Monday, December 22, 2008


This holiday season I wanted to help put all of our efforts together to make a difference and I decided to pick a non profit whose mission is very important, to get clean water to people in developing nations. Charity: Water does just this! I have set up a fundraising page through Charity: Water and am very excited to see how we can all come together and through our donations we will be providing funds to help build wells and funding sustainable clean water solutions in areas of greatest need. If you are interested in joining me on this holiday goal and to learn more about what Charity: Water does, please visit the site below.

All online donations generate a tax-deductable receipt at time of transaction.

In two years, charity: water has raised over $7 million and funded over 800 water projects.

Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of all sickness and disease, and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Many people in the developing world, usually women and children, walk more than three hours every day to fetch water that is likely to make them sick. Those hours are crucial, preventing many from working or attending school. Additionally, collecting water puts them at greater risk of sexual harassment and assault. Children are especially vulnerable to the consequences of unsafe water. Of the 42,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and a lack of basic sanitation, 90% are children under 5 years old.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


My sister, Lydia, has created a blog dedicated "to the beauty of music," because as she sees it, music is the one thing that unites us all. It's sound is universal, it's dialect fluent to all, though everybody may have their own niche if they so desire. Everyday she adds different songs and videos that sample music that you would not hear on the radio and may not find on your own, but that are unique. The songs typically blend different types of music to create a fresh and enjoyable sound. Do your ears a favor and bookmark her page!
-submitted by Lydia Simmons

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


This holiday season TOMS shoes is hoping to give away 30,000 shoes to children in Ethiopa suffering from podoconiosis. Podoconiosis is a soil transmitted disease caused by walking, running, farming, playing, working, etc. barefoot in silica-rich soil. Silica is ancient volcanic glass that penetrates the skin and makes its way into the lymphatic system, causing the feel and lower legs to swell.
How can you help? One way is to buy yourself or someone you love a pair of TOMS shoes or Tiny TOMS for your children, nieces or nephews or friends children.
For each pair you purchase, TOMS donates a pair to a child on your behalf. Help make this goal a reality and enjoy wearing the most comfortable shoes you'll own!
Discount code: Peytoni
to view their holiday video, go to:

Monday, November 24, 2008


launching TODAY!

is a location based application that allows the users of social networks (e.g. Facebook, Myspace) to connect with their friends in real time. YellowPin is the new way to find where people are hanging out. Want to find out the places where your friends are getting together tonight? Text into YellowPin, and YellowPin will text you back the answers, ranked by the number of YOUR friends at each place.

There's a ton more that you can do with YellowPin through both your Facebook account and text messaging on your mobile phone, and updating your whereabouts is entirely up to you. Find out more and add the application by following this link:

The initial platform for launch is Facebook U.S. I am not sure how familiar you are with Facebook, but it is an online social network (and the 5th most viewed website), the primary use of which is for people to make connections by adding "Friends" to their account, essentially re-creating their own social spheres in this online community. Facebook is most popular with highschool and college age users, which is our target user base as well; active users spend countless hours building up their Friends lists and exchanging messages and virtual gifts with them.

However, once people are away from their computers, the utility of Facebook is severely limited, which is where YellowPin comes in. Think of it as a personalized application that combines the utility of Google Maps and the personalized connections of Facebook. We provide a service through which users can access and share information about their Friends when not at ther computer (i.e. through their mobile device). If you are out in a city, or specific part of a city, and want to see where your Friends are, you can send a simple text to YellowPin querying, among other features, where a specific Friend is, where are the most popular places in your area (as based on Friends at that place); you can also push invites to your Friends and inform them of your location to have them join you. Since the information is only shared between a user and his/her Friends that he/he has previously spent time cultivating through Facebook, the information maintains both relevancy and privacy. Also, since a user gets increasing utility from the application as more of his/her Friends are also users of the application, there is an inherent virality to the application that incentivizes users to get their Friends to join.

Potential users of YellowPin sign up for the service through their Facebook account and pay a modest subscription fee (99 cents per month) that is billed directly to their mobile phones.

Go to and sign up today! The first month is free and see how you can stay connected and let your friends know where you are (when you want) and to see where your friends are throughout your city or town.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Many places are eliminating plastic bags in grocery stores and stores across the USA, brining in a whole new fashion for reusable bags. I have posted the FEED bag, which profits go towards feeding hungry school children in Rwanda. Just this morning I saw on the Today show the Its-laS-tik bags, made in New Orleans, LA. Different from all other canvas and cotton bags, these bags are elastic and every aspect of the product is outsourced from New Orleans.
To learn more about these bags visit their website:

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Yéle Haiti is a foundation started by Grammy-Award winning musician, producer, social entrepreneur and Haitian Goodwill Ambassador Wyclef Jean that is changing thousands of lives in this poor but optimistic nation. Through Yéle Haiti, Wyclef supports projects that are making a difference in education, health, environment and community development.

Yéle's mission is to create small-scale, manageable and replicable projects to contribute to Haiti’s long-term progress. Whether utilizing local hip-hop musicians to deliver awareness messages in forgotten neighborhoods or bringing Wyclef's famous friends to Haiti to support the movement, what Wyclef radiates is profound wishes for the country.

Each of Yéle’s projects is conceived to renew hope for Haitians to rebuild their nation. Yéle Haiti wants to project a new forward-thinking image that accurately reflects Haiti’s youthful population and their unique and irrepressible spirit, which is an integral part of their culture.

Recently Haiti has experienced natural disasters, while hurricanes and tropical storms have pounded the island. Donate through Yéle Haiti's website for the Haiti Storm Relief Fund and to learn more about the wonderful projects Yéle has completed and the projects that are active right now, at

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I was just watching the Big Idea with Donny Deutch and a great segment came up, something good enough for everyone to support!
Grahamtastic is a non-profit organization offering free computers and Internet access to children with cancer and other serious illnesses for educational purposes. Their "lending library" makes laptops available for children to borrow while hospitalized or bed ridden.

"We concentrate on supporting very ill children who are too sick to leave their hospital room or bed. The child's Social Worker (or medical contact) makes the request and we ship the laptop to them for a determined length of time.

When the child is finished with it, the Social worker mails the laptop computer back to us and we prepare it for another child to check out. We provide this service in order for the child to continue their education; this enables the child to connect with their teachers and classrooms, enabling homework assignments."

To learn more about Grahamtastic or to make a donation, go to their website

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Everyone has a loved one who always insists that they don't want a gift. COPE Laos has the perfect solution for you. Mike Boddington founded COPE (Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise) 11 years ago in Vientiane, Laos with the mission to provide health care services, counseling and prosthetic limbs to those in need. During the nine years of the Vietnam War the United States dropped 580,000 bombs, making it the most bombed country in the history of the world. That equals two tons of bombs for every man, woman and child! Of the hundreds of thousands of bombs that were dropped, most of them were insidious cluster bombs. Cluster bombs, which do not explode upon impact, are still buried beneath the Laotian more than thirty years later. This makes farming dangerous, which contributes to poverty and hunger, and has claimed the lives of hundreds since. Those who survive a run-in with UXO (Unexploded Ordinance) are often badly maimed, including losing their limbs. Often these accidents happen in isolated rural farming villages, so there is often little or no health care for these amputees, not to mention prosthetic limbs. COPE is the only organization that provides these types services for these victims, including counseling, health care rehabilitation and prosthetic limbs. While over 40 percent of the victims they help are UXO victims, they help others too such as those who have suffered from polio or leprosy. In recent years COPE Laos set up a special program on how you can help someone who has suffered through such a debilitating and life-changing event by purchasing them a new prosthetic limb. It also makes a great gift for the socially-conscious person in your family.
Facts and figures. As you can see, there are ways you can help no matter what budget you are working with.
Amount needed to run the service for one year at current levels - $500,000 per year
Amount needed to build a new dormitory for patients to stay in - $40,000
1 Tricycle - $110
Oven to heat polypropylene and make it workable - $8,000
To treat a new born baby with club foot - $22
To provide a mechanical prosthetic arm - $140
To provide a below knee prosthesis - $ 50
An artificial leg $50
Psysiotherapy $30
Provide crutches - $7
An x-ray $5
A walking frame $22
Daily food allowance for a patient receiving COPE's services - $1.20 ($12 for a week)
-submitted by Leigh McCormick

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Created during a recent trip to Tanzania, children who attend a school were looking for a memorable way to say "thanks" to hundreds of people across the globe who've supported efforts to rebuild their school after it was nearly closed last year.

We chose Post-it® Notes because they were colorful and could be easily personalized by the children for each donor/supporter. If the video is selected as a winner of the Post-it Notes "One Million Uses and Counting" Contest, any prizes will be donated to help the school continue their efforts to rebuild and expand.

The school serves over 200 local children, including those featured in the video.For more information about the school, check out

You can also check out more videos from the school on YouTube at If you're interested in learning more about Pius, the little boy who says the Post-it® tagline at the end of the video, there's a short video about him and his mother at
Check out the video: . You can comment on the video, give it five stars, add it as your favorite and spread the word!

Monday, August 25, 2008


Alan Winslow and Morrigan McCarthy are two young people on a mission: to find people in small towns around America who are doing good things for the environment and record their stories. How are they doing it? By bicycle, of course! Starting in October they'll ride over 10,000 miles around the country lugging their cameras and audio equipment to produce a multimedia piece for the web and a traveling gallery show. You can read more about their project, their partnerships with schools around the country and help them out by donating at You can also follow their planning and soon their journey at their blog:
Check out their youtube video:

-submitted by Moriggan McCarthy

Friday, August 8, 2008


Do you like teaching, playing soccer, or hanging out with 9 year-olds? Interested in traveling to Buenos Aires and volunteering? Then Club ACORN is for you! Club ACORN is an afterschol program in the La Boca neighborhood that was started by 2 American ex-pats living in Buenos Aires. In the past 6 months, the program has grown enormously, and needs more volunteers to keep up with its expansion! The program has a very diverse volunteer staff ranging from Argentineans to Australians, theater majors to biologists. If you have a passion or a talent, Club ACORN is even looking for people to teach a weekly class. It truly is a program as much for the volunteers as it is for the students, and has become a true global melting pot armed with volunteers from across the world. Please see Club ACORN's blog at or contact

Friday, June 6, 2008


JUNE 11, 2008 if you live in Houston you can style your own TOMS shoe at the Whole Foods on Kirby Drive. The event is from 3:00-7:00pm
Check out the TOMS SHOES website to see what a Style your Sole party looks like and get some ideas how you want to style your shoe. By purchasing a pair of TOMS (that you also get to paint, decorate, etc) TOMS shoes is giving a child in need a pair of TOMS shoes on your behalf.

Whole Foods will now be carrying TOMS shoes! read below about the event:
Style Your Sole
3:00–7:00 p.m. Free
Kick off the summer Styling your Sole at our Toms Shoe kick off party. Grab a pair of Toms Shoes and we will provide the eco-friendly art Supplies to Style your Sole. The Old Fashion Milk Paint Co. is providing the milk paints that are all natural and will not harm the environment nor your Sole. The blue grass tunes will be swinging with our local fan fave The Side Show Tramps. Enjoy a glass of wine while a local artist paints your sole for a donation to Art Bridge Houston. (Art Bridge Houston is a non profit that brings the expressive arts into the lives of children in Homeless Shelters.)

Saturday, April 26, 2008


  • 90% of the energy used by your washing machine goes to heat water. *Try the cold cycle instead
  • Producing and disposing all of the junk mail and extra catalogues you receive in the US each year releases as much CO2 as 2.8 million cars. A service like GreenDimes ( and Catalog Choice (from previous post) can help you cut off junk mail almost completely.
  • If Americans used one less package of non-recycled paper napkins for every home in the country, it would save 1 million trees.
  • Americans throw away about 40 billion disposable coffee cups each year. Buy yourself a reusable cup and help change the "on the go" look.
  • Unplug chargers (cell phone chargers, iPod chargers, computer chargers, etc.) when they're not charging. This will reduce about 100 pounds of carbon emissions per year per charger.
  • Many people love long hot showers. Its a luxury. Speed up your shower. By spending just two minutes less in the shower each day could prevent about 400 pounds of CO2 (in the form of energy used to heat and treat the water) from entering the atmosphere each year)
  • Check your water heaters temperature. Hot water heaters are the third largest expense on your home. By lowering the thermostat to 120 degrees F, you will still maintain extremely warm water, just not factory setting temperatures!
  • Plastic shopping bags can last up to over a thousand years in a land fill once disposed of. This might not seem to affect you, until you break it down. Once thrown away, they "decompose" into tiny, toxic particles that become part of the soil and water. Thankfully, cities and stores across the U.S. are banning the option of "Paper or Plastic." When you go out shopping (groceries, clothes, etc.) bring your own bag(s)! Many grocery stores are now selling for a low cost, great sturdy bags. Check out a previous post and buy a FEED bag!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Dining out for Life is an annual fund raising event in support of fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
If you live in Houston, this Thursday, April 24, 2008 you can participate in Dining out for Life and be a part of the fight to cure HIV/AIDS. Its simple. Go online to and find out where you can eat breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. Each restaurant listed on the website will donate 33% of food bills all day long to Dining out for Life.

Check out online to see which other cities are participating in Dining out for Life and when you can participate in the fundraiser!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


We've all had our own issues with traffic: sitting in a car on the highway stuck in bumper to bumper, anxious to get to where youre going; on the bus late to school; in a cab late to a meeting; the subway is too crowded to get on, etc. For now its inevitable and in cities where "on time" means ON TIME, we need a solution.
Thanks to Clear Channel and the District Department of Transportation, Washington D.C. will be the first self-service public bike rental program in the U.S. Structured to enhance the city's public transportation system,Sma
rt Bike D.C. , located in the central business district, will have bike rental kiosks throughout the area.
By joining the bike share program, you have access to the 120 bikes provided in DC at 10 locations throughout the downtown area. The four-speed, one-size-fits-all bike are available for up to three hours, where you return the bike to any Smart Bike kiosk.
Bike share programs have flourished in European cities such as Barcelona, Paris, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo. Hopefully in the next few months we can see great progress with the Smart Bike D.C. and other cities will adapt to this new public transportation system!
to learn more click click on Smart Bike D.C. or go to

Friday, March 28, 2008


March 29, 2008 EARTH HOUR

Interested in taking action on climate change? Be a part of Earth Hour. On March 31, 2007, 2.2 million people and 2100 Sydney businesses turned off their lights for one hour. This year, March 29, 2008 many major global cities are joining the effort and are participating in EARTH HOUR.

Go to their website to learn more. From 8-9 pm on March 29, 2008 do yourself and the Earth a favor. Turn off the lights.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Feel like your mail is 90% catalogs, 9% junk, and 1% real? I can't help you with the junk, but thanks to Catalog Choice, a free service that eliminates unwanted catalogs, you can get rid of that 90% with a simple click of a button. Go online, sign up for free, type in the catalog name and your customer i.d. number (if you have it) and the rest, along with your unwanted stack of catalogs, is history!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Please help a friend out and click on the youtube link below. It's a music video by a fellow Lamar Redskin and Austinite, Katherine Edmonson. She is quite talented and this is a creatively simple video.

submitted by Marc Feder

Monday, February 4, 2008


Are you tired of sending cheesy, prefabricated Hallmark cards to friends and loved ones? Why not support an independent artist and great friend!
"Global images...universal messages..." MUNDO IMAGES offers greeting cards, notecards and signed photographs taken by the artist herself, Ann Peterson. "Ann has lived in several different countries and has traveled the world, often as a volunteer or teacher educating young people about the fragile balance of the Earth's biodiversity.
MUNDO IMAGES uses ancient forest friendly paper that is 100% recycled, processed chlorine free, and manufactured with wind power.
A percentage of the profit from the sale of the greeting cards, note cards and photographs will be donated to the organizations that benefit the world's natural environment and its creatures- all of us!"
check out their website to see a variety of beautiful photographs made into great greeting cards with universal messages!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

GOOD ENOUGH...TO READ is the blogumentary of a young man incarcerated with a life sentence in the Texas State Penitentiary. Prison Proxy covers everything from daily happenings to philosophical revelations, such as the paradox of freedom.

It’s your looking glass in to the absurdity of prison life. You will learn of its political, logistical and sociocultural aspects. You will meet the kinds of people who dwell in prison. From the evil and corrupted, to the few who don’t belong, and especially the majority who turn into products of their environment.

You will learn about how one particular prisoner, the author, is trying to circumvent the absurdities of his situation by taking college courses, investing in the stock market and planning for a future beyond his confinement.

It’s captivating. Educating. Enlightening. Frightening. And truly eccentric.

submitted by Marc Feder

Monday, January 21, 2008


Interested in the idea of becoming eco-friendly, but not sure how to transition your life style to a more "green" way of living? Sign up for free "eco-tips" online to learn daily tips on everything from recycling, food and drinks, personal care, travel, home and garden and many more.
Check out their website and sign up for the daily bite at

Friday, January 18, 2008


The band, Five for Fighting, is generously donating $0.49 to Autism
Speaks each time this video is viewed. The funding goes toward
research studies to help find a cure. When you have a moment, please
visit the link below to watch the video and pass it along. They are
aiming for 10,000 hits, but hopefully we can help them to surpass this


On December 27th, 2007 Kenya, one of the more developed and stable countries in Africa, became a country of political violence, ethnic cleansing and has left over 250,000 people homeless due to their political elections that ended up being rigged. My youngest sister Lydia was living in Nairobi, the capitol of Kenya, where most of the violence is occurring, for the past four months, studying health and development as a human rights major at Duke. Just a week before this violence my parents and I and a great friend of mine were in Nairobi. People were living their daily lives, stores were open, businesses running and people walking peacefully in the street, or as Lydia calls is "cheza dancing in the streets." Exactly a week after we left, the violence started. Over 600 people had been killed, people hiding in churches were burned, businesses and shopping centers completely demolished, due to political differences and the rigged presidential election. The small market my sister took us to for lunch, where we sat in the Miracle Cafe, and saw where she ate daily and shopped for small goods, those today do not exist, everything was burnt down. It hit me hard when I was looking through some of my pictures and saw one of Lydia and I at the table inside Miracle Cafe, a very local spot that serves whatever they cooked for the day. A few days later, Lydia emailed me a photo she had received of the market. Everything was leveled and the place was still in flames. This affects everyone. This was peoples only income. People didn't leave their homes in fear of being killed by machetes, stones, or being burned. Businesses closed in this fear. Lydia has been in contact with her host family and they expressed their need of food and water. No one could get any of this for the first week of the violence.
Thankfully, things have started to slow down, but are definitely not over. I ask you to please keep Kenya in your thoughts and just add your name to the petition below, where a pre-typed note (if you don't have time to write your own) will be sent to Condoleezza Rice. The number of messages sent to our government will be an ad in a Kenyan newspaper.
Kenya relies on tourism. This violence has hurt their economy and not only in Kenya but in Tanzania as well. I have been in touch with my great friend Simbo (in Tanzania), who was my guide for Kilimanjaro and he has expressed that all of the clients he had for the next few climbs up Kilimanjaro have all canceled due to Kenya's violence. No clients, no pay check, no food. Lets try and do something as we sit half a world away and the first and easiest thing is to sign this petition.
The site is:

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Their approach to making an epic change in our world is a "4 step" process:
1. Raise capitol by accepting donations
2. Use donations to make loans to organizations to fund efforts that will promote positive change in the communities they serve.
3. Facilitate loan repayment by working with these organizations to develop creative income-generating projects that share the stories of the organizations themselves and the people they serve.
4. Recycle the repaid loans to help fun epic change in other communities.
Their first project which they are currently working on, is to rebuild Shepherds Junior Academy, a pre and primary school located in Arusha, Tanzania. The school was started in September 2003 and has quickly grown from a class of 10 students to now 110 students.

Epic Change is participating in America's Giving Challenge. If Epic Change can get the most donors by Jan. 31,2008 they will be rewarded $50,000 which will go into rebuilding Shepherds Junior Academy.
Take a few minutes from your day and donate to help make this dream a reality!!! Its quick and easy:
go to their website:
click on the right hand side where it says America's Giving Challenge. Donate your desired amount. Know that you are making a difference out there and others do appreciate it!

Epic Change is a 501(c)(3)non-profit

enjoy this video about Epic Change and see the children whose lives you've just improved by not only donating, but spreading the word.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Need a new bag to go grocery shopping to help eliminate plastic bags or a bag to carry your school books in? The FEED bag was designed by Lauren Bush and Ellen Gustafson, a former United Nations World Food Program (WFP) communication officer, to raise awareness and funds for children living in hunger to get an education and out of living in hunger. Each FEED bag sold will feed a child for one school year. The FEED bags are made with sustainable materials and are designed to be used as an alternative to using plastic bags and disposable paper.
The numbers:
There are 400 million hungry children in the world
There are 115 million school aged children who do not go to school
There are 62 million girls who do not attend school
There are 50 million hungry children who do not receive any form of assistance

$20 is the annual cost for WFP's Food for Education program per child
10 US cents is the average cost of buying a school meal for a child in a developing country

Shocked by the numbers? Do something about it. Buy a FEED bag, donate to the UN World Food Program, Volunteer your time, get out there and see for yourself. Together we CAN make a difference.

Purchase your FEED bag through

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Its the countdown again, when all of the media is covering the presidential candidates for the 2008 election. You've heard the names, watched part of the debates, but are unsure of where you stand and which candidate best fits your views? Go to
Take a few minutes to answer some key questions and in moments you will be given your position and where you stand among the presidential candidates.