Archive for the ‘One click helping’ Category

Volunteering from Home When You’re Isolated but Still Want to Give

mimi-thian-BYGLQ32Wjx8-unsplashLike most of us, you and yours are probably spending much more time within your own walls these days. While your employer may expect you to be online and available during business hours while you work from home, you have also gained some extra time you once spent commuting, or going out to grab lunch, when you can be volunteering and making a meaningful difference from your own home, on your own schedule.

I promise it will fill your heart and mind much more proactively than the screaming panic on social media!

Check out this list of possible ways to add to the common good by way of your computer, tablet, or phone.

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Crisis Text Line

When people need to reach out in times of crisis – online counselors are available 24/7 so there is someone on the other end of a lifeline. You commit to at least 4 hours per week and get deep training in active listening, collaborative problem solving, and safety planning. This is hotline work and profoundly meaningful intervention training, and you can do it from your couch on your own schedule (the most pressing need is for overnight crisis counselors). https://www.crisistextline.org/volunteer/ And to be sure EVERYONE knows of this resource, if you yourself or anyone you know need help or are considering self-harm, text HOME to 741741 to connect with a trained volunteer counselor any time of the day or night.

United Nations Volunteers

UNV programs contribute to peace and development through internet connections worldwide. They make grateful use of volunteers in areas of need like: writing & editing, translation, research, outreach & advocacy, teaching & training, technology development, art & design, community organizing, and more. 187 countries are involved with the corps of volunteers and their hard work from home. https://www.onlinevolunteering.org/en

Catchafire

You offer your expertise to non-profits and NGOs on projects ranging from website development to team communications, marketing to database work. Over 100 areas of need are available for you to engage your computer savvy, and do it all from home. https://www.catchafire.org/

Amnesty Decoders

Amnesty International Decoders utilizes volunteers around the world to use your computer or phone to help researchers sift through pictures, information, and documents. Join the global network and volunteer from anywhere you can be online, on your own schedule. https://decoders.amnesty.org/

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Operation Warm

Start an online fundraiser to get new coats to kids in need and books to local libraries. Discover the details of how you can make a difference in the lives of many young people from the comfort of your home. https://www.operationwarm.org/get-involved/

Smithsonian

Become a Smithsonian Digital Volunteer and help transcribe historical documents and make biodiversity data more accessible. You can add to the official records and collections of field notes, diaries, ledgers, photo albums, manuscripts, specimen labels, and more. Dozens of projects can be searched by theme so your interest is engaged as well as your computer. https://transcription.si.edu/

Chemo Angels

Become a pen pal from home for a patient undergoing chemotherapy. Traditional “Angels” and “Card Angels” send cards, notes, letters, and small gifts each week to an assigned patient for the duration of their treatment. Be the strength and encouragement for someone through their toughest times without ever needing to leave your home. https://www.chemoangels.com/angel-pre-app

Project Implicit

Help Harvard researchers explore and understand associations our culture makes about race, gender, sexual orientation, alcohol & drug use, exercise, anxiety, eating, and other topics by simply taking polls and tests from your home computer. https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/

Zooniverse

People-powered research projects rely on volunteers like you who help classify data, beta test digital projects, or moderate existing projects. You help the scientific community with a huge array of data projects from nature tracking to diabetes diagnosis tools, weather mapping to transcribing military records of African American Civil War soldiers, classifying infant speech sounds to discerning asteroids in images from the Hubble telescope! You can find something to get passionate about here, and work as much or as little as you’d like. https://www.zooniverse.org/get-involved

Giveback Box – Low Effort, High Impact

Young couple

There’s a particular type of giving and service I like to point out whenever I find it—I refer to it as “NO skin off my ass” giving or NO SOMA impact. These are the actions that don’t interfere with your everyday routines, yet can, with minimal effort, make a difference in the lives of others.

