Helping St. Louis

A Blog About Helping Each Other

Posts Tagged ‘Internet Charity’

New Kiva Loan

Posted by Schevus on February 27, 2009

I had $18 sitting in my Kiva account, so I threw in $7 to make a new loan. I have been considering this for about a week now, but until I looked today every single loan listed had been fully funded. I find this very exciting as it means the level of support for Kiva is tremendous. I hope they and their partners are able to continue to expand their operations to continue to meet the increased demand for donation options.

This loan is my sixth loan to Kiva and my first loan to a group of entrepreneurs. I used to be irrationally wary of loaning to the groups on Kiva, but after reading Muhammad Yunus’ Banker to the Poor I have been converted to the lending group idea. Every member of the group is accountable and responsible for not only their loan, but also every other member’s loan. They must support and encourage each other to ensure that their loans are paid back appropriately.

I decided to loan to this group of women in Pakistan. Pakistan is a region plagued by problems and I feel that improving local conditions and economies can only bring good to the country. If a family is able to provide for themselves legitimately, they will be less likely to turn to illegal means to do so.

There appears to be a swath of new loans available today on Kiva, so I encourage you to take a look and consider donating.

Posted in Internet Charity | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Help Needed – First Volunteer!

Posted by Schevus on December 23, 2008

Shannon at All About Shannon has offered to assist with my Help Needed endeavor. Much thanks to her!

Recently I have been trying to help a few people find assistance that have posted on the St. Louis Craigslist. One of them is a 24 year old Bosnian immigrant with an ailing mother. I really hope he is able to find the help he needs. If you would like to help in any way with promoting and expanding Help Needed, just let me know.

Shannon has also shared another excellent online charity resource called Wish Upon a Hero. This organization is similar to Modest Needs which I posted about last. Wish Upon a Hero allows people to post a wish, no matter how small or large. People willing to grant, or partially grant, a wish are called Heroes. Heroes can come in the form of individuals, charities, or corporations.

Some examples of current wishes are “for baby girl clothing and a crib, ” “for $1 donations to save my house,” and “for a better Christmas for my 4 kids.” These are all small requests, and by working together we can make a big difference in the lives of many people. Please check out Wish Upon a Hero!

Posted in Help Needed, Internet Charity | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Modest Needs

Posted by Schevus on December 21, 2008

Today I want to highlight an interesting online charity that I found at this post. The post itself has an excellent message, so I encourage you to take a few moments to read it. The organization is called Modest Needs.

Modest Needs provides a framework for micro-grants to be funded online. Every dollar that is donated as part of a one time donation equates to one “point.” If you sign up for recurring donations, they have a matching offer that makes each dollar worth two points.

The micro-grants serve to alleviate unexpected or short term emergency expenses such as car trouble, utility / mortgage bills, medical bills, etc. Individuals can sign up for assistance or can be recommended by participating non-profits or social workers. Each request is represented by a number of points needed and once all of the points have been funded the money is disbursed. The organization makes a significant effort to verify the legitimacy of  applications.

This organization is a very good example of people helping people. Ideally the friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, etc. of those in need would help with expenses and this organization would not need to exist, but sadly that is not the case. For those of you looking for ways to donate, check out Modest Needs. For those of you that might be struggling, you may want to check it out as well.

Posted in Internet Charity | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Helping Hand Contest Results

Posted by Schevus on December 20, 2008

I have selected Lartdejournalier’s story as the winner of the Helping Hand Contest! I think both stories submitted had something of a comparable impact, but hers was more eloquently and emotionally described.

As a consolation prize for being the only other submission, I will purchase a mosquito net in Jwaire’s name through Nothing But Nets. Thank you again to the participants and those who stopped by to chime in (participate next time!). Check back for future contests!

Posted in Contests | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Helping Hand Contest – Last Day!!

