Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A Good Guide to Good Deeds

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

A Good Guide to Good Deeds

Article excerpt


"The noblest question in the world is what good may I do in it?"

- Benjamin Franklin

Concepts like random act of kindness and pay it forward are not new, but they certainly are not worn out, especially if you are trying to teach children about civic responsibility. "How to Be an Everyday Philanthropist" offers many creative suggestions. A blurb on the front cover from former President Jimmy Carter describes the guide as "a timely manifesto ... and wonderful reminder that everyone can and should try to make a difference."

In the introduction, author Nicole Bouchard Boles explains her theory: "I haven't found a cure for cancer, a way to stop domestic abuse, or an alternative source of energy. ... Through simple steps I take each day - actions that cost nothing more than a bit of my time ... it is through these actions that we become everyday philanthropists. ... When people think of the word "philanthropist," they're apt to picture a grand lady in pearls writing out checks with a lot of zeroes ... a philanthropist tries to make a difference with whatever riches he or she possesses. For most of us it's not money." Then, she offers examples, which sound familiar to the reuse-and-recycle folks or the people recruiting volunteers for all manner of good deeds.

- Use your belongings. You're not just giving away clothes. You're keeping an abandoned animal warm ... helping a woman land a job.

- Use your family. Give new meaning to "quality time." Adopt a puppy, be a host family for the Fresh Air Fund.

- Use your talents. Match your skills with a cause. Are you a whiz at organizing, accounting, writing or Web design? Help a school design a brochure. Organize the books at a community center.

- Use your computer. Give back without leaving your desk. Use a search engine that donates money to charities each time you click. Sign online petitions. Be a virtual mentor.

The well-organized guide comes with an index that lists organizations and topics, so you can find out details about everything from AbundantEarth. …

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