Navigating charities

I started this blog because I really want to find good homes for the things I have but don't need or want. I also want to be able to encourage companies to make donations to the right people, so that when I am asked if I want "the hippest thing in babywearing", I can say that I don't, but I know who does, and then ask the company to consider a donation to that organization.

Charity Navigator offers a good tool for this. It's an independent evaluator of charities and their database is available online.

They've assembled top ten lists, ratings of financial health of the organization, and most helpful to most of us, a search engine that lets you find charities in your local area. Oh, and don't miss the tips and resources section of the site, featuring articles like Guide to Donating Noncash Items and How to Stop Solicitations By Mail.


Donation made: Curt White Fundraiser in Oceanside, CA

Last week, my cousin forwarded me an email from a friend of a friend who has organized an auction/shopping party to raise money for the family of a three and a half year old boy who has cancer.

Curt had surgery on August 13th to remove the grapefruit size tumor on his right kidney, as well as his kidney and the lymph nodes in the area. He has a large scar on his stomach that we call his "shark bite". He has had seven treatments of radiation done at UCSD which he finished like a champ. Curt is now going to Rady Children's Hospital for weekly chemotherapy treatments. Each day is a new challenge with his fight against cancer but this little boy brings a new meaning to strength.

Friends of Curt's family are seeking donations of products that people will want to buy as holiday gifts. "Perfect," I thought. Caring Corners is allowing me to give away a Mrs. Goodbee Interactive Dollhouse and this will be a great destination for it.

I also looked amongst the products that Heather has been sent by PR firms and found a cute Mopsy doll that is perfect for a young baby. (Thanks Kids Preferred!)

And, I threw in a copy of The Rookie Mom's Handbook
too. Items at all price points are needed, the auction organizer told me.

I sent these items to the auction organizer, Michelle, in Carlsbad, CA. I hope they can make a contribution to the funds that Curt's family needs to pay for his medical expenses.

So, bloggers, whenever you hear of a fundraiser, dig deeper to find out if any door prizes or auction items are needed!


Donation Destination: Amazon Wish Lists

Have some Amazon dollars burning a hole in your pocket? Use it to donate something to a Children's Hospital.

Child's Play Charity has organized more than 45 children's hospitals to put together wish lists on Amazon. Most are filled with video games that will be enjoyed by the young patients.


What this is all about

When my blog, RookieMoms.com, began to catch the eye of public relations folks who were in search of bloggers who would write about their products, the pitches started rolling in. Many of them are for things that don't interest me, many have been wonderful offers, and all of them have reminded me that I am one of the last people who should be getting free stuff. I have a home, a family, and enough resources to live a comfortable life. I kept thinking about those who are struggling and how frustrated they would be to know that I have been sent Hanes underwear for my son, a photo printer from HP, and parenting books packed with helpful advice.

I have now decided that when possible, I will encourage the company to give whatever they're offering me to someone who really needs it. And, I want to encourage the blogger community to donate their "free stuff" to others as well.