Posted by Schevus on December 19, 2008

Today is the last day for submissions to my Helping Hand Contest. I must admit that even with my meager readership I expected a few more submissions. Come on, share your goodwill stories! I know you have at least one! Currently there are only two submissions, so if you do participate there is a good chance you could win the $25 Kiva gift certificate.

Today is also the last day for this event. Stop over and leave a comment if you have not already and $1 will be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank. Thanks to those who have participated and weighed in on both events!

Posted in Contests | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

1 Comment = $1

Posted by Schevus on December 14, 2008

I have stumbled upon the post of a very generous woman who is offering to donate $1 for every comment she receives on her post to the Second Harvest Food Bank up to $500. There are also opportunities to win a Starbucks gift card for commenting. Take a few seconds and stop over to leave a comment and do some good!

Also, please take a moment to share your best story about helping someone or being helped by someone. The person who shares the best story will receive a $25 Kiva gift card!

Posted in Internet Charity | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Helping Hand Contest

Posted by Schevus on December 12, 2008

I have been wanting to do something to encourage more dialog and discussion on this blog, so I have decided on the Helping Hand Contest. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post sharing what you feel is your best story about helping someone or being helped yourself. The story does not have to be about the holidays, but those are more than welcome. Please add “Contest Submission” at the top of your comment.

I will take submissions until 11:59 PM CST next Friday Dec 19th. I will accept up to three submissions per person. The winner, as judged by me, will receive a $25 Kiva Gift Certificate. For those of you unfamiliar with Kiva, check out Holiday Gift Ideas. If you are not excited about helping out a poor entrepreneur (which you should be!), you will be happy to know that once the loan is paid back you will be free to deposit your Kiva credit into a PayPal account for use as you see fit.

For those of you worried about contact information, all that will be required is an email address. I’m sure you can create a disposable one to receive your gift certificate if necessary.

I will probably conduct more of this type of contest in the future, so check back often! I already have a few ideas and themes for future contests in mind. =) Good luck!

Posted in Contests | Tagged: , , , , | 10 Comments »

How Many Shoes Do You Have?

Posted by Schevus on December 9, 2008

I am a guy and I have four pairs that I wear regularly. Granted, two pairs are work shoes, but that’s beside the point. Some people I know (you know who you are) have more shoes than I would know what to do with, let alone where to keep. Unfortunately not everyone even has one pair of shoes.

Jason Gordon at go GRANDE has highlighted an organization dedicated to changing that. The organization is called Soles 4 Souls. They are currently holding a special event called The 50,000 Pairs in 50 Days Challenge in which you can purchase two pairs of sandals for those who do not have any shoes for only – are you ready for it – $5!! $5 for TWO pairs!! As I mention on Jason’s post, it is almost inexcusable not to help when it takes so little to do so. After reading, I promptly went and purchased my two pairs. Will you?

Posted in Internet Charity | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Online Charity Resources

Posted by Schevus on December 2, 2008

When I was first becoming interested in getting involved in my community, it seemed very daunting to go out and talk to a lot of people I did not know to try to find opportunities. As a result, I tried to see what I might be able to do over the internet. Today I’m going to detail several very different online resources.

Free Rice:

Free Rice is a site that donates 20 grains of rice to the UN World Food Program for every multiple choice question that you answer correctly. The site pays for the rice with the revenue it gets from advertisements on the site. There are various categories of questions including word definitions, country recognition, national capitals, and math. Free Rice has to be the easiest possible way to make an impact with nothing more than a little time, some thinking, and an internet connection.

Good Search:

Good Search is a web search tool powered by Yahoo! that will donate ~$.01 per search to the charity of your choice. Your charity must be submitted and accepted by Good Search to be eligible. The money is disbursed yearly in December, but an organization must have accumulated at least $20 to get a check that year. If you do not select a charity, proceeds from your searches will go toward the operating costs of the site. If you REALLY cannot think of anything, I recommend Metro Homeless Center – Shalom House.

In addition to their search tool, Good Search also offers Good Shop. Through Good Shop you can shop online from various stores and your designated charity will receive a donation of a certain percentage of the purchase, depending on the store you shop through.

Changents:

Changents is an interesting and relatively new site where you can list yourself as a changent – or change agent. After doing so you can assign roles for your cause that other members on the site can fill in support of you. Some roles are Buzz Builders, who are responsible for spreading the word; Angels, who assist with gathering donations; and First Responders, who are on call in case of urgent needs.

Changents also has a unique tracking tool called your “ripple.” This tracks people you have invited to the site, and all of the people they have invited, to visually show your impact. The site appears to have a relatively small member pool, but I love the idea and it does seem to be picking up.

Global Giving:

If you are looking to make a direct donation, but are not sure what cause you would like to give to, check out Global Giving. On the site you can browse dozens of cause listings by category and make a donation in support of any cause you find to your liking. In the spirit of the holidays, you can also purchase a gift card – with free shipping till Dec 31st – as a gift for the socially conscious friend in your life (everyone has at least one!).

Hopefully with such diverse – and EASY – options, you will find some way to make a difference. If you are interested in more online resources (or more gift ideas), check out my Holiday Gift Ideas post.

Posted in Internet Charity | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Holiday Gift Ideas

Posted by Schevus on November 25, 2008

I’m sure gift ideas are on everyone’s mind as Christmas draws inexorably closer. If you are interested in a gift that will have a real impact, consider these ideas.

Kiva Gift Certificate:

For those of you who don’t know, Kiva is a wonderful online micro-lending organization. Individuals loan money in increments of $25 to entrepreneurs in developing parts of the world to help them expand their businesses. This allows them to better provide for their families and increases the local economy, improving their country from the ground up. These loans are disbursed through local partners at much lower interest rates than traditional loans, which are often prohibitive for extremely poor entrepreneurs. Surprisingly, Kiva has amazingly low rates of default and delinquency.

Kiva has a partnership with PayPal, so 100% of your loan goes to the entrepreneur. As the loan is repaid, you are free to re-loan the money you get back, or reclaim it. I have personally made 5 Kiva loans, and my earliest was just recently paid back in full! It’s rare to find a way to help financially that isn’t just a donation.

Heifer International Gift:

Heifer International (HI) is a unique effort to end global hunger. Through HI people pay to donate livestock and other developmental aids, such as trees and honeybees, to developing communities. The unique thing about Heifer International is that the recipients agree to share the offspring of donated animals with others who are in need. This is a very literal example of paying it forward.

You can pay for a gift (or part of a gift) through HI and make the donation in someone’s name. HI provides several options of gift cards when making a donation, whether it be an e-card or a physical card. I have not yet had the opportunity to donate through HI, but I have been eying a flock of chicks (only $20) for a couple of months now, so I’m sure it won’t be much longer.

Mosquito Net:

With a donation of only $10 you can donate a mosquito net, pesticide, and instruction on how to use it through Nothing But Nets. Nothing But Nets is a partnership with the UN Foundation. A mosquito net is the proven best method to prevent Malaria. Malaria is transmitted when a carrier mosquito bites an infected individual and then bites a non-infected individual, giving them the disease. It is one of the biggest health epidemics in Africa and parts of South America and Asia. A bed net works in two ways. It physically stops the disease carrying mosquito from biting a healthy individual. Also, the nets are soaked with a pesticide, which kills the mosquito when it lands on the net.

Due to the unique transmission of Malaria, many lives can be saved with one bed net. First there are the 2 or 3 people who may sleep under the net. How many more might be saved from the disease that might be carried from those 2 or 3 people should they be infected?

If you purchase a net through Nothing But Nets, you can designate your gift in honor of someone, and send an e-card to them letting them know of your gift.

These are just a few examples of excellent gifts you could give that would make a tremendous difference in someone’s life. Do you have any other good suggestions?

Posted in Holiday Help, Internet Charity | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »