Saturday, June 30, 2012

Golden Retreiver "Paws it Forward"

When we landed on this Facebook page, it depicted everything that's right with the world: Great pooches.  What is it about dogs like Ricochet (pictured above)?  Well this one has a website for one, and welcomes visitors with:

 I'm really stoked you surfed over to my website!  Thank you for wanting to learn more about me, the SURFice dog work I do, my philanthropy, my initiatives, and my surfing.  Because of my unique, and highly skilled background of service/therapy/surf dog training, I'm the only known dog in the world who surfs with special needs kids, and people with disabilities as an assisitive aid... my signature stoke!  I'm able to counter-balance the surfboard to keep them from falling off, and I adjust my surfing style based on each individual's disability too! A great combinaton of the healing power of the ocean, and the healing power of a dog!  I also surf for fun & win surf dog contests!  Paw-abunga! More details about me can be found on my page Who is Surf Dog Ricochet. But, for now...

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Rescue of Animals in Colorado Fire

This mobile phone photo comes from Coloradoan, Chris Hoskie.
Wildfires, like the current fires burning in Colorado are undeniable tragedies.  But like this photo shows, there is an innate kindness that dwells within humans to rescue and help the helpless in these circumstances.

Volunteers for the Larimer Humane Society, for example,  posted on their website: Larimer Humane Society is coordinating the rescue of all animals in the High Park fire zone, providing owner-requested food and water to animals not evacuated (as permitted by Fire and Sheriff authorities), reuniting owners with lost animals, and providing temporary shelter for evacuated animals.

Other websites, noting that animal rescue locations are nearly overwhelmed, they continue to serve the community.  Here's a few posts:

 The fires have doubled in size in Colorado and not only are people and businesses losing their homes and businesses; but fleeing animals and animals held back need a lot of help too. If you can send any donation to help out to any of these organizations it would be a God send.

  • VCA Animal Hospital in both Fort Collins and Loveland are offering free boarding if pets of evacuees need a place for their furry friends to stay. They will also update evacuees' pets' vaccinations for free if need be. The Loveland location is open 24 hours a day (970) 278-0668. Call the Fort Collins location to find out their hours at (970) 204-4567
Urgent Need Towels and blankets

  •  The Moore Animal Hospital is also offering free boarding to evacuees.

  •  Wolf, a wolf sanctuary near Fort Collins has had to be evacuated, and they desperately need monetary donations, please donate at:
Funding, Donations, Memberships .....

  • ....."We are so very appreciative of all the donated items we have received for the animals in our care. The outpouring of support from our community is phenomenal. At this time, we do not need any additional items, should our in-kind needs change we will let you know! Our greatest need is monetary donations to support our operations. (719) 473-1741, ext. 8723

Donate online at

These are other facilities ready to take in animals
  • *Sunrise Kennels 719.661.7036
  • *Canine Design Salon 719.227.7220
  • *Cheyenne Mountain Animal Hospital 7193***.3840
  • *Lucky Dog 719.527.9663
  • *Bear Creek Vet 719-685-1177
  • *Dublin Animal Hospital 719-338-8935
  • *CATS Lucky Dog Boarding 719.527.9663
  • *Central Bark Dog Daycare 719.592.9300
  • *Canine Campus 719.448.9600
  • *A Paw Above Boarding Service 719.386.7291
  • *Northwest Animal Hospital 719.593.8582
  • *Camp Bow Wow 719.260.9247
  • *Sunrise Kennels 719.598.8348
  • *Aspen Meadows Pet Resort 719.282.6000
  • *Picasso's Pet Grooming- Security 719.392.4092
  • *Rocky Mountain Health Care Services (Can House
  • *People & Pets) 719.641.2747 & 719.201.0247
  • *Powers ER Animal 719.473.0482

........................................ ...............................

