charity http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/64/all en-US Best Credit Cards that Give Back to Charity http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-give-back-to-charity <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-credit-cards-that-give-back-to-charity" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000087506865_Large.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Credit cards provide a broad range of perks, benefits, and rewards, which can add up to be rather valuable reasons to use your card. In addition to these bonuses, there are credit cards which include another incentive - the opportunity to give back or donate to various organizations, just for using your credit card. Although you can use your credit card to make virtually any donation you choose, certain credit cards allow you to give back a little more, just for becoming a cardmember and using your credit card. If you are looking for a credit card that allows you to support or donate to charity, here are some great credit cards that give back.</p> <h2>USAA Military Affiliate World MasterCard Credit Card</h2> <p><img width="154" border="0" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/usaa-military-affiliate-card.png" alt="" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" /><a href=" http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=196&amp;pid=114&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xcardbutton" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" class="img-button" alt="" /></a>USAA provides a broad range of financial products specifically for military personnel and their families. USAA&rsquo;s credit cards, loans, and insurance options, also include military benefits such as the opportunity to qualify for lower APRs and waive fees in certain situations.&nbsp;As an extra benefit, you can support specific branches and organizations within the military, with the <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=196&amp;pid=114&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xname">USAA Military Affiliate World MasterCard</a>. In addition to showing your support with a card logo of your choice, individual organizations also receive contributions when you use your credit card. For example, if you select the 1st Marine Division Association (FMDA) brand, USAA Bank makes a contribution to the organization when you open the account, make purchases, and keep your account active.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=196&amp;pid=114&amp;pp=2&amp;uv=xend">Click here to learn more and apply for the&nbsp;USAA Military Affiliate World MasterCard Credit Card today!</a></strong></p> <h2>Susan G. Komen Credit Card</h2> <p>Bank of America has donated over $7.0 million to Susan G. Komen since its Pink Ribbon program for credit cards and bank accounts was created in 2009. When you sign up for the Susan G. Komen Credit Card, Bank of America donates $3, plus 0.08% of the retail purchases made with the credit card. Bank of America guarantees $3.0 million to Susan G. Komen from June 2015 to December 2020. The Susan G. Komen Credit Card or Pink Ribbon BankAmericard Cash Rewards MasterCard provides card holders an opportunity to support the organization&rsquo;s breast cancer efforts, at no additional cost to the cardholder.</p> <p>Cardholders also get 3% cash back on gas and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs for the first $2,500 in combined gas/grocery/wholesale club purchases each quarter, and 1% cash back on other purchases. New cardholders also get a bonus of $100 cash back after making $500 in purchases with the card within the first 90 days. There is no annual fee for this card.&nbsp;</p> <h2>U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature Card</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/finally-a-card-that-adjusts-to-your-spending-us-bank-flexperks-travel-rewards-credit-card?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature Card</a> doesn&rsquo;t donate directly to a specific charity, but you do have extra incentive to use the card for charitable donations. You get three points for charitable donations to organizations classified as Charitable or as a Social Service Organization. You can use your credit card to donate to essentially any charitable organization of your choice, and earn three points for each dollar donated. You also earn two points for each dollar spent in the category you use the most in gasoline, airline, or groceries, and two points at most cell phone service providers. You can later redeem your points for airfare, merchandise, gift cards, and statement credit. New cardholders get a bonus of 20,000 FlexPoints after making $2,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of opening the account. The annual fee of $49 is waived the first 12 months.</p> <h2>World Wildlife Fund Credit Card</h2> <p>Another credit card that gives back is Bank of America&rsquo;s World Wildlife Fund Credit Card. The World Wildlife Fund or World Wide Fund for Nature focuses on supporting over 1,300 environmental projects and conservation of the world&rsquo;s oceans, forests, and freshwater ecosystems, and protection of endangered species. Bank of America donates $5 for each new opened and activated World Wildlife Fund Credit Card, plus 0.25% of all retail purchases. When you renew your card account, Bank of America donates an additional $5. This card also awards 3% cash back on gas and 2% on groceries and wholesale club purchases for the first $1,500 in combined gas/grocery/wholesale club purchases each quarter, and 1% cash back for other purchases. As a new cardholder, you can earn a bonus of $100 cash back if you make $500 in purchases with the card in the first 90 days of opening the account. This is a great card for supporting and giving to an important effort to protect and preserve the world&rsquo;s natural environment. There is no annual fee for this card.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christina-majaski">Christina Majaski</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-give-back-to-charity">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">The 5 Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-secured-credit-cards">The 5 Best Secured Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">5 Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards best credit cards charity Thu, 11 Aug 2016 22:18:23 +0000 Christina Majaski 1699147 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways Greed Is Keeping You Poor http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-greed-is-keeping-you-poor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-greed-is-keeping-you-poor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_seeing_money_000087743301.jpg" alt="Man learning ways greed is keeping him poor" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Greed is a particularly ugly sin. While there are positive characteristics of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/seven-deadly-sins" target="_blank">pride, or even envy</a>, it's almost impossible to use greed in any way that isn't an insult. It conjures images of fat cat CEOs hoarding millions, while their workers earn minimum wage. But although Ebenezer Scrooge and his ilk are portrayed as misers with serious money, greed can sometimes make you poor. Here are six examples of the way greed can eat away at your pot of gold.</p> <h2>1. Wanting It All</h2> <p>Not content with their lot in life, some people look at all those things they could have that make life even better. Or so they think, anyway. The latest smartphone. The upgraded car. The bigger house. The 80 inch flat screen TV. The huge deck. The patio. The yacht. Sadly, all those expenses have to be paid, and it can lead to crippling credit card debt, loans that cannot be paid back, and the eventual loss of everything to pay back creditors. As Tyler Durden famously said in Fight Club, &quot;the things you own end up owning you.&quot; So, be very wary of greed. Happiness from those items is fleeting anyway.</p> <h2>2. Living to Excess</h2> <p>More wine. More beer. More junk food. More everything! When greed manifests as the intense and selfish desire for food and drink, it can lead to a plethora of health problems. And as we all know, health care can be very expensive in the USA. Overeating, leading to obesity, is responsible for as much as $210 billion in healthcare costs in the United States. An obese adult spends 42% more on healthcare than someone with a healthy weight, and obesity can lead to many other illnesses.</p> <p>Then there's greed that turns to alcoholism, or drug abuse. While there are definitely other factors involved, including depression and other mental health issues, greed can contribute to a whole host of health problems from drug abuse. Recovery can be costly. And then there are the other problems stemming from an excessive lifestyle, including time taken off work, a lack of drive or motivation, and the sheer expense of maintaining that kind of diet.</p> <h2>3. Breaking the Law</h2> <p>Greed can make people do some strange things, which leads to committing unlawful acts. This does not mean they go out and rob banks, or scam people out of their savings online. It's more that they see an opportunity to make a lot of money for doing something they believe is harmless, albeit illegal. And then, they get caught, and face a prison sentence and a career in ruins.</p> <p>One example is Scott London, a once successful audit partner at a huge accounting firm. He was earning $900,000 a year, but it appears that wasn't enough. London decided to start selling sensitive information about some of his clients to a friend. This is known as insider trading, and it's against the law. Although he made just $70,000 from the deals (a lot for most of us, but for him, a drop in the bucket), he was caught by the FBI and sentenced to 14 months in prison.</p> <p>However, for others, it may be something smaller that leads to the poor house. Cheating on taxes, even just for a few bucks, is a federal offense. And shoplifting as little as three belts, or a couple of jerseys, has <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/11/23-petty-crimes-prison-life-without-parole">landed people in prison for life</a>.</p> <h2>4. Avoiding Generosity</h2> <p>There is a misnomer that every rich person is greedy, and every poor person is not. This is actually not true, and financial guru Robert Kiyosaki has devoted a <a href="http://investmentwatchblog.com/robert-kiyosaki-forget-the-rich-the-poor-are-the-greedy-ones/">one-hour radio show</a> on this subject that is well worth listening to. The basic idea is this: Having a generous spirit, and giving back to the world, will pay dividends. Investing in people, and in projects that have real potential, will reap rewards. On the other hand, hoarding your possessions, never giving to charity, and stockpiling wealth is not a positive way to manage money. Being generous, and doing good, can build much greater wealth than saving every penny and watching it grow a few percent a year in a bank account.</p> <h2>5. Gambling Away Everything</h2> <p>You know the stories. You've seen the movies. Gambling can bring people great wealth in just a few seconds. But, for the vast majority, it's a losing proposition. Couple gambling with greed, and you have a recipe for tragedy just waiting to happen. Every year, millions of people try and get lucky, and for most, it's just a flutter. Win or lose, they walk away. But 2% of people who gamble get seriously addicted, and greed takes over. A win becomes an adrenaline rush. They want more. And more. They want to see the dollar signs multiply. Before they know what's happened, they have lost everything trying to win back the money they once had.</p> <h2>6. Finally&hellip; the Impact of Corporate Greed</h2> <p>Sadly, it's not personal greed, but corporate greed that is having an impact on our wallets. And in some instances, it keeps people in poverty. From the greedy politicians who take cash to vote against the public interest, to the outsourcing of jobs to other countries, America has a serious greed problem. Many of us feel it a little, here and there. But for some, it's the cause of great hardships.</p> <p>One recent example comes from Wendy's. After the recent minimum wage hike, and plans to raise it to $15/hour, the fast food giant responded with automated self-service kiosks. &quot;We continue to look at initiatives and how we work to offset any impacts of future wage inflation through technology initiatives, whether that's customer self-order kiosks, whether that's automating more in the back of the house in the restaurant,&quot; said CTO Todd Penegor (who was&nbsp;<a href="http://www1.salary.com/Todd-A-Penegor-Salary-Bonus-Stock-Options-for-WENDY-S-CO.html">compensated over $3 million</a> in 2014). The moral of this story &mdash; demand a living wage and you're out of a job.</p> <p>The defenders of this say that these jobs are entry-level, but with so many manufacturing jobs going elsewhere, and the employment of low-wage workers who do it &quot;cash in hand,&quot; it's getting harder and harder to find a decent paying job that doesn't require an education and a ton of experience; something many people never had the chance to get.</p> <p>Of course, the massive financial meltdown in 2008 was also caused by massive greed, and that impacted millions of homeowners and led to bankruptcies. It's safe to say that even if you are the least greedy person on the planet, you will still be affected by greed in your day-to-day life.