v. to make radically different
n. a fresh set of clothing; money

Change t-shirts 52 times in 2010 to raise awareness and funds for 52 world changers.

What do you change for?

Friday, December 31, 2010


Check out Ricki and her grandpa who walk for CCFA!

After being diagnosed with Crohns Disease in January 2009, I turned to the Crohns and Colitis Foundation of America to see what kind of information was out there.

What I found was more than I could ever have hoped for.

The Crohns and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) changed my life. It is a non-profit organization whose mission is to find a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. There are 40 chapters nationwide with over 50,000 members.

CCFA offers endless amounts of literature about irritable bowel diseases. They provide educational programs, support groups and social functions. Living with a chronic illness is scary, but the hope and I support I receive from the volunteers at CCFA help me day to day. They are dedicated to improving the life of the 1.4 million Americans suffering from these chronic illnesses.

CCFA is volunteer driven and rely on the financial support of members and donors. It is the charitable contributions that make the research, support and educational programs possible.

For the past two years I have walked in the CCFA’s annual fundraising walk “Take Steps”. This walk helps raise money for crucial research and awareness of this unpredictable disease.

Over 100 walks take place across the country and 2010 was a record breaking year, raising over $8 million dollars.

Please visit for more info.

Thanks for sharing your story, Ricki!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Good friend Taryn makes another behind the scenes appearance, gathering friends, Aliza and Danielle, to take Charity Change to the finish! I'm promoting her skills as a freelance PR agent :)

* Every hour, someone is newly diagnosed with MS.
* More than 2.5 million people worldwide live with this unpredictable disease.
* MS is the most common neurological disease leading to disability in young adults.

And if those aren’t enough reasons to search for a cure, biking with friends and family sure is! There are over 100 different rides around the United States, and these fully supported rides will connect you to over 100,000 other riders, as well as make you a part of a growing movement to put an end to multiple sclerosis.

Multiple Sclerosis affects everyone differently, but yet it continues to affect yet another person ever hour of every day. The money raised through Bike MS goes to funding critical local, national and international research into the cause and a cure for MS.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society uses funds collected from the Bike MS Events to not only help with searching for a cure, but also to help provide programs and assistance to those living with MS today. Because we can fight this disease by simply riding a bike, thousands of participants each year join together to help others achieve optimal health, and get themselves involved in achieving a healthier (biking) lifestyle of their own.

“Multiple sclerosis interrupts the flow of information between brain and body and stops people from moving. We believe that moving is not just something you can or can't do, but that moving forward is who we are. Just by being here, you are connected to the potential, the hope, the momentum of the movement toward a world free of MS.”

Bike MS is the premiere fundraising cycling series in the United States, and the help they provide to all of those connected to MS is something we should all be thankful for. If you know anyone affected by Multiple Sclerosis, here is a great way to get involved and support them while bettering yourself.

“You’re up for the challenge - and ready for the ride of your life! The sense of accomplishment that you’ll feel as you cross the finish line can only be matched by the difference you’ll be making in the lives of people affected by MS.”

To learn more please visit

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


This post traveled from St. Louis and Chicago to tell the very important story of a non-profit that Shira Engelhart and Taryn Ariel care about!

Isn’t that the new restaurant opening in Curry Hill?

Nope! The Maot Chitim of Greater Chicago enable thousands of needy people to experience the Passover holiday according to their tradition.

Instead of collecting money and distributing is, the money now goes to purchase wholesale food, thereby allowing the money to go farther and serve more people. The food boxes are packaged based on number of family members, and not just 1 per household.

Due to economic conditions, increases in the elderly population, and the immigration of Jews from the former Soviet Union - caused the number of recipient families to increase to over 5,000 families each year!

And Maot Chitim does not only serve it’s own mission: because of their excellent track record dealing with wholesale food purchases, they in turn help support other local organizations who work to provide food during the rest of the year!

So what does ‘Maot Chitim’ mean? ‘Maot Chitim’ refers to the custom of gathering wheat to provide the poor with the makings of matzo for Passover. Now, the Maot Chitim of Greater Chicago has evolved into a year-round volunteer effort organizing an army of volunteers, setting up a warehouse, locating recipients through social service agencies, packing the products, coordinating an orderly volunteer delivery system, delivering the packages and finally closing up and beginning the plans for the next holiday.

And the most special thing about this program? “Recipients are as hungry for some companionship as they are for the food. Sitting down for a visit is the heart of the program -- meaningful for those who deliver a package as for those who receive it.” Volunteers are encouraged to bring their families on the donation trips, and stay with the recipients for a meaningful cup of tea.

Isn’t that what the holidays are all about anyways?

Please visit for more information.

Many thanks to Taryn and Shira, the duo you can always count on! Happy Holidays :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010


It's comforting to know that someone else cares.

It's comforting to know that people have persevered the depths of their worst day.

It is comforting to know that It Gets Better.

While many kids experience loneliness and exclusion during middle school and high school, LGBT kids often encounter exaggerated forms of bullying. In response to a recent series of suicides, Dan Savage and his partner Terry, created a movement composed of individuals who are dedicated to proving that It Gets Better.

With over 5000 short videos and 15 million views, It Gets Better serves as a support system for LGBT kids struggling with everyday bullying. This virtual support is built from the difficult reality that so many individuals face. It is Dan's hope that kids suffering from bullying today will identify with the stories people are sharing with It Gets Better project. Proving that life does indeed get better will save the lives of many experiencing difficult periods in their lives.

Together with The Trevor Project and GLSEN, which provide tools, a hotline, and educational materials to ensure that schools are safe places for kids of all types to attend, It Gets Better is leveraging the Internet to combat high school bullying.

Sometimes it's impossible to see life beyond the darkest of days.

But sometimes it helps just to know that It Gets Better.

Please visit for more information.

(It Gets Better Project shows LGBT youth that thier future is worth living for.)

Monday, December 6, 2010


Although you may remember its popular slogan from its heyday in the 80’s and 90’s, D.A.R.E. continues to impact millions of children today.

In fact, D.A.R.E.’s curriculum is used in over 75 percent of American school districts and in over 43 countries worldwide.

Inspiring over 10 million children to avoid drugs, gangs, and violence every year is no small feat. And so what follows is a glimpse into one of the most successful drug resistance programs in the world.

D.A.R.E. leverages a unique set of instructors to instill the skills needed to combat drug use and violence among high school kids:

The police force.

While many children may associate the police with punishment and conviction, D.A.R.E. has redefined our notion of the traditional police officer’s duty by allowing the police to connect with the community in a meaningful way. Since the police are an already well-respected and feared authority, D.A.R.E. has extended their routine social role to relate to children in a mature and thoughtful manner.

For many, the police force is no longer a group of law enforcers.

