Saturday, July 25, 2009

Share the Comfort

Click to donate 10 boxes of Kraft macaroni. Totally free. Help them meet their goal of one million boxes!

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Kindness of Children

Not long ago I saw a really touching story about the kindness of children. CBS News has been doing a series about "children of the recession", how the economy is affecting children.

This particular segment had a reporter going around seeing what ideas children had to help with the recession. During the segment it came up that several of the children had money they had been saving and they'd given it to their parents to purchase groceries or other needed items for the family.

What a testimony to the spirit and consideration of these children. Heartwarming and heartbreaking all at the same time.

If you'd like to see the news segment, check it out at the CBS site.

Budget philanthropy idea for the day: Do you have anything extra in your pantry or cabinets? Consider filling up a grocery sack with a few items and taking it in to the food bank or a halfway house or shelter.

Monday, July 20, 2009


I've mentioned charity search engines before, like Good Search. The upside is you can specify your charity. The downside is that I love the Google search engine and that's not the one it uses.

I recently found one that donates money to charity AND uses the Google search engine, so it's the best of everything. The search engine is called Givoogle. (Unfortunately, you cannot specify which charity you want the money to go to.)

Here's a hint: If you set the web page as your homepage it will earn $74 dollars per year proceeds that go toward charity!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Restore Your Faith

Do you find it hard to be upbeat some days? While I consider myself generally optimistic, I still have days where I fall prey to doubt and discouragment and during those moments it's easy to fall into the "wow, the world really sucks" mentality.

If you have one of those days, I have a prescription for you! The site is called Gives Me Hope and it has blurb after blurb of people telling about beautiful moments in life they have experienced. Many of them are simple and sweet, but even those are deeply profound.

There is no possible way that you can go to this site and read a page of these "moments" and NOT leave in a better mood and ready to go out and do something for your fellow human.

Why not record some of your own moments while you're there? And spread the word!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Frugal Philanthropy Gifts

There are days I wish I were loaded with dough just so I can give it away or buy lots of cool stuff for people -- things they need or just plain old luxuries they don't give themselves permission to buy.

But on the other hand, after watching The Story of Stuff I feel really weird about buying STUFF that may or may not be useful or that might just end up in a landfill one day.

So, today's post is a triple whammy... it's a craft project, it's a "green" recycling project AND if you give it to someone when you're done with it it can also be a good deed!

Go check out this great homemade chalkboard. All you need is an old picture frame, some chalkboard paint and some spray paint. And if you don't want to use the traditional color of chalkboard paint, you can see a recipe for custom colored paint from Martha Stewart's web site.

Let's get out and exercise our generosity muscles!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Operation Beautiful

This is one of my FAVORITE projects on the Internet. Caitlin's crusade is to end toxic "Fat Talk". Operation Beautiful is a movement of posting anonymous messages in public -- messages of positive and upbeat messages of encouragement such as a simple "you are beautiful" to the more specific messages on a scale that says "This number doesn't matter. You are gorgeous right now..." or on a dressing room mirror, "Beauty has nothing to do with the size of your clothes."

This is a totally free way to spread change! All you need is a pen and a piece of paper and a public place to put a note. Are you ready to inspire total strangers? Get out there and get to writing, get to inspiring!

Oh and by the way, you're beautiful today. Everyday, really. I'm serious.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Help a Family

Can you give your coffee money to Ellie just for today? Just one day...

I generally try to provide information about how you can do good deeds on a budget or how acts of kindness can change a life. However, I'd like to do something a little bit selfish today and ask for your attention for a friend of mine.

My friend Savannah and her husband are in Ethiopia as I write this and are bring back their new daughter that they've just been granted a visa for. Right before they left for Africa they were notified that they could receive a grant of $2,000 if they are able to raise matching funds by August 14th.

An international adoption like they are doing ranges from $25,000 and up. They have done much of the work themselves, but friends and family are trying to get the word out about this $2,000 that they have to match to see what we can do to help.

Matching grants are the frugal philanthropist's dream... whatever we give is doubled! How can you NOT love that? And how can you not admire and spread the word about a loving family who is trying to make a better life for a little girl from an African orphanage?

If you want to follow little Ellie's journey back to American with her new parents, check out their blog: Hubbard Ethiopian Adoption Adventure

If you feel like you can donate a little (or a lot of) money, you can find out where to do that on the ChipIn widget on my sidebar or at: Wish Upon a Hero

IF YOU CANNOT DONATE: Please, please, please pass this on to someone you think can or knows someone who can. We spread change not only by what we do, but how we influence others.

Other ideas:

Have a "Dinner for Ellie". Make a spaghetti supper and invite 10 friends over and have them bring five bucks each. That's $50 that turns into $100!

Do you have a business? Make a bucket for Ellie! Put a donation bucket on your counter where you work and have people toss in extra coins.

Are you creative? Sing a song for Ellie! Offer to do singing telegrams for a day and give the proceeds toward Ellie's homecoming. Or dancing. Or juggling. Or doing mime. Or go to the town square or a busy streetcorner with a donation jar and stand on your head for Ellie!

Go to church? Can you do a bake sale for Ellie?

Have kids? Can your kids to a lemonade stand for Ellie? If you have boys, have them dig worms for Ellie and sell the bait to local fisherman!

The creative possibilities are endless. At the very minimum, please pass this on to friends and tweet it and blog about it. Your karma will thank you later!