Helping St. Louis

A Blog About Helping Each Other

Posts Tagged ‘Online 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 »

Help Needed

Posted by Schevus on December 4, 2008

The eventual goal of my charity endeavors is to create an organization which I hope to dub Help Needed. There is currently a website called Help Needed, but it appears to be defunct, and I don’t get the impression that they have legal claim to the name (I hope at least).

Anyhow, aside from the name, the purpose of this organization would be to link those in need with available services and organizations that can assist them. Many people have needs that are handled by existing entities, but the problem is that they have no idea this is the case, or how to contact these entities if they are aware. Help Needed would essentially be a directory service that makes a connection between those in need and those that can help. Some research may need to be done on a per case basis to determine what services are available.

In addition to the basic service of making this connection, I would also like Help Needed to have a framework in place to provide direct assistance, either in the form of monetary aid or volunteer time. This would be for situations where no existing assistance is available, or where an entity exists to service a need, but is unable to at the time. This would obviously involve a layer of protection to identify and validate legitimate needs.

Help Needed will undoubtedly start small and scale up as possible. It will require many, many volunteers who are willing to do the research and actually assist those with needs. I eventually see the service assistants being paid positions, but until the organization has a solid cash flow, they will need to be volunteers.

I don’t expect to be able to formally set up this organization for several years, but in the meantime I hope to be able to do what good I can. If someone comes to me and would like help finding assistance, or if I can identify someone who needs help, I will do my best to help them find available services. I would welcome help from those who might be interested. Ideally we could build an informal aid network that could grow and transition into a formal organization.

So, with all that said I make two calls:

I call all of you who are interested in this idea and willing to help to leave a comment and let me know.

I also call all of you who need help finding help to let me know. If you aren’t comfortable outlining your situation publicly here on my blog, just leave a note that you need help and I will provide you a way to contact me privately.

I will undoubtedly be talking more on this subject in the future, so check back for more information!

Posted in Charity, Help Needed | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »