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End of Year and Donations


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Because December 31st is the end of the year, the next few days of 2009 are a great time for Americans to donate to their favorite charities and receive a tax deduction by April 2010 or so.


There are some great charity links among the Applause4acause Hall of Fame or you can choose one or more of your favorites.

Do you have any ideas or recommendations for the ApplaUSe For A Cause blog for next year? Would you like to do a guest post to write about a favorite charity?




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"Sweet" Facebook Game Benefits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital


St. Jude Children's Research HospitalImage by ginnerobot via Flickr









                                   
 

                               If  you are a Facebook user, you can help St. Jude to take care of some children with cancer and other diseases. The hospital welcomes them no matter what the family's income may be.All it takes is to play a game where you run a virtual candy shop and give free candy to friends who also play the game. Of course, you are encouraged to use real money to buy virtual candy and help St. Jude, but there's no obligation. The app is called Willy's Sweet Shop , 
and it is a sweet way to make a difference!


P.S. There is a similar facebook  app that also raises funds for St. Jude, called O Christmas Tree


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Local Charity Founder Is A 2009 CNN Hero



The greatest glory never comes from falling, but from rising each time you fall.


Clay Aiken
American, Musician Quotes
We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.


Winston Churchill

As I mentioned in a previous entry in my other blog, Ccol4him's Claymania; Jordan Thomas is a young man from Chattanooga who lost his legs in a boating accident and began forming the Jordan Thomas Foundation in his hospital bed. The foundation helps children who need prostheses and aren't able to afford them and the therapy that they need. If you visit the foundation site, you can find out about 3 of the children that the foundation has helped. One was featured on the CNN special on Thanksgiving Night.





You can also see the video and article at CNN;












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List- How to Have A Happy Frugal Holiday Season!

Image representing GoodSearch as depicted in C...Image via CrunchBase
Whatever holidays you celebrate-whether it be Christmas or Hanukkah, Thanksgiving or whatever-these steps should help reduce the stress and cost of these events;
1. Agree ahead of time with family to limit your spending.

For example, the adults in my family have talked about not spending a lot on each other; but to focus on giving good things for the kids.



2. Budget your/your family's time/schedule

Don't overschedule your holidays, or you'll be too tired to enjoy them. For example; instead of going to a lot
of parties during Christmmas, just pick one or two.



3. Donate seldom-used clothes, toys, etcetera to Goodwill, Salvation Army, and etcetera

Get the kids involved. Tell them that others need it or that they need to make room for Christmas gifts.


4. Check out About.com's ideas for a frugal holiday season


5. If you cook well, take great photographs, do any crafts, or sew; consider making part or all of your gifts

Family Fun has great ideas for having "A Homemade Christmas."



6. Focus less on gifts and more on being together



7. Buy small stocking stuffer items at Dollar General, Dollar Tree, or drug stores for extra gifts-because there's always
at least one extra person that might accidentally get left out of your list.


8. Plan at least 1/2 to a full day of volunteering for a charity around the holiday season.

Whether it be visiting the nursing home, helping feed the homeless or an event such as
Wrapping For Inclusion ; be sure to do something to improve your community. Serving the less fortunate
than ourselves makes our problems seem trivial. If you can, involve your whole family in the project.


9.. Speaking of Donating, there are dozens of Click to Give or Search to Givewebsites-where you can donate to a cause without using money.

Here are a few of these sites;

The Hunger Site


Here's a new easy way to raise money for your favorite cause. Just start using Yahoo! powered GoodSearch.com as your search engine and they'll donate about a penny to your favorite cause every time you do a search!
In addition, do all of your shopping through their online shopping mall, GoodShop.com, where you can shop at more than 900 top online retailers and a percentage of your purchases will go to the charity or school of your choice. You pay the same price as you normally would, but a donation goes to your cause!
Here's the web site — http://www.goodsearch.com. You can also read about GoodSearch in the NY Times, Oprah Magazine, CNN, ABC News and the Wall Street Journal.



Play a vocabu8lary game and a sponsor will give away Free Rice


10. Relax and enjoy the holiday

For example; if you celebrate Christmas, take a moment to look at your Christmas tree and reflect on the deeper meaning of the holiday.

