CHICAGO, May 5, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Every year American's spend $1.9 billion on flowers for Mother's Day. Now there's another option. Benevolent, the innovative nonprofit that uses a crowdfunding model to enable individuals to make micro-donations to help cover smaller needs that fall through gaps in the social safety net, such as eyeglasses, work uniforms, security deposits and transit passes, invites individuals to honor mom with a small tribute donation or giving card to help someone in need.

Benevolent's "Think Outside the Vase" campaign is aimed at celebrating mom for all she is, all she does, and how she cares. With Benevolent, anyone can donate in honor of mom to help one low-income American over an important hurdle or give mom the gift of a Benevolent Giving Card so that she can choose who she'd like to help.

Maria Shriver blogged about Benvolent saying "I've been thinking about the millions of people who can't afford to provide the basic wants and needs of their families…A friend recently sent me a link to this site. As I read through the asks, I was so humbled and inspired that anyone of us could make another person's day by responding to a simple ask."

Benevolent was founded by Megan Kashner who recognized digital media's potential to leverage the fact that people are twice as willing to help individuals in need when presented with a single person's name, image and story rather than an anonymous appeal.

"Benevolent's proven model helps low-income individuals get and stay on the road to self-sufficiency by letting small-dollar donors lend a hand with critical onetime needs," said Kashner. "Making a gift in tribute to mom and helping one person, maybe even a low-income mom, says much more than flowers and shows her you're really thinking of her on Mother's Day."

Benevolnet's model helped Vincianna, a young mom who grew up in the foster care system, and came to Benevolent through Beyond Emancipation in Oakland, California. Benevolent donors did what Vincianna's family was unable to: they helped her get a laptop to go to school. Vincianna's response to those who contributed to help her:

"The feeling is amazing - to have a need, share your story and have people (that you do not know) support you. The feeling is one of a kind! To the people that helped by donating, thank you for showing me the true meaning of committing selfless acts to improve the lives of others. The humanitarian award goes to you all! "

Today 39% of America's low-income households are headed by mothers and over 4.1 children are living in poverty. Benevolent's "Think Outside the Vase" campaign asks that this year we respect the true spirit of Mother's Day by helping someone.

About Benevolent

Founded in 2011 by Megan Kashner, Benevolent aims to provide crowdfunded support to the 104 million Americans living in low-income households. Benevolent works with local non-profits, from social service providers to religious organizations, to verify users, their stories and their one time, needs. Benevolent is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. For more information, visit the Benevolent Press Center at

For information, interviews, photos contact:
Michele Larimer,
Benevolent, 847.231.2515
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CONTACT: Michele L Larimer michele@benevolent.netSource: Benevolent