• Posts Tagged ‘charity’

    Real Money, Real Investments – Giving $20,000 to First Graders

    by  • March 31, 2008 • Tagged: , ,  • Comments

    When I was 6 years old, I had many things to worry about. How would I avoid being picked last in kickball? How would I avoid being caught in a game of “tag”? What did I bring to lunch that would be an attractive item to swap for something better? Ah, the trials and tribulations of being a 1st grader.

    But what about worrying about what’s happening with your $20,000 portfolio? A lucky group of first graders at a Chicago high school now get to add “I” – investing – to the 3 R’s.

    Ariel Community Academy was established in 1996 by Ariel Capital Management, a Chicago money-management firm. Each 1st grade class at the school is given $20,000; the money at that point is mostly managed by employees of Ariel Capital Management, but the kids are briefed about what’s happening with the portfolio along the way. When the kids reach 6th grade the decisions are eventually turned over to them. Upon graduation from 8th grade, the initial $20,000 go back to the incoming 1st grade class; the profits can either be donated, invested, or pocketed, depending on the kids’ decision.

    These kids are extremely lucky to get this kind of experience. I shudder to think what I would have invested in when I was in 1st grade! $20,000 sure does buy a LOT of ring pops….

    (via Gapers Block)

    Economic Incentive NOT To Hit Snooze

    by  • January 7, 2008 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    photo: DHDesign

    There was a time in my life when I NEVER hit the snooze button. It was always alarm, get up.

    Then I met Her. The snooze button suddenly became a viable option when there is a lovely, warm, and soft body next to mine every morning.

    I’m thinking that if I had a different alarm clock, though, it might be a different story. Especially an alarm clock that donated to a charity that I hated every time I hit the snooze button.

    Wake up to the smell of…Animosity…

    The SnūzNLūz(TM) alarm clock connects to your network via ethernet or even WiFi, and from there you interface with it though a web based configuration utility. You enter in your hated charity, your bank account information, and viola! Every time you hit the snooze button, you make a donation!

    Here are some of the “suggested uses”:

    Are you a butcher? Set your SnūzNLūz to donate to PETA
    Are you a hippie? Set your SnūzNLūz to donate to the American Coal Foundation.
    Are you a Ninja? Set your SnūzNLūz to donate to, hrrrm, we can’t find a Pirate Charity at the moment. But there must be one…somewhere…anyways, the point is it’s easy to setup once you identify your enemy!

    If your resolution for 2008 is to get to work early, or even on time, this might be exactly what you’re looking for.

    (via Chicagoist)

    Black Friday Shopping: Frugal And Charitable

    by  • November 26, 2007 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    photo: LarimdaME

    Yes, this past Black Friday we added to the masses of people who got up before the sun and trekked to our neighborhood department store for consumer goods. We weren’t as hardcore as Boston Gal, but we didn’t go for any of the super-duper sale items like she did.

    What did we get up at 4:30AM to buy?

    For starters, we went to Kohl’s to pick up a Foodsaver. Since Her is so good with using coupons to find deals, we thought that a Foodsaver would complement our food storage situation nicely, and by using some of Lazy Man’s tips, ultimately end up saving us quite a bit of money in the long run. We ended up saving approximately 20% off the unit. Fortunately for us, there was no mad dash for Foodsavers, and most of the models were still there, which made comparison shopping quite easy.

    Across the way from Kohl’s was a Best Buy. I did scan the circular for deals and saw that they had some RAM for a good price. We walked over to Best Buy and first saw the absolute mess that the people in line left outside the front door. Then we did a lap around the store; the lines were pretty ridiculous and they were out of stock of all of the good stuff. When we left, I was really glad that I didn’t want any electronics this year.

    We then made our way over to Babies R Us for a gift for my brother’s soon-to-arrive new baby, and something for Toys for Tots. To no surprise, Babies R Us did not have a frenzied mob of people rushing into the doors to score deals. Shopping there was actually quite pleasant, as at that early in the morning my mental function was pretty much the equivalent of a newborn. We bought some stuff for my brother’s baby off of the baby registry, of which some of it was discounted. We also got a good deal on a baby walker we ended up purchasing for Toys for Tots.

    For us, Black Friday wasn’t about just buying stuff for the sake of buying stuff at super crowded department stores. It made the whole experience almost enjoyable.

    Help Rescue Animals in Beirut

    by  • August 11, 2006 • Tagged:   • Comments

    In emergency evacuations, animals are often left behind to fend for themselves. It happened during hurricane Katrina, and it’s happening again right now with the war in Beirut. But one organization, Beiruit for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (BETA), is rescuing domestic and zoo animals left behind in the war zone, even risking their own safety to evacuate the animals. This is a non-profit group and they rely on donations to provide this humane service.

    We have seen so much terrible destruction lately that it is sometimes easier to stop feeling empathy for others. However, to quote Henry James, “Feel, feel I say – feel for all you’re worth, and even if it half kills you, for that is the only way to live.”

    Please, make a donation if you are able.

    When It Comes To Giving, Time is Often Worth More Than Money

    by  • June 1, 2006 • Tagged:   • Comments

    In the PFBlog community at least, there is no shortage of people who give money to charities, churches, and other volunteer organizations. We give a paltry sum to our church every month, but I don’t really feel like I’m actively giving until I see the deduction when I’m checking our account balance online. If what we’re giving is some of our disposable income, are we really sacrificing anything?

    In giving in this way, I feel like it is too easy. Anyone can mail off a check. Anyone can drop a few bucks into the collection plate. After that, we feel good, and can say in good faith that we’re charitable.

    But how many of your give up your time to these organizations as well?

    We’re all aware of the saying “time is money.” I’ve written a few posts about my experiences tutoring kids who don’t have the same opportunities that I’ve been given. This academic year I’ve tutored for at least 50 hours. If we apply those hours to my billable rate of $125.00/hour at my job (totally baseless and completely hypothetical, I know), that gives us this calculation of how much money that would have equaled had I just written a check:

    50 hours X $125.00/hour = $6,250.00

    Not only do these kids have the opportunity to get free extra help, I get the opportunity to make a lasting impression on these kids. For example, the kid who I mainly tutored emails me every week to let me know how he’s doing, and I know for sure that my actions have had an effect on him. That’s something that just writing a check just won’t do. Also for those who are in debt like us and feel like you can’t spare any money for charities, giving up your time is an excellent way to be charitable.

    Part of why I am writing this is the comment left by Major, stating his dislike of the Red Cross for ignoring the victims of Hurricane Rita. I’m sorry that that happened to them. One of the reasons that happened is that they didn’t have enough manpower to cover all of the needs of the Gulf Coast at the time. That’s a shame considering how many capable hands we have in the U.S. We all have an extra hour a month – with that hour please consider volunteering your time in addition, or as an alternative, to giving with your paycheck.

    Please Help Earthquake Victims

    by  • May 29, 2006 • Tagged:   • Comments

    On Saturday morning, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake devastated Indonesia.

    6,500…seriously injured.

    These aren’t the kind of numbers that anyone likes to brag about.

    Please give to the Red Cross, or any other charity that is pledging help. I’ve made it easy to do that by placing a banner at the top of every page of this website that links directly to the donations section of the Red Cross website. Consider placing a banner on your website as well; you can find many examples and sizes that fit your website here.

    Invisible Children: First Donation of 2006

    by  • April 13, 2006 • Tagged:   • Comments

    Today I made my first charitable donation of 2006, to the Invisible Children organization. Thier mission is “dedicated to providing financial resources to invisible children by documenting their true, untold stories in a creative and relevant way, resulting in positive change.” The organization is helping to provide jobs and education to families displaced by the 20-year war in Africa. I first became aware of this issue when I read Philip Gourevitche’s stunning book, “We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families.” The book was so emotionally shocking that I had to periodically stop reading it for a few days just to give myself time to grieve over the tragedy. I also heard Philip Gourevitch a few months ago in Chicago, where he held an open Q&A session. The information is hard to hear, primarily because the cruelty of this war is on par with the Holocaust, and secondly because I felt so utterly unable to stop it.

    The Invisible Children Movement will be hosting a Night Commute in Chicago on April 29. In northern Uganda, there are tens of thousands of children who are so terrified of being murdered in their beds that they are forced to commute from their rural homes to the city every night, where they sleep in the street and walk back home every morning. The Night Commute in Chicago will include a 10-mile walk down Lakeshore Drive at night, ending at Grant Park, where participants will sleep in the park to raise awareness of the issue.

    I will be unable to take part in this great event, so instead I made a $10 donation today. This donation came out of my allowance, so it’s not part of our household budget. Together we usually make several donations per year from our joint account, but we also each make a few donations out of our allowances to support organizations we feel strongly about.