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March 2011

be a degree of change

MUST-READ Google’s New Do-Good Strategy The Impact of the Web on Sustainability

The Gift of Giving

Social Responsibility: Charity Hijacked

This research gives a whole new meaning to the benefits of charity.

THE MAN WITH THE

Global Issue:

WATER

One man, one rare anti-body: 2 MILLION LIVES SAVED.

The Crisis The Solution & What you can do

US $3.99 CAN $4.99


Contents

april 2010

Departments People

20 Unsung Heroes Highlighting the angels among us who make it their mission to help others.

26 Retired Trooper Fights for Kids

Ray Mckay couldn’t ignore the abuse he saw every day, so he decided to take a stand against home violence.

28 Generation Gap Interesting stats on how different generations choose to give to charity.

31 We Dare You Try these random acts of kindness, and watch the ripple effect .

Social Issues 34 Secular Giving Network Some causes for the increase in non-religious giving are under the radar.

37 Tips for Success: Charity Lobbying Succesfully lobbying your charity can be a lot more smooth with these simple tips.

42 Social Good A cancer patient’s social media crusade proves the importance of online social networks for charities.

Money Matters 64 Ask Attn. Answers to common questions about tax issues. 68 Watch Dog

We keep your hard earned dollars safe by pointing out donor duds.

Regulars 6 10 12 14

Editors Letter Acts of Kindness Where to Find It Non-Profit Spotlight

Around the World 50 Giving After Disasters See the reasons why people are so inclined to give after a devastating event.

54 Effective Donations Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. Microloans are the growing trend.

59 Stat Sheet Shocking facts about the water crisis.

Be a Degree

73 Responsible Shopper Support great causes while keeping on track with the latest trends.

78 Childs Play Get the kids involved in these fun and engaging ways to help.

82 So You Want To Help... Popular Causes and how you can give today

85 To Whom It May Concern, Tips for writing an effective letter to congress to raise awareness for your cause.

89 Whats In Your Closet? Your trash is another mans treasure.


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130

150

Features 130

142

S.O.S.

Get your Daily Dose

Life in plastic isn’t as fantastic as they say. The Great Pacific Garbage patch is home to millions of tons of plastic we have thrown away over the years. This gigantic gyre is polluting our water and animals and is growing by the day

Check out another way to keep the doctor at bay, by volunteering! The heart healthy benefits of helping your fellow neighbor can reduce depression, improve quality of life and generally help you for the better.

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162

Destination Oasis

The Man with the Golden Arm

There is hope on the horizon for America’s food deserts, but how soon will they bloom? People in our country are taking a stand to change this food crisis in urban neighborhoods, so more people will have access to a healthy diet.

If you knew your blood had a special antibody that could save millions of lives, would you use that as an opportunity to give, even if it could cost you your life? James Harrison, 74 chose to use his amazing gift for the greater good.


Gift Giving When you volunteer, you are helping yourself a lot more than you think. The benefits from serving your community can help your heart, health and happiness.

olunteering not only helps others, it can be good for your health, too. Research shows that “volunteer therapy” can improve your mood, strengthen your body, and lessen stress. And this works even for people who are themselves coping with a serious illness. Tennessee resident Amanda Booze has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and volunteers with the Arthritis Foundation. “Being a volunteer has given me a profound feeling of control and emotional well-being,” Letting them know that they are not alone is crucial. But the benefits don’t stop there; you feel good about yourself when you help others.” The first step to volunteering is deciding what volunteer work you might enjoy doing The first step to volunteering is deciding what volunteer work you might enjoy doing. “Working to help those who suffer from the same condition I have has helped me in many, many ways,” Booze says.Do you love animals? Do you want to work with the homeless? Do you care about the environment, literacy, politics,


around the WORLD Global Issue:

WATER

There are lots of things that are not right with our world. Suffering, inequality, poverty, disease, you name it. Each has devastating effects on billions of people's lives. Yet, when you stop and think about it, so many of the difficult issues facing the world's poor can be traced back to the lack of clean water. Almost fifty per cent of the developing world’s population – 2.5 billion people – lack

THE AVERAGE WOMAN in America walks less than a mile every day.

THE AVERAGE WOMAN in a third world country walks approximately ten miles per day to secure safe drinking water for her family or village.

