Space is pretty awesome. Blockbuster hits like Gravity and Interstellar, privatized space exploration such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Virgin Galactic, and incentives like Google’s Lunar XPRIZE, which awards $30 million to the first private company to send a robot to the moon, have renewed our interest beyond our atmosphere.
And Pittsburgh has great representation with local NewSpace company Astrobotic leading the race to the moon, having won initial milestones of the Lunar XPRIZE and currently accepting payloads to be sent to space on their first launch.
And lucky you– you can get in on some space-related fun tomorrow evening with Yuri’s Night! From 4-7pm (don’t worry, plenty of time before the Game of Thrones season premiere) the Livermore will be hosting Pittsburgh’s celebration of mankind’s achievements in space, named after Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin who was the first human to journey into outer space.
The event is totally free to attend, and there will be space-related drinks, stellar beats, complimentary snacks, and tons of space talk, videos, and fun. The event will also serve as the afterparty for the NASA International Space Apps Challenge, brought to Pittsburgh by SpaceChallenges.org, a local non-profit aiming to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education through charitable competitions using space exploration as inspiration.
What: Yuri’s Night Pittsburgh
When: Sunday, April 12, 2015 from 4-7pm
Where: The Livermore, 124 S Highland Ave
Cost: Free, including light appetizers
UPDATE: If we raise all $5000 by 8pm 12/11/2014 – I’ll buy your first beer at Hough’s tonight. Get the details here.
Today, Thursday December 11, 2014 is the party for the CHS Holiday Gift Project at Houghs. I am not yet ready to celebrate because we have only raised 20% of the $5000 needed for 2014. While I look forward to drinking a beer with you this evening, I’m more interested in making sure we turn that 20% into 100%!
CHS Holiday Gift By The Numbers
In 2013 – 74 people donated to the CHS Holiday Gift Project on Crowdrise. This year, I have a personal goal of doubling that number because I would like to use this as an opportunity to share information about CHS with more Pittsburghers.
As of 10 am, 34 people have donated and we have raised $1100.
Three Reasons Why I am Supporting the 2014 CHS Holiday Gift Project
I am supporting the CHS Holiday Gift Project again this year because…
- Mental illness needs to be talked about … I think that mental illness is a real issue in Pittsburgh and cross the country, and that CHS is doing some very important work to help improve the lives of Pittsburghers who are struggling with mental illness.
- No one should be alone on Christmas… The CHS Holiday Gift Project provides some holiday cheer for some people that would not be receiving anything this holiday season. Most holiday gift projects provide gifts for kids and seniors. CHS works with people of all ages – the CHS Holiday Gift Project was started because many of the people that CHS works with were left out of Christmas cheer.
- Tweet for good… This is a great opportunity to engage the readers of IheartPGH and the entire Pittsburgh social media community for a good cause.
If you would like to help….
- Donate $10 TODAY
- Invite 5 Friends to donate $10 (you can even create a fundraising team)
- Share this blog post with your followers on Twitter
The other reason I love the CHS Holiday Gift Project is that it is a chance for local bloggers to work together to create more good in the Pittsburgh community. I am so impressed with my fellow bloggers who have supported this in years past and the new bloggers that have stepped up for the first time this year.
Check out how local bloggers are working together to raise $5000 for Community Human Services, a Pittsburgh non-profit that works on issues of homelessness and mental illness in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. You can support the CHS Holiday Gift Project by donating online HERE
Happy GivingTuesday! Giving Tuesday is a movement to make the first Tuesday in December a day of giving.
#GivingTuesday was founded in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. Together, with a team of influencers and founding partners, we launched a global movement that has engaged over 10,000 organizations worldwide.
#IgivePGH – Share Your Pittsburgh Giving Stories
10 Ways to Celebrate #GivingTuesday in Pittsburgh
Here is a brief list of ways you can give to Pittsburgh organizations by giving money, volunteering your time, filling out a survey or donating your status message to a cause. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list – we know there are many other amazing organizations that need your support. Please share your favorite Pittsburgh nonprofits by leaving a comment below.
1. Donate $10 to the CHS Holiday Gift Project – $
I had to lead with this project because it is near and dear to my heart and we are WAY behind on fundraising this year. We are helping to raise money so the CHS can provide holiday gifts for the Pittsburghers that they serve. CHS provides a wide range of social services around homeslessness and mental health. Many of the Pittsburghers that CHS works with fall outside of the scope of other holiday gift programs. So the dollars raised from this effort go to provide a small gift to a person who would likely be overlooked this holiday season. You can read more about the CHS Holiday Gift Project here.
Fundraising Websites – Crowdrise
2. Volunteer to Help the Food Bank at the Holiday Market in Market Square – FREE
The Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank has already rasied $10,000 but needs some more volunteers to help at the Photos with Santa booth in Market Square. If you have a few hours to spare on 12/3, 12/10, 12/11, 12/12, 12/15, 12/16, 12/22 or 12/23 sign up for a volunteer shift here.
Holiday Market Volunteers will be stationed outside throughout the market, encouraging folks to stop in and get a free photo with Santa. Volunteers will be proving patrons with ‘Santa Photo Cards’ in exchange for a suggested $5 donation or a bag of non-perishable groceries. Food Bank staff members are on-site to oversee each volunteer shift.
3. Make a Loan to a KivaZip Pittsburgh Business – $
Kiva offers small businesses in the US the ability to raise money through person-to-person loans with 0% interest. When you loan money to a small business on KivaZip the borrower pays you back and you can use that money to make new loans to other KivaZip Businesses. The follow Pittsburgh businesses are currently raising money:
- Hazelwood Farms
- Constellation Coffee (Double your impact- all loans will be matched 100%)
- D’s Natural Products (Double your impact- all loans will be matched 100%)
- Cassandra’s Florals & More (Double your impact- all loans will be matched 100%)
- Maggie Dean Studio (Double your impact- all loans will be matched 100%)
4. Shop at Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse for Great Gift Wrap
Pittsburgh Center for Creative reuse makes the list because it is one of the best kept secrets in town for gift wrapping. Pittsburgh Center for Creative reuse takes donations of all sorts of things and resells them to the public to be reused in many ways. They have a large selection of gift wrap, gift bags and ribbons as well as all sorts of other things that would be perfect for wrapping your gifts.
Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse is open 7 days a week from 11am-6pm and is located right next to Construction Junction.
You can also support Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse by donating online here.
Save the date – Franktuary host a benefit night for PCCR on Wednesday, December 10! Details available on the Facebook event.
5. Double Your Donation To Venture Outdoors and Kayak Pittsburgh
Venture Outdoors is a Pittsburgh non-profit that works to make it easier for Pittbsurghers to get outside. What you might not know is that Venture Outdoors is the organization that runs Kayak Pittsburgh which rents kayaks at both the North Shore and North Park. All end of year donations to Venture Outdoors are being matched dollar for dollar (upto $5000). If you like the outdoors consider making a donation to Venture Outdoors to make sure they are able to take advantage of all of the matching funds. Click here to donate.
6. Donate Your Status Message to the CHS Holiday Gift Project – FREE
Help spread the word by pledging your Twitter and/or Facebook status message to post about the CHS Holiday Gift Project. We’re using the tool Thunderclap to spread the word about the CHS Holiday Gift Project. Even if you can’t make a donation, you can donate a tweet!
7. Double the # of Square Feet of Reclaimed Vacant Land – $
GTECH is a Pittsburgh nonprofit that is quietly working to make some of the ugliest spots in Pittsburgh much prettier. The GTECH Reclaim program works with community organizations, neighbors and Pittsburghers to reclaim and reimagine vacant spots around town.
GTECH is also running a dollar for dollar match on donations through the end of the year (upto $7000).
Here is how your gift makes a difference:
- $50: Reclaims 600 ft2 of vacant land in an Ambassador’s community
- $100: Covers the cost of a single Ambassador course
Donate to GTECH this December and help to double the number of square feet of reclaimed vacant land in Pittsburgh. Click here to donate.
8. Give Your Thoughts on the Produce Terminal Buildings in the Strip District
Give a few minutes of your time to take a brief survey about how the community might use the produce terminal buildings in the Strip District. ProducePgh is looking to create a larger conversation amongst artists, small businesses and Pittsburghers in general about how the produce terminal buildings could be used by the public in the future. Take the survey here.
9. Register to Vote – FREE
Give yourself the gift of community engagement. Take a moment to regsiter to vote or to update your voter registration. We usually only think/blog/tweet about voting around election day, but now is the ideal time to register or update your voter registration.
Sign up for TurboVote – which is a free service that will send you a text or email reminder about election day. TurboVote will remind you about upcoming elections and check in to see if you need to update your registration. Its free, its easy and they won’t send you any extra stuff.
10. Clean Out Your Closets for a Good Cause – FREE
Here is a super easy way to turn your extra women and kids clothing into cash – meet ThredUp. ThredUp will mail you a free closet clean out bag, you fill it up with your unwanted clothing and send it back, the clean out bag comes with a prepaid shipping label. We set up a ThredUp Fundraising group for the CHS Holiday Gift Project but you can choose to donate they money to any organization you choose, or use it to shop local. It takes a few weeks for ThredUp to process your clean out bag so you might not get the funds until 2015. But it is still an easy way to earn some cash for giving in the new year.
Order your free ThredUp Closet Clean Out bag here.
For the third year in a row I spent the Saturday after Thanksgiving watching the Dirty Dozen bike race – you can get all of the details on the race from our previous post here. I am proud to say that my spectating team has recruited a few more participants this year. We make it to hill #4 and hill #9 with a stop for brunch in between.
An Idea for a New “Sporting” Event – The Delicious Dozen
While 200+ of Pittsburghs most hard core cyclists were making their way around the city, my spectating team was exercising their brain power and came up with a spectacular event that even non cyclists could get excited about. The proposed event is The Delicious Dozen – a tour of 13 of the cities most spectacular bakerys where we will sample the finest baked goods that Pittsburgh has to offer. If you are interested in seeing The Delicious Dozen become a reality please take a moment to sign up here.
A Dozen Photos from the 2014 Dirty Dozen Bike Race
Here are some highlights from the 2014 Dirty Dozen bicycle race from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram…
Photos and tweets from the 2014 Dirty Dozen bike race