You already recycle, carry reusable bags and water bottles and shop organically, and the benefits are considerable–you feel great about yourself, you’re out saving the world and whatnot. But what if you could earn something more immediate and tangible, like, I don’t know… Whole Foods’ coupons?
Did you say Whole Food coupons?
Whole Planet Foundation’s new free green mobile app, Make Change, Not Waste created by Atomic Axis, an Austin based mobile application development company gamifies learning about eco-actions. Released in May, this mobile application gives users the opportunity to track their green activity and earn coupons to Whole Foods (which by the way are instantly available to scan on your phone at the checkout) for their actions. Planning on donating those old clothes that have been hiding in the mysterious depths of your closet? You can earn rewards for that.
Performing green actions like buying in bulk, reusing towels and taking short showers earn users of Make Change, Not Waste valuable coupons to green brands like Organic Valley, Alexia Foods and Natures Path. Don’t want to use the coupons on yourself? Not a problem. After earning a coupon, an option is available to donate a percentage of the coupon back to Whole Planet Foundation to aid in microcredit loans. You can track how much money you’ve raised under the “My Impact” tab, as well as bags you’ve avoided by reusing your own. Continue reading
Did you know that Austin has the highest performing Kiva city lending team in the world—http://www.kiva.org/team/austin_texas. Yep we beat cities many times our size. As of March 14, 2010 the team has loaned almost $157,000. It was started by a “poor” graduate student…as she said last night at the AIR awards…she’s rich compared to the folks she loans to.
Join the Austin, Texas team or start your own at www.kiva.org–$25 lets you help an entrepreneur and the best part you’ll get it back to help the next entrepreneur. The Kiva, Austin, Texas members also meet periodically and participate in local charities.
Our favorite realtor, Deep Nasta traveled to India with the Miracle Foundation for the grand opening of an orphanage funded by the Sooch Foundation. The Austin American Statesman has a story of his travels. If you remember we interviewed the remarkable founder of The Miracle Foundation, Carolyn Boudreax on AroundAustin.
John, How did charity start?
I enjoyed attending summer camp as a child, and believes that these activities contribute to self-confidence, relationship skills and overall health. I founded CampLIFE! to provide the camping experience to those who would not normally have that opportunity.
More than 10 million children attend camp annually, from recreational opportunities to the more complex theme camps that serve various groups of children with special needs. Any child can benefit from the summer camp experience, with children who share some profound loss benefiting even more. Unfortunately, with fees beginning at $200-$400/week, residential camps are unaffordable for many of the children that could benefit the most.
Jennifer, can you tell me how did Austin Sunshine Camps start?
The Young Men’s Business League was founded in 1913 and in 1928, the Austin YMBL Sunshine Camps was founded to aid in the battle against tuberculosis and continued to serve at-risk and economically disadvantaged youths after the epidemic passed.
Today we are interviewing Caroline Boudreaux. Caroline is the founder of Miracle Foundation a charity that servers orphans in India.
Caroline, how did the Miracle Foundation start?
In 1999, my close friend Chris Monheim and I took a pleasure trip around the world together. One of the places we wanted to visit was a remote village in India where Chris had been sponsoring an orphan named Manus through the Christian Children’s Fund (CCF). Chris and I wanted to find out if Manus really existed and had been receiving Chris’ financial support for the past five years.
We landed in India in the midst of a 108 degrees heat wave. After a ceremonial village welcome, we were introduced to little Manus, who had, indeed, received every letter and picture Chris had sent him. She was thrilled to find out her money was helping this child with food, clothing, shelter, and an education. However, poverty was everywhere. Manus’ family of five lived in a two-room, mud hut about the size of an average American bathroom. Everyone seemed grateful that organizations like CCF were providing assistance, but Manus’ family was one of the lucky ones.
Later that evening, a little girl named Sheebani slid up to me and put her head on my knee. I took the orphan into my arms; the little girl was so tired that she pushed her body into mine. I sang Sheebani a lullaby and rocked her to sleep. When I took Sheebani upstairs to find her crib, I was horrified to see a room with 30 wooden beds, much like picnic tables. There were no pillows, mattresses, or blankets. The overwhelming stench of urine and feces could make a grown man collapse. The scene was like that from a concentration camp…chilling and incomprehensible. When I laid Sheebani down on her bed, I heard the child’s bones rattle against the wood. I was simply heart-broken, and that’s when I knew that I had to do something about this tragedy. In our world of Starbuck’s, the stock market, and Neiman Marcus, there was no reason why a little child in India had to live in such squalor. When I returned from my trip, I put all of my life savings together and created the Miracle Foundation. Our vision is to empower children to reach their full potential, one orphan, like Sheebani, at a time.
In December, AroundAustin is focusing on the many charities that make Austin great. To get more information about charities and how you can help them we are interviewing the people most involved with their charities. First up, Susan Rankin, Executive Director of the Town Lake Trail Foundation.
Listen to Interview with Susan Rankin,