Tag Archives: donation

Help Haiti by Watching YouTube

Just after the horrific earthquake rocked Haiti, I wrote an article discussing several different ways that you can help. More than a month later, there are still bodies buried in the rubble. Stories are popping up in the news on a daily basis of survivors being found alive, having been buried or trapped for weeks. There is no end in sight for the plight of the brave Haitian people. It will take many years to begin to recover from this disastrous event.

The people of Haiti still need your help. Stars in the music industry have stepped up in full force, putting together fundraisers and even telethons. Now, however, they’ve come up with an even cooler way for you to do your part in the relief effort. Thanks to producer Quincy Jones, we now have a new version of the old song “We Are The World”, in which Michael Jackson and a cast of other stars sang to raise money to help end World hunger. This time, the proceeds are going to the Haiti Relief Effort.

A new version of “We Are the World” has premiered on YouTube, featuring more than 75 artists. The video features a diverse array of artists including Mary J. Blige, Tony Bennett, YouTube teen phenom Justin Bieber, and a flashback to Michael and Janet Jackson performing the song 25 years ago. The charitable connection here is a digital download – all proceeds from sales of the song on iTunes go to Haiti relief. The We Are the World Foundation website also offers other ways to donate, as well as more information about the song.

In discussing the effort, Quincy Jones stated that “… with the stroke of a key on your keyboard or cell phone, images and messages can be transferred all around the world to hundreds of millions of people in seconds. That’s an enormous amount of power. How can you not try and harness that resource to help people in need?”

With such a small amount of effort required – and an amazing video to watch – how can you not click that button?

Social Media Changes Lives

The other day, I received an email from a kid named Robert:

Hey Chris, you may not know me. I just recently started watching your live feed. I’m nineteen years old. I was born with a lung condition called Cystic Fibrosis. I am on the transplant list at University Of North Carolina. I will have to move up there with my dad for about 8-12 months. The insurance company covers the operation but does not cover living expenses and etc. I am currently taking donations and was wondering If you can do anything to help. Here is the link for donations.

I tweeted the link out and… people responded:

chrispirillo: Wanna try an experiment? How long will it take for you (my friends) to help me raise $1000 for http://bit.ly/GYZuk (let&#39s try to help!)

about a day ago

dette4556: I always worry about those types of things.. I would love to help though! But I just wonder if its legit?

about a day ago

filipblank: sell one of your computers or monitors!! 🙂

about a day ago

billgillam: I tossed 10 bucks to the cause.

about a day ago

marsacademy: done my bit

about a day ago

RottNKorpse: hopefully it won&#39t take too long…but it jumped up about 200-300 in around 5 minutes .

about a day ago

GettingWorse: done my little bit, hope that helps 🙂

about a day ago

Humanety: Chris, we&#39d be happy to feature you on Humanety.com to help you raise funds for Robert. Please DM if interested.

about a day ago

sccert: what does append primary and connection specific DNS suffixes do

about a day ago

binarypc: can&#39t get to the link for Robert anymore. Any ideas?

about a day ago

Last night, I did an interview with Alfred.TV and.. check this out:

chrispirillo: Thanks to $700 donation by @adiblasi, we&#39ve given Robert a new set of lungs: http://bit.ly/GYZuk (social media for the WIN).

about 15 hours ago

virustricks: SWEEt I love it when thing like this

about 15 hours ago

fet0fetus: well wasn&#39t that nice of al

about 15 hours ago

Cadco: Way to make it all happen Chris!

about 15 hours ago

Ninesvnsicks: WOW double lung transplant definitely social media ftw.

about 14 hours ago

NateSeites: That&#39s so heart-warming.

about 14 hours ago

ttg2: that&#39s great.

about 14 hours ago

MeghanButler: i love your top ten for tweating.

about 8 hours ago

So, maybe on a weekly (or monthly?) basis, we could do something similar for anybody in our community in need of help…?

chrispirillo: Thinking about picking up a small donation-related cause every week on Twitter. Changing lives is what social media is about.

about 54 minutes ago

benjaminhirsch: Would be a great idea, I second.

about 53 minutes ago

robynmcintyre: I was wondering if someone would do that – sounds like a great idea to me.

about 53 minutes ago

Shih_Wei: That&#39s a great idea! We do “dress down Fridays” for a different charity each week in our office. $3 or more.

about 52 minutes ago

AskJamesHolmes: Great idea – the concept has worked i.e., @joelcomm tweet-a-thon

about 52 minutes ago

canjar: Great idea. Easier to put together than a large event, and can sometimes have just as much of an impact.

about 52 minutes ago

michaelowens: I&#39m not sure that&#39s what social media is about, but that&#39s a good thing for it to be utilized for.

about 52 minutes ago

sciamachy: Good idea – mebbe link to various charities, or maybe various initiatives on justgiving.com?

about 51 minutes ago

dougmcarthur: I work for the children&#39s hospital foundation of manitoba … just throwing that out there.

about 51 minutes ago

timmontech: sounds good. does that mean you&#39d have some kind of cause-related tweet every day. that&#39d make it cooler.

about 51 minutes ago

gsmorrison: Good idea Chris. Use your power of influence for the greater good. Twitter just became useful – well played, sir.

about 48 minutes ago

egoldstein: each week, whoever loses the most money in the market should receive a donation.

about 48 minutes ago

MstrWhizrd: This is true but we&#39re all not made out of money. I think you would get a better response if you did it once a month.

about 47 minutes ago

jandrick: I raised 500 for my charity this week. http://zi.ma/6aca3b

about 46 minutes ago

wiggsfly: cool idea!

about 32 minutes ago

scottydc1: Chris, here&#39s a lovely young (1st birthday in April) lady named Seniya, who&#39se family is in need. http://tinyurl.com/seniya

about 30 minutes ago

ttg2: sounds good.

about 30 minutes ago

scottydc1: And I did pledge toward the double lung transplant when you asked. Please consider Seniya and her fam. ScottyDC1

about 13 minutes ago

How are You Helping Stop World Hunger?

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As human beings, we have a few basic needs: food, water, shelter and an Internet connection. Ok, so maybe an Internet connection isn’t a basic need. Food, however, is something we cannot do without. If we ate nothing, we wouldn’t need anything else because we wouldn’t be alive. There are many people near you who have to worry about finding something to eat. In some cases, it’s not even that food is not accessible, it’s that it’s not affordable. Starvation doesn’t only happen in remote parts of Africa, like you see on television. It happens right in your town or city.

I encourage you to donate food or money to a local food shelter, to help feed people in your community who may be going hungry. Ponzi and I have done this in the past, and it’s always something that means a lot to us. If you want to help feed others in remote areas, you should check out The Wall. This site is very trustworthy, and 100% legit. It is part of the United Nations.

Once you make a donation on this site, you can upload a photo and comments to the Wall. This is a real chance for you to impact someone else’s life. That, I feel, is what being a human being is all about. Your legacy is how you impacted someone’s life.

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How to Control Christmas Lights Over the Internet

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I received an email a few weeks ago, telling me about a very cool interactive website. I have the site owner on the phone with me, so he can tell us more about how we can interact with his holiday decorations.

By going to Komar.org, you can control the various decorations around their home and yard.

First, you put a bunch out and folks drive by to look at them. Then you put pictures on the Internet and people surf to look at static images. Then you add a webcam to provide a real-time view. And finally, you then integrate that with web_control to not only allow web surfers to pan/zoom the webcam, but also turn the lights on and off!

Since the lights are all controlled via X-10, it’s not difficult to integrate a web interface that takes inputs from the user, sends X-10 commands to toggle the lights, and then update the webcam to show the results.There is a rate-limiter at the web server that throttles the requests since X10 is capable of at most one update/second. I’d also add that the system is fully automatic and can (and has) started itself up and shut down by itself when I have been out of town. There are dozens of outlets (with X10 SR227 Super Sockets) and Appliance & Lamp Modules which are all in eight zones.

I used a Sony F828 and (borrowed) Canon DSLR (10D and 5D) in 2004 and 2005. For 2006, I used a Canon Rebel XTi with 17-85IS lens. For 2007, I used a Canon 40D with the 17-85IS, 10-22, and 50/1.4 lens. I just put the camera on top of a ladder across the street at dusk, use about 1/2 second exposure at around F4.0 with ISO 100. There’s about a 5-10 minute window when the light is “just right” … also helpful is if there is some clouds that evening.

The reason Alek is doing all of this is for a reason other than just loving Christmas lights. Both of his children have Celiac Disease. He is trying to raise money for the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research. So far, they have raised just over $20,000.00 for this wonderful cause. So stop by, play with the lights, and consider making a donation to the University.

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