Tag Archives: charity

Unleash Your Inner Nerd!

If you know me well enough or have followed my blog long enough, you think are fairly certain know beyond a shadow of a doubt I’m a nerd. I admit it openly. I like books. I like crosswords (even ones where I have to look up stuff and learn! ugh…). My wife and I play Scrabble on Facebook…while sitting in the same room (I know, I know…).

If the above doesn’t prove my supreme nerdability, check this out. At a New Year’s Eve Party…yes, a New Year’s Eve Party, I got sucked into figuring out the probability of something happening in a game of farkle (I thought about trying to explain myself at this point, but there’s no use…nothing can explain doing statistics on New Year’s Eve…although I did get the problem right!).

You may also know I care about helping people. At heart, I’m a very selfish person. I catch myself being selfish all the time. But I try (and this blog helps) to serve others as often as I can.

Which brings me to FreeRice. I recommended this site a long time ago, but I completely missed a key part of the site! What? I said I’m a nerd, not observant! 🙂

FreeRice lets you play a game answering vocab questions and for every answer you get right they donate 10 grains of rice. That may not sound like much, but with a ginormous (you may think that’s a new vocab word, but I learned that from the movie Elf…)  amount of people playing, 63,672,800 grains of rice were donated yesterday. That’s awesome.

Now, the part I missed. What I didn’t realize was you can change from vocab to all kinds of different subjects: Art, Chemistry, English, Math, Geography, even foreign language learning! The nerd in me is as excited as this woman.

So instead of playing another game of Bejeweled, Mafia Wars, Zuma, etc. take a swing at the FreeRice game and help spread some free food to those who need it.

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Brew Some Good!

I’m not much of a coffee fan. I blame it on my fifth grade Spanish teacher. But we’ll save my emotionally scarring stories for another day 🙂

So, yeah…I may not like coffee, but I know most of you do! Which is why I want to share a very cool way you can combine your coffeenerdness with a dose of charity.

Let me introduce to you Land of a 1000 Hills Coffee. Their motto is “Drink Coffee. Do Good.” Here is their story in their own words:

When Jonathan Golden learned that the 1994 genocide in Rwanda devastated the coffee growing community, he purchased a roaster and a few bags of green coffee beans, and launched a new coffee experience grounded in coffee, community, and justice.

By paying coffee growers in Rwanda a fair, Living Wage and supporting community projects, Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee invests up to $3 per bag into the Rwandan economy. Engaging redemption through coffee, Rwandan farming communities are becoming a vibrant picture of opportunity and sustainability. Today, Rwanda harvests only premium quality arabica bourbon specialty coffee beans, grown at high altitudes in rich volcanic soil.

The Tutsi, Hutu, and Twa farmers are no longer defined by genocide. Instead, they show incredible displays of reconciliation and forgiveness as they work side by side to produce a commodity of hope that continues to break the chains by which they were once bound. Here, across the world, you can bless them just by drinking a cup of Land of a Thousand Hills coffee.

Every bag purchased provides a rural farmer with a proper Living Wage and the dignity and self respect that comes from providing for oneself. In 2004, Land of a Thousand Hills committed to paying at minimum of $1.26 per lb. to the grower for their finest coffee, more than three times the unjust 40 cents often paid by other coffee companies. Currently, the growers are consistently paid an average of $1.86 per lb. Land of a Thousand Hills also invests one dollar per 12 oz. bag sold to fund micro-finance programs that help Rwandans start small businesses.

Drink Coffee. Do Good.

Very cool stuff. Check out their website (it’s changing in the next week or two) and try a bag or two of their coffee. I’ve heard it’s really good and you’ll be helping folks out in the process. All in all, a great way to Become Last.

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Dirty Water

This photo was taken by charity:water in central Africa. Photos like this always floor me. I can’t imagine filling up my Nalgene bottle with this water or serving it to my son to drink with his dinner. It baffles me that people live in conditions like this. Children drink that water filth.

That’s why simple things, like clicking a SocialVibe widget (on your right), matter. Sure, there is more to do, but our little clicks are more significant that we understand.

dirty water

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Helping charity:water

Congratulations! With your help, Vitamin Angels reached its SocialVibe goal! Becoming Last readers clicked their way to giving over 28,000 days worth of Vitamin A. Those are real lives that you impacted. Awesome job!

Now, we have a new charity to help. Let me introduce you to charity:water. Here is how they describe themselves:

charity: water is a non profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations. We give 100% of the money raised to direct project costs, funding sustainable clean water solutions in areas of greatest need. Just $20 can give one person in a developing nation clean water for 20 years.

Right now, 1.1 billion people on the planet don’t have access to safe, clean drinking water. That’s one in six of us.

These folks are top notch. Everything they do, they do well. And they are doing terrific work in the places with the greatest need.

For those of you new to Becoming Last, I’m not asking for money. Just ten seconds of your time, once a day. That’s all it takes to help. To learn more about charity:water, watch this video. To learn how to help, scroll past it, and I’ll explain. Trust me, it’s easy! 🙂

How to help:

  1. Visit Becoming Last once a day.
  2. Click on the SocialVibe charity:water widget to your right.
  3. The sponsor donating money for each click is Colgate. You’ll see a screen that says, “Create Your Smile Story”. All you have to do is click “submit”.
  4. Then click “Send it” and you are done! You can leave me a little message on the last screen if you want, but that’s optional!

With three clicks of your mouse, you will help donate what equates to 146 gallons of drinking water! Wow. Too easy.

Thank you for all the help!

How can you Become Last today? (hint: 3 clicks = 146 gallons of drinking water!)

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Five Minutes and a Smile

Can you give five minutes? That’s all it takes to make an impact. There are so many people that could use your prayer, encouragement, time, help. Will you take five minutes to do something for someone today and this weekend? A sample of stories I’ve heard about this week…

  • Numerous people battling cancer.
  • A positive step in the fight against AIDS! Awesome news!
  • People going through surgeries.
  • Families dealing with the loss of loved ones.
  • First hand accounts of troops fighting overseas.
  • Awesome stories of kids making a difference! Seriously, I love those stories.

My point being. Life is rough. But you CAN make a difference in someone’s life. Think of someone you know who’s going through a difficult time. Write them a note, pray for them, visit them, call them, or come up with some creative way of helping them. Donate to your favorite charity. Geico claims to save people hundreds of dollars in 15 minutes. You can do better in five!

Enjoy your weekend and try to find that five minutes!

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Nurturing Compassion in Kids

Someone, somewhere once said, “Children are the future.” Well, if no one did, they should have. It’s true. As much as we want to live forever, it’s important for us to teach the next generation the beauty of Becoming Last. I think a lot of times we want our children to have certain qualities, but we just kind of hope they turn out for good. As parents, grandparents, and friends we should be more intentional in instilling values in our kids. With that in mind, here are three ways to begin teaching your kids about loving others.

  1. Giving – My family has been taking a financial management course and this past week I was encouraged by the section dealing with children. It promoted the idea of teaching kids financial responsibility at an early age by letting them do some of their chores for money. Then, having them save some, give some away, and spend some if they want. I love the idea of at least teaching your children to be generous with their money. Of course, parents have to model it, but imagine the consequences if we raised up a generation of kids who would give lavishly to those in need! Consider sponsoring a child through Compassion or World Vision. That’s such an easy, practical way to tangibly demonstrate why giving and serving are important.
  2. Kids Are Heroes – Discover places such as kidsareheroes.com. This website (and others like it) have inspiring stories from other kids and they give ideas for projects your child or family can do together.
  3. Serve Together – Words are cheap. A local pastor quoted this the other day and it applies here:

“Service and selflessness are just words on a page without a rigorous methodology for constantly reinforcing these principles.” A Turak

My wife would be the first to tell you I have all sorts of brilliant ideas and theories, but many of them don’t ever get put into action. I can tell my son all about how Jesus loves everyone or how we should Become Last, but unless I model that and give us opportunities to serve together then all the talk and theorizing is in vain.

Search on the internet for ways to serve in your community. My community is have a litter pick-up day soon. That’s a great opportunity for a grade-school child. Maybe do a food drive together. Or run a lemonade stand as you raise money for a charity. One of these days I’ll post a list of ways you and your families can begin loving others so look for that soon.

Have a great Wednesday and I hope you’ll think of some way you can Become Last this week.

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100 Clicks and Counting!

Look for this on the right side of my page!

Congratulations to Becoming Last readers! We’ve reached one hundred clicks on our SocialVibe widget! I’m not sure what that translates to exactly, but I think it’s around 6,000 days of Vitamin A treatment for a child. It may not sound like much, but it’s life saving to many of the children Vitamin Angels helps.

If you’re wondering what on earth I’m talking about, please scroll down and look at the right side of my page. You’ll see a box with a big “Help Now!” button. There’s no spam or personal information involved. You just watch a 30 second video (actually, you can rate and click without watching…shhhh…don’t tell!) and rate it. Then, Sprint (my SocialVibe sponsor) donates money to Vitamin Angels. If you missed out, Vitamin Angels wrote a blog a while back.

So thanks for clicking! You really have made a difference just by visiting my blog. I hope you’ll come back and click often. Our goal is to get 200 clicks by the end of August! That’s ambitious, but it can be done! If you want extra credit, go to SocialVibe and set up your own account. You earn money towards a charity of your choice just by using social media. I’m signed up as BecomingLast!

Become Last today and don’t forget to click the “Help Now!” button because you can make a difference!

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