</p> <p><em>Has greed cost you? Tell us about it in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-greed-is-keeping-you-poor">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/insider-trading-is-a-lot-more-common-than-you-think">Insider Trading Is a Lot More Common Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-pride-is-keeping-you-poor">7 Ways Pride Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-a-surprising-amount-by-quitting-these-4-bad-habits">Save a Surprising Amount by Quitting These 4 Bad Habits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-things-to-try-before-you-die-updated">10 frugal things to try before you die (updated)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stay-healthy-live-longer-spend-wisely-making-intelligent-choices-in-americas-healthcare-system">Stay Healthy, Live Longer, Spend Wisely: Making Intelligent Choices in America&#039;s Healthcare System</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living charity excess gambling greed healthcare illegal losing money minimum wage poor Fri, 03 Jun 2016 10:30:05 +0000 Paul Michael 1722968 at http://www.wisebread.com 403B vs. 401K: How Are They Different? http://www.wisebread.com/403b-vs-401k-how-are-they-different <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/403b-vs-401k-how-are-they-different" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/people_volunteering_charity_000064214269.jpg" alt="Learning how a 401k and 403b are different" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've just taken a job as an administrator at a nonprofit hospital. Or maybe you've found a solid job at a tax-exempt religious organization. Now you're ready to start saving a portion of every paycheck for your retirement.</p> <p>There's a wrinkle here, though: You won't be able to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-important-things-to-know-about-your-401k-and-ira-in-2016">save in a 401K</a> like employees of for-profit corporations can. Nonprofit, tax-exempt institutions don't offer 401K plans to their workers. Instead, they offer what are known as 403B plans.</p> <p>The good news? These plans work much like 401K plans. And if you do set aside a portion of each of your paychecks for your 403B plan, you'll dramatically increase the odds of a financially stable retirement.</p> <h2>The Big Difference</h2> <p>The main difference between a 401K plan and a 403B plan is who offers them. Traditional for-profit corporations offer 401K plans. These are the retirement savings vehicles with which most U.S. workers are familiar: You set aside a percentage of each paycheck, and that money is deposited in your retirement account.</p> <p>The money in that account can be invested in mutual funds or other investment vehicles. The money grows &mdash; hopefully &mdash; tax-free until employees withdraw their funds. Only then do they pay income taxes on it.</p> <p>A 403B plan works the same way &mdash; only for-profit corporations don't offer them. Instead, these savings vehicles are only offered by institutions that are nonprofit and enjoy tax-exempt status. This usually means hospitals, public education providers, charities, and religious institutions.</p> <h2>Other Differences</h2> <p>There are some smaller differences between the two savings vehicles, too. Usually the biggest, and the most important to employees is that employers offering 401K plans often offer matching incentives.</p> <p>An employer, for instance, might decide to match 50% of the first 6% of the salaries that employees contribute to their 401K plans each year. Say a typical worker with such an employer makes $50,000 a year and that worker has decided to contribute 6% of his or her annual salary to a 401K plan. The employer will match 50% of this worker's contributions, but only up to 3% of the employee's annual salary.</p> <p>So each year, this worker would invest $3,000 to the 401K plan, 6% of this worker's $50,000 salary. The company would invest an additional $1,500 to the 401K plan as a match.</p> <p>Company matches are a good way to boost retirement savings. But companies that offer 403B programs, though not prohibited from doing so, rarely offer matching benefits.</p> <p>Corporations can also offer profit-sharing as part of their 401K programs. Under a profit-sharing arrangement, employers once a year can make a voluntary bonus contribution to their employees' 401K plans. This contribution can vary each year, often going up or down depending on how successful the company was.</p> <p>Institutions offering 403B plans, though, can't offer a profit-sharing bonus. That's because the organizations offering these plans don't generate a profit.</p> <h2>Both Are Worthwhile</h2> <p>There is another big similarity between 401K and 403B programs: For both 401K and 403B plans in 2016, you can contribute a maximum of $18,000 if you have not yet hit your 50th birthday. If you are 50 or older, federal law allows you to contribute even more to these retirement accounts. You can make a yearly catch-up contribution of up to $6,000, meaning that if you are at least 50, you can contribute a total of $24,000 to your 403B or 401K plan.</p> <p><em>Are you invested in a 401K or a 403b?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/403b-vs-401k-how-are-they-different">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/401k-or-ira-you-need-both">401K or IRA? You Need Both</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-signs-you-arent-saving-enough-for-retirement">10 Signs You Aren&#039;t Saving Enough for Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-why-a-roth-ira-may-be-better-than-your-401k">4 Reasons Why a Roth IRA May be Better Than Your 401(k)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-warning-signs-youre-sabotaging-your-nest-egg">6 Warning Signs You&#039;re Sabotaging Your Nest Egg</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-moves-that-guarantee-a-great-retirement">4 Moves That Guarantee a Great Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement 401k 403b charity contributions employer matching nest egg nonprofits Tue, 01 Mar 2016 10:30:33 +0000 Dan Rafter 1664146 at http://www.wisebread.com 19 Things You Can Buy That Make the World a Better Place http://www.wisebread.com/19-things-you-can-buy-that-make-the-world-a-better-place <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/19-things-you-can-buy-that-make-the-world-a-better-place" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping.jpg" alt="woman shopping to make the world a better place" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What's better than giving a great gift? Giving a great gift that gives back. If you're on the hunt for a fantastic way to brighten someone's day (or just in need of a new thingamajig for yourself), peep these companies, whose proceeds help those in need. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-places-where-you-can-always-shop-for-a-worthy-cause?ref=seealso">20 Places Where You Can Always Shop for a Worthy Cause</a>)</p> <h2>1. AmazonSmile</h2> <p>By visiting AmazonSmile, you can choose a participating charity that will be linked to your account, to which Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases. You also can pick your own favorite charity if you don't want to donate to the featured organizations.</p> <h2>2. Warby Parker</h2> <p>Pick up a pair of Warby Parker's stylish glasses &mdash; regular or prescription, everyday or sun-ready &mdash; and they will make a monthly donation to their nonprofits partner, which, in turn, will train men and women in developing countries to give basic eye exams and sell glasses at affordable prices. (The donation from Warby Parker also covers the cost of sourcing an equal amount of glasses sold.)</p> <h2>3. The Alpha Workshops</h2> <p>Purchase anything from the Alpha Workshops' products section &mdash; which features designer furniture, lighting, and wallpapers &mdash; and 50% of your purchase will cover design and educational programs for people with HIV/AIDS. Even without a purchase you can support the cause with a straight donation, the smallest of which is $25, and goes directly toward one Basic Trainee's weekly lunch stipend.</p> <h2>4. SoapBox</h2> <p>SoapBox, a mission-based personal care brand, provides a bar of soap or a month of cleaner water to a person in need for every product sold. The line includes body washes, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, bar soaps, and more.</p> <h2>5. Project 7</h2> <p>Your purchase of the tasty gum and mints from Project 7 will help fund one of its seven affiliated nonprofits, which include planting trees, emergency relief from natural disasters, feeding impoverished U.S. communities, providing clean drinking water in developing countries, and more.</p> <h2>6. Toms Marketplace</h2> <p>Everybody knows the one-for-one shoe program that made Toms Shoes famous, but it also has a Marketplace with a wide selection of other great goods &mdash; like clothing, accessories, and jewelry &mdash; that help fund other Toms projects, like helping to restore sight to someone through surgery, prescription glasses or medical treatment with a Toms Eyewear purchase, or training for skilled birth attendants in developing countries with a Toms Bags purchase.</p> <h2>7. State Bags</h2> <p>For each of the fashionable bags and accessories sold at State Bags, a backpack is donated to a local American child living in situation of need. Plus, Beyoncé is a fan!</p> <h2>8. Better World Books</h2> <p>Every time you make a purchase at BetterWorldBooks.com, they will donate a book to someone in need. As of July 2015, 17 million books have been distributed around the world.</p> <h2>9. Baby Teresa</h2> <p>For each 100% organic cotton accessory purchased from Baby Teresa, the company will donate formula to a baby in need. Buy a romper, and a romper will be donated to a baby in need.</p> <h2>10. Yoobi</h2> <p>For every Yoobi desk and organization supply item purchased &mdash; available exclusively at Target stores or online at Yoobi.com &mdash; the brand will donate an item to one of its Classroom Packs, which, once filled, will be given to a classroom in need.</p> <h2>11. Cooper &amp; Ella</h2> <p>A donation will be made based on the number of blouses purchased from fashion brand Cooper &amp; Ella to provide hot meals via its Empower program to a school in India, with a goal to provide 100,000 meals the first year.</p> <h2>12. Road Twenty-Two</h2> <p>Buy a shirt from Road Twenty-Two &mdash; which employs formerly incarcerated, homeless, or substance-addicted women to provide them steady income and valuable skills &mdash; and it will donate a shirt to a shelter.</p> <h2>13. The Company Store</h2> <p>You'll sleep better at night knowing that your purchase from The Company Store website or catalog results in an equal donation of a comforter to a homeless child in the United States.</p> <h2>14. Joan Hornig</h2> <p>American jewelry designer Joan Hornig donates 100% of the profit from your purchase to the charity of your choice.</p> <h2>15. Out of Print</h2> <p>Each product sold at Out of Print &mdash; a literary-minded apparel and gift brand &mdash; results in a book donation to a community in need, while also supporting the authors, publishers, and artists whose indelible work has impacted our lives.</p> <h2>16. Raven + Lily</h2> <p>Shop Raven + Lily's fair trade jewelry, apparel, accessories, and gifts to help the ethical fashion and lifestyle brand employ women in developing countries. They also provide access to a safe job, sustainable income, health care, and education to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families. Raven + Lily currently employs over 1,500 marginalized women at fair trade wages.</p> <h2>17. Faucet Face</h2> <p>At Faucet Face, tap is where it's at. They will donate 2.5% of all sales from their eye-popping glass bottle collection, plus a complete filter for each sale of five or more individual bottles to the clean-drinking-water charity Third Millennium Awakening. This organization employs locals in India to create filters and distribute them to needy families. Custom designs also are available.</p> <h2>18. 2 Degrees Food</h2> <p>Every purchase of a 2 Degrees Food gluten-free and vegan snack bar helps feed a hungry child, with a mission to provide 200 million kids sustenance.</p> <h2>19. Smile Squared</h2> <p>Your pearly whites will shine even brighter knowing that a toothbrush will be provided to a child in need when you make a purchase at Smile Squared.</p> <p><em>What are some of your favorite products and brands that give back? I'd love to hear some of your choices in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-things-you-can-buy-that-make-the-world-a-better-place">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-great-gifts-that-keep-on-giving">31 Great Gifts That Keep on Giving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-places-where-you-can-always-shop-for-a-worthy-cause">20 Places Where You Can Always Shop for a Worthy Cause</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/unbearably-stupid-packaging">Dumbest packaging ever?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/packing-it-in-the-independent-of-london-issues-a-challenge">Packing it in - The Independent of London issues a challenge</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-gaming-mice">The 5 Best Gaming Mice</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Shopping charitable organizations charity retail therapy shopping Wed, 13 Jan 2016 12:00:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 1637337 at http://www.wisebread.com U.S. Bank FlexPerks Select Rewards Visa Credit Card Review http://www.wisebread.com/us-bank-flexperks-select-rewards-visa-credit-card-review <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/us-bank-flexperks-select-rewards-visa-credit-card-review" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000054223966.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>U.S. Bank offers a wide variety of financial products, including travel rewards and cash back credit cards. The U.S. Bank FlexPerks Select Rewards Visa provides a no-frills opportunity to earn rewards on charitable donations and purchases made with the card that can be redeemed for travel through U.S. Bank's Reward Center.</p> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>Earn three points for each dollar spent on charitable donations made to local, national, or international classified as a Charitable and Social Service Organization. You can also earn one point for every $2 spent on all other purchases. There is no cap on the number of points you can earn, but FlexPoints expire five years from the date earned at the end of the calendar quarter. There is no annual fee.