Are People in Your Neighborhood Going Hungry?

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43 million Americans are going hungry. Can you tell who in your neighborhood is going without food? 1 in every 8 people you pass by on the street could be missing meals.

The latest statistics on hunger from Feeding America tell us:

  • 1 in 8 Americans go hungry every day.
  • 1 in 6 children in the United States don’t have enough to eat.
  • 1 in 12 seniors in the U.S. struggle to access enough food.

Feeding America provides an interactive map of food insecurity in the United States. Check out your district to see how you compare to others. Is your neighborhood hungry? What can you to do change that? How can we make this better?

food-insecurity-map

Easy Ways to Make a Difference for Hunger

Donate Food. Find a local food bank that’s collecting food. Check their website or call and ask what food items they need, but them and deliver them to the food bank. Make sure to check their hours for accepting donations.

Start a Food Drive. Move for Hunger has great information on how to set up a food drive in your area. Check out their tops, find a great location and get your community involved.

Fundraise. Create an online fundraiser and get others involved in raising money for charities solving hunger issues. You can set one up in minutes on JustGive and post your appeal on social media to get your friends and family involved. When someone asks what’s on your holiday gift list, tell them gifts of charity for the hungry would mean the most to you.

Volunteer. Find a local food banks, soup kitchen or rescue mission serving meals and collecting food.  Find a few and call around to see who can use the help and set up a time to go. Their need is ongoing; offer to help as often as you can.

Give.  There are a lot of nonprofits doing great work to fight hunger, and your donation gives them the ability to do more. It doesn’t take much to make a big impact. We have a short list of recommended hunger charities on the JustGive site, and here are a few examples of what your gift can do:

Let’s take action today and do something for the more than 43 million Americans who don’t have enough food to eat . . . so no one goes hungry.

 

YEAR IN REVIEW: A LOOK BACK AT 2014

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

Thanks to your giving and support, JustGive expanded philanthropy and sent more than $30 million to charity in 2014!

We passed a major milestone in May, processing our 1 millionth donation, and are proud that 24 percent of giving came from 2013 donors returning to use the site. We also saw charity gift card purchases grow by 9 percent. To be more accessible and expand our services, we launched our mobile responsive site and added the ability for companies to independently buy a quantity of gift cards.

Here’s a glimpse of our impact—and what we accomplished together—this year.

We’re charging into 2015 eager to do more good, fulfilling our mission to make charitable giving a part of everyday life. Here’s to making more of a difference!

Help us kick off the year in the best way possible: Set up an automatic monthly donation to your favorite charities today.

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Thank you for giving.

—Andrea Lloyd, Director of Programs

THE MANY FACES OF HOMELESSNESS: HOW YOU CAN HELP

blog_title_image_homelessnessKnowing how to help a homeless person can sometimes feel difficult, confusing and overwhelming. The dollar you give might be used to buy drugs or alcohol. Even offering food can be a problem – imagine handing an apple to a homeless man and then discovering he has no teeth. Just as there are many reasons people become homeless, there are also many ways to help. Understanding the leading causes of homelessness is often the best way to learn what the homeless need and how you can make a positive difference in their lives. The chronically homeless, who often struggle with mental health or substance abuse issues, need a safe and stable living environment where they can get counseling and health care. To help them, consider volunteering at a local shelter or halfway house that provides longer-term housing. Donating clean towels, pillows and blankets can also help create a comfortable and safe living environment. The majority of homeless youth bw_homeless_teens_21461332have been kicked out of their homes or abandoned by parents or guardians. Others who left on their own accord have suffered physical and emotional abuse at the hands of their families. For many, trusting another adult or authority figure can be difficult. One of the best ways to help is to simply ask them what they need. Maybe it’s a hot meal, a warm coat or a clean pair of socks; or maybe it’s information on how to get into foster care, enroll in a drug and alcohol detox program or register for the GED. Taking the time to listen to their needs, and to follow through, can go a long way in helping them regain their trust in others and get off the streets. imm needs housing homelessFor many veterans, physical disability, mental anguish and post-traumatic stress can make readjusting to civilian life very difficult. This can lead to drug and alcohol addiction, the inability to hold down a steady job and homelessness. Because many veterans have very specific needs to help them get back on their feet—job placement services, medical services, housing assistance, counseling—there are numerous ways to get involved. Consider donating your time or money to organizations which help homeless vets:

