Monday, April 7, 2008

The Giving Challenge

Have you noticed there are some seriously challenging challenges happening this month? I'm talking about hard-core, anti-shopping, clean-the-crap-out kind of stuff? I'm refering, of course, to Crunchy's Buy Nothing Challenge and Chile's Cut the Crap (De-Clutter) Challenge. Between these two of them, I feel like our home is fasting for 30 days while getting weekly enemas. If this doesn't clean us out, I don't know what will.

Well, to distract me from all my non-spending, I've decided to create a little challenge of my own. One that fits in nicely with those other two.... it's "The Giving Challenge".

Since I know you're not buying anything this month and are, in fact, getting rid of stuff - it would seem that you have an overabundance of either cash or crap. And so, I challenge you to take those unspent dollars or unloved possessions and donate them to a charity. Preferably one that is tied to an environmental cause.

I'm not asking for your life savings here. Just a portion of what you might otherwise have spent this month on new consumer goods. And if you're hoeing out, consider giving your stuff to charity instead of craigslisting or garage sale-ing it all. If you can't spare any cash right now (hey, we've all been there, right?) and you're not de-cluttering, why not donate some of your time to a local charity?

So if you'd like to sign up for the "The Giving Challenge", simply leave your name and website address (if you have one) in the comments. I'll list all the participants in my sidebar. Then, go ahead and paste my pathetically lame doo-dad on your site with a link to the challenge. Whenever you make a donation - be it cash, goods or time - drop me a line at emcoe AT verizon DOT net to let me know and I'll add the amount to the tally and a link to the charity under the recipients list. Don't feel like you can't just donate $1 here or $2 there. I won't judge you. And you know me, I'm a firm believer that every little bit adds up!

Let's see how much money, goods and time we can total up by the end of April!

I tried to put in the source for the lame-doo dad, but being rather "challenged" myself, gave up after half an hour of unsuccessful attempts. You can just save the jpg to your site or just link the old fashioned way... with words :-)


lauren said...

Sign me up!

organicneedle said...

Sounds good. I have so much crap to give! Besides decluttering...I am also updating things that need updating. So I will have a lot of good crap going out the door.

You know...this means I will be expecting a little participation in my new challenge. :) At least the math part. (You fulfilled the first part already. How can you turn down a challenge that you are already in the lead?) It's posted today. Bring your calculator.

Gary M. Comins said...

Ok little one --- I'm in.

leslie said...

I love this charity.
Habitat for Humanity.
If you are updating your house, or have furniture, appliances, building materials... this is the place to donate them. Use the state by state list of "re-stores" in the link to find one close. They often will pick up items. Too easy.

leslie said...

I love this charity.
Habitat for Humanity.

If you have used building materials,(i.e.,the kitchen sink)
furniture, appliances, this is the place to donate. Use the state by state list in the link to find the "re-store" closest to you.

They typically pick up your items.
Too easy.

N. & J. said...

My fiance and I have been doing this with our duplicate household products and I have to say it's easier then trying to sell your stuff and a lot more rewarding to know that you've given your "useless" things to a good cause and they will go to people that really need them.

arduous said...

Well, I'll definitely be giving some stuff away this month and volunteering as usual. Not sure I can afford to give money this month though because eep, I owe a lot of money in taxes and eep eep, I just found out my laptop is busted and is going to cost $380 to repair. So ... uh ... I dunno if my paltry donations of clothes and other stuff in my house count.

MamaBird said...

Oh, I'm in! I am going to donate (some fun green-themed stuff) to my kid's school auction and will try to donate in-kind stuff as well (will let you know). Hey, you might like this project (I totally thought of you when I saw it, not sure if you saw this already):

Wendy said...

Count me in. I'm taking a computer and a bag of food to the food pantry tomorrow ;).

And I have a bunch of games, books, a winter coat and some other household items ready for Goodwill tomorrow.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Sign me up. I'm selling a bunch of stuff on Craigslist and will donate the money to Goods 4 Girls.

Anonymous said...

So I guess giving stuff away on Freecycle doesn't count?

The thing is, I hesitate to give my stuff to a charity thrift store because I don't know if it will be sold/used or end up in the landfill. Quite a lot of unloved thrift store donations end up there. That's why I like to give stuff away on Freecycle, since I know the person getting it really wants it. And I've got several Freecycle donations out on my porch right now waiting to be picked up.

That said, I do give money on a monthly basis to several environmental organizations already. If that's good enough, then please add me to your sidebar. But honestly, I'm so busy right now, I don't think I have the energy to copy your cute little, how you say, pathetically lame doo-dad, and figure out where in the heck to put it on my overly crowded blog.

My brother, the graphic artist, gave me holy heck today for my blog header, which he hates, and the clutteredness of Fake Plastic Fish. Ah well.


Burbanmom said...


Yes, Goodwill does get a TON of stuff and not all of it gets "put on the floor" for use. Some of the more dilapidated clothing items are sold by the pound to other countries, but I don't think much, if any, ends up in landfills.