They are life savers.

Or rather, life builders.

The knowledge that students take away from the D.A.R.E. program will aid them with specific life building skills that pave the path for many students to lead a successful life.

D.A.R.E.’s success has illustrated that such a model is incredibly useful in building a sustainable program that can be adapted for both the local and the global community.

Please visit for more information.

(D.A.R.E.’s educational program keeps kids free from drugs and violence)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Canstruction’s motto exceeds the traditional meaning of the phrase “One can make a difference.”

In fact, their motto should be rephrased: “One can makes a difference.”

Nick Telesca, Executive Director of Canstruction, explains that switching the subject for the verb is the essence of Canstruction’s mission. Led by architects and engineers, Canstruction design/build competitions showcase the designers’ talents through displays of giant canned food sculptures.

Their mission, however, does not end there.

“At the close of the exhibitions all of the [canned] food used in the structures is donated to local food banks for distribution to pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, elderly and day care centers.”

Canstruction has reinvented the social context of the food can.

And has created a literal meaning to the words “Sustainable art.”

With the help of over 30,000 volunteers, aka “hunger relief ambassadors,” helping to bring Canstruction exhibitions to life, who knows which product will breach its traditional boundary next?

The growing art movement dedicated to raising hunger awareness and distributing over 2 million pounds of food to the hungry “officially broke the Guinness World Record on February 11, 2010” with the largest canned structure exhibited in Walt Disney World.

Structure assembly—partnership with Disney

Structure disassembly— partnership with food banks in Central Florida, Miami, and Atlanta

Canstruction is bridging the gap between the bookends of our social structure.

And this year they are expanding the model to Egypt where canned structures will be assembled in 10 locations throughout the country, igniting unique cross-cultural trend in artistic reuse of everyday items.

Thanks, Nick, for teaching us how to build through reuse!

Please visit for more information.

(Canstruction’s design competitions are alleviating hunger through awareness and canned food donations)

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Charity Change is honored to have its first guest post hail all the way from Cleveland, Ohio this week! A HUGE thanks to dear friend, Ellie Berlin (and hubby Jeff Berlin's photography skills) for sharing a charity close to her heart!

This summer, I had the privilege of working with The Friendship Circle of Cleveland to help plan their first annual walkathon.

This international Jewish non-profit organization began in 1994, and caters to children with special needs and their families. The Friendship Circle of Cleveland recruits their volunteers from local high schools, and currently has about 200 teenage volunteers. These volunteers help to facilitate the many programs that Friendship Circle offers. From “Friends at Home” to “Sunday Circle,” teen volunteers and children with special needs are able to create a long-lasting bond. Each branch has its own unique programs. For example, Cleveland’s “Friends at Home” program brings teen volunteers into the homes of their special needs buddies to play games, do art projects, or just hang out.

While working with the Cleveland Friendship Circle staff, I got a first-hand look at how the staff’s dedication and love can create a ripple effect throughout the community. The walkathon had a great turnout, and I can only imagine what next year will bring . . .

The Friendship Circle currently has seventy branches, worldwide, and is still growing.

For more information about The Friendship Circle of Cleveland please visit:

For more information about The Friendship Circle please visit:

Would you like to share your favorite charity's story and tee? E-mail to be a future guest blogger!

Saturday, November 13, 2010


This post is dedicated to members of the twittersphere.

For those who have never ventured onto Twitter, check it out. It aggregates information, allowing individuals and organizations to multiply their impact through collaboration.

It’s pretty neat, just keep reading.

My relationship with ploink! began on twitter.
In registering a twitter account, I found that my name, @charitychange, was already in use. Eager to reveal the source, I followed the account and discovered that a friendly tweeter was behind @charitychange, representing a fun microdonation website called ploink!

And so, @charitychange and @charity_change’s (this blog's twitter account) “intimate” relationship began.

On Twitter.

As a website, ploink! is enabling individuals to donate small amounts of money, even 1 pence, to charities in the UK. @charitychange was appropriately named, for it reflects ploink!’s mission that small amounts of change donated on its website do make a difference. Indeed @charitychange and @charity_change are both “charity changing,” albeit with slightly different connotations.

Ploink! uses Twitter as leverage to expand their campaign, and “The response and support we get from twitter is remarkable.” For an organization that has only used Facebook and Twitter as its sole source of promotion, ploink! has 1860 followers and is catalogued on 145 lists.

How’s that for social marketing?

While ploink! currently operates as a source of funding for charities in the UK, it has embarked on a phase II version of the website, which may include the option of donating to charities outside the UK. Upon registering on ploink!’s updated website, individuals will encounter their charity giving come to life—including “animated piggy banks that move, smile, wiggle their ears etc. when you put coins into them.”

We’ve come a long way.

Gone are the days of schlepping change to the bank.

Thanks Marc, for teaching us about the virtual piggy bank!

Please visit for more information.

(Ploink! provides a medium to donate small amounts of change to charity.)

Sunday, November 7, 2010


The pink ribbon is a story of 2 sisters.

One, who carried her family through her battle with breast cancer; and the other, who carried her sister's strength and relentless courage to survivors around the world.

Meet Susan G. Komen and Nancy G. Brinker.

Although one lost her fight against cancer, together, Susan and Nancy have saved the lives and the dignity of thousands suffering from the disease. They have created the activist against breast cancer.

With nearly $1.5 billion invested in the Susan G. Komen Foundation, millions of people fighting breast cancer have been touched through The Foundation's research, outreach tools, and educational programming around the world. For many though, the Komen Foundation has reached them through "The Race."

The Komen Race for the Cure has a tangible finish line. You can see it and even touch it. It is often only 5 km away from the start, the struggle, the battle of the disease. It is a model for surviving the haunting depths of breast cancer--alongside thousands of supporters.

In pink. Stride by stride, the survivor and the supporter reach the finish. Sometimes it takes 15 minutes, sometimes it takes an hour and fifteen minutes. But in the end, all that matters is crossing that line. The finish line, the end line to breast cancer.

Everyone has joined the fight-- sometimes in the solitude of a hospital room, and sometimes in the midst of thousands on the streets of Bosnia, or Boston, or Jerusalem. Wearing pink.

That pink ribbon--as large as a building cover or as small as a pin-- empowers and sustains breast cancer fighters around the world. Imagine how one color has impacted the lives of millions of individuals. Imagine how 2 sisters, together, have built a community that knows no barriers. They all have imagined a world without breast cancer. They have made the finish line a reality.

Please visit for more information.

(The Susan G. Komen Foundation is fighting breast cancer)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Make a parking space your new living room.

Take a nap in public space.

The above are just a few of the avant-garde ideas heard over at Rebar—a studio dedicated to art, design, and activism. Although ideas are usually based out of their San Francisco office, their projects are viewed all over the world.

