Category Archives: Charity
Have you ever asked your mom what she wanted for her birthday, or Christmas or Mother’s Day? If she’s anything like my mom she probably said something like, “Knowing you love me is all the present I need.” Now while that’s a very sweet sentiment and I very much appreciate that my mom doesn’t expect a gift (and really, she can afford to buy herself whatever she needs), I would still like to show her just a small token of how much I love and admire her. What to do?
I have found that my mom is very moved by a donation to a charity on her behalf. I bet your mom would like that too!! Following is a list of just a few of the charities I’ve highlighted recently and how they are helping celebrate mom this Mother’s Day!!
- WaterAid America – for a donation as low as $25, you can pay for one person in one of the world’s poorest countries to gain access to safe, clean water and sanitation for life. In addition, you can print a Mother’s Day card that includes the details of your gift.
- Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation – in honor of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation’s 25th anniversary this year and Mother’s Day, they want to challenge everyone to help them raise the funds that would allow 2,500 women to get tested for HIV. Your $19 donation in honor of your loved one enables one new mother to get tested, and you can send your loved one an e-card!
This little cutie is Bud at about six weeks old. I remember when Boo and Bud were born, how anxious Art and I were to protect those fragile little souls. Boo was born the beginning of January and I was so afraid she would catch pneumonia that I didn’t take her out of the house for a month (except to the doctor’s office).
We were very fortunate that we had an excellent health plan at the time, and that we live in a first world country where we have access to clean water, plenty of food and health education.
But what about those families who don’t have the things we take for granted?
According to Impatient Optimists, the blog of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation:
- Nearly 3 million newborns die each year globally
- 99% of these newborns die in low and middle i
- A child is 45 times more likely to die in the first month of life (when compared to children ages 1 month to 5 years)
- The major causes of newborn deathare prematurity, infection, and birth asphyxia (when a baby’s brain and other organs do not get enough oxygen before, during or right after birth)
- Complications of preterm birth are the second leading cause of death in children before their fifth birthday.
But the majority of these deaths can be prevented with proper maternal healthcare during pregnancy, skin-to-skin contact after birth, breastfeeding and proper handwashing.
From April 15-18 in Johannesburg, South Africa, individuals from around the globe will gather for The Global Newborn Health Conference to focus on how we take those interventions that save lives and encourage their use in regions of the world where newborns are most at risk of dying. And this conference is part of a larger, ongoing conversation on newborn health to generate action.
What Can We Do To Help?
- Follow Dr. Gary Darmstadt (@gdarmsta), Director of the Family Health Division of the Gates Foundation on Twitter. Retweet his daily “Did You Know?” facts until the conference starts on April 18th.
- Follow the conference by live stream once it starts and tweet or share what you learn.
How can you be an advocate for global newborn health?
You may remember from my post last month (WaterAid – I’m Drinking Water for Lent) that I am nearing the end of my 40 day quest to give up diet soda and drink only water to raise money and promote awareness for WaterAid and clean drinking water for all.
Well, today, March 22, 2013, is World Water Day, a day established by the United Nations to look at water issues around the world. It’s a day that draws attention to the facts that 783 million people, or 11% of the world’s population, do not have safe water to drink and that this, coupled with poor sanitation, results in 2,000 children dying every day.
WaterAid is an international non-profit organization that helps the world’s poorest people to plan, build and manage their own safe water supplies and to improve their sanitation and hygiene. Can you imagine how hard your life would be if you had to walk for miles just to get to a water source, let alone a safe one, and then walk miles back home carrying many gallons of water? How scary your life would be if you had no clean water source and there was the constant fear of your children dying from a water-born pathogen?
Now imagine how much your life would be changed if you had easy access to a clean safe, source of drinking water. Hours spent carrying water can instead be spent with family, tending crops, raising livestock or starting a business. Simple changes to sanitation and hygiene practices save thousands of babies’ lives and keep children in school.
Today at 1:30 p.m. EST, WaterAid America will join leading experts in the fight against water poverty for a Google+ hangout marking World Water Day 2013 on Friday, March 22 at 1:30pm EST / 5:30pm GMT at http://ow.ly/iZCdj .
Back in December I talked about some of the reasons why I believe in giving: giving back, giving to charities, etc. You can see my original post here.
