Tag Archives: charitable organizations

Good Books and a Good Cause: Help #Hurricane Laura Survivors

I’m happy to welcome back friend of The Phil Factor, author, tv & radio personality and zombie expert Marie Lanza! Marie is one of the few human beings in the world that I’ve allowed to write a guest post here at The Phil Factor.

I was planning to write a stellar review of Marie’s story in the anthology Under Her Black Wings: 2020 Women of Horror Anthology which features horror stories by all female authors. It’s almost Halloween, so it’s time to get in the mood with a great read. As I said, I was preparing to write a review of Under Her Black Wings and Marie’s story, The Faceless Woman, when I came across a post of hers on Instagram (where you can find her as @marie_lanza). I’ll let Marie take it away in her own words:

My hometown of Lake Charles, Louisiana has been devastated by #HurricaneLaura. The community needs help as they begin the long journey to rebuild their lives. There is no running water or electricity. Many have lost everything and so many are desperate for supplies.

For the month of September, 100% of book proceeds will go directly to individuals and families in need. We’ll be sending it in forms of gift cards, cash, clothing, food–whatever we can.

I accept Venmo and Paypal! Please DM me for details.

Donations of $10-$15 : You’ll receive paperback copy of an anthology – 25 Gates of Hell or Under Her Black Wings. Lots of greats authors in these books!

Donations of $15-$25 : You’ll receive the first 3 books of my Fractured series.

Or, if you just want to give something, please let me know. Alternatively, the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana was recommended by friends as a great group to give donations as well. I know there’s so much going on in this world, but this beautiful city needs all the help they can get.

Good books and a good cause. I can’t think of a better way to spend my money. For links and/or to DM Marie, you can find her at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MarieLanzaBooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/marie_lanza

Instagram: @marie_lanza

You can also find her on Amazon

It’s Labor Day, a classic American holiday. Do something American by helping out other Americans!

Have a great day! ~Phil


Extortion at the Corner of Happy and Healthy?


You know the Walgreens commercials with the voice of John Corbett, the D.J.  from Northern Exposure? He’s always saying that “Walgreen’s is at the corner of happy and healthy.” I’d like them to update the commercial to say, “Walgreen’s is at the corner of happy, healthy, and blackmail.”

You often hear the line in movies,  “Blackmail is an ugly word.” Yesterday it got ugly for me right in front of a Walgreens and Josh Corbett was not there to talk me down with his soothing voice. I’m still healthy, but I was not happy. I was blackmailed at an intersection by firefighters. Yes, those courageous men and women who saves lives and homes essentially extorted money from me.

I was on my drive home at the end of a long work day and about a quarter mile ahead I saw flashing lights by the side of the road. I could see that traffic was backed up a bit, but I was trapped with no way to escape to an alternate route. As I approached the flashing lights I saw a firetruck and wondered if Walgreens was happy, healthy and in flames. Then I saw cones restricting the lanes. As I got closer I saw firefighters holding out boots to collect money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. “Ugh” was kind of what I thought, but without the hard G sound. It was a sigh of resignation. I was going to hope for a green light and good flow of traffic so I could just roll by without having to roll down my window.

A big, busy four way intersection at rush hour on a Friday and these guys are essentially blocking traffic until they get donations? All four ways of the intersection were restricted so they could panhandle like it was downtown L.A. And who carries much cash any more? They’d have better luck holding out a credit card swiper than asking for cash.


There had to be at least four firefighters in each direction of the intersection harassing commuters. That’s 16 firefighters leaving an entire town unprotected so they can extort tired people on their way home out of a dollar at a time. What if there was an emergency? 16 firefighters would have to dump the cash out of their boots, put them back on, take off the ridiculous reflective vests they were wearing, suit up and then try to get their firetruck out of the giant traffic jam they had caused.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am as charitable as the next person, unless the next person is a complete a-hole. I give to causes I choose to or that have some connection to someone I know. I don’t however like being made to donate. Yes, I know that I didn’t have to roll down my window and donate, but what if I didn’t? These were firefighters! Lifesavers who risk their own lives to save others. How could I turn them down? What if somewhere one of them had a clipboard and was taking down license plate numbers of those that didn’t donate? And furthermore what if, at a later date, at the firehouse when a call comes in they first consult the list that they had previously added addresses and names to after doing some research on the DMV website?

Dispatcher: “What’s that? Your house is on fire! What’s the address? 123 Main St. OK, we’ll be right there!” Looks at list, makes announcement to firehouse: “Hey guys, Phil Taylor’s house is on fire. No need to hurry though because on June 5th he was in no hurry to donate to MDA. After you finish your game of Monopoly you should probably head out there though.”

That’s all I’ve got. Although I was a reluctant donor, you can be a willful one if you want by clicking on this MDA link to donate if you want to. But guess what? Me and John Corbett don’t care if you do or don’t. You can still read next weeks Phil Factor if you don’t. (Is this too mean spirited or in poor taste? After it’s been up two hours there’s no comments)  Have a great weekend! ~Phil

Give Until it Hurts, Somebody: Weird Charities

Picture credit: funnyand.com

Picture credit: funnyand.com

This past week I went to a big company meeting for my job. My company donates generously to Save the Children and gives us the opportunity to help through payroll deductions and raffles at our meetings. I heard though that one particular colleague was opposed, not to Save the Children, but to the hotel that we stayed in because it had an affiliation that she was opposed to.

That got me to thinking that with so many large corporations in the world that have all kinds of affiliations, we as individuals must constantly be supporting charities and causes we’re opposed to by paying for products or services from these corporations. Here are some of the more unusual and legitimate charities I found. One is fake but the others are all real. In the comments put your guess as to which is fake. I’ll respond later in the day with the answer.

Stop Bieber: I wish this was a national charity so that I could contribute. Apparently the Evanston Township High School in Illinois needed to raise money to renovate a cafe and art center in their school. They played the Bieber song “Baby” over the school loudspeakers whenever students were not in classes with the caveat that it would stop when they had raised the money they needed. It only took three days to raise the money. I’m surprised it took that long. Under the Geneva Convention I think that qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment.

Welfare Group Disabled and Sexuality: This Swedish charity hires prostitutes for the disabled. Also, much of their funding comes from a grant from the Swedish government!

The Critter Connection: They rescue and rehabilitate abandoned or neglected guinea pigs. A donor can adopt or foster an abandoned guinea pig. At the risk of sounding insensitive towards the plight of neglected rodents, ummm..they only live 4-8 years on average.


Tall Clubs International: It’s a non-profit organization created to “benefit the interest of tall people.” What are tall people interested in? They also give out scholarships for tall people to go to college. To qualify, women must be at least 5’10” and men 6’2″.

Clowning Around: This thirty year old organization accepts donations and grants scholarships to underprivileged children in the U.S. who want to go to Clown College. (Yes, Clown College is a real thing). If only I had known about this years ago my whole career could have been different, but alas I’m only a clown here on the internet.

Ok, in the comments give your guess as to which one is fake and I’ll reply later today with the real answer.  And no cheating with Google. As always, if you enjoy #ThePhilFactor and want to contribute to me, share by hitting the Facebook, Twitter, or re-blog button below. Have a great weekend! ~Phil