Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday #46- Donate Clothes!

Make Today Matter...
  • 20 billion pounds of clothes and textiles are thrown away every year--an average of 68 pounds per person.
  • 1.5 billion pairs of unworn or barely worn shoes are lying in closets.
  • Over 35 million people live in poverty and have limited money to purchase new clothes.
  • On average, 3 million men, women, and children are homeless at some point each year.
  • 50% of all homeless women and children are fleeing domestic violence, usually with only the clothes on their backs.
Take action today!
  1. Contact a local shelter or organization that receives clothing donations and ask about any specific clothing needs.
  2. Look through your closet for clothing, coats, shoes, suits, blankets, pillows, purses, briefcases, umbrellas, and scarves that are in good condition and that you haven't used in a year or more.
  3. Organize a clothing drive at work, school, your place of workship, or in your neighborhood.
  4. Wash or dry-clean items. Don't donate items that are stained or torn.
  5. Fold and pack clothing in boxes, attach appropriate labels, then deliver them. 
  6. Consider giving directly to a homeless person.
Clothing donations to qualified charitable organizations are tax deductable.
You matter!

Donating clothes is one of the easiest ways to affect someone's life in a very tangible and significant way. You can help someone stay warm, wear shoes without holes, dress properly for a job interview, or don a new outfit for school.
Do you really need all those clothes filling up your closet? Millions of other do!

(Adapted from Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make a Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday #45- Get Involved with Foster Kids!

Make Today Matter...
  •  Over 500,000 children are in foster care and their average age is 10.
  • Approximately 46% of children are in non-relative foster family homes, 24% are in relative foster homes, 18% are in group homes or institutions, and 7% are in other placement types.
  • 41% of these children are white, 32% are black, and 18% are Hispanic.
  • The average length of stay for all children currently in foster care is 2.4 years.
  • 14% of the children in foster care have been there for more than 5 years.
  • Over 51,000 children are adopted annually through the foster care system.
A house doesn't always mean a home...
Take action today!
  1. Find a foster care facility near you. Contact them and ask how you can help.
  2. Sign up as a volunteer and get your family and friends involved.
  3. Be prepared. Volunteers at a foster care facility can be involved in everything from outside physical activities to arts and crafts.
  4. Become a foster parent or adopt a child.
You matter!
Children in foster care have been abused, abandoned, and/or neglected.
Many will not return to live with their parents or even a relative. While we wish the statistics were different, it is up to us to provide the love and support these children need.
They didn't choose to be placed in foster care, but we can choose to step into the gap and make a difference.
Who taught you how to ride a bike? Swim? Or prepare for a math test?
Whether you remember or not, those people cared...and so can you.

(Adapted from Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make a Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Monday #44- Use Online Bill Pay!

Make Today Matter...
  • On average,4.8 pieces of mail are delivered every day to over 146 million addresses.
  • One of the fastest growing robbery crimes is identity theft by stealing mail. 
  • With password protection, more than one level of authentication, increased online security, and 100% protection in case of fraud, online bill pay is much safer than putting a check in the mailbox.
  • Internet use and electronic account monitoring is the fastest way to detect fraud and decrease losses from identity theft.
  • Banking information can be accessed via the Internet anytime, anywhere.
  • Paying bills online saves the average consumer $6 in stamps and 4 hours of time each month.
  • 18.5 million trees would be saved annually if consumers viewed and paid bills online.
 Welcome to the 21st Century!
Take action today!
  1. Go to your bank's Web site, click on "Online Banking," and follow the instructions to set up online bill pay.
  2. Print out statements, view transactions, check balances, pay bills, transfer funds, and look for other financial information at your convenience.
  3. Stop receiving bank statements and bills in the mail by signing up for online delivery.
  4. If you're not able to connect online, then set up automatic payments over the phone. You may still receive a statement, but your payments will be automatically deducted from your bank account.
You matter!
Online bill paying is more cost-effective, more environmentally friendly, quicker, safer, and more convenient than the traditional open-the-envelope, write-a-check, lick-a-stamp, and place-in-your-mailbox method.
Do you need any more compelling reasons?

(Adapted from Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make a Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday #43- Listen, Play, & Appreciate Music!

Make Today Matter...
  • Over 70% of schools are not able to maintain funding for the arts.
  • Schools with music programs compared to schools without have significantly higher education rates, 90.2% compared to 72.9%, and higher attendance rates, 93.3% compared to 84.9%.
  • Students with coursework in music appreciation score roughly 60 points higher in verbal and 40 points higher in math on the SAT than their non-arts peers.
  • Early musical training increases brain development in language, reasoning, math, science, memory, creativity, expression, and spatial intelligence.
  • Choral singers are nearly twice as likely to be involved in charity work--as both volunteers and donors--than the average person.
  • Every human culture uses music to preserve and pass on its ideas and ideals.
  • Music is not limited by age, gender, ethnicity, or time.
Take action today!
  1. Listen to your favorite music and sing, dance, clap, jam on your air guitar, and enjoy it like no one is watching.
  2. Go see or buy tickets for a live music performance.
  3. Sign up for music lessons for yourself or your family.
  4. If you already sing or play an instrument, do it today or offer to teach someone who wants to learn.
  5. Donate unused instruments to a local school, church, or music education center.
  6. Communicate with your school-district administrators or national legislators. Write a letter of appreciation for the hard work they do and request continued funding for the arts.
You matter!
Music is fun, expressive, imaginative, beautiful, energizing, relaxing, interesting, and freeing. Through music, we preserve our cultural heritage, celebrate our faith with praise and worship, remember events and experiences from the past, come together with friends and family, and express our emotions.

Music is the soundtrack of life!

(Adapted from Every Monday Matters: 52 Ways to Make a Difference by Matthew Emerzian and Kelly Bozza)