Monday, November 10, 2008

Charity Challenge AND A Giveaway

Today I am issuing a challenge and offering a giveaway!! Exciting right? Who doesn't love a great giveaway?!? I initially had another idea about what I wanted to do for my first giveaway but after being inspired by another blogger, I am switching gears a little bit.

First the Challenge:
I am going to issue you all a Charity Challenge! This holiday season I am asking you to take a few minutes and please remember your favorite charity. We all have causes near and dear to our hearts--some small grass roots organizations, other large national campaigns; we all have our own ways of giving. The purpose of this challenge isn't to raise XX amount of dollars for one organization over another; the real intent and purpose of the Charity Challenge is to DO SOMETHING. Amazing things can happen when every day ordinary people turn their thoughts into action, I've seen it happen both in real life and here in the blog world.

Now, the Giveaway:
I am going to give away a copy of one of my favorite books--The Right Words at the Right Time by Marlo Thomas. This book is a staple in my library and is one of my few books that I don't lend out for fear it will never come back. Its filled with inspiring stories of some amazing people and all the royalties go to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "Award-winning actress and bestselling author Marlo Thomas is joined by such luminaries as Muhammad Ali, Tom Brokaw, Cal Ripken Jr., Steven Spielberg, Venus Williams, Rudy Giuliani, Toni Morrison, Jack Nicholson, Mel Brooks, Laura Bush, Billy Crystal, Tom Wolfe and Katie Couric, who each tell a story of a crucial turning point in their lives brought about by the right words at the right time. These first-person accounts of challenges and victories can provide guidance to all of us as we come to life's crossroads."

How can you win this great book?

1) Leave a comment on this post telling me about your favorite charity--if you've volunteered with them, donated to them, what makes it special to you?

2) One of my favorite charities is St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, right now they are having their annual Thanks and Giving campaign. Many of their partners are offering $1 add ons at their checkout counters. Visit their website, then visit a partnering organization, donate a $1, snap a picture of it then send it my way (mandy dot smalltowngirl at gmail dot com). I'll post them as they come in.

3)A great blogger buddy Rachel, is raising money for the Lupus Foundation of America, Inc. Go to her blog and make a donation if you can. Rachel (You know her right? If you aren't reading her what are you waiting for?)was one of my very first readers, she doesn't ask for much and when I can help her, I will. If she asks me to skip lunch or a Starbucks coffee for one day to help her reach her goal; she can consider it done. If you use the Donate button on her sidebar to help her reach her goal, you can get an entry into the giveaway.(Just leave me a comment or shoot me an email to let me know!)

4)The most important part of the Charity Challenge is getting involved and somehow helping. If the above two charities don't interest you, do something else but SHOW me. Drop a few coins in the Salvation Army Bell Ringers kettle and snap a picture with the bell ringer. Toys for Tots your charity? Take a picture of the toy bin. Do you collect hats and mittens for a mitten tree at your employer or church? Take a picture. Take a name from the giving tree in the middle of the mall? Grab a friend, go shopping and pull out the ol'digital for a self portrait. Volunteer at the soup kitchen, donate a bag of food to the local animal shelter, just DO SOMETHING and find a creative way to show me and other bloggers. Email me your pictures (address on the sidebar) and I'll put them together in a post. And if you saw the slide show in my last post, you know how much I love random pictures!!

5)If you have a blog--link to or repost this post, Rachel's post, or even better yet write your own post about a charity encouraging other people to get involved. It can be about any aspect. What is your favorite charity? Why is it your favorite charity? Did you have an amazing experience volunteering? What sorts of ways do you get involved? Do you have your own non-profit you want readers to know about? Let other people know about the Charity Challenge. Write about it, let me know that you posted and I'll link it in a special section on the sidebar. If you have a private blog or if you don't have a blog at all, I will hand over the reigns to you for a day. Email me your story and I'll post it here so you can still participate in the Charity Challenge Giveaway! It can be any post from today until December 31st.

The giveaway will end on December 31st. That gives you almost seven weeks. I know that's a long time for a giveaway but this Charity Challenge is something that is very important to me this holiday season. You have 5 different ways you can participate. You can do one, you can do five, you can do a combination of the five. You can have up to FIVE entries into the giveaway! On January 1st, I'll enter all your entries into a computerized randomizer to pick the winner. And remember, the most important part of the Charity Challenge -- DO SOMETHING, anything for any charity!!

Ready? Set. Go!!!


Rachel said...

This is an awesome post!!!! I will be hunting down those salvation people with a vengeance!

Mandy said...

LOL, salvation army people?

Rachel said...


There were a lot of nervous religious people out there for a second....

Nikki said...

Very cool, and right up my alley :) I will be emailing you a picture soon for #4, but for #1... my favourite charity is Real Hope for Haiti I have seen the poverty in Haiti and it is heart breaking. Lori and Licia are the most amazing people I have ever heard of! I am crossing my fingers that I will be able to go to their rescue center this summer....

Auburn Kat said...

My favorite charity was a big cat sanctuary in Arkansas that I used to volunteer at and donate money to. They took in lions, tigers, bears (primarily big cats) that were abused or traded on the exotic cat market. It was so sad and I thought it was such a great cause!

Andy said...

I'll kind of cheat AND I'll participate TWICE. One by saying I am donating ino the Lupus Foundation of America. The other one by saying my favorite charity. I think that if I start doing so I may never end on this comment so, I'll post about it tomorrow.

So, that means a link... And that means participating 3 times.

God I'm lucky.

alexa @clevelandsaplum said...

very cool mandy! i'm going to have to think about my favorite charity though, there are so many deserving ones!

MeLaNiE said...

I can't wait to participate...time to start thinking!

Cameo said...

NO FAIR!!!! I had this great, eloquent comment ready and then I read your first three comments and I kid you not, I'm DYING with laughter here! I was literally banging on the arm of my couch laughing so hard! Oh man, I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard! It ALMOST makes up for sissy getting to meet you....... ALMOST.

On an unrelated note, how's nanowrimo going for you? I completely changed my story after two pages. Now I'm doing something completely different. But it's going much quicker now.

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

Great post! For our wedding, instead of getting chintzy little gifts for our guests, we made a donation to two charities ... Children's Memorial Hospital and the Anti-Cruelty Society (both in Chicago). I'm quite certain I'll be giving away our money again before the end of the year ... and I'll try to remember to write about it!

Ray said...

What a great post! Rachel inspired me to donate to Lupus, so I did!

RYC: I have not read the books...but I really want to! I think I will start with the first one over Christmas break :)

Mandy said...

Rachel -- I am sure the religous people were nervous. Especially considering your blog picture at the moment. LOL. Thanks for inspiring the idea and the emails yesterday afternoon!

Nikki -- I love reading about your involvement with that Charity!! Looking forward to your #4!

Auburn Kat -- What a great charity! Wasn't it scary? What did you do there?

Andy -- thats not cheating! LOL. ANd yes, thats three entries come on, I was counting on you to take some random pictures for me too.

Alexa -- Yay! I am so excited that you are going to participate.

Melanie -- I thought this was right up your alley as well!

Cameo-- You should definitely read Rachel's blog! I am also counting on you for some funny random pictures involving those two cute kiddos! :-)

Nisla -- What an awesome idea and such great charities! I would love to read your post about them!

Ray -- Thanks for donating to Rachel!!

Thank you ALL for the great feedback on this! Please encourage others!

Princess Pointful said...

Lovely idea, especially in the midst of all this materialism.
I donate monthly to the SPCA, and I often get my father Christmas gifts from World Vision. He prefers it to something he doesn't need, anyways!

Maxie said...

I donated to rachel today-- whoot whoot!

SS+1 said...

I love taking my son to the Holidazzle parade at the holidays. I only mention this because it's a great charitable event for people in MN. They collect food donations, and it really helps you get into the holiday spirit!

Yay for being Charitable!!

Mandy said...

Princess -- I am really excited about the idea too! :-) Yay for monthly donations!

Maxie -- I <3 you! Thanks!

ss+1 -- Awesome! Sounds like lots of fun AND for a great cause!

Little Fish said...

This is a lovely idea. Hopefully there will be a charitable element to my birthday party next month, but I'm still trying to work out the details.

Ashley D said...

This is such a fun idea! And very creative! I'll be posting about it on my blog soon. :)

Mandy said...

Little Fish -- woohoo! Please let me know...when is your birthday?

Ashley D -- Thanks! I am looking forward to your post!

NikeRun said...

I have 2 fave charities-Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Susan G Komen.

I've participated with Team in Training for 3 seasons now. They train you for endurance events while you raise money for the LLS.

While in college-I would implement Pink Octobers at work. I've yet to do one of their endurance events but it's on my list.