Hashtag Holiday Giving - Social Media Campaigns We Love

1. Oxfam America's Unwrapped holiday gift catalogue allows for donations to support families in need. For $150, you can support a midwife's training, or give a pair of chickens for only $18. Follow all the good on Twitter via the hashtag #Unwrapped (not to be confused with the Food Network Show) at @OxfamAmerica.

2. Evite and Pledgeling's #GiveMeFive challenge is a fun way to send holiday greetings to friends, family and coworkers, while encouraging them to make small donations ($5) to charity. Guests can opt to make a donation when they RSVP to a party. Easy as pie. 

3. Goodwill is offering a simple solution to the environmental impact of shopping online: Take the boxes you receive and use them to ship donations of clothing and household items. Visit givebackbox.com to send donations for free, and follow the impact via #GiveBackBox.

You might need to fight for your box.

You might need to fight for your box.

7 Kids Who Started Nonprofits

1. One day, 5-year-old Hannah Taylor saw a homeless man eating out of a garbage can in her hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba. She didn’t know why and wanted to help the man and those like him. She started The Ladybug Foundation to help find shelter, safety and food for the homeless. Hannah, now 18, has raised more than $3 million for Canada’s homeless and has even started another charity, The Ladybug Foundation Education Program, which encourages school children to make a difference.

2. Alex Scott received a neuroblastoma diagnosis at age 4. To fight back, she created Alex’s Lemonade Stand to raise money for children’s cancers. Once a year, she set up a stand in her front yard. Word spread and others started making their own Alex’s Lemonade stands. Shortly before young Alex died at the age of 8, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation raised $1 million. The foundation is still going  strong today.

3. Craig Kielburger was 12 when he saw the story of boy his age who had been murdered for speaking up about human rights and slavery in Pakistan. From that moment, he knew he needed to help. Craig, along with his older brother and several classmates, decided to speak out against child slavery. They established Free the Children to bring an end to child slavery. After realizing freeing children from slavery was not the only problem, Craig began Adopt a Village, a program that gives the village the tools needed to empower themselves out of poverty.


4. Leanne Joyce has a congenital heart problem.  Back in 2010 while waiting for her test results, she was given a gift by two of the hospital volunteers. The joy of receiving the gift made her forget about being in the hospital. Seeing that others care, Leanne wanted to give back to other children in hospitals to help them be happy too so Leanne established Positive Impact for Kids. Since then she has brought joy to hundreds of children. She has goals to make the stays of children and teens in the hospital better by raising money for iPads to keep them socially and educationally engaged.

5. Austin Gutwein created Hoops of Hope after seeing how children whose parents died of AIDS were suffering. On World AIDS Day in 2004 he shot 2,057 free throws to represent the number of children losing their parents to AIDS. Austin raised almost $3,000 for World Vision to help 8 of those children. To date, Hoops of Hope has raised more than $2.5 million to  help children get food, clothing, schooling and more. Parts of the money also goes to help buy mosquito nets, clean water and more to children in Malawi. This year they are working toward their goal of building 15 new dormitories for children as the current ones are overflowing with children that live too far away from the schools.

6. Jonas Corona created Love in the Mirror at age 6 after volunteering to feed the homeless in the LA area. He noticed that there were many children who were in line for food in clothes that did not fit them. All he wanted was to make these children happy and healthy. He started Love in the Mirror to provided families in need with the necessities of life.


7. Who run the world? Girls! Shannon McNamara launched Shannon’s After-School Reading Exchange in 2008, when she was 15 years old. While planning a mission trip to Africa, Shannon learned that many girls were not able to access education. Shannon, along with neighbors, friends and family gathered books and supplies to give to the girls of Africa. Since then SHARE has helped build school libraries and created scholarships in Tanzania. Recently they launched a Keep Girls Safe Initiative.



About the Authors: Ashley Angeline and Sarah Nylen are interns with the Daily Do Good. Sarah, an American University junior, dreams of lazy beach days in her coastal Massachusetts hometown, while striving to be a marketing major for a socially responsible company in DC. A communications student at the University of Cincinnati, Ashley aspires to be a broadcast journalist. And to marry Prince Harry.


Aunt Flo Went to the London Marathon

Blogger, marathoner and musician Kiran Gandhi made headlines recently for her choice to "free bleed," i.e. use no feminine hygiene product, while running the London Marathon on her period. 


How to describe my first reaction? Well, it went something like this: 


Gandhi has been quoted by various sources as saying that her goal was twofold: To break the stigma against menstruation and "for sisters who don’t have access to tampons and sisters who, despite cramping and pain, hide it away and pretend like it doesn’t exist."

Indeed, poor women in third world countries, and in our own country, are forced to use dirty rags, leaves, or other materials to stanch the menstrual flow. This can lead to urogenital infection and reproductive issues, and can have an effect on maternal mortality. 

Young girls are missing school during their menses because they don't have sanitary napkins, and are too embarrassed to attend class.

And think about how much money you spend on your period each month. Are you buying tampons, liners, pads? Maybe Midol or some other over-the-counter drug to alleviate cramps? For homeless women or women living in poverty, those items are a luxury, sometimes an untenable one. 

But neither Gandhi's blog, nor any of the many, many articles I've read about her free-bleed run, provided any sort of information about how to actually help with the very real problem that many women don't have access to proper feminine hygiene supplies. 

Noble though Gandhi's intentions might have been, there are more effective (and let's be honest, less sensationalistic) solutions: 

1) Start a tampon/pad/Midol drive at your school, office, place of worship, etc. to provide homeless women, or women in third world countries, with the necessary. Donate through an organization or create care packages and distribute them directly to women you see on the street. (Sure, include candy. Or chocolate.)

2) Check out No Taboo, Period, an organization started by University of Maryland students to promote awareness about the need for access to sanitary products. According to the group's Facebook page, they donate feminine hygiene products to the ladies at N Street Village

3) Contact organizations like Calvary Women's Services, Miriam's Kitchen or A Wider Circle and ask if they collect menstrual products. If not, work with them to spearhead that effort.

4) Offer to give "period education" sessions to pre-pubescent girls at places like Community of Hope, Girls Inc, or Girls on the Run. If you are going to do this, however, please make sure you've educated yourself in order to give accurate information. I used to be, essentially, a sex ed peer counselor, and yes, I got questions like "does using a tampon mean I'm not a virgin?" and "can I get pregnant from using a tampon?" 

In an interview with Cosmo, Gandhi she didn't know if it was safe to run with a tampon in or if she would hurt herself. I'm not a runner. Long-distance ladies, any insights? 

5) Just act like having a period is a normal thing, because it is. If you feel like crap and have to miss work or ditch plans, say "I have cramps," not "I have a headache." Ask a female coworker, "Hey, do you have a tampon?" in the same tone as you'd ask, "Hey, do you have an aspirin?" 

6) Donate to an organization like Afripads, which not only provides reusable menstrual kits to girls in Africa, but provides employment opportunities for women.


About the Author: Holly Leber is the editorial director at the Daily Do Good. She will never run a marathon. She tries to keep a spare tampon in her bag in case there's a fellow woman in need. 



Last Week in a Good World...

ACCESS Youth put on a fabulous soiree to benefit at-risk DC youth. It was our pleasure to feature ACCESS Youth earlier this year, and learn about the organization's work to fight the school-to-prison pipeline through mentorship and mediation. 

DDG founder Saranah Holmes (2nd from right) and friends.

DDG founder Saranah Holmes (2nd from right) and friends.

The University of Maryland Do Good Challenge 2015 came to a close. More than 60 teams competed to create social impact projects and ventures. Meet the winners and runners-up. Congratulations to all the participants! It's great to see smart, innovative young people dedicated to doing good!

Spro Coffee in Hamden, Baltimore, gives away coffee grounds to for customers to use in composting. It's a great way to reduce waste! 

Editorial director Holly Leber (pictured) and president Saranah Holmes teamed up to extract this clump of weeds. It was our white whale of the day! 

Editorial director Holly Leber (pictured) and president Saranah Holmes teamed up to extract this clump of weeds. It was our white whale of the day! 

We took a team out to Beltsville, Md. to volunteer at Bread for the City's City Orchard. The fruit grown at City Orchard is distributed to food pantries to give underserved DC residents access to fresh, healthy produce. We had a great day weeding and trellising (we're quite the experts now!), and we're excited to go back this summer to pick the literal fruits of our labors!

We supported a friend in Atlanta as she raised money for the Atlanta Community Food Bank

Attendees left encouraging messages for the City Kids to fan the flames of success. 

Attendees left encouraging messages for the City Kids to fan the flames of success. 

City Kids Wilderness Project hosted a spring benefit to support the outdoor and career exploration programs that are helping the youth of City Kids to thrive. It was a pleasure to meet some of the young people of City Kids recently, and wish them all the best of luck!


Done some good lately? Taken notice of someone else who is doing a little something to brighten someone's day? See an article that fits in with the DDG mission? Send us a note and a photo! Email staff@dailydogood.co.



Spring Cleaning

Looking to dive into some decluttering? Here are five organizations that will help give your spring cleaning a little #dogoodfeelgood boost. 

1. A Wider Circle -- A good friend of The Daily Do Good, A Wider Circle strives to end poverty and help families create comfortable homes they can be proud of. Donate furniture, household wares, professional attire and more. Learn more...

2. Miriam's Kitchen -- Miriam's Kitchen strives to end chronic homelessness by establishing meaningful relationships with individuals in order to ensure they get the support they need. Donation needs include men's clothing, sleeping bags, toiletries and non-perishable food items. Learn more...

3. DC Area Books to Prisons Project -- Part of the Washington Peace Center, the Books to Prisons Project collects paperbacks for prison libraries to provide a positive influence to incarcerated men and women in all 50 states. Learn more...

4. Suited for Change -- Suited for Change strives to "break down barriers to self-sufficiency" by providing low-income women with career training, life skills and professional attire. Donate business-appropriate clothing and accessories, including shoes, purses, scarves and jewelry. Learn more...

5. Bikes for the World -- Little one outgrowing her first two-wheeler? Finding that mountain bike is more of a laundry rack? Bikes for the World aims to create employment opportunities in bicycle repair and maintenance, as well as enhance the lives and livelihoods of people in developing countries. Learn more here...