An Easy Way to Help Your Favorite Charity - SurveyMonkey

When I first started sharing activities that are easy to do from home and 'for the greater good' (calling it that for the lack of a better term) one of the first ones that came to mind is SurveyMonkey. Off and on again I've been participating in it for years and while the results of that aren't huge, for a work in verses reward, to your chosen charity, can be substantial. You've able to chose from a wide variety of charities, some of which are shown below, and able to send what can add up to a significant amount of money with a small amount of time, plus you can do it whenever you want! Below are just a few of the charities that you can have your earning sent to. 

I'll start with how it works. You'll want to go to, instead of the Survey Monkey main page which is made for people who want to set up surveys, not participate in them. After doing all the regular account creation stuff you'll start setting up your profile. They'll ask questions related to your age, interests and things you own, for all of which it's really important that you answer honestly. While it might feel like you should answer them in ways you'd get the most surveys so you can give more to your favorite charity in the long run this isn't a good idea. And anyways even when I started out as a teen with no job/car/whatever I still was able to get quite a few surveys. 

Once you finish your profile, or get tired of filling it out since you don't need a complete profile to get some surveys, you'll probably have the opportunity to immediately start taking a few. If not they'll email you when some are available. That email looks like the above, and when my profile is at 100% they send me it once a week. Typically there are 2-3 surveys available when I go to SurveyMonkey after getting the email. From there filling out the survey is pretty easy, normally taking about 5 minutes. A lot of the time they're market research questions for new products which, is actually kind of cool to see from the inside. Just like the profile questions it's really important to answer these questions honestly. 

When you've completed the survey they donate $0.50 to the charity of your choice and give you a change to "Win a $100 Gift Card". To be honest I don't even try this any more. While it looks like you have a 1 in 8 change of winning, I can say that while I've done almost 300 surveys I've yet to win. 

From the first photo you can see that I've be able to get $127 donated to the charity of my choice, the American Diabetes Associate (I had trouble deciding between this and the American Cancer Society). So while it might not seem like $0.50 adds up it really can!

Prayers for You, Book Review

Prayers for You 

The perfect gift for any occasion! Let your friends and family know you’re praying for them with Prayers for You, a beautifully designed book full of comfort and inspiration to encourage others in times of struggle or as a heartfelt way to show you care for any occasion.
No matter what a person is going through, a beautiful reminder of love and prayer will encourage anyone. Featuring written prayers for when you don't have the words, wise quotations on prayer and God's loving nature, Scripture, and a sophisticated design, Prayers for You is a modern, shareable gift book that is perfect for your mom, best friend, or colleague.
Prayers for You offers hope, peace, and connection for you and your loved ones to share together. Light up someone's world with this fresh reminder today.

My Thoughts: I have to start by saying that I was sent the book to review but that doesn't change the review in any way. I love that it's small (not quite picket sized), so it perfect to carry around, and perfect for a gift. There's an attached bookmark and it's a hardback. The quotes and bible verses are great and I love the photography they use as a backdrop. 

From Monk to Money Manager, Book Review

From Monk to Money Manger, By Doug Lynam

Build a better financial future for yourself and the world. Former monk turned financial advisor, Doug Lynam, shares the rules of money management that will change your approach to earning, saving, and investing.
From Monk to Money Manager is an entertaining and self-deprecating journey through Lynam’s relationship with the almighty dollar—his childhood in a rich family, the long-haired hippie days running away from materialism, time in the Marine Corps looking for selfless service, and his twenty years in the monastery under a vow of poverty that led to his current profession as a financial advisor. In this unique look at wealth from a spiritual perspective, Lynam shares his belief that God doesn’t expect us to live in poverty. The truth is, we need financial peace so we can help others. When money becomes a part of our spiritual practice, used in love and service, it can bring us closer to our highest spiritual ideals.
With humor and humility, Lynam uses stories told through the lens of his own money mistakes, and those of counseling clients, to understand how our attitudes about money hold us back. He also provides clear, step-by-step guidance on how to grow a little bit wealthy. His insights include how to build a compassionate relationship to our finances; some of the good, bad, and ugly truths about money; and the tricks to unlocking financial freedom.

My Thoughts: When I was offered this book to review I was very excited. I've always been interested in finance books and this one seemed like it would have a lot to offer. I love the perspective that Dough Lynam puts out about having wealth is different than many Christian books. His book isn't just motivational though and offers practical tips.

I'm Possible, Book Review

I'm Possible by Jeremy Cowart 

Internationally known photographer and philanthropist Jeremy Cowart uses snapshots of his own story to inspire readers with the message that all things are possible when we actively engage our God-given purpose to change the world.
Recognized as “the most influential photographer on the Internet,” Jeremy Cowart is known as a photographer, hotelier, fund-raiser, teacher, artist, world uniter, lover of life, and man of adventure. What fans don’t always know is that Jeremy started out as a failure.
Growing up, Jeremy’s life was defined by the words I can’t do it. Thankfully, Jeremy’s parents reprogrammed his mind with a single sentence: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.That simple truth propelled Jeremy to achieve greatness in many forms, including
  • running photo shoots with A-list clients, such as Sting, the Kardashians, President Obama, the Pope, and many more,
  • launching the Help-Portrait movement to invest dignity and value in people from underserved communities and who were victims of tragedy, and
  • launching the Purpose Hotel as a for-profit hotel chain designed to fuel the work of not-for-profit organizations.
I’m Possible is an extension of Jeremy’s belief that greatness must serve a greater purpose. It’s a book that will inspire readers with the message that all things are possible when we actively engage our God-given purpose to change the world.

My Thoughts: Before reading this book I hadn't heard of Jeremy Cowart, which might seem a bit strange but the book intrigued me. I love that this is a motivational book without going overboard and it really feels like a guide forward.. I love the message that all things are possible. A great book for people looking to push through their doubts. 

Jesus Calling, Book Review

Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

Uniquely inspired treasures from heaven for every day of the year by missionary Sarah Young.
Jesus Calling is a devotional filled with uniquely inspired treasures from heaven for every day of the year.  After many years of writing in her prayer journal, missionary Sarah Young decided to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever she believed He was saying to her.  It was awkward at first, but gradually her journaling changed from monologue to dialogue.  She knew her writings were not inspired as Scripture is, but journaling helped her grow closer to God.  Others were blessed as she shared her writings, until people all over the world were using her messages.  They are written from Jesus' point of view, thus the title Jesus Calling.  It is Sarah's fervent prayer that our Savior may bless readers with His presence and His peace in ever deeper measure.

My Thoughts: When this book came in (sent by the publisher for a review) I could believe how beautiful it was. The book has an artistic hard cover an the page edges are a vivid blue. Of course this didn't speak to what was inside the book, but it instantly made me think Jesus Calling would be a perfect gift. But about the book itself... It's inspirational, there's scripture at the bottom of the page and a very helpful index. Everything is in first person and really eye opening to think about.