Encountering a Rebar project often initiates “a double take,” for the everyday objects or ideas used in these social experiments are repurposed to spark out-of-the-box conversation.

While some may chuckle upon seeing a dozen sleeping adults in a public art gallery, others may happily join the “Nappening.” Just imagine a group of business men jumping into a pile of Bushwaffle on the town green, or a “fully-functional corporate conference room submerged seven feet into the desert floor.”

No need to imagine.

This is reality.

Rebar is challenging routine and questioning monotony.

Among the most successful is Park[ing] day, which transforms “temporary public open space in a privatized part of town.” Initiated in 2005, a parking space in San Francisco was temporarily remodeled into a makeshift park—complete with grassy knoll, park bench and supple sapling, providing refuge for pedestrians meandering along the city’s busy streets.

While some may think the space unconventional for rest and relaxation, “more than 70% of San Francisco's downtown outdoor space is dedicated to the private vehicle, while only a fraction of that space is allocated to the public realm.”

Why not integrate the two?

And so, Park[ing] day has become an annual tradition—from California to Tehran. It is a time when vibrant green blades of grass overtake mundane gray strips of concrete.

A time when people around the world take a much needed break.

On a bench.

In the street.

Please visit for more information.

(Rebar is redefining urban space.)

Thursday, October 21, 2010


350 or 10.10.10—which is the greater number?

For the many who arranged wedding vows to the thousands who rallied to combat global warming, 10.10.10 will be commemorated for its pledges.

While the hype leading up to this momentous date was unique, the commitments that culminated from this historic event are unprecedented.

For the folks at, 10.10.10 was merely a vehicle to serve 350; the number that “scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.” If atmospheric concentrations of CO2 continue to generate above 350 parts per million, major human and natural disasters around the world will remain imminent dangers.

So, in partnership with the world, created a day dedicated to lowering the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere; also known as what CNN calls the “'most widespread day of political action in the planet's history.’” That was in 2009.

This year was 10.10.10.

The year of the global work party.

In 188 countries, 7347 events occurred. The people led the leaders. And grassroots initiatives showed the politicians that: “if we can get to work, so can you!”

People pledged and organized campaigns worldwide to reduce our global CO2 number. They partied, rallied, photographed, installed (solar panels), planted (community gardens), shot (movies), and cleaned (up public spaces). Verbs and actions we exhibit everyday—but on 10.10.10, they were reframed to address global warming in a different light. has successfully built an accessible network across the internet to tackle a complex problem that our political leaders have not yet effectively addressed. Their open portal has collected the photographs, videos, and events of 10.10.10 to unite global advocates in the fight against global warming.

No place is too far or too small to escape the harmful effects of global warming.

350 is achievable from the bright blue sky to the deep blue sea.

Please visit 350.0rg for more information.

( is bringing CO2 levels back to reality)

Friday, October 15, 2010


The “no child left behind” mantra is transforming into the “no idea left behind” policy.

With the myriad of articles and policies surrounding the ever present U.S. education debate, blogs and websites are serving as venues for discussion and innovation in the education sector.

Redu: Rethink/Reform/Rebuild Education is a platform for entrepreneurs, artists, professionals, and individuals to share their ideas on education reform. Redu most recently sponsored the re:form school project—an interactive exhibit using art as a mechanism to transcend traditional educational boundaries. Housed in a public school in the SoHo area of NYC, re:form exhibited the work of over 150 artists uniquely displaying a public awareness campaign on education.

It transformed the traditional school building, classrooms, and playground into an open medium of questioning the conventional educational system.

While the exhibit was only a temporary gesture to get the creative juices flowing, redu’s website serves as a long term forum on innovative educational collaboration. Powered by Microsoft’s Bing software, redu is making a statement that education has crossed conventional policy.

With staggeringly troubling statistics on the future of education in the U.S., redu is aiming to step ahead of the game by creating “positive social changes through its powerful content, unique network, and expertise in education.”

Education is on the verge of reinvention.

While change in the public education sector is often a grueling process, there are some superheroes who have hit the ground running, or rather flying. Just look at the challenges and victories of the recent hit film “Waiting for Superman,” or the physical redesign of the school classroom.

While it seems that no idea has gone untouched—

schools: small v. big, charter v. public;
teachers: old v. young, experienced v. naïve;
students: inclusion v. self contained classrooms–

the work still remains.

And redu has just raised the bar—for it has just let ALL of us contribute to the presentation.

Please visit for more information.

(Redu is rebuilding education.)

Monday, October 11, 2010


11 December 1946:

The United Nations creates the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to aid the emergency needs of children in post-war Europe and China


UNICEF’s charter is expanded “to address the long-term needs of children and women in developing countries everywhere.”


UNICEF becomes a permanent part of the UN and is known as the United Nations Children's Fund.


Although UNICEF’s halls may be overflowing with senior professionals, young leaders around the world are dedicated to helping UNICEF realize its mission as well.

Humberto Elías Orozco, 11, in Vargas, Venezuela:

As President of the Student Center for the Promotion and Defense of Children’s Rights, Humberto “helps his peers in understanding the significance of being an individual with rights, which also means being aware of one’s obligations” to help others in need. He has since both learned and taught lessons about respect and taking responsibility for one’s actions. He hopes that he will be able to raise awareness and encourage other youngsters to become involved and to care for their communities.

Ryan Hreljac, 6, in Kemptville, Canada:

After learning about children around the world who lacked a source of clean water, Ryan began fundraising to build wells in those parts of the country where there was no clean water. Four years later, he had started his own Foundation, which raised almost $800,000 to provide 70 wells for clean drinking in Africa.

Abigail Manglicmot, 16, in Olongapo City, Philippines:

Having worked with street children and children with special needs in her community for a few years, Abigail was inspired to continue educating others on the inequalities and violence in the lives of street children—those who lived in her midst, yet led such a different life.

In this game, age doesn’t matter.

Please visit for more information.

(UNICEF is building a world which realizes the rights of every child)

Monday, October 4, 2010


My sister and I used to have a lemonade stand.

Mixing our “freshly squeezed lemonade” (from concentrate), we would rack in the big bucks ($15), by quenching the thirst of hundreds of runners (about 20) in the sweltering summer sun.

We thought we were saving the world—or at least thirsty runners who insisted on paying $1 for lemonade we were offering at 25 cents.

But for all of the hours we spent at the bottom of our driveway, giggling through our sales of “the best lemonade in town,” I believe our salesgirl skills have been outdone.

We have been one upped by Alex Scott and her Lemonade Stand—mind you, her Lemonade Stand Foundation.

