Have 5 minutes? Playing with these apps actually makes other people's lives better.
True
Cricket Wireless2

Let's face it: There are a lot of silly smartphone apps out there. A lot. ‌

Enjoy Toilet Paper is an app that allows you to roll digital toilet paper — that's it. Is It Dark Outside? solves a problem you could figure out by peeking out a window (or actually going outside). Send Me to Heaven is an app that asks you to throw your phone as high into the air as humanly possible, AND PEOPLE ACTUALLY DO IT.

A man succumbing to frustration or merely partaking in the latest app fad? GIF via "Entourage."


But the converse is also true: With as little effort as it takes to swipe right on a potential love match or tweet our thoughts on the weekend's football games, we can easily create positive social change.

It sounds corny, I know, but there are actually dozens of apps that make contributing to the world around you just a click away. Here are five of them.

1. Budge

Are you someone who yearns for the attention of a crowd? A truth-or-dare fanatic, maybe? Or are you simply looking to feed your gambling addiction without all of that pesky guilt? Well then is Budge ever the app for you!

Budge is a game that turns the sense of competitiveness that friends and family members often share into an act of philanthropy. Users challenge a friend to anything they can imagine: a race, an impromptu game of trivia, a bare-knuckle boxing match (What? Some of us have really competitive friends.) — with the stipulation that the loser must donate an agreed-upon amount to a charity of the winner's choosing.

Image via iStock.

2. Give 2 Charity

Being that most of us have become attached at the hip (or hand) to our smartphones, you'd think an app that actually converts our phone usage into cold, hard cash would be a foregone conclusion by now. And thanks to the folks over at Give 2 Charity, it is.

Utilizing the location-tracking systems used by everything from Google Maps to Pokémon Go, Give 2 Charity monitors the amount of time you spend carrying or using your phone and transforms it into charitable donations. Every moment you're on the move with your phone is converted into points — 1,500 points earns $2. 3,000 points earns $5, and so forth — which can then be donated to the charity of your choice. Donating to a cause has literally never been easier.

Image via iStock.

3. Donate a Photo

The only thing more certain than the smartphone user's love of texting fire emojis to their crew is their love of taking pictures. Many of us live in a constant stream of live updates from our friends where no memory goes unsaved or unshared, and the people at Johnson & Johnson have figured out a way to turn this fascination with documentation into a charitable effort.

Simply dubbed Donate a Photo, this app (available on both Android and iOS) donates a dollar toward the cause or charity of your choosing for every photo that you donate through the app (up to one a day). Signup is as easy as connecting to the app through your Facebook or Twitter profile, and Donate a Photo will even provide you with an optional list of causes to donate to. Looks like those 4,300 pictures of your sleeping cat won't go to waste after all.

4. Feedie

Did you read over the description of Donate a Photo and think to yourself, "That's a great idea, but what if I wanted to replace the cat photos with photos of my food?" FEEDIE. THAT'S HOW.

Though only based in New York at the moment, Feedie is a groundbreaking app that allows the frequent photographers of food — foodstagrammers — to use their love of food to help those who don't have access to adequate meals. Simply download the app on iOS, take a photo of your food at any of the participating restaurants, and an entire meal will be donated to a nonprofit organization feeding schoolchildren in South Africa through the Lunchbox Fund.

Image via iStock.

Finally, an app that makes watching your pizza go cold as your friend struggles to find the proper lighting for a photo all worth it!

5. Charity Miles

If I have learned anything from the hundreds of Fitbit commercials I have watched from my couch, the best way to motivate someone is to present them with some sort of chart or metric of their progress. Something as regularly banal as how many steps per day you take instantly becomes a video game score when a physical number is placed on it, and Charity Miles mixes this kind of competitive fitness and philanthropy into one incredible concept. Fitlanthropy, I've decided to call it.

Image via Charity Miles, used with permission.

Again, the genius is in the simplicity: Charity Miles simply combines the tracking technology of a Fitbit — or any pedometer app, really — with cold, hard cash. All you have to do is download the app and take off, and Charity Miles will donate 25 cents for each mile you run (or 10 cents for every mile you bike) to one of over 35 charity organizations it's partnering with.

There's always a way to help out a person in need.

Thanks to the globe-spanning technological capabilities at our fingertips, it's become easier than ever before. So if we can find the time each day to take a photo, go for a run, or even click on our phone, then there's nothing stopping us from making a significant difference in the world.

It'll be less dangerous than playing Pokémon Go, in any case.

True
Frito-Lay

Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.

This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.

Keep Reading Show less
via Tom Ward / Instagram

Artist Tom Ward has used his incredible illustration techniques to give us some new perspective on modern life through popular Disney characters. "Disney characters are so iconic that I thought transporting them to our modern world could help us see it through new eyes," he told The Metro.

Tom says he wanted to bring to life "the times we live in and communicate topical issues in a relatable way."

In Ward's "Alt Disney" series, Prince Charming and Pinocchio have fallen victim to smart phone addiction. Ariel is living in a polluted ocean, and Simba and Baloo have been abused by humans.

Keep Reading Show less
True
Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less

It sounds like a ridiculous, sensationalist headline, but it's real. In Cheshire County, New Hampshire, a transsexual, anarchist Satanist has won the GOP nomination for county sheriff. Aria DiMezzo, who refers to herself as a "She-Male" and whose campaign motto was "F*** the Police," ran as a Republican in the primary. Though she ran unopposed on the ballot, according to Fox News, she anticipated that she would lose to a write-in candidate. Instead, 4,211 voters filled in the bubble next to her name, making her the official Republican candidate for county sheriff.

DiMezzo is clear about why she ran—to show how "clueless the average voter is" and to prove that "the system is utterly and hopelessly broken"—stances that her win only serves to reinforce.

In a blog post published on Friday, DiMezzo explained how she had never tried to hide who she was and that anyone could have looked her up to see what she was about, in addition to pointing out that those who are angry with her have no one to blame but themselves:

Keep Reading Show less

Schools often have to walk a fine line when it comes to parental complaints. Diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and preferences for what kids see and hear will always mean that schools can't please everyone all the time, so educators have to discern what's best for the whole, broad spectrum of kids in their care.

Sometimes, what's best is hard to discern. Sometimes it's absolutely not.

Such was the case this week when a parent at a St. Louis elementary school complained in a Facebook group about a book that was read to her 7-year-old. The parent wrote:

"Anyone else check out the read a loud book on Canvas for 2nd grade today? Ron's Big Mission was the book that was read out loud to my 7 year old. I caught this after she watched it bc I was working with my 3rd grader. I have called my daughters school. Parents, we have to preview what we are letting the kids see on there."

Keep Reading Show less