September 11th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
Glenn Winuk was a lawyer and volunteer firefighter who was helping others escape from the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, when the south tower collapsed.
In honor of his brother’s heroism, Jay Winuk partnered with his friend David Paine to launch a website called mygooddeed.org. The site provides an opportunity to tap into your compassion and perform a service for those in need.
As the Los Angeles Times reported this weekend, many celebrities, individuals and groups have registered with the site, pledging to donate time to help their communities. Attorneys in Colorado, for example, harvest food from a local garden and bring it to kitchens that serve the needy. Others bake cakes for local law-enforcement agencies. Some have undertaken bike-a-thons to raise money for health-related charities.
OrganicAuthority.com encourages readers to remember their organic spirit and “pay it forward” to those in need. Simply register on mygooddeed.org, and specify what you would like to do to help those less fortunate. It’s a fitting tribute on Sept. 11, when we mourn the loss of those who died so tragically five years ago.
A few ideas from the site:
Read More:Sept. 11: Do a Good Deed
August 29th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
Not every store dedicated to sustainable products and organic living can count Academy Award-winning actress Charlize Theron as a fan.
Online retailer hip and zen, which recently introduced its new South African Chic Collection, can make this claim. All of its fashion accessories and goods are organic, natural, handcrafted, recycled and/or fairly traded.
The South African collection showcases the work of that country’s artisans, and a portion of all proceeds benefits women and children there who suffer from AIDS.
“I was amazed at the wonderful creativity emerging from local designers on my last trip home,” says hip and zen founder Karen Clothier, a South Africa native. “I loved the innovative and fresh direction the artisans were taking and knew these unique pieces would bring a bit of the exotic and untamed to the states. And the products are all sustainable and fairly traded—truly hip and zen!”
The new collection includes jewelry, handbags, bowls and gift items, many of which feature intricate beading and wire work. The Peace Beaded KeyChain ($8.95, above), for example, is handmade by formerly unemployed artists who learned wire craft as children, when they made their own toys.
“I wanted to do something to help heal the tragedy that has befallen the women and children of South Africa,” says Clothier, who shares profits with the Topsy Foundation. “This organization appealed to me because of its multifaceted approach. They provide home-based care where appropriate, in-house care at their facility as a last resort, skills development, community outreach and poverty alleviation. Their assistance is aimed at helping people to become self-sufficient and remain with their family unit when possible, which I feel is a very holistic and humane answer to the crisis.”
Read More:Eco-Fashion: hip and zen
February 27th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
NetworkforGood.org, the charitable-giving website founded by AOL, Yahoo! and Cisco Systems, and OrganicBouquet.com, the Internet’s first organic florist, have launched FlowersforGood.com, the first online florist to exclusively offer flowers cultivated to protect the environment and sold to help a range of good causes.
Shoppers dedicated to organic living can select from hundreds of arrangements, all grown with environmentally friendly practices, and choose from 10 different charities to benefit from the purchase.
Depending on purchase price, Organic Bouquet will donate $5 or $10 for each bouquet to the charities—all of which have been screened by Network for Good and CharityNavigator.org. Charities include the American Red Cross, Heart to Heart International, the Environmental Defense Fund and Mercy Corps.
“Organic flowers are a perfect example of how a gift of love can keep on giving—for the environment, for the community and for the people closest to our hearts,” says Gerald Prolman, CEO of Organic Bouquet.
Read More:Organic Flowers for a Good Cause