Giving

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Random Acts of Kindness Video & Photo Challenge (Let’s Inspire One Another)

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I have the most generous, kind, and loving readers. I am so incredibly lucky. During the 4 years that I’ve been blogging, I have witnessed countless times an outpouring of love and support for one another. It’s amazing the compassion I’ve seen. So that’s where this challenge comes in…

As you may have read, Anne Curry is challenging everyone to commit to doing acts of kindness in honor of the victims killed in Newtown, CT. Like many of you across the country, I am more than ready to take part in this challenge and I imagine that many of you are as well. I truly believe that paying it forward with random acts of kindness can have a powerful impact on your own life as well as the lives of others! What a wonderful way to remind one another that we live in a country filled with so much good.

So who wants to join me in this challenge?! I am hoping that quite a few of you are nodding yes. If this is indeed the case, I think it will be very inspiring to put together a video containing many different acts of kindness by all of you wonderful Hip2Savers.

If you are willing to participate, submit a video clip of you or someone you know in the act of paying it forward. You can use a regular video camera or even an iPhone or smartphone to submit your video clip (there is absolutely no need for this to be a professional video). The video can be as short or long as you want and you are welcome to submit more than one video. It’s all about showing how great the world is and just how much good surrounds us.

Once you have captured an act of kindness on video, please email the video to bekind@hip2save.com. Include your first name and the city and state where your act of kindness took place. Note that if you send your video via email, there is a possibility that your video may appear on Hip2Save.com.

* If you do not have access to a video camera/device, you are welcome to email photographs as well (as long as they have been taken by you or someone you know).

Here are some ideas for ways to pay it forward…

* Be a coupon fairy and leave a coupon behind in a store
* Walk someone’s dog
* Babysit for free
* Clean someone’s house
* Give a lottery ticket to a stranger
* Treat a police officer to a cup of coffee
* Bring some goodies to the fire station
* Pay the highway toll for the person behind you
* Donate food, clothing, and money to the needy
* Smile at every person you meet today
* Raise money for a person who lost their home to natural disasters or fire
* Hold a garage sale and give the proceeds to an organization who helps others

I can’t wait to be inspired by the videos and pictures you send my way!

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Hip2Save This Holiday: Giving Back…

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Hip2Save This Holiday Guest Post Submitted By Reader Tera B…

One of my favorite Christmas traditions involves one of my favorite charities. A local church hosts a Christmas celebration each year for a local shelter which provides safety services for women and children who are seeking shelter from relationship violence and substance abuse, as well as mental health issues. As part of the celebration, each family is given a gift basket assembled from donated items according to their needs and wishes. As you can imagine, having fled from abuse, many of these families have nothing, and the gifts mean so much to them.

I shop clearance sales and great Hip2Save deals year ’round to donate to the effort, and I usually end up donating quite a large pile of gifts for not very much spent out of pocket.

The best part for me, though, is each year when my preschool aged son and I help put together the gift baskets, “shopping” from the piles of donations to find the perfect gift for each person.

I love the way this activity opens up the door to conversation about compassion and mercy and reminds both of us how blessed we are to have a home and an intact, loving family.

Serving together and giving to others is the perfect–and hip ;) –way for our family to celebrate the true meaning of this beautiful season.


For more information on my Hip2Save This Holiday series and to learn how you can participate in the fun, click here!

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Supporting Newtown…

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Here’s another way to show your support for the Newtown Community. The Post Office has now set up a P.O. box. Check out what was recently posted here:

“We understand that there is an outpouring of support for everyone in the Newtown area and we hope to make it easier for those who wish to send encouragement and messages of compassion to those affected,” Kimberly J. Peters, Connecticut Valley District Manager for the U.S. Postal Service, said in a statement. “Through letters and cards, families will be able to hold that friendship in their hands and to read those kind words at a time and place that supports their pace of healing.”

If you would like to send a note or letter, address your envelope to:

Messages of Condolence for Newtown
PO Box 3700
Newtown CT 06470

For more ideas on ways to help, check out this post as well as the comments.

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Remembering Olivia Engel…

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My heart hurts. I feel helpless. I want to help. I need to help.

Here is an email that I received from reader, Kelly…

Friday morning, the best man in my upcoming wedding/ my fiancee’s best friend lost his daughter in the Newtown shooting. Olivia Engel was the sweetest little thing and we couldn’t be more devastated. We’ve set up a fund to help benefit her family.

We want to help make sure her services are covered and that her dad gets to stay home with the family for a few weeks to grieve and heal.

Here is the link to the benefit page. There are tons of recent pics of Olivia that we have permission to share: https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfTheEngelFamilyFund

Any help you’re able to provide will be so appreciated.

If you feel as sad and helpless as I do and would like to do something, consider making a donation to Olivia Engel’s family. Here is the direct link to make a donation via Paypal. And if you know of other families who are suffering as a result of this tragedy (and you have permission to share their information), please mention them in the comments below or email me directly – collin@hip2save(dot)com

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Help Send FREE Slim Jims to the Troops…

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Wow! I’m just lovin’ this promo Slim Jim is offering up! Just head on over to the Slim Jim site to write a message of encouragement to the troops and they’ll send them a Slim Jim along with your note. They will be sending up to 1,000,000 Slim Jims to the troops! How cool is that?! :D

(Thanks, Frugal Fil-Am!)

