Breast Cancer Awareness & How You Can Support

Breast Cancer Awareness & How You Can Support

Every year, between October 1 and October 31, breast cancer awareness is at an all-time high as people from all walks of life join forces to spread the word about the second most common cancer affecting American women.

Statistics cite that about 1 in 8 females in the U.S. will receive a diagnosis for the disease over the course of a lifetime, which is what makes Breast Cancer Awareness Month such a significant campaign.

The widespread actions that follow not only call attention to the importance of early detection and prevention, but also raise money for research and education.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Because of this, survival rates continue to soar, and cancer of the breast is now known as one of the most treatable forms of the disease.

In October, fundraising walks, runs and other events are held across the country, which provide much-needed support to charities and non-profit organizations at the forefront of finding a cure, assisting patients and their families, as well as educating the public.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

As a shopper, you also have the ability to give to a good cause though the items you buy online. Giving Assistant is a platform that rewards you with a percentage back from the purchases you make when shopping your favorite brands. You can donate 1% to 100% of the cash back you earn towards supporting a breast cancer-focused nonprofit, just like the ones listed below:

Keep A Breast

Keep A Breast concentrates on helping young people from around the world reach a healthy level of confidence, physical self-awareness, and knowledge related to proactive prevention against breast cancer. The organization’s success has shined through in multiple initiatives and programs that include the “i love boobies!” campaign, the “Check Yourself! app,” and breast cast art exhibitions.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Mothers Supporting Daughters with Breast Cancer

Mothers Supporting Daughters with Breast Cancer has already connected more than 10,000 women to a “mother volunteer” who has already experienced the breast cancer fight with their daughter. The nonprofit makes every effort to ensure women affected by breast cancer have an individual support system, including access to help from those familiar with specific types of treatment, such as bone marrow or stem cell transplants.

Mothers Supporting Daughters with Breast Cancer

Breast Treatment Task Force

The Breast Treatment Task Force fights on behalf of New York City residents that are without health insurance, and in need of diagnostic follow-ups and treatment for breast cancer. They also educate patients and assist them in finding adequate care through a variety of prevention programs, community referrals, and free mammogram screenings.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, there’s plenty of ways to make a difference! Get out there and spread the word about mammograms, breast exams and early detection.

Encourage friends and family to get checked out. Volunteer at local events. In this fight, all contributions in time, compassion and charitable donations go a long way.

Reboot Your Mind, Body and Soul by #MovingTogether with Free People + Girls Inc.

Reboot Your Mind, Body and Soul by #MovingTogether with Free People + Girls Inc.

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 is 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, the Giving Assistant Button. Download it now if you haven’t already!

Right To Play Nonprofit Spotlight • Why Play Time is Essential For Quality Education

Right To Play Nonprofit Spotlight • Why Play Time is Essential For Quality Education

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.

History

Right to Play nonprofit kids event

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.

How Does Right to Play Help?

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:

1. 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

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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

Two kids balancing balls on their heads

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.

Pakistani kids playing with hula hoops

Where is Right to Play Based?

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.

Kids playing a Right to Play nonprofit game

How to Donate to Right to Play

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 the Giving 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.

How Conquering 325 Miles Helped Raise $200k for Zambia

How Conquering 325 Miles Helped Raise $200k for Zambia

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.

Giving Assistant

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 nonprofits@givingassistant.org and they will be more than happy to assist you with your personal fundraiser!

 

Brands That Give Back: Reaching a Quarter of a Billion [The Home Depot]

Brands That Give Back: Reaching a Quarter of a Billion [The Home Depot]

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

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.

The Home DepotThe Home Depot

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.

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.

The Home Depot

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.

The Home Depot

And, if you’re interested in keeping up with the latest The Home Depot coupon codes, don’t forget to download our Giving Assistant Button, which keeps you up to speed on the latest ways to save money and do a little giving of your own in the process.