YouGiveGoods delivers supplies and hope to Puerto Rico

The devastation in Puerto Rico from hurricanes Irma and Maria is unfathomable. The island’s entire power system has been wiped out leaving 3.5 million residents without electricity and no end is in sight. It seems the entire island is in survival mode and will be for the foreseeable future.

The people of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands simply can’t survive without outside help. There are many wonderful organizations accepting cash donations but since Puerto Rico is not mainland USA, donating goods to the cause is challenging. YouGiveGoods, a free, online service which specializes in raising and delivering goods to nonprofits, has been working feverishly to get systems set up to get most-needed items delivered to organizations on the ground in Puerto Rico. Learn more about online disaster relief drives for Puerto Rico and USVI.

YouGiveGoods’ team members are in direct contact with the Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) in order to offer only most-needed goods for purchase online. Per the Salvation Army, items most needed right now include:

  • food & water
  • personal care items (soap, toothpaste, etc.)
  • personal clothing (socks, underwear)
  • diapers & wipes
  • sleeping bags, sleeping mats, mosquito nets

And, the conversation between YouGiveGoods and EDS is open and ongoing. In fact, just a few days ago the EDS alerted the YouGiveGoods team that toilet tissue was a greatly needed item and that same day, toilet tissue was added to all Puerto Rico drive events. As items are purchased and consolidated, YouGiveGoods will be shipping directly to the Salvation Army in San Juan and in the US Virgin Islands who will handle distribution to communities in greatest need.

YouGiveGoods has also partnered with Long Island Cares in the Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico. Per, “The effort brings together a wide range of civic, business and industry partners to provide needed services, goods and funds to help the people of Puerto Rico recover and rebuild, and provides opportunities for New Yorkers to contribute to the relief efforts.” Many NY government leaders and businesses are utilizing YouGiveGoods to raise goods for the effort. All goods ordered online will be shipped directly to Long Island Cares to be consolidated with donations from across the state and delivered to Puerto Rico.

Another nonprofit partner working with YouGiveGoods in the Puerto Rico relief effort is MAP International. MAP International provides medicine and health supplies to people in need around the globe. They are raising products for personal Disaster Health Kits which includes a wash cloth, soap, body wipes, shampoo, lotion, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste and bandages. MAP International Disaster Health Kits represent the most immediate need to prevent the spread of sickness following disasters. All donated items will ship to MAP International headquarters in Georgia who will then handle distribution to areas in greatest need in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

YouGiveGoods is also working with Iniciativa Comunitaria, a local Puerto Rican nonprofit which is providing disaster relief services to the community. Items purchased for donation will be shipped to Iniciativa Comunitaria in San Juan.

Businesses are offering their help to areas hit by recent natural disasters but their employees want to help too. Businesses like Aetna, CDW and Diageo have found that YouGiveGoods offers a simple, efficient way for their employees to band together to make an impact in Puerto Rico. The simplicity of online shopping plus the ability to track real-time results help to make it an ideal solution for corporations and their employees looking to help. YouGiveGoods team members are on hand to help businesses large and small set up their own disaster relief drives.

Schools and universities are also utilizing YouGiveGoods to give their communities an opportunity to help Puerto Rico. The Brookstone School in Georgia alone raised over 3,400 items for MAP International disaster health kits!

Drive sponsors and donors alike can feel 100% confident working with YouGiveGoods which has been in business since 2011, is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and is a certified Women’s Business Enterprise. All nonprofit recipients are fully vetted by YouGiveGoods team members. All items purchased online are brand-new and ship in bulk directly to the nonprofit organization. The non-profit knows exactly what is being received in the shipment and since items are bulk packed, there is no sorting necessary at the disaster site.

The people of Puerto Rico will need our help for many months to come. You can make a difference by starting or donating to a drive now or later as part of a holiday giving effort. Look for more updates from YouGiveGoods in the coming weeks.

View Puerto Rico Relief Drives

The right way to donate goods to disaster relief efforts

It’s been a dizzying and shocking series of events in the past few weeks. From raging wildfires to monstrous hurricanes, the entire nation has been rocked by unforeseen, natural disasters. The need for aid in the affected areas is overwhelming and many Americans want to help.

We’ve all heard the call for cash but there is also a need for food, water and certain supplies. Some people prefer donating goods because they feel secure knowing exactly how their donation will be employed. Charities during times of disaster as well as throughout the year incorporate donated items into their relief efforts. And, every donated item frees up cash to be utilized elsewhere through the organization. But, although every donation is made with the best intentions, not every donation actually helps the cause.

Consider the following before donating goods or running a disaster relief drive:

Donate only needed items. Be mindful of what is actually needed in each unique situation. For example, victims in Florida don’t need coats. And, there will be multiple stages during the relief effort that will require different items. The immediate need at a disaster relief site may be water, diapers, food and socks but later during the rebuilding phase items needed may be completely different like bleach, gloves, and paper towels.

Donate usable items. Opened, expired or otherwise unusable items cause an already stressed system even more trouble. Not only do volunteers spend countless hours sorting through donations, they also must find a way to dispose of unusable items. This use of limited volunteer hours and resources is terribly wasteful.

Determine a reputable charity and establish a contact. All donations should go to a vetted charity. Search potential partner organizations using sites like or Contact the charity to be sure you are collecting or donating the proper item and discuss delivery options. Disaster sites are chaotic for many reasons and the unexpected arrival of deliveries and volunteers can cause a significant disruption in the relief effort.

You can make an even greater impact when you run your own disaster relief drive. Consider getting your company, school or organization on board as a sponsor. Be specific about items you are collecting and the charity recipient so supporters know all the details. Most importantly, spread the word! Social media and email has made this pretty simple. Share your drive multiple times as people typically want to help but need to be reminded a few times before they actually make a purchase. And, set a goal that you work towards meeting.

Disaster relief drives have been simplified with our free, online drive event service, YouGiveGoods , a Better Business Bureau accredited, certified Women’s Business Enterprise which handles all the logistics so you can spend your time spreading the word and getting more donations. Each charity partner is vetted by a YouGiveGoods team member and their wish-list confirmed. All items are new, presorted and shipped in bulk in shipments that are coordinated by YouGiveGoods and the charity recipient. There is no sorting once the items get to the charity so donations can get into the hands of victims as soon as possible. Learn more about online disaster relief drive events.

It's a wonderful instinct we have to step up and help those in need. Whether you donate cash, goods or volunteer hours, you help to bring relief and hope to people in their darkest hours. So however you choose to help, feel proud and be sure to talk about it. Your work of generosity may inspire others around you to do the same!

View current disaster relief drives

Simple Ways to Help Kids in Need this Summer

Summer 2017 is here and with it comes barbecues, beaches, camps, and NO SCHOOL! While being out for the summer makes a whole lot of kids very happy, for the 22 million kids who receive free or reduced price meals during the school year, summer poses a serious problem. How do struggling families fill this gap to keep their kids happy and healthy all summer long?

Local food pantries provide many low-income families with the support they need to survive, especially when the kids are home from school. But keeping a steady stream of food and supplies coming into food pantries during the summer months is especially hard. Organizations, schools and businesses that run food drives are typically quiet during the summer and individual supporters are hard-pressed to remember the needs of their local food pantry while in “summer mode”.

Perhaps you have stopped short of helping in the past because you are already juggling too much. But, times have changed and you can help your local nonprofit right from your own home and with minimal time investment. Check out these tips for caring for your community and helping your needy neighbors this summer.

1) Party with purpose. Are you planning a summer get together? Stress values of kindness and generosity by enlisting your whole family to help collect food donations at your event. Simply ask your guests to bring a canned good(s). Your kids will love setting up and decorating your donation table and your guests will love the opportunity to contribute with this simple act of giving.

2) Cook a meal for a cause. Often organizations have programs to provide meals for seniors, the ill and others in need. Include the whole family in the planning, shopping and especially the cooking. Teaching your children how to prepare a healthy meal AND show compassion for others is a great way to spend your time this summer!

3) Run an online drive. You can raise food and supplies your local pantry needs all from the comfort of your home or business. It’s easy to support any local charity using YouGiveGoods' free, online drive service. Customize your drive event page and share with friends, family, and colleagues via email and shortly media. And take advantage of your kids’ tech savvy when designing and promoting your online drive. Give them a project for good that involves social media? We say that’s the definition of a win-win-win situation! Learn more about online drives.

4) Use your connections. Dropping your kids at camp or swim practice? Why not combine forces and ask if the organization would sponsor a food drive. Again, if you are not up for managing the logistics of a collection box drive, you can run a YouGiveGoods drive together with the sponsoring organization. By expanding your reach you increase your potential impact exponentially.

5) Virtual volunteering is a thing. We know your intentions are good but your time is limited. Now you can share your talents and skills with a cause you care about without leaving your home. Simply contact the organization and let them know you are interested in virtual volunteering opportunities. Your expertise in accounting, marketing, technology, graphic design and more can provide a needed service that frees up valuable resources for other areas of operation.

Let Summer 2017 be a season of action and compassion. Take the first step and carve out just a little bit of time to help fight hunger in your own community. Not only will you likely continue with future charitable acts, the lesson you teach by example to your children and the action you may inspire in others grows your little effort into something quite grand!

Learn more about online drives

Commemorate and Show Support on Memorial Day

Memorial Day 2017 is here and with it we mark the unofficial start of summer. There are great sales, parties, and a day off from work and school. In all the excitement it is very easy to lose site of the solemn reason for this national holiday.

On Memorial Day we honor the 1+ million U.S. soldiers who have lost their lives in service. One way to honor the fallen is by visiting graves of soldiers and placing a flag or flower at each one. Another observance is flying the U.S. flag at half-staff. The official ceremony has the flag raised quickly to the top of the staff and then slowly lowered to half-staff. Then at noon it is returned to full-staff. While raised at half-staff we are called to remember all those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. When it is returned to full staff we are called to honor their sacrifice by acting to protect our freedom at all costs. Learn more about Memorial Day and its obrservances at

In addition to the traditional observances, we can also commemorate the holiday by showing our support to our current active military, their families, and our veterans. May is, in fact, National Military Appreciation Month. How would you like to show your support? A great reference is the article, Ways to Show Support to Military Families and Veterans.

One tangible way to support our troops is to start or donate to a drive collecting goods to benefit military members. You can support military far from home by purchasing goods that will be placed in comfort packages and mailed to our active duty troops overseas by Operation Support Our Troops – America via their We Support While You Serve online drive.

Or, choose to support military families here at home. You can purchase most-needed goods to help military families in need this summer served by Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst via their Summer Support for Military Families online drive.

So, amidst the fun and excitement of the weekend, let's all remember to take a moment to remember those brave soldiers who gave their lives fighting for our freedom and to support those today who have committed their lives to protecting our great nation and all its citizens.

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New products bring aid to worthy causes

Since 2012, YouGiveGoods has been helping people and organizations serve their communities by running online drives to raise needed products for nonprofits across the country. We’ve been so pleased to add new products each and every year to our service. Only four months into 2017 and we already have some exciting additions to announce.

One of our favorite new partners, TIAA, a Fortune 100 financial services organization, approached us in February about holding a drive to support one of their causes, Dress for Success. Of course, we were very open to finding a way to bring aid to this cause which empowers women to break the cycle of poverty by providing professional attire and guidance in attaining a quality job.

Working with the passionate professionals in their Advance ERG (employee resource group) in collaboration with “TIAA Serves” corporate responsibility program we sourced great items for their Dress for Success drive: colorful chiffon tops, sturdy professional portfolios, and memory sticks.

TIAA employees loved the selection and exceeded the drive’s goal by purchasing 312 items for Dress for Success locations around the U.S!

Another one of our all-time favorite partners, St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia, approached us in March about putting together a backpack of supplies for distribution to area homeless men. Specifically, they requested that we add an item that we did not carry but is in high demand at homeless shelters – underwear. We were able to source high-quality (Hanes brand) men’s boxers in time for the drive which offered a pre-packed box with a backpack, 2 sticks of deodorant, 3 bars of soap, a 3-pack of boxers and a 3-pack of t-shirts.

The drive, The Prep Serves the Homeless, raised 940 items for the Bethesda Project in Philadelphia to aid in their mission to “find and care for the abandoned poor”.

Based on continuing need, the packs of boxers have been added to our permanent list of available items. We know this fills a need and will be an in-demand item for homeless shelter drives. The tops, portfolios and memory sticks will remain as special order items available for possible inclusion in future drives. We hope you find our growth as exciting as we do! Every new product we add opens the door to supporting a new cause and supporting a person in need in a new and valuable way. A special thank you to TIAA and St. Joe’s Prep for including us in their inspiring service efforts. Look for more exciting happenings down the road from YGG!

YouGiveGoods hosts its first international drive

YouGiveGoods reached a major milestone this April, our first international drive, thanks to the compassion of the employees of Diageo North America..

Diageo is a global alcoholic beverage company with North American headquarters located in Norwalk, Connecticut. Their corporate mission of philanthropy is run under their group, Diageo C.A.R.E.s (Community Activity and Relief Efforts). Diageo C.A.R.E.s planned to hold their first YouGiveGoods corporate challenge drive raising food for five nonprofit organizations across the U.S. in March 2017.

At the end of the planning stages for the food drive, news hit about devastating floods and mudslides hitting Peru killing at least 70 people, displacing thousands and destroying roughly 150,000 structures including homes and hospitals.

The employees wanted to provide aid immediately and hoped to include a water bottle drive for Peru in their already planned YouGiveGoods challenge drive.

Although YouGiveGoods has never done an international drive, we were ready to tackle the challenge and set up the Peru water drive. With the help of Diageo C.A.R.E.s and Help Peru (a U.S.- based nonprofit which aids the people of Peru), YouGiveGoods was able to coordinate the purchase of water through Yacqua, a water company in Peru. Yacqua would also handle the delivery of donated water to distribution sites.

Diageo North America employees purchased 140 bottles of water through their online water drive which ended on April 12. In recognition of the continuing need for relief in Peru, YouGiveGoods donated an additional 110 bottles of water to the cause. In total 250 bottles of water will be delivered to displaced people in Peru at the end of April as a result of the drive.

YouGiveGoods’ very first international drive was a great learning experience. And, we’ve already received positive feedback. Michael Holme, President of Help Peru, sent us this note, “Many thanks for your support!!! Much appreciated. I really like what you guys are doing. It’s a very good way for people to donate.” We look forward to continuing to grow YouGiveGoods’ services and helping more people internationally in the future.

photo credits: The Atlantic, Help Peru

Food pantries need your help this spring

Spring 2017 is here! We have peeled off our heavy winter coats and are ready to welcome blooming flowers, green grass and sunny days.

But, spring can be a stressful time for our local food pantries. Food banks which were fueled all winter long by large holiday food donations are now running low. And, looming in the distance is summer, when food is in even greater demand as kids are home from school and no longer have access to free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch. Just how bad is the problem of childhood hunger?

Nearly 1 in 5 children in America are food insecure. Lack of nutritious food hinders a child's ability to grow a healthy body AND mind. Not only do they suffer health problems, they also have less energy to focus and learn in school.

The support of food pantries is invaluable to struggling families. Many colleges and universities have started their own food pantries to support students who face food insecurity. You'll find food banks and pantries in both large cities and small towns to meet the growing need.

Hunger exists in your community. No community is immune to the problem of hunger. For many families working hard to make ends meet it can take only one health issue or unforeseen calamity to put their entire family at risk for food insecurity.

You can make a difference in the lives of the hidden hungry in your community this spring by supporting your local food pantry. Food pantries rely on volunteers to help with operations and donations to keep their shelves stocked. Why not make a call and learn more about the needs of a food pantry in your area? From unpacking boxes to data entry, your help would be so greatly appreciated. Another great way to show your support is to run a food drive. Check out this article for tips on running a successful food drive.

And, consider getting your whole family involved. Even the busiest family can take a little time to set up an online food drive. is a free online drive service that is changing the way people donate products to support their communities. It's so easy to do and fun for everyone to check results in real-time. And, the kids will love the social sharing aspect of this new way to give.

So, choose to make a difference this spring. In raising up your struggling neighbors, you're helping to build a stronger community.

CSR All Year Long: Monthly Community Impact Events

One of the trends for corporate social impact in 2017 is for corporations large and small to fully incorporate CSR into their corporate culture. In order to do this they’ll need to work towards greater, measurable social impact and offer multiple pathways for employees to get involved. For many companies this will mean an expansion of their existing CSR program. In order to keep this culture alive all year long, CSR professionals need to get creative. The programs should make sense in terms of corporate mission and have meaning to the employees.

This can be a tall order considering some organizations still do not have a designated CSR professional, let alone a fully staffed department. But, luckily technology is evolving to help. Many corporations are choosing to add YouGiveGoods online drive events into their CSR plan. An online drive for goods is an ideal way to diversify your program and can be worked into your schedule anytime of the year.

Here's a year-long glance of some of the events we host corporate drives for on a monthly basis:

Check out the products available for your corporate drive. Do you have an idea for a drive you don't see above? We are adding new products everyday so just give us a call. Let us help you get started. Contact us today!

Learn more

Take Part in Random Acts of Kindness Week 2017

Did you know we are right in the middle of Random Acts of Kindness Week? This year the week of February 12-18 is designated Random Acts of Kindness Week and if you haven’t yet made an effort to be a part of it, there's still time! A great place to get started is at the center of the movement, and follow #RAKWEEK2017.

The Random Acts of Kindness movement aims to make the world a better place by encouraging people of all ages to carry out simple acts of kindness. But, what qualifies as a Random Act of Kindness?

The simplest acts may seem more like common courtesy to some but they still count. They only take a moment out of your day and almost no effort on your part but to a recipient, it could be the highlight of her day. Examples include:

  • Smile at a stranger
  • Open the door for someone
  • Let someone harried get ahead of you in a checkout line
  • Call or text a friend to just say hello
  • Pay someone a compliment

Some acts involves a little more work but can mean the world to the recipient. You’re going to have to stop what you are doing and actually set aside time to do something for someone else. We guarantee it won’t just be the recipient who benefits from acts of kindness like these:

  • Help someone with car trouble
  • Leave positive notes in town
  • Help a friend or coworker with a project
  • Load or unload groceries for someone who needs a hand

Finally, there are larger scale acts of kindness that touch more people and have a more lasting impact. These actions require planning, organizing and more of your time but the payoff to the community can be great.

  • Hold an online drive raising needed goods for charity on
  • Organize a park clean-up
  • Run a charity event at your school or office

RAKWeek 2017 will be ending soon, but your generosity of spirit should be ongoing. Being kind is contagious so be the one to spread kindness in your community. Everybody wins when kindness becomes your priority. Happy RAK Week!

RAK with YouGiveGoods

Puppy and Kitten Bowls Highlight Shelter Pets

The stakes are high. The whole country is watching. It’s Puppy Bowl XIII! It’s cold, it’s dreary and spring is still nowhere in sight. It's been a tumultuous few weeks to say the least. Puppies, it’s in your paws to bring us some belly laughs and warm fuzzies.

Let’s face it, some of us are more concerned about the quality of the wings being served on Super Bowl Sunday than the quality of the quarterbacks. But, who among us does not like puppies? Animal Planet will serve football lovers and non-lovers alike a healthy serving of puppy fun and frolic on Feb. 5 when they televise Puppy Bowl XIII.

While we enjoy the guaranteed-to-be-riveting game, let’s be sure to take note that all the players are shelter puppies. These adorable canines are just waiting for a family to love and Puppy Bowl is the perfect reminder for people to adopt not shop for their next pet.

Not to be outdone, the Hallmark Channel has set up an equally delightful event in Kitten Bowl IV. This newer and lesser known feline play off is picking up steam every year because just like the Puppy Bowl players, all the cat-letes are also shelter kitties and they are just plain adorable.

Please, there is no need to start a family brawl over the age-old dispute of cat people versus dog people. You don’t have to choose. You can have your kitten and your puppy too! Kitten Bowl starts at noon (ET) on Feb 5 and Puppy Bowl doesn’t start until 3:00 (ET). Phew, disaster averted.

Animal lovers are staking their own claim on Super Bowl Sunday. Proudly celebrate your puppy/kitty love by starting your own YouGiveGoods Puppy Bowl or YouGiveGoods Kitten Bowl drive to raise goods for your local shelter. Invite your family and friends to support your cause using email and social media and start raising most-needed items for your local shelter today.

And, whether you are holding a Puppy Bowl, Kitten Bowl or Super Bowl party this year, consider setting up a “donate here” station front and center among your delicious spread of game day treats. Simply set up your ipad or laptop and have it open to your YouGiveGoods drive page. Have a fun celebration AND make a difference in the lives of local shelter animals.

So, commence the theater of the fur, Puppy Bowl and Kitten Bowl. And, thanks for giving us non-football lovers a reason to join the party on Super Bowl Sunday.