Battling cancer since just before her first birthday, by the time she was four and had just received a stem cell transplant, Alex told her mom that “when I get out of the hospital I want to have a lemonade stand." Alex, however, didn’t just create another lemonade stand on the streets of Philly.

She changed the Lemonade Stand industry.

At the ripe old age of four, Alex donated the $2000 earned from her one-day lemonade stand profits to “her hospital.”

Like any kid, to Alex, it was simple. She wanted to help others, just like her doctors helped her—so every year, Alex held a lemonade stand to benefit “her hospital” and cancer research.

Tragically, Alex passed away in 2004. However, her legacy and memory have lived on through the people Alex touched in her 8 years of life.

Having raised over $1 million in lemonade stand profits in four years, Alex moved people all over the world to donate to the fight against cancer. Since then, her family created Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation—which has not only raised over $35 million to fund research projects and enhance the quality of life of individuals and family members suffering from cancer, but has also inspired a movement of individuals to fundraise “lemonade stand style” to fight cancer.

There are sometimes when kids are lost in their own world.

There are other times, when kids are changing their world.

Alex was one of those other times.

Please visit for more information.

(Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation is “fighting childhood cancer, one cup at a time.”)

Monday, September 27, 2010


A simple mathematical equation: NOLA > than the spiral

Translation: The people of New Orleans, Louisiana will not let hurricanes destroy them.

A growing grassroots organization at its finest, “ is an evolution of citizens' ability to aid and enhance our government during times of disaster.”’s founder, Robert X. Fogarty, is doing just that—he is gathering the greater New Orleans community to care for each other in times of crisis, specifically in times of natural disaster.

Stressing the importance of localizing help and sidestepping bureaucracy, is utilizing community networks to create an efficient system for preparation and evacuation policies in the New Orleans community.

Although the New Orleans’ weather patterns may be unpredictable, the evacuteer is ensuring that competence wins in the face of uncertainty.

Probably one of the newest organizations featured on charitychange, is damn[ing] the torpedoes full speed ahead. Robert explains that “Building something from scratch has tons of ups and downs along the journey. More than anything, friends and strangers have believed in this idea and now it's what keeps us all going.”

Indeed, building partnerships is the key to the evacuteer’s success. Evoking images of the 3 musketeers, the evacuteer will similarly use their super powers to aid the people on the streets of New Orleans in a time of natural disaster. Evacuteer is leveraging its manpower by requiring partners to bring 10 volunteers headed by a captain in order to be a part of the movement. Such a strategy ensures the continued growth of the evacuteer network.

Developing “a network of organizations committed to assisting upon initiation of the City Assisted Evacuation Plan (CAEP)” and serving as “the premier volunteer-mobilization entity in the City of New Orleans for individuals and organizations committed to assisting in the CAEP” is a tall order.

However, Robert Fogarty is equipped to enter the battlefield known as organizational bureaucracy. While he claims that “We're not quite [up] to the exciting stuff yet,” he’ll let us know when “we’re close.”

Last time I checked, reinventing the modern day musketeer as the New Orleans evacuteer was, in itself, a pretty exciting adventure.

Thanks, Robert, for sharing the latest in New Orleans’ superhero escapades!

Please visit for more information.

( is a network of volunteers dedicated to helping the New Orleans community in times of crisis by executing the City Assisted Evacuation Plan.)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Thousands are satiated from Walking in Massachusetts.

Sounds ironic, but Project Bread's annual Walk for Hunger raises millions of dollars to feed the hungry in Massachusetts.

As the “oldest continual pledge walk in the country,” the Walk for Hunger has become an integral part of Boston’s landscape every May. Relying on pledges and sponsors from the Walk for Hunger, Project Bread is able to “run 400 food pantries, soup kitchens, and food banks all over Massachusetts; a statewide hunger hotline; and breakfast and summer food programs.”

Through their investments in anti-hunger programming and advocacy, Project Bread has given a voice to the hungry. While the Walk for Hunger may only occur once a year, for its 42,000 participants and 2,000 volunteers, fighting hunger in their local communities is a constant priority.

Since 1969:

1,002,800 Walkers

20,818,800 miles

Over $77.8 million

has helped to fight hunger in Massachusetts.

Closing some of the Boston’s busiest streets, the Walk for Hunger’s 20 mile route illustrates the donors’ impact in the most public of settings. With the help of musical entertainment and hundreds of gallons of sunscreen, enthusiastic participants and volunteers make the Walk for Hunger a success every year.

As for the rest of the year?


Working with public schools, the Harvard School of Public Health, local farmers, and the Massachusetts Food Policy Alliance, Project Bread capitalizes on the expertise and interests of various organizations and individuals to alleviate hunger from the State’s agenda.

For the 550,000 people suffering from hunger in Massachusetts, Project Bread’s vision is no easy feat.

Yet, year after year, their successful story fills the streets.

Please visit for more information.

(Project Bread is aiming to end hunger in Massachusetts.)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


11/11, birthday candles, and shooting stars -opportunities to Make a Wish.

Even though most of our childhood wishes of owning a pony or being a princess do not often come to fruition, the folks at The Make a Wish Foundation are making these dreams a reality for children with life threatening illnesses.

The Make a Wish Foundation has expanded the designated times our society has “allowed” for wish making. For them, wishes should be made and can be granted any time.

Ranging from police station visits to Disneyland holidays, the exhilaration is apparent. As “a source of inspiration for children undergoing difficult medical treatments and a positive force that helps them overcome their obstacles [, a] wish experience is often more than a dream come true: It’s the catalyst that rekindles their belief in themselves and the promise of their future.”

Shuttling between doctor appointments and medical procedures, it is often hard even for the most optimistic to remain positive.

Sometimes they just need an escape, a brief fantasy.

So in swoops the Make a Wish Fairy.

While 40% of Make a Wish wishes involve a visit to Disney in some way, Christopher James Greicius’ wish in 1980, which ultimately started the foundation, involved a visit to the police station. Dreaming of becoming a police officer when he got older, 7 year old Chris was indeed part of the police force for one day. Clad in a custom made police officer uniform accompanied by a motorcade, Chris forgot about suffering from leukemia for that day.

At that moment, his wish was a normal part of his world and his routine.

With some help from “NBC Magazine,” Chris’ wish making story became the norm for sick children around the world. Since its humble beginnings in 1980 to its worldwide success today, 198,004 wishes have been granted, that’s one wish every 40 minutes.

While so many of us are caught up in our daily routines, often frustrated by life’s insignificant trials and tribulations, there are unique souls, albeit physically sick ones, who have not given up on their dreams. In fact, they have found a way to achieve them.

For them, impossible does not exist.

Please visit for more information.

(The Make a Wish Foundation gives strength and joy to ill children around the world through wish-granting work.)

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Yellow school buses have once again started their seasonal routes.

