Archive for the ‘Giving Back’ Category

Give a Day of Service — Get a Day of Disney Fun!

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

I love this idea… Disney is inspiring families to volunteer in their communities during 2010. And they came up with a great way to do it. One million people who perform volunteer service for a participating organization will receive a free one-day admission ticket to a Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort theme park.

To learn all about the “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” program, including how to get your free one-day admission pass, visit (U.S. and Puerto Rico) or (Canada).

To enable people to sign up for an eligible volunteer project, Disney is working with HandsOn Network, the nation’s largest volunteer network. Part of the Points of Light Institute, HandsOn Network has 250 volunteer action centers across the country. They connect volunteers with more than 70,000 nonprofit agencies that need their help. Many of the opportunities are for projects that entire families can participate in together. (Kids must be at least age 6 to participate.)

And while you’re at your favorite Disney resort, be sure to pick up one of these cool new black-satin princess hats. I love the rhinestones on the front (especially the Mickey-shaped one at the very top of the crown). What better way to channel your inner Disney princess? (And you know she’s in there!)

Help for Haiti: Our Kids Can Help Make a Difference

Friday, January 22nd, 2010
Haiti Earthquake

I love hearing about families whose kids are donating their allowance money, selling lemonade and collecting donations for relief in Haiti. Our kids need to know they can make a difference in the world, and there’s so much need right now.

To donate money to help Haiti, visit, 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or mail your donation to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013 or to your local American Red Cross chapter.

Or text “Haiti” to 90999 to send a $10 donation to the Red Cross, through an effort backed by the U.S. State Department. Funds will go to support American Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti.

What the Season is All About

Monday, December 21st, 2009
A Wish for Christmas album cover

When someone asks you what good social media can really do, or when they complain to you about the commercialism of Christmas, show them this link.

It really brings home the fact that we all need each other, that social media can bring us together in amazing ways — and that the best way to have a meaningful Christmas is to “get out of yourself.”

Feeling Thankful? Give The Gift of Clean Water

Thursday, November 19th, 2009


A dear family friend, Jessalyn Pinneo, recently sent me this note:

Hey guys,

I need your help. To celebrate my first year as a marathoner and the three marathons I’ve completed since last October, I’ve been working on a charity: water campaign to bring fresh, clean water to people who’ve been doing without around the world.

My campaign is called Running for Life, and every $1 donated to it gives one person fresh water for a full year. (How much have you spent on bottled water this year, or on a SIGG, Nalgene or Klean Kanteen?)  I hope you’ll take a look - and spread the word. If each of you can send this message, or just this link to five people today, the impact could be huge. (more…)

Danny Gokey Has a Heart for Kids

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

If you watched American Idol, you no doubt know all about Danny Gokey, and how he lost his 27-year-old wife, Sophia, last fall.

Sophia always wanted to have a large family. It wasn't to be. But Danny, as a way of remembering his wife and of passing on her love for kids, has created Sophia's Heart Foundation. 

Talk about a lasting legacy. Sophia's Heart Foundation plans to provide at least 24 scholarships this year in the amount of $1,000 to High School seniors in need.

The organization is collecting donations so it can provide food, clothing and shelter opportunities to help families going through
difficult times.

The Sophia's Heart Medical Fund will help families with children in need of medical help, but who don't have the financial means to get
it. The needs can be as simple as a pair of glasses or a wheelchair, or
as great as helping a family who's child needs a surgery they cannot

The foundation is also working on a healing music and art program.

If you and your kids are fans of Danny Gokey, this is a great way to show your support for him and for kids in need. To donate, visit Sophia's Heart Foundation and click on Take Action.

Help Educate a Child — and Help Change the World

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

Today I was so fortunate to attend a presentation by one of the most inspiring people I've ever heard.

Jok Madut Jok, Ph.D., a professor of history at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, is obviously making a difference in his students' lives here in the U.S. But he's making an even bigger difference in the lives of 350 students at the school he founded in South Sudan, Marol Academy.

Emphasizing enrollment of girls, for whom the literacy rate in Sudan is less than 2%, the school enrollment consists of 60% females. These children previously had no opportunity to go to school in their country since 1983, when the brutal civil war began between North and South Sudan.

Looking at the photos of the children in Jok's presentation, it was easy to see the pride they took in their well-pressed uniforms (ironed not with the use of electricity but with a metal plate heated by burning coal) and the fact that they are students at this pioneering school.

The hope is that Marol Academy will encourage other rural communities to see education as a step toward reversing violence and moving toward health, peace and understanding between nations.

You can help. Just $20 will buy a set of school uniforms for a child for a year. $10 will buy a fruit tree for the school's garden. $10 will pay for pencils and workbooks for a child for a semester. $300 will pay a teacher's salary for a month.

Any donation is appreciated and is tax-deductable. Visit the website for more information and to make a donation via PayPal or credit card.

At a time when America is facing tough economic times, it's helpful to remember that there are children in other parts of the world who would be delighted just to go to school; to have pencils and books. Your donation could make a big difference in the life of a child, a community and this world.