However, if your clothes are in good condition, you might consider sending them to a "better use" place. Perhaps a homeless shelter, domestic abuse shelter, or even a Ronald McDonald house.

And don't forget, it's entirely possible that once your freecycler no longer loves your item, they too may toss it. Sad but true.

Thanks for signing up, guys! :-)

Heather said...

Count me in!

Green Bean said...

Sign me up. I've got six big bags waiting to go to the local Goodwill this week and will, like the others, commit to donating the money from items I sell this month. I'll put the doo-dad thingie up later - once I take the kids to the dentist, get the stove fixed, get the computer working reliably and, well, you know later.

Anonymous said...

Hmm... you might be right about clothes, but do read this article before donating:

As for me, I wasn't even talking about clothes. If my clothes are in good condition, I continue to wear them until they are basically rags already. And then I make actual rags out of them! Probably the clothes at the "better use" places are in better shape than what I wear every day!

AleciaMarie said...

Great challenge, I would love to join! I desperately need to declutter anyways!



Anonymous said...

I'm in! I'm decluttering and will donate anything I don't use to charity or otherwise give it away to someone who wants it. I can't really tell how much money I'm saving this month, but I'll donate something extra to charity anyway.

Anonymous said...

Heh - I am SO in! I have about five boxes of crud sitting in my kitchen that I've been meaning to donate to the local thrift store (MO Council for the Blind), and more in the basement to sort. And Locks of Love is doing a fundraiser event in my area next week. Not the most eco-related charities, but still good causes.

Hmm...random thought tangent...I wonder what it would take to convince Greenpeace or some other green cause to let me run a charity thrift shop for them?

Leslie said...

I had a "give away" box sitting near my front door for the longest time. Anything I didn't want or need, went into the box. Anyone that came in or out of the house was asked if there were anything in the box that they wanted.
If there was, they took it.

MamaFeelgood said...

Well I just saw this today, but go ahead and sign me up. I'll just have to make up for lost time.

Going Crunchy said...

I'm in. I'll donate $20.00 extra dollers to Heifer right now. World Hunger, here I come. DONE.

Frugal Nut said...

Count me in. This is a great idea, hopefully it catches wind!

Niffer said...

Hi, this is my first time to your blog. I've seen you and the riot group, but I'm here today through Crunchy's blog. I am definitely in on this. The past week I've been collecting things by the front door to take to the Salvation Army. I've also been trying to figure out how to rearrange my schedule so I can start volunteering again. Thanks for the motivation!

Loredana Andreea said...

Hi, my name is Andreea and I just LOVE this challenge. Thanx to you and people like Crunchy Chicken, I have been totally inspired to do something for others, anything. I've tried volunteering in the past but I tend to have too much on my plate.

Causes I have donated to this past month (goods4girls) and this past week (h2oafrica and charity:water and science fairs)

(donated pads from Lunapads)
donated $70 to different projects for deep wells, shallow wells and sanitary latrines
Charity:water: donated $20 to support the building of new wells in different countries
Science Fairs in BC:
(Donated $15 and raised $15 to support science fairs for kids in BC, Canada)

I'll keep you posted on any other developments. Donating has also kept me from spending ridiculous amounts of money on things like fast food.

Thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

Please sign me up as well. While this isn't as difficult as Crunchy's challenge, it does make me look squarely at our giving habits, which I don't necessarily want to focus on!! Another area to work on, I guess.

I've donated $25 to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and $25 to Operation Homefront.


lamamanaturale said...

I'm definitely in for this challenge... what a great idea. I have quite few things that I'm planning to donate to the local veterans and Salvation Army.

JenniferCoomber said...

Add me to the list Erin! I'm a serious Goodwiller, Lutheran World Relief, and a member of Defenders of Wildlife and the Arbor Day Foundation.

BTW - anybody know of a charity that takes stuffed animals? Nobody seems to want mine and I have TONS!

Gray Matters said...

I'm a little late to the party, but wanted to chime in. I just purchased 3 mosquito nets and have loaded up 5 bags of clothes for our local women's shelter. Great challenge - I would love to see a running total for longer than a month - even though you might not want to volunteer to keep track of such things for that long.

eco 'burban mom said...

I'm a little late to the party - been busy givin' and not doin' much writin'!! :o) This past weekend I donated 6 hours to our local little league initializing our first ever recycling program! GASP - we haven't had one stray bin catching all those water and gatorade plastic bottles all these years. Now, we are the proud owners of 15 hulking brown bins on wheels adorned with nifty labels. Yours truly even grabbed the microphone during opening day to educate 250 players and their moms and dads on our new program and the environment. WHEW! Now you will find me wandering the fields while my boys are warming up pulling the wayward strofoam and McDonalds trash out of our recycling bins. I guess I have truly earned my "trash lady" nickname! On a side note - my hubby donated 6 bags of clothing and 4 chair cushions to salvation army this weekend. We are both givers! Thank you 'burbam mom for a great challenge!!!

Anonymous said...

actually... this sounds dumb. now i have no shit for my kids to play with. gave it all away.