Philanthropy and Doing Good


Help Bring the McDonald Observatory’s Struve Telescope Model Home to Texas

The McDonald Observatory is a Texas landmark that evokes emotion in all who see it. To me, the bright white telescope domes nestled in the Davis Mountains represent inspiration, education, and — perhaps most importantly — exploration. An Indigogo campaign has been launched to celebrate the Observatory’s 75th anniversary; here is how you can be a part of it all.



The Peace App Brings Serenity to Your iOS Device

In my kids’ doctor’s office, they have one section of the waiting room that has relaxing music, peaceful images on a flat panel TV, filtered air, and a small waterfall. Depending on my day to that point, I find the area either relaxing or snoozy. That is one element of ‘The Peace App’, and it’s for a good cause. Type of app: Simulation game Platform/where to buy: iPad; available in the iTunes App Store Developer: Minerva Endeavors, inc Description: The Island: Castaway 2 has loads of content, including: – A huge, colorful island to explore – Over 300 intriguing quests…


Pack for a Purpose when You Travel in 2013

This may look like bags of garbage but it is anything but that. No, this collection of bags is filled with dozens upon dozens of pounds of medical and school supplies. We brought these items with us when I led a mission to Cuba in October. Each of us was required to bring 15 pounds of “aid goods” as the means of getting into Cuba. My community being who they are, however, ended up bringing far more than that. All of the items were shared with organizations that help seniors and kids alike. It was a great way to turn…


How We Can Help the Victims of Hurricane Sandy

We knew for at least a few days before Hurricane Sandy hit that it was going to be bad, but knowing something will be bad and living through it are two completely different things. On October 29th, at about 8pm ET, Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the southern coast of New Jersey. Before hitting the shore, Sandy had already whipped and bruised a wide swatch of communities with brutal rains and winds as far away as Ohio. It wasn’t enough that people were holed up suffering from the effects of a late August style hurricane, they also had to deal…


Final Reminder to Support Dan on Zinio and Help Foundation Beyond Belief Charity!

As you might have read here, Dan is entered into the ‘Biggest Influencer’ contest at Zinio. Each day (well, 24 hour period) you can enter a new vote at Zinio and help him win the vote and by doing so gain a $2500 donation to the Foundation Beyond Belief Charity! Great cause, great way to help out – and all you need to do is click a link! And now we are into the final week – so this is a reminder to hop on to Zinio every day this week and support Dan! Here are his details: Here Is…


Random Cool Video: The Mike is a Mensch Edition

Mensch (Yiddish: ????? mentsh, from German: Mensch “human being”) means “a person of integrity and honor”. The key to being ‘a real mensch’ is nothing less than character, rectitude, dignity, a sense of what is right, responsible, decorous.” You know Mike as the gamer, prolific poster, pot-stirring editor here on Gear Diary. He is all that but, as this news clip that includes Mike and family shows, there’s yet another dimension to him. We hope everyone had a great holiday weekend with family and friends. We also hope you had a chance to do some good in the world. After all, that’s…


A Reminder at Thanksgiving to Help Those in Need in YOUR Town!

I have to admit that it took a while for me to support the United Way. Back in Massachusetts we had a wonderful local group that my wife and I supported, and at work they transitioned from local charities to the United Way as the company that bought out the former ‘family business’ (with >700 employees) … and subsequently came to yell at us for making him look bad by not signing up for the United Way – something he remedied by removing the local choices … which meant simply didn’t sign up and kept my money local. And yes,…


Does Holiday Food Waste Bother You?

photo courtesy of The New York Times via Green Options  When I was a kid, if I didn’t eat enough I was told that should think about all of the “starving children around the world” and clean my plate. Granted, my feelings at the time were along the lines of how happy I would be to box up my leftovers and ship them off, but my parents did have a point. Just because we live in a country where food is more readily available than in other parts of the world does not give us license to waste it; it’s…


Child’s Play Starts 2011 Fundraising Drive

The Child’s Play Charity has raised millions of dollars and collected loads of toys for kids in hospitals all over the world. What started as a small effort by gamers headed by the Penny-Arcade guys has grown to a massive charitable effort with huge reach! Here is a bit of their history: Since 2003, we’ve set up and organized Child’s Play, a game industry charity dedicated to improving the lives of children with toys and games in our network of over 70 hospitals worldwide. Over the years, you as a community have answered the call and come together to raise…


Music Diary Notes: NYC Concert to Support Japan

This year seems to be filled with more than its share of tragedy, making it is too easy to forget how difficult rebuilding is for those impacted by devastating events a couple of months later. Fortunately the Consulate Generals of Germany and Japan have teamed up to sponsor a concert to benefit the people of Japan. Featured in the concert is Ayako Shirasaki, whose most recent recording I reviewed here. Here is some info: The Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Consulate General of Japan invite you to a concert for the victims of the Great…


How You Can Help Tornado Victims in Missouri!

The pictures coming out of Joplin, Missouri are horrific. It’s awful to see what the tornado has done to people’s homes and lives. But thanks to the power of the internet, there is something you can do! In fact, there’s a few ways you can help. One, a consortium of bloggers is working to raise money for the people of Joplin through Paypal, and it’s an easy way to help even if you’re far away. Bloggers without Borders (BwoB) is a blogger-based charity whose mission is to help people—bloggers and readers alike—by harnessing the good will of the blogging community….


“Blogger Baby Shower” Helps Families Hit by Tornadoes

(image courtesy Meals and Miles) One of the great things about how fast news travels is how quickly people mobilize to help in times of need. There was a huge outpouring of news and support when the tornadoes devastated parts of the south, but just because they’re out of the news cycle doesn’t mean you can’t still help! Several blogs have banded together to assist families with young kids whose lives have been impacted by the storms. Rather than ask you to donate cash, or schlep down to the post office to mail something, they’re making it super easy with…


Apple Employees and the Trevor Project Send the Message that “It Gets Better”

This past fall a student at Rutgers University here in New Jersey walked up on a bridge and proceeded to jump off. He had been outed as a homosexual by a cruel prank that put his sharing affection with another male student up on the web. He was humiliated. Things were so bad that he could not see a time when things would be better. He was wrong, they would have been, but his field of vision had become so narrow that all he wanted was to stop the pain in that moment. So he jumped off the bridge. That…


Ways to Help Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Victims: Jawbone & John Zorn Relief Efforts

Everyone shares the pain and difficulty of the people of Japan dealing with the horrible tragedy, and many of us look for ways to help out in whatever way possible. Judie wrote about some ways to help, I mentioned some here and here and here and here, and more ideas keep pouring in every day! Here are a couple more of the latest! First off, Jawbone – whose Icon bluetooth headset I use every day – is providing $50 for every Red Dot JAMBOX bought between now and April 15th. But you need to purchase it on Jawbone.com for the…


The 2011 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami: How You Can Help

all photos courtesy of mlive.com unless otherwise noted This morning many of us awoke to news of the 8.9-magnitude earthquake that had struck Japan’s northeast coast at 2:46:23 p.m., their local time. Aftershocks, tsunamis, fires, mudslides, flooding and other resulting disasters have been (and are still being) reported nonstop today from locations affected, including our own west coast. When massive disasters occur, I think that people’s first reaction is generally to look at what’s happened, reeling as feelings of shock and awe threaten to overwhelm. But now that we’ve had a moment to take it all in, and as we…


Philanthroper Offers a New Twist on Giving

There is an old story about an illiterate man who was walking along when he saw a rock with a perfect hole drilled right through it. Amazed, the man stopped and looked a bit closer. Upon examination he realized that every few minutes a drop of water fell from the top of a cliff far above and landed on the exact spot where the hole was. It was then that he realized what had happened. One drop of water had little impact on something as hard as the rock, but one drop of water, followed by another and then by…