Thursday, September 10, 2015

Helping Others Without Spending a Bunch of Money

planting a tree
play the free rice game

Helping others and being of service is important to me, but so is frugal living, therefore I am always on the lookout for ways I can help others without spending a lot of money. I even wrote a previous post about ways you could make a difference for ten dollars or less:

Making a Difference For Ten Dollars or Less

I can't tell you how many times I've heard someone say that they can't help other people because they don't have enough money. I don't have a large income right now either but I still manage to help quite a few people each year, and I support several causes close to my heart.

It seems to me that most people would really like to help other people, but have the idea that the small amounts that they could afford to donate would not make much of a difference to anybody. I used to believe that way too, but I know better now.

I've discovered many ways that anyone can make a difference in the world, for ten (10) dollars or less.

Lets start out with the unbelievable idea that you can actually do good in the world, and help others, for free. You don't have to spend one penny to help other people. 

Here are some suggestions on how you can help others for free:

1. Click to donate sites allow you to do good in the world, for free, from your computer. Free Rice, for example, is a fun game you play that helps increase your knowledge, while at the same time you are "earning" rice to feed hungry people.

Charity Click Donation is a web site that puts a bunch of the click to donate sites together in one place for you to click on the ones you want to support.
Charity Click Donation - Give money to charity for free through charity clicks.

2. It costs nothing to be kind and caring, to treat people with respect, or to do something for someone such as help to carry heavy packages, open a door for someone, let a car go ahead of you in traffic, pick up litter on the street, or give someone a sincere compliment.

3. Search Kindly when you're searching the Internet, by making sure your searches are helping to support charity and worthy causes.
Your Searches Benefit Charities - Search Kindly

4. Recycle your household aluminum because aluminum is 100% recyclable, and it is so destructive to the environment to make aluminum in the first place. Not only does this cost you nothing, while benefiting the environment and many people you'll never know, recycling aluminum can actually make you money when you turn your aluminum in at the recyclers.

5. Recycle and donate all your unused coats, other clothing, and household goods to those who can use them. Donate coats and winter clothing to coat drives, shoes to shoe drives, and all clothing to women's shelters and homeless shelters.

Now, for one dollar ($1.00) what can we do?

1. The folks over at One Dollar Give have found plenty of good things to do with just one dollar. Check out their link.
The One Dollar Give: How Much Difference Can $1 Make?

2. Donate one dollar to your local food pantry. Or buy some food for a dollar and donate the food.

3. Buy a fleece hat or gloves at the dollar store and give to a homeless person or a needy person.

4. Give a dollar to a homeless person.

$2.00, another small amount of money, but still for that $2.00, at Alternative Gifts International, you can buy groceries for 1 person for 1 day.
Give a Gift in Honor of Someone - Alternative Gifts International

For $3.00, Alternative Gifts International will purchase one tree, and plant it, in one of the worlds deforested areas. Alternative Gifts International is a great place to find ways to help for just a little money. 

feed hungry children around the world
1. For $4.00 they will provide one weeks supply of alternative charcoal for four families living in a deforested area of the world, thus sparing trees, and helping the families by saving them money.

2. $4.00 is also one day of support for one student in Kenya.

$5.00 will buy food to feed one family for one day, again through Alternative Gifts International.

For $6.00, you could purchase one pair of small animals for one Quecha Indian family in Bolivia.

2. That same $6.00 would also provide medicine and protein drinks for one child for one year.

3. $6.00 is also the cost of one share of water pipe or school supplies for a Gumiyuda school system.

For $7.00, you could provide care and food for an aged person in China who has no family.

$8.00 will fund one hour of job and skill training for one woman with no job skills.

Give a Gift in Honor of Someone - Alternative Gifts International

Food For The Poor, for $10.00, will provide three fruit trees to a hungry family living in Haiti. An avocado tree, a breadfruit tree, and a mango tree. 
Food For The Poor | Helping the Poor, Charitable Giving, International Relief | Serving the Poorest of the Poor

2. $10.00 will also provide a mosquito net for people at risk for malaria through Nothing But Nets. Malaria is a huge killer world-wide and your $10.00 will save lives.
Home | Nothing But Nets Campaign

3. $10.00 at Global Giving can be used to support many different charities or relief efforts, including a school in the Dominican Republic for Haitian refugees.
GlobalGiving: donate to grassroots projects; education, health, microfinance

So, there you have it, several ways to help other people and make a difference in the world, all for under $10.00. 
Many people spend that much everyday on junk food, expensive coffee drinks, or vending machine goodies. If you would rather use your money for good, then why not check out some of these charities, (or discover your own), and see how quickly these small amounts of donations can begin to make a big difference in the world.

