Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
December 2011 wrap-up
Happy New Year Everyone! 2011 was an amazing year for me and I look forward to what 2012 has in store for us!
I just got back from my expedition in Mexico, I’m working on an update post and will send it out shortly.
I wanted to send out an update about the December Featured Charity AMERICARES, we’ve raised $2,085 for Americares thanks to State Farm’s Go To Bat Program and Anonymous donor CYPHER for their contributions to the cause. If you would like to pledge your support to Americares, please visit: http://www.crowdrise.com/lp-dec11
They do amazing humanitarian relief all around the world.
Thank you for all your support and contributions to charity in 2011. Here’s to an amazing 2012!
Day 332: American Red Cross
I am back in Chicago after a great trip to Austin and SXSW, had such a great time and it was great meeting you all! It’s been nine days since the earthquakes and tsunami that hit Japan and with the radiation threat it’s more important now than ever to amp up international support for the relief efforts in Japan.
I was inspired to see a project for the Red Cross on Crowdrise, the goal is to raise 1 million dollars for the Red Cross to help Japan. The inspiring thing about this project is that the Ogawa family will be matching all donations to the crowdrise project up to $500,000 that is just amazing and their generosity is so inspiring to me. I decided to join their team and help them reach their goal. If you would like to help or join the team, please visit: http://www.crowdrise.com/handsforjapan/fundraiser/livingphilanthropic
The American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization led by volunteers. We provide relief to victims of disaster and help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. The American Red Cross is where people mobilize to help their neighbors—across the street, across the country, and across the world—in emergencies. Each year, in communities large and small, victims of some 70,000 disasters turn to neighbors familiar and new—the more than half a million volunteers and 35,000 employees of the Red Cross.
Amount Donated: $20
To support the American Red Cross, please visit: http://www.redcross.org
To donate to Japan and have you donation matched, please visit: http://www.crowdrise.com/handsforjapan/fundraiser/livingphilanthropic
Day 200: Palestine Children’s Relief Fund
In an effort to reach as many people as possible, I wanted to focus a give on an organization helping children in the Middle East. In a region full of political turmoil and violence, children become victims of violence and may not always have the access to the medical attention they need. The Palestine Children’s Relief fills the gap with a humanitarian heart. This give goes out to my Palestinian friends.
The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund is a registered non-political, non-profit, 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization that was established in 1991 by concerned people in the U.S. to address the medical and humanitarian crisis facing Palestinian youths in the Middle East. It has since expanded to help suffering children from other Middle Eastern nations like Iraq, based only on their medical needs. The P.C.R.F. helps to locate free medical care for children from the Middle East who are unable to get the necessary and specialized treatment in their homeland.
The main objective of the P.C.R.F. is to identify and treat every child in the Middle East in need of specialized surgery not available to them locally. We locate, sponsor and run volunteer medical missions to the Middle East in adult and pediatric cardiac surgery, pediatric cardiology, plastic and reconstructive surgery, maxillofacial surgery, pediatric urology, ophthalmology, vascular surgery, pediatric orthopedic surgery, occupational therapy, and other specialties. We also locate abroad free medical care for children who cannot be adequately treated in the Middle East. The P.C.R.F. is the main organization regularly sending injured and sick Arab children to North America, the Middle East and Europe for free care that is not available to them there. Since 1991 over 800 children have been or currently are being treated outside of the Middle East through the P.C.R.F.
Amount Donated: $5
To support the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, please visit: http://www.pcrf.net
Day 196: Architecture for Humanity
Kudos to another great organization working to spark positive change in the world, by designing for a better future. Architecture in Humanity has built a network of people willing to lend a hand to those in need of proper design and construction services. They have also stepped up to rebuilding efforts in Haiti, Pakistand, and other recent natural disaster areas. Way to go!
Architecture for Humanity is a nonprofit design services firm founded in 1999. They are building a more sustainable future through the power of professional design. By tapping a network of more than 40,000 professionals willing to lend time and expertise to help those who would not otherwise be able to afford their services, they bring design, construction and development services where they are most critically needed.
Each year 10,000 people directly benefit from structures designed by Architecture for Humanity. Their advocacy, training and outreach programs impact an additional 50,000 people annually. They channel the resources of the global funding community to meaningful projects that make a difference locally. From conception to completion, they manage all aspects of the design and construction process. Their clients include community groups, aid organizations, housing developers, government agencies, corporate divisions, and foundations.
Design is important to every aspect of our lives. It informs the places in which we live, work, learn, heal and gather. They engage all stakeholders in the design process. They believe their clients are designers in their own right.
- Thoughtful, inclusive design creates lasting change in communities by:
- Alleviating poverty and providing access to water, sanitation, power and essential services
- Bringing safe shelter to communities prone to disaster and displaced populations
- Rebuilding community and creating neutral spaces for dialogue in post-conflict areas
- Mitigating the effects of rapid urbanization in unplanned settlements
- Creating spaces to meet the needs of those with disabilities and other at-risk populations
- Reducing the footprint of the built environment and addressing climate change
Amount Donated: $5
To support Architecture for Humanity, please visit: http://architectureforhumanity.org
Day 178: charity: water
Access to clean water is a basic human right and when nearly a billion people in this world do not have adequate access to clean water, you know there is something to be done. Unsafe water leads to disease and death, most of which can be prevented through the building of fresh water wells in the areas with the greatest need. charity: water is a great organization raising funds and awareness to fight the cause. I recommend checkin out their site.
charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.
It’s hard not to think about water today. In the western world, we face growing concerns about our stewardship of the world’s most precious resource. There’s talk of shortages, evidence of reservoirs and aquifers drying up, and of course, plenty of people who simply don’t care.
But forget about us.
Most of us have never really been thirsty. We’ve never had to leave our houses and walk 5 miles to fetch water. We simply turn on the tap, and water comes out. Clean. Yet there are a billion people on the planet who don’t have clean water.
It’s hard to imagine what a billion people looks like really, but one in eight might be easier. One in eight people in our world don’t have access to the most basic of human needs. Something we can’t imagine going 12 hours without.
Here, we’d like to introduce you to a few of those billion people. They are very real, and they need our help. They didn’t choose to be born into a village where the only source of water is a polluted swamp. And we didn’t choose to be born in a country where even the homeless have access to clean water and a toilet.
We invite you to put yourself in their shoes. Follow them on their daily journey. Carry 80 pounds of water in yellow fuel cans. Dig with their children in sand for water. Line up at a well and wait 8 hours for a turn.
Now, make a decision to help. We’re not offering grand solutions and billion dollar schemes, but instead, simple things that work. Things like freshwater wells, rainwater catchments and sand filters. For about $20 a person, we know how to help millions.
Start by helping one.
Amount Donated: $15
To support charity: water, please visit: http://www.charitywater.org
Day 176: Helen Keller International
Today is bigger give Friday, I got paid today, so I able to give a little more back than usual and it pushes me over the $2K dollar mark!! Plus, they announced a new Featured Human Person on Crowdrise today, so I checked out her projects and read about Helen Keller International, a cool organization working to combat malnutrition and blindness around the world. Check them out!
Helen Keller International's commitment is to eradicate preventable blindness and to ensure children and adults no longer suffer the debilitating effects of poor nutrition.
Hundreds of thousands of children go blind and even die each year because they lack adequate amounts of vitamin A in the food they eat.
Helen Keller International’s pioneering work in the 1970’s revealed the connection between vitamin A deficiency (VAD) and child survival. They collaborated in the groundbreaking research that first identified that controlling VAD not only can prevent a lifetime of darkness, but can also result in a 23-34% reduction in child mortality.
Their vision is that:
- No one suffers from preventable or treatable blindness or low vision;
- No one suffers from under-nutrition; and
- Fewer people suffer loss of their productive years due to disability and premature death.
To accomplish this, HKI builds the capacity of local governmental, civil society and private sector systems and infrastructure, and promotes the development of sustained, large scale programs that deliver effective preventative and curative eye health and nutrition services. These services are integrated into ongoing programs and initiatives, and are delivered in cost-effective and practical ways that take into account actual community health needs and local realities. Their design is firmly rooted in scientific evidence.
Amount Donated: $26
To support Helen Keller International, please visit: http://www.hki.org
Day 166: Water.Org
Access to clean water is a basic need that most developing countries don’t have adequate access to, which can lead to many health and sanitation issues. It is important that we help pave the way to help fight the problem and assist these communities attain the resources they need. There are many organizations like Water.org who have dedicated their mission to safe clean water for all.
Water.org is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization committed to providing safe drinking water and sanitation to people in developing countries. Water.org is challenging the traditional approach to assisting people in developing countries. Their goals are to draw attention to the world’s number one health problem, unsafe and inadequate water supplies, and to raise funds to help fight this immense problem – one community at a time.
Their mission is to inspire people to act:
- Donors – to provide consistent financial resources with a sense of solidarity for those in need of safe water
- Staff and volunteers – to seek innovative and efficient solutions to meeting the global water supply needs of today and tomorrow
- People in need of safe water – to take the lead in meeting their own needs
Together, these people form the “waterpartnership”
Develop high quality, sustainable water projects. They use their expertise to foster high-quality, sustainable, community-level water supply projects. They promote innovative solutions that enable communities to take a leading role in solving their own water supply problems.
Enable donors to invest wisely. Water.org exists to create a global awareness of the water supply crisis and to help people respond. They carefully invest donors’ funds in only the highest quality projects through locally-based water development organizations.
Amount Donated: $5
To support Water.Org, please visit: http://water.org
Day 149: Mountain 2 Mountain
Today’s give is to an organization founded by one woman who instead of waiting for others make a change, decided to step up and be the change in the world she wanted to see. It’s a truly inspiring story and Mountain2Mountain has a strong mission and is dedicated to providing education and opportunity to women in Afghanistan.
Mountain2Mountain was founded in November 2006 by Shannon Galpin. Inspired by becoming a mother, Shannon took action on her deep conviction that all women and girls deserve the same rights and opportunities as her own daughter. She walked away from her career as an athletic trainer and used her own limited funds to launch M2M and “be the change” she wished to see in the world. Shannon recruited volunteers and donors and developed collaborative partnerships with others working across the globe to advance education and opportunity for women and girls. At the same time, she made a number of trips to Afghanistan.
Today, M2M is a burgeoning nonprofit that has touched the lives of hundreds of men, women and children in Afghanistan. M2M has launched projects across the war-torn country to create opportunities that were unimaginable ten years ago. In 2009, Shannon became the first woman to ride a mountain bike in Afghanistan. She will repeat her groundbreaking ride this fall.
Mountain2Mountain believes education is an entry point for community growth and change. M2M works to implement cyclical programs that include training, job creation and microfinance. M2M starts where many organizations finish, with education and vocational training. They believe education and vocational training are empowering only if there is sustainable economic output. They believe the job isn’t done unless there is a market for the midwives we train or the teachers we teach or the agricultural co-ops we help create. They believe change and empowerment come from the inside. M2M works alongside local communities to help develop the tools they need to help themselves.
Create opportunities for a woman through education and training, follow through with job creation and microfinance, and gender equity rises from within. Women who contribute to their communities and families as teachers, skilled birth attendants and business owners gain lasting respect, altering the female role in a dramatic and culturally sustainable way.
Mountain2Mountain doesn’t just build brick and mortar structures without supporting their long-term viability. They don’t train women and girls only to leave them where they started with a few new skills. M2M seeks sustainable progress on human rights, gender equity and the economic vitality of communities on the fringe.
Amount Donated: $5
To Support Mountain 2 Mountain, please visit: www.mountain2mountain.org