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Appalachians Stand For Clean Energy, Environment

According to Central Appalachian edition of The Smithsonian Guides to Natural America, the Kanawha State Forest boasts "more than 1,000 species of trees and plants, including 23 types of wild orchids, within its 9,474 acres. Seven types of sunflowers, for instance, were in bloom...Fourteen trails wind for 25 miles amid various forest communities...They provide glimpses of the rich vegetation, including the fleshy little touch-me-nots, the sinewy American hornbeam, hemlocks, papaws, umbrella magnolias, witch hazels, asters, cardinal flowers, joe-pye weed, bloodroot, sycamores, sassafras and a wealth of goldenrod."

For 25 years, central Appalachians have fought to save these forests and mountains through a non profit, Organized Voices and Empowered Communities.   (OVEC)

OVEC's mission is to organize and maintain a diverse grassroots organization dedicated to the improvement and preservation of the environment through education, grassroots organizing and coalition building, leadership development and media outreach.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Wildlife Trafficking Stops Here" In Thailand

From Freeland Foundation

Focusing on airports and border checkpoints, the "Wildlife Trafficking Stops Here" is designed to alert the public and officials to the illegality of trafficking endangered species and encouraging them to report this crime. It was initially featured on more than 450 checkin-screens at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport, and continues to be featured on video screens in the baggage reclaim area.

 The campaign has also been expanded to 7 languages and is now featured at all 48 customs check-points around Thailand. It was adapted and launched in Lao PDR during the 25th Southeast Asian Games in Vientiane, and is now being expanded to other countries.

Funded by USAID, the campaign was supported by a partnership of the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN), Airport of Thailand Public Co., Ltd. (AOT), Thailand's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE), the Natural Resources and Environmental Crime Division (NRECD) of the Royal Thai Police, Royal Thai Customs, and the U.S. Embassy Bangkok.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

65 Ways To Make A Difference

Share. Give. Conserve. Do. These four actions title a list of 65 positive actions youth can perform to help make a better world, according to the GenerationOn website.

Here's twelve of the suggested "Ways to Make A Difference:"

  1. Seniors love your artwork! Brighten walls – and smiles – at the local senior center.
  2. Got a favorite game? Teach it to younger kids.
  3. Win brownie points! Organize canned goods at home and take extras to a food pantry.
  1. It’s your birthday! Give a gift to someone in need.
  2. Share your lemonade stand $$$ with your favorite worthy cause!
  3. How about a toy drive for kids stuck in the hospital?
  1. Compost your fruit and veggie scraps…and watch your garden BLOOM!
  2. Help save a gazillion disposable water bottles…reusable bottles rule!
  3. Save a tree! Use both sides of your notebook paper.
  1. Whip up your favorite yummy snack and present it to a soup kitchen!
  2. Love history? Visit folks at the senior center and ask about the amazing things they’ve witnessed.
  3. Want to change the world? Practice random acts of kindness.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Kindred Spirits: More Caring for Elder Animals

Good stuffs begets more good stuff...and here's an example of how another set of curtains opened after posting yesterday's story about finding homes of senior citizen dogs. 

This Facebook comment:   Ulla Pedersen started Kindred Spirits Animal Sanctuary here in Santa Fe that's a fabulous 'retirement home' for senior dogs, horses & fowl. It's a wonderful place for the animals & volunteers!

Kindred Spirits Animal Sanctuary provides elder care for dogs, horses and poultry. From the website:

Kindred Spirits is dedicated to providing end-of-life care and hospice for older,
unwanted dogs, horses and poultry in a peaceful and serene sanctuary setting.
  • KSAS focuses on the beauty of animals as teachers of unconditional love, regardless of age or infirmities.
  • Sanctuary education programs promote a better understanding and appreciation of the aging process in our animal companions, as well as our own human aging process.
  • The sanctuary feels privileged to offer this love and care to the most vulnerable members of our community.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Muttville Gets Homes For Old Pooches

The sweet faces of older dogs is endearing.  But for those sloughed off for one reason or another, and animal shelter-bound, their outlook is dim.  Fortunately, a San Francisco shelter volunteer started a shelter for these senior pooch citizens called Muttville.