88 out of every 100 deaths caused by diarrhea is caused by unsafe drinking water

improved sanitation facilities, and over 884 million people still use unsafe drinking water sources. Inadequate access to safe water and sanitation services, coupled with poor hygiene practices, kills and sickens thousands of children every day, and leads to impoverishment and diminished opportunities for thousands more.Poor sanitation, water and hygiene have many other serious repercussions.Children – and particularly girls – are denied their right to education because their schools lack private and decent sanitation facilities. Women are forced to spend large parts of their day fetching water. Poor farmers and wage earners are less productive due to illness, health systems are overwhelmed and national economies suffer. Without WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), sustainable development is impossible.

Every fifteen seconds a child dies from water related diseases.


How Can You Help?

There’s a lot you can do, and you can start right now. Raise Awareness

Give Money

Donate

It couldn’t be simpler. Go to oneweekforwater.org and sign up to donate your Facebook and Twitter status for World Water Week. When you donate your online status, ONE and Water.org will post updates on your Facebook and/or Twitter pages, change your profile picture and even update your background to raise awareness about water and sanitation easily.

Working directly with community-based organizations and communities and families themselves, UNICEF helps to ensure that households have access to a clean and secure supply of water, and safe and convenient sanitary facilities. Through hygiene promotion, UNICEF works towards maximizing the health benefits, focussing in particular on the survival, growth and development of young children.

The LifeStraw Personal is a portable water purifier that minimizes the risk of acquiring diarrhea and other waterborne diseases. Designed to be a point-ofuse safe water intervention, it effectively removes all bacteria responsible for causing diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, dysentery and typhoid. LifeStraw Personal provides safe drinking water for an individual for one whole year.

$25 can provide safe driking water for one persons lifetime.

$6 for one lifestraw to be sent to Rwanda.

Unicef.org/tapproject

CleanwaterforAfrica.com

Cost Free

Visit oneweekforwater.org

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If you live in a food desert where the only available choice is between fast food French fries and convenience store Twinkies, you have no choice but to eat junk food. This adds to the causes of obesity and illness among the country’s urban citizenry due to a lack of healthy food choices. A supermarket in Chicago is addressing their cities problem, and can serve as an example for all of the other unhealthy cities across our country.

uch of what you see Inside this supermarket is abnormal. uniformed workers are stacking pineapples into neat rows across from bundles of fresh mustard greens, tamarind pods and nopalitos sliced cactus ears common in Mexican dishes. In much of the country, Farmers Best Market would not be an extraordinary sight. But here on 47th Street, a gritty stretch of Chicago’s South Side flush with Golden Arches and purveyors of Colt 45 Malt Liquor, the store is an oasis. It’s also raising an intriguing proposition: Can an inner-city supermarket profitably specialize in fresh produce and meats and, ultimately, be a model solution to urban America’s health crisis?For years, major supermarket chains have been criticized for abandoning densely populated, largely black and Latino communities in cities like Detroit, Los Angeles, Memphis and Newark are contribut-


urban America's health crisis?For years, major supermarket chains

boast high concentrations of black professionals. At the same time, he

have been criticized for abandoning densely populated, largely black

observed that many Latinos tend to have large families and buy fresh

and Latino communities in cities like Detroit, Los Angeles, Memphis

fruits and just as research began to emerge identifying vast sections

and Newark, N.J. contributing to what many experts call food deserts.

of Chicago vegetables more frequently than blacks and the general

Many of these communities are, quite literally, starving for broader

population. So he settled on a vast, 35,000-sq.-ft. building that had been

and healthier food options beyond the seemingly ubiquitous fast-food

abandoned by a national supermarket chain about 15 years ago. It's in a

chains and corner stores selling barely a handful of fruits and vegetables

largely Mexican-American neighborhood known as Back of the Yards.

at relatively high prices.

Just to the east lie Bronzeville and Hyde Park.

Simply put, people eat what is convenient and affordable and if it's

The store, which opened last July, is airy and well lit. The produce

fat-heavy fast food, that's what they'll chow down on. The prevalence

section is stocked with fresh mustard greens, popular among blacks with

of obesity among American youth overall increased to 16.3% in 2006,

roots in the Deep South. There's also elephant-ear-size fried pork skins,

from 5% in 1980, but some 28% of non-Hispanic black females between

a Mexican-American favorite. The neighborhood has few bakeries, so

ages 12 and 19 are obese, as are about 20% of Mexican-American

Farmers Best sells cakes and loaves of bread. Produce, meat and dairy

females (the statistic for non-Hispanic white females in the same age

products account for roughly 62% of Farmers Best's sales. Slowly, it is

group is 14.5%). In congressional testimony earlier this year, a top

attracting customers like Vera Ian, a restaurant cashier who lives nearby.

official from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified food deserts as a cause of these grim statistics sweeping the nation. Experts have declared roughly half of Detroit (pop. 916,000) a food desert and estimate that nearly 633,000 of Chicago's 3 million residents live in

“There are kids who live here who have never seen strawberries before. It’s time to change that.”

neighborhoods either lacking or far away from conventional supermarkets like Jewel, Pathmark and Winn-

One recent afternoon, Johnson, a 29-year-old African American, led

Dixie. The paucity of affordable, healthy food options in urban com-

her two daughters through the produce section. She tossed a pineapple

munities is ironic in a country with an abundance of food. "Everyone

and bags of apples into the shopping cart. "See, these are all real fresh,"

deserves to eat," says Mari Gallagher, president of the National Center

she says, pointing to a bag of blueberries. "You put these on little short

for Public Research, a Chicago group that studies urban issues. The

cakes, with whipped cream," she continues, explaining the night's

crisis, she adds, "really is a matter of life and death."

dessert, "and they love it." Johnson is now a Farmers Best regular and

Karriem Beyah, 47, is out to change all that with Farmers Best Mar-

eschews nearby grocers that, she says, are often overcrowded and dirty

ket. He grew up on Chicago's South Side and worked in his godfather's

and where "the oranges have brown spots."

neighborhood grocery store. So it isn't surprising that he embarked on a

Experts across the country are exploring a range of potential solutions

career chopping raw meat, loading food trucks and, eventually, manag-

to the urban health crisis, including creating neighborhood gardens and

ing a dairy distributor's operations. As he built his personal savings and

courting chains like Aldi, Family Dollar and even Wal-Mart to fill the

a base of industry contacts, he noticed the growth of stores like Trader

void created by food deserts. But the supermarket industry suffers from

Joe's and Whole Foods in Chicago and its suburbs. "This should be on

especially tight profit margins and is thus particularly risk-averse, so su-

the South Side," he recalls thinking. But, he says, when he approached

permarkets' entry into low-income neighborhoods has been slow. Also,

industry colleagues with the idea of opening such a store, they reacted

many low-end chains are hardly bastions of fresh, healthy produce and

by saying, "Who wants to go over there, in that negative element?"

meat. So far, in 10 months of operation, Farmers Best has failed to turn

Nevertheless, about four years ago, he began scoping out properties,

a profit. Beyah attributes that partly to slowed consumer spending amid

just as research began to emerge identifying vast sections of Chicago

the recession, as well as a need to grow awareness about his venture.

particularly its black neighborhoods as a food desert. But the initial idea

He is running ads on black radio stations, hoping to lure affluent blacks,

of opening a store in a black neighborhood was dashed. "I'd have to have

who are likely to shop frequently and not just at the top of the month,

a higher class of African Americans, that recognize the value of fruits

which is when customers who rely on government assistance to buy

and vegetables," he recalls thinking. Real estate was too expensive

food receive their aid. Meanwhile, he regularly invites local students

in neighborhoods like Bronzeville and Hyde Park, which

into the store. "We're trying to teach the children how to eat properly,"


he says. Despite such tactics, Beyah regards himself as a pure businessman, not an activist. He's also an optimist and hopes to open at least five stores in the coming years. "I will survive," he declares.There are communities across America where it’s almost impossible to find a fresh apple or an unfried potato. These neighborhoods are known as “food deserts.” Full-service grocery stores are often many blocks away and hard to reach, and what’s left are mostly fast-food outlets or chain drug stores selling products that, can extract huge health costs in obesity and diabetes later on. Some cities are trying to bring back the corner grocery in these underserved areas. In Pennsylvania, the Fresh Food Financing Initiative has been particularly successful and has begun

On the Right Path

As legislators struggle to reform our nation’s healthcare system and contain its skyrocketing costs, addressing the problem of access to nutritious food is one obvious step we must take.

encouraging similar programs throughout the country. In New York City, where perhaps 750,000 people inhabit food deserts, officials are just beginning to find ways to help. The city has expanded its licenses for carts selling fruits and vegetables, provided $2 bonuses for people using food stamps at greenmarkets and encouraged bodegas to offer healthier items like low-fat milk. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Christine Quinn, the City Council speaker, among others, are looking at promising ideas like zoning and tax incentives for grocers willing to take a chance on poorer neighborhoods. The Manhattan borough president, Scott Stringer, points out that the city offers tax abatements “if you sell Big Macs but not if you just sell the lettuce and tomato.” The urban poor face many difficulties, but too much fast food and not enough fresh produce only add to their troubles. Bringing fruit and peas and farm eggs to the cities’ food deserts sounds like the right campaign for a strong first lady trying to make a

What is Being Done?

POLICY

The issue has landed on the agenda of First Lady Michelle Obama, who announced a goal to eliminate food deserts within seven years as part of her initiative against childhood obesity. The Obama administration has proposed $400 million in financing to lure grocery stores to underserved areas.

healthy difference.So far, in 10 months of operation, Farmers Best has failed to turn a profit. Beyah attributes that partly to slowed consumer spending amid the recession, as well as a need to grow awareness about his venture. He is running ads on black radio stations, hoping to lure affluent blacks, who are likely to shop more frequently and not just at the top of the month, which is when customers who rely on government assistance to buy food receive their aid. Experts across the country are exploring a range

ACTION

The Philadelphia-based nonprofit Food Trust is working with school systems to provide healthy food and offering corner stores financing to stock healthy food and upgrade their refrigeration systems to better preserve fruits and vegetables.

of potential solutions to the urban health crisis, including creating neighborhood gardens and courting chains like Aldi, Family Dollar and even Wal-Mart to fill the void created by food deserts. Meanwhile, he regularly invites local students into the store. “We’re trying to teach the children how to eat properly,” he says. Despite such tactics, Beyah regards himself as a pure businessman, not an activist. He’s also an optimist — and hopes to open at least five stores in the coming years. “I will survive,” he declares. Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/arti-

AWARENESS

Jewish community groups aim to broaden the growing local and national campaigns to attract more supermarkets to poor neighborhoods, where limited access to healthful food has been linked to obesity, diabetes and other diseases.


Flotsam of

destruction This immense spiraling vortex is gaining momentum and leaving a trail of harmed animals in its wake. The culprit? it may be the plastic water bottle you chose to toss instead of recycle. ay out in the Pacific Ocean, in an area once known as the doldrums, an enormous, accidental monument to modern society has formed. Invisible to satellites, poorly understood by scientists and perhaps twice the size of France, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is not a solid mass, as is sometimes imagined, but a kind of marine soup whose main ingredient is floating plastic debris. It was discovered in 1997 by a Californian sailor, surfer, volunteer environmentalist and early-retired furniture restorer named Charles Moore, who was heading home with his crew from a sailing race in Hawaii, at the helm of a 50ft catamaran that he had built himself. For the hell of it, he decided to turn on the engine and take a shortcut across the edge of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, a region that seafarers have long avoided. It is a perennial high pressure zone, an immense slowly spiralling vortex of warm equatorial air that pulls in winds and turns them gently until they expire. Several major sea currents also converge in the gyre and bring with them most of the flotsam from the Pacific coasts of Southeast Asia, North America, Canada and Mexico. Fifty years ago nearly all that flotsam was biodegradable. These days it is 90 per cent plastic.It took us a week to get across

and there was always some plastic thing bobbing by,’ says Moore, who speaks in a jaded, sardonic drawl that flares up into heartfelt oratory. ‘Bottle caps, toothbrushes, styrofoam cups, detergent bottles, pieces of polystyrene packaging and plastic bags. Half of it was just little chips that we couldn’t identify. It wasn’t a revelation so much as a gradual sinking feeling that something was terribly wrong here. Two years later I went back with a fine-mesh net, and that was the real mind-boggling discovery.’ Floating beneath the surface of the water, to a depth of 10 metres, was a multitude of small plastic flecks and particles, in many colours, swirling like snowflakes or fish food. An awful thought occurred to Moore and he started measuring the weight of plastic in the water compared to that of plankton. Plastic won, and it wasn’t even close. ‘We found six times more plastic than plankton, and this was just colossal,’ he says. ‘No one had any idea this was happening, or what it might mean for marine ecosystems, or even where all this stuff was coming from.’ It is a perennial high pressure zone, an


m r A n e d l o G

The Man with

the

E V A G T A H T T F I G E H T S E M I T N O I L L I M O W T

hat t e p y t d o are blo r a d a h u If yo would , s e v i l e v a ity to s l i b a e h t d ha thers? o e v a s o t ur life o y k s i r u o y

CODE 79245

e

Rh D Positiv VOL. 235 mL

PL 146


hen Harrison was 14, he needed 13 liters of blood and was in the hospital for three months after he underwent a major chest surgery. He told The Daily Mail that “the blood I received saved my life so I made a pledge to give blood when I was 18.” Just after he started donating, he was found to have the rare and life-saving antibody in his blood and has been giving blood every few weeks ever since. After he started donating, his blood was considered to be so special that his life was insured for one million dollars.

THE GIFT OF LIFE James Harrison holds the antidote to Rhesus Disease, a rare form of

This amazing man has now racked up a total of 984 donations and enabled countless mothers to give birth to healthy babies, including his own daughter, Tracey, who had a healthy son thanks to her father’s blood. Many years ago, thousands of babies in Australia were dying each year

Anemia, in his blood. His

of Rhesus disease and other newborns suffered permanent

selfless goal to help oth-

an incompatibility between the mother’s blood and her

ers has led him to donate blood 984 times. Enough to save the lives of two million babies.

brain damage because of the condition. The disease creates unborn baby’s blood. It stems from one having Rh-positive blood and the other Rh-negative. After his blood type was discovered, Mr. Harrison volunteered to undergo a series of tests to help develop the Anti-D vaccine. He said: “I was glad to help. I had to sign every form going and basically sign my life away.” He is thought to have saved 2.2 million babies. Nicknamed the “man with the golden arm,” he proclaimed “I’ve never thought about stopping. Never.” It was


Nine out of 10 of us will need a transfusion (a blood “refill”) at some point in our lives. You or someone you know might lose blood in a traumatic accident, during surgery, or as the result of a serious illness, like leukemia. But fewer than 5 percent of people who can donate blood take the time to do it.

FINDING HIS PURPOSE

Blood carries out essential life functions. Red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to body tissues and transport carbon dioxide, a waste product, back to the lungs to be exhaled. White blood cells fight off invading bacteria and viruses. Cell fragments called platelets help blood clot. Plasma, the liquid part of blood, transports salts, nutrients, hormones, and other materials throughout the body. Each blood component can be used to save lives. Mr Harrison is Rh-negative and was given injections of Rh-positive blood.It was found his plasma could treat the condition and since then it has been given to hundreds of thousands of women.It has also been given to babies after they are born to stop them developing the disease.It is estimated he has helped save 2.2 million babies so far. One of the mothers he has helped is Joy Barnes, who works at the Red Cross Blood Bank in Sydney. Joy Barnes. She has known Mr Harrison for 23 years but has only just told him she is one of the countless mothers he has helped. Ms Barnes, who miscarried at four and five months before having treatment, said: ‘Without him I would never have been able to have a healthy baby.’ Speaking to Mr Harrison on an Australian TV show, she said: ‘I don’t know how to thank you enough.’ His own daughter, Tracey, also had to have the Anti-D injection after the birth of her first son. She said she was ‘proud’ of her dad for continuing to give blood, even after the death of her mother after 56 years of marriage. Mr Harrison said: ‘I was back in hospital giving blood a week after Barbara passed away. ‘It was sad but life marches on and we have to continue doing what we do. She’s up there looking down, so I carry on.’

HEROGLOBIN OF THE CENTURY

Many years ago, thousands of babies in Australia were dying each year of Rhesus disease and other newborns suffered permanent brain damage because of the condition. The disease creates an incompatibility between the mother’s blood and her unborn baby’s blood. It stems from one having Rh-positive blood and the other Rh-negative. After his blood type was discovered, Mr. Harrison volunteered to undergo a series of tests to help develop the AntiD vaccine. He said: “I was glad to help. I had to sign every form going and basically sign my life away.” He is thought to have saved 2.2 million babies. Nicknamed the “man with the golden arm,” he proclaimed “I’ve never thought about stopping. Never.”

984 Pints Amount James Harrison has donated this far.

10 Pints Average amount of blood in the human body.


Nine out of 10 of us will need a transfusion (a blood “refill”) at some point in our lives. You or someone you know might lose blood in a traumatic accident, during surgery, or as the result of a serious illness, like leukemia. But fewer than 5 percent of people who can donate blood take the time to do it. Blood carries out essential life functions. Red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to body tissues and transport carbon dioxide, a waste product, back to the lungs to be exhaled. White blood cells fight off invading bacteria and viruses. Cell fragments called platelets help blood clot.

” NEVER.

THE IMPORTANCE OF SERVICE

‘I was back in hospital giving blood a week after Barbara passed away. ‘It was sad but life marches on and we have to continue doing what we do. She’s up there looking down, so I carry on.’Blood centers want to make sure you and the blood supply stay safe.) A nurse will test a drop of blood from your fingertip to check your iron level. (Iron carries oxygen in red blood cells. If your iron level is low, you can’t donate.) The nurse will also check your vital signs (like your pulse, blood pressure, and temperature). If everything checks out, you’re ready to donate (see photo, above). All you feel is the pinch of a needle. Within 10 minutes, you could fill a one-pint (500ml) bag. Don’t worry, you’ll still have plenty of blood left--8 to 12 pints. But to prevent dizziness, you’ll be asked to rest. Then you can help yourself to free snacks and juice to begin replacing lost fluid. Within six to eight weeks, your body will regenerate all your missing blood cells. There are many strict rules for blood donation - you are required to fill in a detailed medical form. In addition, I was given a folder full of rules and regulations and told to read them through carefully. Reading the updated book, it quickly became apparent that I wouldn’t be able to give blood. Earlier this year the NBS brought in a new rule for blood donors. they can no longer accept donations from people who have received blood since January 1980.

I’ve never thought about stopping.

Plasma, the liquid part of blood, transports salts, nutrients, hormones, and other materials throughout the body. Each blood component can be used to save lives. Mr Harrison is Rh-negative and was given injections of Rh-positive blood.It was found his plasma could treat the condition and since then it has been given to hundreds of thousands of women.It has also been given to babies after they are born to stop them developing the disease.It is estimated he has helped save 2.2 million babies so far. One of the mothers he has helped is Joy Barnes, who works at the Red Cross Blood Bank in Sydney. Joy Barnes. has only just told him she is one of mothers he has helped.

Ten Good Reasons: Why You Should Donate Blood

Giving blood is something that never crosses people’s mind, but an act that is in such great demand. You don’t have to give as much as James Harrison, but what if you had a special anti-body that could make a difference as his had? Read the list and donate blood for any of the good reasons why you should.

10 9

Free goodies: Nothing beats a full buffet of cookies. The calories don’t count this time!

You’ll trick the scale: you will weigh pint less when you leave than when you came in. (So don’t feel bad about the extra cookies)

8

It’s all in the sticker: Nobody can ask you to do any heavy lifting as long as you have the bandage on. Wear it for as long as you like. It's your badge of honor.

7

It's easy and convenient: It only takes about an hour and you can make the donation at a donor center, or at one of the many Red Cross blood drives.

6 5

It's something you can spare: Most people have blood to spare, yet, there is still not enough to go around.

You could save a friend: Most people don't think they'll ever need blood, but many do and yours could be that difference.

4 3

It will make you feel good: You will walk a little taller afterwards.

You will be someone's hero: you may give a newborn, a child, a mother or a father, a brother, or a sister another chance at life. In fact, you may save up to three lives with just one donation.

2

It's priceless: donating blood issomething you can do on equal footing with the rich and famous. Blood is something money can't buy.

1

It's the right thing to do. Contact 1-800-GIVE-LIFE or pleasegiveblood.org to find out where and when a local blood drive will occur near you.


$money

MATTERS

Buyer Beware: In 2006, Americans donated nearly $223 billion to charities, most of it during the last three months of the year. With all that money being thrown around, its important to spend wisely. Check accountability

Make sure the charities you donate to are operating in an ethical and accountable way, says Taylor. One way to find out is by visiting the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance web site, which holds charities up to 20 different criteria such as accurate expense records and impartial board members well above the legal requirements that the IRS demands of charities. The site lists donor complaints and other infractions.

Look out for scammers

Unfortunately, the holiday seasons brings more than good cheer. It’s also prime time for scammers who work under the guise of charity volunteers. The best way to avoid being hoodwinked: Don’t follow links in email solicitations, and don’t give out your credit-card information to telemarketers. Also, make sure to confirm that the charity name and details in solicitations are exactly right. Scammers often use similarsounding names to legit groups, say, U.S. Red Cross instead of the American Red Cross.

Concentrate your giving

When it comes to donating money, quality is more important that quantity. Give a larger sum to one charity instead of splitting the money amongst several, can mean the difference between making a contribution and fully funding a project. Give $10 each to Action Against Hunger and World Hunger Year and they will have more to contribute toward their outreach programs. But give it all to Heifer International, and that $20 buys a flock of 10 chicks, each capable of producing two hundred eggs a year.

Tip of the Month: Door-to-Door Deception Con-Artists are travelling door to door this month claiming to be collecting on behalf of a charity. Don’t be fooled by your first glance, take the necessary precautions to make sure they are indeed a legitimate charity if you decide to donate. Not all charities are wonderful just because they are charities. Before you spend a cent, you need to do your homework

POCKET CHANGE:

$.06 $.05 $.04 $.03

These four charities are not living up to their missions. Each spends more

{

than 50% of its budget paying for profit fundraising professionals to solicit your hard-earned money. They are ranked by the percentage of their total

functional expenses spent on professional fundraising fees hence, very little of the charity’s spending is directed towards its programs and services.

68

-KELLY RICKSON, 34

Disabled Veterans Association Children’s Charitable Foundation Wishing Well Foundation Coalition Against Breast Cancer

If you still aren’t sure call: Better Business Bureau 703-276-0100 or visit them online at: www.give.org


be a DEGREE Shopping for a Cause

Who knew contributing to the greater good could be so easy. The products showcased in this issue all donate a substantial amount of the proceeds towards a specific cause, so shop away!

1

CHILDREN $6 from every sale of Kind Heart Hand Cream goes to ECPAT USA to help stop sex trafficking of children. Hand lotion $10, The Body Shop thebodyshop.com.

2

GLOBAL ISSUES For every pair of shoes he sells, Blake Mycoskie gives a pair to an Argentenian child in need. $38, Toms Shoes. Toms.com

3

4 ANIMAL RIGHTS

The sale of each shirt supports Lacoste’s $2 million promise to help endangered crocodiles and alligators, as part of the Save Your Logo campaign. Polo $79.50 each, Lacoste lacoste.com.

1 4 3

ENVIRONMENT A portion of proceeds goes to the Rainforest Foundation. Fragrance oils $150, Lisa Hoffman Variations in the scent Madagascar Orchid; lisahoffmanbeauty.com.

2

Dirty Business Estee Lauder may put on an attractive facade, but it doesn’t make up for their dirty little secret. Cosmetics manufacturer, Estee Lauder has been named as one of several liable parties for cleanup costs at two New York landfills. Contamination at the Blydenburgh landfill in Hauppauge includes solvents, paints, dyes and other manufacturing waste. Groundwater contamination has migrated some 400 feet from where waste had been dumped and down to a level of 535 feet below ground. Cleanup costs are estimated to be $16 million.

!

Helping Humanity is just a click away If you're planning to shop on the Internet, why not use those purchases to support a cause? good cause

good to know

iGive.com

Lets you choose from among more than 5,300 organizations or add one of your own. Every time you view a page, refer a friend, or buy something, you donate money toward your cause.

To receive credit for your purchases, you must initiate shopping through the iGive site. Any purchases made by going to a merchant's site, even if the merchant is part of iGive's mall, won't count.

Kickstart.com

All types of organizations can use this site. Each group gets its own Web page, where it can post information. Groups also earn money for ads, Web searches, and purchases that originate on their pages.

You get what you surf for. Each Internet search that a supporter initiates from the page generates a penny for the designated group. The group also gets 50% of the revenue for ads sold on its page.

Schoolpop works like iGive.com and KickStart.com. But instead of choosing a cause, you select a school. Every time you shop, merchants give as much as 20% of the purchase price to the school.

Even if your school isn’t active, you can still shop. The site will keep track of your purchases and apply the rebates owed to your school when it signs up.

Schoolpop.com

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Purpose  

Be a Degree of Change

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