</p> <p><strong>Sign up bonus:</strong> Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within the first four months. 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 9 billing cycles.</p> <p>You can redeem your points for merchandise, or travel with over 150 airlines such as Delta Airlines, American Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic, through the U.S. Bank Rewards Center. You can also redeem for gift cards and statement credits at 5,000 points, which is equal to $50. Your points are worth the most if you redeem for travel through the Rewards Center, where 20,000 points can be redeemed for airfare worth as much as $400.</p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p><strong>Travel accident insurance.</strong> If you use your card for your travel arrangements through a common carrier, you, your spouse, and your unmarried dependent children are insured against accidental loss of life, limb, sight, speech, or hearing while traveling.</p> <p><strong>Auto rental collision damage waiver.</strong> If you rent your vehicle with your card, you are covered with the card's auto rental collision damage and can waive the insurance offered by the rental company.</p> <p><strong>Travel and emergency assistance. </strong>Also includes travel and emergency assistance services for 24/7 assistance when traveling, which can include pre-trip assistance, medical referral assistance, legal referral assistance, and lost luggage locator services.</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <ul> <li>$0 Annual Fee</li> <li>14.24%-24.24% APR (0% APR on balance transfers made within the first 30 days for 9 billing cycles)</li> <li>3% Balance Transfer Fee</li> <li>3% Foreign Transaction Fee</li> </ul> <h2>Pros</h2> <p><strong>Sign-up bonus worth $100.</strong> If you spend $1,000 with your card within the first four months of opening the account, you can receive a bonus of 10,000 FlexPoints, which is worth approximately $100. This is one of the highest sign-up bonuses offered by a rewards credit card with no annual fee. Plus, if you decide to hold onto your points and use them for travel, they are worth more, with 20,000 being enough for travel worth up to $400. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-bonus-cash-for-sign-up?ref=review">Credit Cards with Cash Back Sign Up Bonuses</a>)</p> <p><strong>0% balance transfer APR.</strong> If you need to transfer a balance from a card with a high APR, you can save money on interest by transferring to the card. It is important that if you transfer a balance, however, that you pay down the balance during the introductory period in order to save the most money. Also, be sure to consider the balance transfer fee when determining whether you can save the most money transferring your balance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=review">Best Cards for 0% Balance Transfer</a>)</p> <p><strong>Good for charitable donations. </strong>You can earn triple points on charitable donations, which is among the highest rates available for donations made with credit cards. If you frequently donate to Charitable and Social Service Organizations, this is the best card for earning rewards on those donations.</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p><strong>Low rate of rewards. </strong>With exception to the charitable donations, you only earn one point for <em>every two</em> dollars spent with the card. This is equal to half a point per dollar, and is the lowest rate of rewards offered by any rewards credit card. Most credit cards award at least a whole point for each dollar spent in its &quot;other&quot; categories, and provide bonus opportunities in a much wider range of purchase categories. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=review">Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p><strong>Foreign transaction fee.</strong> It is especially important to consider the foreign transaction fee when shopping travel rewards credit cards. The fee with this card is at least 2%, depending on the currency used, and can cancel out any rewards earned from your purchases. If you frequently travel abroad, cards such as the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discover-it-miles-simple-and-flexible-travel-rewards?ref=review">Discover it Miles</a> has no foreign transaction fees as well as no annual fees. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=review">Credit Cards with No Foreign Transaction Fees</a>)</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>The U.S. Bank FlexPerks Select Rewards Visa is best for those who regularly make charitable donations with their credit cards and are able to rack up points for travel through the triple point earning opportunity provided. It is also ideal for consumers who appreciate simple rewards programs, who can take advantage of the valuable sign-up bonus provided, and whose purchases are primarily domestic.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christina-majaski">Christina Majaski</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/us-bank-flexperks-select-rewards-visa-credit-card-review">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/finally-a-card-that-adjusts-to-your-spending-us-bank-flexperks-travel-rewards-credit-card">Finally, a Card That Adjusts to Your Spending: U.S. Bank FlexPerks&amp;reg; Travel Rewards Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/us-bank-cash-visa-signature-credit-card-review">U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Credit Card Review</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/aeromexico-visa-secured-card-rebuild-your-credit-while-you-travel">AeroMexico Visa Secured Card: Rebuild Your Credit While You Travel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/skypass-visa-secured-credit-card-review">SKYPASS Visa Secured Credit Card Review</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/us-bank-college-visa-credit-card-review">U.S. Bank College Visa Credit Card Review</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards charity credit card reviews u.s. bank Fri, 16 Oct 2015 04:54:40 +0000 Christina Majaski 1546747 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Sell or Donate Your Airline Miles http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-sell-or-donate-your-airline-miles <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-sell-or-donate-your-airline-miles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kid_dressed_as_pilot_000036134522.jpg" alt="Child learning how to donate or sell his airline miles" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you have a bunch of airline miles that you're not going to use? Hoping to get rid of them or help someone less fortunate? You've come to the right place. Here are six different ways that you can part with your hard-earned miles without violating the frequent flyer terms and conditions of airline loyalty programs.</p> <h2>Donating Miles</h2> <p>Good for you! You've decided to use your airline miles for a greater purpose. Note that donating your miles truly is an act of charity &mdash; that's because the IRS considers airline miles a gift to you from the airline, and donated miles are therefore not tax deductible.</p> <h3>1. American Miles for Kids in Need</h3> <p>(1,000 Miles Minimum Donation)</p> <p>Your AAadvantage Miles can be used to give an advantage to children and families in need of help. American Airlines supports a variety of child and family focused charities including Miles of Hope, Miles for Kids in Need, and more.</p> <p>Through these programs AA focuses on food, clothing, shelter, health, education, and employment. Their goal is to benefit organizations that provide a strategic focus on children and/or those afflicted by unexpected adversity.</p> <p>For more information, call 1-800-882-8880 or visit <a href="http://hub.aa.com/en/ju/donate">American's Giving webpage</a>.</p> <h3>2. United Charity Miles</h3> <p>(500 Miles Minimum Donation)</p> <p>United Airlines works with a number of charities that focus on youth, humanitarian, health, community, and military aid. There are nearly 50 charities to choose from including American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, Americares, and many more.</p> <p>Check out the <a href="https://secure.unitedmileageplus.com/CharityMilesSSO.jsp">United donation page</a> for the full list of Charities.</p> <h3>3. Delta Donate Miles</h3> <p>(Minimum Donation Varies by Charity)</p> <p>By donating your Delta Miles you can help children and animals in need, struggling communities, and breast cancer patients. Delta has a wide variety of wonderful charities to choose from, but each one has its own minimum donation requirement.</p> <p>With charities in the U.S., Latin America and around the world, you can put your points where they are needed most. Head to <a href="http://www.delta.com/buygftxfer/displayDonateMilesLatAm.action">Delta's Donate Miles</a> page and check out their comprehensive and well-organized list of charities which include Make A Wish, Habitat For Humanity, UNICEF, and many more.</p> <h3>4. JetBlue True Giving</h3> <p>(500 Point Minimum Donation for most Charities)</p> <p>You can use your TrueBlue points to contribute to great causes all around the world. When you donate your points, they'll go directly to your chosen charity, and in turn, they will be able to use the points for JetBlue flights to help their cause.</p> <p>With many different charities aiming to help youth, education, families, communities, and the environment, you'll be able to donate your points to where they are needed most. Points can be donated locally or globally to more than 2.5 million causes in the True Giving database.</p> <p>Visit <a href="https://trueblue.jetblue.com/web/trueblue/charity">JetBlue's Charity Page</a> for a full list of programs and start making a difference today.</p> <h2>Trading or Transferring Miles</h2> <p>Most programs will allow you to gift miles to other users. Check with your program&rsquo;s options for transferring miles. If that&rsquo;s not available, there are still other ways to move your points.</p> <h3>5. Redeem or Transfer Miles Through Points.com</h3> <p>You can trade miles with other frequent flyers through <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-11373616-1368501104000">Points.com.</a> You can also transfer miles between frequent flyer programs, or redeem miles into Paypal credit, merchandise, dining, or gift cards.</p> <p>This may sound a lot like bartering miles, but airlines are okay with customers using Points.com because when you trade on this site, they're collecting fees every step of the way.</p> <p>While it is perfectly acceptable to trade your points in at Points.com, it's definitely not the best way to redeem them. You will not get as much as your miles are worth and you will be charged hefty fees, similar to the ones that airlines charge.</p> <p>If your miles are about to expire, or you're sure that you'll never use them, then this service could be right for you. But if you can use them on travel, you'll get much more bang for your buck.</p> <h3>6. Book Awards Tickets for Your Family &amp; Friends</h3> <p>Technically this is still a grey area when it comes to frequent flyer program regulations, but it is perfectly okay to fly your friends and family using your points, if they just so happen to give you something in return at the same time, that's a complete coincidence... right?</p> <p>Spending your miles on friends and family is a great way to use miles that would otherwise expire.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-airline-companion-tickets-and-3-bad-ones">Best Credit Cards that Offer Companion Tickets</a></p> <h2>The Bottom Line</h2> <p>I personally have never (and will never) sell my air miles to a broker and neither should you. There are just too many risks:</p> <ul> <li>Ticket confiscation;</li> <li>Reservation cancellation;</li> <li>Confiscation of all accumulated miles on your accounts;</li> <li>Strongly worded emails and accusations;</li> <li>Ban from rewards program.</li> </ul> <p>You can trade in your miles, use them to help make the world a better place, or fly your family and friends around the planet for a visit. Don't ever let your points go to waste. Use Points.com or credit card donation services to ensure that you're making the most of your unused miles.</p> <p><em>Have you ever donated or transferred airline miles?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-sell-or-donate-your-airline-miles">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">5 Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-airline-or-travel-rewards-credit-cards-the-better-deal">Are Airline or Travel Rewards Credit Cards the Better Deal?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel airline miles charity donations rewards Fri, 02 Oct 2015 15:00:46 +0000 Nick Wharton 1578552 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Charitable Donations That Do the Most Good http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-charitable-donations-that-do-the-most-good <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-charitable-donations-that-do-the-most-good" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_thank_you_000020658220.jpg" alt="Girl holding thank you sign for charity" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You don&rsquo;t have to be as wealthy as Bill Gates to do good with your money. If fact, you can make quite a big splash in this world even if you can only afford to give a relatively small sum. The key is <a href="http://time.com/money/3611880/charitable-giving-tips-advice-katherina-rosqueta/">finding charity organizations</a> that are using your money to the maximum effect. But with more than one million nonprofits registered in the U.S., it can be difficult to determine which ones will use your donation in a way that&rsquo;s most impactful. Lucky for you, we&rsquo;ve done the homework &mdash; read on for our roundup of the charities that will give you the biggest bang for your buck.