Strength in numbers will most likely serve as one of the most significant inspirational takeaways from Free People‘s upcoming, second annual #MovingTogether fitness festival. The lifestyle brand known for empowering women with fashion that helps amplify unique expressions of style continues its campaign to build and reinforce community ties using the energy of more than 150 of the brand’s pals. This year, the movement and its ticket holders will meet in New York City at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge on Sunday, September 30th, 2018, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Hosted by activist, poet and influential speaker Cleo Wade, this #MovingTogether gathering is a charitable fitness event you won’t want to miss – all in the name of showing support for Free People’s nonprofit partnership with Girls, Inc. It’s a celebration of what can happen when you join forces with friends to get active and motivate one another. In the meantime, you’ll give back to the community and support a worthy organization – all while supporting the values and mission of the Free People brand.
Ticket sale proceeds and product purchases from the onsite pop up will add to the brand’s annual donation to Girls, Inc. A handful of girls from the local New York chapter have been invited to attend, and will represent at the event. The festivities are set to kick off with a warm up run led by Jessica Movold from Mile High Run Club in Brooklyn Bridge Park. DOGPOUND’S Dara Hart is sure to get hearts pumping with an invigorating HIIT class. Brush up on your hip-hop dance steps with a Queen Moves lesson. Relax and tune into Inscape’s guided meditation session. And all through the day, Cleo Wade aims to inspire the crowd with life lessons.
There will be a lot going on during the event, including opportunities to refuel with healthy, light bites and juices. The latest products from Free People Movement and Beauty and Wellness will also be on hand, which you can shop and give a new home. You’ll also have a chance to win a Free People beauty giveaway.
Check out Free People’s #MovingTogether 2017 with Girls, Inc.
What’s at the Heart of Free People?
Answering the call to provide an outlet for women who use fashion, music and art to ‘live free’ and truly express themselves, Free People is a specialty clothing brand that supplies females with the latest trends and exclusive vintage styles. Customers are able to complement their personality with high-quality activewear, intimates, outerwear, accessories and beauty finds that put femininity and creativity on full display. While chic boutiques, some of your favorite department stores, and standalone retail locations carry the Free People brand in the United States and Canada, shoppers can also browse a Free People sale online. Distribution of the brand reaches the United Kingdom, China, and many other parts of the world – delivering clothes and accessories that give off all the free-spirited bohemian vibes a woman needs.
How Can You Support Free People?
If you’re not in the New York City area, you can still show support for the Free People movement. 27 Free People store locations throughout the U.S. will celebrate #MovingTogether by hosting free workout classes on September 29th and 30th. Find a class near you!
Would rather support online? Online shoppers can use a Free People coupon code from Giving Assistant to shop something a little special like an oversized trucker denim jacket or pair of red vegan Cavalier boots. Your purchase also goes towards racking up to 6% cash back bonuses, and you can donate part of it or all to a charitable organization of your choice. There’s also a super convenient way to get a heads up on the newest Free People discounts, theGiving Assistant Button. Download it now if you haven’t already!
There’s a lot a child can learn and gain when they’re at play. In between the thrills, joyful excitement, exercise and fun enjoyed at a typical playground, life lessons await at every turn. Games and activities have the capacity to protect, inform and empower both kids and adults…something Right To Play knows all too well. This worldwide organization harnesses the power of educational games to uplift and improve the lives of children in need.
Founded by four-time Olympic gold medalist Johann Olav Koss, local volunteer coaches and staff across the globe have been managing programs since 2000 – all working towards the same goal – to help build life skills and healthy, safe environments for youths living throughout Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and North America. In addition to the physical health benefits that exercise and games provide, there’s a social and emotional component to Right To Play that extends beyond “child’s play.” The beneficial, long-lasting change that follows energizes families and entire communities.
Each week, approximately 1.9 million children around the world benefit from Right To Play programs, which touch upon the following aspects:
Connecting More Children to Quality Education
Right To Play fills classrooms with eager-to-learn students through the efforts of community and youth leaders that work towards inspiring children to enroll in school and regularly participate in class. Some Junior Leaders in the community are as young as eight years old!
Right To Play trains local teachers and coaches on how to make education more exciting, enticing and inviting. Leadership clubs also form at the school level.
As a result, Right To Play programs have seen attendance rates soar and have led to children staying engaged, focused, and active longer at school. They’re looking forward to taking their seat, raising their hands, and contributing to program activities. It’s this kind of energy that trickles down to the next generation of students! In just three short months, one Right To Play Leadership Club encouraged an impressive 78 children to enroll and attend school every day.
Improving Youth and Community Health
Anyone up for a game of ‘Mosquito Tag?’ The smiles on the faces of children at play are far-reaching, but Right To Play programs are so much more than encouraging everyday exercise. They use games and play activities to empower kids with the skills, knowledge and motivation needed to avoid preventable disease. Coaches are trained to establish open lines of communication and dialogue with kids on significant, local health issues, such as malaria, HIV and AIDS, sexual health, and everyday hygiene practices. Children learn essential life-saving lessons and form healthy habits (like how to use a mosquito net or how to properly wash their hands). For instance, a game of ‘Water Relay’ stresses the importance of hand washing and cleanliness that keeps families, classmates, and themselves healthier.
Building Peaceful Communities
The delight heard in the laugh of a child who’s enthralled in play is literally contagious. It’s the kind of positive vibes that Right To Play sends out through their programs. This powerful energy invigorates communities, and helps create a happier, more peaceful environment that everyone can thrive better in.
A game of Right To Play ‘Protector Dodgeball’ comes with a twist. The goal isn’t to hit an opponent; it’s all about protecting teammates. ‘Volley Tennis’ concentrates on building communication skills, and places less emphasis on how many points are scored.
From the bliss of scoring their first soccer goal to the warmth felt when thoughtful teamwork pays off, these are the kinds of feelings that everyone (no matter their ethnicity, culture or community barriers they face) can appreciate, enjoy, and achieve growth from. Skills learned from play doesn’t always involve hand-eye coordination, speed and accuracy, it’s the lessons learned along the way that improves the emotional and social health of participants. In Pakistan, Right To Play introduces girls to games and activities that help them clear gender and cultural hurdles within their communities.
Right To Play has offices in the United States, Canada, Norway, Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The impact of their programs is increasingly felt across the world, and thrives off of the actions of volunteers, partnerships, athlete ambassadors (including more than 300 professional and Olympic sports figures), and donations ranging from the likes of corporations to savvy shoppers, like you.
Simply select Right To Play as your nonprofit of choice when donating all or a portion of your cash back savings towards enriching the lives of youths with programs centered on building teamwork, self-esteem, safety, and a better quality of life.
And, if you haven’t already, downloading theGiving Assistant Button is an excellent way to stay on top of the latest deals and discounts that can help your donation to Right To Play grow.
This post was written by Luis Sanchez, Engineering Manager at Giving Assistant. Photo credit: R.J. Peña.
I’ve been fortunate enough to be able travel the world and experience many of the wonders it has to offer.
However, my travels have also shown me the ugly reality of poverty and social injustice on this planet firsthand.
For this reason, I decided last year that I needed to do something more meaningful with my travels. I wasn’t sure how to find an organization that would merge my love for adventure travel with philanthropy, until one evening, when my friend Ben invited my partner Raul and me to happy hour in San Francisco’s Castro district.
Taking the leap
After a couple of drinks, Ben told us that he was on the board of a nonprofit organization named Chooda, which organized a yearly fundraising bike ride in Zambia. He also mentioned that the funds collected from the bike ride go directly to three fantastic nonprofit organizations doing remarkable work in this part of the world, ranging from economic empowerment of women and girls, to providing treatment and education for those affected by the HIV pandemic.
After chit-chatting for a bit, Ben popped the question.
“You guys should join us for the biking trip in Zambia next year!”
“Yes!” I immediately responded. “I’d love to!”
That same night, Raul and I went home, went to Chooda’s website, paid the registration fee for the biking trip, and went to bed.
The next morning when I woke up, the first thought in my mind was:
“What have I done? I don’t even have a bike!”
