Posts with Category Giving Back

I Took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in my Anti-Fart Underwear

Harper is totally going to need therapy!

I’ve never known someone who died from ALS, nor was I fully aware of how scary the disease was until the challenge. So as silly as this challenge seems, it raised my awareness.

Is it a sustainable way to raise funds or even replicable? Probably not. But it’s fun and important, and even my own parents accepted the challenge. OnPoint explored the viral campaign on a show titled “Stunt Philanthropy in the Age of Social Media.” If you’ve criticized or defended the Ice Bucket Challenge, you should listen to this show:

And of course, I hope you’ll join Harper and me in donating to the ALS Association at….

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“Social Good” campaigns aren’t always good

This week I appeared on HuffPo Live alongside Dr. Mara Einstein, author of Compassion Inc, and Wendell Potter, a former health insurance executive who spoke out against the industry’s deception of the American public and author of Deadly Spin.

I talked about Starbucks C.A.F.E. Practices program that I witnessed (or in many cases did not witness) in Colombia while researching EATING. And I also talked about TOMS. My main point was that we are just served up a pill of “do gooding” and we swallow it whole without asking questions about who or how much such ideas benefit the people they are meant to serve.

Dr. Einstein shared a mind blowing example. McDonald’s had a campaign playing up the fact that a portion of all…

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“Injustice must be confronted”

One of the most talked about parts of WHERE AM I EATING? is when I freed a slave in Ivory Coast. This was the subject of an editorial in James Hallmark’s recent column in the Amarillo Globe-News titled Injustice must be confronted.

James writes:

“We have made helping easy in America, perhaps too easy. When a tornado strikes Oklahoma, we text “Red Cross” to 90999 and we have “helped.” We are asked to “like” a Facebook page and told doing so will help free little girls from sex trafficking. These small actions may indeed help and even be essential, but someone has to get their hands dirty to free slaves, liberate little girls from prostitution, or clean up a tornado’s damage.”

James says that my decision to hatch a plan to free…

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What has aid ever done for anyone?

Somewhere along the line aid has become less cool.

Everyone is all about teaching a man to fish, not giving him a fish. Everyone is all like trade and not aid. I’m guilty of this too. (See my give a man a job making shoes not a free pair of shoes argument regarding TOMS.) In response to this, Save the Children UK made a Monty Python inspired video about the not-so minor things aid has accomplished.

It’s hilarious and gets the point across.

Want to support smart aid? Be a smart giver. Learn how here – here….

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Don’t see poverty, see potential

Jessica Jackley in Uganda about to have her life changed by changing lives.

Jessica Jackley eventually became the co-founder of Kiva, but before that she was a lovestruck philosophy major who followed her boyfriend across the country to California where she worked a temp job at Stanford.  While there she attended a lecture by Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank, which makes microloans to the poor.  She was impressed at how he simply sat down with the poor and asked them what they needed, instead of telling them what they needed. She was inspired to do the same.

She quit her job and spent three months in Uganda interviewing farmers and fishermen.  She saw how small amounts of money could…

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Calling all Ball State student writers

Who are you writing for? Why do you write?

These are big questions.

I want to help you help our community with your writing skillz. (That’s right with a z!)

I’m assembling a League of Extraordinary Writers who want to improve their writing and make an impact in the Muncie community. Over the past few years, I’ve committed myself to helping local organizations tell and share their stories, but there are more stories than I can tell. I need help. I need you!

This League of Extraordinary Writers will work with organizations like the Leadership Board, Big Brothers Big Sisters, TEAMwork for Quality Living, and the Facing Project. Writers will take on assignments with deadlines and have their work featured in newsletters and…

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Be a part of the Facing Project story

(This is a joint note from me and my co-founder of The Facing Project, J.R. Jamison.)

Stories make a difference.

Stories shatter preconceptions and expand our worldview.

Stories change our hearts and inform our minds.

Stories feed our curiosities and our souls.

Every person has a story and so does every community.

What’s yours?

We invite you to be a part of the story of The Facing Project by helping us reach our goal of creating website. The site will house the tools to help the project spread to other communities, and will allow current Facing Project communities the ability to share their stories on their own unique sites, such as This next step in our story will push this movement forward and provide the opportunity for thousands of unheard voices to be shared.


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American Made Messenger Bags by LexiWynn

My Timbuk2 laptop bag was made in China. I’m not sure of any bags that are made in USA until now…

LexiWynn Bags are made in Illinois. They’re running a cool Kickstarter campaign to help launch their new label.

Tell me what you’re favorite beer is the comments for a chance to win one of their cool Koozies. You’ll also be entered to win if you RT my upcoming tweet, or share my facebook post. The winner will be randomly selected.

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The greatest thing you can give is your time to another.

Unfortunately I didn’t have loads of time this year to give. Between traveling for three months researching EATING, and speaking across the country, which had me away for more than 30 days, I was booked. When I did have free time, I spent it with Annie and the kids.

I simply didn’t have the time to give as much as I would’ve liked. Therefore I feel like I wasn’t the Big Brother (through Big Brothers & Big Sisters) nor the ally through Teamwork for Quality Living) that I should’ve been.

These are definitely two of my biggest regrets from 2012.


On a much more positive note, I found a vehicle in which…

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Time is the most important gift

It’s giving Tuesday! You know ever day after Thanksgiving has to have a theme, don’t you?  Tomorrow is…Wednesday?! Did we run out of themes?

Anyhow, this is the day when everyone is supposed to give to their favorite cause. Really this is something that you should do throughout the year and be very intentional about, and not wait for a post-Thanksgiving theme day or a cashier asking you if you’d like to give $1 to X cause.

Do you give when the cashier asks?

I don’t. Yes, I’m the guy in front of you at PetSmart who hates orphan puppies. I like to have more of a connection with a cause than a knee jerk reaction. I put more thought into my giving decisions than I do into what kind of gum…

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