Friday, December 11, 2009

Catchin' the Spirit

Friday, December 11, 2009

I've jokingly told my friends and family that I'm boycotting Christmas this year, and I bet a lot of you can relate: too much stress, too little time to sit back and remember what it was that you used to love about this time of year, and too many annoying advertisers screeching that you're a bad parent or friend or loved one if you don't BUY STUFF - and lots of it.


But here's the thing: buying the usual run of candles and foot massagers and, yes, even outrageously funny gift books [wink wink] for my loved ones doesn't get me in the holiday spirit. Frankly, most of these gifts don't get them in the spirit, either.

"Gee, you shouldn't have. No, seriously."

I found inspiration in the form of Wreckie Collette Yates (no relation) and the Charity Cake-Wreck-a-thon she and some friends recently put together in Brighton. See, they asked friends and community members to bring in horrendously decorated baked goods (and boy, were there some doozies) which they sold at a local train station. In one afternoon they managed to raise 450 pounds for two cancer-fighting charities.

(From the left, that's Rachel, Collette, & Helen)
The power of Wreckage, used for good!

Now, Cake Wrecks is the sole source of income for me and John. (We used to be painters, but the economy nixed that.) However, thanks to you readers we can still afford to to give a little.

Which got us thinking: If 3 gals can use Cake Wrecks as a springboard to organize something that cool for charity, why can't we? And since Wreckies are some of the most creative, giving, and nattily dressed folks we know....

(You continue to rock, Mary Beth.)

...then why not get you, the evil wrecky henchpersons, involved?

So here's the deal: instead of buying gifts or trees or decorations this year, John and I are going to donate a minimum of $200 to a different charity or worthy cause, every day, for the next two weeks.

Which ones?

Well, that's where you come in.

See, we have a few organizations in mind, but certainly not 14. So, I'm asking for your recommendations.What are you passionate about? Where do you volunteer your time, talents, and money? Who do you know that needs help? Tell me in the comments (not e-mail!), so that we all can read and learn and maybe even give a little together.

Oh, and if you're worrying that CW is going to turn into a charity-pushing propaganda site for the next few weeks: don't. I'll just be adding a footnote to each day's post giving you the name of the organization, a one-sentence summary, and a link if you want to learn more.

Now, John and I will be choosing each day's charity based on our own individual passions - which might not match up exactly with your own - but even so I'm going to issue you a little challenge. Ready? Here 'tis:

Give one dollar to each day's charity.

If you each give one dollar - just one solitary smackeroo - together we can raise over $80,000 each day. BAM. Just like that. Imagine that 14 times over, all for worthy causes. Imagine the number of lives that could impact. Imagine, if you will...the bragging rights.

Yeah, you heard me. When you get involved in something that awesome, you get major bragging rights.

Ok. So. You pumped? You with me? You...ready for this post to be over? Heh, I hear ya.

Today's charity is Charity: Water. These guys use 100% of all donations to drill wells and provide clean drinking water to developing nations. Believe it or not, 1 out of 8 people on the planet lack this basic life-need, and every $5,000 builds a well that serves over 250 people.

Go here to donate your $1. That's the CW campaign page, where you can watch our progress, leave notes, and learn more. (Watch the video: it'll make you do a happy dance.) I've set us an easy goal - just $20K, or 4 wells - so I can't wait to see how far above and beyond that you guys are going to get us.

It's just a dollar, guys. C'mon. Let's do this together.

Note: PayPal *is* an option to donate, if you click here and hit the red donate button. A few caveats, though: PayPal takes $.30 of your dollar in fees, and your donation can't be tracked as part of the CW campaign that way. However, the point here is to give, so if you're only comfortable using PayPal, then please do so!

Update: One well down! That's right, guys, as of 4PM EST, we raised enough to pay for one well! Just three more to go...
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Anonymous said...

Do all the charities have to have the same initials as Cake Wrecks? ;)

-Julie A.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to donate but unfortunately I'm unable to do so for any charity that doesn't except PayPal. Just a suggestion to maybe list the types of payments accepted in the blurb at the bottom. So, can't for todays charity but I'm looking forward to tomorrows!

k-10b said...

One of my favorite charitable organizataions is Heifer, International, which is devoted to ending hunger. The Heifer folks don't give food - they give animals like cows, chickens, and goats that build better lives for people. Part of receiving a Heifer animal is an obligation to "pass the gift," meaning to give someone else one of your animal's offsprings.

I'll be giving dollars where I can. What a great way to keep the spirit in the season!

Kristen

Caroline said...

Great idea!

I'm a big softy for ASPCA or The Humane Society, so I'd suggest one of those.

Jason said...

March of Dimes, helps fight premature births (saving tiny babies, with or without their riding-carrots)

Sparky said...

Oh there's so many. First and foremost, Make A Wish. I'm sure tons of people will say it, but it's such an amazing charity!

The ASPCA. I've always been an animal lover, and I think they're just great.

Here's one you may not have heard of: Angel Flight. It's pilots who fly people for free, for medical or charitable needs. http://www.angelflight.com/

There are, of course, others, but those are the three that always get me.

Kelly said...

www.bridge2rwanda.org

They are doing amazing things in the country of Rwanda! I will be spending the year 2010 teaching English at Sonrise School in Musanze, so clearly this charity is near and dear to my heart!

Kelly Simpson

Lechelle said...

Love this, you are fantastic.

www.kellyandlechelle.com Hoping to Adopt.

Theresa said...

I'd like to suggest a charity for Research, support and education for Congenital Heart Defects. We lost our son Joshua Nolan last year at only 2 months old due to Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. We donate the the CHOP (Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia) Cardiac Research fund https://donate.chop.edu/site/Donation2?3580.donation=form1&df_id=3580 in his name and also to It's My Heart Northern NJ Chapter http://www.itsmyheart.org/imh-chapters/new-jersey/northern-nj/

Anonymous said...

Love your site! Thanks for a laugh everyday!
Thank you for calling for us to give to charity during this time of year. I know a great charity - Food for the Poor (foodforthepoor.org) They help poor people in Latin America and the Caribbean. One of the things I love about this charity is that more than 97% of all donations go directly to programs that help the poor. That is incredible for this type of charity!

Just A Girl said...

I love LOVE Heifer International. It's about giving sustainable gifts that help people learn and do for themselves. And those who receive have to pass it on. Made of win!http://www.heifer.org/site/c.edJRKQNiFiG/b.201452/

Jennifer said...

Oh yum - that grinch heart cake looks DELISH, lol.

Jennifer

elizabeth said...

Cake wrecking for a good cause... I love it.

My brother-in-law runs this AMAZING organization in Ohio that helps support families battling cancer: http://www.stewartscaringplace.org/

Anonymous said...

National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation!

my favorite guy has been fighting his @ss off against this disease for year...but it doesn't stop him from cycling, rock climbing, and living his life on his terms.

they are starting to investigate a new theory that ms is vasular and surgery may stop progression. that's what we need! more thinking outside the box! finally, independent thinking! woo hoo!

July19 said...

Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Please help fight for human rights. For everyone. My husband and I donate time and money to them.

Point Foundation. A great non-profit organization.

Habitat for Humanity. My husband and I volunteer twice a month and spend a lot of our own money to help.

Thank you for doing this. It brought tears to my eyes.

MandaK said...

What a great idea you guys! I suggest The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This organization is working to find a cure for blood cancer. Did you know that leukemia is the number one killer of kids under the age of 20? And since kids like cake, it seems to be a good fit. You can learn more here: http://www.lls.org (I'm from MN, so you could choose the MN Chapter if you wanted to (http://www.lls.org/mn)

Anonymous said...

I think this is a wonderful idea! "To Write Love on Her Arms" is a non-profit that helps people who struggle with depression, self-injury, and addiction, and suicide.

http://www.twloha.com

Amy said...

Long-time reader, first-time poster :)
I really applaud you two for coming up with this great idea. I'll definitely go donate my dollar, and I have some other ideas for organizations to donate to.
Here in my tiny little town in Upstate New York, there are two major programs that keep the village running. Poverty is a big problem around here, and I probably could quote a bunch of stats to bore you to death but I'll spare you that. Rural Services of Cortland and Chenango Counties provides a food pantry, Christmas assistance, back-to-school supplies, a used clothing shop, and provides myriad other services to community members in need. Some of their money comes from Catholic Charities, but with budget cuts this year, they currently stand about $30,000 short for next year's funding. I do some volunteer work here, as do a few of my co-workers, and we definitely witness first-hand how this place has helped our community.
The other idea I'm throwing out there is for the not-for-profit I work for, Family Health Network of Central New York. We provide health care to the same types of population served by Rural Services, and roughly 20% of our patients have no health insurance. For these people, we provide a sliding-fee scale so they may pay as little as $15 for their care. Without this service, there would be over 1,000 people in our area with no real access to affordable health care.
Please consider these as options for your donations. We're making a real difference in our area.
Thanks!
Amy P, Cincinnatus, Ny

Jen_Ann_W said...

I love this idea! I'll definitely be participating.

I'd like to suggest the National MS Society for my sister, who has battled the disease for about 30 years yet is still one of the strongest people I know. http://www.nationalmssociety.org

Heidi said...

Let's start the ball rolling! Only a few clicks, and it's painless!! Just do it...NOW!

Heidi

KB said...

First time poster - just had to say FANTASTIC idea guys! I've donated my dollar for the day and will continue for the next 2 weeks. Thanks for the opportunity.

Robyn said...

Count me in :)

Commander Strikeher said...

I volunteer for Two by Two dog rescue, a no-kill shelter in Helena, AL. We have no government funding, and exist entirely on donations. We don't have an adoption facility, so all of our dogs are in volunteer's foster homes. Right now, because of lack of funding, we are full and are having to turn dogs away. Three weeks ago, my fiance found a beautiful Siberian Husky who is currently a guest in our garage. We had to put her there because my house is full with my seven rescue dogs. When we took her to get spayed, we found out that she is heart-worm positive. Treatment will be at least $400. This makes at least the sixth dog this year that will need heart-worm treatment, which is time-consuming and extremely expensive. Any help given would be greatly appreciated!

I just posted something like this on my facebook page. I wish everyone had such a giving spirit!

Valtastic said...

I think this is great! Too many people get caught up spending money and out doing each other isntead of what matters. Letting your family and friends know they appreciate you and helping others that need help.

I have lots of pattions in charity mostly related to rasing money for cancer (since I've had many close relatives and friends survive and conceed ot it) but my suggestion is something different then what I would normally pick.

Recently my uncle was diagnosed with onset diebetes. It's an epidemic from people eating all these cake wrecks so no one has view them there for I think the American Diabetes association would be a great cause.

Maddie said...

I recommend The Liz Logelin Foundation. It was founded by another popular blogger, Matt Logelin. The foundation provides support for families that have lost a parent/spouse. Here is their mission statement:
The Liz Logelin Foundation was established to assist families who find themselves in the heartbreaking, catastrophic situation of having lost a spouse, life-partner, and parent. The Foundation’s goal is to financially assist these families as they deal with the loss of their loved ones, and struggle to move forward. The Foundation was established in 2009 by Matthew Logelin, who lost his wife Elizabeth in 2008.

http://thelizlogelinfoundation.org/

Anonymous said...

Charitable organization? How about the Hedgehog Welfare Society. The Hedgehog Welfare Society exists to protect the well-being of pet hedgehogs through rescue, research, and education of the people who care for them: http://www.hedgehogwelfare.org/

BEAT said...

UMCOR: United Methodist Committee on Relief http://new.gbgm-umc.org/umcor/

Yes, it is religious. Yes, it is a certain denomination. However, UMCOR is often the first relief organization on site. Along with the Catholic charities, it has been in the New Orleans area since Katerina. They do good work and empower people to be in service.

Erica said...

The Liz Logelin Foundation!
http://www.thelizlogelinfoundation.org/

Kate said...

I volunteer with the Humane Society, & it has changed my life! With the terrible economy, pet abandonment & abuse have skyrocketed in this country. Thousands of homeless dogs & cats need our help, & the Humane Society does incredible work getting them into safe facilities, & adopted out. Please consider them!

Anonymous said...

Donate to The HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN!

Ashli said...

May I suggest Eckerd Youth Alternatives (www.eckerd.org) as one of your charities of the day? The organization works to give all kids a chance to succeed through a whole continuum of programs from early intervention and prevention, foster care programs, outdoor therapeutic programs, residential treatment, aftercare, day schools, and more. With the idea that every child has a uniqueness and inherent worth, EYA has been changing lives for over 40 years and is now in nine states.
Thanks for considering this organization.

JenH said...

I support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. My son has CF and without this organization's help, half of what we know today about treatment for this genetic disorder would not be known. In the last 20 years the life span of CF patients has doubled, largely thanks to CFF.

http://www.cff.org/

Chelsey & Taylor said...

This may already be on you and John's list, but I would LOVE to see a large donation go to either the Humane Society or the ASPCA. Both are organizations working tirelessly to care for and find homes for the country's homeless/abused/abandoned pets.
Thank you for using your power for good (and a little evil)!!!

Anonymous said...

I have a suggestion for a charity!

Clark County Humane Society in Clark County, WI is a no-kill shelter... which is AWESOME, but sometimes difficult because they have so many animals at one time. They always welcome donations! They also have a fab low-cost program for fixing pets. A recently-retired teacher at the local elementary also did a lot of volunteering there and every week brought some students out to volunteer with her. Check it out! http://www.cchs-petshelter.org/

Jess

Ellen said...

Since this is a food (or "food") site, may I recommend food banks? Either your local one in Florida, Feeding America (the national network of food banks) or encourage your readers to donate to their own local ones - food or money or time. Food banks are great organizations that have a huge impact on the communities they serve.

Anonymous said...

I would like to suggest a donation to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. I know this is a group that already has lots of campaigning, so maybe it's a little bit more mainstream than what you're looking for (which I completely understand--it's hard to say one charity is better than another). The MDA raises money to provide sufferers of MD with doctors visits, wheelchairs, medical supplies, and visits for children to camp.

I volunteered at an overnight camp for kids with Muscular Dystrophy for five years. I was paired one-on-one with an eleven year-old girl who walked and ran and giggled at silly jokes. Now, seven years later, she is in a wheelchair and cannot stand on her own, but is still a big giggler (I happen to know she laughs at your site almost daily, like me!). On the first day I met her she told me she was worried she would not live to have a sweet sixteen party, but thanks to people donating money to research, she is now working on earning her diploma.

Each minute of research on muscular dystrophy costs an average of $65 dollars. If $80,000 was donated, more than 20 hours of research could be completed.

Thanks for taking the time to read this--I cannot tell you how great I think what you're doing is. When I stumbled across this site a year ago I was delighted over having a little something to laugh at each day. I am now moved by all that you have accomplished in such a short time.

Thank you!
Megan

Veronica said...

I'd like to recommend the Humane Society of the United States. They stand up for those who don't have a voice! http://www.humanesociety.org

Liberty said...

Thank you for doing this, you will be helping to change lives with this.

I'd like to suggest http://www.unicef.org/ . They are such a wonderful organization that works so hard to make sure children get the water, medical treatment & education they need to be able to survive to adulthood & to take that education & make their communities & lives great ones.

JP said...

http://gentlehands.typepad.com/

During the school year of 05-06 I did an internship in the Philippines. Part of my internship included working with Gentle Hands Orphanage, whose slogan is, "for love of the poor". They are primarily an orphanage that takes in poor and abandoned children, but in times of crisis they take in burn victims, flood victims, abused children, handicapped children, starving children and dying people whose familes can't - or won't - take care of them anymore. If parents give up their children Gentle Hands even arranges adoptions with "forever families" around the world. They have a boys' program where young, rowdy, rebellious boys are shown love and care and taught that their lives can be different and they can make a mark on the world! I have never understood how they pay for the children, the medical patients, the surgeries they "gift" to kids who need them. Please consider this incredibly selfless charity that is working to save the lives of the underprivileged and under-loved in the Philippines!

Anonymous said...

This is such a great idea!

My suggestion for a charity would be 826 National (http://www.826national.org/) or any of its chapters. They provide space and time for kids to play with the world of reading and writing, offering tutoring, writing workshops, field trips and in-school activities to kids ages 6 to 18.

JP said...

http://gentlehands.typepad.com/

During the school year of 05-06 I did an internship in the Philippines. Part of my internship included working with Gentle Hands Orphanage, whose slogan is, "for love of the poor". They are primarily an orphanage that takes in poor and abandoned children, but in times of crisis they take in burn victims, flood victims, abused children, handicapped children, starving children and dying people whose familes can't - or won't - take care of them anymore. If parents give up their children Gentle Hands even arranges adoptions with "forever families" around the world. They have a boys' program where young, rowdy, rebellious boys are shown love and care and taught that their lives can be different and they can make a mark on the world! I have never understood how they pay for the children, the medical patients, the surgeries they "gift" to kids who need them. Please consider this incredibly selfless charity that is working to save the lives of the underprivileged and under-loved in the Philippines!

Lynnette said...

Samaritan's Purse

http://www.samaritanspurse.org/

These are the folks who do the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. They also have a catalog where you can purchase gifts for families in developing countries that could really change their lives. From basic needs like clothes, blankets, and food, to livestock and crops for establishing independence, to building a school or church for a community.

blessedmommy said...

This is amazing! Thank you so much for doing this John and Jen! I would participate, but have no money to give. My family and I are going through a foreclosure this Christmas. My kids arent getting anything for Christmas, but I hope they are young enough not to notice. I definitely want to implement the giving to charity next year though.
I will join you in spirit. :) You are amazing people!
Merry Christmas!

My Journey Back to Africa said...

I read your blog and just adore, even took a picture of a "christmas tree" cupcake my boyfriend bought me last night that I may send in!

My charity is the Tanzanian Children's Fund, which supports the Rift Valley Children's Village in North Western Tanzania. I have lived there for several months on multiple occasions as a volunteer and it has changed my life. It is home to over 60 children (and counting) who otherwise would be homeless and alone. Some were found catching birds to feed their little brother, some were found crawling in the dirt in the village center. The founder has legally adopted every child and is their mother, with the help of volunteers and local house mommas.

They also support through food, clothing, medicine and academic support hundreds of other children who have families that love them but without the support may otherwise end up homeless or worse.

They further have a program where local children about to enter high school can live at the Village for a year for free and work as a tutor to the younger kids both at the school and the Village in exchange for high school being paid for. High school in Tanzania is boarding school and although it costs under $2000 for the year, when the average income is $500, it is impossible for most families to afford the school.

Finally, they have been working with donors in the states to create a microloan program offering loans of $100 to local people who have ideas to start businesses, such as buying chickens to be able to sell the eggs or buy a new sewing machine to become the local seamstress.

The place is amazing and trying to spread the help as far as they can.

http://www.tanzanianchildrensfund.org/


Thanks, Jess

Anonymous said...

The Bridge in Amarillo Texas. It's essentially a crisis center for molested or abused children. They see about 1200 victims of molestation a year. They provide exams, counseling, that sort of thing.
http://www.bridgecac.org/about.php

BEAT said...

Nothing But Nets (http://www.nothingbutnets.net/

This is one of my favorite organization to donate it. $10 (ten dollars) buys a net that protects up to FOUR people (a normal family) from malaria. Nothing But Nets saves lives against a disease that destroys quickly. Because so many organizations believe in their work, NBN has been endorsed by the NBA, Gates Foundation, and other non and religious organizations.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen!
Just went to try and give £1 (as in UK) and found that the site was set up only to accept dollars - as I didn't know what the crazy commission was going to be on my $1donation I didn't give but really want to take part! Can non-US residents give on this site, and is there a big charge for it?
Thanks!
Philippa

rachel said...

wow, you are awesome. seriously, wow. and thanks for reminding people what it's really about, and doing what you can to help, which is lot considering how many people you reach. i'm in.
please consider donating to the humane society or some other animal rescue organization. animals suffer more when the economy turns rough and their families are forced to give them up because they can't afford to take care of them.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jen & John!

Great idea!
Personally I'm partial to charities that give money to reading, I know of several in Canada but none I can think of in the USA.

WorldVision - You can buy chickens, olive trees, wells, education, or buy a girl out of sexual slavery.

Salvation Army
Children's Hospital charities (small plug for the Vancouver Children's Hospital which is currently building a new state of the art care centre for the children of British Columbia)

Habitat for Humanity - we all know plently of people who need a home.

KIVA - Microloans to assist people in other countries begin a business, which you then get paid back and can continuely re-loan to others.

There's thousands of great charities out there. Can't wait to see whom you pick for us.

Rebekah said...

My husband and I HATE cold weather. All I can think about lately is, "What are those men and women doing that don't have warm homes doing?!" Will you consider choosing a charity that ministers to the homeless in your area for one of your days?

