When I started TruKid, one of the goals was to create a system of giving back to our community. I also intended to find a charity that was meaningful for me and spoke to our overall mission of creating healthy products for families. How does one go about researching a charity? Well, times a ticking and I have not gotten around to figuring it out. But I did find a really fantastic list of ways to give. Not only is this list diverse but it appears on the surface to be easy as well. I found it in Glamour Magazine. It is called 31 Days of Giving. I very much like the assortment of giving opportunities and I just decided that one of my 2010 goals is to make a quarterly gift to at least one of these. Of course, I am even going to involve my kids because this year I want to encourage (ok, strongly encourage) them to use some of the money in their piggy banks to give back to those in need as well. I can see how they might want to donate $10 to help kids in shelters have pajama’s at www.pajamaprogram.com or donate books to our local library. My premise is that if we teach our children to give back at an early age, it will become a part of their life and they will naturally turn into philanthropists as they grow up. That seems like a good idea. So here goes 31 Days of Giving. I have also provided the link below. 1 Help get PJs to kids in shelters so they won’t have to sleep in their clothes by giving just $10 at pajamaprogram.org. 2 Mentor a struggling student online at icouldbe.org. Studies suggest that a little boost can double a kid’s chance of going to college. 3 Donate books you’ve already read to your library. (Most public libraries accept them.) 4 End homelessness through soccer: $10 to streetsoccerusa.org helps a homeless person meet challenges on and off the field. 5 Fight malnutrition. A $1 gift to vitaminangels.org will provide much-needed vitamin supplements to children in places like Honduras, Haiti and even poor areas in the United States. 6 Tend a garden. $5 to dinnergarden.org buys seeds for enough veggies to feed a struggling family of seven. 7 Do some pro bono work. Whether you’re in marketing or IT, taprootfoundation.org can match you with a non-profit in your community that needs your skills. 8 Get lifesaving malaria medication to 10 children by donating $25 to savethechildren.org. 9 Click and give… At care2.org, every click you make prompts a sponsor to make a donation that will fight breast cancer, global warming and more. 10 …or surf and give. Use GoodSearch to find what you’re looking for online, and every search will send money to a cause of your choice. 11 Regift. Turn gift cards you’ll never use into donations to your favorite charity at plasticjungle.com. 12 Provide solar power. $50 to goodgifts.org will send an African village a solar lamp, stove and water heater. 13 Prevent disease. A $50 donation will allow doctorswithoutborders.org to vaccinate 50 people against meningitis, polio and other life-threatening diseases. 14 Send a free holiday card to a soldier abroad via redcross.org/email/saf. 15 Have a potluck with your friends instead of going out for dinner—give the $35 you save to strength.org to feed a child for a month. 16 Keep someone’s lights on. Even $5 at smallcanbebig.org makes a difference to a family who needs help with bills due to illness, domestic violence or other tragedies. 17 Inspire a leader. A donation to the Binti Pamoja Center (their name means “daughters united” in Swahili) helps a girl in a Kenyan slum pay for school and learn how to be a community leader. 18 Keep girls on the team. Giving to Robin Roberts’ GoGirlGo! Fund (at womenssportsfoundation.org) will help girls displaced by Hurricane Katrina stay in sports. 19 Help those helping others. $150 to homebasedcarealliance.org will supply medicine plus sterile gloves and a bicycle to a caregiver for people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. 20 Reach out to the new kid. $35 buys a winter coat for a resettled refugee in the U.S. at theirc.org. 21 Feed four children in Tanzania a healthy breakfast for just $1 at gocampaign.org, a nonprofit run with the help of kids from the United States. 22 Warm toes. $5 to hannahssocks.org buys seven pairs for a homeless person. 23 Play trivia. At freekibble.com, every answer—right or wrong—sends 10 pieces of dog food to an animal shelter in need. 24 Help women recover after childbirth. Fistulafoundation.org helps train doctors to care for the 2 to 3 million women who have injuries from prolonged or obstructed labor. 25 Stock a refrigerator. Just $1 to feedingamerica.org will provide nine pounds of groceries to a hungry family in the U.S. 26 Knit. Send squares to warmupamerica.org; they’ll be made into afghans and given to battered-women’s shelters. 27 Give peace to survivors of sexual trauma. $47 to the International Medical Corps (fromharmtohome.org) delivers medical and mental health care to refugees who have suffered sexual violence. 28 Turn your wedding into a charitable event. At idofoundation.org you can link your registry to your favorite cause. Each purchase triggers a donation from the retailer. 29 Starve a landfill. Make this a “no wrapping paper” year—use newspapers, even the pages of Glamour magazine, instead. 30 Keep a woman safe. At madre.org, $30 buys a cell phone for a rural Afghan woman; if threatened by violence, she can make a lifesaving call. 31 Give the gift of opportunity. At worldvisionmicro.org, you can make a microloan to help a woman in a developing country get her own small business up and running. www.glamour.com/sex-love-life/2009/12/31-days-of-giving Happy Holidays from Jennifer and mom of 6.