While we need to address the problem of homelessness as a whole, the more we can understand each person’s individual circumstances, the more we can help. Before making assumptions or judgments, take the time to ask some questions and do a little research. It can make all the difference. The Face(s) of Homelessness

  • Number of homeless in the United States: 610,042
  • Number of chronic homeless: 109,132 (18%)
  • Number of homeless youth under 18: 380,000
  • Number of homeless veterans: 57,849 (9%)

For more charities helping the homeless with shelter, counseling services and job training.

-Amelia Glynn, Marketing Contractor

Hunger and Food Justice: Community Building for Food Equality

Hunger: it’s a daunting problem the world over. Even though I was eager to research and write on this topic, when I started to dig into it, I got more and more overwhelmed with how broad and profound the issue … Continue reading

One Million Donations and Counting!

blog_title_image_millionWe reached a major milestone in the history of JustGive last week when we processed the one-millionth donation on our website.

Who was behind this auspicious donation? His name is Al Danish, and he hails from Glen Mills, Pennsylvania.

Al made his donation to PathWays PA, a nonprofit dedicated to helping to keep low-income, vulnerable women together with their children by offering programs and services that help families stabilize their lives.

“If my donation can help in a small way, then that makes me feel good,” Al said about helping PathWays.

Al said his role as a grandfather of two makes PathWays’ mission even more relevant to him. “I liked the idea of making a donation for something specific like a case of diapers for a baby,” Al said.

Pathways PA is also a JustGive nonprofit affiliate. Since 2008, they’ve used our nonprofit services to accept donations through their website.

With just a few clicks, PathWays created a customized donation page, allowing their donors to select from a list of suggested gifts like $25 to “provide basic toiletries to a mom in need,” or to enter in any desired donation amount.

“JustGive is a wonderful avenue for our online donors to give in a quick and easy way,” said Fran Franchi, Director of Development for PathWays. “We are so grateful for supporters like Al Danish. Thank you, Al for your continued support of PathWays PA’s mission and congratulations on being the one-millionth donor.”

Al was gracious about his 15 minutes of online donor fame when we first shared the news, saying, “You made me feel very good about helping out with a donation.”

JustGive was one of the first nonprofit organizations to channel the power of the Internet for online giving. Since 2000, we have sent more than $400 million to over 70,000 charities working throughout the world—and every day, we are inspired by donors like Al Danish to create new ways for people to find, learn about, and support virtually any charity, anytime.

Thank you to Al and PathWays PA for helping us reach this important milestone!

 

—Sarah Bacon, Director of Product

Change the World: Educate and Empower Girls

Change the World: Educate and Empower Girls

As the mother to a little girl, I find myself deeply concerned by the amount of pink in the girls’ toy aisle. I don’t like the message about “ideal” body type Barbie sends my daughter and her friends. And I’m disturbed that in the United States, there’s still a gender gap in earnings, with women making approximately 19% less than their male counterparts. None of these issues should be taken lightly—we have a lot of work to do.

In the United States, though, we should consider ourselves lucky that our problems of inequality are about equal pay for equal work. We are privileged that our worries focus on things like “all of these female dolls are blonde.” That’s not to say these issues aren’t important; but they pale in comparison to the obstacles girls face in developing countries, where their reality is bleak:

Poverty

  • Women and girls make up half the world’s population, yet represent 70% of the world’s poor.
  • Girls are three times more likely to be malnourished than boys.
  • Women make up 70% of the world’s working hours and earn only 10% of the world’s income—half of what men earn.

LEARN MORE: Read Is Empowering Women the answer to ending poverty?
Statistics Source: Girl Rising, Because I am a Girl

Child Marriage

  • Over the next decade, 142 million girls are expected to marry before they turn 18.
  • Child marriage is most common between the ages of 12 and16, but can occur in girls as young as 3-4 years old.

LEARN MORE: Watch The Bride Price: Consequences of Child Marriage Worldwide
Statistics Source: The Bride Price

Education

  • 67 million children worldwide don’t go to school. Over half are girls.
  • 60% of children interviewed in India agreed that if resources are scarce, it’s better to educate a boy than a girl.
  • $92 billion is the estimated economic loss for countries that do not educate girls to the same level as boys.

LEARN MORE: Watch Girl Rising Documentary
Statistics Source: Because I am a Girl

We can view these statistics with personal empathy—by picturing the faces of the girls who want, more than anything, to learn. Our hearts can ache for child brides. Thinking about girls growing up in these conditions is enough to compel most of us to take action.

But we can also view this issue from the perspective of logic and practicality. If our vision for the world is that of peace, human rights, and affluence, we should start by educating girls.

Research shows that educating girls can have an enormous impact not only on individuals, but also for local communities and the global economy:

  • One extra year of school boosts a girl’s future wages by 10-20%.
  • If 10% more girls are educated, a country’s GDP increases by as much as 3%.
  • Knowledge and skills learned at school are passed onto her parents and the community.
  • Education drastically reduces child marriage. On average, a girl with 7 years of education will marry 4 years later and have 2.2 fewer children.
  • A girl who completes basic education is three times less likely to contract HIV.

Statistics Source: Girl RisingBecause I am a Girl

From these statistics, it’s easy to see the value of educating girls. But when you think of how many women and girls live in developing countries, figuring out how to help might feel a little overwhelming.

How to Help

Making a difference is easier than you think. Charities are working all around the globe, making huge strides. Here are just a few small ways you can help them change the world:

  1. $20: Give a laptop to a child in Lesotho, Africa through Laptops to Lesotho
  2. $30: Buy a school uniform through 10×10 Fund
  3. $50: Pay school fees for one girl, for one year through 10×10 Fund
  4. $50: Provide an African student with a uniform and mosquito net through Maranyundo

Or donate more if you can:

Women around the world face enormous barriers, simply for being born female. Help remove their obstacles, and give girls in other countries equal access to education. It doesn’t take a lot to make a huge difference.

—Sara Olsher, Marketing Manager

Four ways to feed the hungry

Thanksgiving Skype

Each Thanksgivingmy family makes it a priority to have dinner together. Even when I was living abroad for my first holiday away from home, my dad booted up Skype so that I could join in the festivities virtually. For us, it’s not just the meal that’s important. It’s taking time off of work, turning off our cell phones, and coming together in one place. We start by going around the table and saying what we are most grateful for. It is never difficult to think of or name our blessings—the most obvious of which is the food in front of us. It gives us a way to celebrate while satisfying our basic human need.

At Thanksgiving, more than any other time, it’s obvious there is enough food to go around. (And around and around.) While our own family’s table bursts at the seam with turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie, I know there are many in my own backyard of San Francisco going to sleep hungry and cold. And the number of homeless and hungry families is only growing with unemployment at a staggering 9.1 percent. That’s nearly 14 million Americans.

This Thanksgiving season, my appeal is simple. Fill someone else’s belly.

  1. Give – Donate to organizations that feed the hungry every day.
  2. Volunteer – Make it part of your family tradition to visit a soup kitchen or shelter or help out at a food bank, and combine spending time together with doing something meaningful.
  3. Share your meal – If you know a family that is struggling, invite them to join yours for dinner or stop by their home with leftovers. (Your church or a nearby school may know of a family if you don’t.)
  4. Click on The Hunger SiteBookmark the page, click daily, and sponsors pay for food.

However you choose to contribute, make it last. Volunteer throughout the year or consider making your donation monthly recurring. In these tough times, it’s no secret that hunger is an everyday problem for many.

>>Like us on Facebook for more tips and ideas on how you can give back during the holidays.
>>Visit JustGive for tips on Other Ways to Give.


— Michelle Koffler, Marketing Coordinator

Home for the Holidays

Thankfully most of us will never know what it’s like to spend a night in our car, find shelter in a park, or not know where we will get our next meal. We identify homelessness with strangers—the man on the street corner asking for change, or the mom and child trying to find shelter to escape violence.

