Entries Tagged as 'Things'

Friday, May 26th, 2006

Kids find bags for kids

This story from the Honolulu Advertiser (HI) reaches deep into the “damn, kids are way smarter than me” files.

Tyler Cordoni, 10 and Drake Boyer, 11, independently came up with the idea to find donated suitcases for the thousands of kids in the Hawai’i foster care system. Tyler noticed one day while visiting his mother Allyson at the hospital at which she worked that many of the foster kids in the waiting room were all holding black trash bags with what appeared to contain their worldly possessions. He later found out that most foster children have nothing more than garbage bags to tote around their belongings as they move between homes. Tyler knew this had to stop.

Meanwhile, Drake was also discovering this fact and making plans to end it.

The two now collect donated suitcases in their Suitcases for Kids campaign. Their goal is to collect 2,500 suitcases, enough for one to go to every child currently in the foster care system.

If you want to help Tyler and Drake, contact Kapi’olani CARE Program at (808) 522-4755.

Visit Suitcases for Kids if you want to support the larger national and international campaign.

Monday, May 22nd, 2006

Random Acts of Cone-ness

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream is at it again.

They are declaring “Random Acts of Cone-ness” in three American cities in the next month.

New York, week of May 22nd (that’s right now!)
Chicago, week of June 5th
San Francisco, week of June 19th

Ben & Jerry’s will be giving out 50,000 free samples of their new novelty cones through what they are calling their Cone Samaritans. If you live in one of these three cities, check out benjerry.com now.

For those living elsewhere, you can enter the Random Acts of Cone-ness Contest by nominating your favorite Benn & Jerry’s fan to be “coned” (i.e. receive a free cone). With your nomination you include a note, in 100 words or less, explaining why this person deserves to be coned. I just entered my best friend. I did a poem which I will post after the contest ends on July 31.

Wednesday, May 10th, 2006

Tai Shan Panda Power

Last summer, the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, DC welcomed little Tai Shan, the baby boy off-spring of Mei Xiang and Tian Tian.

You can get some Panda wallpaper for your desktop here. Also check out the Panda Cam day and night to see what’s up in T-Shan’s world.

I was lucky enough to catch the little black and white fuzz ball over Easter weekend during a family trip. The picture for the May 10 – 17 masthead is of Tai Shan curling up into a ball to roll around and avoid the zookeeper trying to take him back into his hut. You really can’t believe these kinds of things happen until you see it in the flesh. Yes, I now know that Pandas are incredibly cute and little ones like Tai Shan are just beyond words. Go check out the National Zoo…tip: Tai Shan comes out around 4:00 p.m. for one last feeding before the park closes.

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006

Frequent Flier Miles for Troops

Operation Hero Miles is a project of Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland. It’s a very simple idea that has very large impact on the lives of our soldiers serving overseas. Moreover, as of last falls legislative session, it’s also a law, written into the latest Defense Appropriations Bill.

Originally set-up in 2003 to help soldiers with airfare for R&R activities after the first offensive in Iraq, the program has recently switched its focus on providing tickets for family emergency situations. Not that R&R isn’t important, but the Bill mentioned above set money aside to handle this portion of the Operation Hero Miles program.

Current participating airlines include Alaska Airlines, America West Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines and United Air Lines. If you maintain a frequent flier account with any of these carriers, and you think that you may not be using it for some time, you may consider turning it over to this effort. You don’t get a tax deduction, but you get to help military families in need and receive a lifetime of knowing you did good.

Thursday, April 27th, 2006

Cross-Cultural Solutions

This New Rochelle, NY, nonprofit can be characterized as Peace Corps light. This is not to demean or steal the fire from this 11-year old organization in any way.

Cross-Cultural Solutions provides adults and students with 2 to 12 week experiences in places around the globe doing very worthwhile work. You pay your own way (whereas the Peace Corps pays you), but you have more control over where and when you go. College students may even be able to earn college credits with their work.

If you’re looking for something even lighter on your time than the 2 to 12 week options, you can enroll in the Insight Abroad program, which is a one-week dabbling in one of the CCS projects in Costa Rica, Brazil, Guatemala, Peru or Russia. It’s almost like a do-gooder vacation option that has become so popular lately.

