Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Fuzz Academy

The Fuzz Academy

"Environmentally friendly"

The Fuzz Academy is a networking site that combines simple, fun games along with valuable lessons and intellectual stimulus to create a worthy site that also happens to aid environmental causes and charities. The Fuzz Academy, or "FA" as some of its users call it, donates to several strong charities focused on saving the environment.

Fuzz Academy allows users to create an account and a personal pet, or 'cadet'. The cadets can be dressed up with various items that are bought with hairballs (the site's currency). Hairballs are earned by playing games, or showing some love to other cadets. Special, more intricately designed items are available for premium members, who spend real currency on the game. However, most items are available to normal users as well.

The site functions largely like the popular Neopets, in which the user has a social network profile, dressed up pets, and plays games for currency. What separates Fuzz Academy from your everyday pet site is that it donates to causes such as, according to their About Us page, the Nature Conservancy's Adopt-An-Acre, Plant A Billion Trees, the ASPCA, and the World Wildlife Fund.

Interested in helping one of those environmental charities yourself? You can do so, just by playing some games over at The Fuzz Academy!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Smile Train - Changing the World One Smile at a Time.

Smile Train

"Changing the World One Smile at a Time."

Smile Train is a charity whose mission it is to provide free cleft surgery and to train doctors and medical professionals in cleft-related operations. The charity focuses solely on that goal, putting to use all available resources to reach it.

According to Wikipedia's article on Smile Train and the Smile Train site itself, approximately 1 in 700 children are born with cleft lip and palate. Though the number of children being born with cleft lip and palate is strikingly large, Smile Train claims that it is currently fixing more cleft lips and palates than the rate at which people are being born with it, thus hopefully nearing eradication of the problem.

A cleft lip and palate surgery (and treatment) costs around just $250. While that is a large sum for any one person to donate, Smile Train claims that a person can help by simply donating a small portion of that, paying for something as important as the medications. It accumulates all of the money, and then uses that to pay for the surgery and treatment.

Cleft lip and palate can be a severe hindrance to the lives of innocent children around the world, breeding social and personal issues. You can help with just a small donation to Smile Train.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

FREE: Trick-or-Treat For UNICEF Kit

Tips for Saving header

Posted originally by Rose, on the Tips for Saving blog:

"It is the 60th anniversary for the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF program. You can help support this foundation by ordering a FREE trick or treat kit, and gathering donations on Halloween.

The United Nations Children's Fund - UNICEF - works for..." [Read More]

United Nations Volunteers - Inspiration in action.

United Nations Volunteers

"Inspiration in action."

The United Nations Volunteers (also well known as the UNV) program is an organization overseen by the United Nations. The UNV aims to promote and incorporate volunteerism in the worldwide community. Their mission statement reads:

"Volunteering brings benefits to both society at large and the individual volunteer. It makes important contributions, economically as well as socially. It contributes to a more cohesive society by building trust and reciprocity among citizens.

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that supports sustainable human development globally through the promotion of volunteerism, including the mobilization of volunteers. It serves the causes of peace and development by enhancing opportunities for participation by all peoples. It is universal, inclusive and embraces volunteer action in all its diversity. It values free will, commitment, engagement and solidarity, which are the foundations of volunteerism."

Sure, it's a mouthful, and they probably could have just said, "To promote volunteerism," but this looks much fancier. After all, why would an organization like the UN make anything simple on the rest of us? That's just not professional.

Of course, I'm just messin' with the UNV. They directly mobilize more than 7,500 volunteers each year across the globe, with more than 75% coming from developing countries; over 30% volunteer in their own country. What does this mean for you, then, if you can't offer in-person volunteer services (and to be honest, who can)? For that, there is the Online Volunteering service.

This service directly connects organizers with people who are willing to donate some of their time and skills to the particular organization's project. While you don't get to travel (and you don't get the benefits of being a UNV volunteer), you do get to help out in your own way, however you can.

If you want to join the UNV yourself, or just give them a look, check out the UNV site. If you'd like to sign up online, and be an online volunteer, go to UNV Online Volunteering.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Click to Give - Give to Charity for free!

Click to Give

"Give to Charity for free!"

Click to Give is, as its name gets across quite well, a click-to-give donation site. This means that users simply go on the site, click just a few buttons, and they've donated quite a bit. Rather than directly donating to one charity run by Click to Give, the site will actually redirect the money granted from advertisements on each page (which pay for the donations) directly to the charity you clicked for. You may click for all of the charities each day, but you can only click once per day per charity.

The site offers a lot of wonderful charities to donate to - and you can donate to them all, every day! The causes include animal care, hunger, child abuse, homelessness, breast cancer, and sponsoring children. Here's a brief overview of each one:

Animal Care: "The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world. Our organization was founded by Henry Bergh in 1866 on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans, and must be protected under the law."

Feed the Poor: "Feed The Children is a Christian, international, nonprofit relief organization with headquarters in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, that delivers food, medicine, clothing and other necessities to individuals, children and families who lack these essentials due to famine, war, poverty, or natural disaster."

Stop Child Abuse: "Founded in 1959 by Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson, Childhelp® is a leading national non-profit organization dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect. Childhelp’s approach focuses on prevention, intervention and treatment."

End Homelessness: "The National Alliance to End Homelessness (Alliance) works to end homelessness. Though the popular response to homelessness in America has long been shelter, the Alliance maintains that we can end homelessness altogether and not just one night at a time. Years of research, pilot projects, and case studies show that there are solutions to effectively and efficiently end homelessness through housing."

Breast Cancer: "NBCF [National Breast Cancer Foundation] is committed to spreading knowledge and fostering hope in the fight against breast cancer. By funding free mammograms for women who could otherwise not afford them and supporting research programs in leading facilities across the country, NBCF helps inspire the courage needed to win this monumental battle. Be a part of the solution and discover how to help."