However, after seeing these statistics and reading about the suffering of the people of Zambia, I knew I wanted to honor my commitment:
1 in 8 adults in Zambia are infected with HIV.
64% of the total population lives below the poverty line, rising up to 80% in rural areas.
Life expectancy is just 58.1 years—however, this is a considerable increase from the 2012 life expectancy of 49.4 years, thanks in part to improved access to antiretroviral treatments.
Training for a challenge, from 0 to 325 miles
A few weeks later, I got my first-ever road bike and started training. Initially, I only rode my bike within San Francisco city limits. Eventually, Raul and I trained more, riding across The Golden Gate Bridge and conquering the Marin Headlands.
As a new rider, these were great achievements for me. However, I still had another unfamiliar mountain to conquer:
I needed to raise a minimum of $4000 to even qualify to participate in the ride!
Because I work at Giving Assistant, where we help over 17,000 nonprofit organizations like Chooda, I felt like I understood some of the difficulties nonprofits faced when it came to fundraising.
Then I realized, while working to raise donations to qualify for this bike ride, just how challenging fundraising can be! (I also learned that donors can come from very surprising places—one of my first donors was from a friend in Switzerland who I hadn’t caught up with in over 15 years.)
My fundraising efforts involved social media, hosting an event at a bar, doing toastmasters presentations about Zambia, asking for donations at San Francisco’s AT&T ballpark before a Giants game, and peer-to-peer fundraising through Giving Assistant.
After only a few months, I hit the required $4,000 and surpassed my personal fundraising efforts. I am even more proud to report that collectively, all 38 riders committed to this Zambia biking adventure raised over $200,000 towards Chooda’s mission.
As for me: About 20% of my donations came from online shopping through Giving Assistant! Just normal online shoppers, donating the cash back they earned in small, yet very meaningful amounts. Below is a graph showcasing the growth of my donations between November 2017 all the way into June 2018.
Arriving in Zambia
The big day came, and I started my long journey to Zambia. It took 4 flights, and over 26 hours of flying time—not counting connecting times! On my last leg from Johannesburg to Lusaka, I felt excited but a bit overwhelmed. I didn’t know what to expect on arrival, but as soon as I landed, I was welcomed by the most wonderful smiles.
That night, I went to the campsite and met some of my fellow riders. Initially, I was a bit intimidated. Most of these riders were passionate bikers who had done multiple day-long fundraising rides like the AIDS Life Cycle from San Francisco to Los Angeles. As for myself, I had still never ridden for multiple days at once. Again, I was feeling under-trained and overwhelmed about my decision to take on this endeavor.
The next day, we had the opportunity to meet some of the fundraiser’s beneficiaries. Together, we built bikes at World Bicycle Relief that were given to boys and girls in rural areas to help provide them with better, more reliable access to education. Unfortunately, we learned, some kids in Zambia have to walk up to 10 miles each day to get to and from school. We also learned that 70% of the bikes that get built and donated go to girls, while only 30% go to boys.
The reason for this is that girls are tasked with many more domestic chores than boys. Consequently, they fall behind because of the cultural obstacles they face. In many villages, it is common for girls to arrive at school late and tired if they arrive at all. By providing bicycles to children, especially girls, we can empower them with knowledge and ultimately, change the course of their lives.
The adventure begins!
The next day was our first day on our bikes. I felt excited to be on the road. The moment we started riding, kids ran up from all over the place. They were excited to see us there! We were greeted with high fives, cheers and smiles along the journey. These beautiful smiles kept me going.
It helped that approximately every 13 miles, we made a pit-stop for water and snacks. We would also wait for the last rider to get there before resuming the next leg of the journey. By breaking the trip into 13-mile legs, the 325-mile journey felt more digestible to my brain, which only had to focus on finishing 13 miles at a time!
My fellow riders were also phenomenal. We checked on each other throughout the ride to make sure we were all feeling well. One day, when my new friend Kelly asked me if I was doing okay during the ride, I responded by saying, “Yes! Thank you.” She responded to my “thank you” with: “Of course! We’re all in this together!”
Every night we gathered for dinner and a fireside chat. During these chats, we’d share stories of our hard days on the bike saddle. There was the day we helped pump water from a well, and moments when locals would add us to Facebook. At dinner, we’d also exchange the pictures and selfies we took during that day’s ride.
After a week on dirt and sandy rural roads, our trip came to an end. After crossing the final line at the majestic Victoria Falls, I felt an amazing feeling of accomplishment.
However, I also felt a bit sad that such an amazing opportunity had come to an end. Africa had changed me. Today, more than ever, I feel as though having a positive social impact on our global community is not so much a choice as it is our collective responsibility.
One community of givers—one big impact
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to my cause. If you are currently fundraising for a registered nonprofit, I strongly encourage you to use Giving Assistant’s platform through your friends’ and families’ everyday online shopping. Email Giving Assistant’s nonprofit team at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be more than happy to assist you with your personal fundraiser!
Known for assisting millions of people achieve their DIY dreams, providing design solutions, as well as fixing, renovating and upgrading personal spaces, The Home Depot holds the title of being the largest home improvement retailer in the world, with a reputation for having an even bigger heart. A crew of nearly 400,000 associates is responsible for manning more than 2,200 stores across the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Those numbers produce an impressive squad of volunteers who donate their time, energy and innovation to The Home Depot Foundation programs and Team Depot projects – the company’s way of giving back to the community.
The bulk of charitable actions that The Home Depot Foundation and Team Depot primarily focuses on include improving the housing situations and quality of life of U.S. veterans; providing natural disaster relief to communities in need, and education such as transforming individuals into skilled tradespeople and addressing the skilled labor gap.
The Home Depot Foundation often joins forces with a wide range of local nonprofit groups and other organizations, such as Meals on Wheels, American Red Cross, Volunteers of America, Gary Sinise Foundation and Habitat for Humanity International, to form partnerships that complete endless “do-good” projects across the country. For example, their joint venture with Habitat for Humanity led to the formation of Repair Corps in 2011, which funded the remodel, repair, and renovation missions of nearly 100 homes belonging to U.S. military veterans and their families demonstrating a critical need.
And, The Home Depot’s month-long ‘Celebration of Service’ campaign honoring military vets wound up investing in initiatives that totaled 9.1 million dollars in giving power that culminated on Veterans Day, with the promise of roughly 20 million more in funds being delegated over three years to meet the housing needs of veterans. In 2016, The Home Depot Foundation announced a goal to invest a quarter-billion dollars in veteran-related causes by 2020. This May, the Foundation far exceeded its objective – two years earlier than expected – just in time to make the announcement at the 40th anniversary celebration marking the founding of The Home Depot.
Every year, The Home Depot funds multiple grants and local programs that uplift and enhance the quality of living for communities across the U.S., such as:
National Partner Grants Program: Helps fight against homelessness in veteran populations, as well as actively satisfies the housing needs of veterans such as building unique customizations for senior vets and veterans with disabilities.
Veteran Housing Grants Program: Provides large grants to nonprofits for the development and repair of veteran’s housing, including permanent supportive residences and transitional living facilities.
Community Impact Grants Program: Delivers small financial grants to non-for-profit organizations to breathe life into community volunteer projects which place special emphasis on serving local veterans.
Retool Your School Campus Improvement Grant Program: Donated over $1.8 million in the form of 490 grants that has been used to enhance the college campuses of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
The Home Depot for Kids Workshops: Introduces local youth to confidence-building, family-friendly workshops on the weekend (like constructing a birdhouse or wooden car) that take place on a monthly basis and are completely free.
Disaster Relief Program: Offers supplies, resources and manpower to residents affected by natural disasters that require recovery and rebuilding efforts.
Home Depot also gives back to the community through the sales and discounted goods they offer shoppers throughout the year and for every season.
Right now,fall décor savings are in full swing – from back to school sale items, like room accents that add just the right touch of home to a college dorm room to cozy bedding for all of those chilly autumn nights. Take up to 30% off (including top sellers) with their home décor sale that offers discounted duvet covers, faux mink throws, reversible comforters, and bath towel sets.
Also, keep an eye out for discounted The Home Depot furniture sale prices; it’s the perfect time of the year to revamp your style for the colder season. Tables, chairs, sideboards, cabinets, and complete sets for the living room, dining room, and bedroom are up to 25% off this season.