And anxious, excited children around the world have once again boarded those busses to embark on a new school year adventure.

Surrounded by fresh textbooks and new first day of school outfits, it is often difficult to think of the 121 million children around the world who will not be ringing in the new school year.

Will Hill, however, has “Got their Back.”

As the Executive Director of Got Your Back Movement, Will is equipped with two vital items to assist these children in attending school and ultimately succeeding in becoming educated members of society:

hope and uniforms.

Working with local tailors, when possible, Got Your Back is providing an unprecedented number of uniforms to children all over the world (bypassing a major educational expense). Will believes that the “key to breaking the poverty cycle” is education and empowerment.

While there are multiple ways to lend aid to the devastating numbers of children not attending school this year, Will and Got Your Back have started a movement aimed at eliminating the educational costs of buying school uniforms.

Got Your Back’s Shirt for Shirt campaign is simple.

See the shirt above?

To complete its mission, all you have to do is “wear this shirt all the time (wash, rinse, repeat).” In purchasing the tee, one school uniform was given to a child, who now has a shot at obtaining an education.

After all, education is the foundation of Got Your Back’s motto: "Restore Purpose. Give Hope. Show Love.” Such an idealistic mantra, however, is often found in the most unexpected places.

While each of the 1,200 uniforms that accompanied Will in a post-earthquake trip to Haiti has a unique story, one uniform left an indelible mark in Will’s mind. It belonged to a “young boy who had lost both of his parents, had broken his femur and had to have his arm amputated due to the quake.” For all he had been through, this child’s appreciation and smile “was one of the truest representations of genuine joy I have ever witnessed.”

From one individual to whole communities, Got Your Back is hoping to have a lasting impact around the world. With a strong focus on female education in Lwala, Kenya, in 2011, Got Your Back is expanding their programming and uniform delivery in partnership with the launch of a micro-financed sewing program. Such models form the base of a sustainable movement that repurposes one t-shirt for one uniform.

Suit up- uniforms are in.

Thanks Will, for educating us about the power of a uniform.

Please visit for more information.

(Got Your Back Movement provides uniforms for schoolchildren around the world.)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


“Good Day Sunshine”

Popular Beatles’ lyric or popular morning greeting?

While some of us may not exactly waltz into the office in a high pitched cheer exclaiming “Good Day Sunshine,” I’m sure the staff and volunteers at Project Sunshine have incorporated this mantra into their daily regimen. After all, their rays of sunshine have illuminated the lives of patients facing endless bouts of blood tests and CAT Scans during a hospital stay.

Clad in their bright yellow tees, Project Sunshine volunteers plant an extra kick of fun along the bedsides of patients in hospitals around the world. From surgi-dolls and access-to-wellness programs to painting halls and party time activities, Project Sunshiners “donate their time to create” activities and materials for innovative programming.

In the company of some 10,000 worldwide Project Sunshine volunteers and their programs, fear and anxiety often subside for a brief respite amid routine hospital procedures, “restoring a crucial sense of normalcy to the pediatric healthcare environment.”

As such, volunteers are able to instill “courage and coping skills necessary to confront” future diagnoses and procedures.

It is clear that Project Sunshine’s volunteers play a large part in the organization’s success. One of their biggest volunteer bases resides on college campuses, where various universities have formed partnerships with local hospitals, bridging the gap between two transient communities; college students and hospital patients.

From May 3- 11 2010, Project Sunshine brought their fundraising/awareness building events to the streets of New York City. With the support of Governor Paterson and Mayor Bloomberg, highlights of Project Sunshine’s annual week of service featured Yankees stars reading baseball themed stories at Mount Sinai Hospital, a golden glow at the Empire State Building, and sunshine inspired items from various luxury vendors around NYC.

Illuminate your own community.

“Let the Sun Shine in!”

Please visit for more information.

(Project Sunshine engages hospital patients in educational and recreational activities.)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Paint the Town Red.

Or for that matter, Paint the Town Color.

Such is the story of Bernie and Ed Massey— 2 brothers who used their social entrepreneurship and artistic skills to create Portraits of Hope. By engaging both the young and the old, along with the healthy and the ill, Portraits of Hope is using “art and poignant visual imagery for large-scale projects of social consequence.”

Originally constructed to benefit the growth and development of seriously ill children, tens of thousands of individuals from all walks of life have been involved in producing, collaborating, and painting spectacular public art installations.

From moving vehicles to stationary buildings, Portraits of Hope has caught the world in color. Their colorful floral and geometric designs have not only brightened up California’s lifeguard stations or New York City’s taxi fleet, but have also enriched the lives of children and adults, “many who may be coping with adversity or serious illness.”

Whether their painters are found in hospitals, schools, or empty warehouses, Portraits of Hope challenges its participants to discuss “current affairs, civic issues, individual and social responsibilities, goals and achievement, decision-making, and— the power of teamwork.” Discussions are immediately put into action through the group collaboration involved in creating such vibrant public works of art.

Take the hospital.

Perhaps the most unique setting to paint a public work of art.

And possibly the most significant.

From smaller individual projects to larger public art installations, Portraits of Hope colors hospital walls with a taste of the outside world. Painting sessions in the hospital, however, do not teach typical Painting 101 techniques.

Adaptations have been made.

Bedside visits, “telescope paint brushes for children and adults in wheelchairs or attached to IVs; shoe brushes (U.S. Patent) for children and adults with injured upper limbs or who cannot manipulate a brush with their hands; and flavored mouth brushes for those with limited or no movement in their arms and legs” have been designed so that everyone, no matter their disposition, can add more color to their life.

The success of such large projects relies on the individual, no matter the ability.

Such is Portraits of Hope’s message for life.

Please visit for more information.

(Portraits of Hope engages children and adults in community collaboration and artistic celebration.)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Environmental awareness has topped the “What’s Hot Now” list.

This post, however, will not discuss climate change goals or reforestation. Instead, it will highlight Goods4Good, a non-profit that addresses the environment from a unique perspective by creating excellence out of excess.

About to embark upon her maiden voyage to Malawi (with the UN- her employer at the time), Melissa Kushner decided to bring some supplies to the orphans of Malawi. Thanks to her friends’ help, she provided a new set of clothing (the first set for most) for orphans in Malawi from the almost 2 tons of excess clothing and toys from Toys R’ Us and The Children’s Place.

Seeing the smiles and understanding the appreciation of the community in Malawi, Melissa continued to collect and ship tons and tons of supplies across the Atlantic.

Eventually, her excess shipments formed an organization now known as Goods4Good.

These donations are not merely airdrops.

Months, even years, are devoted to connecting and understanding the needs of Goods4Good’s recipient communities. Such a model ensures that the abundant waste of goods collected on this side of the ocean will be used most efficiently thousands of miles away.

Partnerships with companies, governments, organizations, and individuals are crucial to Good4Good’s work on both sides of the operation.

Goods4Good has discovered that in working and empowering local communities and organizations, their excess goods will be used to the max. For example: instead of merely supplying uniforms for students in Malawi, one of Goods4Good’s most profound impacts on the community was supplying fabric to make the uniforms. Sewing skills were thus mastered by the Malawi community, introducing a new sustainable trade to the area.

While most donations are given to communities in Malawi, Goods4Good has extended its network to other developing nations as well. “Since 2006…over 120 tons of essential goods [have been delivered] to over 510,000 vulnerable children in Malawi, Liberia and Haiti.”

Melissa and the team at Goods4Good are creating a new norm. They are putting an environmental conscious on excess.

One’s waste is indeed another’s treasure.


Please visit for more information.

(Goods4Good turns excess into necessity.)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


How do you live?


As the social media guru for LIVESTRONG, Brooke McMillan ensures that people around the world are indeed living strong. A small group of individuals, coupled with a cycling champ, and a myriad of yellow rubber bracelets started the campaign to LIVESTRONG. Using his remarkable athletic abilities and unbreakable will to survive cancer’s death threat, Lance Armstrong became the poster boy in the global fight against cancer.

From black tie fundraisers to spandex bike-a-thons, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, now known as LIVESTRONG, succeeded in raising awareness, funds, and support for those suffering from cancer. With a 7 time Tour-de-France winner leading the campaign, LIVESTRONG even has McCain and Obama naming “3 specific things they would do to fight the disease.”

Many cancer patients and survivors are awed by Lance Armstrong’s determined will power.

He is after all a celebrated sensation on the bike.

But he is also the guy next door—the guy who shared your hospital room in the oncology ward just a few years ago.

Based on a model of bringing services and comfort to individuals affected by cancer, LIVESTRONG thrives on its personal relationship both with its supporters and with its clients.

Brooke brought these ideas into action.

She was LIVESTRONG’s “first ‘SurvivorCare’ employee… answering questions about cancer and doing case management for people that needed assistance.”

Through its one-on-one “SurvivorCare” support and its partnership with various organizations, LIVESTRONG’s work extends beyond the hospital wall.

In 2008, staff at LIVESTRONG “went to New Orleans to work for Habitat for Humanity and to assist cancer survivors that had been affected by hurricane Katrina. We built on 4 houses as a team- including Lance. We met the partner organizations that received our grant funding that we provided to help people with cancer displaced by the storm.” Such global, national, and individual connections contribute to LIVESTRONG’s growth, support, and strength.

This fall, “the LIVESTRONG Cancer Navigation Center in Austin, Texas” will open to assist patients, survivors and loved ones deal with the emotional, physical and practical affects of cancer. Located in the Eastside of Austin, a typically underserved section of the Austin community, the center “will provide direct one-on-one counseling, help people figure out how to pay for treatment, talk with them about how to take care of their bodies during and after treatment and more. No facility like this exists in the city and there are very few navigation centers in the United States.”

My choice of living?

I would Live Strong.

Thanks Brooke for teaching us what it means to wear the LIVESTRONG wristband (A belated thanks to Kerala last week for taking us on a playful tour of KaBOOM!’s playgrounds)!

Please visit for more information.

(LIVESTRONG strives to improve the lives of those affected by cancer.)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Swings, Slides, and Foam Shapes—

just some of the items constantly on the creative and playful minds of the staff at KaBOOM!

They are saving play by creating a playspace within walking distance of every child in America.

As Kerala Taylor, Manager of Online Content and Outreach at KaBOOM!, notes “KaBOOM! is unique in just about every way.” Although the KaBOOMers are experts in playground building, they “actively work WITH the community on everything from planning to design to fundraising to building.”

Building local, sustainable playgrounds is the backbone to KaBOOM!’s work. While local children and adults brainstorm designs for their community’s “dream playground,” KaBOOM! partners with these community groups to put their own ideas and leadership into play. As a result, the community gains a playground which “will be well used and well cared for” thanks to KaBOOM!’s community empowerment model.

KaBOOM!’s success relies in the community’s strength to believe and to achieve. During playground builds, the “sweaty affair brings together community members, corporate volunteers from our sponsoring companies, and often government officials.” In a single day, the concrete is mixed, bolts are tightened, and dozens of sandwiches are consumed.


The overnight (or rather overday) transformation of an empty lot into a colorful playground.

Constantly improving their impact and saving play for children in America, in 2004, KaBOOM! started offering “a free online playground planner to give communities across the country the tools and resources they need to follow our unique community-build, done-in-a-day model.” And they have over 1,700 DIY (do-it-yourself) playgrounds to show for it in just the past year!

Perhaps one of the more humbling experiences at KaBOOM! was building playgrounds in communities affected by Hurricane Katrina. Surprisingly, the playgrounds served as a refuge for hundreds of residents as they hoped “of renewing a sense of normalcy and safety for their children.”

For the 5th anniversary commemoration of Katrina, KaBOOM! will be building the “135th and 136th playgrounds in the Gulf in August.” Also coming this summer is the Park-A-Day KaBOOM! Summer Challenge, where 8 parents will bring their children to a different playground everyday of the summer and report about their experiences.

This project will “create a comprehensive map of playspaces in our challengers' hometowns” and will highlight “the importance of outdoor playspaces” around America.

Don’t sell yourself short.

You could be the next creative mind behind your neighborhood’s playground.

Build it.

Please visit for more information.

****PLEASE****E-mail charitychange [AT] gmail [DOT] com with a jpeg of you donning your fav charity tee. You will be featured in an upcoming post!

(KaBOOM! works with communities to ensure the growth of America’s playgrounds)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


For all the Yogi’s out there, Namaste.

For the rest of you,

Nama- what?

Welcome to the wonderful world of yoga.

While some experience yoga as a deeply personal journey, others, like lululemon athletica, highlight yoga’s communal values. Since 1998, lululemon’s grassroots actions and company actions in Vancouver, have promoted a thoughtful lifestyle for thousands across the globe.

Originally created as a design/yoga studio for Chip Wilson’s experimental yoga-wear, “an underground yoga clothing movement was [ultimately] born.” From the overwhelming success of lululemon’s first official store opening in 2000, this “yoga clothing movement” has grown exponentially.

Their philosophy?

“Elevating the world from mediocrity to greatness.”


“Creating components for people to live longer, healthier, more fun lives.”

A simple mission through thoughtful means.

From a yoga studio in their HQ to extra brownie points for employees who hike one of Vancouver’s mountains before walking/biking to the office, lululemon “yoga’s their yak.” (aka walks their talk). Their company is not only founded on creating meaningful designs and lifestyles, but on eliminating waste “by removing anything that does not add value to our company, our guests and our communities.”

