Saturday, January 14, 2012

Make the World Suck Less with out Getting off Your Ass

Fellow Travellers,

We’re all busy people. So when we get home at the end of the day, who wants to do anything but sit in their pajamas and fuzzy bunny slippers? Trust me, I get that, but there are some things we could all be doing from our couches to help the world suck less.

This website has you play a quiz game that for ever correct answer, 10 grains of rice is donated to the World Food Program. I’ve been using this one off and on for years and just recently discovered that if you create an account, you can friend users and compare scores. Groups can even be created and even teachers have classes doing in groups for class projects. With the variety of subjects (from vocab to science to other languages), it’s hard to get bored and can even get rather addicting. Think of it this way, you’re not only promoting your own brain health by exercising it, but you’re also helping feed people in need. There are other sites out there like this, however, few are as trustworthy. So if you find other sites like this, make sure to check them and even contact the charities they say they’re supporting, just to make sure they really are doing what they say.

I would be a lousy blogger if I didn’t mention Kiva. The site’s premise is simple: loan an amount of money to some one in the world struggling to make ends meet with their business. The person you lend to could be opening a clothe shop in a nearby town or trying to start selling dairy products and are in need of a cow. Best part is, you get to choose who you lend it to. Each borrower puts up why they need the loan, how much they need and when they expect to pay it back. You choose where your money goes. Now, once the money is repaid, you can either loan it out again or take it off of your account. In essence, you can keep giving and giving and with a 98.9% repayment rate, the chance of your giving actually costing you anything is slim. Think of it as banking with out the annoying fees.

You may not believe in what the government has the military doing, but that doesn’t mean that any person should go without mail. Or to better put it, that doesn’t mean any person should go without friends. We don’t know their reasons for joining the military, there are so many, but a situation like many military members are put in daily would be hard on any one, for any reason. Write a soldier, if only once, to show that we’re not just living our lives and forgetting what they’re doing. Every one deserves some friendship, some comfort. is a wonderful website dedicated to the online mentoring of teenagers and students. That’s right, you could mentor some one from your couch. Through the website, you can either mentor some one for a year or answer questions on a random or “spontaneous”, as they put it, basis. They even take into account the safety of every one involved, monitoring, filtering the conversations and limiting what person information can be shared. Schools can sign up for these programs and a mentor signed on for a year will be that school mentor. There’s a series of mentor’s classes to take, but it can all be done online fro your couch. You could help shape a teenager’s future.

Last, but not least, is Good Search. This is simple: you search, the organization of your choosing gets a donation. I’m not a fan of yahoo search engine, but I am a fan of helping out charities. There are literally thousands of charities to choose from, everything from cancers to schools to youth programs. You have your free rein of who to donate to. Personally, I donate to a different charity every month, though, I always stick to Michigan charities (Charity begins at home and all that). The one issue I’ve found is that they monitor your searches, so if you search “too much” they cancel all the proceeds your charity. I search a lot due to research for my writing and classes, so I actually split my search time between Good search and Google, just to make sure my donations don’t up and disappear.

These are some of the easiest/best ways to donate from the couch that I found. always has new opportunities coming up, online and offline, so search there often!

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