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

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Wow! I’m just lovin’ this Facebook promo Febreze is offering up! 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, Freebie Shark!)

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Heads Up: February 4th is Thank a Mailman Day

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February 4th is a very special day… it’s Thank a Mailman Day!

This is your chance to give a BIG thank you to your Mail Carrier who brings super sweet deals to your mailbox and doorstep six days a week! And with all of the freebies and samples we score every day… well, most of us keep our Mail Carriers super busy.

Here are some ideas on how to show your Mail Carrier you appreciate their service:

* Leave them a note in your mailbox with a gift card to a local restaurant or coffee shop. We post lots of yummy deals and freebies every day, why not surprise them with a treat? I know a warm caffeinated beverage gets me going every day!

* Speaking of freebies, why not put together a gift bag of some of your recent scores? Sample sized products from Bath & Body Works or a Yankee candle… even Krispy Kreme coupons. They all make inexpensive, but yet still thoughtful gifts to give.

* Warm up their cold days by giving them a pair of gloves or a package of hand or foot warmers. These are usually inexpensive and can be found at any sporting goods store or online… I’ve posted many glove deals previously as well.

* Have your kiddos draw a picture for your Mail Carrier or make them a card.

(Photo Credit)

* No matter what, a big smile and a thank you is always appreciated by anyone! :D

How are YOU going to thank your Mail Carrier? Will you make them a snack or give them a smile and a wave? Let me know what you will be doing to show your appreciation below.

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Inspiration Through Art: Send Cards to Kids Fighting Illness & Disabilities

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Are you looking to spread love this Valentine’s Day to those who may need it the most?! Then check out this wonderful organization called Inspiration Through Art. Inspiration Through Art (formerly The Littlest Heroes Project) is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering young people to give back, and make a difference through the beauty of art.

Found in 2008, this organization is made up of professional photographers, artists, children, and other volunteers nationwide that provide free programs and services (like free photo shoots, special cards and mail, gift packages etc.) to children who suffer from any type of serious illness or life altering disability. Check out the 2012 Team of Heroes by clicking here.

And through February 1st, you can help Inspiration Through Art send Valentine’s Day cards to its little heroes. Here’s what you need to do…

Keep in mind that if you want to help in other ways, you can opt to donate stamps and/or white, red or pink envelopes. Click here for more information.

(Thanks for sharing this wonderful organization with me, Racheal!)

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LivingSocial: $15 for a $30 Care Package for a Soldier (AND an American Flag for You!)

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Here is an awesome deal to help celebrate Veteran’s Day while also helping to support those who are currently serving. Head on over to LivingSocial where $15 will get you an American Flag shipped right to your door AND will also enable the USO to provide a deployment care package (a $30 value!) to a soldier or to put your donation toward other efforts for our men and women of the armed forces. Each care package is filled with items like snacks, toiletries, and phone cards. How awesome is that?!

To purchase this great deal, click here. If you do not see it featured at the top, scroll down and you should see it under the Nearby Deals list. Then simply click on Buy Now and follow the instructions.

Fine Print: Limit one per person, additional as gifts; Entire value must be used in a single visit; Includes shipping; $30 credit will go toward a care package or other USO efforts; Customers will check out at the USO and receive a US flag to commemorate their donation; Contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowable by federal law; Other conditions apply; PAID VALUE EXPIRES ON November 11, 2016; PROMOTIONAL VALUE EXPIRES ON November 11, 2012

(Thanks, Jenn!)

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Help Needed after Hurricane Irene …

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Hurricane Irene is still a major issue for many communities of the East Coast. At least 40 deaths due to the storm have been reported in 11 states, and thousands are still stranded and without power.  Many inland regions in Connecticut, MA, NJ, NY, & Vermont were extremely hard hit with torrential amounts of rain, unprecedented flooding, and downed trees and power lines. Three Hip2Save readers in flood-ravaged areas are asking for your assistance! Please read their pleas for help below:

Amy Fallas from Amsterdam in upstate NY: While walking through hard hit areas of my own town, I came across a family of five that had been greatly effected by this storm. Mom and Dad were busy cleaning and sorting through what was left of their home. Their three older sons were helping, and all alone playing with her Littlest Petshop toy was 6 year old Maria. I asked if it would be OK to just sit with her and keep her company. Maria is going into the first grade and she is very excited. I asked her what she thought of the storm and all the flooding and her response was both heart warming and heart breaking. Maria told me “It’s OK, because after every storm there is a rainbow.” So simple and so true. They say the greatest gift in life is the gift of giving, I would love nothing more then to be able to give Maria that rainbow.

Supplies needed in Amsterdam: Cleaning products, new or gently used clothing for men women & children of all ages, gift cards, non-perishable items, baby formula & baby food, diapers, wipes, personal care items, pet food, toys for boys & girls of all ages. Donations will be sorted by volunteers and distributed to the flood victims in need. Please send your donations to the following non-profit:

Liberty Arc
C/O Salsa Picante Carmen Irizarry
43 Liberty Dr.
Amsterdam NY 12010
(518)842-5080
(518)527-3235

Kristin Kilmer also from upstate NY: A friend and I are organizing a local fundraiser/supply drive for kids that are getting ready to start school soon & their families have lost so much. We are working a venue/date & list of items needed. Most of the focus will be on school supplies, clothes & items such as that. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. I will house all items until the event takes place. Thanks for your thoughts/prayers. Donations can be sent to my address:

Kristin Kilmer
115 Mountainview Ave
Troy, NY 12180


Stephanie Ackley from Vermont: I’m writing to you from Rutland VT. Our state was ravaged and destroyed by Irene. Roads and bridges are washed away, people are isolated and trapped in small towns, and two people are still missing as we try to pick up the pieces of this devastating event. The Vermont Strong Store isn’t my website, but I’m trying to help get the word out. T-shirts are for sale for $25. The proceeds go to the Vermont Foodbank to purchase supplies for the isolated towns and cities where people can’t get out of. I would greatly appreciate any word of mouth and all support related to this. My mom, brother, uncle and grand parents are just a few of the people that are trapped and can’t get to town.

Valerie from Connecticut: I’m at work typing this email to you and the Hip2save Readers. At 6am Sunday, my power went out in Connecticut at my home and my dear husband and I are still in the dark – 5 days later. Might have power by next Wednesday 9/7/11. Needless to say, our meals are much different. We purchase food each night at the store to grill, while listening to a small battery operated radio and heading to bed extremely early. Our older son attends college in Williamsburg VA and had to be evacuated by Friday and could not return to campus until mid day Tuesday. He did a road trip to Kentucky to visit new friends. He’s safe now. Our younger son, had to be moved into his new college in Mass; so packing was a challenge. But all and all, we are doing well. It’s amazing how we rely so much on electricity for everything. We have no land line phone service or cable either. I hope all the hip2save readers that were affected by Hurricane Irene are doing well. Would love to know.

Note: If you want to send cash, the American Red Cross will gladly accept your donation for use with people affected by Irene, floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes.

If you live in one of the areas that was recently affected by Hurricane Irene, please feel free to share your experience with us. In addition, I encourage you to mention any local non-profit organizations in your area that are in need of assistance.

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Hip2Help Tour Bloopers Video

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Enjoy!

* If you can’t see the video, go here to watch it.

Did you miss the other Hip2Help Tour Videos?! If so, click below to watch them all…

Video #1: Griffin, GA
Video #2: Alex City & Birmingham, AL
Video #3: Alex City, AL & Memphis, TN
Video #4: Calhoun County, AL

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Final Hip2Help Video (A Bittersweet Ending)

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**If you can’t see the video, go here to watch it.

* Did you see the first three Hip2Help Tour videos? check them out here, here and here!

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