I am so excited about this and I might cry every day that we do this because it reminds me what a spoiled brat I am. I'm definitely in!

Brittany said...

Wow... the first charity is awesome... THAT IS MY PASSION!! Since I was a little girl I've always said that my goal in life was to help get clean water to everyone in Africa... awesome!!!

I have a few charities I love:

World Vision - you can support oodles of different causes through this wonderful organization
(worldvision.org)

World Relief - a baltimore based organization similar to world vision but smaller in size... they are focused on connecting domestic churches with churches in developing nations
(www.wr.org)

Heiffer International - give a man a fish, feed him for a day, teach a man to fish feed him for a lifetime... give a community a goat, get milk and reproduce to get more goats and spread the wealth...
www.heifer.org

Samaritan's Purse - also oodles of projects but I love Operation Christmas Child -- provides shoeboxes to needy children around the world on Christmas
(http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/)

Operation Smile - I believe it's $250 can pay for a child with a clef pallette to have the smile saving surgery they need....
http://www.operationsmile.org/

The Mocha Club: I recently found this website through a favorite band's twitter... i bough a bunch of Christmas presents and the full amount goes to helping people in Africa... plus you can join the club for the cost of two cups of coffee a day (https://www.mochaclub.org/)

Anonymous said...

I volunteer for Make a Wish Foundation. It's an amazing program that gives kids with disabilities & terminal deseases the chance to do what they really want to do. Just go to their website, www.wish.org to learn more. I think that would be a wonderful cause to donate to.

Anonymous said...

Shriner's Hospital for Children. They provide free - FREE - medical care for children with birth defects, deformities, burn scars, etc, from age birth to 18. And you thought all they did was wear funny hats and drive tiny cars in parades....

Polly Feldman said...

OK, I'm on board. One dollar a day is doable and this first charity seems well worth it.
I would like to suggest one of my charities to receive your daily gift.
I volunteer at Rescue Village. It's the animal shelter in Geauga County Ohio. We are supported by donations and fund raising events. The current economy has made us extra busy. People having to give up their pets when they lose their homes. We rescue dogs, cats and currently have two pigs, one pony and one horse. Most people don't realize that the expenses include so much more than food. There's the laundry that needs to be done to assure that the animals have clean bedding, the grounds work that allows us to take the dogs for walks and playtime. We will never destroy an adoptable animal so some of our residents are long timers. We could really use the extra funds to keep up with the times. Thank you, Polly Feldman

Anonymous said...

Done and done, with nine other dollars to cover some people who might not be able to. This is a really cool thing you're doing - thank you for stepping up like this. My family and I celebrate Christmas each year by doing charity rather than giving gifts (don't worry, we also have a Christmas Martini tradition to follow midnight mass) and it's really, really awesome to see people with a lot of popularity encouraging others to do the same thing. And it looks like this charity really needs the money to make its goal.

Thanks again!

-Carin-

Amber said...

LOL What a great idea! I was so excited reading your post, I was like, Ooooo maybe I can get her to do one day for charity: water!

Nice! Is there any way to tell how much money is raised???

morganskye said...

I think this is terrific! I'm behind you 100%.

Anonymous said...

greyhoundsofshamrock.org

This is a great organization rescuing dogs from all around the country. We got our Marley from Florida- the people from Shamrock called us to let us know they had a dog for us, and that since they were out of money and out of fosters, he would be euthanized the next day if we could not take him. What a loss that would have been- he's the sweetest dog I've ever met, and he loves people so much despite the fact that he's been used to make people money his entire life!

Anyway, this is a great idea you have, and I hope you pick Shamrock- for the doggies! Not enough fosters means that they can't rescue as many dogs, and the dogs are euthanized when they retire from racing. However, it is hard for people to foster because while you house a dog for other people, you have to buy food, softies (greys love soft toys), vet care, etc., and the organization doesn't have the funds to reimburse enough. And right now they are have a special funds drive so that Santa Dog can come for all the fosters!

Thanks! -Heather S.

Jimh. said...

Well, I volunteer at air museums from time to time. I believe their contribution to public knowledge of the past is vital to letting us know how we got here...but I'm a history teacher, so I may be biased.

Since it's the Season, I would like to recommend, instead, something else that is near my heart: adoption and orphans.

www.halfthesky.org

gingela5 said...

I never comment here but read everyday! One thing I'm passionate about is animal rescue. There's a place in Tennessee called A Place to Bark run by a lady named Bernie Berlin. She's doing everything in her power to save all the animals she can in her area virtually BY HERSELF! She's so close to finishing her actual shelter building but needs money to do it. It's getting ready to be the dead of winter there and she wants to finish it for the dogs/cats!

http://aplacetobark.blogspot.com/

You can read about it there! Thanks for considering them!

loveintheheartland said...

My husband & I volunteer at The Kids' Place in Edmond, Each week we leave, our hearts are full of love for these children and their grief journey. Below is taken from their website on what TKP does.


Taken From: http://www.edmondchurchofchrist.com/main_links/kidsplace.htm

The Kids’ Place began as a community-based, independent, non-profit charity devoted to providing grief support services to children, ages four through teens, who are mourning the death of a family member or friend.

In the summer of 2004, the Edmond Church of Christ took on the leadership of The Kids’ Place in Edmond with the purpose of continuing the effective work of grief support. Under the oversight of the Edmond Church of Christ, The Kids’ Place provides local grief support services to children, ages four through teens, who are mourning the death of a family member or friend. The Kids' Place ministry is a faith-based program that strives to offer comfort, hope and peace found only in Jesus Christ.

Each fall and spring, we conduct three support groups at The Kids’ Place in Edmond. Each group, which meets on a different evening (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday), is divided into age-appropriate small groups so children can have maximum care and support. There are concurrent groups for their adult family members each night.

With the involvement of many caring volunteers and the support and prayers of so many, we provide services to about 50 families, representing over 150 individuals, throughout each year. Our goal is to provide a safe place to grieve and to be a loving companion for children and families on their grief journeys.

Surfie said...

What a great idea! And I sure do like the idea of helping someone have clean drinking water. It's about all I drink most of the time, and I would go stark raving mad if I didn't have it. Thanks for being so generous and for giving us all a chance to join in!

~Melissa (Surfie)

ncsudancelover said...

Jen and John,
You guys are awesome. This is such a great idea! I definitely applaud your giving spirit.

And I have a great charity you can support! I am on the Board of Directors of the Medical Hypnosis Foundation which is a non-profit group that works to provide self-hypnosis training to seriously ill individuals who would not otherwise be able to afford it. We mostly work with cancer patients right now, teaching them to use hypnosis to help control their pain, the side effects of their treatment, and other things like that. Here's the website for more information www.medicalhypnosisfoundation.org. It really is a great cause and has helped a lot of people in our area. We would love to get your help in expanding the number of people we can reach! Thanks!

Your loyal reader,~Veronica

Rebecca said...

I don't have a specific charity per se, but I would choose a food pantry organization. Personally I'm planning to donate a little money and food to my local pantry (http://www.interfaithrelief.org/) - especially since my company managed to squeak out a modest bonus for us - but you could pick one closer to you or one that's more widely distributed. With the US economy in the state it's in, I know our local chapter keeps running out of food. I would be willing to bet a poo-poo platter CCC that others are, too.

Besides, what better way to raise support for an organization providing nutritious food for those in need than through a site showing badly decorated junk food? :)

geenalyn said...

Toronto's Hospital - Sick Kids http://www.sickkids.ca/

Without this hospital, when my son was born 5.5 yrs ago he would have died. Its the most amazing hospital, with the most amazing doctors and staff.

Anonymous said...

CIDNY--Center for Independence for the Disabled in New York. I work there. We just lost a contract from the state to keep people out of nursing homes. As a result, we have a huge hole in our budget, and several employees there are facing losing their jobs in the new year. Fewer employees means that we are less able to deliver services to disabled New Yorker's. We have seen demand for services rise 400% since the beginning of the economic crisis. Please help.

bleuberi21 said...

My favorite charity is www.thebreastcancersite.com. They use proceeds to fund mammograms for women who can't afford them. I've had several women in my family get and survive breast cancer, so this one is near and dear to my heart.

~Nikki

Lori said...

Wonderful idea! I'm going to put in my vote for Heifer International, an organization interested less in the "give a man a fish" approach, and more in the "teach a man to fish" method by providing livestock and training to impoverished communities throughout the world.

Go Cakewrecks! :)

http://www.heifer.org/

Amanda said...

Jen & John,

This is a wonderful idea. I will donate the equivalent of my morning Dunkin Donuts run to each of your charities. It's a small sacrifice.

Thank you.

Twirly McSwirl said...

ASPCA!

A lot of people complain about them because they spend a lot of money on publicity... but I think that's equally important! Advocacy and education do more for ending a problem than pure cash does, in my opinion.

Barring that, any local animal shelter. The more animals they can care for, the more can survive!

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic idea! I vote for
Heifer International.

Kinzie said...

This is a brilliant idea. One dollar is something that most people can afford, and I commend you guys for thinking of this idea. Thanks for spreading the holiday cheer and helping us remember that we can give to people outside of our little circle.

Anonymous said...

Hi!
Blessings Unleashed Foundation is a non-profit that provides trained service dogs for children with autism. They are located in Glasgow, KY and their website is www.blessingsunleashed.org. My husband and I are puppy raisers for this organization. We have had a yellow lab named Kaiya living with us for the past year. She is being trained to be a service dog and will soon go to a child with Autism. This is a great organization and could use any donations!

Thanks,
Kristin

Katharina said...

This is really admirable!
I know someone who needs help. My father suddenly had a heart attack on monday, now not only I but also his wife and my two sisters (13 and 7) are devastated. I live in Germany with my mother, but those three will be all alone this Christmas. We already tried to collectr money from the family, but it won't suffice to pay for the move back to her parents.
I know there are millions of people out there who need help much more than them, but since they are so close to me, it really breaks my heart.
If you happen to feel like it, there is a "Richmond Family Memorial Fund" at Georgia Bank and Trust, 627 Ronald Reagan Dr, Evans GA. (706) 854-6270.
Thank you for reading.

Rebecca said...