</p> <h2>1. Compassion International</h2> <p>In an in-depth analysis by Charity Navigator, this Christian child advocacy ministry earned the most consecutive four-star ratings, demonstrating <a href="http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&amp;orgid=3555">fiscal excellence over time</a>. That means the Colorado-based youth services charity is well-positioned to pursue and achieve long-term change; every dollar donated to Compassion International is well spent.</p> <p>Founded in 1952, Compassion launched with a mission to provide Korean War orphans with food, shelter, education, and health care, as well as Christian training. Today, the organization aids more than 1.5 million children in 26 countries. You can donate in many ways, including via a $38 a month <a href="http://www.compassion.com/compassion/sponsor_a_child.htm">child sponsorship</a> that provides health care, hygiene training, supplementary food, personal attention, guidance, and an opportunity to learn about Jesus. Compassion even organizes visitation trips for donors who want to see first-hand how their money is saving a life.</p> <h2>2. Carnegie Institution for Science</h2> <p>Ranking second in Charity Navigator&rsquo;s four-star rating is <a href="http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&amp;orgid=3424#.VQc_D47F98F">Carnegie Institution for Science</a>, which funds research in the earth, space, and life sciences. Headquartered in the nation&rsquo;s capital, the 110-year-old nonprofit is dedicated to scientific discovery. Some of its greatest accomplishments include providing support to Edwin Hubble, who revolutionized astronomy with his discovery that the universe is expanding and that there are galaxies other than our own Milky Way, and the work of Andrew Fire, who won the Nobel Prize in 2006 for his and his colleagues&rsquo; discoveries related to <a href="http://firelab.stanford.edu/">gene silencing</a>. Through Carnegie Science&rsquo;s research support program, donors can choose to <a href="http://carnegiescience.edu/support/giving/research">fund specific research projects</a>, which helps make the giving process all that more personal.</p> <h2>3. Development Media International</h2> <p>Of the six million children under the age of five who die each year, two out of three could have remained healthy if their families made use of simple, inexpensive, or free interventions like hand-washing and anti-malaria bed nets. Development Media International is trying to fix this by using television and radio campaigns to spread these public service messages. So far it&rsquo;s working &mdash; DMI&rsquo;s media campaigns are actively reducing the global child mortality rate. In fact, the charity has the potential to prevent nearly 23% of all future child deaths, according to some forecast models, which has helped earn DMI a spot at the top of The Life You Can Save&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.thelifeyoucansave.org/Where-to-Donate/Development-Media-International">recommended charity list</a>. Previous successful public service campaigns launched by DMI include those targeting leprosy, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, and tuberculosis abroad.</p> <h2>4. Brother&rsquo;s Brother Foundation</h2> <p>Since 1958, Brother&rsquo;s Brother has delivered food, medicine, and educational supplies to people impacted by disease, poverty, and natural disasters &mdash; all from its humble headquarters in a run-down neighborhood in Pittsburgh. This family-run foundation is at the forefront of Forbes&rsquo; all-star list of the most committed, <a href="http://www.forbes.com/companies/brothers-brother-foundation/">financially efficient charities</a> in America. Over <a href="http://brothersbrother.org/bbfstats/">99% of all donations</a> to Brother&rsquo;s Brother go to those in need, making this charity a great place to donate your hard-earned money. With just 16 full-time employees and $245M in annual donations, Brother&rsquo;s Brother last year shipped 4,821,381 pounds of goods to 60 countries, including people affected by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.</p> <h2>5. PetSmart Charities</h2> <p>When it comes to animal welfare charities, <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/12/best-and-worst-charities-for-your-money/index.htm">PetSmart is ranked highest</a> by the three major charity watchdogs: the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, and CharityWatch. That&rsquo;s because the Phoenix-based charity has excellent ratings when it comes to financial efficiency, accountability, and transparency &mdash; the most important indicators of whether you should donate to a particular charity. In 2013, PetSmart used 90 cents of every dollar received to help save 400,000 animals by moving them out of shelters and into loving homes. PetSmart also spays and neuters about 285,000 animals annually, and funnels millions of dollars to animal welfare groups across the nation. As a donor, you can give money, or instead adopt a pet, thereby helping PetSmart achieve its goal of giving every animal a loving home.</p> <p><em>What&rsquo;s your favorite charity </em>&mdash;<em> and why?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-charitable-donations-that-do-the-most-good">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-places-where-you-can-always-shop-for-a-worthy-cause">20 Places Where You Can Always Shop for a Worthy Cause</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-be-a-better-person-today">25 Ways to Be a Better Person Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-sell-or-donate-your-airline-miles">6 Ways to Sell or Donate Your Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-giving-to-charity-is-good-for-you">5 Ways Giving to Charity Is Good for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ten-great-charities-that-deserve-your-dollars-this-year">Ten Great Charities that Deserve Your Dollars This Year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development animal shelters charity donations Giving Back poverty Mon, 23 Mar 2015 09:00:05 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1350896 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: 40+ Free or Cheap Ways to Give http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-40-free-or-cheap-ways-to-give <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-40-free-or-cheap-ways-to-give" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young-volunteers-donations-Dollarphotoclub_53026766.jpg" alt="young volunteers donations" title="young volunteers donations" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on over 40 free or cheap ways to give, cool car hacks to try out, and ways to score discounts with customer loyalty.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/you-dont-need-rich-lend-helping-hand-42-free-cheap-ways-give/">You Don't Need to Be Rich to Lend a Helping Hand: 42 Free or Cheap Ways to Give</a> &mdash; Donate part (or all!) of your earnings when you have a side gig like pet- or house-sitting. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Car-Hacks-35664947">19 Insanely Cool Car Hacks You Should Try Out</a> &mdash; Use a plunger to suck out medium-sized dents on your car. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.threethriftyguys.com/2015/01/how-to-score-discounts-with-customer-loyalty/">How to Score Discounts With Customer Loyalty</a> &mdash; Sign up for a company's reward programs to score discounts and freebies. [Three Thrifty Guys]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dailyworth.com/posts/3240-how-to-be-good-with-money-in-2015">7 Money Habits to Start Now</a> &mdash; Give yourself 48 hours to decide if you really want to go through with a purchase. You can use this rule for any expense over $200, $300, or even $25. [Daily Worth]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.phroogal.com/5-simple-job-search-tips-new-year/">5 Simple Job Search Tips for the New Year</a> &mdash; Update your social profiles and remove any unflattering photos and information. [Phroogal Blog]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/finance/nerdwallet-finance/money-mistakes-to-avoid-in-your-20s/">7 Money Mistakes to Avoid in Your 20s</a> &mdash; Paying off credit card debt should be a priority, but don't neglect your student loans! [NerdWallet]</p> <p><a href="http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/never-late/">It&rsquo;s Never Too Late</a> &mdash; It's never too late to talk to your kids (or your parents!) about their finances. [Thousandaire]</p> <p><a href="http://www.beatingbroke.com/handle-someone-gives-many-gifts/">How to Handle Someone Who Gives Too Many Gifts</a> &mdash; If you've noticed that a well-meaning relative or friend was giving too many gifts this past holiday season, gently suggest a limit for future birthdays and holidays. [Beating Broke]</p> <p><a href="http://www.onesmartdollar.com/how-to-manage-when-your-id-is-stolen/">How to Manage When Your ID Is Stolen</a> &mdash; Call any of the three major credit reporting companies (Equifax, Transunion, and Experian) and have an Initial Fraud Alert placed. [One Smart Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/new-year-s-resolution-an-organized-family-room">New Year's Resolution: An Organized Family Room</a> &mdash; Use bins, creative shelving, and baskets to keep the clutter out of the way. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-40-free-or-cheap-ways-to-give">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-should-make-these-11-easy-donations-before-time-runs-out">You Should Make These 11 Easy Donations Before Time Runs Out</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-local-charities-that-could-use-your-stuff">10 Local Charities That Could Use Your Stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-greed-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Greed Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-places-where-you-can-always-shop-for-a-worthy-cause">20 Places Where You Can Always Shop for a Worthy Cause</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-sell-or-donate-your-airline-miles">6 Ways to Sell or Donate Your Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living best money tips charity donations Fri, 09 Jan 2015 20:00:05 +0000 Amy Lu 1278626 at http://www.wisebread.com You Should Make These 11 Easy Donations Before Time Runs Out http://www.wisebread.com/you-should-make-these-11-easy-donations-before-time-runs-out <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/you-should-make-these-11-easy-donations-before-time-runs-out" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-donation-volunteers-Dollarphotoclub_45319912.jpg" alt="woman donation volunteers" title="woman donation volunteers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's natural this time of year to feel a little more charitable. Many nonprofit organizations <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/life/holidays/2013/12/year_end_charitable_giving_most_people_are_terrible_at_it_don_t_be_one_of.html">report that they see a surge of donations in the last month</a> of the year, and there are some advantages to making donations before the calendar turns another page.</p> <p>In addition to keeping with the holiday spirit, giving to charity before year's end ensures that you can get a tax deduction to count for 2014. In in some instances, corporations are in an extra giving mood and will match many cash donations. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-give-to-charity-that-fit-a-holiday-budget?ref=seealso">15 Ways to Give to Charity That Fit a Holiday Budget</a>)</p> <p>If you're feeling charitable or just have some stuff you want to unload, consider these simple donations you can make before 2015 comes around. (Just make sure you keep good records for the tax man!)</p> <h2>1. Clothes and Household Items</h2> <p>There's a good chance you'll get some new clothes and other stuff for the holiday season. Now may be a time to donate some of your older (but still usable) items to a thrift shop or charity such as Goodwill. You'll free up some closet space and get a 2014 tax deduction in the process. This time of year, coats and other warm-weather items are especially needed.</p> <h2>2. Food</h2> <p>Local food pantries are always in need of donations, especially during the winter months. Drop off a few bags of canned goods, or get in touch with a charity such as Meals on Wheels to donate food to a shut-in. You're probably cooking a ton for the holiday feast anyway, so set some aside for a needy family.</p> <h2>3. Shares of Stock</h2> <p>If you've seen portions of your investment portfolio rise in 2014, why not share the wealth? Donating shares of stock is a great way to help out a charity because unlike a cash donation, the contribution may rise in value. You get a tax deduction by donating, and also avoid any capital gains fees you might have otherwise incurred by selling.</p> <h2>4. A Car</h2> <p>If you're thinking of buying a new car in 2015, consider donating your car to charity this year to get the tax benefits. Many charities will accept donations of cars, which they then sell at auctions and pocket the proceeds. Other charities turn the cars over directly to needy families. A car donation is tax deductible, and many charities will even go through the effort to pick up the car from your house free. Donating your car makes sense if you feel like you wouldn't get much for a trade-in anyway.</p> <h2>5. New Toys</h2> <p>It's almost impossible to avoid seeing the U.S Marines manning Toys For Tots stations all over the country. A donation of a new toy will help ensure a great Christmas for an underprivileged child. This year, Toys For Tots is looking to collect 7 million toys. Go to <a href="http://toysfortots.com">Toysfortots.com</a> to find a drop-off location near you.</p> <h2>6. Old Building Materials</h2> <p>When my family built a new addition to our house, we donated some old windows and a sliding glass door to <a href="http://www.loadingdock.org/">a local charity</a> that recycles such things. It was a stress-free way to unload the items, and we got a sizable tax deduction. Contact the <a href="http://bmra.org/">Building Materials ReUse Association</a> to see if there's a charity near you.</p> <h2>7. Your Time</h2> <p>Rather than spending a day at a mall indulging in retail excess, consider taking time to help out at a soup kitchen, food pantry, or other charity. Better yet, consider making a commitment to volunteer not only during this holiday season but throughout the year.</p> <h2>8. Your Artistic Talent</h2> <p>This time of year, it's common for organizations to have parties featuring silent auctions as fundraisers. If you're an artist or photographer, why not donate a painting or photograph? It's a great way to direct money to a charity and perhaps also get some exposure for your skills. Similarly, a musician could volunteer to perform holiday music at a charitable event, or even offer free lessons.</p> <h2>9. Cash</h2> <p>This may seem lazy, but most charities are more than happy to receive monetary donations. In fact, sometimes money is the best gift to a charity because they know better than anyone what specific items they need. Donating cash could be as easy as dropping some coins into a Salvation Army pot, or writing a sizable check to another non-profit group.</p> <h2>10. Blood</h2> <p>This time of year, blood donations are often low because people are so busy. But it's a great way to give back in a way that won't cost you a dime. I make a point of donating blood every December 24 at my local Red Cross donation center. It gets me in the Christmas spirit, and there are usually free cookies. Go to <a href="http://www.redcross.org/">RedCross.org</a> to locate a blood drive or donation center near you.</p> <h2>11. Money to Your Future Self</h2> <p>This may not be a &quot;donation&quot; in the classic sense. But it's still a great idea to try to max out your retirement accounts by the end of the year. If you have an IRA, you can contribute up to $5,500 for 2014. Any contribution up until April 15, 2015 counts toward 2014, but why wait?</p> <p><em>What will you be giving this year? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-should-make-these-11-easy-donations-before-time-runs-out">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/charitable-giving-get-a-receipt">Charitable giving - get a receipt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ten-great-charities-that-deserve-your-dollars-this-year">Ten Great Charities that Deserve Your Dollars This Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cleaning-out-for-a-cause-make-a-noncash-tax-deductible-donation">Cleaning Out for a Cause: Make a Noncash Tax-Deductible Donation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-amazing-outrageous-and-just-plain-weird-tax-deductions">20 amazing, outrageous and just plain weird tax deductions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-for-clunkers-bill-passed-by-congress-what-does-it-mean-for-consumers">&quot;Cash for clunkers&quot; bill passed by Congress - what does it mean for consumers?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Taxes charity donations giving tax deductions taxes Wed, 24 Dec 2014 14:00:10 +0000 Tim Lemke 1271198 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Most Amazing Secret Santa Gifts Ever http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-amazing-secret-santa-gifts-ever <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-most-amazing-secret-santa-gifts-ever" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl-guessing-christmas-present-521760327-small.jpg" alt="girl guessing present" title="girl guessing present" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The man in the big red suit comes gliding in with a sleigh full of presents just once a year. And some people are so inspired by the joy he brings that they've set out to do the same &mdash; of course, on a much smaller scale. They call themselves Secret Santas, and these anonymous gift givers have one mission: To bring an extra dose of holiday cheer to the lucky recipients of their good will. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-give-to-charity-that-fit-a-holiday-budget?ref=seealso">15 Ways to Give to Charity That Fit a Holiday Budget</a>)</p> <h2>1. Mystery Cash From an Anonymous Benefactor</h2> <p>For many New Jersey residents and New Yorkers, the holiday season two years ago wasn't all that bright. Superstorm Sandy had just ravaged the coastline, and with it thousands of homes. Enter a Kansas City business man who saw all that destruction as his cue to play Secret Santa. The man flew to New York with <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/11/29/100-bills-from-secret-santa-rain-down-on-sandy-hit-new-york-new-jersey/">thousands of $100 bills</a> and began doling them out to folks in some of the neighborhoods hardest hit by the storm. All told, he gave away $100,000 without want of praise or recognition &mdash; in fact, he refused to divulge his name. &quot;The money is not the point at all,&quot; the anonymous benefactor told the local news media as he handed out bills in Staten Island. &quot;It's about the random acts of kindness. I'm just setting an example, and if 10% of the people who see me emulate what I'm doing, anybody can be a Secret Santa!&quot;</p> <h2>2. A Cow and a Jaw-Dropping Gift Tag</h2> <p>Makeup, nail polish, &quot;glittery things,&quot; and an iPad. These are some of the things Reddit user Rachel asked for from her Secret Santa. When the website matched her with a user named Bill, she had to laugh. &quot;I thought Bill sounded like a friendly fellow,&quot; Rachel wrote. &quot;In fact, I had this whole image of this poor guy named Bill trying to navigate my wish list full of makeup, nail polish, glittery things to buy me. Quite frankly, I felt bad for this Bill.&quot;</p> <p>But Bill didn't get her any of those things she asked for. Instead, the package he mailed to her door contained a stuffed cow, a note saying a donation had been made in her name to Heifer International, and a National Geographic coffee table book about world travel. But <a href="http://redditgifts.com/gallery/gift/spoiler-alert-bill-gates-did-not-get-you/">the best part of the gift was written on the tag</a>: &quot;To Rachel, my Secret Santa present to you is a cow! Don't worry &mdash; you will not have to build a barn. This cow will be given to a family in need, in your name, through Heifer International. It will provide them with income and dairy products, and it will help them help themselves. Happy Holidays, Bill Gates.&quot;</p> <p>That's right &mdash; Rachel's Secret Santa was the multi-billionaire Microsoft founder himself. In a Reddit post she wrote to thank Gates, Rachel expressed her deep gratitude. And she was sure to include one little apology: &quot;PS: Sorry for the Apple iPad on my wish list, that was really awkward.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Toys for Christmas Morning</h2> <p>Last Christmas a Secret Santa came to the aid of parents who racked up a bit of debt to provide their children with a happy holiday by paying $2,000 for <a href="http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2013/December/Secret-Santa-Pays-for-Wal-Mart-Toys-on-Layaway/">all the toys on layaway</a> at the local Walmart in Granbury, Texas. &quot;I asked if it was just me specifically, if someone had come in. And they said no,&quot; said Brittany Browning, a Granbury resident whose Walmart bill was paid off by the Secret Santa. &quot;I'm just in awe of this person. So amazing that someone is willing to do that and able to do that.&quot;</p> <h2>4. A Priceless Diamond</h2> <p>It was a Secret Santa who spied a U.S. Marine as he entered a jewelry store in Texas three days before Christmas to buy his finance <a href="http://www.kltv.com/story/4295478/secret-santa-pays-for-engagement-ring">a diamond ring</a>. When the Marine left the store, the Secret Santa swooped in, asking the store clerk to reverse the Marine's credit card charges so that she could pay for the ring herself. After she wrote a check and paid off the $2,500 account balance, the Secret Santa scribbled a note for the Marine on the receipt: &quot;Merry Christmas to you and to your bride-to-be. Everyone needs a surprise every now and then.&quot;</p> <h2>5. A Gold Coin and a Changed Life</h2> <p>A week before Christmas, an anonymous benefactor has placed something special for the last 14 consecutive years into one of the donation kettles belonging to The Salvation Army of Tulsa, Oklahoma: <a href="http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2010/12/23/secret-santa-gives-salvation-army-pure-gold-coinagain/">A pure gold South African Krugerrand</a> valued at $680. The coin is always wrapped in a &quot;Merry Christmas&quot; note that borrows an iconic passage from Charles Dickens' novel, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0486415864/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0486415864&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=NRPXEUV4WT6SEJJX">Great Expectations</a>:</p> <p>&quot;It is the same with any life,&quot; the note reads. &quot;Imagine one selected day struck out of it and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold or thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.&quot;</p> <p>Tulsa Area Commander Maj. Roy Williams suspects the Secret Santa enjoys knowing his or her generous donation &quot;could change the course of a life,&quot; he told the local news media.</p> <p><em>What's the most amazing Secret Santa gift you've ever given or received? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-amazing-secret-santa-gifts-ever">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/80-stocking-stuffer-ideas-for-10-or-less">80 Stocking Stuffer Ideas for $10 or Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-greed-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Greed Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheap-clever-and-attractive-ways-to-save-on-gift-wrapping-paper">15 Cheap, Clever, and Attractive Ways to Save on Gift Wrapping Paper</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-meaningful-mothers-day-gifts-for-every-budget">30 Meaningful Mother&#039;s Day Gifts for Every Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living charity christmas spirit gifts secret santa surprises Wed, 03 Dec 2014 13:00:06 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1260494 at http://www.wisebread.com 109 Random Acts of Kindness You Can Start Doing Today http://www.wisebread.com/109-random-acts-of-kindness-you-can-start-doing-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/109-random-acts-of-kindness-you-can-start-doing-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/donating-clothes-166637163-small.jpg" alt="donating clothes" title="donating clothes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We can get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life that we often forget to think of others. But a small gesture of kindness can not only make someone else's entire day, but it can also make you feel good. So why not spread the love and try a random act of kindness today? Here are 109 ideas to get you started:</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Habits-Considerate-People-35402792">29 Habits of Extremely Considerable People</a></p> <p>1. Help an elderly person cross the street.</p> <p>2. Help a younger sibling with homework or <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Woman-Applied-100-Scholarships-31834027">college and scholarship applications</a>.</p> <p>3. Let a car merge in front of you and do it with a smile.</p> <p>4. Participate in a beach cleanup.</p> <p>5. <a href="http://www.petsugar.com/Myths-About-Adopting-Shelter-Dog-5759240#opening-slide">Adopt an animal from the shelter</a>.</p> <p>6. Help <a href="http://www.habitat.org/">rebuild destroyed homes and communities</a>.</p> <p>7. Pay the toll for the car behind you.</p> <p>8. Introduce yourself to neighbors and bring <a href="http://www.yumsugar.com/Dessert">baked goods or sweets</a>.</p> <p>9. Buy an extra cup of coffee in the morning and give to a co-worker.</p> <p>10. <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Best-Ways-Use-Dishwasher-22797238">Wash your roommate's dishes</a> for them.</p> <p>11. <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Smiling-Reduces-Stress-28347501">Smile</a> at people.</p> <p>12. Open the door for someone.</p> <p>13. Help someone with their bags or luggage.</p> <p>14. Offer to take a picture for tourists.</p> <p>15. Leave a nice note for your partner.</p> <p>16. Pay for the coffee for the person behind you.</p> <p>17. Share your class notes with a classmate.</p> <p>18. Help a friend <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/7-Smart-Moving-Tips-From-Savvy-Readers-8071140#opening-slide">move</a>.</p> <p>19. <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Easy-Conversation-Starters-34313495">Talk to someone new</a> and make a new friend.</p> <p>20. Make your roommate's bed for them.</p> <p>21. Help a lost tourist find his or her way</p> <p>22. Pick up litter and put it in a trash can.</p> <p>23. <a href="http://www.petsugar.com/latest/recipes-for-pets">Make a homemade treat</a> for your pet.</p> <p>24. Forgive yourself for any mistakes you've made.</p> <p>25. Mentor someone.</p> <p>26. Give a generous tip to your waiter.</p> <p>27. Use a reusable water bottle or cup to help the environment.</p> <p>28. <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Plan-Trip-23666381">Plan a vacation</a> for your parents.</p> <p>29. Bring a welcome gift to new neighbors.</p> <p>30. Respond to emails or texts promptly.</p> <p>31. <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Best-Way-Talk-Strangers-34184518">Befriend a lonely person</a>.</p> <p>32. Reach out to someone you haven't talked to in a while.</p> <p>33. Compliment a stranger.</p> <p>34. Eat and buy local.</p> <p>35. Let someone take your parking spot.</p> <p>36. <a href="http://www.lilsugar.com/Kiddie-Soiree-Detective-Birthday-Party-2913001#photo-2913032">Plan a scavenger hunt</a> for your kids.</p> <p>37. Buy or <a href="http://www.petsugar.com/DIY-Cat-Toy-Pom-Poms-34103042">make a DIY toy</a> for your pet.</p> <p>38. Volunteer to give a tour of your school.</p> <p>39. Don't honk at cars (or people).</p> <p>40. Bring <a href="http://www.yumsugar.com/Fudgy-Brownie-Recipe-574014">sweet treats</a> to the office to share.</p> <p>41. Treat yourself to a <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/DIY-Soothing-Milk-Bath-33066308">nice long bath</a>.</p> <p>42. Donate your blood at a blood drive.</p> <p>43. Sit with someone who is eating alone.</p> <p>44. Read to the elderly.</p> <p>45. Tell your parents you love them and how much you appreciate everything they have done for you.</p> <p>46. Let someone go in front of you at the cashier.</p> <p>47. Donate clothes and shoes to the needy.</p> <p>48. Clean up after someone in the lunchroom or cafeteria.</p> <p>49. Give your partner a <a href="http://www.tressugar.com/How-Give-Sensual-Massage-16022681">massage</a>.</p> <p>50. Recommend your favorite restaurant to a tourist.</p> <p>51. Volunteer at a soup kitchen.</p> <p>52. <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Wax-Car-Conditioner-34150605">Wash your partner's car</a> for them.</p> <p>53. <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/photo-gallery/27030788/Let-Go-Past">Let go</a> of old grudges.</p> <p>54. Help your kids <a href="http://moms.popsugar.com/Grandparents-Build-Amazing-Treehouse-29893007">build a tree house</a>.</p> <p>55. Do your sibling's household chore.</p> <p>56. Praise a child to the parents while the child is present.</p> <p>57. Hold the elevator door for others.</p> <p>58. Offer someone a piece of gum.</p> <p>59. Bring misplaced shopping carts back to the designated area.</p> <p>60. Organize a study session for your classmates.</p> <p>61. Send a photo in a frame to your parents (or grandparents).</p> <p>62. Offer to babysit your friends' kids for free.</p> <p>63. Donate your locks of hair.</p> <p>64. Tell someone you've fought with that you're sorry and that you forgive them.</p> <p>65. Sign up to be an organ donor.</p> <p>66. Leave extra time in a parking meter.</p> <p>67. Pay for your friend's tab.</p> <p>68. Return a lost item to the owner.</p> <p>69. Visit a nursing home and make a new friend.</p> <p>70. If it rains a lot in your area, give an umbrella to a homeless person.</p> <p>71. Be kind to someone you dislike.</p> <p>72. Encourage someone who is working hard at the gym.</p> <p>73. Vacuum the floor for your roommate.</p> <p>74. Take a shorter shower to conserve water.</p> <p>75. <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Donating-Charity-Tips-25801716">Make a donation</a> in your name to a charity you care about.</p> <p>76. Bring homemade food, like a <a href="http://www.yumsugar.com/Vegetarian-Mushroom-Lasagna-Recipe-11156329">lasagna</a> or <a href="http://www.yumsugar.com/Freezable-Casserole-Recipe-20318021">casserole</a>, to a new mom or single mom.</p> <p>77. Teach a child how to ride a bike.</p> <p>78. Bring a homeless person some food and a drink.</p> <p>79. <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Ways-Help-Friend-26959952#photo-26961808">Send a care package</a> to your children, friends, or elderly parents.</p> <p>80. Email your boss or professor and tell them how much you love learning from them.</p> <p>81. Say &quot;good morning&quot; and &quot;thank you&quot; to public service workers (bus drivers, police officers, mail carriers, and firefighters).</p> <p>82. Help a friend <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Job-Hunting-Tips-26217369#opening-slide">hunt for a job</a>.</p> <p>83. Let your friend vent and listen to her problems.</p> <p>84. Make a playlist for your friends.</p> <p>85. Let someone else take your seat on public transportation.</p> <p>86. Praise the work of others.</p> <p>87. Tell a street performer how amazing he or she is.</p> <p>88. Share your umbrella with someone who didn't bring one.</p> <p>89. Cook a meal for your partner.</p> <p>90. Help someone carry groceries to the car.</p> <p>91. Offer to work late for a co-worker who needs to leave early</p> <p>92. Donate books to the local library or bookstore.</p> <p>93. Let go of the stress in your life by having an at-home spa day.</p> <p>94. Volunteer at an animal shelter during adoption events.</p> <p>95. Sponsor a child in a developing country.</p> <p>96. Write a letter to your former schoolteachers and tell them how much they influenced you.</p> <p>97. Ride your bike to work or school.</p> <p>98. Help someone change the tires.</p> <p>99. Sign up for a bone marrow donation.</p> <p>100. Volunteer at a disabled student's learning center.</p> <p>101. Fold the laundry for your partner.</p> <p>102. Offer your seat on a plane so a family or couple can sit together.</p> <p>103. Support your own and your friends' kids at their recitals and games.</p> <p>104. Be proud of all your accomplishments.</p> <p>105. Participate in a fund-raiser or donation.</p> <p>106. Tell your partner that he or she looks extra handsome or beautiful today.</p> <p>107. Offer to pick up your friend's children after school.</p> <p>108. Offer to pet-sit for your friend for free.</p> <p>109. Hug someone you love like you mean it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> It doesn&#039;t take a lot to brighten someone&#039;s day. Here are more than a hundred of them! </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a style="border:none;" href="http://www.savvysugar.com"><img style="height:95px; width:300px" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/30-Day-Happiness-Challenge-34868296">The 30-Day No-Fail Happiness Challenge</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Sleep-Hacks-32299840">8 Sleep Hacks That Will Put You Right to Bed</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Improve-Your-Social-Skills-35523020">8 Ways to Trick People Into Thinking You Have Good Social Skills</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/109-random-acts-of-kindness-you-can-start-doing-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/100-easy-ways-to-brighten-someones-day">100 Easy Ways to Brighten Someone&#039;s Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cleaning-out-for-a-cause-make-a-noncash-tax-deductible-donation">Cleaning Out for a Cause: Make a Noncash Tax-Deductible Donation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-hair-for-cash">How to Sell Your Hair for Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips charity courtesy kindness nice Fri, 05 Sep 2014 21:00:04 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1199637 at http://www.wisebread.com Why Generosity Is Key to Everything — Including Your Career http://www.wisebread.com/why-generosity-is-key-to-everything-including-your-career <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-generosity-is-key-to-everything-including-your-career" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/business-teamwork-466223211-small.jpg" alt="teamwork" title="teamwork" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>True generosity means giving without expecting anything &mdash; zero, zilch, nada &mdash; in return. Generosity takes many forms, both tangible and intangible.</p> <p>You donate to a specific cause, volunteer at a food pantry, offer to help the intern write a press release, give away free copies of your recently published book&hellip; Opportunities to brighten someone's day abound. And yet, although it may seem paradoxical, being generous can also brighten your day &mdash; and your career. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-giving-to-charity-is-good-for-you?ref=seealso">5 Ways Giving to Charity Is Good For You</a>)</p> <h2>Generosity Can Boost Your Career &mdash; and Happiness</h2> <p>Giving makes people happier, increasing their productivity at work and leading to long-term success.</p> <p>A 2008 Harvard Business School study found that participants who gave money to another person resulted in <a href="http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/5944.html">greater feelings of happiness</a> than those who spent money to buy something for themselves. While this study specifically focused on participants giving something tangible (money), the same logic can apply to intangible gifts of generosity, like time, advice, and mentoring.</p> <p>Happier people make <a href="http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/new_study_shows/">better employees</a> because they work harder and tend to be more productive. Just ask the folks at Zappos and Google, two companies well known for their innovative corporate culture based on happy employees.</p> <p>The positive feelings that result from acts of generosity can be traced to <a href="http://www.ninds.nih.gov/news_and_events/news_articles/brain_activity_during_altruism.htm">biology</a>, according to an earlier study conducted by the National Institutes of Health. Regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection and trust are activated when people contribute to charity, according to the research.</p> <p>&quot;Charity&quot; in your career may take the form of leading a networking discussion group, offering a free podcast, or introducing a recent college graduate to your company's hiring manager.</p> <h2>Team Players Win the Networking Game</h2> <p>Karma aside, the selfish ones usually finish last &mdash; and alone. By contrast, in life and at work, generous people generally build supportive networks. They are seen as more likable, and people are attracted to their presence (perhaps because they are so happy!).</p> <p>Generosity also helps you exude confidence. When you offer to mentor the new hire on your sales team, you send a positive message: &quot;I know I'm good at what I do, and I'm not afraid that you'll overtake me in sales if I show you my trade secrets.&quot;</p> <p>Confident people often believe that knowledge is like the flame of a candle; it shines just as brightly no matter if one person or 10 people are enjoying its beauty. Therefore, they don't feel a need to &quot;hoard&quot; information due to any insecurities. They are true team players.</p> <p>Eleanor C. Whitney, author of the book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1621060071/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1621060071&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=6MHFANJKY3GEGXV5">Grow</a>, said that &quot;when you <a href="http://idealistcareers.org/how-being-generous-can-help-your-career/">act with generosity</a> you are consistently open with your skills, ideas and knowledge. When you are generous you don't just give of yourself, but acknowledge the contributions and needs of others. The result is a network of people who are also willing to help you.&quot;</p> <p>Networking &mdash; and its multiplier effect &mdash; can be one of the most influential factors leading to professional success. It is often listed as the number one way to find a job. And the importance of networking &mdash; in person and online &mdash; extends throughout your career, by increasing your exposure (and, thereby, perhaps sales) and by building and nurturing mutually beneficial relationships.</p> <h2>Generous People Make More Effective Bosses...</h2> <p>&hellip;Which in turn inspires more successful employees.</p> <p>It may be one of the least-touted qualities of a good leader, but generosity may well be one of the most important. Communications expert Jodi Glickman explains that if a manager or leader is generous, he or she is generally well-liked.</p> <p>But it goes much further than that. &quot;<a href="https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20131209165135-14770338-generosity-the-key-to-getting-ahead">Generous bosses get 10x the productivity</a> from their employees; generous employees' stars rise in tandem with their bosses'.&quot;</p> <h2>Small Gestures Go a Long Way</h2> <p>Being generous doesn't necessarily mean donating a million dollars to your favorite charity (although that would indeed be generous!).</p> <p>Giving your time to mentor a new employee may take just an hour out of your day, but could set your new colleague on a solid path for success. Contributing $5 to the kitty for the mailroom employee's 10th anniversary at the company won't break your bank, but the collective efforts of your department breed feelings of social connectedness and goodwill.</p> <p>Thanks to social media, we are more up-to-date than ever when it comes to our friends' and colleagues' professional news. That means plenty of opportunities to send a congratulatory email to a former co-worker on a new job, refer a friend for a vacant position in your company, wish your new client all the best as she goes on maternity leave, or offer some insightful tips to a group discussion on LinkedIn.</p> <p>Being generous with your thoughtfulness in ways that you might deem &quot;insignificant&quot; could have a very big impact on someone else.</p> <h2>Win-Win Doesn't Get Any More Classic</h2> <p>When you give to others, the world gets a little brighter. Generosity is about more than karma &mdash; what goes around comes around &mdash; and its ripple effects can boomerang back to you in many positive, often unexpected, ways, especially in your career.</p> <p><em>How has generosity boosted your career? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mardee-handler">Mardee Handler</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-generosity-is-key-to-everything-including-your-career">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bosses-say-these-are-their-6-favorite-qualities-in-employees-do-you-have-them">Bosses Say These Are Their 6 Favorite Qualities in Employees — Do You Have Them?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-a-second-language-can-boost-your-career">11 Ways a Second Language Can Boost Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-a-side-hustle-can-further-your-career">5 Ways a Side Hustle Can Further Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-say-to-your-boss-to-get-a-promotion-or-raise">5 Things to Say to Your Boss to Get a Promotion or Raise</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-in-the-wrong-career-heres-how-to-tell">Are You in the Wrong Career? Here&#039;s How to Tell</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Personal Development career charity generosity leadership productivity promotion Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:00:06 +0000 Mardee Handler 1164532 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Ways to Give to Charity That Fit a Holiday Budget http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-give-to-charity-that-fit-a-holiday-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-ways-to-give-to-charity-that-fit-a-holiday-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/holchar-178491359.jpg" alt="volunteers" title="volunteers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Would you like to do something good this holiday season, but worry your budget may be holding you back? You can easily spread the holiday spirit without emptying your wallet. Here are a few economical or free ways to help this year and feel good in the process. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/giving-back-to-those-not-necessarily-on-your-christmas-list">How to Give Back During the Holidays</a>)</p> <h2>Donate Your Stuff</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/holchar-166668210-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>A good way to be charitable on a budget is to donate items you already have. Whether you are doing a big cleanup or just looking to be generous, there are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-local-charities-that-could-use-your-stuff">plenty of organizations</a> that can put your items to good use.</p> <p><strong>1. Winter Clothes</strong></p> <p>The holiday season is a great time to locate your gently used winter essentials and donate them to your local <a href="http://www.goodwill.org/">Goodwill</a>, homeless shelter, <a href="http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/">Salvation Army</a>, or drop-off clothing bin. The <a href="http://www.onewarmcoat.org">One Warm Coat</a> organization also helps you locate where to donate winter coats, including which retailers, like the <a href="http://standfor.containerstore.com/help-us-collect-coats/">Container Store</a>, are hosting holiday coat drives.</p> <p><strong>2. Airline Miles</strong></p> <p>If you have some frequent flier miles hanging around, you can donate them directly to charity. <a href="http://wish.org/ways-to-help/giving/airline-miles">Make-A-Wish Foundation uses donated miles</a> to help kids and families travel to their wish destinations. Or, the airlines usually have an online option to easily donate miles to a number of well-known charitable partners.</p> <p><strong>3. Food</strong></p> <p>Why not make or buy a little extra food as you prepare your holiday meals this year to help those in need? Every year I stock up on some extra canned goods, bread mix, and other items to make a holiday basket, which I drop off at my local food pantry. Or, to keep expenses low, check to see if you can drop off a basket of extra baked goods or dessert goodies you make. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unique-holiday-gifts-you-can-bake">Unique Holiday Gifts You Can Bake</a>)</p> <p><strong>4. Furniture and Appliances</strong></p> <p>Perhaps you are toying with the idea of selling some of your used furniture or appliances online or on consignment. You can get into the holiday spirit and donate them instead. The <a href="http://satruck.org/">Salvation Army</a> and the <a href="http://www.purpleheartpickup.org/">Purple Heart</a> are great places to donate such items, which often provide free pickup services.</p> <p><strong>5. Toys</strong></p> <p>Donating toys your kids don&#39;t use as much can make a less fortunate child happy and also teach your kids the spirit of giving &mdash; not to mention help you de-clutter. Many clothing drop-offs also accept toys, or try <a href="http://www.donationtown.org">Donation Town</a> to find a local charity accepting toys in your area. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-local-charities-that-could-use-your-stuff">Local Charities That Could Use Your Stuff</a>)</p> <h2>Small Amounts Go a Long Way</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/holchar-158258148-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Many reputable charities run holiday campaigns around this time of year. And the best part is that it only takes a small donation (think spare change up to $20) to make a difference.</p> <p><strong>6. Salvation Army </strong></p> <p>Santa&#39;s ringing bells and red donation buckets are sure signs the <a href="http://www.salvationarmy.org/">Salvation Army</a> has kicked off this year&#39;s Red Kettle Campaign. This famous holiday drive runs from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve, and helps collect spare change nationwide to raise money for meals, shelter, and services for the needy. Keep an eye out for the collections in your area. You can even start your own <a href="http://www.onlineredkettle.org/">online red kettle</a> to raise funds for the charity.</p> <p><strong>7. Toys for Tots</strong></p> <p>The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve&#39;s well-known <a href="http://toysfortots.org/">Toys for Tots Program</a> collects and distributes toys for less fortunate children. Starting in October and running through December, collection boxes are set up where you can easily drop off a new, unwrapped toy. Stores, like <a href="http://www.toysrus.com">Toys R Us</a> and <a href="http://www.babiesrus.com">Babies R Us</a>, restaurants, and other local businesses have collection boxes, or get your own school or office to start their own drive. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/surprisingly-easy-ways-you-can-support-charity">Easy Ways to Support Charity</a>)</p> <p><strong>8. Make-A-Wish </strong></p> <p>You may be familiar with the <a href="http://wish.org/">Make-A-Wish Foundation</a>, which grants wishes to those children with life threatening illnesses. You can support the cause by purchasing the well-known <a href="http://wish.org/ways-to-help/products-and-promotions/holiday-cards">Make-A-Wish holiday cards</a> this season. Card packs start at a $20 donation for 20 cards, and many customizable options exist at higher price points.</p> <p><strong>9. UNICEF</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.unicefusa.org/">UNICEF</a> works to better the lives of children around the globe through initiatives like immunizations, clean water, nutrition, disaster relief, and education. They also sell a selection of beautiful holiday cards, but another way to shop for the cause is through the <a href="https://shop.unicefusa.org/">UNICEF online shop</a>, where you can find some nice holiday gifts for under $20.</p> <p><strong>10. Christmas Spirit Foundation</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.christmasspiritfoundation.org">The Christmas Spirit Foundation&#39;s Trees for Troops</a> program gives free Christmas trees to U.S. armed forces members and their families at holiday time. You can make a small donation directly on the site, or help the cause by purchasing the children&#39;s book, <a href="http://www.atreeschristmas.com/">A Tree&#39;s Christmas</a>, for around $10 or Trees for Troops teddy bears through the <a href="http://christmasspiritfoundation.org/dnn/Store.aspx">Christmas Spirit Foundation&#39;s online store</a>.</p> <h2>Volunteer Your Time</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/holchar-80411623-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Volunteering your time is a nice alternative to giving money this holiday season. You can find great opportunities in your area through local searches or check out <a href="http://www.volunteermatch.org">Volunteermatch.org</a> to find an area cause that&#39;s right for you.</p> <p><strong>11. Environmental Cleanup</strong></p> <p>Make the holidays a good excuse to get involved in an environmental cleanup day. The <a href="http://www.nature.org/greenliving/volunteer/">Nature Conservancy</a> can help you locate local opportunities or find ideas for <a href="http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/service.xml">earth-friendly activities you can organize on your own</a>. For those feeling charitable during their holiday getaways, you can always participate in volunteer eco-travel vacations. Try <a href="http://www.responsiblevacation.com">Responsiblevacation.com</a> or <a href="http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/eco-travel-volunteer-vacations-50022309">The Daily Green&#39;s guide to eco-friendly volunteer vacations</a> for trip ideas.</p> <p><strong>12. Arts and Crafts</strong></p> <p>If you are a crafter or artisan, you can spend some time doing what you love and donating your work. For knitters or sewers, there are lots of clothing, accessories, and blankets that can be made and donated to local shelters or clothing collections. If you&#39;re an artist or crafter, you can contact a children&#39;s hospital or nursing home to offer some donated holiday crafts and d&eacute;cor.</p> <p><strong>13. Start Your Own Collection Drive</strong></p> <p>Arrange your own drive to collect canned goods and much needed personal care items (toothbrushes, soap, combs, etc.) by making up fliers and passing them out to your friends, neighborhood, or other organizations you belong to. Collect your goods leading up to the holidays and donate them to your local shelter or pantry for use after the holidays are over, when donations drop off.</p> <p><strong>14. Animal Shelters</strong></p> <p>Animal shelters can use help all year long, but if you have some extra time over the holidays and are an animal-lover, then pitching in at your <a href="http://www.aspca.org/adopt/shelters">local SPCA</a> or animal shelter can do a lot of good. You can help with anything from animal care to office work, or look into the <a href="http://www.aspca.org/get-involved/top-ten-ways-to-help-your-local-shelter">ASPCA&#39;s s top ten ways to help your local shelter</a>.</p> <p><strong>15. Food Pantry/Soup Kitchens</strong></p> <p>Food pantries and soup kitchens tend to get an influx of holiday volunteers, but they still need help beyond preparing and serving food. You can unpack and sort items, clean, or do clerical work. Contact your local soup kitchen or pantry or use <a href="http://feedingamerica.org/foodbank-results.aspx">Feed America&#39;s Food Bank Locator</a> to see what opportunities exist around your area.</p> <p><em>What are some of the budget-friendly ways you are making a difference this holiday season?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-medeiros">Kelly Medeiros</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-give-to-charity-that-fit-a-holiday-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-greed-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Greed Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-budget-challenge-2016-how-to-live-frugally-when-you-have-no-time">My Budget Challenge 2016: How to Live Frugally When You Have No Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-can-totally-regift-and-7-things-you-shouldnt">10 Things You Can Totally Regift — And 7 Things You Shouldn&#039;t</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide">Regifting: A Simple How-To Guide</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/go-ahead-take-candy-from-a-baby">Go Ahead -- Take Candy From a Baby</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living charity frugal giving holiday giving Holidays Wed, 27 Nov 2013 11:24:11 +0000 Kelly Medeiros 1098713 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways Giving to Charity Is Good for You http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-giving-to-charity-is-good-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-giving-to-charity-is-good-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/donations-5319898-small.jpg" alt="donations" title="donations" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Aside from paying bills and preparing for your future, you can probably think of a hundred ways to spend your disposable income. Maybe you like blowing your cash on clothes or electronics, or maybe you prefer a vacation or a night out with friends. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-things-to-do-with-25">10 Smart Things to Do With $25</a>)</p> <p>There&#39;s nothing wrong with indulging in a little luxury every now and then and enjoying the fruits of your labor. But what if your money and possessions could make a difference in someone&#39;s life? Would you share what you have?</p> <p>Giving to a charity might be the furthest thing from your mind, but if you&#39;re fortunate enough to have more than you need, why not give back? Here are five solid reasons why you should give to charity.</p> <h2>1. Giving Can Improve Your Health</h2> <p>Eating healthy, regular exercise, and annual checkups are keys to improving your overall well-being and increasing longevity, but these aren&rsquo;t the only ways to give your health a boost. Giving to a charity can also be good for your physical health. And while this might seem a bit far-fetched, there&rsquo;s <a href="http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/5_ways_giving_is_good_for_you">scientific proof to backup the benefits of generosity</a>.</p> <p>According to a study at Carnegie Mellon University, &quot;people who were socially connected (i.e. volunteering or giving to charity) reported catching fewer colds.