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Posts tagged ‘charity’

10 Ways to Help with Typhoon Haiyan Relief

A huge outburst of charity always follows a terrible disaster, but that can fade as the news cycle moves on to fresher news. It’s important to always remember the road to recovery is long, painful, and expensive. Sometimes the biggest impact you can make is to donate to charities well after the disaster has passed.

With that in mind, here are eight different charities still helping to rebuild after devastation hit the Philippines.

Philippine_Red_Cross_logoThe Philippine Red Cross is the logical starting place. A little trickier if you want to write a check, since you’ll have to mail it to Manila, but you can also just use Paypal. Don’t be confused when the provided link suggests giving to Typhoon Yolanda relief. These storms are one and the same (Haiyan is the Japanese name, Yolanda the Philippine).

oxfamOxfam is one of the most powerful and reputable non-government charity organizations, and is typically a good bet if you want to make sure your money is used appropriately.


Medecins Sans Frontieres, known in the US as Doctors Without Borders, tends to be more upfront about the fact that your donation dollars sometimes go to help all sorts of projects, not just the ones that prompted you to donate in the first place, but their missions of providing medical treatment to those who can’t afford it is always in demand and always worth donating to.


Catholic Relief Services is focusing on providing clean water,  temporary housing, and other basic needs to displaced refugees.


Another religious-based organization, World Vision‘s efforts have gone toward food and clean water, focusing primarily on families with children. It has established a separate fund just for typhoon relief.


As the name implies, the World Food Program, run by the UN, focuses on providing food to those in most need of it. They also work to keep the basic communication and transportation infrastructure operational, so resources can get where they need to go.


Americares has sent $1.4 million in medical supplies and care to the Philippines so far. That number sounds impressive, but it’s a drop in the bucket compared to what’s needed.


Another incredibly easy-to-donate-to organization, Mercy Corps provides a variety of humanitarian services and is very upfront about how it spends its money.


Habitat for Humanity is focusing its efforts on literal rebuilding. The donations it collects go toward providing tools and assistance to piece back together the homes Haiyan took away.


OK, this last one isn’t so much an organization, but you should really make sure you give cash, not canned goods or other resources you’ve collected. Charity organizations are very good at stretching every dollar as far as possible. Canned green beans and cream of mushroom soup isn’t quite as flexible. Let the charity organizations decide the best use of your money.

Of course, there are many, many more options available that aren’t listed here. Just be sure to always take special precautions to make sure you’re not donating to any scams. Awful as it sounds, they do exist, preying on the generosity of others.

Lone For the Holidays

There’s three kinds of college students during Thanksgiving break. There’s the people who travel home, gorge themselves on food, and return in the  worst possible mentality going into finals.

Group two are the people who see a break coming and decide to get as much out of it as possible.

Lazy College Senior meme: "Thanksgiving break/ Leaves the Friday Before"

And group three doesn’t go anywhere, because plane tickets are expensive, they have a lot of work to do, or they don’t have a lot of close family.

If you find yourself in group three, you’ve got to make a plan to keep your sanity. Because if 7 pm rolls around and you find yourself sitting in bed, eating day-old Domino’s breadsticks, and watching re-runs of House, you might start to feel down. So here’s a few ways to stave off the lonesome Thanksgiving blues.

  • Makeshift family. You might not have your family around, but the odds are pretty good that there’s somebody else on campus. Scrounge up a group of stragglers who’re in the same boat as you and have everyone chip in a dish or two. You might not have those sweet potatoes your grandma makes that you love so much, but you’ll still capture the spirit of the holiday.
  • Hold off for the weekend. Don’t care much for the other people left on campus? Then wait a few days before throwing together your makeshift family meal. Not too many of your friends will object to another awesome meal on the Sunday when they get back. A few of them might be able to smuggle back leftovers of their family’s finest cooking to boot.
  • Volunteer. There’s no better way to gain perspective and appreciate what you have than helping out people in need. (Check with your nearby shelters first. A lot of places get more volunteers than they need this time of year… and not nearly enough at other times. You might want to hold on to this thought until later.)

Photo of a young woman handing a bag of groceries to an older man.

  • Spoil yourself. Money might be too tight to get a plane ticket back home, but you don’t need to spend too much for budget decadence. Get yourself a pint of your favorite ice cream flavor. Go see a movie that none of your friends are interested in. Never change out of pajamas. Have a thanksgiving dinner of scrambled eggs and take-out curry… or whatever crazy mismatched dishes people don’t normally serve together.
  • Something completely different. Sometimes a day can feel like a holiday just by doing something unique. Go on a hike, visit a museum, take the train or bus to a nearby town. If you do something you’ve never done before, the holiday won’t feel like a waste, just a brand new experience.

Barrel Decorating For Charity

Every November, the staff at Bookbyte breaks into groups to compete in a food drive. Each team gets a giant metal barrel and gets a short amount of time to decorate it according to a theme. Then we stuff the decorated barrels with as much food as we can scrounge up and donate it to the Marion-Polk Food Share, a charity that feeds the needy in our community of central Oregon.

The theme this year was the 1980s. As you can see from the pics below,  the first thing most of us thought about was 8-bit video games. (Click on any of the pictures for a larger image.)

A mock arcade cabinet for Donkey Kong  made with cardboard and a metal barrel.

1. An impressive Donkey Kong arcade machine using cardboard, paint, and LED lights, complete with buttons and a joystick.

A Pac=Man themed barrel, with added references to Ferris Bueller and other distinctly '80s pop culture references.

2. This Pac-Man themed barrel packed in as many ’80s references as it could. You’ll notice Ferris Bueller, Ghostbusters, MTV, ALF, and other stuff that people born after 1990 might not recognize.

3. If we’re talking classic 80′s videogames, you can’t overlook Super Mario Bros., the elephant in whichever room you’ve setup your NES.

4. This entry was most tightly tied into actual purpose of the contest: fighting hunger. Most of our younger readers probably don’t remember “We Are the World.” It was a song written for charity by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie and featuring something like 8,000 other musicians. It was a huge deal at the time.
Feed the World barrel.

5. Our grand prize winners painted trash bags and boxes and made them into a homage to the greatest ’80s action star, the former Governor of California. (As somebody point out, it mostly looks like a Minecraft version of the Terminator.)

Those glasses aren’t painted on either, they’re hanging off his face. When you take them off, you get to see the T-800′s red robo-eye.


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