Thanksgiving Myspace Comments
MyNiceSpace.com



Christmas Myspace Comments
MyNiceSpace.com



Hanukkah Graphics @ CommentsJunkie.com



Hanukkah Graphics @ CommentsJunkie.com

















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Follow Drew Carey on Twitter and He'll Donate 1 Million Dollars For Cancer



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BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 13:  (FILE) Actor/co...Image by Getty Images via DayliIf

If comedian, actor and game show host Drew Carey gets 1 million followers on his Twitter account by December 31, 2009; he'll donate 1 million dollars to Lance Armstong's charity Livestrong . To read more about this; please check out the blog link on CBS .








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Reason for the Name Change

The reason that I changed the blog's name on the headline a little is that there is another great site
called Applause For A Cause in Australia
. According to the Australian site, their vision is; "Applause for a Cause is dedicated to charitable fund-raising through the staging and production of world-standard arts and theatre events. Our primary focus is on Jewish arts and culture, although we seek to raise funds for charitable organisations across the cultural, religious and social spectrum. Thus, our goals are two-fold. Firstly, we seek to introduce a broader audience to Jewish arts and culture and to bridge the cultural divide between Jewish and non-Jewish audiences. Secondly, we hope to mobilize the Jewish community in helping to raise funds for charitable organisations from all walks of life through performing. The Applause for a Cause vision is to create an annual cultural week whereby an umbrella of entertainers such as musicians, comedians, art galleries, inspirational speakers, etc can perform for charity. Applause for a Cause believes in creating leadership in the community, a sense of responsibility, and above all, passion amongst the younger generation toward the raising of charitable funds."

Thank you for your patience during the name change.


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Please join the Blogging For Inclusion Team

A group of bloggers are uniting together this month to raise funds and promote awareness for the National Inclusion Project. You can join us, as well, by writing a blog entry about the Organization & Inclusion and posting a link to this blog in the comments. To find out more about Blogging For Inclusion 2009, please check out my other blog at CCol4him's Claymania .
Please place the following banners in your blog post(the top banner links to the National Inclusion Project website):

Please Support The National Inclusion Project!
You can also donate for the National Inclusion Project on Facebook-whether or not you are a Facebook user



Here's a great video montage about the National Inclusion Project;

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Change the world in just your pyjamas!

'Help From Home' http://www.helpfromhome.org/ is an altruistic grassroots based initiative that provides information on easy, no commitment volunteering opportunities for people who don't want to get out of their favourite chair or even their favourite pyjamas to perform them. Most of the actions will cost nothing or very little to complete and take no more than 30 minutes to accomplish – some can even be performed in under 10 seconds and all from the comfort of your own home!

There are over 450 easy home based volunteering opportunities listed on the site and they are designed for people who don't want the commitment that goes with volunteering nor the impact it has on their time and finances. There are 3 main categories of easy actions to choose from, each one having the potential to benefit all sorts of worthy causes. Here's just a brief taster of what's included on the website:


Good Causes – Helping charities and worthy causes
- Feed a starving person for free with a simple click of the mouse.
- Make a very seriously ill child smile with just a letter or an email.
- Play games that donate to charities for free
- Install free software to help fight cancer with your pc.


'Green' Actions – Tackling environmental and energy issues
- Lower pc power consumption by using free software.
- Save the rainforests by planting a tree for free just by using a search engine.
- Donate your excess food, plants and seeds to be redistributed to needy causes.
- Help predict climate change with your pc


Advocacy Actions – Highlighting injustices and wrongdoings
- Posters for Peace. Print them out and display them somewhere prominently
- Send a pre-written email to a decision maker on global poverty
- Join a Virtual March on global warming
- Boycott socially irresponsible companies


If you've ever felt like helping out a worthy cause, but didn't want to leave your home to do it, then Help From Home's website might be just the answer. Put those pyjamas on and change the world. It's so easy to do!
http://www.helpfromhome.org/

NIMBY VRS. HOMELESS SHELTERS

DALLAS - JUNE 17:  Julie Morris holds her daug...Image by Getty Images via Daylife




