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Winners of the "Tis the Season" Giveaway!

Tis the Season to Give (and win!)

Your very special TypePad Support team has decided to donate what they can to Heifer, a nonprofit organization that aligns its work and efforts with that of the well-known "give a man a fish...teach a man to fish" proverb. If you're not familiar with Heifer, here's an excerpt from the organization's website:

"Heifer International is a global nonprofit with a proven solution to ending hunger and poverty in a sustainable way. Heifer helps empower millions of families to lift them out of poverty and hunger to self-reliance through gifts of livestock, seeds and trees and extensive training, which provide a multiplying source of food and income." -- About Heifer

Have you chosen to donate in some way this season? If you have, leave a comment to this post and let us know your favorite charity or organization. If you have an inspiring story of how a charitable act has affected your life, and would like to share it, please include those as well!

Because the TypePad Support team knows how important blogging can be for both health and happiness, we want to help start the new year off in an awesome way. That is to say, we have decided to host a giveaway!

Yay--we love giveaways! At the end of this one, we will randomly award one free year of the Pro-Unlimited plan to several people. You do NOT have to be an existing member of TypePad in order to enter, but if you aren't, then you will need to register for an account if you win so that we can apply the credit.

Here's how it will happen:

  1. Leave a comment as requested above (only one entry per person, please)
  2. Read other comments that were left (this is just to make you feel good, but we recommend reading since you'll learn about other charities and organizations trying to make a difference!)
  3. Share this post with your friends and family so that they have the opportunity to win a blog of their own
  4. Patiently wait until January 14th (you can do it!)

Come January 14th, we will draw for the winners and announce them here at Everything TypePad!



My favorite charity is - I get to send my money directly to a classroom, and help students learn! I know exactly what my money is doing, where it's helping, and how it's being used. I love this! I think my favorite donation so far was sending inner-city kids on a field trip into the mountains to learn about geology and geography ... the photos of them out in the woods, ecstatic and full of wonder, made me cry - the kids were SO HAPPY. Some of them had never left the city ever before, they had no idea what a "forest" was, or what mountains looked like, or how incredible the air up there can smell and feel.

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I don't really donate to charities ...although I do sometimes. But usually I donate to hospitals instead--especially hospitals in poor and underdeveloped nations. The sick there, especially the children need most of the funds that we can donate ---through medicine, diapers, proper bedding, pure clean water and medical supplies. I have once visited a hospital in the Philippines serving the poor and the needy, and you can't help but feel a hurting crush in your heart just to see them around in that environment. Since then , I vowed to donate 10% of my income to them----by buying what they need.The mothers and the children were so happy after seeing tears in their eyes when they receive the food, medicine and all those supplies. And the doctors and nurses were delighted too. Everytime I remember their faces, I couldn't help but cry.

Kymberlie R. McGuire

I'm a big fan of DonorsChoose too! I've gotten thank you packets from my school and it's always been a real treat to see how it turned out.


This year I donated a lot of time (and some money) to my sons' school PTA. I spearheaded the new Business Partners program and raised $10,000 in cash, plus nearly $40,000 in in-kind donations. The PTA is a 100% volunteer non-profit that provides in-school field trips, classroom and technology grants, and PE equipment for our school of 1,000 kids. Last year we were able to provide $45 per student in additional spending. We don't have the totals for 2010-2011 yet, of course, but we were also faced with $700 per student cuts in spending by the school system. Every dime and donation goes straight back to our children.

I also gave money to a Lancaster, PA, organization, Music for Everyone ( after being asked to support them by my friend, musician Adam Taylor. Adam released a Christmas song and video (both free) on Black Friday. At the end, he asked everyone to give and sacrifice and suggested MFE, which provides music education to kids who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford it.



I work for a newspaper that covers nonprofit organizations, so encounter thousands of worthy charities every year. Journalistic ethics prevent me from donating (except anonymously) or endorsing, but I would urge everyone to think hard about what matters most to you and yours, and follow your heart. Any gift, no matter how small, whether monetary or in-kind, is always appreciated!