What a great idea! I pledge to donate a dollar a day to your 14 selected charities. I have a charity I would like to nominate for your "Charity a Day". The group is Ignite Missions. They are a mission group in Honduras which provides immediate medical care to extremely poor families. I went on a trip with them this past summer and worked in the medical clinic in triage. It's amazing the basic care items we take for granted n the US. The people don't have vitamins, cough syrup, aspirin, or prenatal care. So many kids with skin problems that could be fixed with soap, water and a little anti-fungal cream. We also diagnosed vision problems on site and gave glasses on site. My friend Becky is the optometrist and she has gone donated her time and resources for 8 years in a row. My now friends, Sam and Peggy Feazel run the mission. I am one of their monthly supporters. They really need a safe bus (20 passenger van) to transport all of us volunteers down into the villages. The exposure on your site would be invaluable. I appreciate all you do... believe it or not laughing at a cake can make a lot of problems go away:) Please check out their website a t www.ignitemissions.org for more information about their charity. Thank you again for your good will. Sincerely, Becky Garland Lakewood, CA

katrotta said...

I guess they felt the same way in cake #2, they reduced the price from $4.99 to $1.99!

Ashley said...

May I humbly suggest a donation to the Huntington's Society of America?

Huntington's Disease is a poorly understood, mentally and physically debilitating disease that is passed down through generations. Most people adopt children to avoid spreading the disease, but some families, like mine, don't know that they have it until it's too late.

Despite a fair amount of HD sufferers in the world, very few people actually seem to know about it.

Here's their website: http://www.hdsa.org/

~Tindy

poornamelesscat said...

Bless you, Jen
You've revived my faith in humankind, not to mention my willingness to face the holiday hoopla.
I would love to recommend The HEIFER PROJECT for your consideration. This is the wonderful group that gives livestock to people to help them create a source of income, and keep it moving in their communities. The first offspring of each animal must be given to someone else.
www.heifer.org
Another wonderful group is STARCROSS COMMUNITY. They adopt babies with AIDS and raise them in a loving environment. They started in Sonoma County, CA, and now have satellites in Romania and Africa
http://www.starcross.org/aids-beginning.htm

Aubri said...

The Uncultured Project Not exactly a charity, but Shawn works really hard to end poverty. Check out some of his YouTube videos, he's amazing.

If you want an "actual" charity, I'd check out kiva.org, a microfinance site that loans money to impoverished individuals world-wide to help them break out of the cycle of poverty. The neat thing is, your donation is a loan. They pay it back, and you can keep using that same donation to help other entrepreneurs. Pretty sweet.

Amanda said...

This is beyond incredible. I'm definitely going to try to give a little to each day. Thank you for using this excellent opportunity you've been giving.

Anonymous said...

Great idea to help at this time of year! :)
I would recommend Make-A-Wish as a fantastic charity that would welcome support...
Our niece, Sara, is 13. At 8 she was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma (very icky childhood cancer). She has been through everything and then some.
She was in remission for 5 years, but now the cancer is back- there is no new treatment for her...
she is in constant pain-
it is horrible.
BUT, there have been fantastic highlights in her experience made possible by Make-A-Wish. They are a truly amazing goup. It benefits the children and their entire families in making dreams come true in a very dark time... wonderful....
Merry Christmastime :)
Pam

Anonymous said...

My grandmother was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's when I was 8 years old. I am now 20, and she is now 78 and cannot walk, talk, or eat by herself. She has been able to stay home with family instead of being put in a nursing home, but it didn't come without massive hurdles and challenges. ALZ.org is the website of the Alzheimer's Association and would love to see money go to them, so in the future young people might have a chance at knowing their grandparents, and children may be able to just be with their parents because they love them instead of having to care for them as though they were now children.

tamaness said...

If it hasn't been suggested already, Childs' Play < childsplaycharity.org > is a great charity; they help to provide toys and games, among other things to childrens' hospitals and childrens' wards in hospitals in order to make hospital stays more bearable for the little ones.

The other charity I highly support and recommend is Heifer Project < heifer.org >. Heifer provides livestock and plants, as well as training on how to use them to become self-sustaining to villages in developing nations, as well as right here in the US. Instead of giving gifts to my family for christmas, I've donated to Heifer for the last three years.

Judi said...

I support a lot of the home-grown organizations in my area. My favorite local is the Emmaus Mission Center - I love the mission of their girls' home. They also offer an emergency housing shelter, crisis intervention center, food pantry, and more. http://www.logan-emmaus.org/html/mailing_list.html

I also donate funds to the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. My son was born 11 weeks early and weighed less than 3 pounds. He had several surgeries at Riley, and I want to do whatever small thing I can to help other kids like him. http://rileychildrenshospital.com/

Willa-the mom! said...

I would like to suggest adoptuskids. There are thousands of children in foster care in the United States who are anxiously awaiting families to choose to adopt them. I am an adoptive parent of 9 children adopted from foster care. I know children who are waiting for someone to adopt them who actually try to find their own adoptive families. A family should be a RIGHT not a privilege to be earned!!!! Together we can all help these kids get the families they deserve. You don't have to be a perfect parent to be the perfect parent for a child!

Teresa said...

Love the idea, excellent! BTW you might want to run prospective charities through this site:
http://www.charitynavigator.org/ which will tell you which are the most efficient at getting your $ to the cause itself.

I'm starting things off with a $100donation to charity: water in support of this fabulous idea!

Shasta said...

I suggest donating to Heifer International. You can buy heifers, goats, rabbits, chickens ... all sorts of livestock that can change the lives of the families who receive them, in impoverished communities all over the world. And, it's the gift that keeps giving, because each needy family agrees to donate the offspring - the new calf, kid, chicks, etc. - to another needy family in their area, so all can share in the wealth! Great idea Jen and John - you are an inspiration!

Yota Armai said...

I spend most of my free time volunteering with the International Order of Rainbow for Girls. It's a youth organization sponsored by the Masons, that teaches service and leadership. Every year the Grand Worthy Advisor of each state chooses a service project. This year the Florida GWA chose a really great project, the Starlight Children's Foundation. I could spend a lot of time explaining starlight so instead here's the website: http://www.starlight.org/home.aspx

Florida's GWA is hoping to be able to raise enough money to donate at least one fun center mobile entertainment unit or sponsor a great escape.

Jen & John, This is an amazing idea! Ghandi said, "be the change you want to see in the world" and you guys definitely are doing it.

Thanks, Maria

Connie Moreno said...

I have been a member of Soldier's Angels since 2004. This group was started by the mother of an Army Sgt. when she found out that some of the guys in his group got no mail at all. I do everything I possibly can for my soldiers (I currently have 3) that I adopt. I remember hearing stories from my parents about the sacrifices they made during WWII and I wondered, What could I do? So I gave up having my nails done every two weeks. More money for care packages. I gave up getting highlights in my hair. More money for care packages. I gave up eating lunch out every day. More money for care packages. It's not much but at least I feel that I'm helping someone far away from home cope with the stress of war knowing that a stranger back home really cares. Check us out at: www.soldiersangels.org

Renee said...

The organization that I'm passionate about it is The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I have a 30 year old friend who is dying from leukemia and she changed my life.

If my donations can help leukemia patients change the life of someone else, then I want to be a part of that.

This is something near and dear to my heart.

Christian Services of Oklahoma said...

Hi! I am a huge fan of Cake Wrecks, and I check it every day! I work for Christian Services of Oklahoma, a non-profit adoption agency and maternity home. We work with women in unplanned pregnancy situations and help them either with an adoption plan or help them get on their feet so they can parent their child. We have a maternity home they can live in free of charge while working on their plan. We approve Christian adoptive families for our birth mothers to place their babies with. We also have a foster care program through the state where we provide Christian foster homes for babies in the state foster care system. We would love to be considered for one of your charities! Thanks!

Sarah said...

I am so impressed with this post. Thank you for the reminder about the gifts that actually matter at Christmas.

I humbly suggest you look at worldvision.org and/or heifer.org; they have similar goals and both involve teaching third world citizens how to responsibly manage and pass on the livestock/fowl/seeds given.

I also am excited by the Blood: Water Mission (bloodwatermission.com)as they focus on both HIV/AIDS and clean water.

Thanks again for this post!

Karen said...

Hooray for you guys! You have lifted my spirit at my least favorite time of the year. Smile Train is a worthy recipient. They repair cleft lips/palates on children in third world countries. Dollar for dollar,they are the most financially efficient charity, and they give a child a chance to smile, what a gift.
Karen Fredericks
Seattle, WA

togetherforgood said...

I recommend Restoring Hope International. They are raising money to build a home in South Africa for children orphaned by AIDS. They are good people doing good work, just getting their organization off the ground, and I can't imagine what kind of a blessing it would be to them to have the power of Cake Wrecks behind them.

http://www.restoringhopeint.org/

Sarah said...

Jenn, this is an amazing idea! I have serveral different places that come to mind. Autism Speaks is the nation's largest autism science and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. It would be AMAZING if they could raise that kind of money, they really are the forerunner in Autism awareness. (www.autismspeaks.org) I was wondering if you would donate to private places too?

Julie said...

My suggestion for a charity is Free the Children. It's group that empowers children in North America to take action to improve the lives of children in disadvantaged countries.
The Free the Children website: http://www.freethechildren.com/

Oh, and, yes I've donated my $1 today :)

Jen A said...

One of the charities we gave to this year is The Girl Effect, which helps adolescent girls get a good education in countries where women's rights are not so very advanced. http://www.girleffect.org/

Emily said...

Free Wheelchair Mission

Transforming lives through the gift of mobility

Joy said...

The charity I'd like you to donate to is Alpine Autism Center, in Colorado Springs. They are working miracles with kids - including my own - that the school districts have given up on. www.alpineautismcenter.org
they are a 501,c,3 non profit.

Melissa Ryan said...

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital!

My son was a patient for 17 years. They saved his life, and the lives of so many children. They share their research with childrens' hospitals all over the world, and no family is ever turned away because of their inability to pay. St. Jude pays 100% of the cost of treating the cancer, as well as food, lodging, and travel expenses for each family. It is a tremendous organization! Please consider it for your donation! Thank you!

http://www.stjude.org

Claire said...

Hi Jen and John!

As a proud type 1 diabetic with a major sweet tooth (cruel irony!) I would suggest donating to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). I'm a big fan of CW, so I know you two appreciate all things ironic-- what's more ironic than a website dedicated to sweetly terrible disasters donating money for diabetes research? I'll post the link below. Great idea for the holidays, and great site!

Claire
http://www.jdrf.org/

Heather said...

What a wonderful, wonderful thing to y'all to do!! I work for the Houston Food Bank and share an office with three others. We are all avid addicts of Cake Wrecks, giggling - and often laughing hysterically - over the site daily, sharing photos with one another and finding the wreckiest cakes we can, come birthday time!

I think it would be absolutely appropriate for y'all to choose a Food Bank or two to give to...not necessarily Houston (hint, hint), but whoever is in your area. If you should decide to look into HFB, you will find that it's a great organization, doing amazing work on an enormous scale. We distributed 46 million pounds last year plus an additional 20 million in disaster relief, thanks to Hurricane Ike. Our goal is to increase distribution to 120,000,000 pounds annually by 2018.

Regardless of which organizations you choose, just want to say "thanks" on behalf of those of us in the non-profit community for your efforts, not only in fundraising for us, but also in keeping us entertained!!!

Melanie said...

1) Speak Out Against Domestic Violence; 2) American Diabetes Association; 3) Ronald McDonald House; 4) St. Jude Children's Research Hospital; 5) ASPCA. Wow...you are starting something wonderful!

PowerLifterChick said...

FANTASTIC idea!
Even I can afford a $1!

Squiddy said...

I usually do not post comments, but I think this is a FABULOUS idea. And it shows a great generosity of spirit.

Some ideas for charities:
The Central Asia Institute (www.ikat.org). Greg Mortenson (Three Cups of Tea) builds schools for girls in Afghanistan and Pakistan, to 1) create goodwill towards the US 2) increase literacy where it is almost non-existent 3) train people in first aid to improve life expectancies.

Big Brothers, Big Sisters (www.bigbrothersbigsisters.org). This organization matches up children at risk with adults who can act as mentors, friends, cheerleaders, etc. Kids who go through this program are more likely to stay in school and stay away from drugs and other bad influences.

Lindsey said...

This is an awesome idea! Camp Smile A Mile is an organization in Alabama that has year-round programs for children and young adults who have been diagnosed with cancer and their families. I have had the amazing opportunity to volunteer as a counselor at their summer camps for several summers and the kids and their families are indescrible. Camp is a magical place for these families where they can be normal kids for a weekend or a week at no charge for the families. Their website has a lot more information and also how to donate on it.
www.campsam.org

Justine said...

I nominate Alley Cat Rescue for the next charity. This organization works hard not only in helping stray animals find good homes, but also in spay/neuter programs to help control the feral population.

http://www.saveacat.org

http://alleycatrescue.blogspot.com

inna said...

As this time of year is supposed to be about people and animals alike, I'd like to suggest that for one day your donations go towards the creatures that roam the Earth on our side. I'm a big fan of those kind people who work at animal shelters and rescue homes, so maybe something like that would be suitable.

Cheers, and merry holidays from icy, snowy Finland!

AmyK said...

Thank you for the wonderful charity idea. I'm in. $1.00 each day for 14 great charities. It could bring a smile to any of your cakes. I volunteer for Discovery Place in Burns TN, a spiritual retreat for men who want to recover from alcoholism. We don't charge much compared to treatment centers, but still need more money in our financial aid fund so that more men and their families will be able to live in the joy of sobriety. Please consider Discovery Place of one of the charities. www.discoveryplace.info

Bethany said...

My name is Beth and I live in St. Paul, MN. I'm going to nominate the group I volunteer for, A Rotta Love Plus. http://www.arottalove.org. We rescue and rehome rottweilers and pit bulls. We work to raise awareness of these often stereotyped breeds. We also have a great education program to teach kids about dog safety, we're involved in trying to pass a law here in MN that would create a foster system for the pets of women who have had to move into shelters to avoid abuse, and we campaign against breed-specific legislation around the country. Currently we are working with the Missouri Humane Society to help them rehabilitate and rehome some of the 500+ dogs that were resecued from neglect and fighting situations in the biggest raid in U.S. history in MO, OK, and a couple other states.

So that's my plug! Thanks for listening, and thanks for all you do Oh Great Wreckbloggers!

Anonymous said...

One good organization you might want to look at is called "Community Servings" located in Boston, MA. They serve nutritious, tailored meals every day to clients in the Greater Boston area. Their clients are those too sick to feed themselves due to illnesses like HIV/AIDS and cancer. They'll also feed any dependents and caregivers of their clients, to help ease the burden on the whole family.

I work in their kitchens all the time to help prepare the meals, and not only are the people there truly kind, generous folks, but they really do make delicious food! (And yes they do send cake, all the time.)

This may be an appropriate one since it involves food and feeding people. :)

Connie Moreno said...

By the way, I think it's an AWESOME idea for everyone to donate $1 a day to a different charity each day! I just donated my first $1. I think it went through but when it asked me to register (and I did) to track the donations, I got a message saying the process had been aborted. :-(

Annie D. said...

Thanks for doing this - what a great way to celebrate the season! Volunteer Fairfax is a nonprofit in Northern Virginia that works with over 900 nonprofits to recruit and retain volunteers, increasing organizational capacity and ensuring volunteers have a great experience. We're currently running on a tight budget and cannot afford to be fully staffed, so 10 of us are running Volunteer Fairfax's 26 programs. The newest is a family volunteering initiative called Give Together that will debut on January 18, 2010. A great many of us are CakeWrecks fans :) If you can lend us your support, we would be so thankful!!

emily said...

Your post has only been up for about half an hour and already an additional $400 has been raised!

I hope this trend continues!

Cassie said...

Perfect. Such a beautiful idea! I'll be donating at least a dollar per charity for sure!

My bid for a charity that really needs some help?

DeafHope. (website www.deaf-hope.org) DeafHope is an agency that serves deaf women and their children who are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. They provide support and legal advocacy to women who would otherwise have to navigate a confusing legal system that doesn't speak their language and is often not accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

DeafHope was founded and is run by deaf men and women who saw a need in the deaf community and are fighting to keep their services available.

Located in Northern California, DeafHope has been suffering from budget cuts that have drastically reduced the state's ability to support domestic violence agencies. They need help.

Everything I just wrote isn't a rehearsed pitch or a press release or anything of the sort. I'm passionate about DeafHope. Why? My mother is one of the co-founders. She's involved and is now a legal advocate because her best friend and her best friend's mother were stabbed to death by an abuser.

Everyone knows that domestic violence is a serious issue, but imagine trying to get a restraining order, or figure out court dates, or trying to get you and your child into a safe place, a shelter, when no one speaks your language. Many women who are stressed out and scared end up returning to their abuser even if they don't want to because at least the abuser speaks sign language.

DeafHope is making powerful strides in the community. Help them eradicate domestic violence.

Aliza said...

I would recommend the Invisible Children organization. I'm super involved in work for them at my college, and they're an amazing team. They're currently working towards ending Africa's longest running war, that has been going on for over 20 years in Northern Uganda. Joseph Kony the man who is behind the kidnapping and brutalizing of over 100,000 children (and using them as soldiers) , and the displacement of over 1.5 million people.

They are involved in this conflict politically (calling on Obama and his administration to help the ICC and UN address this conflict), and the three boys (yes, boys, they graduated high school and bought plane tickets to Uganda when they started this in 2002) have spoken to Kony and his right hand men personally.

IC also works to fundraise for schools in Northern Uganda that will be educating Africa's next leaders. The Schools for Schools program donates millions for schools to build clean water wells, libraries, sciene labs, or to pay tuition for those kids who cannot afford it. They do amazing work!

Check out www.invisiblechildren.com for more info!

Eoywin said...

Equality Now is one of my favorite charities.

Equality Now works to end violence and discrimination against women and girls around the world through the mobilization of public pressure.

http://www.equalitynow.org/english/index.html

I also support St. Jude's and the American Cancer Society.

Stephanie said...

I wanted to suggest a charity. It is called GEMS. It helps teenage prostitutes in New York get their lives together and out of the underage sex industry.

http://www.gems-girls.org/

Krista said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
miss k said...

i nominate Clown Noses 4 Cancer (CN4C). we are a new non-profit that seeks to ease the stress on cancer patients and their families through comedy. we have silly contests and fundraisers, put together "shoeboxes of smiles" (full of funny movies, games, jokes, and puzzles), and comedy shows to raise money and awareness. :o)

http://clownnoses4cancer.wordpress.com/

and because we're all about the funny, i'm TOTALLY going to try to organize a wrecktastic bake sale... what an ridiculously awesome idea - and perfect for us!

karen

Crystal said...

This isn't really charity, but it is a non-profit organization.
you should donate to St.Mary's Home for Disabled Children in Norfolk, Virginia..it is an amazing place. It is a long term pediatric care facility for children 0-21 yrs.old. The kids that live there are severe to profoundly mentally retarded due to congenital problems, abuse or accident. They are a.m.a.z.i.n.g..the kids and the staff! I used to work in their after school program...everyone is so dedicated to helping the kids there. They do their best to really help the kids reach their greatest potential...that is why I love it. The kids don't just sit in a bed/a wheelchair all day...they go to school, do physical therapy, have planned outings and playtimes...
they actually have a blog..you can visit them here http://www.saintmaryshome.blogspot.com/

Beth said...

Great campaign, Jen!

I personally love Southern Animal Rescue Association (SARA), a no-kill animal shelter in Seguin, TX. It's over a hundred acres and they allow the dogs to roam "free" while still giving them quality care and happy lives. The cats have a large cat house. They also rescue farm factory animals. They never euthanize unless the animal is having severe quality of life issues. It is a small operation that houses over 800 animals, run primarily by one extremely hardworking couple and volunteers.
http://www.sarasanctuary.org

Anonymous said...

I would love for you to consider donating money to the local charity I work for, Foothills Alliance Sexual Assault Center in Anderson, SC. They give free counseling to rape victims...including children. (Most of our clients are children) We also have a Child Advocacy Center that teaches parents how to protect their children from sexual assault and to be better parents. I was once a client (date rape) and am now a proud worker there. We really need money because due to the economy so many grants have been cut; around 50,000 dollars is gone now. http://www.foothillsalliance.org/

If you don't give to Foothills, then please consider RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network). Many of our grants come from RAINN supposed sources. http://www.rainn.org/

Bess said...

What an awesome idea, Jen! I'd like to suggest the amazing "Donor's Choose" (donorschoose.org) as a potential charity. Teachers around the country post projects they're trying to fund, and you (the donor) can pick which ones you want to support. You can pick schools in your area, high poverty schools, teachers trying to fund math projects, all sort of things. Or you can just donate an amount of money and the folks who run the charity will distribute it to the most urgent projects, whichever you like.

Best of all, once a project you've supported is funded, you get letters from the teacher and pictures of the kids using the supplies you've helped buy! Those pictures make my day every dang time, I'm not joking.

