New Site!

Please go to the new site, This site is no longer going to be updated or kept current. All posts and information will be on the new site.

Come join us on the new site!

Hey all. Just so you know this will now be the only place for these blog posts.

As we transition Change You Can Afford into a charity, that site will be dedicated to the charity and no longer host the blogging archives.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Salvation Army collect thousands of toys every year to redistribute to children in low socioeconomic groups, which is a wonderful thing. Every kid should get the joy of getting a present on Christmas. I was already a bit wary of the organization because of their extremist anti-gay policies. They are an evangelical organization that will not employ gay people, supports and lobbies against gay protections and rights, and proselytizing to those who they are helping including their anti-gay rhetoric. Even so, I often still gave some change at Christmas time, because it is winter time and people often need extra help during the winter months.

However, the latest story of their far right policies has pushed me over the edge and I do not think I will be supporting them any longer. A volunteer in a warehouse discovered that the organization often trashes, and sometimes gives to other charities, toys from Harry Potter and Twilight as they contradict the organization's christian values.

"But he questioned why the charity would be sifting out Harry Potter and Twilight toys, which involve sorcery and vampire themes, respectively. "I was told to withhold a six-inch Harry Potter figure, but when I picked up a plastic M-16, I was told, 'That's for the 10-year-olds,'" he said. "I was shocked...war-themed toys and toys from TV shows and movies with far more violence than Harry Potter and these were considered appropriate toys?""

This seems a bit ludicrous to me, but it is their policy. The article notes that policy dictates passing these toys on to another charity and not accepting violent weapons. However, that policy was not the same one the volunteer saw in effect at the warehouse he was volunteering at.

As an alternative to Salvation army, I suggest looking for smaller local organizations that organize toy drives. Instead of shopping at the salvation army thrift stores look for a thrift store run by a local charity, I used to shop at one that supported an organization that cared for invalid AIDS patients. And instead of giving them your spare change, make a donation to a local homeless shelter, think about how hard it is to be homeless in the winter and remember to give during the cold winter months.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Charity Promotion Time!

Hey all,

I want everyone to tell me about their favorite charity and why they think I should highlight them/ donate to them. If you make a good case I will feature them in a blog post soon. This is a great chance to promote your favorite charity without doing a lot of work, so please join in!!!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Holiday consumerism...

Hey all,

Its almost Christmas time, so I am sure many of you are frantically running around purchasing presents for your family and friends. Giving gifts is a great way for showing people that you care and that they are important to you. But i think we should extend that a bit and show people around the world in desperate situation that we care about them as well. While we do not know them, our gifts to help others can impact a life much more than the scarf, chocolate, or  that you purchase for a friend. And personally, giving gifts to charity in the name of someone can be a lovely present, especially for that hard to shop for person or the person who can afford whatever they want already.

The gift I am talking about today is the gift of Winter Child Survival Pack from UNICEF USA. This is a great idea as a gift and can help protect a child from many of the dangers of a winter. And judging by the weather in Europe it is going to be a very rough winter for many people. So with some of our Christmas giving, why not help save someones life and purchase a survival pack.

The packs come with "Micronutrient powders that help a child on the brink of malnutrition get the vitamins and minerals that are most essential for them to grow up healthy. Immunizations from measles and polio that will save a child from two of the most common and painful diseases in the developing world. Water purification tablets to filter out dirt and bacteria from water so that children can drink without fear of getting sick. Your pack contains enough tablets to clean 50,000 liters of water!"

Access to safe water is one of the largest humanitarian issues of our decade and these tablets are a way to protect children who lack access to clean water. This alone could save a child's life, but with the micronutrient powder and immunizations it could really make a difference in a child's life.

This Christmas please consider donating as a gift. My family often donates in each others name to Heifer International, Doctors Sans Borders, and other organizations and those gifts often mean more to me than the scarf's and DVDs I get. A DVD is wonderful, but saving someones life is another thing entirely.

Please help others this holiday season and change someone' life! Thanks!