Simple Ways to Give Back

There are people all over the world who are struggling and in need of help. One could be right next door. While it’s not always possible to help out financially, or donate a large amount of time to a cause, there are easy ways to perform simple acts of kindness every day. Not only does the person performing the good deed feel great, but these small gestures add up to make a big difference.

Contribute to the community with these simple deeds:

Charitable Gifts Bring Holiday Cheer to Children’s Organization

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – The winter holidays are all about giving — giving thanks, giving gifts, giving to charity. In the past, you might have given your mother a bracelet and made a donation. Today, the line between purchasing a gift for a loved one and helping someone in need has merged.
Some people make donations to a favorite charity in a loved one’s name. Others purchase gifts that donate part of their proceeds to a worthy organization. Now, the skin care company Kiehl’s is collaborating with Jeff Koons to benefit The Koons Family Institute, an initiative of the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC).
The Koons Family Institute was created by Jeff Koons, an internationally recognized artist best known for iconic sculptures such as 1986’s “Rabbit” and 1992’s “Puppy.” Koons is less well known as the father of an abducted child. Koons has fought for custody of his son on two continents without success. This experience had made him a fervent advocate for protecting children.
Koons has partnered with Kiehl’s to raise awareness and funds for child protection through the sale of the Limited Edition Creme de Corps Holiday Collection, which contains four products. Each product in the collection features the artwork of “TULIPS,” a Koons painting from his Celebration Series.
One hundred percent of Kiehl’s Worldwide Net Profits up to $200,000 will benefit The Koons Family Institute and ICMEC. Gift recipients will enjoy the skin-softening products in the Creme de Corps Holiday Collection as well as knowing that their gift raised money to help children.
The Creme de Corps Holiday Collection features three sizes of Kiehl’s Creme de Corps body moisturizer as well as a new product: Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter. The rich, air-whipped butter delivers rich hydration for up to 24 hours with skin-soothing ingredients like shea butter, beta carotene, vitamin E and squalane — a highly refined moisturizing oil derived from the olive.
For more information, visit www.kiehls.com.

25 Years of Achievements ? Charity Still Going Strong

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – One charity, Christian Relief Services, has been using community partnerships to fight poverty, not only in the United States, but all around the …

Are You Prepared to Leave a Legacy?

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – You box toys and shoes for disadvantaged children, collect canned goods and donate to your favorite charity every year — but have you considered leaving a permanent legacy to help support your cause?

Bequeathing money to a charity in your will is one of the best ways to act as a philanthropist through your lifetime and beyond. Many charities rely on legacies to run their programs — some receive as much as 40 percent of their income from bequests.

There are many ways to leave a bequest to the charity or charities of your choice. You can donate all or part of your retirement plan, IRA, 401k, life insurance plan, stock portfolio or estate.

You can even ask a charity to put your money towards a specific cause or program. For example, those bequeathing funds to Running Strong for American Indian Youth (www.indianyouth.org), a nonprofit organization that helps American Indians meet their immediate survival needs while creating programs that promote self-sufficiency and self-esteem, can ask that their money support Running Strong’s community garden program or youth programs.

If you do not specify how you want your money to be used, the charity will most likely add the money to their endowment, where it can be used to support any number of worthy causes.

Many charities offer legacy programs to help potential benefactors give. Americans Helping Americans (www.helpingamericans.org), a nonprofit that helps improve the lives of impoverished people living in Appalachia, created its Americans Helping Americans Legacy Society to recognize those who wish to include the charity in their will.

More than 80 percent of Americans give to charities. But a 2007 survey conducted by Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy found that only 8 percent of all Americans include legacies in their wills. Considering 2009’s rocky economy, that percentage has surely dropped.

Many Americans worry that, by leaving a charitable bequest, they may put their heirs at a disadvantage. But leaving a legacy in your will could reduce the estate taxes that the will’s other beneficiaries need to pay. Gifts given to Running Strong and Americans Helping Americans, for example, are free of federal estate taxes, as well as inheritance taxes in most states.

For more information, visit www.indianyouth.org or www.helpingamericans.org.

Nonprofits Use Technology To Reach Public

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Television news programs don’t cover everything that happens in the world. While some stories become media sensations, other events go unreported. For example, Americans see Britain and France in the news far more than they see Africa.

For the nonprofit organizations working to improve the lives of people in third-world countries, it can be difficult to draw attention to worthy causes. Fortunately, YouTube — the source of countless dancing babies and cute cat videos — may help charities reach millions of potential donors.

YouTube videos offer nonprofits advantages that more traditional media cannot. For example, videos have staying power — viewers can rewatch them, and older videos still feel fresh. Better yet, charities can use YouTube videos to present the faces and voices of the people they’re trying to help.

For example, one charity, Bread and Water for Africa (www.africanrelief.org), recently created YouTube videos focusing on Eldoret, Kenya’s Lewa Children’s Home. The Home provides a loving environment, nutritious food, clean water, education and support for abandoned, orphaned or abused children.

The videos follow the home’s founder, Phyllis Keino, called “Mom,” as well as the children she cares for.Viewers can watch as Kenyan orphans eat their meals, go to school and do chores on Baraka Farm, which supports The Lewa Children’s Home by providing food and funds from the sale of crops, livestock, milk, cheese, yogurt, honey and sunflower seed oil. The children’s smiling faces lend a human element to a good cause — helping some of Africa’s estimated 50 million child orphans.

Other charities are also using social media to draw public attention. For example, Charity: Water, a nonprofit organization focused on bringing clean water to African villages, used Twitter to organize a “Twestival,” a series of 200 charity events around the globe. The Twestival raised $250,000 for the charity.

Links to the YouTube videos about The Lewa Children’s Home can be found on The Bread and Water for Africa home page (www.africanrelief.org).