There are, of course, outstanding opportunities around the world to really dedicate your all—energy, time, sweat, and tears—and I hope you’ll find plenty of those options here and elsewhere. But how about something you can do on any old Tuesday afternoon…or Thursday morning…or any time at all. Actions so simple yet still impactful…the only question that remains, is “Why not…?

GIVEBACK BOX is such a simple yet ingenious idea it boggles my mind why we haven’t all been doing it for years.

Here’s the super-short version:

  1. You order from an online retailer (partners include most major online shops: Amazon, Overstock, LOFT, Levi’s/Dockers, Asics, New Egg, Ann Taylor, UncommonGoods, BonTon, Kenneth Cole, Hanes, REI Co-op, Jet.com, Nordstrom, David’s Bridal, Banana Republic, and so many more).
  2. Instead of throwing away the box or breaking it down for recycling (and PLEASE recycle packaging if you decide NOT to do the GIVEBACK BOX), you Fill the Box with items you want to donate from your home.
  3. Print out a pre-paid label, and mail (via United States Postal Service or UPS…drop off or have it picked up from your home) shipping to the charity you choose.

So simple. So good. No skin off my ass and yet impactful!

So…Why Not?

Good Done Great Manages Your Giving and Volunteering

iPhone in man's hand about to click on app iconGood Done Great is an online platform, and now a mobile app as well, that helps you track and maximize your philanthropic giving and your volunteering efforts.

They are the first mobile giving app to connect users to charities, corporations, and causes, and it streamlines your giving opportunities to a network of over two million non-profit organizations all around the world. You can also set up monthly giving arrangements in the app or GIVING savings accounts that will be tracked for you. You can do all this management yourself, of course, but the app leverages technology that brings lots of features into one place. Additionally, you can follow charities to see their latest programs and projects, search by name or location to find charities, and the app learns your preferences and recommends new non-profits that may interest you based on your history. You can also follow your employer’s impact with their giving and support of charitable causes.

Good Done Great also works directly with Fortune 500 and other corporations to help them maximize their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) efforts so they are able to increase their impact. They are a B Corporation and have, thus far, processed over $500,000,000 for over 28,000 charities globally.

Check out the website, and load the free app on your phone (Apple app store or Google Play) so you can simplify your giving and turbocharge the difference you can make.

You Get an Extra Second Today — Do Something Great!

Feel free to use this image just link to www.rentvine.com

Today, June 30, the clocks of the world will add one more second than usual to our day. It is time for the addition of a Leap Second to allow recorded time, known as “Coordinated Universal Time” and actual solar time as tracked by the Atomic Clock to catch up. There will officially be a time on clocks that reads 11:59:60 Greenwich Mean Time (and it may very well drive a whole bunch of technology absolutely ape shit because they won’t recognize that time). The last time this happened in 2012, a whole bunch of systems crashed including major internet servers and some air traffic control systems.

Assuming our technoverse doesn’t implode–what will you do with your extra second?

I’ve got an idea. Jump in and try any of these one-click ways to make a difference or these links to charities and non-profits around the world that have one-click donation programs. Click to donate free food to hungry people or pets; click to donate to cancer or other medical research initiatives; click for clean water projects; click to save the rainforest; click for animal causes; click to donate free books and give to literacy initiatives…just click. These aren’t click and dig into your wallet, just the act of clicking is the give, that translates into action on the other end. For most it is a value proposition for advertisers, so they give because they can verify your eyeballs landed on their page–and that is worth money to advertisers…and you only need to see the ad…for a second…for them to value your presence and give in your behalf.

The universe owes you an extra second. Use it in a beautiful way.

Barefoot Giving — It Takes Almost Nothing to Make a Difference

adult and child bare feet on wet rockThere’s a particular type of giving and service I like to point out whenever I find it—I refer to it as “NO skin off my ass” giving or NO SOMA impact. These are the actions that don’t interfere with your everyday routines, yet can, with minimal effort, make a difference in the lives of others.