With home foreclosures at a record high, it’s no surprise nonprofits are expecting longer lines for their shelters this winter. Nighttime temperatures are dropping below freezing throughout the country right now, and obtaining a dry, warm place to sleep is necessary for survival.

In 2007, the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty estimated 3.5 million people—1.35 million of them children—are likely to experience homelessness in a given year. According to Housing and Urban Development, last year, 1 in every 200 people spent at least one night in a homeless facility. The San Francisco Homeless Services Coalition (a branch of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Coalition) estimates there are currently 35,000 homeless in the Bay Area: thirty percent are families with children, and more than half sleep on the streets at night.

Overwhelmed? JustGive makes it easy to give a little and make a big difference.

The problem of homelessness can seem too big, too far from our homes. So how can you personally make a difference? By donating as little as $10, you provide a safe place to stay, a warm meal for empty stomachs, and dignity and hope for a better future.

Here are several charities in my backyard that are helping the homeless:

· San Francisco Interfaith Council is a network of faith-based organizations “committed to the principles of human dignity.” For the past 19 years, the council has provided shelter and hot meals for the homeless in San Francisco. This year, cold weather shelters will be open from November 23 through February 28.

· The Oakland Army Base provides temporary winter shelter and hot meals for homeless in Alameda County from November through March. The Oakland Army Base Workforce Development Collaborative supplies housing, food, employment, and healthcare to low income residents and the homeless year-round.

· Glide provides three hot meals to the city’s hungry everyday—750,000 meals per year. For some who come to eat, Glide may be the only safe and welcoming environment they experience in a day’s time. In a recent interview for the San Francisco Chronicle, nonprofit leaders state that drastic increases in the need for food and shelter, combined with cuts in funding, are creating “a crisis in the emergency homeless services system.”

How can I help my local charity provide shelter from the cold and a hot meal to families in need this winter?

Search JustGive’s database of nearly 1.5 million charities and find shelters in your city or zip code that would benefit from your donation. Donate to a local charity you know and make a difference for those who otherwise would go without a roof over their heads and food.

Bringing it Home

Know someone having a house warming party? Going home for the Thanksgiving and don’t know what to bring? Make a donation in a friend or family member’s name to an organization that provides help and hope for those without homes. Don’t know what charity to choose? Buy a GiveNow Card and let them select from nearly 1.5 million organizations that make a difference.

Want to spread the word? Tell a friend.

Blog Action Day: Food For Change

JustGive is proud to be part of Blog Action Day 2008.

One issue. One Day. Thousands of voices for change.

Hunger is one of the most direct and widespread effect of poverty. As household budgets are stretched and food prices skyrocket, too many families are forced to choose between putting a roof over their head or food on the table. Recent estimates suggest nearly 35 million Americans, including 12.6 million children, struggle to get enough to eat. Worldwide, someone dies of hunger every 3.6 seconds. Three-fourths of these deaths are children under the age of 5.

October 16th is World Food Day

JustGive makes it easy to support charities providing food for those who need it:

– Search the list of U.S. and global organizations fighting hunger and poverty in the JustGive Guide

– Think globally, give locally. Enter your city’s name and keyword “food bank” to find local organizations that provide meals to struggling families, veterans, and senior citizens.

What does your money buy?

– Every dollar donated to Feeding America provides 20 pounds of food.

– For $15, the World Food Programme can feed 60 school children one hot meal.

– For $24, the Children’s Hunger Fund can supply food for 5 people.

– With $35, Share Our Strength can feed a child 3 meals a day for more than a month. With $100, they can provide 25 bags of food for families relying on food banks.

– For $75, Action Against Hunger can supply a family of four with grains and other food staples for two weeks.

Big Companies Give Big

During the past month Weight Watchers has matched every pound lost by their participants with the equivalent of a pound of food, donated to those who need it around the world (up to $1 million dollars).

The KFC Corporation promised to donate $20,000 to the UN World Food Programme if a participant at the October 7th presidential debate mentioned global hunger issues. No one did. Thankfully, KFC will be donating the money anyway.

Want to get more involved?

Read 88 Ways to DO Something About Poverty Right Now.

Spread the word. Tell a friend.