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Groupon: Donate $10 to Help City Harvest Provide Thanksgiving Meals for 40 New Yorkers

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As Thanksgiving approaches, many families across the United States will be crowding around their tables to enjoy the comforts of a warm meal with loved ones. However, according to this report from Feeding America, nearly 1 million New Yorkers will rely on emergency food this year, including more than 1 in 5 children who live in families who don’t always know where their next meal is coming from. :(

With that being said, if you’re looking to give back to those who were greatly impacted by Super Storm Sandy and the current Winter Storm Athena, here’s a way you can do just that on Groupon! For every $10 raised by this Grassroots campaign, City Harvest will help provide a healthy meal for 40 hungry New York residents this Thanksgiving.

Knowing they will have a meal available can help make the holidays a less stressful time for families who are food insecure. This year, City Harvest aims to collect more than 42 million pounds of produce and food from restaurants, grocers, farms, and manufacturers, which would otherwise go to waste. Head on over here to donate to this great cause and help those in need.

*Fine Print:
100% of donations go directly to City Harvest. Donations are automatically applied. Must provide full name at checkout.

(Thanks, Esther!)

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Send a FREE Thank You Card to the Troops

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Wow! Check out this neat promo that Shutterfly is offering up! Just head on over to the Shutterfly Facebook page and click on the “Thank the Troops” tab, then allow the app to send a free thank you card to an American Hero! :D

Over 1.5 million troops serve our great nation. Many of them will be overseas, in harm’s way, and away from their families over this holiday season. Our mission is simple—to send a thank you card to every American hero. To succeed we need your support. Just select a card, add a personal message (or photo) and click send.

(Thanks, Couponers Living Free!)

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Help After Hurricane Sandy….

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(Photo Credit: Boston.com)

As most of you know, the NorthEastern part of the United States (primarily New Jersey, New York and Connecticut) was recently hit by Hurricane Sandy. In addition to killing almost 100 people, many homes were completely destroyed by massive flooding, wind and fires and many residents are still without power. I have received quite a few emails from Hip2Save readers who were directly or indirectly affected by this hurricane and are asking that we all ban together to provide assistance to those in need.

What can you do?

* Make a donation to the American Red Cross by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-HELPNOW or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Note that Verizon will match customer text-to-donate contributions to American Red Cross relief efforts up to one million dollars.

* Donate blood. The Red Cross is urging immediate blood and platelet donations to support the blood needs of those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Click here to make an appt.

* Make a donation to the Humane Society of the United States to help animals and families who evacuated their homes in the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s destruction.

* Make a donation to a local animal shelter via PetFinder.com.

* Make a donation to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey. Note that financial donations have the greatest impact; in addition, you can donate food, grocery and baby items.

* Swagbucks: Every Swag Buck donated equals $0.01, so for example donating 1,000 Swag Bucks is equivalent to donating ten dollars. Support the American Red Cross as well as those affected by Superstorm Sandy and donate your Swag Bucks today. Go here for more details.

* Through December 31, 2012, Hilton will give you 10 HHonors Bonus Points for every $1 USD donated to support the relief efforts. In addition, Hilton is matching all donations up to $100,000 USD. Click here for more information.

Check out these companies that are reaching out to help…

Sears
In addition to delivering more than 100 truckloads filled with supplies like generators, chain saws, vacuums, flashlights, batteries and lanterns, Sears has added up to $20 worth of Shop Your Way Rewards points to the accounts of existing members hit the hardest by the storm. These points can be used through 11/8. Check out the full press release here.

Verizon Wireless
For areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy, Verizon has opened free device charging stations. Click here for a list of locations.

Now it’s you turn… what suggestions do you have?


Have you been directly affected by Hurricane Sandy or do you know families that have been directly affected? We want to help! Please complete this quick survey by clicking here so that we can send donations to those who need them the most. Thank you.

And to all of you in the NorthEast that have been affected, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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KIVA.org: FREE $25 Credit to Help Fight Poverty and Change Lives (Awesome Way to Give Back!)

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Wow! Here’s an awesome way to give back and to help fight poverty all over the world without having to spend anything out of pocket. Kiva.org lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses all over the world enabling you to essentially “sponsor a business” and help the world’s working poor gain economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you’ll receive email updates from the borrower you’ve sponsored; and as loans are repaid, you get your loan money back and can then choose to fund another business. So cool! :D

But here’s the best part! For a limited time, you can register for Kiva.org through this link (yes, this is my referral link) and you’ll snag a FREE $25 credit meaning you’ll be able to make your very first loan on Kiva for FREE (no credit card info required)! Plus, once you sign up, you can refer friends and family so they’ll earn a FREE $25 credit and you’ll also earn a FREE $25 credit each time someone registers through your referral link (so feel free to share your links in the comment section below).

(Thanks, Steph!)

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Send a FREE Febreze Set & Refresh product (+ Care Package) to the Troops Serving in Combat Expired

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I posted about this wonderful Facebook promo Febreze is offering up back in February, but I thought I’d go ahead and remind you all that it’s still going on… especially if you are a new Hip2Save reader.

Just head on over to the Febreze Facebook page and click on the “Treat the Troops” tab, then click the “Donate Now” button to send a U.S. hero serving in combat a Febreze Set & Refresh product, along with a care package of toiletries, magazines, letters, and more! How cool is that?! :D

(Thanks for the reminder, Jordan!)

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