From the website: 
Muttville’s mission is to change the way the world thinks about and treats older dogs and to create better lives for them through rescue, foster, adoption and hospice.

We reach out to senior and special needs rescue dogs; find suitable homes for those dogs that are adoptable; and offer end of life care for those that are not. These are not just shelter dogs; every day, dogs are moved from loving homes to concrete cages because their guardians have died or moved or simply can’t care for them anymore.

If we had our way, no dog would spend its last days in a cold, dark shelter. There is so much love and joy in these dogs! Bringing these special dogs into a home is not only good for the dogs, but such loving, mellow dogs transform the quality of life for the people who adopt or foster them.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Second Handful of Good Acts

Continuing from yesterday's Handful of Good as noted by The Points Of Light Foundation:

Victory Christian Church, Albany, N.Y.
Victory Christian Church believes a city's appearance is directly linked to the safety and well-being of a community. In order to keep the community in premier shape, the church celebrated its seventh Make A Difference Day by creating a "tool library," complete with hammers, rakes, saws and more. 

Joyce and John Jackson, Delaware, Ohio
Grandparents John and Joyce Jackson believe passing down the spirit of volunteerism is one of the most important things they'll leave their grandchildren. For the second time, they spent Make A Difference Day collecting food with their granddaughter, enough to feed four families for three weeks.

Neha Gupta, Yardley, Penn.
A trip to India inspired Neha Gupta, 15, to start a nonprofit abroad and organize a local project for a diverse and incredibly poor intermediate school in her community. Thanks to Gupta and a group of volunteers, the school now boasts a library with more than 3,000 titles for the students to enjoy.

Eleanor Schoenbrun, El Paso, Texas
Eleanor Schoenbrun's passion for homeless animals led her to spend Make A Difference Day in the hot sun of a parking lot collecting coins to save her abandoned, four-legged friends. The 8-year-old helped raise more than $2,705 for the Animal Rescue League of El Paso. 

The Ellis Family, Rhinelander, Wis.
The Ellis family keeps their late daughter's memory alive by raising money for their local Ronald McDonald House. Their efforts not only help others in the community facing similar hardships, but also keep Ashley a part of their lives after cancer took her at only 2-years-old.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Handful of Good Things

Here's a fast handful of good things volunteer groups accomplished earlier this year as noted by the Points of Light Foundation

Summer Search North Bay, Petaluma, Calif.
Fifty-five youth from Summer Search North Bay, which strives to develop leadership potential of promising low-income high school students, constructed a fence around a community garden, planned children's activities, cleaned the grounds of an area high school and restored trails at a local forest preserve.

The United Way of Lake County, Waukegan, Ill.
A community joined forces with Bears Care, the charitable arm of the Chicago Bears and a local elementary school with an exceptionally high rate of physically disabled youth to build an accessible playground so all students can join their friends at recess.

The Marys & Marthas and the people of Clarion, Iowa
A group of church ladies, known as the Marys and Marthas, united their three-stoplight town, from preschoolers to elders, through hundreds of acts of kindness to mark its 10th year of participation in Make A Difference Day to create positive change in the community.

Girl Scouts of Madisonville Housing Authority Troop 333, Madisonville, Ky.
Local Girl Scouts used cookie sale proceeds to buy, decorate and hand deliver 450 greeting cards to nursing home residents. More importantly, they delivered smiles, friendship and a reminder to their elders that they are not forgotten.

Mary Vail, Las Vegas, Nev.
Mary Vail, 55, stepped in to fill a big void felt by the local Salvation Army as a result of Las Vegas' recession. Vail's annual supermarket food drive has collected 22.3 tons of food and toiletries since its inception 13 years ago, proving the city is more than a vacation hot spot. 

..................another handful tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Islanders Commit to a Clean Bay & Beach

From the LaoLao website:

Laolao Bay users and dignitaries gathered in the bay to kick off the Our Laolao Campaign which aims to preserve one of the most important environmental and cultural sites in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.The Our Laolao campaign aims to demonstrate what a difference motivated community members can make when they have an opportunity to protect places they cherish.

