Giving to Others With Your Credit Card

Here is a great idea. While most people feel their charitable giving, since it comes out of their pocketbook, there are ways to give that you don’t really feel. There are credit cards that allow you to redeem your points and miles towards charitable organizations. Here are three cards that let you donate your points.

  1. Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World MasterCard: Here you can donate your miles. They have ways for you to partner with organizations that can help those in need. For instance, with the Miles for Kids in Need you can give your miles so that a sick child can take a vacation. Or you can partner with Miles for All Who Serve which supports military families.
  2. Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express: They have also partnered with some places to offer you a way to donate to others. The Clean the World organization is a recycler of hotel soaps and amenities. Check Out for Children, another organization, has raised $30 million to help improve the lives of children.
  3. JetBlue Card: Another idea is the JetBlue Card that also lets you donate your points to many organizations and cardholders get three times the points on Jet Blue purchases, two times the points at restaurants and grocery stores and one time the purchase on all other items.



New Permanent Exhibit About Giving in America

refreshment-438399_960_720Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C has a new exhibit, “Giving in America.” Museum curator Bonnie Lilienfeld explains that the exhibit shows the history of giving and how many of the fundraising operations have come about.

For instance, the 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge started with a blue plastic bucket that belonged to a New York woman, Jeanette Senerchia. With a husband who had ALS, Senerchia was challenged to dump ice on her head to raise awareness about ALS.

There is a silver plate at the museum from 1764, for instance, that was given by Thomas Hancock to his church in Boston.

Lilienfeld explained that charity isn’t always just about money. As she said pointing to a blood donation kit, “That’s really sort of the ultimate gift of really giving of yourself. We included that story here to get people to understand, sometimes the smallest act really is an act of philanthropy.”

There is a tool belt on display, as well, that a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity used to build a house.

The exhibit is now on permanent display at the museum.

Survey Shows How Americans Do – and Don’t – Give Charity

family-1466274_960_720A recent survey from RBC Wealth Management-US and City National Bank shows some surprising, and disheartening, statistics about charity in America. While 82% of American say that it’s important to them to give charity, most people don’t actually give throughout the year.

47% of respondents said that they give to charity sporadically without any specific plan. This can have consequences, say experts at RBC Wealth Management-US.

As Van Pate, Wealth Strategies Consultant at RBC Wealth Management – U.S , explained “A well-planned program of lifetime gifts to family, friends and charities can provide income and estate tax benefits and help preserve more assets for heirs. Taking a deliberate approach to giving can help you make well-informed decisions and increase the benefits to both you and the recipients of your good will.”

When Americans do give, do they do so to just a few causes? No. 53% give to three or more charities and 10% give to 6-10 charities. 4% even admitted that they support 11 charities or more.

Malia Haskins, Wealth Strategies Consultant at RBC Wealth Management – U.S., explained why dividing up the money may not be a good idea. As she explained,

“There is a strong argument that, if you’re interested in doing the most good, you should concentrate your giving on one, maybe two organizations.”

And who gives more in the country? Midwesterners give more than Southerners, the West and the Northeast.


Firefighters Helping the American Cancer Society

firehose-182202_960_720The Birmingham Fire & Rescue members are heating things up, and that’s not just about the fires they put out. And in the process, they are working to benefit the American Cancer Society. In a special charity calendar that they’ve just created, they have posed in order to help raise money. As Nikki Seaborn, communications manager with the Birmingham chapter of the American Cancer Society, said “Not only are these guys handsome, but more importantly, they are community heroes with generous hearts who believe in and support the vision of the American Cancer Society and our Hope Lodge.”

And the firefighters didn’t only take their time to pose. They are serving dinner at the Joe Lee Griffin Hope Lodge Tuesday night to focus on the lodge’s great work and on the new calendar. The lodge is an amazing location that provides free, overnight accommodations for cancer patients and their families who need to travel for treatment.


ChangeX Comes to Minnesota

Most people don’t think of Minnesota as a technology hot spot, but apparently ChangeX is trying to change that. The Dublin-based social enterprise startup has just tagged Minnesota as the destination for its first foray into the American market. And, to mark their international launch, they held a gala on September 12th at the Pillsbury A-Mill Artist Lofts in St. Anthony Main.

As CEO Paul O’Hara explained, “It’s crazy to think that barely a year ago, we were just getting started, and now we’re getting ready to launch in another country.”

So, of course, one must ask, Why Minnesota? As O’Hara explained, “We chose Minnesota for a combination of reasons…a vibrant civic society, a thriving nonprofit sector and a variety of social issues.” As part of ChangeX’s “humble” goal they want to improve the lives of 1 billion people in the next 10 years.

As O’Hara said at the gala to the crowd from Minnesota, “This whole thing is pointless without you all. So please share your ideas, join other initiatives and spread the word about ChangeX.”

Bon Jovi Being Honored for Humanitarian Efforts

It’s always nice to see the rich and famous doing well by others. And that’s why it’s heart-warming to see that Bon Jovi is being honored in New York on September 19th at the 10th Annual Clinton Global Citizen Awards. He’ll perform and enjoy being honored for the 10th anniversary of his Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation. The Foundation offers aid for housing and hunger issues in the US. He’ll be honored along with Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, Dr. Haw Abdi and social activist Adi Godrej.

Bon Jovi is joining a long list of truly worthy people in receiving the Clinton award. Past recipients include Sting and Trudie Styler, Quincy Jones and Leonardo DiCaprio. And, if you’re lucky enough to be in attendance, you’ll also see a performance by opera tenor Andrea Bocelli.

Papa John’s Donates Helmets to Needy Kids

pizza-627835_960_720Papa John’s International Inc. is showing its commitment to its customers and to its communities. In the communities where they operate, they will donate 500 custom-designed bike helmets to lower economic youths who participate in the Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective program (SLCBC). This is in addition to the company’s sponsorship of the Tour of Utah, which is a week-long professional cycling race.

As the Founder, Chairman and CEO “Papa John” Schnatter said,

“Papa John’s is excited to partner with the Tour of Utah and Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective. Our love for pizza, cycling and our local community go hand-in-hand. This is a unique opportunity to help support the local economy and bring people together to enjoy the sport of cycling and the great outdoors. As an avid cyclist, I’m encouraged by the good work that the Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective (SLCBC) is doing to encourage kids to stay active, while also teaching important life skills and rewarding hard work. At Papa John’s, we are proud to help ensure more kids are able to benefit from the SLCBC program.”

The helmets have a pizza-theme on them and they will be donated to members of the SLCBC.

As the Executive Director of the SLCBC, Davey Davis, said

“We at the SLCBC are very grateful to receive these helmets from the team at Papa John’s. Every kid should get the opportunity to ride a bike, and this donation supports us in helping more kids to ride safely and have fun while doing it.”

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