Posted on December 1, 2020
Today is Giving Tuesday, the global movement established to promote generosity and kindness and inspire millions to give back.
Here at CREDO, every day is Giving Tuesday for our members. That’s because CREDO donates $150,000 every month — nearly $2 million every year — to the progressive causes we all care about, like voting rights, reproductive freedom, LGBTQ equality, racial and climate justice, and so much more, all at no extra cost to our customers. In fact, our members have helped us donate more than $90 million to nonprofit organizations since 1985.
In addition to the 200,000 meals we donated recently to help those experiencing food insecurity over the holidays, we’re also donating $150,000 this month split among three amazing groups — Center for Economic and Policy Research, Free Speech For People and Green America.
On this Giving Tuesday, we’re not asking for your financial support. Instead, we’d like to give you the opportunity to give back without opening your wallet by helping us decide how to distribute our December donations.
Please visit CREDODonations.com and vote for one, two or all three of these great nonprofits fighting for economic justice, protecting our democracy, and climate justice. There, you can also learn more about our donations program and view the hundreds of organizations we’ve donated to over the years.
Posted on November 26, 2020
Dear CREDO members,
As we gather for a very different kind of Thanksgiving celebration this year, we wanted to take a moment to give a big “thank you” to you, our CREDO customers and members.
During a year that, for many of us, has been difficult to be thankful for much, we are truly thankful for everything you’ve done to help us give back to so many who needed our help and fight for our progressive values when times were tough.
Because of CREDO members like you, we were able to go above and beyond our regular donations — nearly $2 million each year to progressive nonprofits — to help groups that needed it the most.
In April, we established a COVID relief fund to rush $75,000 in donations to frontline organizations responding to the pandemic. In May, during nationwide protests for racial justice in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, we donated an extra $50,000 to Color of Change to continue their critical work fighting injustice in all its forms. In August, as the election season heated up, you helped us donate $250,000 to groups protecting the right to vote. In September, after Republicans stole another Supreme Court seat, we gave $50,000 to Take Back the Court.
This month, thanks to you, we are donating 200,000 meals to families experiencing hunger this holiday season. And to the thousands who responded to our recent Thanksgiving survey — the overwhelming majority who are celebrating today in small groups with immediate family to help slow the pandemic — we want to thank you, too.
From all of us here at CREDO, have a safe Thanksgiving, and we look forward to the upcoming season with hope and gratitude that you’re on our side.
The entire team at CREDO
Posted on November 18, 2020
America is experiencing a housing affordability crisis. Even before the pandemic, in no U.S. state, metropolitan area, or county could a worker earning the federal or prevailing state or local minimum wages and working a 40-hour work week afford a modest two-bedroom rental home, and in fewer than 5% of counties could they afford a one-bedroom rental. The National Low Income Housing Coalition (a November 2020 grantee of CREDO Mobile) found in its annual publication of Out of Reach that the 2020 national “Housing Wage” (the average hourly wage full-time workers must earn to afford a rental home at HUD’s fair market rent without spending more than 30% of their incomes) is $23.96 per hour for a modest two-bedroom rental home, and $19.56 per hour for a modest one-bedroom rental. The average minimum wage worker must work 97 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom rental or 79 hours per week to afford a one-bedroom rental at the average fair market rent. NLIHC’s The Gap report documents a systemic shortage of affordable housing, showing that nationally, just 36 affordable and available rental homes exist for every 100 extremely low-income renter households. This shortage – and today’s modern phenomenon of homelessness – did not always exist. In fact, there was a modest surplus of homes affordable and available to the lowest-income people in the late-1970s. At that time, our country housed almost everyone, including the lowest-income families. The difference between then and now: federal subsidies. Adjusting for inflation, the federal budget authority for housing assistance programs in the 1970s was nearly three times more than it is today, despite the significant growth in the number of low-income renters eligible for assistance. The result of this federal disinvestment in affordable housing during the decades since is a shortage of 7 million homes affordable and available to those with extremely low incomes, 11 million renter households that are “severely housing cost-burdened” (paying 50%, 60%, 70% or more of their incomes on their housing), and just one in four households eligible for federal housing assistance actually getting the help they need. These households forgo healthy food or delay healthcare to pay the rent. In the worst cases, they become homeless. The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated this crisis, and the American public recognizes the need for change. There has never been a more urgent time to expand rental assistance and protect those facing housing insecurity.The country’s affordable housing crisis most harms the lowest-income renters, disproportionately people of color. Inaction is expensive; investments in proven solutions to end homelessness and housing poverty benefit us all. Like roads and bridges, affordable housing is a long-term asset that helps communities and families thrive. Failures of both the private market and public policy — at the federal, state, and local levels — have contributed to today’s crisis. The federal government has an indispensable role to play in addressing it. Congress must fully fund key federal housing programs that serve the nation’s lowest-income renters. These programs include the national Housing Trust Fund, Housing Choice Vouchers, public housing, project-based rental assistance, and other rental housing programs. A fully refundable renters’ tax credit for low-income housing cost-burdened renters would also help struggling families afford their rent. Most urgently, immediate action must be taken to protect those at grave risk during the pandemic through emergency rental assistance; a national moratorium on evictions and foreclosures; and emergency funds for homelessness service providers, housing authorities, and housing providers.The National Low Income Housing Coalition is grateful to be selected as one of CREDO’s 2020 grantees. Founded in 1974, NLIHC is solely dedicated to ensuring the lowest-income seniors, people with disabilities, families with young children and others in our country have safe, accessible and affordable homes. NLIHC works with and on behalf of low-income people. Funding from CREDO Mobile will support NLIHC’s data-driven research, policy analysis and advocacy, public education and communications, and outreach and mobilization efforts to achieve affordable housing solutions for those most in need.
We can end homelessness and housing poverty in America. We have the data, the solutions, and, as a country, the resources. We lack only the political will to fund the solutions at the scale necessary.
- Contact your members of Congress and express your support for legislation that ensures those with the lowest incomes have access to decent, affordable homes. Urge them to immediately pass desperately needed pandemic relief that includes $100 billion in emergency rental assistance, a national eviction moratorium, and $11.5 billion in homelessness assistance.
- Become a member of NLIHC to support NLIHC’s work to increase affordable housing for people with the greatest needs.
- Connect with one of NLIHC’s state and local partners supporting policy at the state/local level.
- Sign up for updates and calls to action from NLIHC.
Posted on November 18, 2020
Humans are story animals. For more than 10,000 years, we have developed our philosophies, created cultural identities and tried to understand our place in the world through story. Stories give us context and guidance. They move us. They guide action in the real world. But the story of climate change has been challenging to tell. Deniers obfuscate the truth. Politicians and businesses conflate pseudoscience with fact. And while many voices have been raised in opposition, they rarely speak in unison. At The YEARS Project we dedicate our efforts to addressing these issues by telling the story of climate change and how to fix it so that it becomes the top political, economic and social issue in society. We do this not only to save the planet, but to protect the most vulnerable on it.Organized efforts by deniers to discredit the science have been ongoing for decades. First, despite abundant evidence to the contrary, they claimed that climate change was not happening. Then, they suggested it was happening, but was a natural process. Followed by claiming that it’s anthropogenic, but somehow good for us and the planet. All these lines of argument were false and promoted in order to put profit ahead of climate science.
With such ongoing efforts to undercut the facts, politicians and businesses have successfully used bad science to advance their interests. Political appointees beholden to oil interests have been put in charge of our most significant environmental institutions. Fossil fuel companies have successfully lobbied for massive tax breaks to make their businesses more profitable. And virtually every major bank has continued to support the oil and gas industry investing our money to profit from climate change.While climate change affects every place and person on the planet, our most vulnerable neighbors in front line communities suffer disproportionately. They don’t have second homes to escape fires and floods nor the resources to rebuild after they pass. Polluting power plants are often located in less affluent neighborhoods populated disproportionately by people of color. And indigenous peoples, who have an intimate connection to the land, are seeing their way of life destroyed by rising waters, raging fires, drought and species extinction.
But the tide is turning. On Earth Day 2020, the Pew Research Center released a study that found that two-thirds of Americans believe the government should be doing more to fight climate change. The YEARS Project has been instrumental in achieving that milestone. By providing unrelenting, science-based storytelling to our millions of followers on social media and via an extended network with a reach of more than 400 million people, we have covered and amplified the youth climate movement, supported divestiture campaigns, provided a platform for leading scientists, called out the deniers and outlined the solutions that will get us to a carbon free world. Now that the facts are clear, we will continue using powerful, personal stories to outline the solutions, give voice to the communities most at risk and support the ground game in the battle to save our home. The YEARS Project is the only media organization dedicated solely to covering climate change. Beginning with our award-winning series “Years of Living Dangerously”— seen in more than 170 countries — and continuing through hundreds of millions of views of our social first videos, we have used the power of story to motivate action on climate. We know the approach works. Stories guide us, unite us and provide a framework for understanding where we are and what we face and in the end, stories might very well save us from ourselves.
CREDO is proud to be an ally of the YEARS Project and to support them via our CREDO Donations Program for the first time this month. To learn more about our donations program and vote for this month’s grantees, please visit CREDODonations.com.
Posted on November 12, 2020
Thanksgiving is nearly upon us — and this year’s celebrations will certainly be much different than years past.
As the pandemic continues to surge across the country, public health officials are becoming increasingly concerned that Thanksgiving celebrations may turn into super-spreading events, as social gatherings have become some of the main drivers of community spread.
That’s why experts are urging us to forego traveling for the holiday, celebrate within our own households or “pods” and limit in-person contact with those outside our homes. But we can still enjoy the company of family and friends, give thanks and have a great holiday — thanks to the power of technology.
Here are 7 tips to host a successful and safe virtual Thanksgiving celebration this year.
Choose your platform
The first consideration for hosting a successful virtual holiday get-together is a technical one: Picking the right video conferencing software for your event.
You have many platforms to choose from, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, and others — but if you’re looking for a platform that’s easy to use and familiar to most of your guests, we recommend Zoom. It’s free for up to 100 participants and works on your computer and mobile devices, but the free version does not allow for recording and is limited to 40 minutes per meeting (just restart if your celebration lasts longer). Make sure to create the event ahead of time so your guests have a link, too. Here’s how to schedule meetings in Zoom.
Next, it’s time to make your guest list and let your friends and family know about your Thanksgiving celebrations with an online invitation. Not only will you be able to easily send your Zoom link to your recipients’ inboxes, you’ll save a lot of paper, too.
Again, you have many services to choose from that make sending bulk invitations pretty easy. Evite is one of the leaders in the online invitation space with many free options, Minted works with independent artists, and Paperless Post is beloved for its great designs. You could also check out Greenvelope, a paid online invitation company that donates a portion of its revenue to Mountains to Sound, a nonprofit organization that maintains forests.
Alternatively, you can send an email to your guests with all of the details. It will lack some of the fun of a designed invitation, but it’s free!
Make a plan
In year’s past, your holiday run-of-show probably followed a pretty familiar pattern that your guests knew well – arrival, snacks, dinner, post-meal traditions, etc. But virtual holiday gatherings present unique challenges to those tried and true schedules and traditions you once had. That’s why it’s important to create a plan and make it simple to follow. For example, set the start and stop times for your virtual meeting, choose who will speak and when, and brainstorm some fun pre- and post-dinner games to play. This will help make the celebration a little bit more manageable and keep everyone on schedule.
Pick a host
Along with making a plan, choose a person who will emcee the celebration to follow the plan you created. The host will keep everything moving smoothly from Hors d’oeuvres to toasts to dinner. Even if you’re not the host, you can make your emcee a co-host in Zoom who will be able to mute a participant with bothersome background noise or an unruly family member who indulged in too many cocktails.
Swapping recipes is a great way to feel connected and ensure everyone gets to have a bite of a favorite dish while remaining physically distant. The easiest way to share recipes is digitally, through email, text or your favorite messaging app. For those less tech-savvy, swap your recipes over the phone or even snail mail. When you’re preparing for the big day, you can practice the new recipes with your family and friends over a video chat to nail their secret tricks to getting the dish just like you remember.
Take a group picture
Although 2020 hasn’t been an easy year, you’ll still want to remember your virtual Thanksgiving celebration with a photograph of everyone who joined. It’s really easy to do in Zoom or other video conferencing platforms.
In Zoom, ensure everyone on your video chat is on the screen at the same time by choosing “Gallery View” then picking “Full Screen” (this is best done on a computer). Then, take a capture of your screen with either your operating system’s screenshot feature (Windows or Mac) or Zoom’s screen capture option.
Bonus Tip: Fill out CREDO’s Thanksgiving Survey & help us donate 200,000 meals
This month, CREDO is partnering with our friends at Feeding America to donate 200,000 meals to families in need this Thanksgiving season — and we also want to check in to see how you are thinking and feeling about this Thanksgiving.
Before you begin planning your virtual holiday meal, please take two minutes to fill out our quick survey, and we’ll donate these meals to families who need it the most.
Posted on November 5, 2020
We’re waiting on pins and needles here at CREDO for the outcome of the election — and the lack of conclusive results has us on edge. If you’re like us, you’re glued to your phones and social media feeds with the distant hum of cable news in the background as you anxiously hold on for good news.
All of that uncertainty can be pretty stressful, especially on top of the challenges we are already facing every day. That’s why right now might be a good time to take a break from “doomscrolling,” put Twitter and Facebook aside, turn off the TV, and make some time to focus on relaxation and your mental health.
We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite apps on iOS and Android to help all of us consider our mental health, de-stress and become a bit more mindful while every vote is still being counted.
Headspace is one of our favorite apps to help you cope with the stresses of our new normals of work, family, school, health, and of course, election results. Headspace teaches you the basics of meditation and offers a full library of courses and single session meditations that you can take anywhere. The company boasts a 40 million person user base and offers scientific claims (and an in-house science department) that its app can reduce stress, increase focus and improve sleep.
Headspace offers a two-week free trial, before a $69.99 yearly subscription or $12.99 per month, available on both Android and iOS.
If you have a little bit more experience with meditation, Calm might be the right choice for you. The app offers its popular “The Daily Calm,” a 10-minute meditation with a new mindful theme every day, as well as sleep stories and music, nature sounds, and meditation lessons.
Calm comes in a little less expensive than other meditation apps, but lacks some of the structure and options like Headspace. Calm offers a one-week free trial and costs $60 for a yearly subscription, available from the App Store or Google Play.
In addition, Calm is offering free mindfulness resources, like meditations, stories and music (web only) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Billed as the “single destination for effective, evidence-based solutions for better mental health to overcome negative thoughts, stress, and life’s challenges,” Happify uses evidence-based exercises and games developed by experts to help users take better control of their thoughts and feelings. The company claims 86% of frequent users get happier in two months, but we urge you to try it out for yourself.
If you’re looking to combine mindfulness and body movement, Daily Yoga may be a good choice for you. Designed for the beginner to the advanced, this “freemium” app (free to access many of its features, but includes in-app purchases) includes 200 yoga routines, 500 yoga poses and asanas, lots of guided meditation tracks and more.
Designed by the Anxiety Disorders Association of British Columbia, MindShift is based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and helps track anxiety disorders primarily for adolescents and young adults, but the app can be useful for everyone to learn coping strategies for anxiety, worry and panic. The app features a section called “chill out” that includes relaxation exercises and mindfulness strategies.
7-Minute Workout from the New York Times
If working out is your stress-reliever — but your gym is currently closed and you’re practicing social distancing (which we recommend) — there are a lot of workout apps available for your mobile device. While some apps require equipment and others charge a fee, the New York Times’ 7-minute workout “app” is free, scientifically proven and only needs you and common items in your home to take advantage of a short, but intense workout.
The app offers step-by-step instructions, illustrations of each body-weight exercise and a timer to guide you through one of two routines: the Scientific 7-Minute Workout and an Advanced 7-Minute Workout. The app is browser-based, so you can access it from virtually any device or desktop. Check them both out here.
Note: There’s no replacement for a health professional, for both your physical and mental health. If you feel you’re in need of help, please contact your mental health provider or your primary care physician.
Posted on November 3, 2020
Dear CREDO members,
I first joined CREDO during the 2016 election season. Barack Obama was president. Our economy was still recovering from the worst recession in generations, but we were directionally optimistic. The pressing issues of our day — climate justice, racial and LGBTQ equality, reproductive freedom, economic justice — were, I thought, making some real, meaningful gains. What I thought, what I suspect many of us hoped, was that the next president would of course continue fighting for these causes we care so deeply about – and if not fighting for these causes, would at least abide by the progress that had been made.
Now, four very different years later, we face another choice this Election Day. We cannot allow four more years of ignorance and incompetence, fascism and white supremacy, selfishness and lies, climate and science denial, racism, misogyny and bigotry. More than 230,000 of our friends, neighbors and loved ones have died, millions more are sick and tens of millions are falling into economic despair and face needless suffering while the current regime ignores truth.
This year, perhaps more than any other, we must vote — which is why we gave our employees the day off today — and we must choose leaders who support our values. Protecting women’s rights, fighting big polluters and combating the climate crisis, providing paths to citizenship, allowing all of us the most basic dignities of human life, ending systemic racism and expanding equality, ensuring our economy works for everyone and protecting the future of our democracy.
If you’re like all of us at CREDO, the choice you and other progressive voters are making today is pretty clear. And while we may not know the results this evening — or even in the next few days or weeks — no matter how things turn out, please know this: You can make a difference.
As a CREDO member, we will need you on our side more than ever — regardless of who wins — to continue pressing for our progressive values, holding those in power accountable and supporting our partners on the frontlines of these important fights. CREDO members have been part of some of the biggest progressive victories in the last decade, no matter who held power, and your support of our grantee partners beyond this election, with the simple act of being a CREDO member, will help secure more critical victories for the causes we value.
Because progress doesn’t end with an election. It’s just the beginning.
CREDO Mobile CREDO
P.S. If you haven’t yet voted, please visit Vote.org to find your polling place and cast your ballot before the polls close this evening.
Posted on November 2, 2020
Vote for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the National Low Income Housing Coalition and The YEARS Project this November
Every month, CREDO members vote to distribute $150,000 to three incredible progressive causes – and every vote makes a difference. This November, you can support international medical relief, ending homelessness, and combating the climate crisis by voting to fund Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the National Low Income Housing Coalition and The YEARS Project.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an independent international medical humanitarian organization that provides emergency aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, natural disasters, and exclusion from health care.
Support from the CREDO community will enable Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to provide free, quality, life-saving medical care to those who need it most in over 70 countries.
National Low Income Housing Coalition
NLIHC works to achieve socially just public policy to ensure the lowest-income people – people of color, seniors, people with disabilities, families with children, and people experiencing homelessness – have decent, accessible, affordable homes.
Millions of low-income U.S. households cannot afford a decent place to call home. COVID-19 and massive hurricanes and wildfires leave them at extreme risk. Funding from CREDO members will help NLIHC work tirelessly to ensure federal policy makers respond with equitable solutions.
The YEARS Project
Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent annually to prevent progress on climate change. The YEARS Project is dedicated to fighting the deniers and making climate justice the most important political, economic and social issue on the world’s agenda.
Funding from CREDO will go directly toward telling the story of climate change and the effects it is having on frontline communities, our economy, our health and our society.
Your vote this month will determine how we divide $150,000 in donations among these three progressive groups. Be sure to cast your vote to support one, two or all three by November 30.
Posted on November 2, 2020
Each month, CREDO members vote on how we distribute funding to three incredible nonprofits. Those small actions add up – with one click, you can help fund groups working to fighting for climate justice, online privacy rights and civil rights. In October, over 55,000 CREDO members voted to distribute $150,000 in donations to Center for Biological Diversity, Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Innocence Project.
These donations are made possible by CREDO customers and the revenue they generate by using our services. The distribution depends entirely on the votes of CREDO members like you. And for that, our October grant recipients thank you.
Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund
“CREDO has consistently been an invaluable ally in our fight to defend the planet and its biodiversity from a host of threats.” – Kierán Suckling, Executive Director, Center for Biological Diversity
To learn more, visit centeractionfund.org.
Electronic Frontier Foundation
“Thanks, CREDO supporters! The world leans on the Internet more than ever, and that makes privacy, security, and free expression crucial. For 30 years, EFF has fought for a brighter digital future for everyone, and with your help we’ll keep fighting.” – Cindy Cohn, EFF Executive Director
To learn more, visit www.eff.org.
“The Innocence Project’s commitment over the last decades has led not only to my freedom, but to the freedom of hundreds of other innocent people. Thank you for voting to ensure we can keep advocating for the innocent for years to come.” – Yusef Salaam, Exonerated Five and Innocence Project Board Member
To learn more, visit www.innocenceproject.org.
Now check out the three groups we are funding in November, and cast your vote to help distribute our donations.
CREDO members who use our products are the reason why we are able to make these donations each month. Learn more about CREDO Mobile, the carrier with a conscience.