The Our Laolao campaign will do that by first giving community members the opportunity to speak out about why they want to protect Laolao Bay. Through the stories of people such as Father Jesse Reyes, fisherman Roman Benavente, and teacher Rita Guerrero, the campaign aims to capture why people value the bay, and in turn, inspire other Laolao users to help keep Laolao Bay litter free for generations.

“The bay has been a source of sustenance for a lot of families, an economic engine for tourists as a top diving destination, and a favorite hangout for everyone to relax and just enjoy nature,” Father Reyes said. “Let’s not forget that ‘Cleanliness is Godliness’ and we are all caretakers of our natural treasures.”

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Big Job For One As One

Saving endangered creatures and the environment is a big job--too big for one, except for the Be As One Foundation, "... founded on a firm set of beliefs that drives our passion, our empathy and are desire to take action. We have strongly stated opinions, for which we do not apologise but we are also open-minded and encourage dialogue, intelligence gathering and the value of teamwork and will happily alter our opinions and strategies were warranted.

    • To develop a comprehensive infomation database about current creteacean, dugong and other marine animals conservation efforts.  In doing so develope a list of what--watching organization which are actine in a progresive, responbile manner and provide regular updates on the activities of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and other inporant bodies.

    • In partnership with other organization promote the use and protection of a much needed whale sancuatuay in the south atlantic.

    • In parnership with other organization maintain a information exchange that promite Asian Elephant welfare and conservation.  Providing crucial support to imporant field projects where necessary.

    • To exponentially develop our list of members and friends by consistently promoting how to get involved, enabling members to help shape the work we do.

    • Through open dialog develop common standards and understanding in promoting projects that truly make a difference whilst providing freedom for all, high welfare standards and minimal environmental impact.

    • To advance public education, in particular by providing educational and research programs that raise public awareness both nationally and internationally, of the problems  facing the natural world including but not limited to natural habitat degradation, wildlife loss, animal welfare and human inequality.

    • To develop a network of open and transparent cooperation between individuals and organizations, local and international, so we can work and operate together in serving the community.

    • Work in partnership with businesses in developing efficient and sustainable use of precious resources and renewable energies.

  • Facilitate the development of links between geographically disperse schools and colleagues to enable the exchange of ideas for safe guarding the future of the natural world.
Every 6 months we review our strategic goals, measuring or productivity against them and where necessary update them for the next period."

Sunday, June 17, 2012

FreeingXingu River

Rio+20 United Nations Earth Summit,    Rio+20 - the short name for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012 - is an historic opportunity to define pathways to a safer, more equitable, cleaner, greener and more prosperous world for all.

Meanwhile,  3,000 kilometers north in the country's Amazon region indigenous peoples, farmers, fisherfolk, activists and local residents affected by the construction of the massive Belo Monte Dam project began a symbolic peaceful occupation of the dam site to "free the Xingu River."

In the early morning hours, three hundred women and children arrived in the hamlet of Belo Monte on the Transamazon Highway, and marched onto a temporary earthen dam recently built to impede the flow of the Xingu River. Using pick axes and shovels, local people who are being displaced by the project removed a strip of earthen dam to restore the Xingu's natural flow.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Soldiers' Brain Injury and PTSD Treatment Centers Pledged

From Philanthropy Today

The nonprofit Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund will unveil a plan to raise $100-million dollars to construct state-of-the-art treatment centers around the country that cater to service members suffering from brain injuries and psychological disorders today, states The New York Times.

“The signature wounds of these wars are traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress,” said Arnold Fisher, honorary chairman of the fund and patriarch of the New York development family that started it. “And to this day, we are not treating these people well.”

It is estimated that one in five service members returns from duty with those disorders, say experts. With these new centers, the Pentagon will be able to expand and update its treatment of mental-health problems.

So far, the Intrepid fund has raised $25 million. Construction will begin this month on two centers, Fort Belvoir, an Army base in Virginia, and the Marines’ Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Mr. Fisher says it will easily raise the remaining $75 million to construct seven other centers.

The treatment centers will function as satellite clinics for the military’s center for brain injuries, the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, in Bethesda, Md., which was also built by the Intrepid fund. Once completed, the military will staff and operate all the facilities. Mr. Fisher intends to complete construction on all nine facilities within two years.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

"An army of ocean lovers..."

Big wave surfer, Laird Hamilton, recently posted in a Huffington Post piece:   "There's an army of ocean lovers out there who will stand up for healthy seas. I spent a very memorable afternoon in Malibu creating an incredible symbol of ocean solidarity with many of them, including good friends like surf legend Dave Kalama, ocean advocate Kelly Meyer, and my wife, Gaby Reece. We were joined by more than 250 surfers and stand-up-paddlers who came to show their support for the oceans, who braved the cold water to form a giant floating human peace sign, an image of which we were lucky to capture by helicopter"

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Students, Community Work To Bring Shelter to Code

An ongoing local story: Rancher allows homeless to set up a safe-camp for sober-living on his ranch.  County says, this is illegal, property not to code, etc. Rancher says, I'm doing my best and these people are off of your streets. Courts say, do something and bring property to code.

Thirty-six college students, from the university's industrial engineering department volunteer to tackle the dilemma .  "They spent their weekends coordinating improvement to electrical and plumbing systems...a checklist of work about a page-and-a-half," the groups professor told the local newspaper.

Source: SLO Tribune, June 13, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Generous Young Adults

From Philanthropy Today

"... a new survey of more than 6,500 people ages 20 to 35 shows they are inclined to give—and are more than willing to ask their friends and relatives to do the same—when they feel passionately about a cause.
About 75 percent of young people who provided data for the 2012 Millennial Impact Report said they gave money to a nonprofit in 2011, while 70 percent said they have helped solicit donations by encouraging colleagues and others to support a cause."

Friday, June 8, 2012

85-Year-Old School Volunteer "Fails" Retirement

From Doing Good:

A Denver native, Bea Horovitz, 85, spent her adult life as a medical technician and a secretary while she and her husband raised four children.   Since retiring in 1991, Horovitz  has volunteered  in the front offices of Denver Public Schools.

Bea had three goals in mind for retirement, “I was looking at physical activities, mental activities, and things to just fill up time...To fill in time, I looked around and decided where would I be needed?"  Bea explains.

Nearly 20 years later, she’s worked in a handful of different public schools using her office and organization skills, putting in an average of 20-30 hours each month during the school year.


Today's spark of light came from Debra Berry, author of THE ART OF BEING HUMAN, a blog that started with Berry's 90 Day No Negativity Challenge.  Berry says about today's post, ". It's easier to do good than you think. It doesn't have to be a grand project or big outlaying of time and this site proves that. There are hundreds of ways to make your little corner of planet earth a better place. Simply being happy and being kind matters. It's either fear or love, baby. You make it happen."

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Youth: The Next Wave of Change

 On World Oceans Day people around the planet celebrate and honor the body of water which links us all, for what it provides humans and what it represents.

Focusing on youth, one of the projects include:  Pledging to help the ocean and snapping a shot to share with the world.
  • Make a sign with one thing you pledge to do in order to help the ocean! Make sure it says #WorldOceansDay on it. This can be a simple marker on printer paper sign, written in the beach sand, spelled out in sign language–use your imagination!
  • Pose with your awesome sign: in your house, backyard, nearby river or beach, anywhere!
  • Take a picture or video
  • POST your picture or video and share with the world! You can post it on your profile and tag us @World Oceans Day on Facebook and @CelebrateOceans on Twitter; or you can post it directly on the World Oceans Day Facebook page. You can also email it to us.
  • Are you on Flickr? Upload to our Group!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Free Music Lessons Benefits Underfunded Schools

Eliminated music programs in schools inspired a teacher/musician to give his students free music lessons. This grew into Little Kids Rock, a nonprofit dedicated to bring music lessons and instruments to students in underfunded schools.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Service Dogs Bless Wounded Soldiers

We've featured a non profit call Dog Bless You before: A Patriotic Campaign to Pair Service Dogs with War Veterans Who Suffer from PTSD, according to the Annenberg Foundation.

