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In New York City something we have a lot of is homeless. You see them everywhere, on the stairs of churches, in the subways, reading the paper in the park, having lengthy discourse with each other about current events I know nothing of… I was reading an article about ways to help out homeless people on Charity.org yesterday and one idea was simple, give them restaurant gift certificates so they have a meal in their pocket whenever they want it.

I don’t really agree with the places they suggested you buy the gift certificates from, as all of them were fast, junk food spots. I am a real believer that garbage in, equals garbage out. If you give people food that makes them more tired and depressed, how is that really helpful? I decided to see if I could find national chain restaurants you can buy gift cards from that have higher nutritional value food. It would be a way for the homeless to get food that not only feeds their body, but uplifts their mind and spirit as well. It is important for us to help others to achieve true happiness, as all energy is infinitely connected.

A site I found to purchase restaurant gift certificates at is Restaurant.com. The service they offer is to purchase restaurant gift cards online, using a local restaurant search engine [via zip codes]. They are BBBOnLine members which means they will always resolve any complaints by consumers. They offer a $10 gift card for $3 or a $25 gift card for $10. That’s cool.

Yummy

I also discovered that at most grocery stores you can buy gift cards at the store [or order them online]. I did some research and created a list of gift card links to grocery stores around the country. I like this idea as it gives someone back the freedom to choose what they want.

Here’s the list:

  1. Publix [This store is mostly in the Southeast I think. It was my store growing up in Miami.]
  2. Winn-Dixie [Which used to only be in the Southeast when I was growing up too, but now they are everywhere…I think.]
  3. Food Lion [I know nothing about these guys! :) ]
  4. Jewel-Osco [My old grocery store in Chicago. I think I still have a Jewel-Osco shirt. :P]
  5. Shaws [This store has everything!!!]
  6. Stop & Shop [This guys are all over the Northeast.]

That’s all I have for now. If you know other grocery stores that offer gift cards let me know and I’ll add them.

Food For Free!!!

-Cara

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I always have clothes to donate. Stuff I’ve kept for sentimental value or I’m moving yet again and don’t want to have drag all these textiles with me, or after 10 years I finally decided to give up that shirt I never really wore anyway. Point is, I have a lot to give away, shoes I no longer love as much as I thought I did, purses good hearted people thought I might use, curtains, sheets, blankets, comforters, and towels that don’t match anything. In fact in our closet right now is a bag full of stuff that needs to be donated, but for one, if you check online for donation dumpsters you won’t find any such directory. The only way to find one is by chance, then once you do, you have to walk your stuff all the way there. That takes a special mood, that I am rarely in.

I would love to have a collection bin in my building…Here enters Wearable Collections, a clothing recycling company…

Wearable Clothing Logo

THE PROBLEM. According to a recent study, 386 million pounds of textiles enter the NYC waste stream annually, representing close to 6% of total waste.

THE SOLUTION. Wearable Collections provides a no cost, turn-key solution to recycling clothing within residential buildings in NYC. We handle all the logistics from placement of bins and promotion within the buildings to scheduling weekly pick-ups.

THE BENEFIT. Through our established network we distribute your discarded clothing around the world to people who need it, enabling us to raise money for charitable organizations.

Rather than having your residents haul their clothing to a collection site, or worse, dump them in the trash, we would like to place a receptacle in your building for their recycling convenience. Our aim is to reduce clothing in landfills while helping raise funds for non-profits. Here’s how to get started:

1.PLACEMENT OF BINS
We will provide you with a poly cart, 28.5” deep x 48” wide x 66.5” high, or a similar variation to suit your specific requirements. The cart should be placed in a location that is easily accessible to residents. (i.e., laundry room or basement storage area).

2.AWARENESS
We will notify residents about the program and the location of the bin with flyers placed on the community board or sent to their e-mail addresses. You can download the flyers needed below.

3.PICK-UP
While the amount of the clothing donated will vary from building to building, you can expect that we will pick up, one per week. We will schedule a weekly pick-up with you and adjust accordingly, as volume may fluctuate.

4.EASE AND CONVENIENCE.
Our goal is to maximize clothing recycled while minimizing inconvenience to you. If you are interested in participating in our clothing recycling program we will find a way to work within your building’s constraints.

I am going to request a bin for our building. Ah, I would love it. That’s right I said love. :P

I’m out.

-Cara

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