 Support aboriginal rights and people around the world


So, there you have my original post of June 17, 2010.
Now the prices for some of the ideas listed above may have risen a bit, as many things have in this economy, but the basic idea is still very sound.
There are many things you can do to make a difference in the world for very little, or no, money.
So what are you going to do to make a difference this week?

                                          Help make a difference to poor women worldwide

                     Support local coat drives by donating your unused coats to those who have none.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Au'inca Door of Hope for Native Elders and Families

Please support the Christmas and food programs for the families and children and elders of the reservations of the Southwestern USA.
Each night children go hungry. Each year children are unable to start school because they lack a pair of shoes and proper clothing. Mothers use old rags and scraps of newspaper for diapers.

Au' Inca, Door of Hope is committed to providing food, clothing, blankets, and other needed items to various indigent Native American Tribal Communities in the Southwest, with a strong focus placed on the children and the elderly in need. The organization encourages and educates the spiritual growth of those it serves.

Making Holidays Brighter
With the struggle just to survive, few families can afford anything for the holidays, but Au'inca can provide holiday food and gifts to girls and boys, families, and elders with your help this holiday season. Won't you give so an elder may eat well this Christmas, or a small child may have at least one gift to open?

Click on the link below:
Au'inca a charity helping Native America Indians

All information and photos are from the Au'inca web site.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

No More Hunger Anywhere

I am repeating this blog post about hunger that I wrote awhile ago because this issue is so important to me. 

Please help feed the hungry in your community or around the world!

Hunger is still the number one killer in our world today.

1/3 of the worlds hungry people live in India, and 5 Indians die every minute from hunger.

1.02 billion people around the globe do not have enough to eat.

Each and every year 15 million children die of hunger, over 16,000 children die every single day from hunger related causes.

More than 60% of the chronically hungry people on the planet are women.

This is simply unacceptable to me, and to most people on the planet I would imagine.

I have never been seriously hungry because, even during my times of greatest financial hardship, I had places and people to turn to for help.

However the majority of hungry people on earth today have nowhere to turn to, and no one to help them unless we do. You and I. Feeding hungry people, wherever and whenever we can. And without sermons or judgements. Just food to feed their hunger.

Can one person make a difference? Certainly to the people you bring food to, you may be the reason they did not go to sleep tonight crying from hunger. And that to me is huge.

If you do nothing else, please donate a box or bag of food to your local food bank. There are hungry people, hungry children, in your city who are going to sleep with an empty belly unless someone like you helps them. Today.

Or you can click on the hunger sites.
You've got a computer and Internet connection, now use them for good and click everyday. One click brings food to hungry people around the world.

If you want to do even more, sponsor a starving child through one of the various programs that are helping around the world. I can recommend Food For The Poor, One Spirit, and The Box Project, just to name a few worthy organizations helping the needy.

Your efforts at eradicating hunger around the world, together with my efforts, and those of many more people around the world, can mean many hundreds of children and families will not suffer through another hungry and desperate year.

Click on the links below to feed the hungry today.

Food For The Poor | Helping the Poor, Charitable Giving, International Relief | Serving the Poorest of the Poor

Click to Give @ The Hunger Site

WFP | United Nations World Food Programme - Fighting Hunger Worldwide

One Spirit

Feeding America: Hunger-Relief Charity |

Welcome to LeSEA GLobal Feed The Hungry

The Box Project - Create a better tomorrow, make a difference today


There Really Is Good News

Anyone who watches or reads the news has got to be aware of the almost universal trend of over reporting the bad news and under reporting the good news.

Good news is everywhere in spite of what the mass media would have you believe.

If, like me, you are weary of this barrage of bad news and eager to discover where all the good news stories have been hiding, then check out these web sites and blogs that focus solely on reporting good news from around the world..

We need to let the people who force feed bad news to us daily that we are tired of it, and want to see the good news reported just as often. Let the networks, radio stations, magazines, and so on, know your thoughts about this issue please. Things won't change unless the people demand change.
The web sites below are all about good news.

