Thursday, June 30, 2011

Teens Donate Socks 'n Shoes to Flood Victims

Students active in a California  high school service club collected "dozens of pairs of new and gently-used shoes and socks," and sent them to children in West Memphis, Ark, who were victims of the recent flood.

Source:  SLO Tribune 6/30/11

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Ziplining For Kids

Creative ways to raise funds for the benefit of those less fortunate always amazes The Daily Prism.  Here's a zippy idea:

"Flightlinez and the Fremont Street Experience will hold a “Flying for Funds” fundraiser from noon until midnight with proceeds from all zipline rides benefiting the “Be Great: Graduate” program of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Las Vegas. The “Be Great: Graduate” program is designed with middle school aged members in mind and aims to enhance each Club member's engagement with learning by providing consistent support from caring and trusted adults in developing the academic, emotional and social skills needed to achieve academic success and identify youth at risk of dropping out of school."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kindness--More Than A Bumper Sticker

The Daily Prism is back from vacation and filled with many resources that bring sparks of light to a planet calling for assistance from its people.  Some resources are big and some are tiny.  But every spark brings light to the the big blue marble.

From Wikipedia: "Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty"  (was first written) on a place mat at a Sausalito restaurant in 1982 or 1983.  Then it became a popular bumper sticker, and now the website, Random Acts of Kindness  is a foundation set up to "inspire people to practice kindness and pass it to others."

Check it out when it's time for a lift.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Students Help Feed Kids In Summer Programs

The local story begins, "Local youngsters invite the public to the first Students Helping Students Empty Bowls luncheon," a fundraiser to help provide meals and snacks to children during the summer.

The "local youngsters" are students with a school service learning program and students in a culinary academy.  Their planned fundraiser will benefit a food bank  that provided meals and snacks for summer programs at the Boy's and Girl's Club, YMCA and Peoples' Self Help Housing.

Source:  San Luis Obispo Tribune, 6/18/11

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Gift of Oxygen for Pet Rescue

**  "The Norco Fire Department recently received donated pet oxygen masks for use in treating animals when pets have suffered smoke inhalation due to being trapped inside a building or residence during a fire,"

**  "Using a life-saving pet oxygen mask made specifically for animals, Shawnee firefighters and REACT EMS medics were able to revive a dog overcome by smoke inhalation during a house fire Wednesday...Through setting out canisters at area veterinarian offices, pet boarding and grooming businesses, along with fundraisers at her school, Alyssa Johnson of Shawnee raised more than $1,400 back in 2009 to purchase 12 pet oxygen masks for area fire departments — Shawnee, Tecumseh, Meeker, McLoud, Bethel Acres and Earlsboro. One of those masks was used Wednesday to save a dog’s life."

**  "Company donating 175 pet oxygen masks to local fire departments."

The above stories and headlines just touch the surface of generosity by animal lovers who donate to their local fire departments pet oxygen masks. Search "donated pet oxygen masks" and watch stories from around this continent and beyond pop up. 

Sources:  Press Enterprise, News-Star, Las Vegas Sun

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Biggest Clean-Up Ever--The Oceans

Activists, scientists, citizens, business persons, and all other kinds of volunteers created the Clean Ocean Project with the mission to " locate, remove, and recycle plastic debris from the world’s oceans."

This clean-up project may be the largest ever, but here's the strategy according to Clean Ocean Project's website, "... integrate new and existing technologies to locate plastic marine debris, and develop effective and environmentally sustainable techniques for removing it from the world's oceans."

The website offers valuable links to the issue of plastics and trash in our seas.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bringing Clean Cookstoves to Developing Nations

A statistic:  3-billion people use polluting or inefficient cook stoves.  The consequence: "1.9 million premature deaths annually, with women and young children the most affected. Cookstove smoke contributes to a range of chronic illnesses and acute health impacts such as early childhood pneumonia, emphysema, cataracts, lung cancer, bronchitis, cardiovascular disease, and low birth weight," according to Global Alliance For Clean Cookstoves.

 The alliance is a " public-private partnership to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and combat climate change by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions."