Today I’d like to talk about why I feel “called” to give. I know some of you won’t like that word “called”, but that’s what it is to me. I believe God calls us all to give. Here are the specific verses that lead me to give to the charities I do:
Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25: 34-40 NRSV
I try to use these verses as a litmus test when I am asked to donate. If it will support the hungry, thirsty, lonely, poor or imprisoned, then I will try to donate if I can.
Compassion International is one of the charities I choose to give to. Here is their commitment to children from their website:
Compassion’s ministry is focused on the individual child and his or her development. By working holistically with individual children to address their spiritual, economic, social and physical needs, we present every child with an opportunity to become responsible and fulfilled Christian adults.
Although entire communities may feel the positive impact of Compassion’s presence, our goal is to release children one-by-one from poverty in Jesus’ name. What happens in the life of a child ripples throughout their environment now and in the future.
We believe that changed environments may assist children, but transformed children will inevitably change their environments.
I am not able to commit to supporting a child on a monthly basis, but Compassion offers other opportunities to give through their Gift Catalog. For as little as $4 you have the opportunity to help protect one child from parasites, or for $10 you can provide garden seeds for an entire family in Africa.
Compassion International is encouraging everyone to talk about the reasons why they give. Please leave a comment below or link up your blog to the linky below and let us know what verse calls you to give?
Every year since I was young I have given up something or promised “to do” something for Lent. Lent is the period of 40 days before Easter (not including Sundays), and it starts with Ash Wednesday, which this year is today, February 13th. The purpose of giving something up is to be focused less on this world and to prepare our hearts to welcome the risen Christ. In previous years I have committed to daily Bible reading, given up swearing (not this year, sorry), and one year I even gave up sugar.
A couple of weeks ago, at my yearly checkup, my doctor recommended I give up diet soda (not for Lent, just because it’s not good for me). I cut back, but had not actually quit yet. Then, yesterday I saw another blogger say that she was committing to drinking only water in order to bring attention to the plight of people throughout the world who do not have access to clean, safe water.
I felt a mental nudge on reading this, so I decided to write this blog post. I am committing to drinking only water for Lent. I will, however, be allowing myself one glass of iced tea a day, and a glass of wine on my birthday (which always falls during Lent) and other special occasions. I will be collecting the money I have saved by not drinking soda and donating it to WaterAid.
Did you know that nearly 800 million people do not have access to it and 2.5 billion have nowhere safe and clean to go to the toilet? WaterAid works with local organizations, using practical, sustainable solutions to provide safe water, effective sanitation and hygiene education to the poorest people in developing countries.
I have estimated I will save about $25, which when donated to WaterAid, will pay for one person in one of the world’s poorest countries to gain access to safe, clean water and sanitation for life.
Update: It’s Easter Sunday and although I didn’t totally give up my diet soda, I did drink more than 8 glasses of water every day. I made my donation of $25 today to WaterAid.
In addition, during the month of February, when you donate, WaterAid will give you the option of either printing a valentine or having one mailed to the recipient of your choice, informing them of your gift on their behalf. What a thoughtful gift for your favorite valentine!! Check out all the options available here.
What are you giving up/ committing to for Lent? How can you turn your introspection outwards? Let me know your plans in the comments below.
My kids are adults now (officially – both of them – wahoo!!), but I remember when they were young how nervous I was the first time they wanted to ride their bikes to the corner alone, or stay overnight at the house of a friend I didn’t know very well. I was always careful to protect them as much as possible, while still letting them have their freedom. We were very lucky to live in a safe neighborhood where most everyone knew each other. We were blessed to have food on the table every evening, and both of my children received a quality education.
Don’t all America’s children deserve to be safe? Don’t they all deserve to have healthy food to eat, a safe place to play and a quality education?
The sad truth is, we live in a country where:
- nearly 1 in 4 children lives in poverty*
- nearly 1 in 5 of our children are clinically obese (a body mass index of 30 or more)**
- Approximately 1 in 8 children in the US never graduates from high school***
- Over 3 million American children are reported as victims of abuse every year.****
In the wake of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., Save the Children, together with Children’s Health Fund, Every Child Matters, First Focus, Harlem Children’s Zone and Share Our Strength, has launched a petition urging the Obama Administration and Congress to establish a National Commission on Children. The partner organizations will send their signed call for action to the White House prior to the President’s State of the Union address on Feb. 12.
The first National Commission on Children was formed by President Reagan and Congress in 1987 and ultimately led to the enactment of the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit and the creation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, among other important initiatives. Twenty-five years later, it’s time for another Commission to develop bold, new ideas to tackle today’s challenges.
Save the Children, which has made child protection a top priority throughout its nearly 100-year history, recommends that the new Commission should be tasked with creating a national policy on children and setting goals for reducing childhood poverty, obesity, illiteracy, and violence.
What Can We Do?
Join with Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, Catholic Charities USA , Child Care Aware® of America, Girls Inc., KaBOOM!, National Association of School Nurses and the YMCA of the USA, along with me and the other Mom Bloggers for Social Good, in signing this petition today.
Let’s keep America’s children safe!!
Source of statistics:
After 9/11, Art was recalled two different times to active duty in the Air Force. It was quite a strain on our family financially, but we were very lucky that he was never deployed near a combat zone. One of the most helpful things, for us, was the community at Travis AFB who helped us with any questions or problems we had.
But what about after? What happens when the servicemember retires or leaves the service? What about elderly veterans? How do we help veterans of Afghanistan or Iraq? What organizations are helping veterans and how can we help?
Here are three easy ways you can help veterans in need by donating:
- Your Time: Just a few miles from our house is one of our state’s veterans homes. Attached to the veteran’s home is The Pathway Home, a residential recovery home, dedicated to helping veterans of Afghanistan, Iraq and other recent conflicts to transition back to civilian life.
Some of the ways you can help at a veteran’s home or recovery home are to:
read to or talk with the veterans
teach a class in a craft, skill, hobby or sport with which you have experience.
help to organize or assist with holiday parties
You can google “veteran’s homes” to find the veteran’s care facility nearest you.
You can also donate your time at a local veteran’s hospital or clinic. Opportunities here can involve escorting a wheelchair veteran to their appointment and assisting in checking in veterans for their appointments.
Or you can volunteer at a nearby Fisher House. Fisher House Foundation donates “comfort homes,” built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful times – during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury. Volunteers can help with a variety of jobs such as making beds, arranging flowers, organizing the refrigerator and unloading the dishwasher.
- Your Unwanted Items:
frequent flyer miles to the Fisher House project (google “Fisher House”)
gently used items or vehicles for resell by local veteran’s organizations
- Your Money to:
Disabled American Veterans
Wounded Warrior Project
other reputable veteran’s organizations.
What are some other ways you can think of to help veterans? Please leave your comments below.
This is a sponsored post however, all the points and views are my own.
When I was a kid, my family had a well. It had an electric pump, and the only problems we had were when an earwig crawled into the control box and shorted out the system, or when the PH balance got a little off and we had to chlorinate the water for a day to kill the sulfur smell. I’m sure some of my readers have similar stories.
But can you imagine what it would be like if you had to search all day just to find a water supply, no matter if it was safe to drink or not? Worldwide 800 million people do not have access to clean water and 2.5 billion have nowhere safe and clean to go to the toilet.
As a result, 2,000 children die every day from easily prevented diarrheal diseases with countless more unable to attend school. Millions of women are unable to work because they spend so much time collecting water and caring for sick children
Ruby lives in Balar Math, an overcrowded informal settlement in Bangladesh’s capital city Dhaka. There are no water or sanitation facilities here.
Her life is very challenging, as she described:
This slum has existed for 10 years and is in a shocking state. Hanging latrines feed straight into a garbage-filled ditch in the middle of the slum. Five thousand households live here with no clean water and no sanitation. There are old handpumps but they are not deep enough and the sinking water table means that only a small amount of water can be drawn from them each day.
Many people get very ill here and I think it all stems from the open latrines. Smell the stench, it’s disgusting. We get fevers, coughs and terrible diarrhea and there are no healthcare facilities that we can use. We spend lots of time bringing water from a handpump about 20 minutes’ walk away. You have to queue for at least two hours to get the water. I earn between 500-1000 taka per month and I have to spend about 100 taka on water. At least we are surviving. Our biggest fear is that we get evicted from the slum by the government.
WaterAid, founded in 1981, transforms lives by helping the world’s poorest people gain access to clean water and sanitation. Together with local organizations, communities and individuals, WaterAid uses affordable and locally appropriate solutions to provide safe water, effective sanitation and hygiene education to people in developing countries. For example, in Nigeria, WaterAid and local partner organization COWAN have helped communities to dig wells fitted with a handpump, construct latrines and learn about good hygiene.
WaterAid has programs in 27 countries in Africa, Asia, the Pacific region and Central America, and offices in the US, the UK, Australia and Sweden.
For more information, Follow WaterAid on:
As part of the Global Team of 200, I am committed to blogging at least twice a month about programs that benefit mothers and children worldwide. This month, one of the projects I was asked to blog about is the U.S. Fund for Unicef End Trafficking project.
Did you know that human trafficking has been reported in all 50 states in the U.S.? Trafficking rates are particularly high in California, Texas, Florida, and New York. force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of exploitation. This horrific practice can include prostitution,
Human trafficking has been likened to modern-day slavery and subjects children, women, and men to pornography, and sex tourism as well as domestic servitude, factory work, and migrant farming. Human trafficking is not the same as smuggling; it does not require movement across borders.
I visited the Slavery Footprint website, put in some basic information about my family’s lifestyle, and this is my result:
Take the quiz and leave a comment – how many slaves are working for you?
But how can we reduce our need for slave labor and help Unicef end trafficking?
Watch this PSA with Angie Harmon of Rizzoli and Isles:
So what can we do to help Unicef end trafficking?
- Post the National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-
3737-888, around your neighborhood, school, or work place.
The hotline handles calls from anyone, including witnesses,
potential victims, service providers, community members,
and people hoping to learn more. It is toll free, and can be
reached anywhere in the U.S., 24 hours a day, 365 days a
year. You can download a flyer for free at http://polarisproject.
make your own. Please ask permission before posting flyers
in coffee shops, restaurants, business locations, etc.
- Reach out and influence the life of a young girl
or boy in your community by volunteering as a tutor or
mentor. Get connected to an organization near you at
- Support policies that protect victims of trafficking.
Ask your senator to reauthorize the Trafficking Victims
Protection Reauthorization Act (S. 1301). Visit volunteers.
unicefusa.org/advocate for a sample letter.
- Change the conversation by working within your
social circles. A “pimp” is not a cool guy, but someone
who abuses and exploits women. A “prostitute” is often
a victim of sexual exploitation. Help your friends rethink
their choice of language. For tips on how to talk about
these issues, visit againstourwill.org/how-to-talkabout-
- Switch to Fair Trade brands, and/or host a Fair
Trade Party. Fair Trade-certified products are produced
without slave or child labor. Profits from Fair Trade products
support farmers and laborers involved in production
and ensure that they are paid fairly and work under safe
conditions. To learn more, visit fairtradeusa.org.
So now that you know, what will you do? How will you help Unicef end trafficking?
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The accomplishment I am most proud of, in the past 3 years, has been growing my own bookkeeping business (and more recently, this blog) in order to support my family financially. I am gratefu
l that I had the education, experience and resources to help make my dream a reality.
What if you had the dream and the talent, but no resources? That’s where 1000 Shillings comes in.
1000 Shillings works with impoverished women artisans around the world, giving their products an international market for limited edition, high quality products, a platform for women to tell their stories, and seed capital for women to start their own businesses.
Here is one of the lovely ladies who is being helped by the program:
Veronica is a native to Namatala, Uganda. She grew up with her nine sisters and one brother in the same compound where she lives today with her own children.
Her father owns property in Namatala and gave each of his daughters their own plot of land. Veronica was able to build on the land when she received a microfinance grant from a local nonprofit organization. She built a small house that has eight bedrooms, each about the size of a walk-in closet. She lives in the front of the house with her six children and rents the six remaining rooms at 10,000 ($4) Ugandan Shillings per month each. Though the income is small, she feels fortunate to receive this money each month.
Seven of her siblings still live in Namatala, and her mother and father live just inches away in the house next door. Most nights, you can often find them playing basic instruments and singing.
Veronica takes care of nine children, three of her own biological children; Sharon, Shariko, and Joseph. She also cares for six of her brother’s children after her brother died and her sister-in-law wasn’t able to provide for them.
Veronica was married in 1986 and was with the same man until 2007; “we didn’t rhyme” is the way Veronica describes their relationship. Veronica is being humble, as the man didn’t provide for her family and often spent time with other women. She left him and now struggles to support the children she is caring for.
Veronica dreams of being able to pay for her children’s school fees. Her children have ambitious dreams of becoming lawyers, policemen, and nurses, and she hopes to be able to support them long enough that they will be successful.
When you purchase, the beautiful necklace below, you are helping Veronica start her own business selling banana wine.
You can check out more of the beautiful jewelry at http://www.1000shillings.com.