Two-Minute Karma: 9 Speedy Ways to Super-Charge Your Spirit
Easy things you can do to help others (less daunting than quitting your job to go save endangered beetles and more fulfilling than recycling your newspaper).
Oprah.com | Jul 22, 2011
Help End Hunger With an Oddly Addictive (Free!) Word Game
At free.rice.com, you answer multiple-choice questions about the real definition of words, and for every correct response, the United Nations World Food Program donates 10 grains of rice to hungry people. Thus far, 6.5 billion grains have been given away and countless users have seen their literacy skyrocket as they absorb the meaning of such “shend” (reproach) and “calipash” (edible turtle part).
One Click, One Less Worry in the World
Too simple to be true. At greatergood.com, you click on a cause button—say, breast cancer, animal rescue, or save the rainforest—and the advertising sponsors of the sites immediately send a donation to the charity. The feel-good bonus: daily progress reports that show you how your clicks add up. Take July 7, 2011, when the animal rescue site received enough to pay for 202,877 bowls of kibble.
Lead Kids to Reading
With every two-dollars you give to the firstbook.com, one low-income child receives—you guessed it—a book. The stats? First Book has given away over 80 million books and educational resources away to children across the United States and Canada. Not to mention that a certain adult someone who also loves reading (most recently on her ipad) also has partnered with this life-changing non-profit.
Shop Positively—No Guilt with Purchase
Buy the items you usually do (socks, diapers, a giant watermelon pinata) at mainstream retailers like Amazon.com, Gap, Overstock.com, and Target. Each time your transaction goes through, iGive gives a percentage of your total (up to 26%) to a charity of your choice. To make thing even easier, the site features a charity calculator. Type in anything—cats, finger, art—and they'll find you a cause: help the Cat's Tale shelter in Raleigh, NC or save the FingerLakes in NY or support the 18th street Arts Center in Santa Monica, CA.
Social Network for Social Good
Facebook's causes are quick way to divert some extra pocket change to those in need. Japan's Tsunami Victim Relief has connected 65,655 people with the disaster, to the tune of $322,868. Hit give and you can be number 65,666. Meanwhile, on Twitter, you can send along a thought at #PrayForJapan
Global Chic Relief
To heck with Appletinis and group-Botox parties. Harness some genuine, meaningful female power by shopping at globalgirlfriend.com where you can pick up one-of-a-kind finds like Ugandan Organic Wax Cloth Aprons (in prints too pretty to slosh spaghettis sauce on) and Recycled Soda Bottle Candles (the kind of whimsical goodie you want to find at flea markets but never do) and Antique Sari Tote bags (love the glitter thread detail), all of which support women-owned businesses that adhere to fair-trade and eco-friendly practices.
Take the Pledge—For Cleaner Seas
Who didn't see the horrifying recent report by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO)? The panel of respected scientists concluded that the world's oceans are failing much faster than expected, which will lead to mass extinctions of many marine species. Take a 2-second step to help dolphins, sea turtles and even the under-loved jelly fish by vowing with Oceana.org to eat only sustainable seafood, clean up your local waterway, or recycle (preventing empty Red Bull cans from rolling into the sea). Up the karma-boost by Tweeting the pledge to friends and family.
A Daily Dose of Hope
Ten million women around the world could die from breast cancer in the next 25 years. Stop the heartache by clicking daily on the Susan Komen For the Cure site, where advertisers donate each time you visit. As of this June, over million ordinary folk clicked over 20 million times. Consider it a daily mult-vitamin for the soul.
Honor Thy Mom
Mothers2mothers trains HIV-positive moms as mentors to help other mothers (and their babies) already afflicted with the diseases—as most of the world learned when Michelle Obama visited with this powerhouse non-proft organization this June. Take one minute to add a leaf to the Tree of Hope and honor all the mothers who have helped you along the way, including the grandmothers, aunts, neighbors, teachers and other public figures that we can so easily forgot are also parents. Then, while you're there take one more minute to donate a $10. Money can't solve everything. But it can help increase child survival rates, combat a deadly virus, and promote women's right in Africa.