National Give Something Away Day

Tomorrow, July 15, we will be celebrating a wonderful, unsung holiday, National Give Something Away Day.  It’s a day that reminds us to give back to our communities and those in need.

There are many ways in which you can give back.  Whether you decide to pay it forward and pay for someone else’s meal or groceries, donate unused items you no longer use, donate blood, or just buy someone some flowers.  This is a great day that reminds us that we don’t necessarily need to spend money, or exorbitant amounts of money, to be able to give back.  Take the time to clean out the rooms in your homes, garages, storage lockers, etc. and see what items you have that would benefit someone else more.

Once you decide what you want to donate, where should you go?  The following list are just a few places where you can donate all of your unused goods.

Goodwill Industries of Pittsburgh

There are Goodwill stores all over Pittsburgh and the surrounding area.  Donating your stuff is as easy as taking it to a drop-off center.  Not only do they accept clothing and home goods, but they will also accept books, computers, all types of automobiles, motorcycles, boats, etc.  All you have to do is ask if they will accept the item.

Vietnam Veterans of America

This organization makes the donation process extraordinarily easy.  They have trucks that will come and pick up your household items.  They will not pick up large furniture, however, smaller items like clothing, small appliances and furniture, etc., they will pick up.  All of your items go towards helping veterans of the Vietnam War.  Call to schedule a pick up and make sure your items are easily accessible.  You don’t even have to be home in order for them to pick up your goods.

Washington City Mission

Washington City Mission is passionate about providing clothing, shelter, and food to the homeless and those in need.  Located in Washington County, this mission is always happy to accept clothing, smaller home goods, furniture, and even automobiles.  The most in demand items however, are children’s clothing and winter coats.  There are several drop off locations to donate your stuff or you can call them to set up a home pick-up.

Free Ride!

Free Ride is committed to teaching people about bicycle repair and maintenance, and promoting bicycle use.  Located in the Point Breeze neighborhood of Pittsburgh, they accept all types of bikes, parts, and accessories.  By recycling your bikes, old parts, and accessories, you are helping to keep them from sitting in landfills.  You can donate in two ways.  When the shop is open, Free Ride accepts all donations.  However, when the shop is closed, Construction Junction (see below) will accept all donations on their behalf.

 Dress For Success

Dress For Success’ focus is to empower women to achieve success and independence by providing support networks, professional clothing, and developmental lessons.  Their vision is to create a world “where women do not live in poverty; are treated with dignity and respect; and are strengthening their families and shaping their communities.”  How can you get involved?  First, you can donate your gently- used clothing which helps boost women’s confidence and get them set up to achieve success at interviews and future jobs.  Second, you can donate your money, which is used to finance great developmental programs for women who are striving to become financially independence.  Third, volunteer your time working with these women, planning events, teaching, inventory, picking up donations, etc.

Hopeline Cell Phone Donation

Hopeline collects old cell phones, accessories, chargers, and batteries in all conditions and from any service providers.  These phones are for survivors of domestic violence.  Many survivors are unable to use their old phones and so your unused phone will go towards helping these survivors get back on their feet.  There are a few ways to help.  You can donate your own unused, old phones at any Verizon Wireless retail store.  Or, you could host a phone drive, collecting phones from everyone in your office, at your gym, from friends and friends, etc.

Construction Junction

Did you just clean out your garage or shed and find a bunch of unused building materials that are wasting away?  Well, now there is a place to take those unused items.  Also located in Point Breeze, (point of fact:  Free Ride is located within Construction Junction) Construction Junction is a retail store that is committed to providing affordable building materials for low-income families and help protect the environment.  If you have large materials, they also have a free pick up service, all you have to do is call and set up a time to have your items picked up.

Light of Life

Located right down the street from Allegheny General Hospital in the North Side, Light of Life is dedicated to providing a place for the hungry and homeless to be taken care of and learning how to turn their lives around.  They provide programs that are designed to equip those in need with the education, resources, and stability needed to gain employment and housing.  Light of Life provides a safe space for women and children escaping abuse and helps them get the counseling they need, and provides education and shelter.  They are also committed to helping people who are homeless because of mental illness.  They are always accepting clothing, food, and volunteers.

All of these organizations are committed to not only helping people in their times of greatest need, but also protecting the environment and education.  Don’t forget to celebrate National Give Something Away Day tomorrow, July 15!


Source:  https://www.tripsavvy.com/places-to-donate-items-in-pittsburgh-2707877

Day of Clean Up 2017

This morning, our employees were fortunate enough to be able to help our friends at Allegheny West clean up our neighborhood again.  About 20 employees took time out of their busy day to help pull weeds, dig up plants, and plant new flowers in the garden at the corner of Western and Brighton Roads.  For three hours we worked tirelessly to create a welcoming and beautiful garden area.

Babb Gives Back is a community outreach program that allows our employees to get involved with our local community.  The Day of Clean Up with Allegheny West began three years ago and has continued to be successful.  Giving back to our community and local non-profits is important to us.  The positive impact this program has on the lives of others and our employees is something we feel passionate about and will continue to keep giving back.

Lend a helping hand

Last week, we highlighted some of the wonderful organizations our employees donate their time and money to, on our social media pages. Volunteering is a great way to help the people in your community do the work that needs to be done.

Below we wanted to feature a few more non-profits that are always looking for donations and volunteers to further their efforts in the Pittsburgh community.

Animal Friends

Animal Friends is a compassionate advocate for disenfranchised animals.  Their mission is to try to end over population, abuse, and to stop the unneeded overuse of euthanasia to lower populations.  They provide for the well-being of animals in their care and create resources for pet owners in need.  Animal Friends is committed to outreach, education, and community programming.  They are the champions for the thousands of voiceless animals who are abandoned and unwanted, providing them a home, care, food, training, and most importantly, love.  They are dedicated to finding the best homes for each animal that ends up in their care, but for those that are either unadoptable or don’t get adopted, they are devoted to providing a compassionate and humane lifelong home for them.  To help you can volunteer your time by fostering an animal, helping with special events, becoming a dog walker, or donating money and/or items the shelters need.

Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank

As a proud member of Feeding America, the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank is passionate about feeding people in need and helping to eliminate hunger.  Their vision “is a hunger-free southwestern Pennsylvania”.  This food bank is always looking for people to donate, volunteer, become advocates, and organize a food drive.  Currently, they are asking people who are already running the Pittsburgh Marathon to join their team to raise money for those in need within our Pittsburgh community.

The Pittsburgh Glass Center

The Pittsburgh Glass Center is one of the top glass art centers in the world, providing education resources, and glass production.  They are dedicated to helping Pittsburgh connect to its history as a major glass producer and has created an atmosphere of creativity for students of all levels of artistic abilities.  Devoted to continuous education in glass blowing and its history for everyone from advanced glass blowers to “newbies” wanting to create a glass pumpkin.  Pittsburgh Glass is a hands-on, interactive museum that combines science and art that is fun and affordable for everyone.  If you would like to get involved, you can take a class or make a donation that directly helps make classes affordable for all students.

The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh

The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh is a proud leader integrated health care, education, and social services for children with special health care needs.  The goal is to help improve the quality of life for children to reach their potential.  Not only do they help children, but they provide resources and education for parents and families as well.  They provide medical therapy services, instructional education to improve children’s skills, and creates a loving atmosphere for children and their families.

WQED

As the nation’s first community-supported television station, WQED has be providing educational public broadcasting since April 1, 1954.  Partnering with local communities, they work tirelessly to bring quality programming in education, the arts and culture, health, economics, history, and so much more.


http://whirlmagazine.com/whirl-nonprofit-giving-guide-2014/

#NationalVolunteerWeek

It’s National Volunteer Week, a week where we get to celebrate and promote volunteerism. This week is dedicated to bringing awareness to local, national, and global volunteer efforts.  Many communities host events emphasizing the important non-profit work being done locally, and to encourage people to find something they are passionate about and volunteer.

We will be highlighting the volunteer work our employees participate all week long.  At Babb, we are dedicated to giving back to our community.  Our Babb Gives Back program allows us to have a positive impact on others throughout the year.

In a previous post, we spoke about a few volunteer opportunities in the Greater Pittsburgh area.  This week we would like to promote a few more organizations that are always looking for new volunteers.