Constantly aware of local community needs, you can often spot:

A) the lululemon ambassador (sporting the latest yoga apparel) while dispensing advice and athleticism on the healthy yogi life

B) the lululemon free yoga class (free use of mats) both indoors and outdoors.

With the help of their company stores, showrooms, and ambassadors, leading a healthy lululemon lifestyle is not all that difficult.

Elevate your life to the next level by literally “bow[ing] to you” or figuratively finding the energy of connection and timelessness, free from the bonds of ego-connection—translated: Namaste.

Please visit for more information. (Thanks for bearing with me for the t-shirt improvisation this week-- I guess for-profit companies don't display their logo so prominently)

****NEW****E-mail charitychange [AT] gmail [DOT] com with a jpeg of you donning your fav charity tee. You will be featured in an upcoming post!

(lululemon athletica inspires and creates materials “for people to live a longer, healthier, more fun life”)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


“We have held hands walking down the beach at the brink of divorce, the budding of new love, the devastation of death and disease --- and the Gulf, she allowed us to breathe in new breath and start again with new perspectives.”

Such is the nostalgic sentiment of a 61 year-old Gulf Coast dweller.

Thanks to The Gulf Restoration Network (GRN), thousands have benefitted from the protection and restoration of the natural resources in the Gulf Region. Since 1995, the GRN has provided “technical support and mentoring to grassroots groups,” developed partnerships and coordination of member activities in the region, and pursued “campaigns on priority issues… including water quality, wetlands, sustainable fisheries, smart energy, hurricane rebuilding, and species-at-risk.”

While numerous environmental threats—from protecting cypress forests to “fil[ing] suit blocking expansion of phosphate strip mining in central and southwest Florida”—have sustained the GRN’s 8 person staff for years, BP’s colossal oil spill has devastated the GRN’s agenda.

Their deep understanding of both wild life and human life in the Gulf Region has enabled the GRN to advise and guide the community through the most recent unchartered waters.

This local, communal knowledge is paralleled by community based t-shirt company, Threadless, which reacted to the unprecedented oil spill with the peliCAN tee. Reminiscent of the oil covered birds in Saved By The Bell’s “Oil Spill” episode (back in 1991), the peliCAN t-shirt is providing funds for the GRN’s on-the-ground efforts in aiding the ailing natural resources in the Gulf Region.

Even though some of the world’s most influential companies, powers, celebrities, and organizations are scrambling to clean up the spill, 3 months later, the oil disaster is flowing freely.

Maybe the failed response is a consequence of the “not-in-my-backyard” attitude.

But this disaster is in someone’s backyard.

It is—
where thousands have lived
where family businesses have thrived
where life has found new perspectives—
for generations.

Please visit for more information.

(The Gulf Restoration Network unites people to protect and restore the Gulf Region for generations to come)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Aviva Schick Searches for Good.

In fact, googling doesn’t compare to the results she obtains on—“a search engine which donates 50 percent of its sponsored search revenue (about a penny per search) to the charities and schools designated by its users.”

As the co-founders of GoodSearch, siblings Ken and JJ Ramberg have brought a conscious to the Internet Search—raising money for charities through our often subconscious clicks on the Internet.

Powered by Yahoo!, GoodSearch uses some “of the $8 billion generated annually by search engine advertisers” to fund thousands of charities. Not only are the search results top notch, but each search generates money for your choice of do gooders in the world.

With an ever-growing database of nonprofits and charities, GoodSearch expanded their capacity in 2007 to another Internet realm—shopping.

aka GoodShop.

This “online shopping mall of 1,500+ world-class merchants is dedicated to helping fund worthy causes across the country.” Every purchase in GoodShop contributes 3-30% of a sale to your designated charity.

GoodSearch and GoodShop generate money for your charity choice based on the “portion of advertiser dollars earned as a result of your search.”

Remember that $8 billion dollars mentioned above? Thanks to GoodSearch and GoodShop, some of it is now contributed directly to charity.

While some may believe that the one penny per search method is not the most effective, check out the $34,000 that the ASPCA has received thanks to the now conscious clicks of their supporters.

As their alternative search and shopping engines continue to grow, GoodSearch is making its way into the September issue of Self Magazine and increasing their web ad campaign.

Most recently, they have left their mark on “the Association of Fundraising Professionals Conference, where we have the opportunity to interact first-hand with the nonprofits that we help support.”

If their PR and ad campaigns reach the limits, perhaps “goodsearching” will officially be inducted into the English Dictionary.

So the next time you have a question—goodsearch it.

Thanks Aviva, for teaching us how to find the good in our Internet searches (and for being charitychange's first guest model)!

Please visit for more information.

(GoodSearch is an Internet search engine that generates funds for non-profits)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


2,000,000 people for 1.

Bono’s campaign to fight global poverty in 2002, started as DATA (debt, AIDS, trade, Africa), an advocacy organization focused on solving major problems in developing countries. After partnering with ten other anti-poverty organizations, Bono and his crew decided to launch ONE, an advocacy organization that mobilizes “Americans from all walks of life” in the fight against poverty.

Through “global online actions [and] an iconic ad campaign, [ONE] succeeded in helping to secure a pledge by the G8 to direct an additional $25 billion in effective assistance to Africa by 2010 [and] in less than a year, signed up more than 2 million members,” as a part of a grassroots campaign to support better policies in combating poverty.

Officially combining forces in 2007, DATA and ONE merged into a single organization: ONE. “DATA’s high-level global advocacy and policy depth [and] ONE's grassroots mobilization expertise” form the foundation that executes ONE’s mission.

Kim Smith, ONE’s Deputy Director of Field, has been involved in fighting HIV/AIDS for years. She notes that one of the most attractive aspects of ONE “is that we are non-partisan and that we do not ask our members for money.”

Not the most common formula among non-profits.

ONE has in fact united some 2,000,000 among the wide spectrum of political opinions and views in America to fight against global poverty. By eliminating the draining effort of fundraising campaigns from their agenda, ONE is able to engage its members in “focus[ing] purely on advocacy and us[ing] their voice for the world’s poorest people.”

Reaching out to members of Congress has been ONE’s most major success. Kim explains that in 2008, “the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which has provided more than 2.1 million people with life-saving retroviral treatments,” was reauthorized. While this bill was stuck in the Senate, ONE mobilized its member network to call their Senators to support this “life-saving legislation.”

While ONE does not endorse political candidates, whichever Senators do win the next open 2010 Senate races across America will be well-informed “on the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease.” Thanks to ONE members and staff who are educating candidates, no matter their political affiliation, such crucial issues will be on the forefront of the political agenda.