There are, of course, outstanding opportunities around the world to really dedicate your all—energy, time, sweat, and tears—and I hope you’ll find plenty of those options here and elsewhere. But how about something you can do on any old Tuesday afternoon…or Thursday morning…or any time at all. Actions so simple yet still impactful…the only question that remains, is “Why not…?

Here’s one: Why not take a picture to give a pair of shoes to a child in need?

From May 5 – May 21, if you simply Instagram a photo of your bare feet with the hashtag #WITHOUTSHOES, TOMS Shoes will give a new pair of new shoes to up to one million kids who need them. The company always has a one for one practice, where with every purchase you make a new pair is also given to a child somewhere in the world (TOMS does amazing “Shoe Drop” trips to communities across the globe, having donated over ten million pairs of shoes and they have also given one million pairs of shoes to children in need in the United States).

There are some cool things about shoes that make tangible differences in life—differences we don’t often consider since most of us don’t lack for some sort of footwear.

  • Shoes can increase access to education—attendance goes up by 62%.
  • Shoes can help treat disease—podoconiosis, a debilitating disease of the feet and legs, is transmitted through bare feet and affects more than four million people.
  • Shoes can protect feet from illness—other water and soil-borne illnesses are transmitted though uncovered feet.
  • Shoes can improve learning ability—TOMS has created an incentive and recognition program for kids who are screened and treted for amblyopia (“lazy eye”)
  • Shoes can provide comfort—nearly 47 million of us around the world are refugees, half of those are children without access to home and basic amenities. Warm shoes change that experience.
  • Shoes can encourage healthy lifestyles—with a doubling of childhood obesity in the past few decades, sports shoes increase activity and exercise.

 

SO kick off those kicks, point your camera down, snap, post, tag, and you’ve just given a child something that truly matters. Why not…?

5 Minutes. 10 Bucks. Lives Saved.

malarianet

Photo: NothingButNets.net

Every charitable organization is fired up this holiday time with year-end funding drives and pushes for donations. Many of us are well matched for them as we need to get our tax-deductions in before December 31. I hope you’ve been giving with the spirit of the season to support the causes for which you care.

If you’re looking for inspiration, here’s another quick and easy (and cheap) way to make a real difference. Nothing But Nets provides malaria-stopping mosquito nets for families in regions threatened by this killer disease in Sub-Saharan Africa. For a mere ten dollars, you can give a net large enough for a family of four to sleep under and actually save lives. The program is run via the United Nations, and nets delivered to communities (with training on how to effectively block mosquitoes with their use) by UN teams. It is such a simple barrier to a debilitating, often fatal illness. Medicine and treatment are so much more expensive than prevention–and you can do it in the name of folks on your gift list, so they take ownership in saving lives as well.

Win Win.

Ho Ho Ho.

Social Good Summit, Today, Tomorrow, Monday

Start Autumn by dipping into the Social Good Summit, happening now at the United Nations, but available for you to join in online from the comfort of your home. Make a difference in the world, and our reaching the Millennium Development Goals, by just hitting “SEND”

Textbooks4Change: Back-to-School Give Back

Ahhh, the hallowed halls of higher education, filling once again with hormones and expectation, attitude and angst. It’s back-to-school time (how bizarre is it that schools start at such radically different times from region to region, district to district. I know some kids have been in school for weeks, while when I was a kid, we got back after Labor Day. Does it make sense to anyone?) and for college students, it’s time to pay the piper. No, I don’t mean the tuition piper–he has already collected his enormous sums for this semester. Nor do I meant the meal plan piper, or the decorating your dorm room piper, not even the beer keg fund piper…I mean the campus bookstore/textbook piper. That laughing fiend who holds you as a captive retail slave, given no choice but to buy the massively overpriced books demanded by the wiles of each professor’s syllabus. Paper and binding cost the same for Introduction to Humanistic Psychology as they do for that copy of The Help you grabbed from the end-of-aisle display, yet the markup of textbooks is criminal. Often triple digit-priced, even the used copies are appallingly expensive.

