Promote Literacy During National Reading Month


March is National Reading Month. Whether in our homes or out in the community, all month long we are encouraged to do what we can to promote literacy and a love of reading.

Reading is a basic tool towards future success but so many of our children are falling behind. In fact, 63% of 4th graders read below grade level, contributing to 8,000 students dropping out of high school every day1. The statistics are startling and highlight the need for continued advocacy and programs to help get kids reading and put them on track for a brighter future.

Not surprisingly, it is the kids in lower income homes that are at the greatest disadvantage when it comes to reading. Nearly two-thirds of low income families do not own a single children’s book2. These children will enter school on the first day already facing obstacles based on their lack of early childhood reading in the home.

A book can help level the playing field and open a world of possibilities. During National Reading Month you can make a difference in your own community by raising awareness, donating your time, or collecting books for local programs. We’ve compiled 7 tips to running a successful book drive to get you started. You can also contact your local Boys & Girls Club, after-school programs or YMCA to determine how you can best make an impact in your area. Another great resource for ideas on how to get involved is Reading Is Fundamental or rif.org

National Reading Month is the ideal time to run a book drive. YouGiveGoods makes it easy to raise brand-new books for kids using our free giving platform. Our books are carefully selected to engage and delight multi-cultural youth of all ages. The gift of a brand-new book for a child to call his/her own can create a spark that has enormous impact. View our full collection of books here and consider starting a book drive today.

Share your love of learning with a child during National Reading Month. Lending your time, money or voice to help promote reading and literacy helps kids succeed in school, makes a lasting impact on lives, and ultimately build stronger communities.


1https://www.rif.org
2https://www.childrensbookbank.org

How will you serve? MLK Day of Service 2019


On Monday, January 21, we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Today more than ever his message resonantes: embracing the differences of others, peacefully bringing positive change to our country and building a “Beloved Community” by serving each other and lifting up those in need.

The MLK Day holiday is more than a day to commemorate the work of a visionary man, it is also designated as a National Day of Service. We are all officially called into action; to make it a “Day On not a Day Off.” This weekend take some time to plan how you will help build a stronger local community on MLK Day and throughout the year.

A great place to start is with the searchable database of volunteer opportunities offered by nationalservice.gov. It may be difficult prioritizing volunteering in our busy and challenging lives, but once you take the step you’ll find your time spent in service of others will never feel like a burden.

Thanks to technology, there are ways you can take part in service on MLK Day right from your own home. One very simple way is to run a YouGiveGoods event raising brand-new goods for your neighbors in need. Support any cause when you raise most-needed goods like healthy food, books, toys, hygiene items, coats, diapers and more all delivered by YouGiveGoods to your favorite local charity. Friends and family will love the ease and transparency of shopping online.

Another way to support a cause without leaving your home is as a virtual volunteer. Simply contact your favorite charity and ask about virtual volunteering opportunities. Use your skills to help a charity when you offer your services in areas such as marketing, accounting, event planning, and web design.

YouGiveGoods celebrates the efforts of all those who will take part in the 2019 MLK Day of Service. We can’t wait to hear about all the good deeds done in the name of the great man we honor on January 21.

Put the Thanks in Thanksgiving This Year


Thanksgiving 2018 is here! Thanksgiving brings thoughts of turkey, family, travel, football, sales and parades. But wait -- isn’t Thanksgiving about giving thanks? It seems like giving thanks gets lost amongst the Thanksgiving and holiday season hoopla and has been relegated to a quick exchange before the much anticipated meal.

We recommend taking it a step further than a few words of thanks at dinner this year. Prioritizing giving thanks as part of your Thanksgiving tradition is more than just a nice sentiment. Gratitude has been proven to make you healthier and happier. Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D., in an article in Psychology Today explains, “gratitude creates positive emotions, like joy, love, and contentment, which research shows can undo the grip of negative emotions, like anxiety.”

A concrete way to express gratitude at Thanksgiving is to reach out and support those in need. Many families have added volunteering on and around Thanksgiving to their holiday traditions. These generous acts not only support the community but volunteers report feeling great satisfaction and joy from these experiences.

Perhaps volunteering on Thanksgiving is not for you but charities need help all year long. You can find great volunteer opportunities near you at a time that works for you using Volunteer Match.

Another way to show gratitude on Thanksgiving is to make a monetary donation to charity. We suggest you focus on a cause close to your heart and then use a service such as Charity Navigator to research reputable charitable organizations in your area before making your donation.

Donating goods or services is another concrete way to demonstrate thankfulness. Every donated item or hour of service help free up resources for other areas of operation. And, people love the simplicity and transparency of donating goods. But, before you donate be sure the items are in good condition and can be utilized by the charity. Donating items that can’t be used for any reason actually drains resources at charities by creating more work for employees and volunteers.

The online giving platform, YouGiveGoods, enables individuals, groups and companies to run donation drives that raise only new, usable items for charity. And, donated items are shipped in bulk which eliminates the time and resources charities typically spend on the transporting, counting and sorting necessary in traditional collection box drives.

Lastly, you can show your gratitude by becoming an advocate for those in need. Consider thoughtfully the charity or cause that touches your heart. Then educate yourself and simply lend your voice to the cause. Social media has made it easy to spread the word and raise awareness and hopefully drive resources towards those in need.

This Thanksgiving lead by example when you give thanks in a new and meaningful way. Making a difference feels great – we promise! Happy Thanksgiving!

Show Veterans you Care on Veterans Day 2018


Veterans Day 2018 is Sunday, November 11. On this day we stand together as a nation to say thank you to the brave veterans who have given of themselves to serve and protect our country.

In 2017 there were 18.2 million military veterans in the United States! Many communities will hold parades and special events in their honor on Sunday. You can check out a listing of events on Military.com. Businesses small and large will thank veterans this weekend with special deals and discounts. And many restaraunts are offering free food and meals to vets on Sunday and Monday.

It’s unthinkable that those who have served our country should be unable to provide basic necessities for themselves or their families, but it is a harsh reality for many. Amidst the celebrations on Veterans Day we should not forget the veterans and active military who are struggling. Veterans and military drives raising needed food and supplies are a tangible way to show our gratitude and support for the sacrifice our service members and their families make to protect our country. If you take the time to organize a drive, you’ll find members of your community very happy to contribute to ensure the well-being of local service members and veterans.

Luckily, there’s a new, easier way to run drives for goods using the online platform, YouGiveGoods. Choose to raise needed goods such as food, personal care items, and cold weather gear for homeless veterans. Now is also a great time to raise holiday toys for children of military families or items for military care packages to be sent to military abroad during the holidays. YouGiveGoods free service makes it easy to support our veterans and active military with the gift of brand-new, needed items that show we care. Learn more about raising goods for your favorite veteran or military organization.

Let’s all do our part to make Veterans Day 2018 special for all of our veterans. Their service protects the way of life that we hold so dear and for that we are profoundly grateful.

#GivingTuesday 2018 Kicks Off the Giving Season


#GivingTuesday 2018, November 27 this year, is quickly approaching! Falling on the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday is a global giving movement which designates this day as one to “help others through the gift of your time, donations, goods or your voice.” In 2017, only the sixth year of the annual event, #GivingTuesday raised $274 million for charities across the United States!


#GivingTuesday is not just a single day of giving but marks the kick off to the charitable giving season. An astounding 30% of total annual philanthropic giving is done in December. If donations fall short in December, nonprofits have reason to be concerned about their operations for the entire following year.

#GivingTuesday has grown at an amazing pace but there is room for even more. Point in fact the National Retail Federation has forecasted that holiday spending between November and December will reach an astounding $720.89 billion this year.


In the midst of this frenzied holiday shopping #GivingTuesday aims to remind us of the real reasons for the season, like compassion, giving, and love. Below are five ways that you can take part in #GivingTuesday 2018:

  1. Get your company involved. Most companies have a CSR program but not all participate in #GivingTuesday. Get inspired by the #GivingTuesday programs run by some great companies including T-Mobil, JetBlue and AllState Insurance Company. These case studies will get your creative juices flowing and be great back up when proposing your plan to company leaders. Our free giving platform,YouGiveGoods, is a great option to participate without spending a lot of time on planning and logistics. Employees shop online to purchase most-needed goods for one or multiple charities. And, YouGiveGoods gifts an additional 10% cash back to the charity on purchases of $50+! If your company is not participating in #GivingTuesday they are missing a great opportunity to not only give back to the community but to get employees involved in this important global movement.

  2. Volunteer. #GivingTuesday asks for donations of one’s time because charities simply couldn’t function without volunteers. Use GivingTuesday.org’s searchable database of What’s Happening Near Me to find a volunteer project nearby that works for you. Enlist friends and family to join the cause. If you can’t volunteer on November 27, no worries! Your favorite charity needs help all year long. And, if you are unable to travel to a site to volunteer, you can still provide valuable help as a virtual volunteer. Contact your favorite nonprofit and discuss the skills that you could lend them to help their organization. Working from your home computer you can volunteer skills like accounting, marketing, and website design.

  3. Donate funds. A monetary donation to your favorite nonprofit organization on #GivingTuesday is a great way to take part. We suggest you focus on a cause close to your heart and then use a service such as Charity Navigator to reseach reputable charitable organizations in your area. Also, be on the lookout for retail outlets that offer give backs to charity on #GivingTuesday.

  4. Donate/Raise goods People love the transparency of donating goods and it’s a great way to get the kids involved. Find out what items your local charity is in need of and start your own drive. Click for info on how to run a food drive, animal shelter drive, toy drive, or a homeless shelter drive. You can also choose to run your drive online using YouGiveGoods free giving platform. Simply share your drive link with family, friends and your online community via email and social media, they shop online and all goods are delivered to your favorite local charity at the close of the drive.

  5. Advocate. The #GivingTuesday movement is powered by social media. Here’s your opportunity to use your social media for good! Spread the word and inspire others in your network by showing the work you are doing for #GivingTuesday. Use your voice to bring awareness to a cause. GivingTuesday.org has created a helpful social media toolkit to help in your efforts.

With about 6 weeks to go, you have plenty of time to plan how you will make your biggest impact this #GivingTuesday. Get your holiday season started off right when you give of yourself to help others!

Happy Socktober! Raise Socks and Awareness this October.


Did you know that the #1 most-needed but least-donated item for homeless shelters is socks? This fact is not highly publicized so many are missing the message that there is a real need for donations of new socks for the homeless. Socktober aims to help alleviate these problems by raising both socks and awareness during the month of October. YouGiveGoods makes it easy to raise brand-new socks for your local homeless shelter and in honor of Socktober we are offering 10% off socks purchased for donation!

Every night In the United States roughly 600,000 men, women and children experience homelessness. Thankfully, Americans are charitable and many donate clothing but few think to donate new socks. We know the food bank needs food and the diaper bank needs diapers but the great need for new socks at homeless shelters and support organizations is not widely publicized.


Why the great need for socks? Living on the street is punishing on the feet so socks get worn and filthy. Wearing dirty socks is a health issue especially for people with diabetes and foot wounds. And, warm socks are a necessity during the cold winter. Finally, having clean, dry socks is a true comfort to our homeless neighbors who face daily struggles and despair. The gift of new socks is a sign that people empathize with their plight and actually care.


Four years ago, Brad Montegue, the creator of Kid President, launched Socktober as a month-long event to raise socks and awareness. You can be a part of the movement by sharing the facts above or stories from your local shelter at your workplace, in schools, at the dinner table and in social media using the hashtag #socktober.

During Socktober consider raising new socks by holding a collection drive in your office or school. Or you can run your event online at YouGiveGoods. YouGiveGoods simplifies the process by handling all the logistics for you and enabling you to reach a wider audience of donors. Plus, during the month of October you will receive 10% off your purchase of socks for donation on the site! Start your sock drive today.

Finally, you can donate socks to your local shelter or charity. Even one pair of socks will bring comfort and relief to a neighbor in need. Or, donate socks online today to aid the homeless in Rochester, NY or Oklahoma.

We’re hoping Socktober is bigger and better than ever this year. Let’s show our struggling neighbors that we care with the gift of new, cozy socks this Socktober!

4 Tips for Becoming a Purpose Driven Company


Social good programs once thought of as ‘nice to have’ have become an integral part of the overall business plan. Studies and research have proven that a well-balanced CSR program helps retain employees and increase productivity, attracts the best talent, and boosts the bottom line. So why isn't every CSR program producing such noticeable, positive results? The answer may lie in the fine line between mission statement and corporate purpose.

The first step in enhancing, and in some cases starting, your CSR program is to look beyond the the current programs offered and go back to your corporate purpose. At the heart of the most successful CSR programs are companies driven by a higher purpose. Some companies have been created with a built-in purpose such as TOMS, Patagonia and Warby Parker. But for most companies, purpose is something that needs to be uncovered, explored and established. Connecting your CSR program to your corporate purpose helps to create a culture that speaks to all employees.

Once the purpose of your organization is outlined you’ll need to move on to helping your employees discover unique ways they can align with that purpose within the organization. Below are some tips to get you started.

4 tips to taking to your CSR program to the next level:

  1. Establish a clear corporate purpose. This is not your corporate mission statement or your passion. The corporate purpose is the ‘why’ behind your work. Not too long ago, the purpose of a business was simply profits. But today’s corporate purpose is far deeper. It is a long-term vision of social impact that drives the corporation from top to bottom. And, the good news is that having a strong purpose seems to go hand in hand with profits. “In fact, some of the greatest purpose-driven companies of our generation, like eBay, Stemcentrx, Tesla and Airbnb, have also produced some of the largest profits and highest valuations” (Forbes, The Power of Purpose-Driven).

  2. Involve corporate executives from the start. Unlike a mission statement, purpose must be embodied and lived. The best way to infuse a new sense of purpose into your organization is to have a leader who extolls it. Involve the CEO, founder, executives and leaders early on in the process and help them understand that the corporate purpose will live and die by their example. Corporate purpose is not a one-time mandate. It will be an on-going process which will grow and evolve overtime. Creating a culture of purpose will take time but will create a lasting effect on employees, the business, and the community.

  3. Include employees. It is important that employees don’t view a new found interest in purpose as a publicity stunt. Keep employees informed about the process and ask for feedback. In fact, employees are invaluable resources in identifying the corporate purpose. Having a purpose that rings true to employees will help them cultivate their own sense of purpose within the organization.

  4. Offer many opportunities to contribute. Your corporate purpose is by nature a large umbrella under which many CSR programs will fall. When considering your purpose, think about actions and undertakings that will fulfill that purpose. Be sure that there are concrete ways for contribution at the corporate and the employee level.

Many purpose driven companies find that the best way to connect with employees is by letting them contribute at the hyper-local level. After all, having a hand in building up your own community is extremely personal and fulfilling. A free service like YouGiveGoods is a great tool for companies to run multiple local events while still tracking and measuring for inclusion in the corporate narrative. Since the legwork is managed entirely by YouGiveGoods, employees can run events to raise brand-new goods for any local charity with great social impact.

Although it may seem cumbersome, there is no better time than now to begin the process of establishing or redefining your corporate purpose. Not only will you be building a more engaged workforce but you’ll be laying the groundwork for your company to be a real force for good in your community for generations to come.

How to help victims of Hurricane Florence


The flood waters across North and South Carolina have barely begun to recede and already the story of Hurricane Florence is fading from the headlines. But, this monster storm devasted the lives of thousands and the need for aid in the area is great. Those affected by the storm will need help not just in the short-term but in the long-term as they tackle the task of rebuilding.

To date, Hurricane Florence claimed 37 lives, left roughly 14,000 people seeking refuge in shelters, and displaced countless more. The historic flooding caused by the fierce storm continues to wreak havoc on communities across North and South Carolina. Early estimates place of the value of property damages caused by the storm at more than $17 million. Many of us ask, how can we help?

Cash donations are needed and will provide valuable resources to the people in the affected areas. Before you donate thoroughly research the organization using a tool such as Charity Navigator to be sure that your funds are going to a trusted and verified organization. Two reputable organzations to consider for your donation are The American Red Cross and the Foundation for the Carolinas . You can also text FLORENCE to 90999 to make a $10 donation to Red Cross relief efforts.


Supplies are also needed to support victims but the logistics of getting goods into a disaster zone can be very difficult. YouGiveGoods has experience getting food and supplies into affected areas to provide relief and help rebuild. Learn more about the benefits of our online disaster relief drives. We’ve set up two drives with our trused nonprofit partners The Salvation Army and MAP International. You can purchase food, diapers, and personal care items for donation to the Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services here or purchase items for Disaster Health Kits for MAP International's relief effort here.


Don't forget the pets. Animal shelters in the area are also struggling to care for all the displaced pets. Volunteers are working tirelessly to rescue and care for stranded animals. You can help care for these helpless victims of the storm by donating to animal shelters in the Carolinas. One such shelter is the Charleston Animal Society. You can donate cash on their website or purchase food, treats, blankets, dog beds and more for donation online.

And, please remember that long after images of Hurricane Florence have stopped coming across your screens, the people of North and South Carolina will still need your help. You can make an impact on the lives of so many who struggle to get back on their feet by starting your own YouGiveGoods drive and asking your friends and family to make a donation. Information about starting your own drive is on our drive pages for the Salvation Army event and the MAP International event.

We are confident that with the support of fellow Americans, all the affected people will be able to see their way through this trying time and move forward with their lives. Until that time, we will continue to work to get them the resources they need.

September 11, A Day to Remember and Serve


It is hard to fathom that this year marks the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, a day that changed the course of history forever. Also called Patriot Day and 9/11 Day, September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance calls upon all Americans to not only reflect on the innocent victims and courageous heroes that were lost on that day, but to also pay tribute to them with an act of service.

David Paine, co-founder of the nonprofit organization, 9/11 Day, which was a driving force behind the establishment of the annual observance, explains the reason behind its creation on their site, 911Day.org. "Ultimately we wanted something positive to come from the loss of so many innocent people in such a terrible way," says David. "We didn't want the terrorists to forever define how 9/11 would be remembered. We wanted to focus instead on how our nation came together, the spirit of unity and compassion shared by so many." Their efforts have been a huge success as tens of thousands of people every year take part in the Day of Service helping to strengthen communities across the country.

You can search volunteer opportunities in your area using 9/11 Day's searchable database here. If you are unable to volunteer in person, you can still make a great contribution to the cause when you raise needed items for your favorite local charity on YouGiveGoods, the simple and free platform for raising brand-new goods for any charity. And remember, while it is ideal that you volunteer on 9/11, an act of service any day of the year contributes to the overall movement of compassion and unity.

Part of remembering the day is making sure kids who were not alive or were too young to remember are taught about the events of the day. 911memorial.org has created a program called, “Anniversary in the Schools”, for educators to share history, events, memories and reflections with their students on September 11. They’ve even made this a collaborative experience by offering live chat for students to ask questions with Memorial Museum Education staff standing by to answer. Learn about the program here.

Finally, let’s all be sure to take the time to reflect on the day and how we will personally work to bring about good from such tragic loss.

Pilot Freight Services delivers excellence for YGG


People ask us how we do it. How do we provide a free platform that gets needed goods to charities across the country? The answer is, it takes a YouGiveGoods village comprised of passionate employees always looking to improve the process, integrated technology, and key partners. Because of this we are excited to announce our new order fulfillment partnership with Pilot Freight Services.

An important part of our process is ensuring that new, donated goods are delivered to the charity quickly, smoothly and in excellent condition. With almost 300 items offered across hundreds of individual giving events running simultaneously on our site, integrated systems and our logistics partner are extremely crucial. Pilot Freight Services is a worldwide provider of transportation and logistics services. Their attention to detail and commitment to customer service aligned perfectly with our needs. And, we were wowed by their brand-new (opened in September 2017) 65,000 sq foot warehouse and their up-to-date technology used in the fulfillment of our orders.

In mid-July, Pilot began their first YouGiveGoods shipments. We got up and running quickly as we stocked the warehouse with loads of school supplies and started shipping them out to charities and schools in time for the start of the school year. The Pilot warehouse manager, Angel Collado, our team lead, Junior Nunez, and their whole crew have been simply fabulous during this transition time. We are feeling very confident that we are in good hands as we enter the busy holiday giving season.

Customer experience is important to us every step of the way. And when we think of our “customers” we are thinking not just of those shopping on YouGiveGoods, but the event sponsor, the event organizer, the charity recipient and finally the person (or pet) in need into whose hands the donated goods are ultimately delivered. Bringing on Pilot Freight Services is another step forward to providing the best quality service that exceeds all of our customers’ expectations.

YouGiveGoods will continue to handle online event set-up and logistics/delivery communication so send any questions directly our way at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Welcome to the team, Pilot Freight Services!

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