Wednesday, November 30, 2016

’Tis the season to be giving

In the latest World Giving Index, it shows that Americans are some of the most generous people in the world, ranking second out of 140 countries in 2015. That year, U.S. donors gave more than $373 billion to charity, and 71 percent of that figure came directly from individuals. Americans don’t just reach in their pockets to help the needy, they also contribute their time. Between 2014 and 2015, nearly 63 million people volunteered with an organization at least once, serving a median of 52 hours per year. So in the spirit of inspiring altruism, WalletHub identified the most charitable of the 50 states by comparing them across 13 key metrics. Ranges set from “volunteer rate” to “percentage of income donated” to “percentage of sheltered homeless.”

Overall Rank

State Total Score ‘Volunteering & Service’ Rank

‘Charitable Giving’ Rank

1 Utah 68.62 1 1
2 Minnesota 61.38 5 3
3 North Dakota 59.35 4 10
4 Maryland 59.21 3 24
5 Oklahoma 58.24 6 22
6 Delaware 57.96 12 7
7 New Hampshire 57.90 7 12
8 Ohio 57.80 11 8
9 Wisconsin 57.64 10 13
10 Arkansas 57.08 32 2

(Wallet Hub)

 

Did you receive a gift card last Christmas?

There’s a 1 in 5 chance you haven’t. Yep, 19% of gift cards given last Christmas haven’t been used. Some other interesting statistics from last Christmas include:

  • Nearly 93% of American consumers surveyed have either given or sent a gift card
  • 65% of gift card holders spend an extra 38% beyond the value of the card
  • 40% of consumers surveyed have lost a plastic gift card
  • 56% of surveyed consumers would like to keep gift cards stored on their phone (making the card easily accessible and decreases the chances of it being lost)
  • 74% of 18 to 24 year old consumers kept gift cards on their phones
  • The most commonly purchased gift card amount was between $21 to $50
  • Restaurant gift cards were more frequently purchased as a holiday present, followed by department store gift cards
  • The average consumer purchased at least two gift cards as gifts
  • Men spent nearly $20 more on gift cards than women, to the tune of $162.01
  • Among those who celebrated the holidays, 58.8% of people said they wanted to get gift cards as gifts
  • An estimated $26 billion was spent on gift cards
  • Shoppers spent an average of $153.08 on gift cards
  • 73.4% of people purchased at least one gift card for the 2015 holiday season vs 80.1% in 2014
  • Consumers who are 65+ spent an average of $186.44 on gift cards

(Gift Card Granny)

 

New Drunk Level: Gold-faced

The cops in Mountain Home, Arkansas got a call on Thanksgiving night about a guy wandering around town who looked unusual. They found 36-year-old Luis Ramirez and the reports weren’t wrong. His entire face was covered in gold paint and someone had drawn all over it with permanent marker, giving him a soul patch, whiskers, and some random designs. Luis was so drunk that he couldn’t explain how it happened. The cops wound up taking him in for public intoxication. He was so intoxicatedthat police were unable to administer a Breathalyzer test. However, Ramirez was subsequently released from custody after posting bond. (Smoking Gun)

 

Thunderstorm Asthma?

A freak illness known as thunderstorm asthma has now killed at least eight people in Australia. Thousands were hospitalized in Melbourne and other parts of Victoria recently with breathing problems due to a rare combination of weather and pollen. 12 people are still receiving hospital treatment, including three who are in a critical condition, according to the Victoria Department of Health and Human Services. Thunderstorm asthma occurs when a storm hits during a period of unusually high pollen and high humidity, causing the grains to break up and disperse, entering people’s lungs and making it hard for them to breathe. In a survey by the University of Melbourne, 74% of respondents said they experienced an asthma attack during the storm last week. (News.com.au)

 

Oklahoma Law enforcement won’t be immune from the effects of the state’s budget problems

The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety will be cutting costs by restricting the mileage on troopers’ cars, according to a release from the agency. Troopers will have a 100-mile daily limit on Oklahoma Highway Patrol cars beginning December 1st. In addition to the mileage restriction, OHP aircraft flying hours will be reduced and overnight dispatch hours will be altered. The cost-saving measures are in addition to the other measures previously announced as a way of dealing with the budget shortfall for fiscal year 2017. Those measures include:

  • Not hiring any State Troopers in 2017
  • Not expanding the 800 MHZ radio system
  • Not filling vital positions, such as driver licenses examiners
  • Losing 32 critical employees to the VOBO offer earlier in 2016

DPS Commissioner Michael Thompson said he is asking for the public’s patience and understanding. (KTUL TV)

 

A Tumblr user sent another Tumblr user her pinky toe

According to the toe’s owner, Haley, the toe was amputated years ago. In a recent interview, she said “I had brachymetatarsia, a condition where one of your toes or metatarsal bones stops growing. As I got older the skin around my toe began to get infections and tear open (gross I know) and it would cause me to not be able to even walk at times. I was constantly in pain … At age 17, a doctor said he’d help me the best he could and removing the problem seemed simplest … He removed my 4th toe.” The recipient, Lana, was sent the disembodied toe to preserve it properly for Haley. The preservation fluid currently housing the toe expired in 2011 and Lana plans to change it out. Haley said that she kept her toe “because of spiritual reasons and that she feels very inclined to be buried or cremated whole, with all her teeth and bones,” she said. However, Lana said on Tumblr that in addition to changing the preservation solution, she’ll be “electroforming the lid shut and adding crystals or stones to make it extra sparkly [a]nd pretty.” (Huffington Post)

 

The Tennessee 20

A group of 20 co-workers shared their winning Powerball story at Tennessee Lottery Headquarters Tuesday morning. The group, now known as the Tennessee 20, works together at North American Stamping in Portland. Amy O’Neal purchased the winning ticket and when officials announced the winning numbers Saturday night, O’Neal was asleep. Her son insisted she wake up and check her tickets. The winning numbers were lined up on the third ticket she checked. That’s when O’Neal began calling her coworkers – around 6 o’clock Sunday morning. All she had to say was, ‘This is Amy O’Neal’, We won!'” All 20 winner met at O’Neal’s home in Lafayette Sunday morning. They voted to take the lump sum of $254.7 million, which they’ll split evenly. (WTVF 5 TV)

 

 

Be happy because it’s officially the middle Of The Week and it’s: 

*Computer Security Day
*National Meth Awareness Day Link
*Rabi’I
*Rockerfeller Christmas Tree Lighting
*Stay Home Because You’re Well Day

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