Click on the link below:
Good News Broadcast

More good news:
Global Good News

Click for even more good news:
Huffpost Good News

Check out this good news web site:
Optimist World

Click for good news:
Gimundo Good News Served Daily

Another good news web site:
Good News Network

Even more good news:
Happy News

Check out this good news site:
Daily Good

Click here for good news:
Good News Daily

Friday, August 21, 2015

How to Live Well Even If You're Broke

Spending time in nature is free

More and more people are facing job loss or job insecurity, but you don't have to give up all the good things in life just because you're broke. There are so many ways to have a great quality of life on very little money.

Take to heart the old quote that you are broke and not poor. The two words mean entirely different things. Broke is a temporary state, that can change in an hour, while poor is a definition of someone who has basically lost hope and can see no way out of poverty. You are broke, not poor, and there is hope for you.

Investigate the services and aid that can help you through this time. For example, do you qualify for Unemployment? Have you applied for food stamps? Assisted housing? Signed up to receive a free food box from your local food bank? Enjoyed lunch at a local soup kitchen? Check out your states services to the poor and struggling people who live there (or your country if you are not a citizen of the USA), and take advantage of everything that you qualify for. That's what these services are for, to help struggling people survive.

If you still have more than one car, get rid of all but one of them, and make sure that it's the most fuel-efficient and usefull vehicle you have. If you're really desperate, sell all your vehicles and use public transportation, or buy a bicycle with carrying ability, or walk everywhere.

Check out all of the places in your area that offer free entertainment. It will be different in every city, but likely your public library can help you with this, they probably have some free entertainment and free activities themselves, as well as knowing what's going on in your town.

Make new friends with people you meet in the same situation as you. Standing in line at the food bank or checking out the library's stack of books on frugal living, you just might run into someone who's already living good while broke. If you ask, they just might share what they know with you.

Learn a new, but inexpensive hobby. Either for fun and entertainment, or as a way to have some future earnings, or both. If you always wanted to learn to crochet or sew for example, now might be a good time. You might get good enough to sell what you make. Many do.

If you own one of those huge "mega-houses", this might be a good time to sell it and buy a much more energy-efficient, smaller and easier to heat and cool house. You might consider moving to a cheaper area too. Where you live, and your choice of home, can make the difference between surviving this period of being broke, or not.

If you still have some money in savings, put some of it to good use and stock up on several months worth of food. A full pantry will ease your mind down the road when little or no money is coming in, because at least your belly will be full.

  • Try to think "out of the box." Just because you're broke, doesn't mean you have lost your ability to reason and figure out solutions to problems.
  • Stay close, or get closer, to your loved ones and friends. Now's not the time to "go it alone."
  • Learn to make do, do without, use it up, and wear it out. No more disposables or throw away products. You just can't afford that now.
  • Give something to others, whether time, energy, or something you have that they need, that you no longer use. Other people are in the same boat, and good people help each other through things.
  • It's not the end of the world if you're broke, so watch out for depression and hopeless thinking.

Beans and Rice Delicious Recipes

Baqala Polo; Rice With Beans and Dill Weed (here served with lamb) recipe from Iran

Baqala Polo Iranian Rice With Beans and Dill Weed
(This is VERY good!)

3 cups long-grain rice, well-rinsed
* 8 cups water
* 1/4 cup melted butter
* 1/8 teaspoon saffron, dissolved in 2 tbs warm water (optional)
* 1 lb frozen lima Beans
* 1/4 cup dried dill weed, or 3/4 cup fresh
* Iranian yogurt and spinach (Borani-Ye Esfenaj)
* 1 lb spinach, fresh or frozen
* 2 medium onions, peeled and thinly sliced
* 2 tablespoons oil
salt and pepper
* 1 cup plain yogurt

Directions To Prepare Iranian Rice with Beans and Dill Weed (Baqala Polo)
* Cook lima Beans until done.
* Drain.
* Set aside.
* Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
* Add rice to water.
* Boil 5-10 minutes , until rice is no longer crunchy, but still firm.
* Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
* Drain rice in colander.
* Mix Beans and dill weed with the rice.
* Put half of the melted margarine in the bottom of the rice pot.
* Put the rice back into the pot, a spoonful at a time, heaping it into a mound, not touching sides of pot.
* With a chopstick or similar tool, poke holes in the rice in several places.
* Pour the remaining melted margarine over the rice.
* Cover the underside of the pot lid with a dish towel, and put lid tightly on pot.
* Cook rice about 20 minutes over medium heat, then turn heat to low, and cook for another 30 minutes.
* The rice on the bottom of the pot should become golden and crispy.
* Soak bottom of pot in cold water for a few minutes, to loosen this.

* Put rice onto a serving platter, surrounded by chunks of crispy rice.
* Take 2/3 cup of the rice, mix it with the dissolved saffron, and sprinkle over the rest of the rice as a garnish.

* Cook spinach in lightly salted water until tender
* Drain well.
* Chop.
* Set aside.
* Heat margarine or oil in a pan.
* Add onions, and fry until golden.
* Add spinach and fry together briefly.
* Turn off heat.
* Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
* Transfer to serving bowl or dish.
* Mix in yogurt.

-Middle Eastern comfort food, made with lentils, rice, and onions.

What you need
1 Cup Lentils
1 Cup Rice
3 1/2 Cups Water
4 Onions
1 Tea­spoon Cumin
1 Tea­spoon Salt
1/2 Tea­spoon Pep­per
2 Table­spoons Veg­etable Oil
Serves 4–6

How to put it together

Slice the onions. The onions should be sliced long, so they look like a rain­bow ver­sus diced into small pieces.
Heat pot on med-high heat. Add 1 Table­spoon of Veg­etable Oil and 1/2 an onion. Cook until onion is caramelized.
Add lentils, water, salt and pep­per. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and sim­mer for 20 minutes.
After 20 min­utes, add rice and 1 Tea­spoon Cumin. Cover and sim­mer for addi­tional 20 minutes.
Heat a fry­ing pan over med-high heat. Add the remain­ing 1 Table­spoon of Veg­etable Oil and remain­ing onions. Cook until fully caramelized and blackened.
We used green lentils & yel­low onions for this dish.
We usu­ally serve our Mujadara with hum­mus & pita.

Belize Rice and Beans Recipe

Let’s start with the most Belizean of all dishes: rice-and-beans, the staple of Belize Cuisine. Although originally considered primarily a Creole dish, today it’s eaten daily by all and is simply called Belizean rice and beans. While, of course, nobody can make rice-and-beans as delicious as the grandmother of the first Belizean you ever talk to, the following is pretty much a recipe for a successful ‘beans’ as it is commonly called by weekend partygoers when they stop to purchase a plate late night in downtown Belize City from a variety of street-side sellers. Picture: Belize Beans and Rice is a variation of Rice and Beans.
Recipe for Belizean rice-and-beans derived from the original Meighans Beans recipe:
1 lb. Red Kidney Beans 2 plugs Garlic (crushed)
1 tsp. Salt
1 cup coconut Milk (either squeezed from grated coconut or bought prepared, canned, or made from powered variety)
½ tsp. Black pepper
½ tsp. Thyme
2 lbs. cleaned Rice
1 medium Onion (sliced)
6-8 cups of water
(optional) 1 small pigtail or salt beef or pieces of bacon
1. Wash the beans, then soak beans for 4 hours, using the 6-8 cups of water. If you are using distilled water, then soaked beans only needs 2 hours to soften.
2. Boil beans until tender, with the garlic, onion and pig’s tail/or salted beef or bacon pieces. Note: pre-wash the pigtail or salt beef and cut off excess fat. You can use a pressure cooker to cut down on the time.
3. Season beans with black pepper, thyme and salt. Note: You may opt not to add the salt if you used salt beef or pigtail above.
4. Add coconut milk. Stir and then let boil.
5. Add rice to seasoned beans. Stir, then cover. Cook on low heat until the water is absorbed and rice is tender. If necessary, add more water gradually until rice is tender. Note: Usually, one cup of rice absorbs two cups of water, although rice grains can vary in the amount of water they absorb. To warm up leftover rice-and-beans, you can sprinkle with water to re-moisten.
Belize Rice-and-beans, with its several accompaniments, can be found on most restaurants’ menus. A variation is rice-and-peas (made with black-eyed peas instead of with red kidney beans).
And a sister dish, but definitely different, is beans-and-rice, which is the stewed beans served with white rice (not cooked together like its sister dish) and also served with either potato salad or cole slaw, plantain, and your choice of meat or fish.
You might also want to check out our related Belize Tilapia Fried Fish Recipe Page.
One of its distinctive ingredients, coconut milk, is also a main ingredient in several other Belizean dishes. One of these is seré, which is a delectable dish, usually made with fish, swimming in a seasoned coconut milk sauce laced with okra and ground foods like cassava and cocoa. The sere is eaten with grated green plantain or often with white rice.
-from, Belize recipes.

And here are some other great foods made with legumes and rice from around the world:
from India a delicious breakfast pancake made from rice and lentils

Mexican beans and rice

Spiced mung beans and rice, again from India

 red beans and rice from the American South