Prank calls do not block legislation…

I caught wind of a post yesterday encouraging tumblr users to prank call the Michigan Republican party in light of the “Vagina Punishment" of last week.

Don’t. Don’t waste your time prank       calling them. If you are going to take  time out of your day to make a phone call related to this, call Bruce Rendon’s office and voice your complaints with the bill he’s proposed and the ludicrous treatment of Lisa Brown and Barb Byrum.

Also, let him know you’re giving his opponent Lon Johnson a donation. Then, go to Lon Johnson's website and actually give him a donation. Whatever you can give. Feeling generous? Give to Brown. (Byrum is running for County Clerk, but if you want to give her money too, I’m sure her facebook admin will tell you how.)

Prank calls won’t stop horrible, oppressive, uncivilized, archaic legislation. But getting the fucker out of office who proposed it just may - or at least it may give an opportunity to get that legislation overturned, should it pass.

Fun Fact - Lon Johnson’s wife, Julianna Smoot, is a deputy manager for President Obama’s re-election campaign.

Image from Flickr User tj scenes.

30 DAYS OF GIVING - 26-29

I noticed that Glamour magazine did its own 30 Days of Giving in the December issue (actually its was 31 days). As I managed to fall behind on the last couple days of this project, due in no small part to my own holiday preparations, I’ve borrowed some of Glamour's suggestions.

The Jonathan Collins Foundation’s Message from the Heart program provides teddy bears to children of deployed military personnel. The teddy bears come equipped with recorded messages from the deployed parent. A $25 donation provides one child with a bear.

An $8 donation to the AARP’s Drive to End Hunger program feeds a senior for a day.

The purchase of a hat or clothing from krochetkids.org keeps women in Uganda and Peru working and educated.

A donation of $25 to womenforwomen.org buys a woman in a war torn country a sewing kit, so that she may begin a career as a tailor.

30 DAYS OF GIVING - Day 25

This 30 Days of Giving post is a little different. I know it’s hard to donate money to places when you don’t have a whole lot of it. Instead, I wanted to use this post to focus on other types of ways you can help organizations/people in need.

Donate old cell phones to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. They refurbish and sell them and use the proceeds to support their programming.

Donate old formal dresses to Donate My Dress.org/a girl who cannot afford a dress for a formal event.

Click the button on the main page of thebreastcancersite.com every day and help a woman get a free mammogram.

Donate old books. Two places that would love them - Global Literacy Project and Books to Prisons.

Volunteer near your home/work place.

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 Five!

Welcome to Day Five of 30 Days of Giving!

I hope today you will check out…

VETERANS FOR PEACE!

Who They Are - I assume it’s a bit self explanatory…the website describes the membership as “men and women veterans of all eras and duty stations spanning the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), World War II, the Korean, Vietnam, Gulf and current Iraq wars as well as other conflicts. Our collective experience tells us wars are easy to start and hard to stop and that those hurt are often the innocent. Thus, other means of problem solving are necessary.”

What They Do - A ton! They organize against existing wars (and prior to the beginning of those wars they held forums and found ways to voice their opposition to elected officials); they coordinate local (to members’ respective regions) efforts to save VA healthcare, defend veterans rights; they work with Vietnam vets to bring medical supplies, build schools and clinics in Vietnam and advocate for Agent Orange victims. These among MANY OTHER things.

Why It’s Important - Well, for one, look at the economic toll two (decades long) wars has taken on the United States. If that’s not enough do you want your tax dollars to go towards killing children and civilians? (If so, you should probably navigate away from this page now.

What You Can Do - Of course you can donate, but if that’s not possible, there are other ways you can help. From letter writing to event attendance, there are plenty of ways to support Veterans for Peace.

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.