Everyone benefits from the opportunity to broaden their horizons, create unforgettable memories, grow as an individual, and achieve milestones viewed as too impossible to accomplish. The mission of the California-based nonprofit, Best Day Foundation, delivers on all of the above (and much more). Through their work with local communities, children and young adults with special needs get a chance to enjoy exhilarating outdoor experiences. Best Day provides the appropriate support, training, services, and resources for establishing supervised programs centered on water fun, beach activities, and snow sports.
Sponsorships, grants and donations fuel Best Day events that allow communities to provide thrilling outlets that create lasting bonds, build confidence, and boost the self-esteem of participants. Fundraising plays an integral role in expanding programs to include more people. Working with organizations, such as Giving Assistant, Best Day Foundation is able to make it possible for more special-needs youths to ride a wave, conquer a snow hill, or stand on the “back of a flying dragon,” like Best Day ambassador, Amy Hansen.
Amy is an excellent example of how focused determination and a support team full of positive energy can empower the mind and body to overcome physical and medical obstacles. Born with two particularly rare genetic disorders that affect her skin, bones, brain, eyes and other organs, Amy hadn’t engaged in a wide range of “exciting” activities because of her medical conditions…like becoming a surfer. Being invited to a Best Day event was just the kind of challenging opportunity she needed in her life.
The first time Amy stepped onto a surfboard was invigorating, and she was eager to get back on again. However, her next adventure would hit a bit of a snag, as disease caused the bone in her right femur to fracture. Emergency surgery followed, and Amy was outfitted with a titanium rod in her leg. While in the hospital and having to learn how to walk again, Amy felt her days on the top of the surf were over.
But, this was not acceptable for the Best Day team; they refused to let Amy’s injury take her away from something she truly enjoyed. With her doctors and physical therapist on the same page, everyone shared the same goal of getting Amy back on the board. Eventually, her strength and balance increased. After saying ‘goodbye’ to wheelchair rides, Amy graduated to a walker, and then worked her way up to taking steps without any assistance. In three months’ time, she was ready to rejoin her surf crew at the beach.
It took a couple times to get her sea legs, but by the time the third wave rolled in, Amy slowly rose up and balanced on her feet – riding a wave with the support of a tandem surfer. Back on shore, Amy beamed, “I feel like I can do anything now!”
With the Best Day Foundation cheering her on, Amy was able to overcome her fractured femur; to the point where she could surf again. And, she didn’t stop there…18 months later; Amy completed a Disney 5K run.
“My favorite part of Best Day is the volunteers,” Amy said at a thank you speech to the Foundation’s Orange County chapter at a 5-year anniversary celebration, “…for believing in us and letting us have fun out here.”
Best Day organizes events that support adventure seekers with autism, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, cancer, blindness, Down syndrome, and other physical and developmental challenges. In addition to Orange County, the Foundation has chapters in other parts of California (Los Angeles, San Diego, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties), as well as in Chesapeake Bay Virginia, Northern North Carolina, New Jersey, and Florida.
Select the Best Day Foundation as your nonprofit of choice to receive donations via your cash back earnings. It is through the generosity of organizations and individuals, like Giving Assistant shoppers, that the Best Day Foundation is able to provide unique experiences to the youth, like Amy.
When it comes to squeezing every ounce of enjoyment out of your summer, Walmart is a bustling hub of seasonal inspiration. There are affordable must-haves at every turn and plenty of opportunities to save big on the items you’d like to incorporate into your patio, garden and/or home. If you’re looking to make the most out of your summer décor or create the ideal atmosphere for entertaining family and friends (all while saving hundreds of dollars), take a moment to browse some of the Walmart offers mentioned below.
Only at Walmart will you find this clearance-markedAlexandria Crossing outdoor furniture set that offers four pieces: a sturdy glass-top table, spacious loveseat, and two chairs – all for a price that’s more than half off its original cost. Use this ensemble to liven up an empty backyard or patio. The seating for four is outfitted with red, UV-protected cushions. Accent toss pillows also accompany the loveseat and chairs for added comfort.
Walmart furniture sales allow you to maximize your dollars and purchase multiple items that help achieve desirable outdoor settings. Romantic, whimsical, relaxing, and providing vital shade from the sun, this eye-catchingGazebo Porch Swing Bed adds just the right touch of warmth and appeal to a patio or yard. It accommodates not one, not two, but three people comfortably. Sit upon the fade-resistant cotton cushions, get situated, and take in the relaxing breeze as you sway back and forth. Available in green and red, this swing serves as an excellent complement to the Alexandria Crossing set above.
Highly rated and racking up mega cool points as one of the best-selling kitchen appliances at Walmart, the Instant Pot is a versatile pressure cooker that’ll energize your next summer spread. Immediately transform into the kitchen wizard you want to be with the help of just one piece of equipment! It’s a slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, and yogurt maker all in one. Use it to warm, brown, sauté and pasteurize your food. Choose from a handful of pre-set programs to specifically concentrate on meals that involve meat, stew, chili, beans, poultry, and soup.
This summer, become the envy of your neighbors when you install a spacious swimming pool in your backyard. The 20′ x 12′ 48″Summer Waves Above Ground Swimming Pool has an oval frame, and provides plenty of space for multiple adults and children to swim about. Assembly is quick and easy, eliminating the headaches that usually come with complicated set ups. Complete with filter pump system and deluxe accessory set (cover, ladder, ground cloth, and maintenance kit), this pool will certainly help your holiday- and family get-togethers reach a whole new level of fun.
Central air not an option in your home? Wall unit on the fritz? There’s no need to suffer on a boiling hot, summer day when you can have 10,000 BTU’s of cooling power at your fingertips. Global Air helps beat the heat by providing instant relief and relaxation with their3-in-1 air conditioner, humidifier and fan. The fact that this remote-controlled unit can be moved to any part of your home really makes it a winner! Simply roll into a room to cool up to 300 square feet of space, or partially cool up to 400 square feet. And, with a Walmart coupon on hand, you can attain this level of summertime comfortability for even less.
One of the most underrated home décor finishing touches to an outdoor space is probably lighting. It doesn’t necessarily have to be fancy or elaborate, but just enough to offer adequate illumination that extends an evening filled with fun when darkness sets in. Besides creating a magical summer garden mood or quiet reading nook on the patio, this10-count string of stars is just one of the discounted light set styles from Better Homes & Gardens that are on sale at Walmart.
When you’re craving the taste of barbecued deliciousness, satisfy it by making your own with the help of this pellet-poweredPit Boss Grill. Equipped with much more than a flame broiler, this option represents one of many units offering impressive Walmart savings for summer grilling. But, keep in mind that this one is no ordinary grill. You’ll have the capabilities of an 8-in-1 BBQ workhorse on your side that’ll smoke, bake, roast, sear, braise, barbecue and char-grill your steaks, burgers and chicken all year long.
Sometimes, you just need to sit in front of a fan and let the refreshing breeze keep you cool and comfortable throughout the day. An oscillating tower fan can make all the difference between an uncomfortable, sweat-filled night and enjoying a restful slumber. Not only will you save your shuteye, but also space, energy and money with theBest Choice Products Standing Floor Tower Fan. It’s lightweight, ultra-portable, quiet, and effectively cools a room with the power of 3-speed oscillation. The easy-touch remote offers three modes (Normal, Nature, and Sleep), and includes an energy-saving timer feature.
If you’d like to trade in sweet treats for healthier, everyday tweaks this season, consider the Ninja line of home goods. These products are pretty popular, which include theFit Blender. This compact unit is equipped with pulse technology, and delivers 700 watts of power that thoroughly crushes ice and prepares frozen fruit for refreshing smoothies and cold drinks. This summer, try turning whole fruits and veggies into nutrient-rich beverages, or entertaining with flavorful low-cal Pina Coladas and daiquiris at your next BBQ.
To find the latest Walmart promo code or use an exclusive Walmart coupon code on your next purchase, download and keep ourGiving Assistant Button handy. This way, you’ll be able to take advantage of special, year-round savings for online shopping that gives back in more ways than one.