Nitrocat said...

What a FANtastic idea! I'd like to recommend World Vision or Harvest of Hope/Partners International.ep

Parhelia said...

Habitat for Humanity!

ABA2009 said...

Hey Jen and John! What a marvelous idea you have come up with! As the wife to a US Navy Sailor a benefit that is allowed us, and any other service member in need, is the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. This is straight from their website:
The mission of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society is to provide, in partnership with the Navy and Marine Corps, financial, educational, and other assistance to members of the Naval Services of the United States, eligible family members, and survivors when in need; and to receive and manage funds to administer these programs.

Everyone hears about sending care packages, and they are a great thing to send, but what about those service members and their families who are at home and in need? NMCRS is a huge help to those here on base. If there is an unexpected expense they are here to help. I think they would be a great charity to include in your 14 days of giving!

~Tiffany

Sky said...

All my spare cash goes toward Riverkids, which fights child trafficking by providing schooling, shelter and healthcare to families in the slums of Cambodia. The kids get an education and work skills and their families don't have to sell them to pay for things like food and clothing. It's just a little organization, so a donation like the one CakeWrecks would make would mean a whole lot. (Click the Donate link to see what I mean!)

http://www.riverkidsproject.org/

-Sarah

Rebecca said...

http://www.stampedeofdreams.org/

I nominate Stampede of Dreams. It's a therapeutic riding program for children. It's still fairly new and they could certainly use all the help they can get. Their work is beautiful and amazing and it gives to these kids on so many levels. Please check out their website above, and mission statement posted below.

Mission Statement:
For the purpose of sharing the love for horses and a concern for people, to improve the bodies, minds and spirit of children and adults with disabilities through Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies.

Corrine said...

I volunteer with the Paw Prints Dog Sanctuary & Canine Corps. In addition to caring for senior and handicapped dogs from various shelters in the area, they give a temporary home to dogs owned by deployed military. There is absolutely no cost to any of the military members, all food and vet costs covered through donations.

jill said...

I volunteer for an organization called Love For Paws Rescue. Here in San Antonio we struggle in Pet overpopulation and euthanasia, one of the worst in the country. She takes in "hard luck cases". I am attaching two links, one is a write up that was just in the paper this week and another is the link to the website. What sets Love For paws apart from the others is the dedication of the founder. Her passion is contagious; she asks very little and takes whatever she can get in the way of donations with such enthusiasm.
http://www.loveforpawsrescue.com/

http://www.mysanantonio.com/community/north_central/news/Love_for_Paws_Rescue_evolves.html

ABA2009 said...

Forgot the link,
http://www.nmcrs.org/index.html

silly me!

creationsbychar said...

I suggest the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Cystic Fibrosis is a fatal genetic disease, and the charity is always highly rated. I do the walk every year. For all donations received this Christmas season, they have a donor that will match them, I believe, so all money will be doubled.

www.cff.org to learn more

Pye's In Haiti said...

Haitian Children's Home!
It's a small organization in Jacmel, Haiti. We have one orphanage with 22 children and recently started another orphanage.
We do a lot of service projects to serve the community thru soccer tournaments, music camps, medical trips, beach clean up, high school scholarship program, and VBS.
Visit us at:
haitianchildrenshome.org

Sry if this is a repeat...having issues with my Internet

Aubrey said...

This is a fabulous idea,
Just for charity ideas, My favorite is Habitat for Humanity, I am a Habitat Home owner, and they are a fabulous group of people, building homes all over the world for people in need.

Allison said...

What a great idea!

Here's my charity suggestion. For years, we've had a rule about no presents for adults and donated what would be gift money to charity instead. Heifer International has been our charity of choice for quite some time.

Heifer International gives families livestock, teaches them how to care for them and requires that the recipient share the offspring with other families.

Timber said...

Hi,
I would like to nominate my 7 year old son, Jaedin, and the charity he is working with: Orphanage Support Services Organization. Jaedin is working hard to raise money so that he can make kits for newborn babies in orphanages in Ecuador.

Jaedin turned 7 years old this past week (Dec. 9). He is a little kid with a HUGE heart. He wanted to do a special service project as his gift to his Savior for Christmas (it was all his idea!). We talked to him about charities and he decided on OSSO. He's made a youtube video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwMMFQOwero

and he's started a blog:

www.jaedinsprojects.blogspot.com

(please visit his blog!)

Why Jaedin for cakewrecks? He's a mega-cake wrecks fan and LOVES to look at your site every day. He originally wanted me to make him his own cakewreck for his bday cake this week. But then he saw an R2D2 picture of a cake, and now I'm in charge of making THAT tomorrow. With my "superb" cake making skills, I can guarantee he's going to get both wishes! ;)

I can't say enough good things about Jaedin. He's a one-in-a-million type kids. He's always thinking of others before himself. He excels at school. He's always quick to smile and wants nothing more than for everyone around him to be happy.

It would make him SO happy if you would donate to his cause. All the money donated will go toward buying supplies for the kids, and anything leftover will be given directly to the OSSO orphanage to buy milk for the children.

Jaedin's original goal was just to raise $100. He's half-way there right now. I would love it if we could blow that amount out of the water and give these children in Ecuador everything they need to be warm and happy on Christmas.

Thank you so much!
Timber

Amy said...

As with charities and donations, I work at an animal hospital and I support no-kill shelters and cat rescue organizations. No-kill shelters help keep animals alive that need homes instead of euthanizing each one that comes through the door, and cat rescue organizations capture, spay/neuter and vaccinate wild cats and release them back into cat groups, called colonies, and then feeds and provides medical care for those colonies.

As for the $1 a day thing, it's such a great idea! I will try to participate as much as I can!

Anonymous said...

This is a great idea! I donated. Are you considering St Judes as a charity?

Stacey said...

I really like the business called TOMS shoes. You've probably seen the AT&T commercial of the founder, Blake Mycoskie, doing a shoe drop. Basically, for every pair of shoes bought, TOMS shoes gives a pair of shoes to a child in need. It's known as a one for one movement. Their passion is to provide shoes so children can attend school, have preventative care in contracting disease, and give children the opportunity to safely walk. I love that this company is other-centered and makes it known. Here is their website: http://www.tomsshoes.com/default.asp .

TOMS shoes has a non-profit associated with it called Friends of TOMS.

I really like your Christmas gift idea this year and I hope you will keep TOMS in your thoughts.

-Stacey

Keeffer said...

hey, it's an absolutely awesome idea.

but... not to rain on a parade- but can you just look in and see whether they'll be paying more processing fees on $1.00 contributions through credit cards than it would take in? I know that sometimes that happens. i would hate to see it be a burden on the charity.

i will DEFINITELY participate.

Mo said...

Awesome idea Jen! My family decided a couple years back to nix the presents and the holidays have been so much more enjoyable without the shopping and stress!

I'm suggesting Operation Baghdad Pups. http://www.spcai.org/baghdad-pups.html

When U.S. troops are in Iraq and Afghanistan they often befriend local animals as a way to help cope and feel like they have a piece of home with them. This SPCA program provides veterinary care and coordinates transportation to reunite these pets with their service men and women back in the U.S.

Cottagecheap said...

My Charity of choice is
Friends of Ferdinand.

http://www.friendsofferdinand.org/home/html/

I foster horses for them. They take in Off track thoroughbreds and rehab and retrain them for second careers. Most people don't know there is a market for horse meat and that 'retired' race horses (usually about age 6) are very likely to end up there if they aren't of breeding quality.

Check it out. $200 will care for one horse for a month and if we did manage to raise 80K for FFI that could impact over 50 horses. (their complete stay at FFI) all adoption fees are put back in so technically the money continues to recycle over and over. Check it out!

YOU ROCK! I am stoked about this idea...

Angela G said...

About to donate but first I recommend one of your donations be to CIVIC (Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict). I used to work there a while back and since I left the economy bottomed out and not only did that lose them a good deal of the money they expected for the year (very well-used I can personally attest) but they lost a major grant when the foundation closed due to the Madoff scandal. They aren't aligned to the left or right, democrats or republicans, pro war or anti war or any of that. They focus solely on making sure that anyone who is accidentally hurt during war gets the help they need. Their site is civicworldwide.org and I can assure you $200 is a pretty big deal. They do a lot with a little, and being the only people out there doing this work, it can be very hard to find funding. Just a suggestion! Now off to donate :)

Dan Yell said...

This is a great idea and finding a dollar a day isn't that hard for most people to give back. I want go get something more local into the game- The Boys and Girls club- They help so many kids every day with a safe place to go after school. They don't turn you away if you don't have money. It's probably one of most rewarding places to give to because you can see the rewards instantly in the joy on the kids faces when they get to go on a field trip or get a new sports item to use. http://www.bgcloudoun.org/ is our chapter.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a great idea! I donated today. I give my time to a local rescue called Animals for Life, which is a no kill shelter in CT for companion animals.
http://www.animalsforlifect.org
Nicole

MamaBear said...

that last cake looks almost EXACTLY like a photo i took t'other day to send you guys - except mine has jack sparrow eyes, bleeding into the white stuff. i think they're both FOOD LION cakes, too, lol.

my charity? i support the juvenile diabetes foundation because my husband's family has multiple members with juvenile diabetes, and a new diagnosis of type 2 diabetes just recently. i also support the disabled american veterans and running strong for american indian youth. they're all good folks.

and $1 a day is something we can ALL do for 2 weeks, so i'm really excited about your new plan!

whitby98 said...

I also nominate Heifer International - what a great organization.

Heifer International is a non-profit organization whose goal is to help end world hunger and poverty through self-reliance & sustainability.
www.heifer.org/

Anonymous said...

You are such a class act--thank you for organizing this fantastic idea. I will certainly participate!

Molly in Seattle

Kelley Taylor said...

I think St. Jude's is amazing because they help kids even when they can't afford the cancer treatments.
-Kelley

Lauralyn said...

What a great idea! My recommendation for a charity is the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund. http://www.fanconi.org/

Fanconi Anemia is a rare, fatal genetic illness. Because it's so rare, their research doesn't get big government grants. However, many researchers believe that in finding a cure for FA, they would also find a cure for many other things, including cancer, so research dollars given to the FA Research Fund bless more than just the families whose children have FA.

This cause is close to my heart because a good friend has a 7 year old daughter with FA. She is in the process of bone marrow failure, and it's very uncertain how long she'll live now. It could be just a few months or it could be a couple of years.

Kudos to you for doing such a fantastic thing for Christmas!

Shana said...

http://www.safehorses.org/

The above website is a local charity (for me anyway) that I like to support. It is Save a Forgotten Equine. They take in abused/neglected equines that would otherwise be killed and they either find them new homes or let them live the rest of their lives in a foster home.

I love your idea of giving just $1 / day to each charity. AMAZING! About 6 years ago out of necessity I told all of my friends and family that I would not be giving gifts and that I didn't want them to give me any gifts. That was the best decision I have ever made about Christmas. Instead of fretting over what gift to give someone that I couldn't really afford I focus on getting together with friends and family and celebrating our friendships!

Justine said...

www.gwendolynstrong.com

There is also a petition that everyone could sign and this many extra signatures would really help. The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation's goal is to find a cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy-the number one genetic killer of children. Most children diagnosed with SMA type one won't live longer than two years. Research shows that a cure could be found in as little as five years with the the right resources. Please give it a look and consider making it one of the charities you will choose. If everyone donated a dollar AND signed the petition, that would be a wonderful thing. Thank you for doing this, it's really wonderful!

blythee said...

This is our cousin Tyler's baby: http://catapultdesign.org/about-2/mission

This is copied from their website because they explain their mission much better than I can:

The majority of our world’s population lacks access to life’s basic needs. We develop and implement human-centered products to help them thrive.

Technology can empower and liberate. A single, effective product has more potential for worldwide impact – by providing clean water, food, shelter, or income – than any other existing development approach. Through the introduction of inexpensive and simple yet life-altering products the lives of more than 2 billion poverty-stricken people around the globe can be dramatically improved.

Catapult Design is a non-profit design consultancy providing engineering and implementation support to the thousands of organizations in need of technologies or products capable of igniting social change. We are engineers, designers, implementers, and educators – we design products, introduce technologies, and foster trends that are appropriate, self-sustaining, environmentally friendly, socially responsible and culturally sensitive.

Amy said...

I love this idea. I'd like to suggest a local charity that I help in Utah. It's called Friday's Kids Respite. https://fridayskids.org/app/?page=home

"We are a nonprofit organization providing respite care to families who have children with special needs. On Friday and Saturday evenings, caregivers bring their children to Friday's Kids while they enjoy some well deserved time off. Our volunteers spend one-on-one time with the children while parents get an evening to finish the laundry, run errands, spend time with their spouse, or simply relax."

They are doing a matching grant right now. So your $1 will count as $2! What a way to help out.

Ceci said...

I feel like Goodwill and the Salvation Army are often overlooked, but are doing really wonderful work!

Bonnie said...

There are some great ones!

March of Dimes - Friends of Maddie

And Adventures in Missions!

Lawgirl said...

What a fabulous idea!!

I actually do a "Christmas for Your Insides" on my blog each year. I'm a big believer in giving to those in need, as so many of us already have too much stuff and don't really need more. I also do a Charity of the Month feature.

Some of my favorite charities are:

Operation Gratitude - Sends care packages to our soldiers.

Any food bank - the need is so great right now!

Project Linus - Making blankets for children who are ill or traumatized.

Thank you so much!

Feathers said...

Check out Polaris Project, a charity which works to combat human trafficking worldwide: www.polarisproject.org.

stance. said...

Rock and roll guys! Great idea. I'd like to submit Mocha Club (mochaclub.org). They do a number of different projects - they help child mothers & women at risk, provide clean water, care for HIV/AIDS patients, provide education, and care for orphans. The basic idea is that if we each give up two mochas ($7) per month we can make a difference.

It's enough money to impact the world but not enough, generally, to hurt a person's checkbook.

Cassidy said...

Wounded Warriors Fund would be an awesome charity to donate to. My hsuband is stationed at Ft. Campbell, KY and my coworkers and I have wanted to do several things for them but have been feeling the economic crunch. There are lots of soldiers here deploying next month and they all need our support

alison said...

Love this idea! :)

I'm nominating Nevus Outreach: http://www.nevus.org

Our friends' little girl was born 18 months ago with a nevus covering part of her face and top of her head. It was a shock at first because it was so unexpected. This organization has provided limitless support for them, and has most certainly been a key reason that this little girl is almost completely rid of her nevus now (thanks to surgery by an amazing doctor). This is a smaller charity and they don't get the same recognition as some of the bigger charities. Yet they are crucial to anyone facing life with a child with a nevus. Thanks!! :)

bamatam said...

This is a fabulous idea. I always want to donate to charities, but I sometimes wonder how my donation will be used...But I trust that you and John will find good, worthwhile charities that we can trust! Thanks for doing this--what a great way to use the power of the internet for good! Merry Christmas!

Paul said...

My charity of choice is the US Metric Association (http://metric.org).

We're stuck on an old measurement system that's holding our country back. Everything from lost trade to people ending up in E.R. (or worse) because of measurement conversion bungles. There's also the large capital losses like the Mars probe or the money wasted last year because congress decided to buy carbon credits, specified it in english tons instead of metric tons and then got the conversion wrong.

These kinds of losses happen all the time throughout our entire country and are needlessly holding us back. It's time to move forward and finish the conversion to full metric.

Paul

Sarah said...

The charity that I'm super passionate about is Penn State's Dance Marathon (THON) that raises money for children with cancer.

THON is the largest student run philanthropy in the world; last year alone, Penn State students raised well over 7 million dollars. Months of fundraising culminate in a 46 hour, no sitting, no sleeping dance marathon.

THON benefits the Four Diamonds Fund which aims to conquer childhood cancer by assisting children treated at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital and their families through superior care, comprehensive support, and innovative research.

Through my experiences with THON, I've been able to meet so many amazingly brave kids and families who are fighting cancer and I have been able to see, first hand, how THON effects them. No matter how much pain you know they're in and how much they've been through, you can't find anything but the largest smiles on their faces come THON weekend.

There's tons of more information, pictures, and videos at thon.org. Thanks for being so amazing during this holiday season!!

Anonymous said...

I love your site and can't wait to check it every morning for a chuckle while at work!

My recommendation for charitable donation is Heifer International. www.heifer.org

Your money will go to the actual purchase of animals (like chickens, ducks, pigs and cows) that provide a means of economic stability and sustainability AS WELL AS a source of substance for their families. People sell the eggs, milk, cheese or offspring as a means of income. So you aren't just giving them 1 meal - you are giving them something that keeps going! I think it's brilliant!

I believe the percentage of your dollar given used directly for the purpose of the program is 78%. This is important to me - as I want as much of the money I send in to go to the intended use - not just administrative overhead.

Jessi said...

Hi Jen! I love your site and you and your husband get major props for what you are doing this Christmas. You guys are really remembering what it is all about.

My Charity is the American Cancer Society. My family have organized a Relay for Life team in memory of my grandparents. All eight children and their families get together and we raise money that go locally to for research or patients themselves. The passion of volunteers and people who donate is so overwhelming.
My family (The Buracker Bunch Relay for Life Team) are dedicated to such a great organization and would love to spread the word about their good deeds.
Merry Christmas and God Bless you and your husband. You guys are amazing for this gesture.

Beth said...

What an awesome idea! One charity that is near and dear to my heart is Dogs4Diabetics in Concord, CA (www.dogs4diabetics.com).

This nonprofit organization procures and trains service dogs for people with insulin dependent diabetes. These wonder dogs are trained to sniff out and alert their partners when their blood sugar is too low or is dropping rapidly.

Our 14 year old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 3 years ago and has been partnered with Olivia for about 1 1/2 now. This has given me peace of mind that I haven't had since she was diagnoseed! Olivia goes everywhere with Margaret, including high school every day.

My whole family volunteers at the training facility and also by helping to "finish" the dogs with a little on the job training in our home. They are really making a differnce in the lives of diabetics!

Michelle said...

What a lovely idea. Have to go find a credit card and donate.

My suggestions:

Hope's Home: http://www.hopeshome.org

kahlna said...

Hey there. I've been reading for a long time, and I think this is a great idea. My charity involves a family very close to me. My husband's brother & his wife have three children, and they are very poor. They were working toward changing their lives through education, but in early November, he was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer. They've given him six months--almost two are already up. He's 39 years old. He is now too sick to work. They are becoming unable to afford the basic needs of life while they travel three hours for his care, and could use a helping hand that I desperately wish I could provide. They are wishing for miracles, and in the meantime they are struggling to survive even in the most general sense. I hope you'll consider the Jeffery K. Miller Benefit Fund. There is a tax ID number so that everyone can give a tax deductible donation. Thank you! April

texasnascarcowgirl said...

http://www.victoryjunction.org/

The Victory Junction Gang Camp is a camp for handicap kids. This was started by Kyle Petty in memory of his son Adam who's passion was this camp. Many NASCAR stars donate to this camp and it is a great place to donate to.
Please consider this as a charity you want to donate to.
Thanks!!

Amanda said...

What a cool idea! Count me in!
I'm also going to suggest what others have and say March of Dimes :) And St. Jude's Children's Hospital.

Miranda said...

Awesome idea guys:)

The charity I want to throw into the ring is The Baby Loss Awareness Campaign which was inspired by Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day here in the US and involves five US & UK organizations including The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust, The Miscarriage Association and Sands Stillbirth & neonatal death charity.

These groups offer support to women like myself who experienced an Ectopic Pregnancy two years ago that nearly took my life and had never heard of it before then nor could I find any local support group or anyone to relate to about it. They work to educate the public, medical professionals and world governments and raise money for research to find the causes and eventually prevent the loss of babies and infants.

I don't know what the numbers are for miscarriages and stillbirths but 1 in 50 US pregnancies and 1 in 100 UK pregnancies end as Ectopic or Molar, many of whom don't fall into the "standard" causes yet there doesn't seem to be any push in this country to do more research. So maybe if we raise enough money we can tell the scientists to quit making the umpteenth pill for erectile dysfunction and focus more on women's reproductive issues!
::getting off my soapbox now::

PS This is a page I created while dealing with my EP where I've compiled all the research and information I managed to find:
http://www.myspace.com/ectopicpregnancypage

Paul said...

My charity of choice is the US Metric Association (http://metric.org).

We're stuck on an old measurement system that's holding our country back. Everything from lost trade to people ending up in E.R. (or worse) because of measurement conversion bungles. There's also the large capital losses like the Mars probe or the money wasted last year because congress decided to buy carbon credits, specified it in english tons instead of metric tons and then got the conversion wrong.

These kinds of losses happen all the time throughout our entire country and are needlessly holding us back. It's time to move forward and finish the conversion to full metric.

