The tragic earthquake in Nepal is a wakeup call that we have it pretty cushy here in the States, and many of the projects seeking funding on this list are a reminder of that. From a fair trade organization that aims to help women trapped in sex slavery, to donating to victims in Nepal, to an art drive for sick kids living here in the US, there are so many small ways to help make an impact. Of course, some of the projects are also crazy cool inventions that wowed us. Regardless of which project you fund, we’re sure you’ll feel inspired after reading.
1. Immediate Relief to Nepal: This Indiegogo project is raising funds for Adhikaar for Human Rights and Social Justice, which will use the money to help survivors in Nepal receive basic care, such as food, water and tents. While we can’t heal their hearts, this is an opportunity to provide survivors with the basic care they need to survive in devastating conditions.
2. Art Drive for Sick Kids: Kids with cancer often have to spend six or seven hours in a row stuck in the hospital. To help cheer them up — and give them something fun to do — one young patient, Aly, is raising money to provide them all with art supplies so they can draw, color and do other fun activities while they’re going through treatment. If you’ve spent any time around kids, you know that it doesn’t take much to make them light up, and these kids could use a bit of brightness.
3. Stopping Sex Slavery: Freeset, a fair trade business seeking funding on Indiegogo, sells products made by women in Kolkata who are seeking employment as a way to escape sex slavery. They have totes and tees we’d be proud to rock, and just $20 could help give these women freedom.
4. Wooden Amplifier: Not only does wood make for a sleek design, but it’s a really good amplifier for sound too. How is it that more designers aren’t taking advantage of this? This amplifier works with pretty much any smartphone, is environmentally friendly and really pumps up the sound. As if that’s not enough of a sell, you can get whatever you want engraved in the wood, like your name, a logo or even your favorite quote.
5. Haitian Tarot Cards: If you’ve ever seen a traditional tarot deck, you know the scenes, while beautiful, are images of a poor ghetto. Photographer Alice Smeets teamed up with Haitian artists to recreate the images that show the realities of living in Haiti — both the sad and the celebratory — but are also meaningful to the Haitian people, whose culture is strongly rooted in the beliefs of voodoo. Buyers can purchase a full tarot deck with the photographs, or individual photo posters.
6. Bike Pedals That Protect Against Bike Thieves: These “smart” pedals are freakin’ awesome. The app allows them to record all your cycling stats and keep thieves away. If someone other than you gets on the bike, your phone will vibrate to let you know. There’s also a GPS tracking device in it, so you know where your bike is at all times. Now that’s riding smart.
7. Never Forget Where You Parked Again: We’ve all been there: loaded up with packages and walking up and down a parking lot, desperately trying to remember where we parked our car. Thanks to these handcrafted figures, you’ll always be able to make a speedy getaway. They sit on your dashboard, while a chip inside communicates with an app on your phone, using GPS to lead you back to your ride. Pretty brilliant, right?
8. Supporting Public Art: If you believe that art belongs outside of museums and should be part of our daily lives, then you’ll love this project. A Minnesota town is attempting to make art a bigger part of their community through this sidewalk art and poetry project. Local kids ages 5-12 are encouraged to submit poetry and art, and with the help of crowdfunding, their creations will be permanently engraved into the city’s sidewalks. How cool is that?
9. “Smart” Pots That Keep Plants Alive: Brown thumbs, this is the post for you. Planty is a pot connected to the Internet and an app on your phone. If your plant is getting a little dry, needs some sunlight or is getting too hot by the window, the app will communicate that to you. It just might turn that brown thumb green.
10. Make Your Outlet Do It All: For now, our homes are stuck in the past, only outfitted with traditional outlets, and not the USB ports that charge so many of our favorite gadgets. SnapPower Charger inventor Jeremy Smith’s project turns any outlet into a USB port. It just clicks on — you don’t even need to fuss with the wires or anything. No wonder it has captured the attention of The Today Show and The Huffington Post.
11. Pocket-Sized Water Bottle: As environmentally mindful as we try to be, it can be a little annoying to carry around a bulky water bottle, especially when you’re already done with it and it’s empty. This cool invention, cleverly named HYDAWAY, turns your water bottle into a collapsable container that’s smaller than a wallet. We’re fans of anything that’ll give us more room in our purses!
Which one of these ideas are you loving? Tell us in the comments.