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Clicking to give back to the world

ERIN PHIEL

Many of us engage in morning rituals, deriving comfort and satisfaction from a regular routine. For some people, a morning ritual consists of little more than a cup of coffee and a browse through the newspaper. For others, it’s an invigorating run or bike ride.

My morning ritual includes neither coffee nor exercise. I just click.

Every morning, I sit down at my computer and visit the same six or seven Web sites. I catch up on my local and world news, review the latest happenings in the design world and peek at several of my Web sites’ statistics.

For today’s column, I’d like to share with you the two most important sites I visit each day. I share this piece of me with you in hopes of showing how easy it can be to start one’s day by making a positive contribution.

The first site I go to each morning, The Hunger Site (www.thehungersite.com) is actually one of five interlinked subsites; it’s closely linked to The Breast Cancer Site, The Child Health Site, The Rainforest Site and The Animal Rescue Site.

Tabs across the top of each site allow you to jump from one to another with ease.

Each morning, I visit The Hunger Site and click on the “Give Free Food” button near the top of the page. Though a person is allowed only one click a day, each click provides roughly 1.1 cups of staple food for the hungry. By just clicking, I’m providing a donation.

After clicking on the “Give Free Food” button, I’m taken to a page where, if I scroll down a bit, I see links to the other four related sites. These other four sites are set up identically to The Hunger Site – each with a donation button.

At The Breast Cancer Site, clicks help fund free mammograms to women who cannot afford them; at The Child Health Site clicks help provide medical attention to children in need; at The Rainforest Site clicks fund the preservation of roughly 10-15 square feet of endangered forest; at The Animal Rescue Site clicks provide bowls of food and care to rescued animals in shelters.

Though I quickly click through these sites each morning, anyone with an extra moment or two can appreciate the high-quality (and quantity!) content; there’s a tremendous amount to see and learn.

Sponsors provide ads showing related gift items, a regularly updated notice at the bottom of the sites states how much was donated by clicks on previous days, months and years, and links inform you about related Web sites where you can provide help in additional ways.

E-cards can be sent to friends and site options allow you to customize your experience by, for example, having a friendly reminder sent to your e-mail inbox each morning reminding you to click.

In 2003, visitor clicks alone on The Hunger Site funded more than 43 million cups of food. Anyone who feels that clicking can’t make a difference in the world hasn’t done their homework.

I learned about EcologyFund.com (www.ecologyfund.com) through a direct link from The Rainforest Site.

I visit EcologyFund.com every day as well, and click on the five donation buttons the site provides. Clicking at this Site not only helps reduce air pollution, it helps save South American rainforests, coastal reserves, old-growth forests and Mexican wildlife land.

Though clicking is no substitution for living socially and ecologically respectful lifestyles, the more of us that click, the bigger the overall contribution.

Give it a try; give it a click and see how easy it is to make a small difference each day.

My morning clicks alone aren’t going to save the world. But if you click with me – and maybe ask a friend to try it as well – our contribution is that much more powerful.

Click with me.

eRin pheiL is the owner of timeforcake (www.timeforcake.com). Based in Frisco, timeforcake is a creative Web and graphic design firm. eRin can be reached at (970)668-0709 or e-mail at info@timeforcake.com.


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