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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year Everyone!

TheOrthobee Team is looking forward to 2012 and we wish everyone happiness, health and prosperity in the new year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year's Resolutions!

In just a few days, we will be saying goodbye to 2011 and hellooo to 2012!  To help you with your New Year's Resolutions, we've listed USA.gov's top 10 most popular resolutions.
  1. Drink Less Alcohol
  2. Eat Healthy Food
  3. Get a Better Education
  4. Get a Better Job
  5. Get Fit
  6. Lose Weight
  7. Manage Debt
  8. Manage Stress
  9. Quit Smoking
  10. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
  11. Save Money
  12. Take a Trip
  13. Volunteer to Help Others
A resolution is defined as a commitment that a person makes to one or more lasting personal goals, projects, or the reforming of a habit.  A New Year's resolution, gmade at the beginning of a new year or end of an old year, is a goal a person sets out to accomplish in the coming year.

What are your own New Year's Resolutions?  Visit USA.gov for helpful resources on how to achieve your goals.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

'Tis the Season

The Orthobee team wants to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

How to Check if a Charity is Legitimate

Sometimes good causes can go bad.  Worst are the charities with questionable ethics.  Even when so-called charities aren't outright scams, it's tough to know whether your donations are getting through to the cause for which they were intended. This, however, is no reason to stop giving. Just give a little smarter. 

How do you find a charity that matches your interests and uses your money wisely?  Always use caution against putting money into any company or charity you don't understand.  Once you've settled on a cause (for example: medical relief or education), research which groups support it.  Charity navigator and the American Institute of Philanthropy (whose website is Charitywatch) rate major nonprofits and analyze expense ratios - the percentage of a charity's budget that goes directly to the cause versus its own operating expenses.

However, don't get hung up on expense ratios.  Donors may dismiss an organization if administrative expenses seem "high."  Yet some nonprofits (museums, for example) have costly maintenance.  Impact is what matters most, not expense ratio.

Here's a hypothetical example: two organizations distribute mosquito nets in Africa to fight malaria.  The first charity brings the nets to remote areas, dips them in insecticide to increase effectiveness and trains villagers to use them properly.  The second charity just hands them out.  The latter group's administrative costs are lower, but its bed nets will be used for dresses, fishing nets, and curtains; the former charity's expense ratios look worse on paper but more lives will be saved.

So how do you assess a charity?  GiveWell lists excellent suggestions and recommendations of domestic and foreign charities to support, as does GlobalGiving.  If an organization you like isn't listed on these sites, GuideStar keeps a comprehensive database on nearly all of the nation's nonprofits.  Clicking the website's "Take Action" tab will lead you to GuideStar's "9-Step Guide to Giving Wisely."

If a neighbor recommends an impressive program, embrace it.  Do your research by visiting or even volunteering for a day.  There's no better way to get insight than to work inside an organization.  One of the most telling signs of charity getting results is that its staff and volunteers are committed heart and soul.  If you're on the premises of the program, ask these individuals how long they've been with the organization and what they think its strengths and weaknesses are.  When the people most intimately involved in the non-profit work are true believers, that's the most powerful endorsement of all.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Are you low on cash but in the giving spirit?

Here are eight ways to help others this season without breaking your bank account:


  • If you shop online... GoodShop.com and GiveClicks.com donate a portion of proceeds to charity.
  • If you're getting married... IDoFoundation.org helps couples create gift registries, invitations, and party favors that benefit charitable organizations.
  • If you just like being nice... Go to Avivausa.com and request a free Youmanity Token.  Register it on the website; then help out a stranger, hand them the token, and ask that they do the same.  Follow the kindness chain you started as the token travels the country.
  • If shoes are cluttering up your closet... Soles4Souls.org distributes them to the poor and disaster-struck around the world.
  • If you have spare business apparel... CareerGear.org (for men's clothing) and TheWomensAlliance.org (for women's clothing) collect donations of "lightly worn" professional attire for outfitting job candidates for interviews.
  • If you have (stuffed) animeals... StuffAnimalsForEmergencies.org and LovingHugs.org gives your "gently used" friends to kids in need (see the websites for guidelines).
  • If you want to help out locally... HandsOnNetwork.org and VolunteerMatch.org pair neighbors with volunteer needs.
  • If you enjoy surfing (the internet, that is)... GoodSearch.com automatically donates to a favorite worthy group as you browse.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

WildSmiles Holiday Limerick and Gift

 

Email your limerick to dbickford@wildsmiles4you.com before December 25, 2011 and WildSmiles will send you a $5 Starbucks gift card!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Operation Gratitude

We just wanted to shout out to our twin patients, Cassy and Crissy, who generously offered to help deliver over 700 pounds of candy to Operation Gratitude!  Thank you so much!




Operation Gratitude sent us a message that we wanted to share with all of you:


All across the country, we will have cause to celebrate on Saturday, December 17, 2011 as the 750,000thOperation Gratitude Care Package rolls off the assembly line at the National Guard Armory in Van Nuys, California!   

Up to 1000 volunteers and supporters are expected to join the Operation Gratitude Assembly Day for this Milestone Celebration.   


Volunteers and Supporters like you make all this possible. I am forever grateful for your dedication to Operation Gratitude through the years. We could not touch the lives and hearts of so many of our courageous service members and their families without you.  


With your help this past year, we launched two new programs: 
Wounded Warrior and Battalion Buddy Care Packages. Due to the popular demand for these packages, Operation Gratitude shipped a record 150,000 care packages in just one year......This brings us to our 750,000th care package on December 17th!  

The Assembly Line will open at 9 a.m. We expect the 750,000th package to hit the line at around 11:15 a.mPST, to the cheers of up to 1,000 Volunteers, Military members, Dignitaries, Legislators, and Celebrities. When that happens, we will halt all activity, gather everyone together and start the Celebration Program!
 

In addition to the standard items and personal letters provided by more than 250 corporate donors and byindividuals and volunteer organizations across the country, the 750,000th Care Package will includeTop Secret Surprises for a Top Secret Warrior, brought to us by none other than Santa Claus.

Expect exciting and classically American gifts donated by our Corporate Partners to be put in the Milestone box. Six previous Operation Gratitude milestone packages contained the keys to new vehicles (motorcycles and SUVs)! A special delivery of the 750,000th Package is being arranged as we speak.  


As part of the Milestone Celebration, there will also be a variety of delicious product samples and a hearty lunch, provided by Corporate and local business donors.

Volunteers (ages 12 years and up) are invited to assist in the on-site care package activities.  


Please keep in mind, Financial Donations
 are still needed to pay the assembly and postage costs of $15 per care package.  Every tax deductible donation of $15 sends another care package, personally addressed to an American hero, and filled with 50+ assorted snack, entertainment and personal care items valued at $100 or more.   

Please ensure that every Soldier, Sailor, Airman and Marine deployed in harm's way, and every recuperating Wounded Warrior, feels loved and appreciated this holiday season. Please 
Donate online today.  

If you prefer to send Donations by check, please make payable and mail to:  

Operation Gratitude
1
6444 Refugio Road
Encino, California 91436  


Thank you again for your tremendous support of our mission. I am deeply appreciative of the kindness you have shown throughout the years, and hope you will share the excitement of our 750,000th Care Package Celebration!  


Location
:
California Army National Guard
17330 Victory Boulevard
Van Nuys, CA 91406
Corner of Victory and Louise; parking available in adjacent lot

T
ime
Care Package Assembly: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Milestone Celebration: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  

We invite you to stay for lunch following the celebration and to continue assembling packages until 4 p.m.   


For additional volunteer information: 
Volunteer 

To learn how you can help: 
Support Activities

Donate while you shop: 
Great Ideas

To Request Care Packages for Deployed Troops: 
Request Packages
About Operation Gratitude
Operation Gratitude annually sends 100,000 care packages filled with snacks, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation addressed to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed in hostile regions, to their children left behind and to Wounded Warriors recuperating in Transition Units. Our mission is to lift morale, bring a smile to a service member's face and express to our Armed Forces the appreciation and support of the American people. Each package contains donated product valued at ~$125 and costs the organization $15 to assemble and ship. For safety and security, assembling of packages occurs at the Army National Guard armory in Van Nuys, California. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than 725,000 packages to American Military deployed overseas.  

Learn more about Operation Gratitude by visiting:
Web:          http://www.OperationGratitude.com
Twitter:       http://www.twitter.com/OpGratitude
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/OperationGratitude
Blog:          http://OpGrat.wordpress.com
YouTube:   http://www.youtube.com/OpGrat
LinkedIn:    http://www.linkedin.com/company/operation-gratitude

Budget-Friendly Pet Health Care

If you want a cheap way to get your pet microchipped or vaccinated, check out the mobile Vaccination Station that operates weekends in Orange County.  The clinic moves around every week, but you can frequently find it Sunday afternoons in Aliso Viejo, Long Beach or Mission Viejo.  You can get your pet chipped for $15, a rabies shot for $12, and other services as well.

See www.thevaccinationstation.com to learn more!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Make A Wish

Write a letter to Santa at Dr. Bui's Orthodontics office today!  We'll make sure to get your letters out before Christmas!