do good challenge

Do Good Challenge: Helping the Homeless

April 26, 2010 at 1:46 pm , by


Update: Have you taken this month’s Do Good Challenge yet? Have any other ideas to help the homeless in your area? Please share!

After you read the story of this Michigan interior designer, Terry Grahl, who transforms homeless shelters with a few coats of paint and gives hope to hundreds of women, we know you’ll be inspired to help a shelter in your area. Don’t have any design skills of your own? No problem. Collect toiletries like shampoo and soap when you stay in hotels for business or vacation and give them to your nearby shelter. Even better, organize a neighborhood drive for products women need, like deodorant, tampons and sanitary napkins, then create individual mini-toiletry bags to donate.

If you are crafty or creative, you can borrow some ideas from Grahl’s Enchanted Makeovers charity and sew cheerful pillows and curtains to donate to your local shelter. If the shelter is open to it, you could even volunteer to brighten up the women’s dorm with a pretty coat of paint.

Do Good Challenge: Help Foster Kids in Need

March 15, 2010 at 9:22 am , by

l_101529846_M_wThis month we’re challenging you to make the days a little brighter for disadvantaged children in your area. After you read the story of Texas mom Emily Gertson (right), who collects pajamas, school supplies and toiletries for kids in foster care, we know you’ll be inspired to help out in your community. “I learned that these kids are often removed from their home with just the clothes on their back,” Gertson says. “I wanted to give them something that would help them feel more comfortable and less scared, and new pajamas seemed like a good place to start.”

So how can you help? Collect toiletries, PJs, suitcases, bags and backpacks and donate them to your local Child Protective Services agency. Or you can walk to raise money for foster-care organizations with a group like Walk Me Home. Want to help one-on-one? Find a child to mentor in your town, or guide a child virtually through a program like vMentor.

Do Good: Join My Village

October 1, 2009 at 10:51 am , by

JMVUpdate: My apologies if you’ve already read and joined, but this is so exciting and important that I’m bumping this post back up to the top!

We’re so excited to spread the word about Join My Village! It’s an awesome new initiative to help fight poverty in Malawi by giving women and girls the tools they need to make a better life for themselves, their children, and their communities. Malawi is a very poor country with high infant mortality and low life expectancy—especially for women. But the way to change can be surprisingly simple (at least to us Westerners). Whole villages are uplifted when women and girls can improve their schools and access to education, farm their land, and start their own businesses.

Of course we can’t all travel to Africa to help directly, so Join My Village sponsors CARE and General Mills came up with a great way to help us all have an impact from home: All you have to do is visit and join a virtual village. General Mills will donate up to $500,000 to nearly 75 villages in Malawi through the program, so when you join a team, take quiz questions, and share the site with friends, you’ll raise $1 each time. (Up to $3 per day, per person.) Plus you’ll get to learn about the real live village you join, and the real women you’re helping to support. You can also donate money and General Mills will match your donation.

Pretty cool, right? I just signed up today (Go Kalimira village!) and I’m asking everyone who reads this to join a village too—and tell your friends and family. It’s easy, it’s fun, and it can make a big difference.

Do Good Challenge: Support Our Troops

September 14, 2009 at 9:29 am , by

l_100929301Inspired by our October story “Treats For The Troops,” this month we’re challenging you to help support our American service men and women. Here are a few simple ways to brighten a soldier’s day:

  • Plan to donate your leftover Halloween candy to Boatsie’s Boxes, a group that puts together care packages to send to soldiers. You could even organize a neighborhood candy drive to get everyone in on the challenge.
  • Help create a connection between soldiers and poverty-stricken children in the Middle East by sending toys to Beanies for Baghdad. The troops then give the toys to kids in the community.
  • And if you’re feeling crafty, knit or crochet a cozy wool hat for a wounded soldier and send it to Warmth for Warriors.

Are you going to take our challenge? Or does your family already write letters or send care packages? If you’re going to help support our American soldiers or want to share another great organization, let us know in the comments!