30 Days of Giving - Day Eighteen

Still a day behind due to this blasted final week of the semester. I hope to be back on track by the weekend.

Nevertheless, please give some love to:

FAMILY CAREGIVER ALLIANCE

Who they are - a community based nonprofit which aims to address the needs of family and friends providing long term care at home.

What they do - Provide services, consulting, training, etc. for home caregivers.

Why it’s important - You know this already - being cared for with dignity and respect is a human right, especially for those who don’t have much control over the situation.

What you can do - If you visit the site you can learn a bit about legislation surrounding this issue, but really, they need donations.

30 DAYS OF GIVING - Day Eleven

Day eleven - DEMOCRACY NOW!!

Why they are - A news program hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez

What they do - Well, it’s a news program. But it’s also a non-profit organization and is broadcast on over 900 radio and television stations.

Why it’s important - From the website:

For true democracy to work, people need easy access to independent, diverse sources of news and information.

But the last two decades have seen unprecedented corporate media consolidation. The U.S. media was already fairly homogeneous in the early 1980s: some fifty media conglomerates dominated all media outlets, including television, radio, newspapers, magazines, music, publishing and film. In the year 2000, just six corporations dominated the U.S. media.

In addition, corporate media outlets in the U.S. are legally responsible to their shareholders to maximize profits.

Democracy Now! is funded entirely through contributions from listeners, viewers, and foundations. We do not accept advertisers, corporate underwriting, or government funding. This allows us to maintain our independence.

What you can do - Donate. Listen or Watch. Petition to get the show in your area. Send story ideas. Teach Democracy Now in your classroom. And plenty other things

30 DAYS OF GIVING - Day Eight

30 Days of Giving! Today’s organization breaks my mold a little. I said at the beginning that the organizations I share would be related to social issues that were at the forefront this year. Today’s organization is related to a show I watched this year.

Today, please check out…

BEST FRIENDS ANIMAL SOCIETY!

(Inspired by watching a few too many episodes of Dogtown on Netflix.)

Who they are - Pretty much the most incredible no kill shelter you’ve ever heard of.

What they do - House, rehabilitate, foster and attempt to give up for adoption just about every breed of animal imaginable - all on a sprawling massive compound in southern Utah. Generally - they just love animals.

Why it’s important - People that love adorable animals will just understand, but Best Friends takes in animals from some of the most dire situations (e.g. - Hurricane Katrina, Michael Vick’s house, huge hoarding situations, puppy mills, etc.) imaginable and rehabilitates them. They don’t give up on any animal, even animals they deem unsafe for adoption still get to live out their days on a wide expanse of land, with food and medicine and people who love them.

What you can do - Donate of course. But there’s more…You can contribute items to animals’s/family’s wish listsVolunteer! (If you travel to Utah and volunteer at Best Friends, they have housing available!) Adopt a pet!

(To see the first thirty days of this project, click here.)

30 DAYS OF GIVING - Day Six

30 Days of Giving!

Today I hope you will check out…

PALESTINIAN CHILREN’S RELIEF FUND

Who they are -paraphrased from the website - concerned people in the U.S. attempting to address the medical and humanitarian crisis facing Palestinian youths in the Middle East and other Middle Eastern nations like Iraq, based only on their medical needs.

What they do - attempt to identify and gain access to treatment for children in the Middle East (not exclusively Palestine) who need surgeries or other medical care they can not get locally.

Why it’s important - While you are entitled to your own opinion of any of the various conflicts, uprisings and wars in the Middle East, it’s indisputable that NO child asked to live in remote violent areas where they are unwittingly subject to atrocities of war. It’s always important to put aside partisan feelings in favor of aiding children who have no control over their living situation.

What you can do - Donate. Or volunteer. Volunteering=allowing a family with an injured child stay with you, OR visiting the sick/injured child in the hospital. Also, consider attending a PCRF event.

30 DAYS OF GIVING - Day Four

30 Days of Giving, right here, right now!

On this, the fourth day, I recommend you check out:

SIECUS!

Who They Are - Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States.

What They Do - Assist schools/communities in creating a comprehensive sex-ed curricula (as well as training teachers/talking to parents about discussing sex issues w/kids);  advocate for comprehensive sex-ed to lawmakers/their aides and train people at local, state and national levels to do the same; create sex-ed resources for just about everyone.

Why It’s Important - Well, they are strongly opposed to abstinence only sex-ed, so that’s something. But you should know why comprehensive sex-ed is important - teen/young adult/preventable pregnancies; STDs; confusion about prophylactics and options available for pregnant women; rushed marriages, etc. etc. etc.

What you can do - You can donate to SIECUS. If donating isn’t your thing (that’s fine), you can sign up for their email list to stay well informed and you can use their website to educate yourself not just on topics related to sex-ed, but also on current events in sex-ed policy. With this knowledge you will make a great advocate and can make some well informed calls to your elected officials.

30 DAYS OF GIVING - Day Three

Day three of Thirty Days of Giving! You know the drill by now.

Today’s organization is…

POLARIS PROJECT!

Who they are - A non-profit organization dedicated to stopping human trafficking/slavery. They have offices in DC, New Jersey and Japan.

What they do - From the website:

Polaris Project is a leading organization in the United States combating all forms of human trafficking and serving both U.S. citizens and foreign national victims, including men, women, and children. We use a holistic strategy, taking what we learn from our work with survivors and using it to guide the creation of long-term solutions. We strive for systemic change by advocating for stronger federal and state laws, operating the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline 1.888.3737.888, and providing services to help our clients and all victims of human trafficking.

Why it’s important - I hope I do not have to explain to you why it’s imperative to end human trafficking and slavery. If you’re not sure, perhaps perusing Polaris Project’s FAQs will help.

What you can do - If you’re interested in simply donating money, please try to do it before the end of December, as the organization will receive a matching fund from a foundation.

If you’d like to do something other than donate, visit the Take Action section of the Polaris Project website. You’ll find tools to learn more about the issue, advocate for the cause, join the grassroots network, volunteer, attend events and more.

30 DAYS OF GIVING - Day Two

Welcome to Day Two, of 30 Days of Giving. The second organization I’d like you to consider making a holiday contribution to is…

(DC) BOOKS TO PRISONS!

Who they are - An organization, comprised solely of volunteers, that develops and supports prison libraries.

What they do - Yearly DC Books to Prisons sends out 10,000 books to 150 prisons located in all fifty states.

Why it’s important - Much of keeping the recidivism rate down depends on the personal growth of the individuals. Many prisons don’t have educational programs and/or libraries and often times correctional facilities will not allow inmates to receive books from family/friends. DC Books to Prisons helps bring books to inmates who would otherwise have limited to no access.

What you can do - In addition to simply donating money, you can also donate used books (if you’re not in the DC area, you can contact the organization to arrange shipping), add a paperback dictionary to your next amazon order and have it shipped to the organization or,  find a similar organization in your area with whom you can volunteer your time.

30 DAYS OF GIVING - Day One

Welcome to Day One, of 30 Days of Giving. The first organization I’d like you to consider making a holiday contribution to is…

PFLAG!

Who they are - PFLAG stands for Parents and Families of Lesbians and Gays. PFLAG has over 250 chapters in each state. I highly encourage you to find and donate to your local chapter. (You can do so by clicking here.**) Each chapter needs resources for its own respective projects. While the PFLAG(s) in my state may need donations to build a resource center, the one in yours may use contributions for lobbying.

What they do - You can read more about PFLAG’s mission and goals here, but the crux of it is this - they want to improve the lives of young people who identify as L, G, B and T (etc.) by building more inclusive and safe environments in schools, faith based communities and most importantly their homes.

Why it’s important - The bullying and suicides of the last year highlighted how urgent and important it is that LGBT teens and young people have spaces where they feel safe, accepted and respected.

**Not all the chapters have their own websites, but most should have phone numbers and/or email addresses. Please don’t hesitate to give them a call or drop them an email. They will certainly love the support, encouragement and donation.

30 DAYS OF GIVING

Hello,

As you may have noticed, the customary gift buying holidays are approaching. I often feel stressed out when considering what to buy for whom and where to buy it. Recently I started making contributions in the names of some of my family members to organizations that do work they care about.

For the next thirty days, I will provide you with the name of an organization doing great work, that could use a donation from you. Please consider making a contribution in lieu of purchasing the latest “as seen on tv” product from that creepy kiosk.

I’ve chosen organizations based on some of the more prominent social issues that arose during 2011, so if you start to notice themes emerging, consider the recurring issues of the last year.

Thank you for reading and happy shopping/contributing.

Elle