According to Wikipedia, there is about 100 million people homeless throughout the world. While many residents feel empathy for the homeless, they still don't want homeless shelters in their neighborhood. This is true from Fresno to
Chattanooga, from Chattanooga to Western Springs, Illinois, and from Western Springs to
London, and from London to Long Island, New York; . Many of the concerns the NIMBY(Not In My Back Yard) communities cite for banning homeless shelters include: that some of the homeless may be drug and alcohol addicts, that crime would increase in their communities as a result that some of the homeless may be sexual predators, and that the presence of the homeless shelters in their neighborhoods will bring down property values. Nevertheless, one thing that the NIMBY committees seem to forget is that many of the homeless that need these shelters are children
and families. Also, most of the homeless shelters post
and enforce strict guidelines for their beneficiaries, and if they don't follow them, they are turned away. The NIMBY committees also seem to forget that homelessness could happen to them, as many people are 1 paycheck or 1 disaster away from being homeless.


Here are some more interesting videos about homelessness;




What are your opinions on this debate between the homeless shelters and NIMBY committees? What solutions do you think might best serve everyone involved?
Please share your responses in the comment forms below. Thanks.





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How Easter Seals Made A Difference For Me

English: Easter seals of the U.S.A., 1930s, cr...
English: Easter seals of the U.S.A., 1930s, created to support crippled children Русский: Пасхальные виньетки США в поддержку детей-инвалидов, 1930-е годы (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
                   When I was little, for some reason, I didn't crawl or walk(by myself) until I was nearly four years old. Other than my balance due to minimal cerebral palsy, doctors could not figure out why I was not yet walking by myself. My dad was in retail business(we moved a lot) and we were living in South Florida, so I went to The Miami Children's Hospital for testing, everything from head to toe was examined and they still didn't know. Luckily at the time, we lived in a one level home, so I could scoot or use a toy giraffe on wheels for a while, but my parents were concerned.



Soon, I was enrolled in a nursery school run by the Easter Seals organization. in Southwestern Florida. I began intense physical therapy, and probably a little play time. I think (I'm in my early 40's, so my memory may not be exactly right, LOL) I first learned how to fall, using a large earth ball; and with braces(ouch) on my legs, I began to walk. My parents and the therapists weaned me off of holding their hands, down from 5 five fingers to 1, and then I took my first solo steps. My older brother says that he'd never seen my dad cry but once, and that was the day I took my first solo steps down the aisle of the W.T. Grant's Department Store where my dad was manager. I also had Play Dough therapy with my hands.

Other than having my picture taken while I sat on a pony, I can remember one fun activity the Easter Seal nursery school did with us. On one Halloween,, we trick or treated in the Easter Seal office. I wore a witch's costume and the teacher gave us buttons with our names and a little drawing of our costumes. I had my button for ages.


After moving 7 times (all within the southeastern US from birth to 14 years old), I lost touch with the center. I recently needed their records to add to my medical records, but I guess they''d gotten lost over the years, and they couldn't find mine. I guess it was in an old file or something, but that doesn't matter; but because of them, I can walk on most days(except when my lymphedema flares up, but that's another story)! So that's how the Easter Seals made a difference for me! Wherever you are located, I hope you will consider them next time you want to give a few pennies to several dollars-whatever you can.



For more info on Easter Seals, please visit Easter Seals.com or
Easter Seals (U.S.) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Easter Seals : 2010 Seal Art Contest
In addition to the links above; you might be interested in The Drop Zone- a cool fundraiser that some generous people in Canada do every year for their Easter Seals program. Each volunteer raises thousands of dollars for the Easter Seals camps for children, then they have a day when they rappel down the sides of buildings(several skyscrapers). Now, that's commitment to a cause, and maybe a little crazy, too( but they are trained and have safety gear)!!! Still, I applaud their efforts. If you are on Facebook , The Drop Zone has a page there as well for their fans;The Drop Zone on Facebook
>>



P.S. Now that I shared my story, will you please share information about a favorite charity and why you think it is important? Check out the rules and guidelines in my first entry, linked here and then post a comment below or send an email to applause4acause@comcast.net . Thanks!


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