November 23, 2011 By Stacy
This year has been difficult for many Americans, but despite the hardships, there are still many things to be grateful for. That’s one reason why we were thrilled to see an increase in search results on ways to be charitable and thankful. We’d like to share a few of these top search results on the ways you can give back this Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season.
1. Donate to Meals on Wheels home-delivered meals for seniors – Millions of elderly Americans are unable to leave their homes to go grocery shopping, eat out at restaurants, or travel to have Thanksgiving dinner with family members who may live out of state. Organizations like Meals on Wheels provide home-delivery of meals to the elderly. Volunteer your time by preparing food, or delivering a meal to senior citizens in your area.
2. Thank U.S. troops for their service – American troops are, thankfully, beginning their journey back home this holiday season, but it’s not too late to send them thanks for the time they spent serving our country. Email a thank you note through a non-profit organization, or help with transition services through your local Veterans Affairs office.
3. Donate and read a book to inpatients at a children’s hospital –In all the excitement over the holidays, many American kids may forget that there are other little ones just like them that may not get the chance to enjoy Thanksgiving at home, or even worse, have the luxury of having good health. Encourage your kids to pick a book or toy to give to young patients at the local children’s hospital. This may also help kids learn to be more thankful for their own health.
4. Donate a warm blanket or jacket to the homeless – Some organizations are unable to take in volunteers who haven’t signed up weeks in advance. Sometimes, it’s just enough to safely leave warm blankets and coats at donation boxes at shelters, or near locations where the homeless can find and use them.
5. Donate warm clothing to a foster care organization – Many children in foster care homes have already endured a lot in their young lives, and need a lot of time to adjust to their new environment. Help ease their transition during the holidays by donating new, trendy clothing that you’d enjoy wearing yourself at charity organizations dedicated to helping foster care youth.
6. Entertain others at a senior citizens home – Show your appreciation for your own musical talent and or performing arts skills by volunteering to sing or entertain others at a local nursing home.
7. Invite an extra guest for Thanksgiving dinner – Some friends may be alone or away from loved ones during the holidays. Show graciousness by extending a dinner invitation to a friend. Your company will help spread joy.
8. Create wreaths for patients at a local hospital – Learn how to make a simple holiday wreath at home, and bring some to the local hospital. Visiting patients that are away from home during the holidays, and giving them a small gift that will scent their rooms, is a nice way to show and share the nice little things in your own life that you are thankful for.
9. Adopt a new pet from the local animal shelter – Some families will worry about over-feeding their pets, while many other pets remain hungry and alone at animal shelters. Visit your local animal shelter and adopt a new pet to take home and care for.
10. Donate non-perishable food and volunteer to serve the homeless at a local soup kitchen – While many consider this volunteer effort to be an annual Thanksgiving event, there are many Americans, including children, who are, unfortunately, homeless and hungry every day of the year. Bringing canned goods and volunteering at a local soup kitchen during the Thanksgiving holiday and throughout the year is a sincere way to give back.
The meaning behind Thanksgiving is to show gratitude for our blessings and to give to those less fortunate or in need. Reflect on your own reasons to be thankful, and try these ideas with your family and friends to show your gratefulness and goodwill. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
July 26, 2011 By Stacy
At InfoSpace, we encourage our employees to donate to charities and support other causes important to them. Sr. SEM Manager Scott Penrose and our Dogpile mascot, Arfie, did exactly that during a “Raise the Woof” fundraiser on July 17.
Scott followed the story of Faith Creighton, a 7-year old girl from Silverdale, Wash., who had a stroke soon after she was born. She is now autistic and contends daily with multiple life threatening food allergies, mild cerebral palsy and recurrent polyserositis. When a family friend brought their dog for a recent visit to see Faith last February, Faith instantly became calm like she never had before. Faith’s mom made it an immediate goal to raise money to buy a service dog for Faith.
“I had heard of service dogs before and did some research when Faith was younger, but the cost was a huge deterrent,” said Faith’s mom, Allison Creighton. “(However) I knew that no matter the cost, or how long it took us to raise the funds, that we would get her a service dog.”
Alison got in touch with a non-profit organization that trains and places service puppies with autistic adults and children. Despite the high cost of buying and training a service dog, and regardless of the challenges that come with running a single-income military family, Allison was determined to earn enough money to buy an autistic service dog for her daughter. Soon enough, Allison raised enough money by selling bracelets on her blog, and also winning a Pepsi grant. Last April, Faith was paired with Bella, an autism service Siberian husky in training.
Faith will soon have a companion to help ease the difficulties she deals with daily due to her disabilities. Bella, however, will need to be trained further before the pup is fully ready to help Faith. To assist in training and travel costs, Allison partnered with Bella Bella, a cupcake bakery who had heard of Faith’s story, and hosted a “Raise the Woof” fundraising event in Silverdale. Kids sat in a fire truck, decorated cupcakes, and listened to live music.
Scott and Arfie were there to entertain Faith and her supporters, too. To help Faith get Bella sooner, Scott and Arfie also presented a $1,000 check to Faith and her family on behalf of InfoSpace.
“Thank you for helping us make our dream a reality,” said Allison. “Being able to have her own service dog is going to allow Faith, and me as her primary caregiver, a level of independence I had never even thought possible.”
We’re proud of Scott for taking the initiative to support Faith and Bella. Find out more about Faith and her journey to meet and train with Bella on the “Raise the Woof” Facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=128987803848734.