From its inception, ONE has consciously worked (not competed) with other similarly goal-oriented organizations to be a leader in advocacy to fight global poverty.

2 thoughts from 1:

Sidestep politics.

No fundraising needed.

Thanks Kim (and Robyn), for uniting the political front in the fight against global poverty.

Please visit for more information.

(ONE is a grassroots campaign and advocacy organization dedicated “to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.”)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


The next time you purchase Mango Tango juice or any other Newman’s Own product, smile.

Smile in honor of Paul Newman, a role model for his philanthropic endeavors and for his humble approach to helping hundreds of thousands of individuals around the world.

While many may associate Paul Newman with his highly successful acting career, kids today know him as the man smiling on their tomato sauce, or even better, as the man who created their summer camp.

Through donations from the net royalties and profits from Newman’s Own products, Paul Newman not only created the Newman’s Own Foundation but he founded the Hole in the Wall Camps, an international family of camps for kids with serious medical conditions, named after the Hole in the Wall Gang in the hit film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” starring Robert Redford and our very own Paul Newman.

Paul “wanted to acknowledge luck; the chance and benevolence of it in my life, and the brutality of it in the lives of others, especially children, who might not be allowed the good fortune of a lifetime to correct it.”

And so, along with12,000 volunteers, over 42,000 children, suffering from medical illnesses, have the opportunity to attend summer camp free of charge. From Israel and Ireland to Uganda and the United States, the Hole in the Wall Association runs (summer/winter) camps and programs ranging from recreational activities on acting and zip lining to educational activities on self esteem and HIV/AIDS awareness.

At the Hole in the Wall Camps, campers experience a yearning they long for the remainder of the year: “just to be a kid.”

While their abilities range from wheelchair bound to oxygen tank dependent, campers, staff, and volunteers at the Hole in the Wall Camps can be found smiling and cheering in the midst of the weekly dance party or at a quick IV pit stop at the “Body Shop” (known to the rest of the world as the infirmary).

As Hole in the Wall continues to expand and provide opportunities around the world for kids to just be kids, they are constantly finding new funding opportunities and partnerships with various organizations, companies, community groups, and individuals.

Donating money to a cause individually is meaningful, however being part of a team of donors is uniquely rewarding. And that is exactly what Team Hole in the Wall achieves—an opportunity for individuals to raise money for Hole in the Wall Camps while achieving a great athletic feat (marathons, triathlons, Riding events) knowing thousands of campers are cheering you on.

Smiling across the finish line after 26.2 miles gives an athlete a taste of the courage, will, and determination that campers attending the Hole in the Wall Camps encounter on a daily basis.

This summer thousands will celebrate Paul Newman’s legacy as they chant “Mango Tango Mango Tango” in the Hole in the Wall Camp dining rooms.

While you may not be able to fit summer camp into your busy schedule anymore, if you are a young professional in the New York City area, experience summer camp Hole in the Wall style at Hole in the Wall’s first young professional’s event in NYC! RSVP at:
Please visit for more information.

(Hole in the Wall Camps provides an opportunity for children suffering from long-term illnesses to attend summer camp and programs)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


You probably won’t find a marathon winner or star sprinter among this bunch.

What you will find among this group of runners, however, is willpower and perhaps a welcome addiction.

After personally experiencing the effects and consequences of her father’s gambling addiction, Anne Mahlum found that one of the most tragic effects of addiction is often homelessness.

Determined to channel an addict’s “downward spiral” into a positive obsession, Anne founded Back on My Feet in 2007 to “promote the self-sufficiency of homeless populations by engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem.”

Building a community network of personal support and help is the core of Back on My Feet’s operations. While she was familiar with numerous programs for the homeless population in “education, housing, or even job[s],” Anne found a lack of personal support available to one of the most vulnerable populations in Philadelphia.

And so, “Back on My Feet now serves the role of not only connecting our members with those education, housing and job programs, but also helping our members develop that personal support.”

Three mornings a week, volunteers wake in the pre-dawn hours to run with groups of individuals struggling with homelessness. Participants in these group runs now have a network of individuals they can rely on and the discipline to propel them towards their goal of getting “back on their feet.”

“Fellowship, teamwork, friends—that is where it all starts.”

And it shows no sign of ending any time soon.

Back on My Feet is on the verge of major expansion. They are ready to spread their running addiction to Philadelphia’s neighboring major cities. With branches already in Baltimore and Washington D.C., programs are being launched in Boston and Chicago. And by 2011, Back on My Feet hopes to be in 10 major cities in the U.S.

With the help of Back on My Feet, 19 previously homeless individuals completed a marathon— but more importantly, over 1,000 individuals have been impacted through Back on My Feet’s running. Participants rely on team support to help them through the physical as well as mental training. The skills they learn from the early morning runs with Back on My Feet are paving the road to rejuvenate their lives.

With incentives ranging from free sneakers to finding a job, Back on My Feet has the infrastructure and programming to rebuild the lives of homeless individuals.

Decision time:

Run as an addict or Run as an addiction?

Thanks Anne, for the virtual run with Back on My Feet!

Please visit for more information.

(Back on My Feet is dedicated to helping the homeless get back on their feet through the discipline and personal support of running.)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Be an Abolitionist.

Not metaphorically. For Real.

Slavery exists in our lifetime—make it history.

Upon discovering that his favorite Indian restaurant in California had been trafficking women from India, David Batstone embarked on a journey around the world to understand how “slavery flourishes in the shadows.”

During his travels, David met remarkable heroes, constantly engaged in fighting the war against modern day slavery. He joined the battle and created Not for Sale, a movement that “combines technology, intellectual capital, abolitionist groups and a growing network of individuals” to end slavery.

Modern day slavery is often hidden from our line of sight—precisely why it is able to thrive and spread around the world.

While supporting the innovative projects of abolitionists from Asia to South America, Not for Sale has also created an abolitionist network in the U.S. With the help of its regional directors who facilitate events which raise awareness and funds for Not for Sale’s global partners, the movement to end slavery has taken on a thoughtful yet modern design.

Not for Sale identifies with the individual, and it provides the tactics and resources to take action regardless of your interests, successfully engaging the businessperson and the athlete alike.

Their “free2work” campaign highlights the integrity and transparency of certain companies’ supply chains, while their “free2play” campaign supports the rehabilitation of slavery victims through physical activity.

Founded on “open source activism” and transparent communication, Not for Sale is paving the way for spreading open advocacy through a smart and fresh communication forum.

Not for Sale workshops and events encourage abolitionists to evaluate the process and production of everyday materials and products whether made in “their own backyard” or in small village halfway across the world.

Join modern day abolitionists to make this reality a story of the past.

For more information, please visit

(Not for Sale’s grassroots social movement is fighting human trafficking and slavery.)