Day 295: Urban Ministries of Durham

External image

I received an email from Rosalinda yesterday mentioning an online game called Spent,  she mentioned after playing for a few minutes, she had to quit. I was curious to see what this game was all about. The game challenges you to make it through a series of challenges for a month starting as an unemployed worker with a dwindling income. I made it though the month and had to make some tough decisions and still I had only $260 at the end of the month with a gas bill to pay and rent due. Many of the choices I had to make, reminded me of many of the decisions my mom had to make to keep a roof over our heads and food in the fridge. The game was created for Urban Ministries of Durham, a non-profit in North Carolina that provides for Durham’s homeless population. Rosalinda made a donation and I giving my daily donation to them as well.

At Urban Ministries of Durham they believe that no one should be without food, clean clothing or a safe place to sleep. They have created a welcoming, caring and compassionate environment where people can heal, find hope and begin to rebuild their lives. Their mission is to provide food, clothing, shelter, and supportive services to our neighbors in need.

Amount Donated: $5

To support Urban Ministries of Durham, please visit:

Can you make it through the month?

Day 73 (365 Days of Giving)

May 6, 2011//Kascare

Donating to Kascare actually took a little more time than I had in a day.  Kascare is an organization whose programs help AIDS orphans and increase awareness about these children.  One of their programs is the Knit-a-Square program, where volunteers from all over the world send 8" squares they have knit or crocheted.  These squares are then put together to make wonderful blankets for orphans who have been affected by HIV/AIDS.

Now, I don’t know how to knit or crochet, which is why it took me a little time to be able to donate to this organization!  But I finally took the time to learn how to crochet, just for Kascare!  

Kascare’s goal for 2011 is to get 175,000 squares, to make 5,000 blankets.  If you know how to knit or crochet, you can do it, too!  Visit for more details.

Donation: 4 hours

Impact of Donation: One square in a blanket that will be given to AIDS orphans in Africa.

Hours Donated to Date: 33 hours

Dollars Donated to Date: $430.00

Imagine giving a little something everyday....

That’s exactly what Carlo Garcia (Twitter, Tumblr) has been doing for the last year and counting. This year, he basically picked one nonprofit organization a day, researched and wrote about it, and then donated usually $5 or $10. The organizations could (and did!) then use Carlo’s giving to get others on board, and readers of Carlo’s blog were also motivated to give.

For Year II, Carlo has strategically tapped the Living Philanthropic following to give too. From his post about what’s to come:

What’s the plan?: For my part, I will be selecting 12 charities for the next year, starting in April 2011. One featured charity a month, you may see some of my past favorites as well as some newbies. Each month, I will be saving my daily donations (at least $1 a day) and donating that money in one lump sum to featured charity of the month. My hopes are to increase the impact and exposure for the featured charity. 

Take the pledge!: If you would like to join me or if you have already started your own mission of giving, why not take the Living Philanthropic pledge? Pledge to take the Living Philanthropic challenge! You can choose your level of commitment and path. I will be creating a page with links to everyone Living Philanthropic.

Tally it up!: After you’ve made your contributions whether time or money, be sure to add your give to the Living Philanthropic total, so we can keep track of our impact! Add your give to the tally here!

Blog with Me!: I want to blog with you! Anytime during Year 2, if you make a donation to a featured charity of the month and would like to write a post about it. I invite you to Contribute a post to Living Philanthropic! You can write anything you want, talk about why you decided to donate or share a personal story relating to the featured organization. My favorite part of year one has been hearing from you, so I want to share as many of your stories with everyone else as much as possible.

I’m on board. I love it. This is the kind of sincere, impactful giving that there should be more of. And, he shows that anyone is capable of giving in some way everyday (and has made the hashtag #giveeveryday popular!). AND, he highlights a truly remarkable set of organizations that are creating powerful change in society.

Day 44 (365 Days of Giving)

April 7, 2011//Relief International

My internship with Relief International in my 3rd year of college probably gave me the most relevant experience for my (desired) future career.  I started out as a Human Resources intern, doing all the normal things an intern does, but since my supervisor knew I was interested in education programs, when something opened up I began working for the education department.  Working for Relief International in total lasted only about 4-5 months, because of the commute, but I got to do research to help an exchange program they were starting to get sports coaches to come to Los Angeles for a week and learn about health and the importance of sports to children.

