Friday, June 27, 2008

Goodbye Google, it was good while it lasted...

Well, I suppose I should also thank Google, because without her (him?) I never would have found GoodSearch! It's things like this that are the exact reason why I started this blog. There are so many cool things out there just waiting to be discovered. And when I discover them, I want to share them with anyone who cares to listen! I stumbled across GoodSearch today purely on accident. Uhh, I guess stumbling kind of implies an accident doesn't it? I mean, who stumbles on purpose? Anyways - this site is so cool you are all going to want to head over there right away (after finishing reading this of course!) and sign yourself up.

So, a little about GoodSearch. It's a search engine, just like Google,, etc. Just another search engine? Heck No!! Would I even be wasting your time if it was just another old search engine? No I wouldn't, I'm not like that, thankyouverymuch! So what makes it so spectacular? Are you ready? Ok...what is so totally rad (did I really just use the word rad?) is that every time you enter something into GoodSearch's search engine, money is donated to the non-profit of your choice. Seriously. Don't believe me? Go check it out. There are thousands of organizations on there to choose from - even Greg Mortenson's (see my last post) and if there's a non-profit you don't see you can ask for it to be added. Come on, really, how cool is that? You're reading this blog right now, so I know you use the internet...why not put your internet usage to do good? Could it be any easier?

Edit: Ok, after a bit more snooping around on their site, I learned you can do even more good just by shopping at some of your favorite online retailers like Amazon, iTunes, ebay, Target, and hundreds more! No kidding...check GoodShop!

Get Smart(er)

...and help end world hunger at the same time. A friend sent me this site a while ago and I have to admit, I try to sneak it in every day. It's a bit addicting - so if you're at work, are running late for a meeting, or have something boiling on the stove - be warned! On the other hand, if you want to test your word smarts and do good at the same time, definitely check out It's so simple, and even if you aren't a word smith with a vocab level of 48 (the highest on this site), you can feel good knowing you are helping feed those that otherwise would be hungry.

As I research and learn more about the Millennium Development Goals (MDG's) and ways we, as individuals, can help, I realize how many "easy" ways, like playing a vocab game, there are for average Joe's like you and me. So, while I may not be a big non-profit, or a philanthropist who's able to write big checks, I can do my part by trying to educate others and get the word out.

So, what are you waiting for - go check it out - it's FREE, it's FUN, you'll feel SMART, and you'll do be doing GOOD!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Penny for Your Thoughts

It was almost exactly this time last year that I placed a phone call that would turn into quite possibly the most extraordinary thing I’ve done to date in my life. I don’t mean to say that what I did was extraordinary, but rather what transpired – the journey, events, and results of that phone call where extraordinary. I had just finished reading Three Cups of Tea One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace…One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson. Rather than go into a long explanation of that phone call and the immediate results of it, I’ll direct you here, the article in our local newspaper that pretty much sums it up. Come on now. Go read it. NOW. And then come back and finish reading this post…believe me, it will make much more sense if you do!

Ok, welcome back. Hopefully I didn’t sound like too much of a dork in that article that it scared you off. To tell you the truth, immediately after finding out that I had the “ok” to proceed with the drive I emailed the local paper thinking that maybe, if I was lucky, they might eventually contact me and run a little blurb. What ended up happening was that I received a phone call less than an hour later asking if they could interview me the very next day for an article. Wow, that was quick, and needless to say (as apparent in the article) I wasn’t all that prepared. What did I know? It was still just an idea at this point and I hadn’t really thought the whole thing through as to execution and such. I’m spontaneous like that!

To make a long story short…because believe me, this could be VERY long…the Pennies for Peace Drive on the Island ended up raising just shy of $15,000 for Greg Mortenson’s foundation! Yes, I too was amazed. Of course there were a few high roller checks and some $20’s thrown in, but in large part it came from thousands and thousands of pennies and other small coins being dropped in 5 gallon water jugs placed throughout the community. Like I said, I could write forever on this event because it truly did change my life, and I’m sure I’ll touch on aspects of it in other posts in the future, but…I don’t want to scare you off right away with the first post being too long. What I wanted to say though, was that it was this book, this completely out of character (for me) spur of the moment call, the man, Greg Mortenson, and the ensuing experience with the drive that finally made that old cliché ring true for me. person really can make a difference…no matter how large or small your effort is, the fact that you are making one is making a difference because…all the little things do add up. And that, right there, is why I’ve created this blog. To share with others the little changes I’ve made, or am trying to make, and also highlight others in the world making small and big changes as well. I hope you enjoy.

This one too! dedicated to you #4!