Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tycoon Tells The Wealthy, Give Your Tax Breaks to Charity

From the Wall Street Journal

A millionaire travel entrepreneur recently said, "Over the last decade, my tax burden has decreased even as public funding for important local programs and institutions has been decimated – a trend I find alarming...I see it as a civic duty for businessmen like me, who’s directly benefited from our vibrant communities to do our fair share."

The news report noted: he’s donating the $1 million he’s saving from the Bush tax cuts to charity.

Monday, August 29, 2011

"Unicorn" Returns

Sometimes we need to believe in magic and unicorns.  This time, the magically portrayed Arabian "Unicorn," the Arabian Oryx, "was headed for an entirely fictional existence in 1972, when only six animals existed in the wild," writes National Geographic last June. But the oryx has made a comeback, "...due to a wide-ranging alliance of conservation groups, governments, and zoos that worked to save the species by breeding a captive "world herd"—descendants of the last wild animals captured in the 1970s, as well as royal stock from the UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia...

It's the first time in IUCN history that a species considered extinct in the wild has rebounded enough to advance past the 'critically endangered' and 'endangered'  conservation categories."

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Youth Grow Greening Forward

When a 7-year-old Georgia youth tired of the trash behind his school, he became the change that he wanted to see (a twist on Gandhi's quote). He addressed environmental issues within his school that eventually became Greening Forward, an environmental advocacy-education group.

Almost 4-years later the non profit has engaged 6,000 students to recycle "10 tons of waste and pick up enough litter to fill 25 homes."

On September 11, A Day of Service, Greening Forward will plant trees and perform a community litter sweep in Dacula, GA, according the the founder's blog

Saturday, August 27, 2011

10,000 Volunteers Set to Pay It Forward This September

"HandsOn Greater D.C. Cares, in Washington, plans to enlist more than 10,000 volunteers to participate in a wide range of service projects throughout the metropolitan area on September 9, 10, and 11.

A small group of volunteers is getting ready now for the September service projects. Many of them gathered recently at the organization’s massive tool shed, for instance, to make sure its hundreds of hammers, drills, and shovels are ready for volunteers who will refurbish schools and work on neighborhood-improvement projects."

Source: Philanthropy Today

Friday, August 26, 2011

Volunteer Pilots Make "Angel Flights"

Angels do have wings that really fly.  In this case, Angel Flight, " a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization that arranges free, non-emergency air travel for children and adults with serious medical conditions and other compelling needs," the website explains.

The flight missions include:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Small Region's Day of Giving

While searching the news for today's post, the following groups and/or events are slated in one small region taking place today:

  • Volunteers for a bowling league for people with mental or physical disabilities
  • Fundraiser to provide health care to the uninsured.
  • Volunteers to serve abused or neglected children under the court's jurisdiction.
  • Fundraiser for regional humane society.
  • Supplies for Soldiers drive.
  • Volunteers raising funds for other nonprofits, including eye care for school children.
  • Fundraiser BBQ to purchase and send items requested by troops.
  • Open house for homeless shelter kitchen to raise funds.
Now compound today's events with every other region in the world filled with nonprofits and volunteers!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

DLAM! Respect Me Instead--A Program of Compassion

If a child says "DLAM" don't mistake that as a mispronounced curse word.  Understand, instead, that it means, "Don't Laugh At Me." 

The Don't Laugh at Me (DLAM) programs are part of  Operation Respect, designed for  for grades 2-5, another for grades 6-8 and a third for summer camps and after-school programs. All of the programs utilize inspiring music and video along with curriculum guides based on the well-tested, highly regarded conflict resolution curricula developed by the Resolving Conflict Creatively Program (RCCP) of Educators for Social Responsibility (ESR).

The program is free and available through the Operation website.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Volunteers Rebuild Tornado Devasted Little League Park

Sunny Jim Park, in Joplin, Mo.,  "A landmark among Little League parks in the region, it’s been the field of dreams for kids to play baseball since 1950," writes The Joplin Globe, was destroyed during the recent tornado that whipped through that region.

In the aftermath of the devastating tornado, the park’s fencing, bleachers, outfield wall, and concession stand were all in shambles.