"For every 1,000 'likes' on Facebook, Dog Bless You is hoping to donate a service dog to a war veteran.
Created by, Dog Bless You is running a social media campaign which will run from Memorial Day to Independence Day, providing man's best friend to veterans suffering from disabilities, both physical and mental," says Global News.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Teaching Students Peace, Honesty, Compassion

"I learned that you can just talk it out with the person you have a problem with.  You will learn a lot about that person and maybe become friends."
— Student 

"One thing I learned was that when you have a positive attitude it affects other people."

From the website:

 FLFP has developed and demonstrated an approach to teaching positive leadership and interpersonal skills across a broad spectrum of public and independent school environments, with a focus on young people from 11-18 years of age.

Since 2005, Future Leaders for Peace has worked with over 11,000 young people and 2,600 adults.  In 2007 and 2008, our programs were presented to almost 100 different schools. Our core concepts have had proven success for building leaders in California, Hawaii, and South Africa.   The program can provide a "safe space" for students to express themselves, and fun activities as outlets for that expression.  Through this "grassroots" approach, Future Leaders for Peace is building more peaceful communities through the individual participants.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Bridging Developed World to the Indigenous World

In the "developed world" we are taught very little about indigenous peoples. Unless you study anthropology or linguistics, you've probably never heard of many of the peoples on our web site before. This lack of education on both sides creates a divide between us. Our mission is to help bridge this divide by providing education both for and about indigenous peoples. We hope that you will find our work both enlightening and educational, states The Peoples of the World Foundation mission statement.

The apolitical NGO, "...(does) not contribute financially to or become actively involved in political causes or campaigns. Yet we understand that a large part of indigenous peoples' plight and struggle is related to their desire for self-determination and political representation on their own terms," the website explains.

Upon visiting the website, one can also learn about little-known indigenous peoples from countries around the world, including their challenges and current circumstances.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

"Dressings" Spill $30 Million To Charities in 2012

From The Wall Street Journal:

"...(Paul)  Newman's decision to donate the after-tax profits and royalties of his Newman's Own company to charity was special. He did this long before B corporations came into existence and before a tie to charity became a fashionable way to market a consumer product.

To celebrate 30 years of Newman's Own, the Newman's Own Foundation...(announced) a commitment to give away at least $30 million to various charities this year. The foundation, which is based in Westport, Conn., and owns the famous food company, has awarded $350 million in grants during its existence and 2012 will be its largest funding year ever.

The funds will go to nonprofits that work in the areas of nutrition, children with severe medical conditions or who have had a disrupted childhood, empowerment of people and promoting philanthropy. That includes everything from supporting wounded veterans to encouraging play for children to initiatives that cultivate corporate philanthropy and boost the efforts of young people working for social change."

Friday, June 1, 2012

You Tube Initiates "Human Rights" Channel

From the New York Times: 

A new YouTube channel devoted to human rights was introduced this week to help raise awareness and provide context for the growing number of videos created by citizen journalists and activists all over the world, YouTube announced in a blog post...

“Nonprofits and activism” is one of the fastest-growing categories on YouTube, according to Olivia Ma, YouTube’s news manager. At the height of the Arab Spring last year, she said, 100,000 videos were uploaded from Egypt, representing a 72 percent increase in uploads from the previous three months, even after the government shut down the Internet for five days.

In Syria, where foreign journalists have been barred from covering the violent clashes, activists have uploaded tens of thousands of videos on YouTube in the past year, allowing the world to see the horrific violence unfolding inside their country.

Sample video: