India Now Has “Rice Bucket Challenge” Charity

The rice bucket challenge urges Indians to provide rice for those in poverty

In response to ALS’s ice bucket challenge, India’s rice bucket challenge is taking off.
Image: Shutterstock

Inspired by the global charity chain that spread awareness about the disease ALS, Manju Latha Kalanidhi came up with an similar way to help those in need by utilizing something she calls the “Rice Bucket Challenge.”

In this challenge, all one needs to do is buy or cook a bucket of rice and feed someone who needs it. Just like the ALS challenge, participants should use the hastag #ricebucketchallenge and ask their friends to pay it forward.

The Rice Bucket Challenge is described on its Facebook page as an “Indian version for Indian needs.” The challenge is still in its infancy, with the inaugural donation made on Sunday morning.

Manju Latha Kalanidhi’s Facebook says, “Cook or buy one bucket of rice/biryani and feed the needy. Tag #RiceBucketChallenge and challenge your friends.”

“I hope Indians take it up in a big way and make [the] ice bucket challenge a secondary phenomenon,” Kalanidhi said in an interview.

In just a few days, the Indian twist has created quite a stir on social media with more than 1000 likes in a day and people already willing to take the challenge. While Bollywood celebrities and sports icons in India have been doing the Ice Bucket Challenge, Kalanidhi is encouraging Indians to help individuals close to home.

For those who don’t want to donate rice, medicines worth Rs. 100 can also be donated to any nearby government hospital where impoverished families can get affordable treatment.

“Ice Bucket Challenge” – Is it Actually Doing Good?

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raised $9.5 million for research so far.
Image: Shutterstock

If you frequent social media, it’s not hard to find someone doing the Ice Bucket Challenge. All participants are capturing the moment when they pour a bucket of ice water over their heads for the sake of promoting awareness for ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The idea of the challenge is to take a bucket of ice water, dump it over your head, record and post the video and challenge other people to do it. If you accept the challenge, you donate $10 to ALS research – and if you don’t, you’re supposed to donate $100.

And participants aren’t limited to regular Joes. Famous faces, including Bill Gates, John Elway, and Martha Stewart have also participated. But does the challenge actually do anything? Is it mostly just for show, or are people following up and actually donating?

The good news is, the challenge actually seems to be helping. As of last Friday, the ALS Association had received $9.5 million in donations—compared to $1.6 million during the same time period last year (June 29th to August 15th).

“We have never seen anything like this in the history of the disease,” said Barbara Newhouse, President and CEO of The ALS Association. “We couldn’t be more thrilled with the level of compassion, generosity and sense of humor that people are exhibiting as they take part in this impactful viral initiative.”

Former Boston College baseball player Pete Frates used the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness about Lou Gehrig’s disease in Boston. Frates also struggles with ALS and at 29 now is paralyzed, eats through a feeding tube, and cannot talk. His parents joined 200 other people earlier this month and soaked themselves with the frigid water in Copley Square.

City Councilor Tito Jackson wore a suit and tie to the event but didn’t shy away from the challenge. “This is a little bit of discomfort for a second,” he said, “but it’s a lifetime of challenges for people with ALS.”

The event has lit up across the nation like wildfire since it began July 29th, with more than 176,000 people tweeting about it in just the last week alone.

Have you taken the challenge?

Gucci Sponsors Charity Sonoma Event

Gucci sponsored Sonoma fundraiser

On August 5, Gucci sponsored the Giant Steps Charity Classic Six Bar and Gala. Image: Selfiy /

On August 5, Gucci was the presenting sponsor of the Giant Steps Charity Classic Six Bar and Gala. Gucci had over 550 guests at its second annual gala, which was hosted at Sonoma Horse Park, just north of San Francisco.

The Giant Steps Charity Classic Six Bar and Gala raised a record $1 million for Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center, which is a riding center that provides therapeutic riding services to children, adults, and veterans who suffer from disabilities like autism, cerebral palsy and PTSD. The name of the fundraiser is perhaps a bit misleading; it’s not a one-night happening—the entirety of the event happens over an entire week. There were two title events that took place over the weekend, including the $40,000 Shaklee Grand Prix on Sunday.

The grand prix is the only US equestrian event that Gucci sponsors. Sloan and Roger Barnett, who is the CEO of Shaklee, serve on the gala committee and their 8-year-old daughter Violet rides regularly at the park. The husband and wife duo also helped sponsor the grand prix event.

“Gucci’s sponsorship has been a miracle in transforming this event,” praised Ashley Herman. “But the most amazing miracle I see here happens when, following a Giant Steps session, an 8-year-old autistic boy takes his first step or utters his first word.”

Other attendees at the event included Gina Pell, Cecillia Harris, Zem Joaquin, Julie Chaiken, Christina Getty, Allison Speer, Helen McEvoy and Merrill Kasper.


Victoria Beckham to Sell Wardrobe for Charity

Victoria Beckham to donate wardrobe to charity

Former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham is going to donate items from her wardrobe to the charity mothers2mothers. Image: Featureflash /

As one of the most stylish women in fashion, getting a peek into the closet of Victoria Beckham would be a dream for most women. Just taking a look inside would be a thrilling opportunity for many fashionistas, and now, you can even own a piece of it, as reports detail how the star is donating some of her clothes for charity.

After a visit to South Africa in February this year with Vogue editor Anna Wintour and American Vogue, Victoria met mothers2mothers (m2m) founder Dr. Mitch Besser, who left a deep impression on her. The charity works to mentor HIV-positive mothers and provide education on how to prevent transmissions of HIV from mothers to babies.

In a recent speaking engagement about m2m, Beckham said, “After spending just a few days with these remarkable women and learning more about the charity from Mitch and his lovely wife Annie Lennox, I wanted to do as much as I could. It really was a life-changing experience; I’ve never experienced anything like it.”

The fashionista has partnered with to sell over 600 items from her closet to aid the charity. The event will take place on the website from August 20th-25th. Reportedly, Beckham called upon her mother Jacqueline Doreen and sister Louise to help her select what to donate from her closet.

“My sister was so harsh,” Beckham admitted. “I’d be like, ‘Oooooh I can’t give this away,’ and she’d say, ‘Give me that. Put it in the box now…Harper is never going to want that!’ To be honest there are some pieces I’m sure Harper would love – I think I’ve donated the very best pieces – but there are a lot of other people out there who will really enjoy them.”

Beckham’s star power and generosity are lending a huge amount of support and visibility to m2m, and many predict that this fundraiser will be met with great success.

To register for the event, visit here.

A Lifetime of Donations Leads to Important Mental Health Research

Stanley Center logo

The Stanley Center is set to receive a donation of $650 million from patron Ted Stanley.
Image: Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research

Apparently once isn’t enough for Ted Stanley: Having amassed a fortune selling sports collectibles, 83-year-old Stanley has just announced his third massive donation to MIT-Harvard’s Broad Institute, a center for psychiatric research.

Beginning with a call in 2007 from Ed Scolnick, then head of research and development at Merck, Stanley has contributed significant funds to the Broad Institute to vastly increase the amount of testing the organization can do to understand genetic causes for psychiatric disorders.

Stanley’s first donation of $100 million started the Stanley Center at the Broad Institute. A chaser of $50 million was recently followed by a third donation of $650 million, some of which is to be bequeathed after Stanley’s death.

With pharmaceutical companies contributing less and less to psychiatric research, Stanley’s donations come at an opportune time. Researchers at the Institute have already used the funds to accomplish a study of 36,989 patients with schizophrenia, which determined 108 regions of DNA that appear to be linked to the disease. Future research into DNA sequencing will now be possible, thanks to Stanley’s contributions.

“Having philanthropy allows us to take thoughtful risk,” says Steven Hyman, now the runner of the Stanley Center. “We’re fortunate, and I feel [the] enormous weight of responsibility to get this right.”

“For the first time, there’s a clear path forward,” agrees Eric Lander, the president of the Broad Institute. With drug makers having all but abandoned research into alternate cures and causes of mental illness, a donation such as Stanley’s provides for important research into the issue.

Having joined a large group of researchers to form a consortium to pool thousands of subjects, the Broad Institute reported in 2011 that they have determined the five genetic markers associated with schizophrenia. They look forward to discovering even more genetic links, thanks to Stanley’s financial assistance.

SmashFest: Over $140,000 Raised for Charities

Steam Whistle Brewing, host of this year's Smashfest

Steam Whistle Brewing in Toronto hosted this year’s Smashfest.
Image: ValeStock /

The annual charity ping-pong challenge in Toronto, Smashfest, raised over $140,000 on Thursday last week. The event, which was hosted by the New York Rangers forward Dominic Moore, will contribute its funds to charities that assist in the research of concussions and rare cancers.

This year was the third installment of the tournament, which brought over 23 current or former NHL players to the Steam Whistle Brewery in Toronto.

“We had an amazing time at Smashfest again this year,” Moore said. “The support we received was impressive on all fronts, from the players and guests in attendance, to the NHLPA and all of our partners. I’m proud that $140,000 was raised to further help with research into concussions and rare cancers.”

The event has grown drastically since the inaugural event in 2012, which raised $20,000 for concussion research. Last summer an additional charity was added to raise over $100,000 for the Katie Moore Foundation, which honors the forward’s late wife.

The NHL players in attendance at this year’s third annual Smashfest event included Dominic Moore (Host), Derick Brassard, Alex Burrows, Mike Cammalleri, David Clarkson, Logan Couture, Michael Del Zotto, T.J. Galiardi, Doug Gilmour, Mike Johnson, Kevin Klein, Nick Kypreos, Shawn Matthias, Jamie McLennan, Jeff O’Neill, Teddy Purcell, Zac Rinaldo, Tyler Seguin, Jeff Skinner, Cam Talbot, Chris Tanev, Stephane Veilleux, and Kevin Weekes.

The event allowed guests the opportunity to play ping-pong against the NHL players. There was also the opportunity to bid on several unique items through the silent auction. More than 650 people were in attendance at the sold-out event.

USC Coach Dawn Staley’s Fun-Raiser Brings out Celebrities

Dawn Staley

Dawn Staley IMG: via Shutterstock.

USC coach Dawn Staley hosted a charity softball game recently in an effort to raise $75,000 in South Carolina. The donations will go to support Innersole, a charity that donates new sneakers to needy children. The foundation will branch into an elementary school in the fall and promote a competition measuring attendance, behavior, physical fitness and grades with new sneakers as the prize.

Ray Tanner coached one of the teams, cutting it close with a 13-12 win in the Fun-Raiser celebrity softball game. Staley’s team was ahead 11-5 in the seventh and final inning, but Tanner’s team rallied in the final minutes to pull ahead.

“It was a tremendous turnout,” Staley said. “The way that the people of South Carolina have supported everything I’ve done in our women’s basketball program, and now Innersole, it goes to show how caring they are about what we do.”

One of Staley’s team players was Forrest Alton, CEO of the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. Alton got three homers off pitcher Brian Buscher, but those homers were all answered with three for Buscher later on.

“I played like a sieve at third, so I guess it kind of evens out,” Alton said. “It was fun to be out here and nice of coach Staley to ask. Innersole works on issues that are overlapping with (our initiative), for sure.”

Former professional athletes who participated in Saturday’s game included Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey, St. Louis Rams tight end Justice Cunningham, Andre Goodman and Scott Wingo.

Potato Salad Kickstarter goes Viral

heart shaped potato

The Internet has declared its love for potato salad.
Image: Nisha A / Flickr

Apparently, the Internet loves potatoes. Well, potato salad to be exact.

A viral potato salad Kickstarter campaign has raised  $71,758 and still has 23 days left to go. The user who created the campaign, Zach “Danger” Brown told Good Morning America on Tuesday, “It’s unbelievable,” of receiving pledges from more than 20 countries for his campaign, launched solely with the description “Basically I’m just making potato salad. I haven’t decided what kind yet.”

“I want to do the most good that I can do with this,” he explained. “Kickstarter has terms of service that prohibit giving money directly to charities, but I’ve asked people on Twitter, and I want to ask people here today, just how we can take this moment, this campaign and this money and do the most good with it.”

In a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything,” where Reddit users can submit questions), Brown speculated as to what was causing users to go so crazy over a potato salad Kickstarter.

“I never thought it would go this far. $10 seemed like a good, conservative goal,” he wrote. “I think the thing people are responding to is the opportunity to come together around something equal parts absurd and mundane. Potato salad isn’t controversial, but it seems to unite us all.”

Perhaps the most ironic part is that Brown has never even made potato salad before. He has reportedly invited “the entire internet” to his hometown for a giant party, where it is presumable that lots of potato salad will be present.

As funny as the situation is, there are also many people who are upset over the campaign’s stunning success. So many Kickstarter campaigns come and go, many with noble causes in mind—such as using yoga to heal anorexia—that find it extremely difficult, and often impossible, to raise the funds needed. But potato salad? No problem. So, while it is a fun thing—it is a bit disturbing to see that people will come together for potato salad, but often won’t for the greater good.

NYC Charity Luncheon Fiasco Dubbed “Success” by Millionaire in Charge

NYC Central Park

NYC’s Central Park. IMG: via Shutterstock.

On Wednesday, June 25th, 200 homeless New Yorkers showed up at Central Park with empty stomachs and high hopes: Chinese millionaire Chen Guangbiao had promised a gourmet lunch and $300 in cash to anyone that attended his “Tour of Love and Gratitude.”

Instead, they left echoing sentiments like Tom Cargill’s:

“I feel so disappointed right now I’m going to throw up.”

Cargill was one of the hundreds of homeless that showed up to Chen’s event, which had been advertised in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. But instead of following through on the promises made, there was a change in plan: Chen hosted the luncheon but instead of handing out the cash, he signed a contract agreeing to donate $90,000 to the New York City Rescue Mission.

After hearing of Chen’s plan to pass out such large amounts of cash, the rescue mission advised strongly against it. Spokeswoman Michelle Tolson explained why, saying, “We work with the homeless every day, many of them unfortunately have drink and drugs problems, and it just isn’t a good idea to give that sort of cash out to people.”

But unfortunately for Chen and the homeless individuals that showed up at Central Park, that message seems to have gotten lost in translation, leaving many of the struggling New Yorkers angry and resentful.

Vietnam War veteran Harry Brooks voiced his frustration to the Telegraph: “We have been duped to come along here under false pretenses, and now we are just part of a propaganda trick for the rich,” he said. “We don’t need their steak. We need the money so that we can pay for food and clear debts. Now we’re never going to see it. This is a disgrace.”

Others agreed, commenting that this was a perfect example of how the rich treat the poor.

It certainly didn’t help that on the day of the event, Chen made a speech that again promised to pay up. After that, he began passing out $300 to select attendees as a show of good faith; however, the New York Times reports that those homeless individuals that were given the money would have to give it back later—making the gesture purely symbolic, and incredibly upsetting to many.

After many of the luncheon guests became upset upon realizing that they wouldn’t be receiving the promised $300, many of them began shouting things like “We’re human beings!” and “Stop lying!” Under pressure, Chen promised to hand out money later in the day at the mission—but mission officials say that would be a violation of the previously signed contract.

The event can only be dubbed as a fiasco, but Chen surprisingly reported that he felt it had been a huge success, indicating that any upset was simply caused by East to West culture differences.

Whether that sentiment is true or not, Chen’s “Tour of Love and Gratitude” couldn’t have missed the mark more for most attendees. Instead of leaving guests hopeful and feeling loved, it likely left many feeling poorer than when they had arrived—bellies full of food but hearts deflated of false hope.

Of course, the mission’s stance is certainly understandable; many homeless individuals would likely squander the cash on things like drugs and alcohol rather than paying off debt or buying essentials. Of course, many others might also have used that cash to truly better their life situation. What it really comes down to is incredibly poor judgment and planning on Chen’s part—a mistake that many well-off individuals make when they found nonprofits or host charity events, getting so caught up in the “grand gesture” that they don’t think about the larger picture.

Pippa Middleton Biking U.S. For Charity

Pippa Middleton in London

Pippa Middleton is riding across America on her bike.
Image: Simon James /

Pippa Middleton, sister-in-law of Prince William, and her brother James have embarked on a 3,000-mile bike ride across the US to raise money for charity. Pippa Middleton and her team will start the journey at Oceanside, California, and ride to Annapolis, Maryland, in the event called Race Across America.

“On 14th June, my brother and I, along with six friends will be setting off on a West to East Coast Race Across America (RAAM),” she said in a statement posted on her fundraising page on Saturday. “This relay cycling event spans 3,000 miles, 12 states and 88 counties. We are aiming to complete this non-stop challenge in eight days, riding between 350 and 500 miles a day.”

Middleton, 30, is well versed in cycling, often riding out on the bumpy country roads near her parents’ house in Bucklebury. The two youngest Middleton siblings are on one of the several dozen solo and team riders in the 33rd annual charity event. The Middleton team is raising funds for the British Heart Foundation, which Pippa is an ambassador for.

In a statement on the foundation’s website, she says she “was shocked to learn that nearly three times more women die from coronary heart disease than breast cancer. I’m passionate about raising awareness amongst women of this killer disease and I look forward to working with the BHF to highlight to women the risks of heart disease and, importantly, how they can reduce them.”

Middleton also announced on her fundraising page that her and her brother James will be heading to Istanbul afterwards to participate in the Bosphorus Cross-Continental Race.


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