But even better, we now have an AirNow app. This, too, is free and shows no ads! So for the ultimate in convenience, throw this app on your Android or Apple smartphone, so you can check the AQI on the fly.
There may be some money out there with your name on it. All you have to do is claim it. This is not a scam. Unclaimed money, aka unclaimed property or abandoned property, is regulated and managed by consumer protection laws throughout the USA.
Unclaimed money can be from a forgotten bank account, or a refund that couldn’t be mailed to you. Whatever the scenario, that money is typically sent to a state-run office for unclaimed funds, and it is held and logged in a database. If you find it and can prove who you are, they give you your money!
Check out the first bulleted link above. This site is run by our federal government, and they explain about how unclaimed property is managed in the USA. And then they provide links to the other bulleted websites above.
Each state has its own unclaimed-funds website, and Unclaimed.org will help you find the right office for your state. At Unclaimed.org, you can click your state on a map and the next site will help you begin your search.
But what if you’ve moved around a lot in your lifetime? You could have missing money all over the country… And MissingMoney.com has you covered, because that site will let you search the entire USA. The search results can be a bit messy, and you may have a lot more to comb through, but it’s worth it if you find some big $$$!
Not A Scam
I want to repeat that this opportunity is legitimate. I know that I often blog about scams, and I encourage all of my readers to mistrust a lot of what they encounter on the internet. But this time, I have something positive and trustworthy to share with you!
Still, be safe out there. Start with the sites I’ve linked to above. Read up on what those sites describe until you are comfortable with this topic. Don’t use Google to look for unclaimed money, because you will encounter suspicious look-alikes and impostors.
Know that if you do pursue unclaimed funds through these offices, you will have to provide significant personal info and documentation, to prove who you are. As long as you start with the links on this page, you will be dealing with real government agencies and trustworthy programs. And best of all, the process is cost-free. You won’t be asked for any fees for your searches and claims.
The USPS needs your help! Their Operation Santa program has gone national this year, and they need generous people to help them answer letters sent to Santa.
This USPS program collects and posts Santa-letters from kiddos all over the USA. When you participate in the program, you can “adopt” a letter, respond to it appropriately and send a gift (as Santa) through regular USPS mail.
If you’re interested in fulfilling a child’s holiday wish, you should check out how it all works, as well as the FAQ, for this program. They’ve got all kinds of instructions and print-outs that make this easy to do.
In case of an emergency, many parts of the USA support Text to 911. This technology allows you to contact 911 for help via text message (SMS).
The FCC reminds everyone that you should place a voice call to 911 whenever possible.
Much of the Shenandoah Valley((Warren County, VA has assured me they support this tech, even though they are not on the FCC list)) is covered, as shown on the FCC’s Public Safety list. Please feel free to verify other American cities and counties using that list. Or, reach out to your local police department or county offices to ask.
It’s best to recycle your computers and other technology items, when you don’t need them any more. Here are some tools and places to know about for e-recycling:
Best Buy recently launched a recycling service, where you can mail your unwanted tech to them for recycling. Unfortunately, it comes with some significant pricetags. I’m all about free, so here are some other mail-in recycling services that won’t cost you:
Call2Recycle will help you find local places to recycle your batteries and cellphones.
Recycling Offered by Computer Manufacturers
Most computer manufacturers offer free & easy recycling options. It’s required by state and federal law. You can usually locate information about those by Googling for the manufacturer name + “recycling”. But maybe these links will save you some searching:
You can also usually take unwanted tech to your local landfill, but you’ll want to be aware of any fees they might charge before you drive there. You can usually expect the highest fees for CRT monitors, since our country has a bit of a problem handling those.
One final suggestion: in my region, the non-profit organization Blue Ridge Hospice accepts most electronics at their thrift store locations. Whether your electronics are working or nonfunctional, you can donate them to BRH and they will take care of them appropriately. They even offer to destroy hard drives, to ensure your data is not used elsewhere. Check out their website or their Facebook Page for more details and reach out to them if you have questions.
If you’re in a different part of the USA, you might call your local thrift stores and other non-profits to ask if any of them offer e-recycling like Blue Ridge Hospice!
If you encounter child pornography on a computer or on the internet, please report it to the CyberTipline immediately.
Do not attempt to copy, download or email any offensive content. That can get you in trouble and could contribute to the spread of the illegal material. The best website for reporting CSAM is the CyberTipline at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
CyberTipline’s report form allows you to paste in URLs to potentially illegal websites, without incriminating yourself. You can also call 1-800-THE-LOST, if you need to speak with someone as you submit your report.
In addition: Contact your local or state police. They are a great resource and can guide you in taking the next appropriate steps.
If you are outside the USA, then there may be a different way of reporting child sexual abuse material (CSAM). You can use INHOPE to find the best agency to contact, when you are abroad.
Please, if you see something that might be child pornography, please speak up and report it. Don’t let doubt hold you back. Trust that the agency handling your report will investigate and respond appropriately. I thank you.
Our government is about to launch “The Emergency Broadband Benefit” to help struggling families afford internet access. On May 12, 2021, people who qualify for this program can apply to receive up to $50/mo off of their internet expenses. And eligible households may also get a $100 discount towards the purchase of a new computer!
There’s a lot to learn to this program, more than I can go over here. But here are a few links and extra details: