundations, Buffett’s fortune totals nearly $46 billion.

Buffett said he, Bill and Melinda Gates, and a few others have made 70 to 80 calls to some of the nation’s wealthiest individuals. The people who agreed to the pledge are from 13 states, with the most participants in California and New York.

Among those who haven’t signed the pledge, some prefer to keep their philanthropy anonymous, some were not available to talk, and others were not interested, Buffett said.

Many on the list will be asked to call others, and small dinners will be held across the country in coming months to talk about the campaign.

“We’re off to a terrific start,” Buffett said.

Buffett said he and Bill Gates also will meet with groups of wealthy people in China and India within the next six months to talk about philanthropy. They hope the idea of generosity will spread, but they have no plans to lead a global campaign, Buffett said.

Gates and Buffett estimate their efforts could generate $600 billion dollars in charitable giving. In 2009, American philanthropies received a total of about $300 billion in donations, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

In addition to making a donation commitment, Gates and Buffett are asking billionaires to pledge to give wisely and learn from their peers.

The group has no plans for combined giving, and none of the philanthropists will be told how or when to give their money.

“Everybody has their own interests,” said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who participated in the teleconference as one of the individuals who has signed the giving pledge. “That’s what’s wonderful about private philanthropy.”

Bloomberg, who has a fortune estimated by Forbes magazine at $18 billion, said he has changed his personal philosophy over the years from wanting to be more private about his giving toward trying to play a leadership role. He said his whole family is in tune with his giving plan.

“I’ve always thought your kids get more benefit out of your philanthropy than your will,” he added.

Others who have signed the pledge include filmmaker George Lucas, media mogul Ted Turner and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100804/ap_on_bi_ge/us_gates_buffett_pledge_3

ABOUT The Giving Pledge is an effort to invite the wealthiest individuals and families in America to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to the philanthropic causes and charitable organizations of their choice either during their lifetime or after their death.Each person who chooses to pledge will make this statement publicly, along with a letter explaining their decision to pledge. At an annual event, those who take the pledge will come together to share ideas and learn from each other.The Pledge is a moral commitment to give, not a legal contract. It does not involve pooling money or supporting a particular set of causes or organizations.While the Giving Pledge is specifically focused on billionaires, the idea takes its inspiration from efforts in the past and at present that encourage and recognize givers of all financial means and backgrounds. We are inspired by the example set by millions of Americans who give generously (and often at great personal sacrifice) to make the world a better place.
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Press Release 8/4/10 The Chronicle of Philanthropy
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A link to the site is in the ‘Helping You & Helping Others’ menu to the right