By June, about 200 volunteers, part of an Operation Blessing project, began the task to clear the field and rebuild it so that, “We...(can)  restore the life and the laughter of a child, so that’s why we took on this project,” a representative told the newspaper.

"In a few weeks, the ball park was up and running again, just in time for the season’s closing ceremonies," notes Operation Blessing's website.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Surfers Commit Clean Drinking Water

A pro surfer who searched the globe for the perfect wave, experienced a life changing moment after the Sumatra, Indonesia  September 2009 earthquake . Soon, a nonprofit, Waves for Water, was formed.

The nonprofit's website explains, "Jon  Rose happened to be en route to Bali to deliver 10 water filters for what would have been his first Waves for Water mission.  But with tragedy striking Sumatra, he made his way through the crumbled buildings in the early hours after the quake to get water filters into the hands of rescue workers to help the overwhelmed country and wounded victims in need of clean water."

The organization now  brings clean water solutions to impoverished countries around the world, inclusing Pakistan, the Amazon, Haiti, and more.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Flashes of Hope

This 4-year-old boy has been in treatment for a rare form of brain cancer.   A community of friends and strangers has rallied around him.  One of the "strangers" is a nonprofit called Flashes of Hope.

"Flashes of Hope... changes the way children with cancer and other life threatening illnesses see themselves through the gift of photography and raises money for pediatric cancer research.

"The portraits, taken by award-winning photographers, help children feel better about their changing appearance by celebrating it," is the group's mission statement.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Thai Generosity Benefits Texas Music, Engineering, Business Students

A Thai entrepreneur pledged $22 million to a Texas university. 

"I wanted to help the next generation have a better education so that we can have a better world," the Thai donor said in a news release.

Read more:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Fresh Food Bus Rolls Thru Food Deserts

For about 600,000 urban dwellers in the Chicago area, they might have had better luck finding fresh produce in the Mojave Desert as opposed to finding a nearby produce source.  These areas are identified as food deserts.  In other words, it was easier to access fast foods--thereby leading to health issues like diabetes and heart conditions.

"After reading a 2006 report that mapped food deserts in Chicago, a group of community activists banded together to work on a solution," explains the website for Fresh Moves.  The non-profit literally buses in fresh organic produce, priced fairly, into food desert neighborhoods.  Now immobile, elderly and single parents have access to healthy food choices.

Source:  New City Resto

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Healing Wounded Vets

After television reporter, Bob Woodruff, suffered an injury while war reporting, the Bob Woodruff Foundation was formed to benefit returning soldiers.

ReMind.Org is the website that houses the foundation's 3-fold mission:

  1. We educate the public about the needs of service members returning from war…and our nation’s greater need to ensure our heroes and families receive the support necessary to have successful futures.
  2. We collaborate with key federal, state, and local experts to identify and solve issues related to the successful return of service members from combat to civilian life
  3. We invest in national and community-based programs that connect our troops to the help they need — from individual needs like physical accommodations, medical care and counseling, to larger social issues like substance abuse and homelessness.
Together with our partners and supporters in communities across the country, we are helping heal the physical and hidden wounds of war.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Group Works To Help Homeless Teens

" Every week our street outreach teams search for youth in abandoned buildings, parks, wooded areas and under bridges to offer practical assistance like food, clothing, bottled water and first aid. We listen to each story and build the trust necessary to bring change to their lives. Our 24/7 crisis hotline allows street youth to call any time with their deepest pain, often enabling us to minister to those contemplating suicide," reads Outreach, Inc.

Outreach, Inc.'s mission is to help homeless teens and young adults get off the streets.

"Our Street Outreach takes us to hidden places where homeless and runaway youth live: the streets, wooded areas, bridge underpasses, parks, and abandoned houses. As we meet the youth on the street, we provide a listening ear and address their immediate physical needs of food, clothing, first aid, and safety. For those who desire to come off the streets immediately, we take them to a shelter. Through this combination of listening and meeting physical needs, we establish relationships built on trust. The relationship is foundational because it allows us to work with the youth, empowering them to make the choices which are necessary to come off the street."

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Pacific Islanders Traverse Pacific Ocean With Environmental Message

From NZ Hearld

Islanders Arriving in Monterey Bay 8/12/11

Six voyaging canoes from Pacific islands, including New Zealand, have completed their journey to San Francisco.

 The 100 crew members, from New Zealand, Samoa, Fiji, Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Kiribati and Hawaii, greeted locals at an open day in San Francisco Bay.

The voyage was organised by a wealthy German philanthropist Dieter Paulmann, who wanted to highlight the role traditional knowledge could play in saving the ocean from environmental threats.

From the Pacific Voyagers' Blog:  "We're no longer 'fighting' to overcome the negative. We are nurturing to build what we want."

Friday, August 12, 2011

Your Compassionate Deeds Inspire Others, Study Reports

A recent study logged in the American Psychological Association notes, "Study 1 showed that people higher (vs. lower) in moral identity centrality reported experiencing more intense elevating emotions, had more positive views of humanity, and were more desirous of becoming a better person after reading about an act of uncommon goodness than about a merely positive situation or an act of common benevolence."

In other words, "(The study) examines the warm, uplifting feeling we get from watching someone act with courage or compassion—a feeling psychologists refer to as “moral elevation.” Researchers have found that elevation induces positive emotions, makes people believe in the goodness of humanity, and inspires them to act more altruistically," explains a University of California, Berkeley website.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Over 25% of Americans Volunteer

"Nearly 63 million Americans, slightly more than a quarter of the population, volunteered for charities last year, providing services valued at nearly $173-billion," reports Philanthropy Today.

The reports continues,
  • Thirty-five percent of volunteers gave time to religious groups from 2008 to 2010. Nearly 27 percent gave time to educational organizations, while 14 percent worked at social-service groups.
  • Volunteers said they spent most of their time on fund raising, collecting and distributing food, tutoring or teaching, and a range of other jobs they described as general labor.
  • Utah had the highest share of residents who volunteer, at 45 percent of adults, followed by Iowa (37.9 percent), Minnesota (37.5), Nebraska (37.4), and South Dakota (37.2).
  • People in their 30s and early to mid-40s, often called Generation X, had the highest volunteer rate at 29 percent. Just under 29 percent of baby boomers, people in their late 40s and older, volunteered in 2010, while 21 percent of people in their 20s volunteered.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

India's Charities Benefit from Billionaire's Pledge

India's charities will benefit from a billionaire who announced that he will give 25% of his wealth to charities.

Source:  Economic Times

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Foundation For the "Whole Child"

"Persistent pain is a disabling illness that seriously impacts and often disables 15-30% of our nation’s children.  Ongoing pain can arise from cancer, arthritis, injuries, or other diseases, as well as pain and suffering caused by intractable headaches, abdominal pain, fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain like RSD, and muscle conditions," states Whole Child LA's website.

The foundation's goals include,    "Reduce healthcare disparities by establishing a proven integrative, mind-body, family-centered model in the community to treat pain in infants, children, adolescents, and young adults by:

  • Serving children of all economic levels can be served regardless of ability to pay.
  • Reducing race, ethnic, economic, and geographic disparities in the treatment of pain.
  • Having a central location where our care team can treat children most effectively. "

Monday, August 8, 2011

Kenyans For Kenya Unite, Help Feed the Hungry

"I am very touched by the images of starving children and emaciated women. We need to do all we can to ease the situation and save our fellow Kenyans,"a 36-year-old Kenyan  police constable told the Associated Press.

The report goes on, "Now in a show of unity, ordinary Kenyans-- majority of whom live on less than a $2 a day-- have contributed more than $1.3 million in a little over a week. Corporate donations to the "Kenyans for Kenya" drive brought in another $4 million for the relief effort."

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Understanding Sharks and Returning Lost Wallets

While the staff of The Daily Prism (a staff of 1) experienced  a week that ran in reverse, sparks of light continued without chronicle.

One was an editorial than ran in newspapers across the planet about saving sharks, scribed by a surfer who lost his foot to a shark bite.

"I don't blame all sharks for my injury, though one caused my impairment. After a period of emotional and physical recovery, I found that the incident had instead opened my eyes to the perilous state of the world's most captivating and important animals, which, if lost, could set off a cascade of harmful effects across the entire ocean ecosystem," he commented.

And the ultimate finding faith in humanity's good is when a stranger finds your lost wallet in a shopping  parking lot and returns it, with all contents secured, to the store's security department, as noted in a letter to the editor I read in today's morning newspaper.