Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in June

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Being a good neighbor is rewarding, but it does take some time and effort. Sometimes it’s spontaneous, like when you see someone who donut_grlneeds help carrying something, or someone who just needs a smile and kind word. But often it requires some planning, making space on the calendar, and digging into your pockets. Every month I give you five suggestions for community events, volunteer service events, and more. Put one of these on your June calendar, and then enjoy the rewards of helping others!

1. Share Some Fried Dough Goodness: Friday, June 6, is National Donut Day, originally started to commemorate the Salvation Army “Lassies,” young volunteer women who made and delivered fresh doughnuts to American soldiers in Europe during World War I and II. When the soldiers returned home they craved the sweet treats, and the rest of America was introduced to the doughnut. Krispy Kreme gives away a free doughnut to each customer (no purchase required), and many other doughnut shops are running their own specials. Make your friends and co-workers smile that day with a fresh, hot batch. Or make the day a little more meaningful than just calories by making a donation to the Salvation Army, to support the organization’s extensive community programs and disaster relief efforts. Entenmann’s, which makes 780 million doughnuts annually, is teaming up with the Salvation Army this year, by offering to donate $1 for every new “like” on its Facebook page during June, up to $30,000. [Read more…]

How to Help Superstorm Sandy Victims; Money and Blood Donations Needed Now

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As the Northeast continues to feel the severe impacts of Superstorm Sandy, the rest of the country is already jumping in to help. Not only is money needed to help fund relief efforts already underway, the American Red Cross is also putting out a national call for blood donations to make up for nearly 300 cancelled drives in 11 affected states. Use the links below to donate, or find out more information.

To donate to relief efforts:

  • American Red Cross – Visit www.redcross.org to make a direct donation, or text the word “Redcross” to 90999 to donate $10. Craigslist founder Craig Newmark is offering a matching opportunity. He will match any donations to the Red Cross through his Crowdrise fundraising page, up to $25,000. Crowdrise takes 4.95 percent of donations to help fund its operating costs; 100 percent of the donation is tax deductible.
  • Salvation Army – The organization is accepting donations to fund its disaster relief efforts. Volunteers are feeding thousands and operating shelters throughout the region. Visit www.salvationarmyusa.org to donate.
  • Feeding America – The group is distributing thousands of pounds of food and fresh water through a network of food banks throughout the Northeast. Find out more at feedingamerica.org.
  • UPDATE – Presbyterian Disaster Assistance – Since this story was first posted, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance set up a way to donate $10 via texting: text “PDA” to 20222. Or donate online at the PDA website.

American Red Cross blood drives in the San Francisco Bay Area over the next week: [Read more…]