CCS fills a very important niche serving those of us who want to be more hands on with our philanthropy but simply don’t have the time (or the guts) to drop everything and dedicate our entire lives to an international cause. While it is great to dream big, sometimes you just have to take the kind of baby-steps that CCS offers on your way to fulfilling your good intentions.

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

Kindest Kansas Citian

STOP Violence of Kansas City, MO, sponsors an interesting program called the Kindest Kansas Citian Awards, which were given out for 2006 last Sunday.

This year, area students ranging from 2nd to 11th grade wrote one-page essays nominating a family member as being the kindest person in Kansas City. More than 5,000 entries were received and a panel of judges whittled the list down to 20 winners. Among the kindest Kansas Citians this year is Trent Green, quarterback of the Chiefs NFL football team.

Seems like a cool idea to have a contest based on how nice a person is. Perhaps this is something that can be done in more places around the country.

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

Pump ‘em Up

Pump ‘em Up, founded in 2001 by nine-year old Savannah Walters, is a perfect example of how a small, simple yet powerful idea can have very a large impact.

Always concerned about environmental issues, Walters learned from a friend that many millions of gallons of gasoline is wasted each day due to underinflated tires. Gasoline, of course, is derived from crude oil and is a big contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, both of which are environmental no-nos. Moreso, the case for drilling in the Arctic National Refuge is the many million gallons of gasoline that could be produced from its oil reserves.

Walters put two and two together right away and new that if Americans would pump up their tires to appropriate levels, perhaps enough gasoline would be saved to make the Arctic oil reserve issue go away.

She learned, in fact, that almost 4 million gallons of gasoline is wasted each day in America due to underinlfated tires. By keeping our tires pumped up, we’d save money and save the environment too.

So, Walters and her friends began giving out tire gauges around her DC neighborhood and educating adult drivers about the benefits of pumping ‘em up.

Since 2001, Walters has been on TV, received letters from Fortune 5oo CEOs and travelled across the land delivering her message. Give it up for Savannah and her tire crusade. A true go getter getting it done.

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

GoodSearch for charities

A very well done project by the brother / sister team of Ken and JJ Ramberg.

There are many websites out there attempting to do what GoodSearch has elegantly perfected: Allow users to use a Yahoo! powered search engine to generate funds for their favorite charities.

The homepage is clean and very user-friendly. You simply elect your favorite charity as the recipient of any funds generated from your search activities. Then search and surf as you normally would with the provided Yahoo! search tool. Fifty percent of all subsequent advertising and click-thru revenue goes to your charity. It’s an easy way to be generous. GoodSearch also offers an Internet Explorer toolbar that makes it even more convenient to be a modern day philanthropist.

Definitely check this service out and let us know what you think.

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

Moveable drive-in theatre

The world of the tech savvy geek-o-philes continues to astound me in its capacity to introduce and maintain outstanding services and products for free.

MobMov is the latest greatest service fitting the gratis mold. If you live in Berkeley, CA, you need to sign-up with MobMov and begin receiving notices regarding “guerilla drive-in” movie venues that pop up periodically around the city.

The concept is simple: MobMov (contraction of Mobile Movie) sends out notices to its members with the time and place along with the appropriate FM radio station to use in order to pick-up the drive-in style movie audio. MobMov is outfitted with a completely portable movie projector and audio system that can be set-up virtually anywhere. Members gather, sometimes in a vacant lot, and watch movies on the side of an abandoned building.

As stated above, everything is free. These guys do this just for the thrill and challenge of staging a roaming drive-in theatre experience. It’s geeky cool. The effort to get this done is tremendous, and the fact that no obtrusive moneymaking apparatus is fueling any of it is quite refreshing.

Tuesday, April 11th, 2006

Bead for Life

News of this cool project comes to us from a contributor out in sunny Hawai’i.

As most effective projects tend to be, BeadforLife has a very smart and elegant model. This Boulder, CO-based group exports and sells beads made by local Ugandan women. Mostly sold in the United States, the proceeds from the beads go toward community projects and toward helping those Ugandan women to improve their living status. A full 15% of all sales goes directly to women who produce the beads.

The vast majority of the beads are sold at Bead Parties, much like the Tupperware model. In 2005, over 500 such parties took place. A smaller percentage of sales happens directly through their online store, retail outlets and craft fairs.

Check out BeadforLife the next time you need to put a little present together. It’s a great story and the products are great looking as well.