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Spotlight on Johnny’s Jog for Charity

Johnny's Jog for Charity

Next in our series of posts about Charitocracy nominees, we have Johnny's Jog for Charity, nominated by donor Shagensky. They host an annual St. Patrick's Day themed 5k raising money for 3 other local Connecticut children's charities.

A few words on Charitocracy

Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

About Johnny's Jog for Charity

Johnny's Jog for Charity is inspired by the short but powerful life of Johnny Moran. Johnny was born with Wieacker Wolff Syndrome, a rare debilitating condition that affects the central and peripheral nervous systems. Johnny's spirit of strength and love rose far above his many limitations. His warm smile positive attitude toward life affected all who came to know him. The goal of Johnny's Jog for Charity 5K is to continue to share Johnny's spirit by bringing the community together with a grand St. Patrick's Day themed event benefiting 3 local non-profit children's charities.

John Timothy Moran
February 19, 2007 - April 18, 2016

All proceeds benefit these 3 local, non-profit childrens organizations:

Molly Ann Tango Memorial Foundation

The Molly Ann Tango Memorial Foundation is dedicated to enriching the lives of children with special needs and their families. The Foundation helps finance the purchase of much-needed medical equipment and services when insurance is exhausted and other social programs are not available. In addition to financial support, the Foundation helps families navigate the medical and social communities to find the products and services that will specifically meet their needs.

Covenant Preparatory School of Hartford

Covenant Preparatory School opened in 2008 in order to meet the educational needs of under-served families. The school partners with students, families, staff and volunteers to form a pact, or covenant, to fulfill the mission of the school. Parents are an active part of the school. Funding for the school comes from individual donors, foundations, corporate sponsorships and grants. Covenant Prep provides young men from underserved communities the foundation required to successfully pursue higher education, to develop the strength of their character and to inspire them to live with integrity as leaders committed to their communities.

The Miracle League of Connecticut

The Miracle League of CT provides opportunities for Connecticut’s children with physical and cognitive challenges to participate in recreational, educational and cultural activities in an accessible, nurturing and noncompetitive environment where families can come together to cultivate new friendships and experience the joy of play.

So visit Johnny's Jog for Charity's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And watch this news video from last month's event talking about what it is, who it helps, and how it started:

Search and Ye Shall Find

Benj drags Charitocracy into the early 1990s with search

I have some big news.

Huge!

Are you sure you're ready for this? Maybe you should sit down.

Charitocracy (OMG OMG OMG) has joined the millions of other web sites on the Internet... to offer site-wide search functionality!

via GIPHY

Simply type in one or more keywords, which are just fancy names for things you want to search for, and Charitocracy will return all matching nominee voting pages, blog posts, comments, etc. All in a fraction of a second*!

So visit any page, click that little magnifying glass in the top-right corner of the menu, or hiding at the end of the menu if you're on a phone, and search your heart out! American Heart Association will be returned, among others.

* AOL customers may be looking at a fraction of a minute here.

There's got to be a better way to search that groovy charity

Congrats to April Winner, National Military Family Association

Charitocracy's 32nd check: to National Military Family Association for $1713

I've been working with a team of students at NYU this semester who are providing invaluable feedback on our marketing efforts. In a nutshell, we should gear the web site and marketing efforts more toward prospective donors vs. our current donors. As a first step toward this, I've opened up more of the site so it's visible to non-donors and search engines. Namely, the list of nominees and discussion page for each are no longer hidden behind a "pay-wall." Voting of course remains exclusive to donors! ($1 per month is not too much to ask, right?!)

We held a really productive board meeting last week, and great ideas abound. Be on the lookout for more changes at Charitocracy and a new marketing promotion... Donors, get a head start by inviting friends to join us now. It'll give you a competitive advantage, and the stakes will be high!

April 2019 winner: National Military Family Association

On Tuesday night we named Charitocracy's 32nd monthly winner. Congratulations to National Military Family Association. They offer support and programs for service members, their spouses, and their children. NMFA has been in the Top 3 for 6 months, and in the Top 10 for 2 years!

Now you have a week to further sweeten the pot with a special one-time donation of any amount, which we'll add straight to the check we write to National Military Family Association next week.

Before you go, check out this video hot off the presses from NMFA. It shows one of the ways they support military families: making lives easier for military kids who have to bounce from school to school. Then feel good about your part in our collective $1713+ grant to help with their work!

