Donate $1 to a New Charity Every Day Via Website

A site called Philanthroper takes a new approach to online giving. It lists a new charity every day, and ensures that 99 percent of the money you donate gets to that charity, rather than getting skimmed by processing fees and commissions. But there’s a catch: You can only give $1 per day.

It’s a cool idea if you think about it, this $1-per-day donation. Whenever I go to my local grocery store I’m asked to add a dollar to fight breast cancer or leukemia, and you bet I say yes. It’s just a dollar. Philanthroper operates on the same principle: Limit yourself to giving “only” a dollar, and you’ll ultimately give more overall – without feeling the sting. Besides, since there’s a new charity featured on the site every day (except Sunday), you can learn about many worthy causes as you participate.

The founders of Philanthroper, likening the service to a Nike Plus for giving, also provide a stats page for you to track your giving. You can see what categories have benefitted from your dollars, what causes you’ve championed and, yes, what opportunities for micro-philanthropy you might have missed.

The George Washingtons are handed over via a pay-processing service called mPayy, which only takes a penny each time, a rate that’s unprecedentedly low, according to the charity site. Philanthroper itself won’t take any money from donations. They are self-funded at the start, with the intention of eventually covering their own costs (and making money) from ad revenue. It’s the “less profitable but far more honest solution,” according to the site’s FAQ. And don’t worry about losing track come tax time. Every donation is tax deductible, and every charity’s credentials are linked from the site for easy verification.

The site launched on January 24th, 2011 and hopes to gather steam in the coming weeks, applying the usual Facebook and Twitter buttons for maximum peer pressurizing. What if you still want to give more than a dollar? Philanthroper provides all of the information for you to make a larger donation directly to the charity.

Source: www.


Man Invites Suicide Jumpers for a Cup of Tea

Don Ritchie moved to a house outside Sydney, Australia, for the clifftop view. But soon he was stopping suicides by inviting potential jumpers inside for a cup of tea.

Don Ritchie has been awarded a medal for bravery and an Order of Australia (the nation’s second highest honor) for averting hundreds of would-be suicides by approaching people and offering them a cup of tea. ‘I used to sell kitchen scales and bacon cutters,’ he says. Now, ‘I’m trying to sell people life.’

Don Ritchie bought his house for the beautiful views it affords of Sydney Harbor and “the Gap,” the tall sandstone cliffs that guard the harbor mouth. Rather than simply admiring those views, though, he has spent the past 40 or so years persuading tortured souls not to jump to their deaths.

When he moved to the spot with his with his wife, Mr. Ritchie was aware of the Gap’s reputation as Australia’s most notorious suicide spot. But he didn’t think much about it. Almost from Day 1, though, he found himself keeping an eye on the rugged cliff tops. Since then, he has coaxed hundreds of people back from the brink: the desperate, the depressed, and the mentally disturbed.

To some, he’s the “Angel of the Gap.” It’s an accolade that makes him smile with embarrassment. “Now I’m an old angel,” he says during an interview at his home. Through the picture window in their living room, he has a bird’s-eye view of the cliffs, which attract a steady flow of tourists and joggers. If he sees someone lingering a little too long, he crosses the road and offers them a cup of tea.

Over the years, many have followed him home. The self-effacing former salesman shrugs when you ask him why he does what he does. “I’m just trying to save a life,” he says. Over the decades, Ritchie says, many of the faces of the people he’s saved have blurred. But some he still remembers clearly, such as the woman he spotted from his bedroom window early one morning, sitting right on the cliff’s edge. “I quickly got dressed and went over,” he recalls. “I said to her: ‘Why don’t you come over and have a cup of tea?’ She came with me, and Moya made her breakfast. When she got home, she rang to say she was feeling much better. Two or three months later, she walked up the garden path with a magnum of French champagne.”

Dawn O’Neil, chief executive of Lifeline Australia, a counseling service for the suicidal and depressed, says the intervention of someone like Ritchie can be crucial when people are considering killing themselves. “We know from research around the world that most people who are suicidal are ambivalent about dying,” she says. “Most don’t want to die; they just want to end their pain. So there’s a hesitation, and anyone or anything that can distract them, or assist them to get help, can save their lives.”

Those who describe Don say that he has a charisma about him. “He makes people feel safe, secure, and calm…He is one special man.”


Cancer Survivor Designs Hospital Gowns with a Difference

Although many doctors and nurses now have the option of wearing scrubs in all sorts of fun patterns and colors, hospital gowns haven’t benefited from any sort of fashion update. Although many patients grumble at wearing these flimsy excuses for clothing, one New Jersey woman got so angry that she decided to make a hospital gown she could wear with dignity.

It all started when Brenda Jones was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2008. She’s the first to tell you she was mad as hell – and the fact that, come January, she was expected to do radiation five times a week in a flimsy, unflattering hospital gown just made her angrier. “I wanted some control over cancer,” Jones told AOL News. “I was freezing and I wanted to wear something that didn’t make me feel like a patient.”

The answer, it seemed, was to create a better hospital gown that didn’t just cover her body, but also helped her recover her self-respect. In order to stitch her life back together, she first had to learn to sew. “Looking back, the anger forced me to learn to sew,” she said. “There’s no question how much that influenced me…I spent three eight-hour days learning, but it was kind of a fun thing,” she said. “It kept my hands and mind busy…It was better than screaming and yelling,” she said. “I just felt like I was slapping the face of the hospital.”

Finally, Jones finished her own personalized hospital gown, something she called a Hug Wrap. The prototype was a kimono-style gown made from flannel that she picked out at Wal-Mart (“a bright, bold pattern,” she said). She made the sleeves longer for warmth and comfort, and she made it shorter than traditional gowns so she could leave her pants on during her radiation treatments.

She was surprised at the effect making the gown had on her. “It never occurred to me it would help, but it made me a better patient,” she said. Jones was also surprised at the reaction from other cancer patients when she walked in the first day of her seven weeks of radiation treatment. “People were asking me, ‘Where did you get that?'” she said. “A woman I knew who was going through radiation at the same time really loved it. I told her, ‘What’s the fuss? I’ll make you one.'” She did just that. Her Hug Wraps got a great reaction not only from fellow patients but from the doctors and nurses who treated her. In fact, she came out of her treatment with a calling: to make her Hug Wraps, which she jokes are “louder than cancer.”

“I’ve made more than 400 so far, most of which I gave away, but now I want to turn it into a nonprofit company,” Jones said. She accepts donations to make them – $50, plus shipping, is the suggested amount, but once she gets official 501 CB status (“They tell me any day now!” she said, fingers crossed), she hopes she can get grants and sponsorships to help bring down the cost.
Most of her patients are women, but she is also making versions for men. Jones realizes that she will never get over the fear of a recurrence of breast cancer, but she has seen the disease, or at least her reaction to it, as a positive experience.


20 Industries Where Jobs Are Coming Back

If you’ve been paying close attention to the economy and you’re inclined to look on the bright side, well, finally there is one. As President Obama has been eager to point out, the private sector has been adding jobs for several months in a row. It’s still way too early to declare the return of prosperity, but the good news is finally starting to outweigh the bad. Economists hope that a virtuous cycle will soon replace a culture of gloom: Gradual hiring eventually makes consumers more optimistic, and as they spend more, business confidence grows as well.

Everybody wants to know where the jobs are, of course, so data has been analyzed from the Department of Labor on employment levels in dozens of industries over the last three years. Here are 20 fields where jobs are starting to return:

Admin and Support – Jobs gained in 2010: 286,000

Employment Services – Jobs gained in 2010: 262,000

Healthcare – Jobs gained in 2010: 204,000

Restaurants – Jobs gained in 2010: 143,000

Retail – Jobs gained in 2010: 128,000

Mining – Jobs gained in 2010: 79,000

Religious and Nonprofit Groups – Jobs gained in 2010: 56,000

Salespeople and Customer-Service Reps. – Jobs gained in 2010: 36,000

Computer Systems Design – Jobs gained in 2010: 43,000

Transit and Ground Transportation – Jobs gained in 2010: 20,000

Hotels – Jobs gained in 2010: 27,000

Federal Government – Jobs gained in 2010: 19,000

Management – Jobs gained in 2010: 16,000

Performing Arts and Recreation – Jobs gained in 2010: 24,000

Warehousing – Jobs gained in 2010: 12,000

Oil and Gas Extraction – Jobs gained in 2010: 11,000

Rail Transportation – Jobs gained in 2010: 9,000

Waste Management – Jobs gained in 2010: 8,000

Web Portals and Internet Publishing – Jobs gained in 2010: 6,000

Management and Technical Consulting – Jobs gained in 2010: 2,000


9 Species that Returned from Extinction in 2010

Actually declaring a species extinct is a long and laborious process that requires evidence beyond a reasonable doubt the plant or animal has disappeared from the face of the earth. The difficulty of this process is highlighted by the fact that only 875 extinctions have been officially documented since 1500. A few of those 875 have made miraculous reappearances.

Photo credit: Keith Slausen/US Forest Service. According to some estimates, a species is lost every 20 minutes.

1. Sierra Nevada Red Fox: One such species was the Sierra Nevada red fox. It was thought extinct until U.S. Forest Service biologists captured photos of the fox with a camera trap in 2010. Researchers also took DNA samples of saliva pulled from a bait bag the fox bit into to experts at the University of California, Davis. Lab tests proved that the Sierra Nevada red fox was back.

2. Giant Palouse Earthworm

3. Horton Plains Slender Loris: After it had disappeared from 1939 to 2002, conservationists thought this little mammal was extinct. But the Horton Plains slender loris, photographed for the first time in 2010 by the Zoological Society of London’s EDGE project, had indeed survived. There have only been four documented sightings of the small, reclusive primate since 1937.

4. Ghost Orchid: The ghost orchid, a rare plant named for its almost transparent flowers and habit of hiding underground for years, has been found again in the UK after being declared extinct there in 2005. The small flower does not rely on photosynthesis for sustenance and instead lives in symbiosis with an underground fungus that supplies nutrients. This allows the plant to survive underground for years without blooming.

5. Black Kokanee Salmon: In 1940, a hydroelectric dam was constructed in northern Akita Prefecture, Japan. The project, it was known at the time, would destroy the only native habitat of the black kokanee salmon by making the waters too acidic for the fish to survive. Still, developers went ahead with their plans. 70 years later, a small population of the extremely rare fish was discovered in nearby Saiko Lake.

6. Gray Whale

7. Yellow Spotted Bell Frog

8. Short Tailed Albatross: In just a few short decades, the short tailed albatross declined from a population of millions, at the beginning of the 20th century, to suspected extinction in the 1940s. Years later, small nesting populations were found on remote islands in the Pacific.

9. Rosser’s Sac Spider


Teen Births Hit All-Time Low

The U.S. teen birth rate hit an all-time low in 2009 — a decline that stunned experts say is partly because of the economy. The birth rate for teenagers fell to 39 births per 1,000 girls, ages 15 through 19, according to a government report released Tuesday. It was a 6 percent decline from the previous year, and the lowest rate since health officials started tracking the data in 1940.

Some believe popular culture has played an important role. The issue of teen pregnancy got a lot of attention through Bristol Palin, the unmarried pregnant daughter of former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Teen pregnancy is also cast in a harsh light by “Sixteen and Pregnant,” a popular MTV reality show which first aired in 2009 and chronicles the difficulties teen moms face.

Also, health officials and advocates may deserve some credit. For decades, they and others have been emphasizing the hazards of teen pregnancy, including higher high school dropout rates among the mothers and higher odds for health and other problems for their children. The cumulative effect of public health campaigns may have played an important role in pushing down the teen birth rate.

We’re still grateful for the teen-moms who have had the courage to raise some of us, but it’s nice to know that more young girls are getting the chance to finish their education and are taking the time to consider parenthood.