A recent CNN report highlighted the dangers of unsafe cooking devices and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's action to help bring safer cookstoves to developing nations.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Amputees Regain Dignity on Surfboards

I first discovered this nonprofit group, AmpSurf, several years ago while sitting in an airport.  Young, healthy men, some in wheel chairs and others missing arms, legs, or both worked their way through airport security.  Some were visibly upset by the process, other laughed their way through.  It was one of those awakening moments.  Several wore t-shirts that said, "AmpSurf Clinic '07."

I researched the group and experienced double awe-inspiration. 

From the website, "We are a Non-Profit Organization made up of amputees, veterans and friends & family of the disabled, . We want to Promote, Inspire,Educate, and Rehabilitate people with disabilities, especially our veteran heroes through adaptive surfing & fun safe outdoor activities all can participate."

Monday, June 13, 2011

Volunteers Come to The Rescue of Pilot Whales in Scotland

Volunteers from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) and members of the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals travelled overnight to reach the rocky shore of a remote Scottish island,
after a  pod of pilot whales was discovered moving back and forth along the Loch Carnan coastline in South Uist in the Western Isles, Scotland, showing signs of distress.  Twenty had severe head injuries.

Dozens of healthy whales had also followed them into the shallow water raising fears that up to 100 of the animals could strand themselves.

The volunteers, including  locals,  fishermen and others worked together to save them -- and their efforts seem to have worked. They were driven back towards deeper waters, and further from a suicidal fate that biologists have yet to fully understand.

Source: The Telegraph  & Tree Hugger

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Graduates Foster Peace, Cultivate Justice

While some mega-millionaires spend their funds on luxury, others will their fortunes to seeking solutions for the betterment of society.  The Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies is of the later.

The school offers a Master of Arts in Peace and Justice StudiesAn interdisciplinary program emphasizing peace as human development. The goals of the Program are: 1) to produce graduates who are capable of relating disciplinary and cross-disciplinary theories of peace and justice to real world problem-solving involving regional and international conflict; 2) to foster scholarly agendas that examine the dynamics of justice and peace building; and, 3) to facilitate faculty and student interaction and development across disciplines and academic units at USD, as well as in the community.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Helping the World to See

Remember Toms Shoes? That's the deal where buy a pair of shoes, and Tom's Shoes' owner will donate a pair to a person in need. 

On June 7, 2011 Toms Eyewear hit the market.  The Los Angeles Times reported, "...that for every pair of sunglasses purchased, sight-saving medical treatment, prescription glasses or surgery will be donated to a person in need."

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Bringing Literacy Home

In Santa Cruz County, CA, 6,000 young children of migrant workers, over the last four years, were introduced to the "joys of reading" by volunteers from Raising A Reader.

Raising a Reader formed in 1999 because nearly half of all U.S. children entering kindergarten lack the early reading skills needed for success in school, according to the website. By 2010, 811,000 were reached, with a long term goal to reach one million children.

Volunteers and community organizations around the United States participate by raising funds donated to Head Start programs or by purchasing and donating book bags filled with books for parents to read to their children.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Change for Kids: Music Lessons for Kids

A few Bronx area kindergarten teachers had to raise funds for school supplies for their students.  It eventually grew to become Change for Kids.  The nonprofit now brings literacy, arts and music to the Bronx students.

The music program, for example, left the school's "25 violins gathering dust."

"CFK founder Ted Madara contacted Derek Mithaug a department head at Juilliard, who recommended several accomplished violinists in their program who might be strong teaching candidates. We found a perfect match in Majid Khaliq, an outstanding Juilliard-trained violinist with a firm commitment to teaching. Without funding, though, the program would remain dark.

Two members of the CFK community, Ricardo Pascoe and Arielle Tepper, stepped up to sponsor a one-year pilot. Nine years later, the program is still going strong and this spring 14 of Mr. Majids violin students attended the Carnegie Hall performance of Lemony Snickett's "The Composer is Dead".  Additionally, the CFK Violin Program has been featured on NBC's Today Show."

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Omprakash--Positive Social Change

A partially paralyzed man named Omprakash inspired a vision. He was confined to a charity hospice center that was substandard from a lack of funding.  But Omprakash said he was in paradise.  Why? Because he was  treated with respect and kindness. The volunteers who heard this write, "This comment shed light on the extent to which simple human relationships can be a force for positive change, and our work has evolved out of an appreciation for this point." 

This sparked the idea of Omprakash, a nonprofit based on "... the idea that positive social change must begin with human relationships."

Book Delivery
"Omprakash builds partnerships with grassroots health, education, and environmental projects around the world, and connects them with volunteers, donors, and classrooms that can learn from and support their work," explains the group's website

The organization's 2011 report notes their successes:
We helped hundreds of inspired individuals travel abroad to volunteer with our Partners during 2010, and many of them chose to fundraise in their home communities on behalf of our Partners.

In 2010, this decentralized fundraising model allowed the Omprakash network to provide its Partners with over $330,000 – an increase of nearly 400% from the total funds we provided to Partners in 2009. The largest portion of these funds went to projects carrying out relief work in response to the past year’s devastating natural disasters in Haiti and South Asia. Other funds went towards causes as diverse as teacher salaries in Tibet and school construction in Tanzania

Saturday, June 4, 2011

U.S. Fishing Industry Battles U.S. Hunger

The land of plenty isn't for 35.1 million hungry Americans, this according to Seashare, a nonprofit with the, "...mission to provide seafood for people who depend on food assistance from food banks, shelters, pantries and soup kitchens."

To date, "SeaShare has provided over 23-million pounds of seafood to hungry men, women and children in America," notes the website's report card.

Friday, June 3, 2011

"Leo Toto"--To Raise The (HIV+) Child

While no child would ask for HIV, 'The number of girls aged 10-14 living with HIV grew from about 50,000 in 1999 to more than 300,000 in 2010," reports the Joint U.N. Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). 

A nonprofit, Safe Haven Project, Inc. " a non-profit, domestic (U.S.) & international HIV / AIDS education & outreach organization dedicated to creating global awareness and compassion for children and young adults living with HIV / AIDS," states its website.

Another group, American Foundation for Children with AIDS, "helps HIV+ children, their guardians and HIV+ pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa who have no other access to aid. AFCA provides critical AIDS and related medications, medical equipment and supplies, nutritional supplements, and emergency supplies that are requested by the institutions in our targeted areas," their website writes.

Children With AIDS Charity, a UK based group, "...was set up in 1992 to help the youngest of those infected or affected by HIV/AIDS maintain a good quality of life. It is a national UK charity with the aim of working towards a future without poverty or prejudice for these children and their families," according to their website.

Leo Toto is Swahili meaning "raise the child."  It is also,"...a community-based outreach program providing services to HIV+ children and their families in the Kangemi, Waithaka, Kawangware, Riruta, Mutuini, Ruthimitu, Kibera and Kariobangi communities of Nairobi, Kenya," notes the Nyubani website.

Other organizations:
SOS Childrens Villages

There are other groups who specialize in this field.  The Daily Prism does not intend to be a resource for researching such organizations.  Our purpose is to demonstrate that there are people who give their time, efforts and funds to help those in lesser and challenged circumstances--thereby spreading another spark of light from a universal prism.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bread for All

Regardless of how you slice it, the simple act of providing bread to the hungry is a comfort and an act of care and compassion.  Bread for the World's mission is to end poverty and hunger through a coalition of religious, altruistic and generous foundations and activists.

"Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.

By changing policies, programs, and conditions that allow hunger and poverty to persist, we provide help and opportunity far beyond the communities where we live.

We can end hunger in our time. Everyone, including our government, must do their part.

With the stroke of a pen, policies are made that redirect millions of dollars and affect millions of lives.

By making our voices heard in Congress, we make our nation’s laws more fair and compassionate to people in need," explains the website.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Thoughtful Youth Generously Give to Others

  • 2 Sixth graders make quilts and donates them to a pediatric unit and neonatal intensive care unit

  • Another youth and  a friend hosted a bake sale with a goal of raising $500 to go toward buying a cow for a village that desperately needed one. Their bake sale was such a huge hit they raised close to $2,000 and were able to buy several cows instead.

  • "Meagan" helped a struggling mother of three provide a Christmas for her family. She raised $950 for the single mother, and bought, wrapped and delivered presents to the woman's home.

  • Romanian Scouts collected 2 truckloads of clothes and other essentials for victims of a flood.

  • A quarter of a million students of Israel’s public-religious school network took part in “Good Deeds Day.” They cleaned public parks and playgrounds, collected food for the needy, or ran after the elderly offering help in carrying their bags.
Scouts Building a Better World
Israel Nation News