Our New Giving Days Program

Exciting happenings continue here at YouGiveGoods!

We had such a wonderful response to our #GivingTuesday matching gift initiative last year, we decided to do the same in honor of one of our favorite, and most inspirational holidays, Martin Luther King Day on January 19. On that day too, the work done was so tremendous, we were inspired to keep the momentum going and to keep doing our part throughout the year.

Thus we are pleased to announce our new Giving Days program. The mission for our Giving Days program is to promote community involvement and inspire social responsibility. The initiative covers 6 dates in 2015 when we will match individual donations of $50 or more with a 5% cash gift to charity (10% on #GivingTuesday!).

Through our Giving Days program, we aim to provide added support to our team captains and charity partners by adding value to donations made on these special days. As YouGiveGoods celebrates Giving Days, we hope to build excitement for all of our partner teams, drives and the causes they support.

This Saturday, we celebrate the culmination of International Random Acts of Kindness Week with our first all-weekend matching gift event on Valentine's Day Weekend, February 14 - 15. We have enjoyed the stories and ideas that were shared all throughout #RAKWeek2015. We'll keep the kindness going with our 5% matching cash gift to charity on donations of $50+ made on both days of February 14 and 15. Who doesn't love a good Valentine's Day gift?

We look forward to our future 2015 Giving Days:

4.22.15 - Earth Day

9.11.15 - 9/11 Day of Remembrance and Service

10.24.15 - Make a Difference Day

12.1.15 - GivingTuesday (10% matching gift!)

As we celebrate these special days of giving, we are also celebrating our wonderful YouGiveGoods community. We are inspired daily by the commitment of our team captains, courageousness of our nonprofit partners, and the endless generosity of our donors. We pledge to continue to grow, evolve and work earnestly to merit being your partner of choice in your community service. Together we are doing great things!

C-USA Student Athletes Make 53,000 Meals Possible for Local Food Banks

Student athletes bring a lot to every college community. Their enthusiasm, hard work and dedication to their sport is a source of pride for students, alumni and the local community.

This past fall of 2014, the Conference USA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee took a stand to make an even more powerful philanthropic contribution by running its annual “Let’s SAAC Hunger” program. This conference-wide community service initiative challenged 14 participating C-USA schools in a competition to raise the most food for their local food banks.

YouGiveGoods is very proud to have partnered with C-USA in this program. Schools offered an online drive option through our platform to supplement in-person food collection boxes around the schools and at school events. North Texas won the “Let’s SAAC Hunger” title by collecting over 20,000 pounds of food for the Denton County Food Center.

In the end, this conference-wide program earned food donations (both online and on-site) totaling over 62,618.76 pounds! That comes out to approximately 53,000 meals for the served food banks. Now that’s community service at its best.

Congratulations to all who contributed to making the “Let’s SAAC Hunger” program such an amazing success. Check out their full press release for all the fun stats and details of this inspiring initiative.

The Princeton Eating Clubs

The Princeton Eating Clubs Holiday Food & Toy Drive Challenge is underway!

We were delighted to find out we would be working with the Princeton Eating Clubs on their holiday food and toy drive challenge.

You may be wondering: what are the Princeton Eating Clubs? The Princeton Eating Clubs serve as social and dining halls for approximately three-quarters of Princeton’s juniors and seniors. They are private, co-ed clubs located in elegant mansions, which serve as social hubs of the University, and have quite a history.

Eating Clubs at Princeton arose in the mid 19th-century with the first permanent Eating Club, The Ivy Club, officially opening in 1879. Famous Eating Club alumni include F. Scott Fitzgerald and Jimmy Stewart. (Fun fact: Fitzgerald makes the clubs the main setting in one of his major novels. How’s that for a tribute?)

While their history is enchanting, it is the Princeton Eating Clubs’ passionate mission for their food and toy drives that gets us excited. We can’t help but take notice, when college students take the time from their busy schedules to band together, and actively support the most needy in their community.

The Princeton Eating Clubs Holiday Food & Toy Drive Challenge runs now through December 5, benefiting the Mercer Street Friends Center and Food Bank in Ewing, New Jersey.

So, Princeton Eating Clubs, we’d like to say: here’s to you for making a difference today. Thank you for making the holidays brighter for families in need. And, can we come visit?

Why Donate to a Toy Drive?

As the holidays near there is a very important question we all must ask ourselves: what is the best technique for searching out and peeking at those "hidden" holiday gifts? Oh, come on, when you were a child certainly you had some ninja-like skills. For my part, I would slice open the tape, unwrap each gift, see what it was, and then rewrap it, taping over the cut tape in the exact same manner. My niece grew up in the digital age: she found her mother's receipts and looked up the UPC numbers on Google.

Not every child has our stories. Their families may not have the funds for toys. They may be in a foster home, or hospital: somewhere where access to toys is limited. Their holidays are very different. Rather than rejoicing with their friends, they may be sad and lonely.

YouGiveGoods is proud to partner with a number of nonprofits including Toys for Tots and Easter Seals to raise toys to help children facing every possible setback. Each toy donation will put a smile on a child's face, encourage their imagination, and help them hope beyond their current circumstances. Each toy donation you make represents a changed life.

With a few clicks of the mouse, you can put a toy in the hands of a child and confirm that love is the true message of the holiday season. Give a child the opportunity to develop their snooping skills, and something to look forward to this season. Please visit our Explore page, and filter by Toys to view all our toy drives.

Our Military, a Girl Scout and Holiday in a Box

The Girl Scouts Gold Award is awarded for the highest level of achievement in Girl Scouting and is only open to girls who challenge themselves to change the world. Kate Porschke, Chatham High School sophomore, took this challenge to heart, and as her Gold Award project, created the “Holiday in a Box” Drive.
One of the hardest challenges for any military member is being deployed during the holidays. Away from home, family and community is a very lonely experience. Thank you's and gifts serve as reminders that their community is thinking of them, supporting them and missing them in return. For Kate this became stark reality when she saw her father’s cousin reaction after receiving a similar gift box during his deployment.
Drawing from this memory, Kate decided to find a way to bring her community slightly closer to its military members this holiday season. She sought out a list of the currently deployed alumni from her high school, and requested donations of nonperishable goods and personal care items. She plans to pack these items up and ship them as a packaged "holiday in a box" thank you for each alum.
She also added an element to help her wider community and alumni from around the nation to get involved: her online YouGiveGoods drive. It ran for 26 days and blew past its goal by 16% to raise just over $3,500 worth of goods.
Thank you so much, Kate for partnering with us for such a worth cause! Good luck with all the packing.

PB2: A Little Food Drive That Connects A Whole World

Not every food drive is about the quantity of products it offers. Sometimes, the community impact is just as substantial by offering just one: for example, peanut butter. That may be oddly specific, but that’s because I have a drive in mind: the Patrick Byrne Peanut Butter Global Nutrition drive (PB2).

Patrick Byrne passed away in 2010, and left behind a legacy of love for the community and peanut butter. PB2 asks students from several high schools to donate peanut butter to orphanages in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Items are donated online, delivered to the partner organization, Foundation for Peace, and then shipped abroad.

The movement may have started with Patrick’s love of peanut butter, but there are very practical reasons why peanut butter is used for international relief. Peanut Butter contains protein, sugar, fat and several vitamins and minerals; all needed for individuals suffering from severe malnutrition. In 2013 the National Post stated malnutrition was “ravaging” Haiti’s children; and the numbers of children affected were unfathomable.

The Byrne family and those who support the campaign may be helping up to 15% of all children in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Yes, up to 15% of all children in these locations are currently living in orphanages. The impact is clearly substantial.

This year's drive will be led by teams in two New Jersey high schools: Morristown High School (Thomas Byrne and Brenden Rochelle) and Delbarton High School (Teddy Vermylen) as well as one in Massachusetts: East Longmeadow High School (Emily Rodgers).

Toys, Kongs, Mats & More Toys at Pennsylvania SPCA

Looks like the first shipment of donated pet goods landed safely at their new home in Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)!

In August this year, nearly $5,000 was raised in their honor by Verizon Wireless for NEATropolis Charity Event 2014. Translated to the goods we shipped out? That's: 33 washable fleece blankets, 41 boxes of wands and mice, 41 boxes of kongs and rope toys, 40 bags each of Hill's Science Sensitive Stomach food for cats and dogs, 720 cans of Hill's Science Diet cat food, and 360 cans of Hill's Science Diet dog food.

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Congratulations to The Campus Kitchens Project

We want to wish a congratulations to The Campus Kitchens Project for just having launched their 39th Campus Kitchen at Saint Peter's University (located in Jersey City, NJ)!

In late August, Campus Kitchens ran a drive with us for a few weeks, raising around $1,500 in additional food to subsidize their new kitchen, and to ensure that each meal going out to the community is full, healthy, and balanced. Check out their drive here.

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