There is no point in railing at the gods of academia. Your fate is sealed…BUT…you can do a little good while you are ponying up big bucks for learning. Textbooks4Change is a ramping up organizations started by poor college students and grads who thought, “Hey, wouldn’t it be nice if a percentage of these gargantuan @#*! textbook costs went to a good cause?” So they have made that possible. About 6% of the price of textbooks you buy through them goes directly, as a donation, to the charity you choose. As of now, the charity choices are terrific yet limited (The Courage Campaign, Special Delivery San Diego), but those are important dollars you can effortlessly give to important work…and it doesn’t cost you an extra dime. When you get your course list and book lists, click over to search via their several online retailers to see if, at no extra cost to you, you can put a few extra bucks in the coffers for change.

http://www.textbooks4change.com/

FITE from KIVA, Because it Works

FITE: (Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship. A breath of fresh perspective from Kiva, the micro loan organization that is already changing world poverty.

www.joinfite.org

Cringe-Inducing, Crazy Partisanship

These two stories are but a couple of too many as this mid-term election cycle gets nasty. Both sides of this 2-party nation (while I don’t feel well-represented by either of the main parties, it is still the system we live with) tend to shout from the rooftops about what the founding fathers intended…but only when it is convenient and supports a particular argument (often stretched and twisted beyond the recognition of any of the founding folks). One thing I know for certain is that when this country’s political future was being planned–this was not how it looked in the dreams of a new free nation out from under the tyranny and oppression of the former homeland. We have been working so very hard to instill a whole bunch more tyranny and oppression of late, and we vote for these jokers. Or by being too lazy/busy/disinterested, we vote for the opposition simply by NOT voting. That qualifies as reprehensible in my book. There are so many oppressed people in our larger, global community, that would lop off their left arms for a chance to vote, and we can’t drag our SUVs to the local middle school or community center polling place because we have too much to do.

CRINGE-INDUCING STORY #1

A fringe, radical conservative group hiding behind the benign name “Latinos for Change” bought advertising time on Univision in Nevada, to encourage Latino voters NOT TO VOTE. Univision is the #1 Spanish-language network in this country, and they thought if they reached in through the back door to viewers, they could convince them to stay home to “punish” the current administration for not enacting immigration reform quickly enough. I’m sorry–that is sick. Voting is the only power we have, and I hope Nevada voters saw through this hypocrisy and idiocy and will show up in record numbers at the polls. I don’t care how they vote, but I care that they participate.

 

CRINGE-INDUCING STORY #2

NPR (National Public Radio) is under attack from Sara Palin, perky cheerleader for not thinking things through. I recognize Sarah is only a mouthpiece, and honestly think she’d be a blast to go out for beers with–I genuinely like who she seems to be as a woman, but the scripts she is given to recite are so very absurd. So a recent piping up of the chatter has been about NPR and other Public Broadcasting Services (PBS). Publicly-funded media. The US has one of the lowest funded public media programs in the world–we pay less dollars into public broadcasting than almost every other developed nation, less than a buck and a half per person per year, but the cry of outrage is that we are wasting our precious money on propaganda. You know, propaganda like Sesame Street, and Reading Rainbow, and Nova, and dangerous mind-control like Antiques Roadshow. C’mon–I swear if I look closely I can almost see you laughing, Sarah (and Bill O’Reilly who has also jumped on the harpie bandwagon, and South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, who plans to introduce legislation that would slash all funds). I know you have better things to do than gut culture. I know the teabagger gang of thugs that advocates so stridently against government interference isn’t really asking government to pull the plug on people who think differently. You have the plug to pull in your own home—DON’T WATCH. I don’t watch FOX News, I don’t watch SoapNet or Game Show Network…why would you watch something that angers you? I love the inspiration–sometimes I can make a full-blown sport out of arguing with the TV, and it energizes me–but I don’t love the next-step course of action, by trying to convince Congress to become a censorship organization. There’s a FreePress Action petition here to ask Congress not to defund our nation’s only public media resources, NPR and PBS.

…and don’t forget to VOTE