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I've spent a year using Kiva ( where I donate amounts to help finance microloans for others in many developing countries around the world.
Not only do I get to donate money into causes, but as those causes repay their loan I get to re-donate it over and over again helping many more people.
I love it - the feeling is great when the person or group you have loaned to reaches their target amount and you know that they are going to be able to make an improvement to their life.
If you've never used Kiva before, give it a go this Christmas time. In the season of goodwill to all, what could be better than helping out those who want to improve their lives?

ipod touch tutorial

Giving donations and helping people who are in need shouldn't only occur during Christmas time, you should help others including strangers whenever its possible.


Medical needs are a fantastic cause and there are so many who are in urgent need for even the basic health care. Thanks for sharing! :D


I hadn't considered PTA, Steph, but you are 100% right. Education is an incredibly worthy cause, particularly in the public schools. Thank you for sharing both your story and the Music For Everyone mention! :)


Well said, Sue!


I believe another TypePad Support rep has recently used Kiva, but this is the first I've heard of it! Your explanation of the service has piqued my interest. I'm sure several of us will be taking a closer look at them, so thank you for sharing. :)


The Holidays are a fantastic time to remember, think of, and do for others, but we absolutely agree that it shouldn't be the only time one offers a helping hand. There's never a wrong time to give. Thanks for sharing with us! :)

Dominique King

I'm a big fan of Forgotten Harvest, a Detroit area food rescue operation. I've always liked the fact that it addresses two problems (hunger and waste of perfectly good food), and that it has exceptionally high ratings from the Charity Navigator site. Forgotten Harvest has also managed to grow in order to meet the especially high demand for healthy food for the hungry in the Detroit area these days.

This season I bought my holiday cards from Forgotten Harvest. I've also blogged about them in the past and I've already talked with them about doing another profile of the group at Midwest Guest after the New Year.


Yes it is the season of giving. It would be nice to help all that need it.
I find myself feeling much better when I've helped someone matter how big or small it may be.


You hit the nail on the head. It's to bad more people don't feel the same way.


I really like fulfilling book requests ... I was able to buy a classroom a set of the Little House books by Laura Ingalls, and it just tickled me to think of them enjoying the books that I enjoyed so much. It's addictive, fulfilling projects there!!

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Glad that I've made you want to take a look.
My most recent loan became fully funded on Christmas Eve when, along with another 111 lenders, a garage business in Uganda reached its target of $4,400.

It was a great email to receive on Christmas Eve telling me that another individual would be helped to improve their lives. :o)


A number of years ago, my family gave up on the exchange of so many "things," substantially reducing our gift giving to each other and instead contributing that money to people who need it. Our favourite charities have been World Vision ( and the Stephen Lewis Foundation ( I contribute to the latter on a monthly basis.

This year, we decided to give the money to a family that we know, who has had some really bad luck this past year, and has been struggling to just get by.

As a family we have so much - we're all comfortable financially, and love is our greatest asset. We celebrate that by helping out people who need gifts much more than we do, and our Christmases are even more meaningful than they ever were.


Money is a bit on the short side for us -- it's a common condition these days. By the time we make our regular donation to our church, there doesn't seem to be much left to support other charities. But this doesn't stop my family from trying to make a difference. When we all join together, even the least of us can make a big difference with the smallest of efforts.

I volunteer a great deal of time as a PTA board member at my children's school. I also collect Box Tops for Education, Campbell's Soup labels, MyCokeReward codes, used juice pouches, used inkjet cartriges and register our loyalty cards with local merchants who donate a percentage of our spending -- all for the benefit of our school. In addition, our family diligently saves soda can tabs that go to our area Ronald McDonald House. They use the proceeds of recycling the tabs to offset their expenses thereby allowing families to focus on the health and wellbeing of their critically ill children. While all these small things don't cost any extra dollars, when they are combined with the efforts of others, they make a very real monetary difference.

I always try to pick up a few items for our church's food pantry too and using coupons helps me make the most of the few dollars we have to spare.


Like we did this year! Family loved it too.


We at Spoonflower are also big fans of and donated a llama on Christmas Eve!

The Hot Toddies

The Hot Toddies like to host an annual Holiday Food Drive concert in Oakland each December! This year we filled up the back of my old station wagon with cans to donate to the Alameda County food bank. Feels good to work together to feed people in your local community (while rockin out and drinking whiskey of course)!

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This is really very good decision ...................

Sue Bolen

Heifer International is a non-profit organization that we support. Each year my husband matches what 2 of our grandchildren have saved during the year in their "I Care" jars and they get to decide which breed of animal their money will go towards.

This year, we took 2 of our grandchildren, who were old enough, to a food pantry and we worked there for a few hours. That was very rewarding to both the grands and us.

I hope that these 2 small gestures on the part of my husband and me will leave an impacting memory on our grands to feel the need to help those who are less fortunate. I wish I would have had that example when I was growing up.

I feel my charity-giving should be a private thing so I feel uncomfortable telling others about it. I just wanted to share what my husband and grandchildren have done and the valuable lessons they are learning and that they get to experience the "warm fuzzies" that come from doing something for someone besides themselves.

A Twitter User

I'm a big supporter of the SPCA. I adopted a dog from there in July and she has been a huge part of my life. Unfortunately, she came with some issues, which leads me to believe that she was abused in the past. I'm so thankful that shelters like the SPCA exist to take in dogs like Zooey who were abused and put on the street. Adoption is rewarding for both the dog and the future owner, and I hope to be able to adopt again soon.


Thanks so much for sharing your story and telling us about Forgotten Harvest! What a fantastic operation and cause.


Well said, Neil! And even what we consider small could mean so much to someone else.

Diane Weightman

My husband and I have been mentors in the FIRST Robotics program for 8 years. FIRST Robotics mission is to get high school students excited about math, science and technology and on a career path for success. We teach students valuable life skills and enable them for qualify for over 11 million dollars in scholarships only available to FIRST Students: Visit them at:

I myself do a lot of other community giving. Right now I am designing a website for a close friend, a celebrity publicist in Los Angeles. He has a non-profit organization that aims to provide needed financial assistance to persons and families suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, as well as to raise public awareness about the disease and its devastating effects. They also strive to raise financial and public support for research and treatments.

I would like to win the giveaway to help build them a website.
Please consider us for your generous giveaway.

Thank you,

[email protected]


What a touching story, Jennifer. It's true that love is the greatest asset. What's even better is that love is one of the few things that multiplies the more you share, rather than being something you lose once it's given.

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Dear Brainna,

Pakistan is too affected through flood, Pakistani peoples are you're waiting for donation.

NB Khan

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Currently i am working in non profit org, this org help peoples to provide schools in rural areas with books and uniforms, kindly help us

NB Khan
Cell#. +923219777177

hewn & hammered

I give to the local soup kitchen here in Sacramento - Loaves and Fishes - as well as Little People of America and a few other miscellaneous non-profits.

have gone vegan

As a vegan most of my charitable dollars go to various animal welfare/rights organizations (don't worry, some of my donations support human animals too!), and one of the many reasons I'm vegan is because I believe a plant-based diet is a good solution to world hunger as well. Why not feed grains directly to people instead of to livestock? Nearly 800 million people could be fed if all the crops grown to feed livestock were used for human consumption instead, and if people reduced their meat intake by even 10%, 12 million more tons of grains would be available. Seems like a win-win situation for both human and nonhuman animals! :)

Johnny Brooks

We bought food to cook Christmas dinner for 100 members of our main support group for people living with H.I.V./A.I.D.S here in Nakuru, Kenya.


My partner and I have struggled financially ourselves over the previous year, so donating money was too difficult but we try to give support in other ways. For me that has included using my blog as a way of spreading awareness, especially my "Friday Focus" posts on causes I have heard of and want to help in some way. What I cannot give financially I try to give with time, whether that is first-hand help at a summer camp or writing as honestly as I can about delicate topics.

When I can afford it I will give a pound or two to local charities, and often give money to the Salvation Army Officer who visits our shopping centre each Friday. I agree with the others that it doesn't matter what you can give, that even the smallest donation counts. But I've also learned that if you cannot give financially, you can still give so much by giving your time and compassion.


My favourite charity is because I like helping children with special needs / skills or with learning difficulties.


I have chosen to donate my time to a non-profit organization that helps pets in my neighboring community called PALS. Also, I am helping other mothers in need by donating unopened packages of diapers that my daughter grew out of as well as her clothes, toys, swings, etc. Having begun motherhood as a single mother, I know how much of a blessing it can be to get just that little bit of extra help, and even now that I've married, it's still great to have help!


My favourite charity is because I like helping children with special needs / skills or with learning difficulties- Nice Anastasia .

Great! This is exciting news :)

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I have had the good fortune to work with a charity called Direct Effect Charities (, founded by Michelle Digiacomo and her late husband Paul, ten years ago. This Christmas as have been done for the past 9 years, we had our Letters to Santa program, which allows kids in the Chicago Public School system to write letters to 'Santa' and our charity then have to find private or public businesses, schools or individuals who are willing to fill these needs. This year we went up to 8th Grade, so we literally received over 10000 letters. We managed to fulfil most of them on time, however, we had about 800 left after Christmas, but that did not deter us, we asked for the support and are very thankful for the donations received in cash and kind and hopeful during the end of the first week of school in January the remaining students will receive their gifts. It is such a joy to see, children who otherwise would have received nothing for Christmas, cling to their gifts. One such story was so touching that it made the news (WGN9, Chicago), when this young girl who had written a letter asking 'Santa' for a coat for her mom was randomly asked by a reporter to open her gift and she started to cry. The charity also has a Kids closet which collects socks and underwear and other clothing items for the needy kids, because believe it or not there are kids who come to school without those 'basic' essentials. Our other drives include the Build a Backpack, which essentially allows you to donate a Backpack filled with school supplies to the needy students. This charity is such a wonderful one, and we would love the support of kind heart people out there. Look at what we have done and what we are doing on our website: or contact Michelle at [email protected] or call at 312 296 5311. Thanks for the opportunity to share this and the people who are involved in charitable deeds you make this world a wonderful place by your selfless actions.


My favorite charity (around christmas) is the Toys for Tots. Struggling families still get to give their kids a great christmas thanks to donated toys.

When I lived in Kelowna there was a charity that set up a free store for families with financial troubles. The families could sign up and then were able to 'shop' for gifts for their kids. The gifts were organized according to age. I loved the set up because it let the parents have the excitement of shopping and choosing something that the kids would love as well as letting the kids enjoy a special day on christmas.

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I sometimes times donate to good will stores. I also shop there and find great deals. Another persons junk or donation is another persons treasure.


It's been a rough for me so come December, I was thankful for what I still have and for my health. I was definitely compelled to give back. I love giving to Animal charities like Best Friends and Guiding Eyes for the Blind. But I also donate to childrens health charities like St. Jude's. Their commercials always warms my heart.


Thank you for sharing! "When we all join together" is key, isn't it? Have a happy new year!


Giving can be very rewarding, we agree. :)


A llama! That's fantastic, Stephen. :) Llama's are able to contribute to a family in so many ways over many years, and through its offspring, even more. Thank you so much for sharing!


Hosting a food drive is an amazing venture and cause. Total bonus for being able to rock out while you do it! Thanks for sharing!


Sue, that's a remarkable idea and value to teach your grandchildren. Maybe you'll inspire others to start their own "I Care" jars for themselves and their family!


Animal welfare is a brilliant cause and I completely agree. I love to donate to the local shelter and then non-kill sanctuaries that provide lifetime homes to animals who aren't "adoptable."

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Well good.

Albany Mommy

My sister and I hosted a family fun day this fall to raise money for Team Leukemia, it was a great day.
This holiday season my kids and I made up Christmas bags with little goodies and left them on the doorsteps of some people we knew were having a hard time for whatever reason {financial, family in military, etc.}It was our own version of "ring and run" and my kids had so much fun giving presents they kept begging to give out more.

B Wright (

I donated to for the first time because the model is so simple and the service is so tangible. Everyone needs a good pair of shoes to walk especially if you don't own a car like most people in other parts of the world. I literally found out about this program through participation in the e-miles program where you take surveys about different products/services.

Gisele Perez

I organized a tasting event (LA Helps LA)to raise money for the Gulf Restoration Network ( Several other food bloggers, a local restaurant, a great Napa winery, a local artisan cheese promoter, and a great boutique distillery provided food and drink. A wonderful time was had by all, and we were able to send a nice check to help monitor the health of, and advocate for environmental issues in the Gulf of Mexico.

Gisele Perez

Oops! that's Please check them out!

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really very good


I was just showing the Kiva website to my four-year old daughter and explaining the privelige we have as women in America and the responsibility we have to share what we have with others near and far.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee

Several worthy organizations mentioned here, of course, but we would be remiss if we didn't put in a request for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee ( We've been using typepad for several months now with terrific response from our supporters and friends - and would enjoy the chance to experience the upgraded plan!

Allen McDuffee

I usually turn to Idealist [] to find a new organization working in areas I care about or become interested in.


Not sure this will go well, as this is my first try-out of this site ;)
Although our financial situation at home is far from excellent, closer to real disaster, we decided to do our best and support among others the Finnish Red Cross and the RSPCA (both family membership and occasional extra donations).
This Christmas season we also donated some new books to the children welfare department of the local social service to be distributed as presents in families without the possibilities to buy them for their children.
We were glad to read about the KIVA-projects, as that has been very much promoted at the Bookcrossing site
Sorry for not having the other links...

Tater Tales

I love the Heifner organization. The APEX (gifted) class at our school chose Heifner as their charity last year and raised over $1,500 in donations. It was great to see their hard work pay off for something so worthwhile.

Since I'm teaching a lower grade this year and we participate in a fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, my donations this year are being made in honor of my 2nd graders to St. Jude. It's right here in Memphis but serves children from all over the world.


Nice comments:) ..agree ...any gift, no matter how small, whether monetary or in-kind, is always appreciated!!!


My aunt and uncle have started donating to Heifer International on behalf of me and my sister instead of giving us Christmas gifts. Not only do I feel good about the family in Guatemala who now have some new rabbits to breed, but I appreciate that I didn't get yet another too-large fleece jacket that I would inevitable pass on to my mom.

Earlier in the year I also donated some money to Susan G. Komen/Walk for the Cure for Breast Cancer research; I wanted to do the walk but it fell on a weekend I was out of town.


I decided to donate some of my Christmas money this year through Kiva, supporting people trying to succeed themselves. I'm currently supporting a baking cooperative in Nicauraga and a woman who runs a pub in Rwanda.

Don Nunn

I participated in a Habitat for Humanity Global Village build on Molokai in July 2010. It was an amazing experience, working on a team of 15 people from all parts of the U.S. who took their vacation time to help a local family build their house. As with many tourist destinations, the housing situation in the Hawaiian islands means many native Hawaiians cannot afford to own homes where they live and work, and the Global Village program is working to remedy that with decent, affordable housing. It was an honor and privilege to be part of that work.

I blogged about the experience here:

Andreas Harold

I have once visited a hospital in the Philippines serving the poor and the needy, and you can't help but feel a hurting crush in your heart just to see them around in that environment

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This reminds me of PAWS that was active after 911. Dogs that were used in the clean up and rescue efforts at the Twin Towers were cutting their paws on the debris and by donating to PAWS you could help by getting the dogs pads to protect their feet. Ironically, my younger sister's nickname amongst her cheerleading buddies was Heifer and I happen to have a pewter tin she was gifted with Heifer engraved on it.

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