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Office charity drives … a piece of cake

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in Office Management

You can make “doing good” part of your daily grind. Ask your co-workers to don an apron, join in a charity drive or make a silent auction bid. Here are a few ideas:

End childhood hunger by participating in the national campaign called “The Great American Bake Sale.”

How it works: Form a team. (A few colleagues will do. Or ask the entire office to put their spatulas to work.) Register your bake sale at www.strength.org and receive your official bake sale packet. Start your ovens!

Businesses are eating up the idea. At one company bake sale, for example, Gloria Johnson, an employee of Umpqua Bank in Oregon, organized bake sales at bank branches across the state. By selling cookies and brownies in the bank lobbies, she raised more than $16,000.

Money raised goes to Share Our Strength, which provides meals and snacks to low-income students after school and during the summer, among other good deeds.

Show your office’s “greener” side with an Earth Share charity drive. Earth Share, a nationwide network of environmental organizations, has helped launch campaigns at hundreds of workplaces, including American Airlines and Wal-Mart. It will help you set up one at your office. Send an e-mail to info@earthshare.org, and Earth Share can tell you more.

Help out a local cause. Create your own fundraising event, and donate the proceeds to a worthy cause closer to home. Ideas:

Organize an “a-thon,” such as a walk-a-thon, bike-a-thon, or skate-a-thon. Co-workers can compete individually or the event can become a departmental challenge.

Hold a silent auction. Collect prizes for your auction, such as gift certificates, lunch with your CEO, a day off, or a dedicated parking space for a month or a year. Suggest a minimum donation for auction items.

No energy to organize the office? Then help make one person’s dreams come true (without shelling out a bundle) by being an angel investor on Kiva.org.

The microloan organization matches investments as small as $25 with aspiring entrepreneurs in developing countries. Choose whom you want to invest in, then send the money via PayPal.

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