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-friends-and-be-happy-why-cultivating-relationships-is-good-for-you">Why Cultivating Relationships Is Good for You</a>)</p> <p>Additionally, Stephen Post, author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0767920171/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0767920171&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20" target="_blank">Why Good Things Happen to Good People</a>, reports that &quot;giving to others has been shown to increase health benefits in people with chronic illnesses, including HIV and multiple sclerosis.&quot; And in a 2003 study on elderly couples led by Stephanie Brown of the University of Michigan, researchers found that &quot;those who provided practical help to friends, relatives, or neighbors, or gave emotional support to their spouses, <a href="http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/35196/48_ftp.pdf;jsessionid=34F156653A82DAE29F480571B6F5D1AD?sequence=1">had a lower risk of dying over a five-year period than those who didn&rsquo;t</a> (PDF).&quot;</p> <p>The relationship between giving and health isn&rsquo;t completely understood. However, researchers have found a <a href="http://www.abc.net.au/health/thepulse/stories/2011/12/07/3384701.htm">link between giving and a reduction of stress hormones</a>. Since stress contributes to a variety of health conditions, the less stress we feel, the better we feel.</p> <p>&quot;Knowing we&rsquo;ve done something to improve the life of others not only boosts our self-esteem and gives us a sense of purpose, it also shifts our attention away from our own stresses and worries,&quot; says psychology expert Dr. Tony Grant.</p> <h2>2. Giving Makes You Happier</h2> <p>Let&rsquo;s be honest, giving to a charity &mdash; whether monetary or donated goods &mdash; feels good. This may sound a bit selfish, but personal satisfaction from giving is quite normal. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-can-do-to-be-happier-today">Things you Can Do to Be Happier Today</a>)</p> <p>According to research to be published in the International Journal of Happiness and Development, <a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130820135034.htm">giving can make us happier</a>. From three studies, &quot;the overarching conclusion is that donors feel happiest if they give to a charity via a friend, relative, or social connection rather than simply making an anonymous donation to a worthy cause.&quot;</p> <p>And the proof of happiness doesn&rsquo;t stop here. In <a href="http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/blogs/can-money-really-buy-happiness">examining the relationship between spending and self-reported happiness</a>, a study of 46 people &quot;discovered that participants who were directed to spend a small amount of money on others (either $5 or $20) reported greater feelings of happiness than those who were directed to spend the same amounts on themselves.&quot;</p> <p>I don&rsquo;t know about you, but whenever I make any type of donation, I get a warm, fuzzy feeling all over. And unlike some choices I&rsquo;ve made with my money, I&rsquo;ve never regretted a charitable donation &mdash; even when I&rsquo;ve made donation mistakes.</p> <p>About two years ago I accidentally donated a pair of designer jeans. At first I was mad at myself, and I considered going to the donation center to retrieve my jeans, even if this meant sifting through countless bags of clothes. But then I thought about the possibility of the garment falling into the hands of someone who needed (or simply wanted) a nice pair of jeans, but couldn&rsquo;t pay full price for them. I imagined their excitement when they discovered the jeans in their size, and I actually started to feel better.</p> <h2>3. Giving Is Tax Deductible</h2> <p>If you&#39;re looking for ways to lower your taxable income &mdash; and you&#39;re OK with itemizing your return &mdash; donations of cash and property to qualified organizations might be your ticket to a lower tax bill. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/surprising-charitable-tax-deductions">Charitable Tax Deductions That May Surprise You</a>)</p> <p>Not all contributions are tax-deductible, and the rules for deducting charitable contributions are complex, so you&#39;ll need to speak with a qualified tax preparer for advice. Written proof or a receipt is required to claim a deduction for contributions totaling more than $250. Additionally, if you&#39;re deducting contributions totaling more than $500, tax form 8283 must accompany your tax return, says the <a href="http://www.irs.gov/uac/Eight-Tips-for-Deducting-Charitable-Contributions">Internal Revenue Service</a>.</p> <h2>4. Giving Can Be Free</h2> <p>There are different ways to make a charitable donation. Some people write a check to their favorite organization, whereas others donate personal belongings. Maybe you&rsquo;re looking to support a cause but don&rsquo;t have the bankroll to write a check &mdash; no problem. Many organizations accept gently used items, such as clothes, furniture, household items, school supplies, toys, and electronics.</p> <p>Take <a href="http://www.goodwill.org/get-involved/donate/">Goodwill</a> for example. You can visit their website and make a financial contribution, or donate personal belongings at one of their many drop-off locations across the country.</p> <p>Donated items are sold in their stores, and the proceeds help fund job training programs and community-based programs for people with disabilities. And this is just one of many charities available to you. Other options might include the Salvation Army, Volunteers of America, Operation Give, or a local organization.</p> <h2>5. Giving Can Support a Cause That&#39;s Close to Your Heart</h2> <p>Giving to a charity is also an excellent way to show your support to a specific cause.</p> <p>Let&rsquo;s say you&rsquo;re looking to donate an old wedding gown, and you&rsquo;re also a breast cancer survivor. Any charitable organization may be happy to accept your gown. But given your history with cancer you might lend support to Brides Against Breast Cancer, an organization that accepts wedding gown donations and uses proceeds from gown sales to fund wellness and educational programs for breast cancer patients and their families.</p> <p>This is just an example. If heart disease or another disease runs in your family or if your kid has a disability, any gift &mdash; big or small &mdash; can help fund research and maybe save a life.</p> <p><em>Do you have other reasons to donate to charity that I didn&#39;t cover here? Please share them in the comments below &mdash; you&#39;ll feel better if you do!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-giving-to-charity-is-good-for-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-7-exercises-are-scientifically-proven-to-increase-happiness">These 7 Exercises Are Scientifically Proven to Increase Happiness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-feel-better-fast">25 Ways to Feel Better Fast</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/100-small-things-that-can-bring-you-joy">100 Small Things That Can Bring You Joy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-can-do-today-to-be-happy">10 Things You Can Do Today to Be Happy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-hours-9-hours-this-is-how-much-sleep-you-really-need">8 Hours? 9 Hours? This Is How Much Sleep You REALLY Need</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development charity happiness Health Mon, 04 Nov 2013 10:00:03 +0000 Mikey Rox 1064405 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Local Charities That Could Use Your Stuff http://www.wisebread.com/10-local-charities-that-could-use-your-stuff <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-local-charities-that-could-use-your-stuff" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/donations-5319905-small.jpg" alt="donations" title="donations" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most of us have go-to donation centers that we visit when we want to unload our old clothes, toys, and housewares &mdash; places like the Goodwill and Salvation Army come to mind &mdash; but there are lots of other places right in your neighborhood that will gladly take unwanted items off your hands and give them a new life and purpose. Take a look at these 10 often overlooked places for donations. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cleaning-out-for-a-cause-make-a-noncash-tax-deductible-donation">How to Make a Noncash Tax-Deductible Donation</a>)</p> <h2>1. Worship Centers</h2> <p>Worship centers are mostly funded by the offerings members provide at services, which are used to pay for general maintenance of the worship center and its utilities. There may be room in the budget for additional purchases the center needs, but donations of goods also are accepted to help keep the overhead low. Charitable donations ideal for churches and synagogues include musical instruments, snacks for children&#39;s services, used cars to transport disabled members, second-hand clothing and food for community members who have fallen on hard times, and toys to gift to needy children at holiday time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/giving-to-charity-is-great-but-how-do-you-pick-one">How to Choose a Charity</a>)</p> <h2>2. Community Centers</h2> <p>The mission of community centers, especially in urban areas, is to keep kids off the street while giving them something productive to do with their time. Donations of educational materials &mdash; likes books and computers &mdash; are perfect for community centers, as are games and sports equipment like balls and bicycles. Call your local youth community center and ask what they need.</p> <h2>3. Emergency Shelters</h2> <p>While emergency shelters exist to take in anybody who needs a roof over their head due to any manner of extenuating circumstance, most shelters cater to the homeless population who need a safe place to sleep on a regular basis. Furniture and <a href="http://www.sdrescue.org/ways-to-give/donate-goods/client-needs/">used clothing are excellent donations for emergency shelters</a>, but toiletries &mdash; soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, and pastes &mdash; are even better, so those who require the emergency shelter can maintain good hygiene.</p> <h2>4. Libraries</h2> <p>Have boxes and boxes of books, CDs, or DVDs that you can&#39;t get rid of? Stop by your local library and ask if they&#39;ll <a href="http://www.lbpl.org/support/donate.asp">accept your unwanted media</a>. Chances are they&#39;ll be more than happy to take such valuable resources off your hands so the library can expand its selection of material. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-reasons-why-you-should-support-your-local-library">Reasons to Support Your Local Library</a>)</p> <h2>5. Schools</h2> <p>Schools are publicly funded by the taxes we pay, but individual teachers often have to dip into their own pockets to buy something special for their classes &mdash; and sometimes to buy the basics. If you want to show your gratitude for the hard work that your son or daughter&#39;s teacher puts in on a daily basis, drop off a donation of kid-friendly items like musical instruments, <a href="http://www.cps.edu/Pages/CommunityresourcesDonate.aspx">sports equipment, games, books, and office supplies</a> with which the teacher can enhance class lessons.</p> <h2>6. Food Banks</h2> <p>Don&#39;t throw away still-good non-perishables when cleaning out your cupboards or pantry. Instead, <a href="http://www.westsidefoodbankca.org/index.php?option=com_content&amp;task=view&amp;id=63&amp;Itemid=118">pack the items that you no longer want into a bag and drop it</a> off at your local food bank. Your donation will feed one or more people in community for at least one meal, which should make you feel great about the good deed you did. Most will gladly accept non-food donations such as office supplies, too.</p> <h2>7. Animal Shelters</h2> <p>Animal shelters are often filled to the gills with animals for which they can&#39;t find a home &mdash; and it&#39;s not easy keeping them fed and clean 24/7. If you want to make life better for a local shelter animal in some way, <a href="http://spcala.com/donate/needs_list.php">top donations include food and treats</a>, old blankets, and towels.</p> <h2>8. Children&#39;s Homes</h2> <p>What children&#39;s homes need most <a href="http://www.kidshome.org/HowToHelp.php">are new pajamas, socks, and shoes</a>. Other donations can include clothes, toys, games, and books. Let&#39;s not forget, too, that there aren&#39;t just toddlers and teenagers living in these homes. Infants often live at children&#39;s homes, so donations of diapers are also much needed.</p> <h2>9. Women&#39;s Shelters</h2> <p>Women&#39;s shelters will accept everything that you&#39;d donate to a children&#39;s shelter &mdash; since many women arrive with their children &mdash; but <a href="http://www.laurashouse.org/wishlist.html">they also need items for the women themselves</a>. Toiletries and hygiene products are coveted, but since many women&#39;s shelters try to help the women get back on their feet by way of employment, donations of interview-appropriate outfits also are ideal. Women&#39;s shelters are also great places to get rid of your old cell phone. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-your-old-electronics">How to Get Rid of Your Old Electronics</a>)</p> <h2>10. VA Hospitals</h2> <p>Nobody likes to sit in a hospital bed and do nothing all day while they recover. But you can make a veteran&#39;s time in the hospital a little more bearable by <a href="http://www.longbeach.va.gov/giving/">donating items to your local VA hospital</a> that will entertain or occupy the soldier as he or she rehabilitates. Books and games are great donations, but handheld video games and music devices &mdash; like MP3 players &mdash; will be much more stimulating for the veteran as they heal.</p> <p><em>Do you have other unexpected places to give charitable donations? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-local-charities-that-could-use-your-stuff">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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