At the weekly Paws on the Patio, families and dogs can dine alfresco while helping out.
Van Chaplin / Styling: Caroline Murphey
Thanks to your green thumb and your love of locally grown food, your garden provides an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. Maybe an overabundance.
Rather than letting your excess harvest go to waste or foisting yet another basket of squash on your neighbors, consider donating it to your local food bank.
Sure, most groups take canned goods and other nonperishables, but they’d love to have your newly collected berries, tomatoes, peppers, and more.
To find a food bank in your area, contact World Hunger Year or 1-866-3-HUNGRY). Be sure to contact your local agency directly to ensure it can accept fresh fruits and vegetables.
Strikes, Strolls, and Sambas
Wouldn’t it be great to have people hand you money to have fun? By bowling a few frames or walking for exercise, you could be raising money for charity while doing your favorite activity.
You find the sponsors, collect the money, have the fun, and turn in the donation. You’ve just turned your leisure time into a cause.
Perhaps you like bowling. Big Brothers Big Sisters has raised money for more than 40 years through its annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake program.
Or maybe you’re on the move. The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, celebrating its 26th anniversary this year, raises funds for breast cancer detection and research through more than 100 races annually.
If you dance or play softball or even bingo, chances are a nearby nonprofit group needs you.
You’ll probably replace your cell phone within the next year. Don’t even think about throwing away your old one: Not only is it bad for Mother Earth, but that phone still has life in it.
HopeLine, which was started by Verizon Wireless in 1995, collects donated phones to refurbish. They go to victims of domestic violence through agencies or are sold to raise money for these groups. The ones that can’t be salvaged are disposed of in an eco-friendly manner.
The Call to Protect program from the Wireless Foundation also takes old phones to benefit domestic violence agencies.
Two kids with $21 started Cell Phones for Soldiers. Donated phones are sold to pay for prepaid calling cards for armed forces personnel who are stationed overseas. Your old model can help a soldier call home to hear a friendly voice.
You have options. Many organizations take phones as fund-raisers for a wide variety of crusades. Tip: Make sure the collection company has a “no landfill” policy so you know your phone won’t simply end up trashed. Also consider buying a refurbished phone instead of a new one when upgrading.
Seeing Red Shopping for yourself could bring cash for causes. The (RED) campaign represents the latest in tying donations to purchases. A portion of all sales goes to The Global Fund, a nonprofit group fighting AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. Products available for purchase include computers, clothes, greeting cards, phones, and MP3 players.