Paul

Sara said...

What a great way to renew your Christmas spirit!

My family and I have done many things for the Central Florida Children's Home, and will continue to donate and volunteer for many years to come.

http://centralfloridachildrenshome.org/

Anonymous said...

I suggest bcaction.org

They're the only cancer charity I know of, breast cancer or otherwise, who as part of their mission statement, refuse to take money from drug corporations. This is the single most important step in REALLY finding a prevention as well as a cure, for cancer.

bcaction.org

Anonymous said...

I love TBFriends...a group devoted to rescuing race horses from slaughter.
http://www.tbfriends.com

St. Jude's is always a worthy charity, as well.

Keep up the good work!

Jennifer said...

This is such a wonderful idea. I've been feeling like a grinch this year, but this makes me so happy.

My suggestion for a charity is the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I think it's a wonderful organization.

I would also love to support Habitat for Humanity, Invisible Children, and the Humane Society.

Lara said...

Hi guys! It's Lara H. from Austin, (the poo wreckplica lady). The reason I could so accurately depict the poo was because I volunteer, and foster, for Austin Greyhound Adoption! This all-volunteer org rescues, fosters and finds loving homes for these hard working dogs who didn't have a choice about where they were born, or the hard life they lived, but with our help they can now live like a regular dog, in a house, on a couch, with toys and love. Go to www.austingreyhounds.org for more info! Money goes to vet bills, food and medicine for the hounds.

Kelly L. said...

RSD is a chronic pain syndrome is triggered by a nerve injury. It is characterized by debilitating and relentless pain often disproportionate to the original cause. Early diagnosis is key, unfortunately it is often misdiagnosed because health care professionals and the general population are unaware with this condition. Though early treatment could lead to recovery, most people with RSD report seeing about 5 doctors before getting an accurate diagnosis.

Please help spread awareness about this disease.

http://www.rsds.org/index2.html

Grrrowler said...

This is a great idea! For a charity I would suggest the National AIDS Foundation. They do a lot of good work around the world: http://www.aidsfund.org

I second the suggestion for the ASPCA.

Little Lovables said...

Wow, what a great idea, thank you! There are so many worthy charities, it's tough to choose one. Intitially, I would choose the Leukemia foundation, since my father died from Leukemia a few years ago.

But, I am going to offer a different foundation towards rare diseases because it is one that doesn't get much publicity. People suffering from rare diseases don't get the benefits of insurance coverage and affordable medicine because they are so experimental the patents aren't released for so many years to make "non-experimental" versions that can be covered by insurance. It's a sad tale for people already struggling through so much financially considering that most of these disease are extremely debilitating, scary in that many people have to travel for care due to the rarity of their disease and no cure exists.

Anyways, here's a little more information about it:

http://www.rarediseaseday.org/

Amy said...

Suggestions for charities:

http://www.kiva.org/
Micro lending! See http://www.kiva.org/about

http://www.childsplaycharity.org/

and Habitat for Humanity.

Dan said...

Excellent idea!

Very worthy inaugural charity, too!

I'd like to humbly submit Child's Play to the queue.

Any of you who are readers of the webcomic Penny Arcade will know about this one, but in a nutshell, the charity purchases toys, games, books and other forms of entertainment (or just makes cash donations) for kids in hospitals around the world.

Margee said...

I reccommend "Invisible Children". It's a personal favorite of mine. Basically, it's attempting to stop the war in Uganda, which is Africa's longest-running war. Joseph Coney, leader of the "rebellion", takes children (as young as eight) and forces them to fight and kill for him. Many children who haven't yet been forced into battle are "night commuters" who walk for miles every night to find abandoned buildings to hide in, so they aren't kidnapped.

Invisible Children helps by spreading awareness of Coney's war crimes, rehabilitating former child soldiers so that they can try to have a normal life, and creating steady, paying jobs for those displaced by the war. These jobs include making bags and bracelets to sell here in the U.S. to raise awareness. All of the money goes straight back to the workers.

The website with more information can be found here: www.invisiblechildren.com

Thanks for bearing with my wall-o-text,
Marg

betsey said...

Science Club for Girls - http://www.scienceclubforgirls.org/

They provide free afterschool programs for girls (generally in lower-income neighborhoods) to increase the girls' self-confidence and science literacy. They are a fabulous organization.

Julie - Lead Volunteer said...

www.equestcenter.org

This is a quiet, unassuming horse barn in western Michigan that offers therapeutic horseback riding for the handicapped year round.

Equest started in 1991. I've been there since. We serve all disabilities and funtion on the blood, sweat and tears of priceless/countless volunteers.

A horse's movements are similar to a human's so the wheelchair bound's body gets the same workout as you walking. The physical and emotional benefits of the freedom of riding can't be duplicated by conventional therapy.

I've watched head injury victims learn to walk again; abuse victims learn to trust again; the shy come out of their shells to talk with their horses. There's always a magic moment in the making.

No rider is ever turned away for inability to pay. We run on a wing, prayer and donations. Money is always too short and the waiting list to ride far too long.

Please take a minute to poke around the website and watch the videos on the front page.

Megan said...

I would like to put in a plug for "Give Kids the World" - as a Disney nut (and Disney Travel Agent), it speaks to me, but I also know terminally-ill kids who had the opportunity to experience a dream before they died.

For those that don't know, check it out at http://www.gktw.org/aboutUs.asp?a=1.

Amanda said...

Also, serious LOLs to the person on the donations page who quoted Adam Sandler in Waterboy! I wish I'd thought of that!!

Michelle said...

I grew up on a reservation South Dakota, and winters there get bitterly, hellishly cold. Many native people live in poverty and are unable to properly heat their homes. My vote for a charity is Warm Woolies. They provide hand knitted, wool items to the reservations, and also to orphanages in Eastern Europe. I knit for them almost exclusively.

If you're reading this comment, they are always looking for knitters/crocheters!! If you knit for fun, why not knit for good?!?

www.warmwoolies.org

Alana Willis said...

I have a suggestion for one of your charities: SMA research. SMA, or spinal muscular atrophy, is the #1 genetic killer of children under age 2, and yet it is relatively unknown by the public. I had never heard of it until my cousin's baby was diagnosed with SMA Type 1 when he was 6 weeks old. Sadly, he passed away just days away from his 5-month birthday on June 4 of this year. This charity, Unite For the Cure, raises money for SMA research, and also helps to educate women of childbearing age on the importance of asking for a genetic screening before starting a family. You are doing a wonderful thing by suggesting we all give to charity this holiday season. Please consider SMA research as one of the worthy causes. Thanks, and I love your blog! (And I'm buying the book for my friend who loves baking and making fun of bad cakes as much as I do!) http://uniteforthecure.com/donate/

Chris said...

Love this!

Heifer, International is a wonderful charity. We support them too.

Anonymous said...

This year my 6-month-old daughter had a liver transplant. We were so blessed that I was a match and could give her part of my liver, and we are both doing well, but it was a very tough year. I suggest giving to caringbridge.org, an organization that offers free websites to people undergoing serious health events, allowing you to stay connected to loved ones and friends. They are totally dependent on donations. Our transplant center was far away from home and we were there for quite a while, away from our other children and family. This website was such a comfort because we could update them as often as we wanted and they could send us encouraging messages. It was wonderful to have little bits of home while we were away.

This Christmas, our daughter is our most precious gift.

-Natalie W.

Michelle said...

I always knew ya'll were awesome and this just proves it. What a wonderful idea. There are a few charities that I have been touched by this year.

Camp Smile a Mile here in Alabama is a wonderful charity. They have a camp for children with cancer.

Jimmie Hale Mission is a food shelter. They feed the hungry, provide shelter and clothing and Spiritual support. They also run Jessie's Place which is for women.

Ronald McDonald House. Many families have been helped by this wonderful organization. They provide a place for families with sick children to stay so they can be close to the hospital.

Lastly I have followed a family online and they are having a Christmas drive at the hospital. Kate McRae is a beautiful 5 year old girl who was diagnosed with an agressive brain tumor. She has kept her spirit and spunk and they decided since she will be in the hospital for Christmas they want to give every child on the oncology floor (and even more if they get it) a present for Christmas. It can be gift cards for the families, money to help with expenses or toys for the children. You can visit her Caringbridge site at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/mcraekate/journal/1 Her project is called Kates Crazy Cool Christmas.


May God continue to bless you and John.

Nicole said...

What a wonderful idea. :) Hubs and I donate to the ASPCA and St. Jude's Childrens' Hospital. The ASPCA is always my pick, and St. Jude's is always his. I'll be looking forward to finding new charities to support through all of these comments.

Rachel said...

I'm gonna ditto donating to a food bank. I know that the food banks have been really hard hit the past few years because so many more ppl need that assistance.

Em said...

One charity that I have in mind is a fund set up for two very young musicians who were victims of a shooting in Savannah, GA. One man suffered injuries to his vocal chords but was otherwise okay. The other man is now paralyzed. Jason, the paralyzed man, is a newlywed and he and his new wife have been struggling to pay for the medical care and additions to their house that he needs. It has been over a year now, but both men (Jason and David) are still dealing with the emotional and financial costs of such a random, senseless act of violence.
http://www.stattswilliams.com/
http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=392806604

Cassy E said...

For charities to consider...

Central Asia Institute, lead by Greg Mortenson (have you read "Three Cups of Tea"?!?). In this time of war, they have such a positive and inspiring story. https://www.ikat.org/

I also highly recommend Heifer International.

Love the idea...let's make a difference!

Anonymous said...

The ASPCA is one of the most deserving organizations. They fight for those who cannot speak up and fight for themselves. Animals of all species deserve are compassion, yet so many people abuse them because they know there won't be any consequences in the same way if they were to abuse a child or another person. Animals can feel, think, and love just like the best of us humans, perhaps even better.

So, I nominate the ASPCA. Lastly, I LOVE this blog. It makes me laugh everyday.

-Bridget, Binghamton NY

Meg said...

A very specific idea for you -- I no longer live in Kansas, but I do know of an awesome place in Wichita, Kansas -- The Lord's Diner. Each and every day, they provide a meal for anyone who is hungry, with no questions asked and no stipulations. They help everyone from the choronically homeless to those who might just be a little short on money for the month -- individuals and families. They've seen their numbers skyrocket this past year, due to the economy, and need all of the help they can get. I wholeheartedly believe in their mission and encourage you to consider them as one of your organizations: www.thelordsdiner.org.

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