Sponsor Children: "Our mission is very simple. The more clicks you guys give daily, the more funding we then have to sponsor and maintain current sponsorships of these children in need. We will be adding and updating each sponsored child profile as it becomes available. We'll also be contacting and interacting with the sponsored children as much as possible and very excited to post all communication responses by each angel for you to view."

Click-donors can click anonymously, if they so choose, though Click to Give offers an interesting alternative. You can register an account, and you gain 1 point for each click you make. You can redeem these clicks for rewards, bought from the charities' gift shops, which still supports the charities. The only downfall to this system is that you can only get 6 points per 24 hours, and the cheapest item is near 1000 points.

With the account, you can also keep track of all of your donations. Simply click the 'View My Impact' link in the Members Control Panel on the middle right of the page, and you will be taken to your statistics. The more you click, the more it will show you as having donated.

This site is working a great form of charity that can earn quite a bit of money and make it easy on everyone involved, so head on over to Click to Give!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

FreePoverty - Knowing Helps

"Knowing Helps"

FreePoverty is a click-to-give site that is free and easy to use. It's in the form of a game, much like FreeRice, but it focuses solely on geography (instead of FreeRice's multiple subjects). As one plays the game, and answers correctly, a certain amount of water (depending on how close to correct the answer was) is added to the individual and total score donated. Near the top of their pages, a counter claims (at the time of this article's writing):

"In total we have donated 225,520,538 Cups of Water!"

The idea for the site itself is that a person who plays the games will view the ads placed on that page; the water donated is then paid for by the money earned from the sponsors' ads. The site isn't just a simple game with ads, though. The game itself is very well-made, and the look of the site is wonderful, so one doesn't mind the ads as much.

Why donate water, though? On their Home page, FreePoverty says:

"70% of a human being is made up of water. Water is the second most essential element for survival, after oxygen. Over one billion people in the world do not have access to clean drinking water; hence, causing them to develop deadly diseases. Moreover, without water, the brain is not able to function properly. One cup of water can make difference to someone's day. FreePoverty allows you to donate as many cups of water as you can to save millions of people."

FreePoverty FAQ pageFreePoverty states on its FAQ page that it is in between organizations due to some sort of "unforeseen issues." These issues are not expounded on, and the link they give promising further explanation leads to a 404 page.

Naturally, this does make FreePoverty seem a bit on the shadier side, though the site is much blogged about, and was associated previously with the popular WaterAid. Spending time on the site at your own discretion, as though the site seems trustworthy, it's hard to be sure at the moment. Perhaps when FreePoverty partners up with a reputable organization, we can all rest assured.

Regardless, the geography game on the site is actually quite fun. Go ahead and check it out at FreePoverty.

Sunday, September 5, 2010 - We Donate 1 Cup of Water to World Vision Every Time You Win

We donate 1 cup of water to World Vision every time you win

UPDATE: is down.
=== is a click-to-give charity site that operates much like the other click-to-give sites, especially FreeRice. To start, you the "Play" button in the dialog box, and it will give you a question and an answer. In the answer is a number that you must remember within the short time allotted, and when it disappears, you must input the correct number. The level will increase as you enter right answers in a row, or decrease for wrong answers. For each right answer, 1 cup of water will be donated. For quite a bit of time, the game is very simple.

It works in the same way many of its click-to-give contemporaries do: you answer to refresh the page, and with it, a new ad appears. On, the ad is at the top of the page, in banner form. The price of the ad's placement pays for the donations; thus the more one plays, the more money the sponsors must pay, and the more that is donated. donates the water to World Vision, which is an international relief and development organization. According to the World Vision International 'What We Do' page:

"Because poverty has both local and global causes, World Vision works within communities and across geographical areas to help individuals and groups improve the well-being of children and overcome poverty."

They do not work by themselves, however. They engage many other groups and people to participate in the betterment of their communities, and their world. Also on the 'What We Do' page, they state:

"World Vision engages institutions, donors and the general public to address the global problems that perpetuate poverty. Advocacy staff empower communities to speak up for their rights, locally and globally."

Another popular World Vision charity is AIDtoCHILDREN, about whom I wrote an article in my last post. AIDtoCHILDREN also donates to those in need by asking one a question, and paying for the donations through ads. AIDtoCHILDREN donates such things as school supplies, clothing, and food to impoverished children around the world.

If you want to help those in the developing world and disaster areas get fresh, clean water, get to playing on!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Update! FreeRice Releases Beta of New Layout

The site we know and love - FreeRice - has released a new beta version for users to test out. The new beta site is for everyone to use. It has some new features that will definitely impress anyone who has used the site before the beta (as well as those who lamented the lack of a leader board!) and even a new, fancier layout.

Among the new features is the ability to create an account. With the creation of accounts, one has access to joining, creating, and playing for new user groups, and keeping track of their total scores (either individually or for an entire group). Also requiring an account is the friends system. Having an account may be integral to accessing all of the new goodies on the site, but it's not necessary to play the game.

Save for the necessary addition of account creation, groups are perhaps the most important update to the FreeRice game in the beta. Groups allow users to compete in rice count; competition will surely raise the rice count. Players can join multiple groups, but can only play for one at a time. To "play" for a group, simply click the double arrow button next to "Groups" on your info bar, and then select the group you wish to play for. The top 5 players will be featured on the group's information.

In addition to receiving recognition through groups, players can show off by sharing on Facebook and Twitter. Such information such as totals earned per group, overall, etc. can be posted. Extensive information on totals can be viewed on the user profiles, which can also feature a website, some personal information, and a description.

Go to the FreeRice beta now!