Wednesday, December 1, 2010

31 Days of Goodness....

Last year, I wrote a post called 31 Days of Goodness. That post had a record number of views because of you. Yes, it had a lot of great information but it was shared and viewed because YOU are great and interested and willing to do great things for other people. I believe most people, given the opportunity or information, contribute to the goodness of the world and the happiness of others. There are new charities formed every single day so let’s refresh our options for this year and present 31 Days of Goodness Part Deux with some old favorites and some new favorites mixed in.

By nature, I am a person who includes thankfulness and gratitude in every day. The economy has been challenging enough for so many people but it is heart breaking to see the list from the family our son’s class adopted for the holidays because it does not include toys. It does not include DVDs or games for the Wii. It includes basic things likes shoes, toothbrushes, and blankets. It is the state of affairs for many families and a clear reminder hard luck can hit anyone, but also that kindness and generosity can (and should) be easily shared. It is not the amount that is given, it is the act of giving itself. So many people donate, contribute, and volunteer to causes throughout the year; I think it is outstanding to see human kindness in action.

And now with the turn of December, there are an abundance of opportunities for every person to contribute. It’s the 31 days of goodness, and easy exercises (and many of them free) to put a smile on someone else’s face as well as your own. And to lean over that blade of grass and whisper: grow, grow.

FREE GOODNESS:

1. One of the best thing I personally did all year: I donated eleven inches of hair to Locks of Love. They make wigs for children with terminal cancer.

2. You can also donate your hair to Matter of Trust where environmental experts have learned hair and other natural fibers can clean up oil spills.

3. Get involved. To start, visit Do Something which is a fantastic website which  can help you find service projects in your zip code. They also encourage you to engage your teenage family members to get involved in philanthropy. Their aim is to inspire the next generation of “doers”. You can also find local events/charities/nonprofits to support at Do Good Channel.  

4. Mentor/coach/tutor a future John Grisham, Louisa May Alcott, or Chelsea Handler at http://826national.org/ which is 7 nonprofits working to celebrate and advance creative writing in students age 16-18.

5. Go to your book case and clean it out. Instead of donating to the library, take those books to a local literacy program.

6. You can also join Books For Soldiers for free and send them to troops.

7. Give blood. To find a local blood bank: Visit Give Life.

8. Send a holiday card for FREE to a soldier abroad through a Xerox sponsored program called Let's Say Thanks A very quick and easy way to show support and solidarity.

9. Save all of your magazines from the month and donate them to a local women’s shelter.

10. Call a local retirement community and schedule a visit. You can spend an hour or two calling bingo. We have done it and it is a total hoot. One of the elderly ladies won and yelled “OH SWEET JESUS”. I crack up now thinking about it. (You can also take your sassy OPI or Essie nail polish instead and do some fun manicures.)

11. You can donate baby blankets, stuffed animals, and children’s books to Project Night Night  which helps homeless children.

12. Donate your old cell phones to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Go to the site and click under Take Action and then Donate.

13. Donate shoes (you know you have more than you can ever wear!) to Share Your Soles.


14. Mentor an at-risk teen online at I Could Be

15. Become an online reading mentor and penpal for kids in 3rd – 5th grade at http://www.in2books.com/ (They do a background check: Use promo code: SAV2449 so it won't cost you a cent.)

16. Play Free Rice and every correct vocab word you identify, 10 grains of rice are donated to the UN World Food Program. You can also play Free Kibble and for every correct answer, they add 10 pieces of dog food for an animal shelter in need. You need a break from playing Word Mole or Farmville right?

17. Put your favorite charity on your  Facebook page or Twitter account. You are on there all the time anyway.

18. Donate gift cards you won’t use to Plastic Jungle.

19. If you knit, you can send squares to Warm Up America. The squares will be knit into afghans and donated to battered women’s shelters.

20. Sign up to volunteer at http://www.keenusa.org/  and become a one on one volunteer to teach kids with disabilities about noncompetitive sports.


SMALL DONATION RELATED GOODNESS

21. Give a $35 Gift of Hope to women and children rescued from Sex Slavery and Sex Trafficking at http://www.sharedhope.org/.

22. Donate a minimum of $10.00 to www.pajamaprogram.org which provides jammies and books for kids in orphanages, group homes, and shelters. To date, they have given almost ONE MILLION books and pjs to kids who need them.
J

23. A small $10.00 gift to http://www.helpamotherout.org/ will give a supply of diapers to a struggling Mom.

24. Lend $25.00 to http://www.kiva.org/ which takes your loan and helps woman all over the world start businesses. You can choose your cause and the money will be paid back. So many people did this last year, it was incredible.

25. Donate to The Wounded Warrior Project  which provides benefits, services, counseling and more to men and women who have risked their lives to protect our country and our freedom. This is my Mom’s favorite charity.

26. A $10.00 donation to Noah’s Ark helps abused children rehabilitate abused animals. I know someone very involved in this program and it is amazing.

27. Help the teachers who are educating our children! At http://www.donorschoose.org/, you can views long lists provided by teachers regarding classroom needs. Everything from writing utensils to science equipment.

28. A $35.00 donation to Sleeping Children Around the World  provides a Bed Kit that consists of a mat or mattress, pillow, sheet, blanket, mosquito net (if applicable), clothes outfit, towel and school supplies for a needy child.

29. $35 dollars will also feed a needy child for one month with Share Our Strength


30. Go to Best Friends and make a small donation to help this organization dealing with thousands of displaced pets. Your money can help set up shelters, prepare furry friends for adoption, or have microchips put into the animals.  

31. And finally, and of critical relevance: Go and buy a new super-fly cold-drink canteen for $19.00 at Water.Org. EVERY dollar goes to help people around the world gain access to clean drinking water. 1 in 8 people DO not have this access.  

If everyone we know did just one of these things, consider the benevolent impact. We can make December beautiful for people who need it the most.

34 comments:

the walking man said...

Got the literacy/mentoring thing going in a couple of venues. Have to look into some of these others.

It's going to be especially hard when 2 million people have no cash coming in by 12/31.

Seeing as I have only one pair of feet I only have one pair of shoes so I can say for certain that one is out for me.

singedwingangel said...

I LOVE THESE LOVE THEM.. Dave Reover (spelling on his last nmae sucks but I know who he is) is the founder of the Wounded Warrior project. Have you ever heard him speak?? My husband and I LOVE him. you HAVE to look him up..

Bouncin' Barb said...

What a fantastic list of things. Thanks for sharing it for people who don't know what to do.

TKW said...

Jenny, this is great! I'm passing this on--what a terrific resource!

webb said...

Jenny, this is a great list and a wonderful idea - will pass it on. I do have reservations about # 6 and 8. While supporting the troops is something that we all need to do in lots of ways, sending tons of mail (or packages) can be a problem. A friend of mine was a Colonel in the first Gulf War when Ann Landers asked her readers to send letters to "Any Soldier". The Army mail system was so overwhelmed with letters that they couldn't really deliver them, and the letters of family members were lost in the deluge of mail. The Army finally had to created a special envelope for families to use so that their letters could be pulled out of the - literally - tons of mail that arrived. I would hope that in 20 years, the Army mail system has improved, but the last thing anyone wants to do is create a problem for them. They are working hard enough for us as it is. So, maybe do Wounded Warriors or something for children instead? Just a thought.

Kelli said...

My close friends had a baby at 24 weeks, he was 1.5 lbs. He struggled, but he made it. He recently celebrated his second birthday. This couple is helping to put together care packages for families that have babies in the NICU during Christmas. I crocheted fifty tiny hats to go into those. I can't wait to go hand them out on Christmas Eve.

JennyMac said...

Webb, thanks for the input. I know Let's Say Thanks sends messages via postcards but I will look into both. I imagine though since both of these services have been active for years, they have developed a viable system with the USPS. We hope at least..lol.

Bird Shit and Baby Caca said...

Great list!!!
I am actually donating my hair after Christmas to Locks Of Love. I know I'm going to cry but it's for a good cause

Dumblond said...

My daughter watched a documentary with me a few months back about the Locks of Love program. Ever since, she has been obsessed with growing her hair long enough to donate.
Great list! I will definitely be checking some of these out.

B.o.B. said...

GREAT charities and programs. Thanks for taking the time to put them altogether for us. Now I just have to choose one...or two...or... oh crap. LOL!

Thanks again.

B.o.B. said...

BTW, I'm going to repost this tomorrow on my blog. :)

Pricilla said...

Santapawsdrive.com is helping shelter animals all around the world. That way they will have some joy until they find a forever home

Kristina P. said...

Has Jesus called you for ideas yet? You are awesome!

MommaKiss said...

Loved this last year, you did awesome again!

Brian Miller said...

nice...this is a great list and a lot of practical things to do...very nice...

Simone said...

This was such a brilliant post last year JennyMac, I absolutely remember it. You introduced me to Kiva and I have lent to them every month this year, it's such a fantastic organisation - thank you for that.

I will link to this on my blog and pass it on anyway I can.

Well done to you, brilliant post again! xx

KittyCat said...

You are awesome. Great list.
I personally have just wallowing in self pitty over a relationship I can not have.

Thanks for the pick me upper.
I need to get my shit together.

Hookin It With Mr. Lick Lick said...

You're SO AWESOME JennyMac!!

In regards to 1 & 2 - I already had 1 on my schedule for my Christmas vacation but was going to donate twice - my hair is that long. But now thanks to you I can donate to #2! There are a few on your list that I do already but thank you for a couple more that I find very interesting that I will be checking out.

foxy said...

I loved this post last year and I love it EVEN MORE this year. :) Thanks for sharing, JennyMac.

Ms. Salti said...

Thank you sooo much for posting all of this. I never know where to find info like this and you've packaged it all nice and neat for us! I'll be participating in at least a few of these over the next month and longer if possible!

Anna said...

Thank you so much for the suggestions. My sister loves to knit so I sent her the link to this.

Eva Gallant said...

What a great idea and a great list! Thanks!

Snuggle Wasteland said...

I remember your list from last year. In fact, I bookmarked it.

Thanks for the update!

Maria said...

I am growing out my hair for Locks of Love....Slowly. I love that there is so much we can do that doesn't require much effort, but a whole lot of heart...Thanks for sharing this with us.

Anonymous said...

This is really great. Thank you for putting this together!

Slamdunk said...

Great suggestions and links JM. We should all follow your lead.

The idea of the online mentoring program looks interesting--I'll read more about it.

HalfAsstic.com said...

Once again, you are brilliant, JennyMac! ANOTHER Best Post Ever!
Speaking of teenagers getting out there and giving back...
My younger daughter is meeting with a Big Brothers and Sisters rep tomorrow in Galveston to get hooked up with a little girl somewhere in the county. And my older one spends time volunteering at Texas Children's Hospital.
I am so proud of them!

Jessie said...

So amazing! Thank you for doing this. I just posted on my FB page.

Elz said...

Fantastic ideas, thanks!

Anonymous said...

awesome.

shortmama said...

This is wonderful! Ive got several of them opened so I can look into them more! Thanks for doing this!

Karma 11:11 said...

Wonderful post. We should aim to stay in a state of gratitute and giving. I will post a link on my blog to this post.

MommaKiss said...

heya hot stuff. I just linked to you in a post today. Love your links, thank you for sharing them.

Jamie said...

Just found my way here... I pinned this and posted it on my facebook page. Love this. A Lot!