North Hills Community Outreach

In 1986, a flood devastated the North Hills area.  Local religious and community leaders came together to assist those impacted.  Through this, they all realized that their community was in great need of an organization that would be able to assist those in need in their community.  There are so many ways to help within this organization, whether you are interested in helping develop and work on children’s programs, you are concerned about making sure the senior community is taken care of, or you want to help grow a food pantry to feed the hungry, North Hills Community Outreach has opportunities for you.

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

The Parks Conservancy works closely with the City of Pittsburgh to restore and maintain the four main Pittsburgh parks: Frick, Highland, Riverview, and Schenley.  Their mission is to restore the parks with ”respect for the environment, historic design, and the needs of our diverse regions.”  There are so many ways to volunteer with the parks.  Businesses, schools, and communities are invited to participate in days of cleanup, gardening, planting trees, etc.  Some other opportunities include: becoming a docent for the Frick Environmental Center, maintaining park gardens, and joining the EcoStewards who spend the year cleaning up the park from invasive species, cleaning up trash, and creating and environment that is inviting to the community.

Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh

The Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh has been providing shelter, support, and most importantly, safety, to victims of domestic abuse for over 40 years.  Statistics show that 1 in 3 women face domestic abuse in their lives.  This organization is dedicated to helping creating resources for women escaping abusive relationship and helping them rebuild their lives.  They are dedicated to empowering women and helping them find their sense of self again.  As advocates for the rights of women, children, and all victims of domestic abuse, they offer free legal services to victims and medical aid.  They are dedicated to educating the community on effects abuse has on victims, how they can help those affected, and provide hope.  They offer sanctuary for women and children escaping domestic abuse, where they can help them start to rebuild their lives in safety.

United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania

The United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania is an organization that focuses on building educational opportunities for children, providing resources and tools for families, ensuring that people with disabilities have all of the same opportunities that everyone else does, and that seniors are able to remain independent.   They have volunteer opportunities that span so many different groups of people and areas of Pittsburgh.  The United Way also offers unique and engaging leadership opportunities.  These events and volunteer opportunities allow you to create change in your community while connecting with other likeminded professionals.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Our local libraries provide an immense amount resources to our local communities.  They not only offer us all the ability to borrow books, but they provide students with tutoring help, teach computer skills, host book discussions, help people with their writing and resume skills, offer classes to learn new languages, and mentor teens and children about art, books, and technology, just to name a few of the programs the Carnegie Library System offers.  The easiest way to volunteer with them is by becoming a Reading Buddy.  A Reading Buddy  is a mentor to children who reads with them, helps with their homework, teaches them about new technology, plays games, and provides a support system for them.

#ReadAcrossAmericaDay

Today we observe Dr. Seuss’s birthday by motivating children in every neighborhood and community to read.  All across the nation, people of all ages develop activities to inspire young children to expand their mind through the art of reading.  “Research has shown that children who are motivated and spend more time reading do better in school.”

In honor of Read Across America Day, we are providing you with a few tips to help you get involved, not only today, but in improving childhood literacy overall, because, in the words of Dr. Seuss himself, “You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child.”

  1. Join your local Read Across America event as a guest reader or host.
  2. Get the local middle school and high school students involved. They can hold book fairs, read to elementary school students, or create engaging theatrical events.
  3. Reach out to local businesses for book donations or as a place to hold a reading event.
  4. Create a multicultural event. By involving storytellers from many different ethnicities who speak many different languages, you will expose children to many new and interesting stories.
  5. Make it a special day. Hold a reading ball where kids are encouraged to dress up as their favorite character.
  6. Take a field trip to a local library or bookstore. Most libraries and bookstores hold events all day for children.  You can look online or call your local stores and libraries to see what events they have planned.
  7. Most importantly, have fun! Reading should be fun for everyone.  A lot of children don’t realize the importance of reading to their overall development, but the creativity, focus, comprehension, and broadening of their imagination will be invaluable to the rest of their education.

Remember this, you don’t have to be a teacher or librarian to inspire kids to read.  All it takes is spending time with them and showing them that reading is more than sitting and trying to remember words, it’s about the using their imagination to make stories come to life.  For more details on Read Across America Day, you can click this link.

http://www.nea.org/grants/read-across-background.html

 

 

 

Random Acts of Kindness Day

By: Ashley Kirsch

Mark Twain once said, “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” His message correlates with today’s Random Acts of Kindness Day, which is celebrated each year on February 17th.

Today marks a day of positivity, thoughtfulness and compassion. Everyone can participate in Random Acts of Kindness Day, because kindness begins with one and takes one person to make a change.

Whether you are the receiver or the giver, today is a day that can be celebrated. Here are a few ways in which you can participate in Random Acts of Kindness Day:

Random Acts of Kindness at work:

  • Leave positivity sticky notes around the office.
  • Bring a treat into work.
  • Compliment a co-worker.
  • Hold the elevator door.
  • Have a conversation with a new co-worker.

Random Acts of Kindness to your family:

  • Hug a family member, just because.
  • Call a family member you haven’t talked to in a while.
  • Write a family member a handwritten note.

Random Acts of Kindness to your community:

  • Throw away garbage/litter on the ground.
  • Spend the afternoon volunteering for a local organization.
  • Donate used books, clothing, glasses, etc. to your community.

Random Acts of Kindness to strangers:

  • Smile at someone on the street.
  • Give away your parking spot.
  • Pay for a stranger’s meal.
  • Give up your seat to an elderly person.

Be the reason someone smiles on Random Acts of Kindness Day!

Ashley Kirsch
Babb, Inc. Marketing Intern
Slippery Rock University Public Relations Student

Sources:https://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/101-easy-ideas-for-random-acts-of-kindness?utm_term=.ebqnNrRBAP#.vq8D6N1Pnq
http://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/national-random-acts-of-kindness-day-february-17/
https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas

Breast Cancer Awareness

As we all know, October is breast cancer awareness month, but how much do you actually know about the disease that is the second leading cause of death among women?  Most people know or have known someone that has been impacted by breast cancer.  Statistics show that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed in their lifetime.

Every year, over 200,000 women and, about 2,000 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer.  Of those numbers, 40,000 women and just under 500 men will lose their battles.

Most people who are diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history of the disease or are carriers of a mutated BRCA gene, a gene that increases that likelihood of developing breast cancer.  Those with the BRCA1 mutation have a 55-65% increased chance of developing breast cancer before 70.  That is an alarming statistic.  However, with early detection, many cases can be treated successfully.

Does this information cause you to want to get involved?  Well you are in luck because there are many ways you can donate your time and money to this deserving cause.

With Breast Cancer Action, there are many ways for you to take action, donate, and lend your support by attending events.  The following are just a few examples of how you can take part in raising awareness and money for breast cancer research.

  • Take action by joining one of Breast Cancer Action’s many campaigns.
    • Fighting back against major companies using toxic chemicals in their products, chemicals that are known to exacerbate risk factors that lead to breast cancer.
    • Demanding that cancer patients who need vital supplies to heal are covered by insurance and Medicare providers.
    • Take on “pinkwashers”, organizations who claim to be concerned and care about women with breast cancer, but peddle products that have been linked to breast cancer.
    • You can start your very own “Don’t Pink for Me” page that brings attention to organizations and companies that actually profit from their fundraising efforts for breast cancer.
  • Attend Events that are hosted all over the country. You can also plan your own fundraising events with the help of Breast Cancer Action staff.
  • There are many ways to give besides just going online and donating on their website.
    • You can help fundraise by signing up for a “Don’t Pink for Me” page where friends and family can make donations to Breast Cancer Action in your honor.
    • You can set up a monthly gift to be donated out of your bank account each month if you would like to continuously give.
    • On Amazon, you can sign up for Amazon Smile, which allows you to pick a charity that will receive .5% of each of your purchases you make.
    • Support the Susan Claymon Advocacy Fund which helps support the many advocates of Breast Cancer Action represent women all over, at conferences, in our capitol, or just to be there for women who need help.
    • For more ways to give, check out their “Ways to Give” page

Every dollar, every action you take to fight for a cure, and every bit of research counts.  Do whatever you can to help the millions of men and women who are fighting for their lives, because, believe me, they deserve it.

For more information about breast cancer, risk factors, survivors, and ways to volunteer, donate, and participate, check out the links provided below.

http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-awareness-month
http://www.bcaction.org/