Have a great May and be sure to log into Charitocracy to update your votes or nominate a new cause!

Spotlight on The Pad Project

The Pad Project

Next in our series of posts about Charitocracy nominees, we have The Pad Project, nominated by donor spencer. They provide pad-making machines to underprivileged communities so girls' educations won't be interrupted by their periods.

A few words on Charitocracy

Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

About The Pad Project

When a girl gets her period in the U.S., she may miss a class.
When a girl gets her period in a developing country, she may never go to school again.

A period should end a sentence, not a girl's education.

But, unfortunately, that's exactly what's happening all over the world.

Too many girls cannot afford or access sanitary pads, which means that when they get their period, they have to turn to unhealthy alternatives like dirty rags, leaves, or ashes. On top of their high risk of infection every time their period comes, they also have to miss school--and the more school they miss, the more likely it becomes that they will fall too far behind and have to drop out entirely.

But there is a new invention that solves this problem.

A man named Muruganantham created a machine that makes affordable, biodegradable pads from locally sourced materials.

Better still, the machine does more than just supply girls with pads: it supplies a steady income to the women in the area who want to work on it.

In other words, this machine helps both girls and women gain independence.


Our job is to aid that independence, and here is how we do so:

  1. Connect with activists on the ground who have communicated that they need the machine.
  2. Learn about the area's specific needs from the local experts and make sure that we can supply enough funds to cover each one (for example, we always check if an area has sufficient power, and if they don't, we will supply solar panels).
  3. Raise enough money for one machine, a years' worth of supplies (after which the machine and its profits will become a self-sufficient microeconomy for the women in the area), and a team of local women who can educate other women how to use the machine and also how to destigmatize periods.

Help us spread the word about our award winning documentary, raise more awareness and launch a monumental movement through our newly created non-profit, The Pad Project, LLC, a California non-profit corporation.

When so much of the world's narrative around the period revolves around shame and secrecy, this project transforms it into a source of enlightenment and pride.

Our biggest hope is to get as many people as involved as possible, so that no girl will ever have to miss school because of her period again (which happens in low-income areas in the United States as well, which we also raise money for).

We started out as students, and at the end of the day, all we want to do is help other students.

If you have read this far, it would mean the world if you would donate and get involved.

As the inventor of the machine, Murugananthem, says: "The strongest creature on earth is not the elephant, not the tiger, but the girl."

So visit The Pad Project's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And watch this intriguing trailer for the Oscar-winning documentary about the origins of The Pad Project, now available to watch on Netflix:

Congrats to March Winner, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Charitocracy's 31st check: to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for $1800

Welcome, Spring!

We have survived another winter, Charitocracy friends. Are you seeing the color green again in your daily life? I see growing, blooming, signs of life after dormancy. It rekindles in me a desire to nurture those around me who need some extra TLC.

If you have some extra green on hand, consider sharing it with your friends! Know someone who could use a splash of extra sunshine right now? Gift them a year of Charitocracy for $12. A simple, thoughtful gift out of the blue. No special occasion, just because!

March 2019 winner: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Last night we named Charitocracy's 31st monthly winner. Congratulations to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. They fund drug development and research to treat and eventually cure the disease. Also congrats to donor jmw615 for nominating it during Charitocracy's first week in existence, and to the others near and dear to us touched by CF who helped push it toward its eventual win 31 months later!

Now you have a week to further sweeten the pot with a special one-time donation of any amount, which we'll add straight to the check we write to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation next week. (Thanks to the generous donor who already bumped us up to an even $1800 already! You are amazing.)

Before you go, check out this touching recent video from CFF and feel good about your part in our collective $1800+ grant to help with their work!

Have a great April and be sure to log into Charitocracy to update your votes or nominate a new cause!

Spotlight on Reach Out and Read

Reach Out and Read
photo credit: Sean Hennessy

Next in our series of posts about Charitocracy nominees, we have Reach Out and Read, nominated by donor RoamX. They stimulate early brain development in young children by prescribing books and reading aloud by parents.

A few words on Charitocracy

Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

About Reach Out and Read

When we look back on our childhood, many of us have fond memories of being read to, of snuggling up and enjoying a favorite story with the people who love us. And it's not so much the story that we remember, but the feeling of love and security that it gave us. It turns out that reading aloud, a time-honored tradition in so many families, is actually a wonderful way of helping children to reach their full potential.

Reading aloud is a great way of engaging with young children

What happens during the first few years sets the stage for the rest of a child's life. It is a time when a child's experiences irreversibly affect how the brain develops - for better or worse.

Nurturing from a loving parent or caregiver in the early years supports healthy brain development that forms the foundation for success later at school and in life - and one of the best ways of engaging with young children is through looking at books together. Even the youngest baby loves to be held close and hear the voice of Mom or Dad as they read a book aloud.

Reading aloud promotes language development and early literacy skills

It is widely accepted that reading aloud is the single most important researched activity leading to language development and promotes early literacy skills, such as:

  • Book handling and naming
  • Understanding how stories work
  • Recognition of sounds and letters
  • Knowledge of a wide range of vocabulary
  • Ability to listen

Even young babies can benefit from read aloud practices!

Reading aloud:

  • Builds motivation, curiosity and memory
  • Helps children cope during times of stress or anxiety
  • Takes children to places and times they have never been - enlarging and enhancing their worlds
  • Creates a positive association with books and reading

Despite all of the benefits of reading aloud, surveys show that only a half of parents read to their young children daily and less than 10 percent read to their children from infancy. Families living in poverty are significantly less likely to read aloud to their infants and toddlers.

This is where Reach Out and Read comes in!

At Reach Out and Read, we believe that ALL families should have the tools and information needed to make reading aloud a daily routine, that ALL children should be given a foundation for success at school and beyond.

Reach Out and Read doctors and nurse practitioners deliver the program at routine pediatric checkups, so that we have repeated and unparalleled access to families with children from birth through five years. More than 91% of children under the age of six attend well child checkups each year.

Even handling books develops school readiness in infants!

Many of the families that Reach Out and Read serves do not have any books at home. We give each child a new developmentally-appropriate book to take home with them - and for those parents, whose first language is not English, we offer books in 12 different languages. Books can even be useful for parents who don't read - we encourage them to talk about the story that the pictures tell. We also encourage partnerships between Reach Out and Read sites and their local libraries, to expand the selection of books available for families to read aloud.

When a trusted doctor or nurse offers guidance about reading aloud to infants, toddlers and preschoolers, and provides a book to read, parents have an opportunity to give their children the best start in life.

So visit Reach Out and Read's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And watch this short video on why early literacy matters:

Congrats to February Winner, Carroll’s Kitchen

Charitocracy's 30th check: to Carroll's Kitchen for $1814

Welcome, Brandi

We have a new board member for 2019: Brandi McMahan! She brings experience in web design and web apps, and already has dozens of great ideas for Charitocracy. (She's going to keep me busy in the engineering department.) Join me in welcoming Brandi!

Learn more about Brandi and our other fantastic board members on our About Us page.

February 2019 winner: Carroll's Kitchen

Last night we named Charitocracy's 30th monthly winner. Congratulations to Carroll's Kitchen. They provide healthy employment to women leaving crisis. Also congrats to donor spencer for nominating it! He nominated it on New Year's Day, just days after joining Charitocracy, and managed to squeak out a win in his 2nd month as a donor, never mind 2nd month shepherding a nominee. I call it beginner's luck. But it helps that he nominated such an amazing and deserving cause...

Now you have a week to further sweeten the pot with a special one-time donation of any amount, which we'll add straight to the check we write to Carroll's Kitchen next week.

Before you go, check out Carroll's Kitchen's latest video and feel good about your part in our collective $1814+ grant to help with their work!

Have a great March and be sure to log into Charitocracy to update your votes or nominate a new cause!

Spotlight on World Central Kitchen

World Central Kitchen

Next in our series of posts about Charitocracy nominees, we have World Central Kitchen, nominated by donor Stephanie. They're a group of chefs creating smart solutions to hunger and poverty.

A few words on Charitocracy

Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

About World Central Kitchen

José Andrés founded World Central Kitchen after the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti with the belief that food can be an agent of change. We have expanded globally and have developed into a group of chefs creating smart solutions to hunger and poverty.

Today, World Central Kitchen uses the expertise of its Chef Network to empower people to be part of the solution, with a focus on health, education, jobs, and social enterprise.

  • HealthCleaner cooking with clean cook stoves and food safety/sanitation training.
  • EducationSchool kitchens to support feeding programs that encourage school attendance and provide a source of sustainable revenue for the school.
  • JobsCulinary training to elevate the hospitality workforce, increase earnings, enhance quality of life, and strengthen Haiti’s economy.
  • Social Enterprise: Food ventures that increase income, create jobs, and provide transferable vocational skills to low-income communities.

Since our inception, our work has affected communities in Brazil, Cambodia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Nicaragua, Zambia, and the United States.

Join us as we use the power of food to empower communities and strengthen economies.

So visit World Central Kitchen's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And watch this Washington Post story on WCK's relief for federal employees during the recent government shutdown:

Congrats to January Winner, The You Rock Foundation

Charitocracy's 29th check: to The You Rock Foundation for $1893

Double the Benj, Double the Fun

For the new year, I've worked out a new schedule with my day job that permits me to devote both Thursdays and Fridays to Charitocracy while I'm home. (All bets are off when I'm traveling for work!) But this should nearly double my Charitocracy productivity. Or as I like to call it, my Charictivity.

It still leaves me overwhelmed by all the things I'd like to get done in those 2 days each week. Thanks to all your poll responses over the last 2 weeks, I'm armed with a bit of guidance on some of the low-hanging fruit to pursue:

  • Make it immediately clear that we're a legit 501(c)(3) run strictly by volunteers where 100% of your donation goes to winning causes. We're not skimmers or scammers! We use optional 8.3% tips and employer matching donations to cover our minimal costs.
  • Amplify the positive theme that resonated the most with our donors: that while they can only afford relatively small monthly donations, they love the group-giving aspect that super-sizes their donation into a bigger, more meaningful one.
  • Don't spend more on ads. Instead, we should seek media attention to grow. If you have any leads as to where/how we should pitch a story about Charitocracy, please do get in touch!

January 2019 winner: The You Rock Foundation

Last night we named Charitocracy's 29th monthly winner. Congratulations to The You Rock Foundation, and to donor misadowling for nominating it! At You Rock, rock musicians share their stories to spread awareness and help battle stigmas attached to mental illness.

Now you have a week to further sweeten the pot with a special one-time donation of any amount, which we'll add straight to the check we write to You Rock next week.

Before you go, check out The You Rock Foundation's latest video featuring Brandon Mendenhall, star of the award-winning documentary, Mind Over Matter, and feel good about your part in our collective $1893+ grant to help with their work!

Have a great February and be sure to log into Charitocracy to update your votes or nominate a new cause!

Spotlight on First Candle

First Candle Safe Sleep Guidelines

Next in our series of posts about Charitocracy nominees, we have First Candle, nominated by donor Jbarefoot. They work to prevent SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths, and support grieving families. First Candle provided grief support to Jbarefoot and her husband after tragically losing their healthy one-month-old daughter to SIDS.

A few words on Charitocracy

Firstly, for newcomers: here's how it works. Donors pool their monthly contributions, as little as $1. The cause with the most votes each month wins the pot. No matter how much or how little you contribute, each donor at Charitocracy gets one vote. This is where charity meets democracy. So please share this post and ask your friends to join us and vote! That's how we spread the word and, as a result, grow the monthly pot. The bigger the pot, the bigger our positive impact on the world!

About First Candle

Our Mission

First Candle is committed to the elimination of SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths through education and research, while providing support for grieving families who have suffered a loss.

Who We Are and What We Do

First Candle is dedicated to reducing the rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Sudden Unexpected Infant Death and preventable Stillbirths by educating caregivers and families, and supporting research. We are also committed to offering bereavement support for grieving families.

This has been our role for more than 35 years. In 1994 we partnered with the National Institutes of Health on the Back to Sleep campaign, which led to a reduction in the rate of SIDS by more than 50%.

Despite this, SIDS remains the leading cause of death for babies one month to one year of age. Due to SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths, including accidental suffocation, more than 300 babies every month may not live to see their first birthday. Infant mortality rates in the U.S are also higher than in the 20 wealthiest nations.

Our objective is clear: saving babies and supporting families. Working with local organizations throughout the country we are educating new and expectant parents on the importance of providing a safe sleep environment for their baby. And for those families who have tragically lost a baby we are here to offer bereavement support and counsel.

We are a national member in good standing of Community Health Charities, have a Gold ranking on Guide Star, and a 3-star ranking on Charity Navigator. We are proud to maintain administrative costs well below the nonprofit industry standard of 25 percent.

So visit First Candle's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause! And watch their important video covering safe sleep guidelines for infants: