Giving Back

So I received my first check from Spanning Sync today. The referral deal that made me $1000. I pledged half to charity, and that half is already on its way to help a sick child, fund an entrepreneur in a developing country, and cure breast cancer. Thank you Spanning Sync!

With my recent wonderful experiences with non-profits and charity organizations, and the current state of our lovely economy, I’ve decided to make a change in the way we give around here during the holidays.


While I understand my kids (and especially my wife) need to unwrap presents on Christmas morning, there’s just something that bothers me about all that waste.

  1. The ridiculous amount of paper, ribbon and packaging really gets to me. Such a waste.
  2. The excess this creates. My kids aren’t any more spoiled than most kids with three sets of grandparents, but when you walk into their rooms and see all the crap they have, it’s an awakening.

So, getting to my point…in recent years I’ve pleaded with family to consider donating to the kids’ college funds, maybe in tandem with a smaller number of packaged gifts. I’ve only had limited success.

This year, I’m going to continue that request, but also add another. In place of gifts, or in addition to a smaller amount of gifts, I’m asking for a donation to charity.


I’m working with the kids to pick their favorite charities, and the wife and I are each picking one ourselves. Of our current budget for holiday gifts, I’m taking half of that and putting it to charity.

If you have the wonderful opportunity to shower your kids and/or family in gifts, please take a moment to consider the rest of the world. The less fortunate. Then, sit down with your family and discuss what you’re doing and why they should consider giving back. Give them the responsibility to pick their own charities to donate to.

If you can’t think of any yourself, consider the causes we listed above, or some of the opportunities below. Or check with the stores you’re shopping at. Most will be doing something for charity.

Atlanta AIDS Walk Team. credit Angela Harvey.

Also, even if you don’t want (or have the resources) to donate money to charity, consider donating time as a family to volunteer at a local charity handing out gifts, feeding the hungry, or some other wonderful and much-needed opportunity.

So, if you can, give back in some way. It’s really important, for all of us. Giving back feels good. It is necessary given the current state of the world, and, we’ll all be the better for it.

Happy Holidays!

P.S. Do you really need to use all that wrapping paper? Try recycling some packing paper, newspaper or anything else you have lying around. I promise, it feels just as good to rip apart as the fancy wasteful stuff. Every little bit helps.

Green Tips from Amazon

Donation Opportunities:

Social Responsiblity – Care for Mankind

I have a category on my site that is “Be Good.” I frequently come across wonderful deeds being done in this crazy web 2.0 (I hate that term, but it’s sort of relevant here) world.

I posted earlier about the September project, and it’s success, and, unfortunately, it’s failure to meet the ultimate goal by the end of September. With as much money that there is flowing around in this world, with campaigns, blog revenues, and whatever else, it’s a shame we can’t all come together to meet the needs of these charities and their reasonable goals.

About a month ago, I posted about Spanning Sync, which has in turn yielded an incredible return for doing very little on my part. To date, I have made over $700 on Spanning Sync referrals. All for doing nothing but writing a silly post and review about it. This is from a software program that I don’t even use much outside of syncing contacts.

I also get referral money for hosting, WordPress themes, contact management and online accounting software that I love.

As Aaron did a few weeks ago (thanks for the thoughts on our Ike situation), I am pledging 50% of my referral profits back to charity. I volunteer, I donate time, money and items to good causes, but it’s never enough. We can do more. I support Kiva, DonorsChoose and many more.

Poverty is another huge issue we can fix, hence the Blog Action Day link at the top of this post. Think about your situation and then think about what you can do to help. It’s the right thing to do.

If you read this entire post, and you need anything technology related (themes, software, hardware), please let me know because I might have an affiliate account, and you’d not only be helping me out, but helping out a charity as well. I’ll even support the charity of your choosing if you’d like to post a comment and let me know.

The important thing in all of this is social responsibility. We all have a place in this world (and this World Wide Web), and we need to make sure we’re giving back.