How to pay it forward this holiday season

Posted by Maria Werner on Nov 10, 2015 9:30:00 AM

The holidays are traditionally a time of giving. They are a time when people reconvene with family and friends to celebrate the blessings in their life, while spreading generosity and kindness in return. Even small acts of kindness have the potential to transform someone’s day and make the cold days of winter feel a little bit warmer. Here are small ways that you can embody the spirit of the holidays and give back to the community at large.

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Topics: Nonprofits

The most needed donations this holiday season

Posted by Maria Werner on Nov 4, 2015 3:59:11 PM

Leaves are scattering the streets, fields are dusted in frost, and the days are gradually shortening. Somehow, the year has sped by us and winter will soon make its entrance. Unfortunately, accompanying the seasonal changes, homelessness continues to rise nationwide, and many Americans are dreading the cold nights ahead. Rescue missions have ramped up their efforts in attempts to cater to the influx of needy residents. Yet, donations are being swept off the shelves just as soon as they arrive. There is no time more apt to make a charitable end-of-year donation. Before you start scraping together clothing and canned food, take a look at some of the items most needed by local homeless shelters.

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Topics: Nonprofits

Shouldn't we be helping those at home first?

Posted by Marc Joseph on Nov 2, 2015 9:19:05 AM

The U.S. spends $30 billion a year on official development assistance overseas, according to Oxfam America. That works out to $80 for each person abroad we help. We have foreign aid because it protects our national security with hopes it will reduce poverty and injustice that fuel social tensions and destabilizes countries. It also helps with our own economic interests because aid can support the generation of demand for U.S. goods, which builds stable trading partners and based on the morality of our country "it's the right thing to do" because it may help advance human rights and in turn democracy. Anyone picking up a newspaper over the last couple of months has got to question if our aid has made countries more stable, brought democracy to the rest of the world or created a larger demand for U.S. made goods.

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Topics: Nonprofits

October Facebook pet shelter winners!

Posted by Jackie Eldridge on Nov 2, 2015 8:50:32 AM

Wow! We had a huge response from all of you trying to help our pets! Thank you so much for taking the time to help pet shelters all over the U.S. We will be sending emails to the winners today, letting them know how to shop at DollarDays to redeem their awards!

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Topics: Giveaways

Stewie has a favor to ask of pet lovers

Posted by Jackie Eldridge on Oct 21, 2015 12:08:00 PM

I just don't know how it happened. I was doing my usual thing, playing in the park while my mom kept a watchful eye over me (even though her phone looked like it had some captivating stuff on it!). A few friends showed up and we played and played, with tennis balls and Frisbees mostly. We did enjoy a few awesome games of chase.

Actually, when I look back on this fateful day, I think it may have been the chase that got me in trouble. There was a new guy at the park that day. I didn't really know him, but he seemed friendly. I was chasing him and the next thing I knew, I was lost. Not my neighborhood! The new guy had vanished and there I was, roaming the streets. It was dark now and I knew my mom would be worried sick about me, and I missed her terribly. I was hungry too. It got late, so I found some soft bushes to snuggle into for the night and fell asleep. When morning came, I was so scared that I ran into the street and almost got hit by a car. Minutes later, a nice lady pulled up in her big truck, got out and started walking toward me, slowly. I was so happy to see someone that I ran up to her and hugged her. She hugged me back. 

She put me in her truck and took me to a big place that had lots of other dogs there, all locked up in cages. She put me in a cage too. All I wanted was to go home and see my mom. My cage had two soft fleece blankets in it, so I took a nap. When I woke up, they fed me some kibble, gave me some water and took a magic wand and swooshed it over my shoulders several times. I was sleepy again and dozed off, only to wake up to the sound of my mom's voice.

I was elated. My tail was wagging so fast that it could have dusted every table in our house. My mom found me, thanks to the chip in my shoulder that I got as a puppy. To this day, my mom and I are so thankful for the pet shelter that saved my life and reunited us. 

If you love a pet, like my mom loves me, please consider nominating a pet shelter from your town to win in DollarDays' $5,000 Facebook Merchandise Giveaway for Pet Shelters. Every shelter can use warm blankets, toys, cleaning supplies and even treats. 

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Topics: Giveaways, Nonprofits

Teachers shouldn't have to pay out of pocket for supplies

Posted by Jackie Eldridge on Oct 16, 2015 4:05:00 PM

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Topics: Education and School

Tips for hosting the perfect school holiday shop

Posted by Kaitlin Krull on Oct 5, 2015 3:02:09 PM

It’s (almost) the most wonderful time of the year...

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Topics: Education and School

America's fascination with cats

Posted by Jackie Lee Eldridge on Oct 2, 2015 4:06:00 PM

Last month I was watching my hometown baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, play the San Francisco Giants. And when it came time to throw out the first pitch, it was thrown out by Grumpy Cat (also known as Tartar Sauce), an Internet celebrity cat known for her grumpy facial expressions who has over 8 million likes on Facebook.

This is not the first time a cat has thrown out the first pitch at a ball game. Last year, Tara the Cat, who was made famous in a YouTube video that has had over 24 million views because she saved a four-year-old boy from a dog attack in Bakersfield, CA, threw out the first pitch at the minor league Bakersfield Blaze baseball game. Obviously these cats don't have the paw strength to reach home plate, so to have these cats honored in this esteemed American tradition says a lot about our respect for these pets.

Domesticated cats have a long and rich history according to the  Smithsonian. Cats were first domesticated 12,000 years ago in the Middle East as people abandoned their nomadic lifestyle and settled permanently to farming and storing grain, which attracted rodents. The wildcats preyed on the rodents and stuck around these early towns. In Egypt, the African Wild Cat was domesticated to control the vermin that was harming the crops and causing diseases. These cats controlled the rat population, reducing deaths, and allowed a larger supply of food for the poor. Because they changed the quality of life for Egyptians, cats became sacred creatures representing life and associated with the goddesses Bast, Isis and Pasht. If an Egyptian killed a cat, they were immediately given the death penalty.

Egyptian traders brought cats to Europe, Greece, and the Romans. All of these civilizations used the cats to control the pest population and the King of Wales also made killing a cat punishable by death. But during the Middle Ages, cats were associated with superstitions and witch craft, sin and Satan. When The Plague started in 1348, the rulers ordered the killing of cats that were thought to carry the devil's disease. Ironically, because of the mass killing of cats, the rodent population exploded and worsened the spread of disease. The mass killing of cats costs millions of lives in Europe.

Cats were used on ships to control the rodent population and when Christopher Columbus discovered America, cats on board of his ship were left behind and flourished to become the American Shorthair cat. Fast forward to today and in the 1990s, cats overtook the dog as the world's most common pet where there are now 500,000,000 domestic cats worldwide!

In the USA, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), there are 86 million owned cats compared to 78 million dogs. Thirty-nine percent of American households own a dog compared to 33 percent owning cats. The oddity in the numbers here is because 52 percent of cat people own more than one cat, while 40 percent of dog people own more than one dog. A total of 70 million US homes own at least one companion animal which is 63 percent of homes. There are 54,000 veterinarians in the USA taking care of these animals which is a 55 percent increase in vets in just the last 15 years!

Back in 2012, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis started the "Internet Cat Video Film Festival" to showcase the best in cat videos. They receive 10,000 submissions annually of one-minute videos and pick the top 70 which are shown at the film festival. When over 10,000 people showed up for this event, it became so popular that it has led to international tours of the program and they had their 2015 edition launch a couple of months ago. We noticed on our Facebook page that every time we post a picture of a cat, it is liked or shared thousands of times. So if so many of us take the time to smile, laugh and gush about cats, why are so many of them in trouble?

There are over 5,000 animal shelters nationwide according to Statistic Brain. Five-million animals enter these shelters and 3.5 million are euthanized. Sixty percent of dogs are euthanized and 70 percent of cats entering shelters are euthanized. Only two percent of the cats are actually returned to their owners. Two billion dollars of taxpayer money is used annually to round up, house, kill and dispose of homeless animals.

October 29 is National Cat Day which has now been celebrated for 10 years. For those of us who love animals, we should not just be rejoicing only one day this month, because it is our duty every day to help these defenseless animals who have no voice for themselves. There are plenty of concerned organizations that need our support to help reduce the staggering amount of neglected pets. Donate to great nonprofits like the ASPCA, the Humane Society, the American Humane Association or to go local, find a shelter near you through The Shelter Pet Project to help fight animal abuse and neglect. And at  DollarDays on our Facebook page, we are giving away $5,000 in products to animal shelters, so make sure you nominate your favorite shelter that can use our help. If you cannot support these helpless animals with money, donate your time to help care for them at the shelters. All shelters welcome people who will feed, walk and groom these ignored cats.

Cats provide therapeutic benefits for many of life's invisible scars. They help us socially and emotionally. The unconditional love cats give us transcends work issues, family conflicts, and death. Cats don't care about the color of your skin, whether you can read or not, or if you are missing a limb. So not only during National Cat Day this month honor your best friend, but all year long do the right thing. Donate to cat shelters and organizations that care for these innocent animals. Volunteer at your local shelter to help cats cope with being alone. No one wants to be alone, and your simple act of kindness goes a long way for cats that can't speak up for themselves. Read More

Topics: News

September fleece blanket giveaway winners announced!

Posted by Jackie Eldridge on Oct 1, 2015 12:11:26 PM

As you know, each month we donate $5,000 in merchandise to help people in need. It's our way of being good corporate citizens. We truly love to help others.

Many thanks to the thousands of entries for the 1,000 fleece blanket giveaway! We use a super scientific program to randomly select the 25 winners and here they are:

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5 ways for teachers to save money

Posted by Jessica Urgiles on Sep 28, 2015 12:00:00 PM



Having enough money to purchase classroom supplies is a struggle every teacher experiences. The following options can help teachers save while stocking their classrooms this school year:

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Topics: Education and School