Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pints of Guinness for a Pooch Named Guinness

A two-year-old Chihuaha mix pooch hoping for adoption from a humane society shelter needs eye surgery.  They call the dog Guinness.

An area bar heard about Guinness's challenge and helped raise funds to provide the needed surgery. Starting yesterday, Friday, at 11 a.m. through today (Saturday) until the bar closes at 2 a.m., "the bar and grill is donating $2.00 from every pint of Guinness sold to help cover the cost," reports KSBY news.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Strangers Respond En Masse To A Girl's Birthday Wish

Social media users may have seen pages where someone asks to have money donated to a cause instead of receiving birthday gifts.  That's what a Washington State 9-year-old girl did for her June birthday.  Her goal was $300 for My Charity: Water ("Our vision is simple and ambitious: clean, safe drinking water for everyone on the planet.")

About $220 was received until last week.  On June 13, 2011 the 9-year-old suffered fatal injuries from a car accident.  Her web page was closed.  But the pastor of her church suggested they reopen it. After the girl's mother expressed her appreciation, here's what happened according to the Seattle Times: "Although the original fundraising effort may have been limited to Rachel's immediate social circle, it now has touched the lives of people who never met her. Individual donations — more than 3,100 and counting — have ranged into the thousands of dollars..."

As of July 25, "Update, 10:20 p.m. Tuesday: The number of donations on Rachel Beckwith's fundraising page has climbed to 7,971, amounting to more than $331,000."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

New Philanthropy in Old China

With statistics like:

  • China is second only to the U.S. in the number of billionaires. China has more than 200 people with wealth over $1.5 billion;
  • China is home to more than half of the world's richest self-made women — 11 of the top 20;
it's no surprise that Yang Lan, a television host and one of China's wealthiest women,  is leading a movement to encourage the growth of philanthropy in China.

"Philanthropy in China has the potential for the kind of flowering it saw in the U.S. 100 years ago at the time of industrialists John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie," Lan told the Seattle Times.

"Philanthropy is a relatively new concept in China, where the government retains tight control over nonprofit organizations, and the public remains suspicious that many state-run charities are just out to take people's money. One Chinese billionaire, Chen Guangbiao, prefers to travel to disaster zones and hand out cash directly to victims rather than go through an existing charity," the report noted.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Seeking Coexistence

We Will Not Obey was featured in a New York Times story "Where Politics Are Complex, Simple Joys at the Beach"--a group of Israeli women who smuggled Palestinian women thru the Gaza Strip to the sea, which they had never experienced before.

"In the grinding rut of Israeli-Palestinian relations — no negotiations, mutual recriminations, growing distance and dehumanization — the illicit trip was a rare event that joined the simplest of pleasures with the most complex of politics. It showed why coexistence here is hard, but also why there are, on both sides, people who refuse to give up on it," the story explains.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Humanitarian Aid Rises Above Austerity

Reuters Aftrica recently reported "Global spending on humanitarian aid hit a record $16.7 billion in 2010 despite the financial crisis..."

The costs of aid, including rising fuel and food  expenses, however, did leave a void, the report notes.

"Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) said the record-breaking spending -- 11 percent more than donors gave in 2005 when the Indian Ocean tsunami and Pakistan earthquake triggered an unprecedented outpouring --masked a new mood of fiscal austerity in many countries...The data showed that most gains came from four major donors-- the United States, Japan, Canada and Saudi Arabia."  

Monday, July 25, 2011

Volunteers Work 24/7 and Risk Own Safety for Whale Rescues

Again, volunteers come to the rescue of stranded whales.  This time, in Northern Scotland, volunteers worked day and night to rescue and return 44 stranded pilot whales, according to the Sunday Sun.

Earlier this year, members of the Great Whale Conservancy came across an entangled humpback whale.  As the video shows, a few people, in a small boat (panga) rescued the 40-foot whale from the fish net entanglement, at great risk to themselves.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sparks of Light Everywhere, Even on Dark Days

I know this, seek good and it will come your way.  But with today's twisted news and other challenges, I posted on my Facebook page "Can't seem to find good today."

Well, it came in a message:  I have some good news for you. The Wednesday hikers just raised some money (about $1000, I believe) for the daughter of one of our hikers, who has breast cancer. Her mother happened to mention that in addition to losing her hair and eyelashes, she was losing her toenails, and had trouble wearing her shoes. A couple hikers sent an e-mail about this and a week later the daughter had a nice surprise.

This is the kind of spark of light that I cherish when it is everyday people coming together to eagerly and selflessly help others. 

I hope you are as inspired as I.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Beerbongs For Peace. Huh?

Humor and college ingenuity created a fundraiser that benefits the World Food Program, says the Mustang Daily.

Beerbongs For World Peace employs youthful energy and sophomoric humor, and has an answer for criticism:  “You’re not ever going to get rid of the drinking culture at college.The least you can do is turn the energy that you have in that culture to something good. The very fact that you are able to have fun and drink beer, perhaps take beer bongs, means that you live in a pretty stable, enjoyable place. You might as well help to contribute that kind of stability to the rest of the world through your partying.”

The sale of one beerbong feeds four children, the organizers say.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Couple Give $17 Million To Youth Oncology Treatment

Treating cancers in children and young adults (AYA) remains an oncology challenge, said the chief of hematology/oncology in a news report.

To help find answers, the CEO  of a global supplier of purified industrial sands, along with his wife, donated $17 million to help find and answer and to treat children and young adults with cancers and/or blood disorders.  The couple lost their teenage daughter to melanoma in 1983, the report says.

The donation was made to  Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Friends, Neighbors, Strangers Raise Funds for Cancer Victims

A local woman facing her fourth round of cancer concurrently faces mounting debt.   An email came in and invited all to "A Pancake Breakfast" to help defray the woman's medical expenses.  The organizers: a group of women cancer survivors who donated the food and time to prepare the benefit breakfast.

Today's local newspaper announced a barbeque chicken dinner to help raise funds for another woman battling cancer with the double-whammy of extraordinary medical bills.

Friends, neighbors, and strangers coming together for the benefit of others.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

12 Elders Challenge Injustice, Incite Conversation

When leaders no longer run for office or build a career, some follow the path  of traditional societies and share wisdom and resolve disputes within communities--these are The Elders

"The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela, who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity," explains the website.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Girls Inc. Benefits From Billionaire's First Home

Girls Inc. has been around since the 1800's. Its a a nonprofit organization that "inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold."

In 2009, over 900,000 girls were reached through Girls Inc. publications, website and programs, the website notes.

"Girls Inc informs policymakers about girls' needs locally and nationally. The organization educates the media about critical issues facing girls. In addition, the organization teaches girls how to advocate for themselves and their communities, using their voices to promote positive change."

A Minnesota businessman who regularly supports Girls Inc., recently purchased Warren Buffett's childhood home, at a premium price, to benefit Girls Inc., according to  an Omaha World Herald report.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Giving to Children At Risk

What started out as an North Carolina orphanage over a hundred years ago, is now a three campus facility that, "... centers on the well-being of children and their families.... Thompson Child and Family Focus is a non-profit organization operating three distinct campuses, each providing comprehensive education, treatment, and care for children (birth to 18 years) in need.

"The children we serve are fragile, bruised or broken. Our vision - our determination and our obligation - is to make them whole again. At Thompson, we do whatever it takes to help every child to feel safe, strong, happy, and loved," reads the organization's website.

Volunteers and donors are an essential part of Thompson Child and Family Focus operations.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mixed Cultures & Faiths Work Together for Humanitarian Relief

The current humanitarian crisis in Africa has brought out a number of relief agencies trying to break through a ban on foreign aid by a militant group in Somalia.

The BBC reports:
 (The UK's) Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) charities are preparing to increase their work in southern Somalia as thousands of people continue to flee to Kenya, Ethiopia and even Somalia's war-torn capital Mogadishu.

One of the DEC's member charities, Islamic Relief, said its priorities in Somalia were focused on providing food aid, healthcare, clean water and sanitation facilities.

It said one of its projects has been working in camps in the Afgooye corridor - a 20km-long strip of land north-west of Mogadishu - where it has provided emergency food aid to 3,425 households.

The committee launched a fund appeal for drought relief Friday and had raised $14.3-million as of Monday.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"Why Murder?" A Portal for Urban Youth

Donnie Andrews inspired a popular HBO series about a drug dealer that found redemption.  Continuing his mission of redemption, Andrews recently formed a non profit that targets urban youth, according to a recent Baltimore Sun report.

Andrews' non-profit, Why Murder?  " working hard to reform and revitalize communities throughout Baltimore.  Communities are torn apart by homicides and the frequent administration of “street justice.”  By bringing together families afflicted by homicide, both victims and perpetrators, our organization seeks to foster forgiveness, provide support, and strengthen inner city communities," notes the website.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Blue Movement for Marine Mammals

With evidence that indicates many marine mammals, like dolphins and whales, are self-aware and share what might be called feelings, a group formed in 2000 to protect these mammals from humankind's maltreatment., founded by Hardy Jones and Ted Danson,  with the "... mission to protect dolphins, whales, and other marine mammals and to raise popular awareness about the plight of the oceans. BlueVoice has fought to end the slaughter of dolphins in Japan and to expose the harmful levels of toxins in the marine environment, including mercury, PCBs, and persistent organic pollutants, and their impact on both marine mammals and humans," notes the nonprofit's website.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Women Devoted to Worldwide Refugee Issues

Eighty-percent of the 42 million refugees and displaced persons worldwide, are women, children and young people, according to the Womens Refugee Commission--a nonprofit founded by  Liv Ullmann, Catherine O'Neill, Susan Martin and others in 1989.

"The Women's Refugee Commission advocates for laws, policies and programs to improve the lives and protect the rights of refugee and internally displaced women, children and young people, including those seeking asylum—bringing about lasting, measurable change," notes the group's mission statement.

During World Refugees Day, A WRC leader said, "I am, after having visited or worked in more than a hundred countries, convinced that the world is getting steadily better for a sizable majority of us. There is more peace and less terror and killing of civilians than in the 70s, 80s and 90s. More children get education and health care than when the cold war ended."

Friday, July 8, 2011

Food and Paper Shreds Benefit Humanitarian Projects

Tampa Bay Rays Employee Community Outreach Team worked with the Louise Graham Regeneration Center and DayStar Life Center on Shred Day. Individuals and corporations donated a canned good item to benefit DayStar Life Center which provides emergency assistance to individuals and families below the poverty level. An estimated total of 2,000lbs of paper were shredded by the Rays employees and the Louise Graham Regeneration Center staff whose recycling efforts serves as a way to fund a program for developmentally disabled individuals and provides life skills and pre-vocational training.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Seeking To End Extreme Poverty

According to the World Bank, 1.4 billion people live in extreme poverty, which means they are living on less than $1.25 per day.

A group has formed with the goal to gather Christians to end poverty.  It's called, 58: Fast. Forward.

The group has built a Web site that will highlight hundreds of organizations that are working to fight poverty. And it is trying to mobilize Christians through a social-media campaign that it hopes will drive people to the Web site—with the goal of turning some of those Web visitors into donors.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"Grow The Good"

"Fair Food Network is a national nonprofit dedicated to building a more just and sustainable food system. We work at the intersection of food systems, sustainability, and social equity to provide access to healthy, fresh and sustainably grown food, especially in underserved communities. We implement model programs and bring the right people together to generate ideas, share resources, and promote policy changes to repair our food system.

We believe that the many long-standing symptoms of the broken food system, whether environment, health-related, or financial, can be resolved by redesigning our food system based on principles like diversity, equity, sustainability, ecology, and resilience."

Monday, July 4, 2011

Bright Like Tonight's Fireworks: Random Acts of Kindness

Today Americans celebrate their independence from tyranny.  It's a big historical deal.  Today is also another Random Acts of Kindness Day, according to their Facebook Page. Some 2,700 fans of the page said they will attend. 

From The Daily Prism's point of view that equates to another 2,700 bright lights on a sparkling day of American independence.  It equates to 2,700 kind words, deeds, thoughts and 2,700 more mindful moves.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Unglamorous Charity Work of The Royals

From USA Today

On July 10, the final day of their tour, the couple will visit the Inner-City Arts School, an organization helping children from a deprived neighbourhood in downtown L.A.

Next up, the duke and duchess are scheduled to attend a hiring fair for veterans and their families at Sony Pictures Studios. Co-hosted by the U.S. and Los Angeles Area Chambers of Commerce and ServiceNation, the "Hiring our Heroes Los Angeles" job fair will be the biggest of the 100 hiring fairs the chambers are holding across the country throughout the year

The couple will then join a service project, in partnership with Blue Star Families and the USO, to create 1,000 care packages for military children, as well as attend a special reception for supporters and champions of the cause.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Paws For Purple Hearts

"Paws for Purple Hearts is the first program of its kind to offer therapeutic intervention for our military servicemen and women through training service dogs," notes the new website Paws for Purple Hearts.

" Under the guidance of Rick Yount, founder of Paws for Purple Hearts, service dog training provides service members the ability to reintegrate into civilian life. Once training is complete, the service dogs are paired with veterans who have sustained mobility-limiting injuries–thus building on the time-honored tradition of veterans helping veterans."