The winter months are a time of cold temperatures, snow and ice, and all kinds of outdoor activities. For those of us living in the northern hemisphere, winter is a time to bundle up and enjoy the beauty of the season. Whether you’re looking for ways to stay warm or just want to know what’s going on in the world of winter sports, here you’ll find the latest winter news, articles, and videos. From winter festivals to snow sports, there’s something here for everyone.
Most fears around Europe’s energy crisis have dissipated thanks to a warm winter and emergency measures adopted by the European Union (EU) and its members. EU countries seem to have some breathing room as they implement their ambitious plan to speed up the deployment of renewables and zero-emission vehicles
The Decision to End AmazonSmile: A Blow to Small Charities and Non-Profits In 2013, Amazon launched the AmazonSmile program, which allowed customers to support their favorite charities while shopping on the platform. However, after almost a decade, the company has announced that it plans to wind down the program by February 20, 2023. The potential impact of the program's end on small charities and non-profits The decision to end AmazonSmile was made because the program did not grow to create the impact that the company had originally hoped. With over one million eligible organizations globally, Amazon's ability to make a meaningful difference was often spread too thin. This decision will have a significant impact on small charities and non-profits that relied on the program to raise funds. Many of these organizations, such as animal rescues and schools, may not survive this blow to their donations. One example of a rescue that will be impacted by the end of AmazonSmile is Kitten Rescue, a Los Angeles based organization that has been rescuing and rehoming stray and abandoned cats for over 25 years. They rely heavily on donations from the public to continue their mission, and a significant portion of those donations came from the AmazonSmile program. Another example is Best Friends Animal Society, a national animal welfare organization that operates the nation's largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals and runs lifesaving programs in partnership with rescue groups and shelters across the country. They too rely on donations from the public and the AmazonSmile program to continue their work. Showing your support The end of AmazonSmile will not only affect these specific organizations but thousands of other small animal rescues, non-profits, and schools. Many of them have already started Change.org campaigns to lobby Amazon to keep the program, but the largest and most successful of these campaigns we founder so far has only gathered 3000+ signatures.You can show your support and sign here: https://www.change.org/p/keep-amazonsmile-for-charities In response to the decision, Amazon has stated that they will continue to pursue and invest in other areas where they can make meaningful change, such as building affordable housing and providing access to computer science education for students in underserved communities. They will also be providing charities that have been a part of the AmazonSmile program with a one-time donation equivalent to three months of what they earned in 2022 through the program, and they will also be able to accrue additional donations until the program officially closes in February. Amazon has announced the end of its AmazonSmile program, which has provided a source of funding for small charities and non-profits. The discontinuation of this program will result in a loss of funding for these organizations and will have an impact on their operations. As consumers and supporters of charitable causes, it's important to be aware of this change and explore alternative ways to support the organizations that are important to us. Supporting CuteAvalanche Directly At CuteAvalanche, we are dedicated volunteers working tirelessly to rescue and care for kittens in need. We may not have had an Amazon Smile link, but the end of the program will still have a significant impact on our ability to save even more innocent lives. Every dollar donated to Kitten Rescue, our umbrella organization, helps us provide medical care for our fosters and rescue kittens from certain euthanasia at shelters. With the added burden of rising costs, we are facing difficult times. But you can make a difference. By supporting us directly through purchasing items from our wishlist or donating to our upcoming SuPurr Bowl event, you can help us continue our mission of saving and caring for these precious creatures. Every contribution, no matter how small, can make a big impact in the life of a kitten in need. Here is the entirety of Amazon's Post with their Decision to end Smile (source): Amazon closing AmazonSmile to focus its philanthropic giving to programs with greater impact The company, which ranks among the top corporate philanthropists in the U.S., will continue to pursue and invest in other areas where it can make meaningful change—from building affordable housing to providing access to computer science education for students in underserved communities. Today we started sending the below email to AmazonSmile customers, and we want to share it here, too: Dear customer, In 2013, we launched AmazonSmile to make it easier for customers to support their favorite charities. However, after almost a decade, the program has not grown to create the impact that we had originally hoped. With so many eligible organizations—more than 1 million globally—our ability to have an impact was often spread too thin. We are writing to let you know that we plan to wind down AmazonSmile by February 20, 2023. We will continue to pursue and invest in other areas where we’ve seen we can make meaningful change—from building affordable housing to providing access to computer science education for students in underserved communities to using our logistics infrastructure and technology to assist broad communities impacted by natural disasters. To help charities that have been a part of the AmazonSmile program with this transition, we will be providing them with a one-time donation equivalent to three months of what they earned in 2022 through the program, and they will also be able to accrue additional donations until the program officially closes in February. Once AmazonSmile closes, charities will still be able to seek support from Amazon customers by creating their own wish lists. As a company, we will continue supporting a wide range of other programs that help thousands of charities and communities across the U.S. For instance: Housing Equity Fund: We’re investing $2 billion to build and preserve affordable housing in our hometown communities. In just two years, we’ve provided funding to create more than 14,000 affordable homes—and we expect to build at least 6,000 more in the coming months. These units will host more than 18,000 moderate- to low-income families, many of them with children. In one year alone, our investments have been able to increase the affordable housing stock in communities like Bellevue, Washington and Arlington, Virginia by at least 20%. Amazon Future Engineer: We’ve funded computer science curriculum for more than 600,000 students across over 5,000 schools—all in underserved communities. We have plans to reach an additional 1 million students this year. We’ve also provided immediate assistance to 55,000 students in our hometown communities by giving them warm clothes for the winter, food, and school supplies. Community Delivery Program: We’ve partnered with food banks in 35 U.S. cities to deliver more than 23 million meals, using our logistics infrastructure to help families in need access healthy food—and we plan to deliver 12 million more meals this year alone. In addition to our delivery services, we’ve also donated 30 million meals in communities across the country. Amazon Disaster Relief: We’re using our logistics capabilities, inventory, and cloud technology to provide fast aid to communities affected by natural disasters. For example, we’ve created a Disaster Relief Hub in Atlanta with more than 1 million relief items ready for deployment, our Disaster Relief team has responded to more than 95 natural disasters, and we’ve donated more than 20 million relief products to nonprofits assisting communities on the ground. Community giving: We support hundreds of local nonprofits doing meaningful work in cities where our employees and their families live. For example, each year we donate hundreds of millions of dollars to organizations working to build stronger communities, from youth sport leagues, to local community colleges, to shelters for families experiencing homelessness. We’ll continue working to make a difference in many ways, and our long-term commitment to our communities remains the same—we’re determined to do every day better for our customers, our employees, and the world at large. Thank you for being an Amazon customer.
One would think that there would be no birds left in Minnesota during the winter months, as it is assumed that all birds fly south for the winter. This puts all birds in California, Texas, and sunny Miami, right?!? No. There are several species of birds that fly into Minnesota (from further north) as the food sources are much more prevalent in the winter months. Some birds don’t migrate and simply remain put. In fact, there are about 15 common species of birds that are found around central Minnesota during the winter If you cannot capture the bird or otherwise get the bird outside, it may be time to call in the professionals
A triple threat of winter storms was raging into the country's center on Sunday, promising travel headaches for the rest of the week as the Upper Midwest hunkered down in bitter cold and wind chills that might reach minus 50 degrees.