Relief International is also the largest non-profit organization I have ever worked with.  Aside from education programs, they work in the areas of emergency relief, food and agriculture, shelter, human rights and human livelihood–basically every aspect of international development you can think of.  They work in over 20 countries, mostly in Africa and Southeast Asia, but also in the Middle East and Haiti.  Aside from their three national offices in LA, SF and DC, they have staff in all of these areas, as well as many volunteers.  As a former human resources intern, I can tell you that even volunteering was somewhat competitive!  So I was lucky to be able to intern there, even if for only a short time.

Since they do so much in so many different areas, it’s kind of hard to give an overall picture of the type of work Relief International does, but I definitely recommend checking them out, especially if you’re interested in volunteering abroad or doing relief work in places like Haiti and Japan.  Personally, I chose for my donation to go to their programs in Darfur, Sudan, where they are providing emergency healthcare, combatting malnutrition, improving clean water access and sanitation and working to ensure peace in the conflict-ridden region.

Visit for more info!

Donation: $10.00

Impact of Donation: Support Relief International’s programs in Darfur, Sudan.

Hours Donated to Date: 13.5 hours

Dollars Donated to Date: $285.00

Day 38 (365 Days of Giving)

April 1, 2011//Oakland High School

Since I donated to my college, I thought it would be good to donate to my high school as well, seeing as how I had a pretty great (minus the usual high school drama) experience, and learned a lot from my teachers about life. I’m not quite sure what to say about Oakland High School. It definitely had its flaws–I did not enjoy math, or attempting to learn Cantonese Chinese, and there was admittedly a lot of drama and embarrassment I’d rather not think about. But Oakland High School was also the place where I was taught how to be a leader and break out of my shell by many of my English teachers, where I joined and started several clubs and where I met some of the closest friends I have today. So it makes sense to give back to a place that gave me so much.

A little bit about Oakland High School: it is a large public high school that is 99.99% minorities (African Americans; Asians–Chinese and Vietnamese, mostly; and Hispanics). Practically the only Caucasian people I ever saw in school were the teachers. There were plenty of fights on campus, and gang-related stuff nearby. But it also had a lot of really solid programs (one of the few schools I know of that has both a KIWIN’S and Key Club) and some great mentors for all types of students.  Those programs and mentors really helped me become who I am today. The photo above is me at graduation with one of my mentors!

I donated to Oakland High School through their alumni association, and you can, too! Visit

Donation: $5.00

Impact of Donation: Support the programs provided by Oakland High School.

Hours Donated to Date: 13.5 hours

Dollars Donated to Date: $237.00

December 2011 wrap-up

External image
Happy New Year Everyone! 2011 was an amazing year for me and I look forward to what 2012 has in store for us!

I just got back from my expedition in Mexico, I’m working on an update post and will send it out shortly.

I wanted to send out an update about the December Featured Charity AMERICARES, we’ve raised $2,085 for Americares thanks to State Farm’s Go To Bat Program and Anonymous donor CYPHER for their contributions to the cause. If you would like to pledge your support to Americares, please visit:

They do amazing humanitarian relief all around the world.

Thank you for all your support and contributions to charity in 2011. Here’s to an amazing 2012!

Day 83 (365 Days of Giving)

May 16, 2011//KaBoom!

There’s a park a few blocks away from my house that I used to go to with my parents.  The playground was very untraditional–instead of slides and monkey bars, there was a wooden “carriage” with six donkey statues and a western theme.  I had so much fun in that playground, even though it was kind of old and not very safe… They’ve since replaced the entire thing with a more modern structure, but they’ve kept the donkeys in a roped off area, as a homage to the old playground.

Every child deserves playground memories like that, and KaBoom! is trying to accomplish that.  There aren’t enough “playspaces,” as the organization calls them, for children in the US, and the existing ones aren’t well-kept.  KaBoom! builds playspaces, helps you build playspaces in your own community, and promotes the importance of play for children and families.

Their website shows you how to start a build project on your own, or search for projects nearby that you can help with.  Visit

Donation: $5.00

Impact of Donation: Help build playspaces for children around the US.

Hours Donated to Date: 36 hours

Dollars Donated to Date: $505.00

Day 74 (365 Days of Giving)

May 7, 2011//ASPCA

I love the ASPCA for giving me some of my favorite pets.  My family has had 2 cats and 4 dogs over the past 15 years, and five of those animals were rescued.  Out of those, two of them were adopted from the ASPCA–my cat, Tiger, and my dog, Ollie.  Tiger has been with us for 14 years, Ollie, 8, and they are as much a part of the family as any human, and sometimes more.

Aside from being a home to abandoned

 cats and dogs, the ASPCA advocates against animal cruelty, provides vet services, and is able to legally investigate and make arrests for crimes against animals.  I for one am grateful that they exist, otherwise I wouldn’t have these little beauties!

Visit for volunteering, programs and adoptions!

Donation: $5.00

Impact of Donation: Support programs to fight animal cruelty and save stray animals!

Hours Donated to Date: 33 hours

Dollars Donated to Date: $435.00

Featured Charity for December 2011

Just to update on Movember, Team Living Philanthropic is waiting on a pending $1,000 donation, but the grand total will be $3,675 raised for our collective moustaches. That’s awesome work, gentlemen.

Now for December 2011’s featured charity, Living Philanthropic is supporting Americares.

External image
AmeriCares is a nonprofit disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization which provides immediate response to emergency medical needs – and supports long-term humanitarian assistance programs – for all people around the world, irrespective of race, creed or political persuasion.

The Living Philanthropic team page on Crowdrise has already received $1,000 pledge of support from State Farm’s Go To Bat program! Let’s match their pledge and our anonymous donor CYPHER will match our donations up to the first $1,000! Let’ hit this goal together and help Americares in their humanitarian efforts across the world.

Want to be a guest blogger on Living Philanthropic?
Join the team and donate on this page & submit your blog post about why you made a contribution here:

Day 20 of Movember: It’s day 20 and I’ve raised $200 for Movember so far and the team has raised $365! Woo-hoo! If you would like to sponsor our Mo’s please visit:

The Movember Effect: Awareness & Education, Survivorship, Research

External image
The funds raised in the US support prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men. The funds raised are directed to programs run directly by Movember and our men’s health partners, the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG, the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Together, the three channels work together to ensure that Movember funds are supporting a broad range of innovative, world-class programs in line with our strategic goals in the areas of awareness and education, survivorship and research. 

Movember - a global movement
Since its humble beginnings in Melbourne Australia, Movember has grown to become a truly global movement inspiring more than 1.1 Million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas to participate with formal campaigns in Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada, the UK, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, South Africa and Ireland. In addition, Movember is aware of Mo Bros and Mo Sistas supporting the campaign and men’s health cause across the globe, from Russia to Dubai, Hong Kong to Antarctica, Rio de Janeiro to Mumbai, and everywhere in between.

No matter the country or city, Movember will continue to work to change established habits and attitudes men have about their health, to educate men about the health risks they face, and to act on that knowledge, thereby increasing the chances of early detection, diagnosis and effective treatment. 

In 2010, over 64,500 US Mo Bros and Mo Sistas got on board, raising $7.5 million USD. 

External image

Big steps have been taken towards changing attitudes and habits relating to men’s health around the world, but there is still much to be done to catch up with the women’s health movement. Via the moustache, Movember aims to fulfill its vision of having an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health by continuing to spark conversation and spread awareness of men’s health issues each year.

Check-In: See a Dermatologist for a skin screening

External image
Last week, while doing one of my Check-Ins for the Check-Ins for Check Ups program to raise money for Children’s Health Fund, I “scheduled a dermatologist appointment for a skin health checkup.” At that appointment, I had them look at a mole on my back, I’ve had since I was young. After the doctor analyzed it, as irregular, he recommended that it be surgically removed. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being Melanoma cancer, he rated it as high as a 7. So, tomorrow I will be having a surgery to remove the mole and have it sent to the lab for testing. I will keep you posted on the results, but the important thing is that I recommend everyone who has the access to schedule a check up for a skin health screening. Early detection is the most powerful tool in fighting melanoma and other skin diseases, so schedule that check up and when you do CHECK-IN at the Check-in for Checkups website and Clorox will donate .10 cents per check-in to Children’s Health Fund to help provide health care access to children in under served communities.

If you haven’t already, please sign up for an account on Check-in for Checkups and Check-In every time you do a healthy activity and increase the amount of funding CHF will receive through this program from Clorox.

I am currently working with The Clorox Company for the Check-in for Checkups program that benefits Children’s Health Fund (CHF).

Day 24 of Movember: HAPPY Mo'Giving!

I am thankful for a lot of blessings in my life. My family, great friends, a reliable job, good health, and endless possibilities. I am so thankful for all the support and friends I have earned over the past year and a half of Living Philanthropic. I am thankful that my dad seems to be responding to the chemo. I am thankful for the opportunity to go back to Mexico again this year to build another junior high school for kids in need. I am so grateful for all the good things and all the challenges in my life. 

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families!

Sponsor Team Living Philanthropic this Movember: