Monday, October 13, 2014

Share the Beauty, Spread Peace

The Daily Prism editor has work to do--raising funds for a worthy nonprofit.  Thru the end of October, The Daily Prism will rest.  It returns in early November, after a mindful retreat among the trees.

Meanwhile, during this time when we call last summer a "Bummer Summer," with its residual negative news still flooding our eyes and ears, we encourage daily readers to seek peace, be joyful, be mindful, give back, and speak gently.  These are the secret weapons that have and will continue to combat all forms of negativity.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Reach to Recovery--Volunteer Survivors Reaching Out

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An 84-year-old breast cancer survivor, and a Florida County Elections coordinator, wrote: 

I'm a breast cancer survivor, and I help women who've had surgery for breast cancer. I've volunteered for the Reach to Recovery program for twenty-two years.

Reach to Recovery works because all the volunteers helping women through the trauma of breast cancer and surgery have been there themselves. Seeing the volunteers, women know they can beat this. It's critical that women see a survivor. A patient's eyes light up when I say it's been twenty-nine years since I had my operation.

The Reach to Recovery program was founded in 1952 by Therese Lasa, a breast cancer survivor. Like others before her, she had no one to turn to during that ordeal. The American Cancer Society adopted the program the same year I had my surgery, in 1969. I read about the program in the New York Post and asked my doctor. "Shouldn't I have one of these visitors?" The doctor said, "What do you need them for?" That feeling of being alone I will never forget. I felt hopeless.

I guarantee anyone who volunteers will feel better emotionally, physically, and psychologically. I don't care who you are or what you do. The people I know who volunteer have smiles on their faces. The hours they give are worth more to them than any money they could ever receive.

Friday, October 10, 2014

A-Z Ideas For Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  It's not too late to host a fundraiser for your favorite breast cancer related nonprofit.  Here is an A-Z list of ideas from the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation:

A  Abseiling, Afternoon Tea

B  Bling Your Bra, Bad Tie Day, Bingo, Bungee Jump

C  Cake Stall, Carol Singing, Car Wash

D   Dance Marathon, Dress-Down Day, Dinner & Dance

E   Easter Egg Hunt, Expert Talks, Eating Competition

F  Fashion Show, Fun Run

G  Girl's Night In, Garden Party, Golf Day, Go Karting

H  Head Shave, Hockey Tournament, Halloween party

I   International Food Evening, Ironing

J  Jail Break, Jazz Concert, Judo Competition

K  Karaoke, Knitting Sale

L   Leg Waxing, Line Dancing, Left-Handed Day

M  Masquerade Ball, Music Quiz

N   Non-uniform Day, Nature trail, Netball Tournament

O   Open House, Opera Concert, Obstacle course

P   Pink Party, Pink Day, Pink Ribbon Breakfast, Pink Anything!

Q  Quiz Night

R   Rugby Tournament, Raffle, Relay Race, Rock ‘n’ Roll Night

S    School Fair, Sky Dive, Sponsored Anything!

T  Talent Competition, Tombola, Teddy Bear’s Picnic

U   Unwanted Gifts Sale

W  Wine-tasting, Window Cleaning, Wear Pink

X   X-Factor themed party, Xylophone concert

Y   Yo-yo tournament, Yoga session, Yacht Race

Z  Zumba Party

Thursday, October 9, 2014

"We are all sea creatures"

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Mission Blue is a global initiative of the Sylvia Earle Alliance, a 501c3 organization, which was formed in response to Sylvia Earle’s 2009 TED Prize wish. 

Dr. Earle urged people “to use all means at your disposal — films, expeditions, the web, new submarines — to create a campaign to ignite public support for a global network of marine protected areas; Hope Spots large enough to save and restore the blue heart of the planet.”

Currently, the Mission Blue community includes 90+ respected ocean conservation groups and like-minded organizations — from large multinational companies down to individual scientific teams doing important research.

--From the Mission Blue website

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Accepting Another's Pain

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Many years back a dear friend was struck with an aggressive brain cancer.  She faded quickly as the disease ravaged her.  I never reached out to her.  I wanted to, but her pain was too much for me to accept at the time. For years I wrestled with an internal conflict of trying to live a compassionate and empathetic life, yet I could not accept my friend’s pain.  This came from, I later learned, from the lack of peace within myself.  With no personal empathy, it was much too fearful to allow another’s pain to touch me.

This is not an unusual circumstance of the human condition.  

Dr. Rick Hanson, a neuropsychologist and author of Hardwiring Happiness, Buddha’s Brain, Just One Thing, and Mother Nurture and founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, suggests in his recent newsletter:

“Let the pain of the other person wash through you. Don’t resist it. Opening your heart, finding compassion – the sincere wish that a being not suffer – will lift and fuel you to bear the other’s pain. We long to feel received by others; turn it around: your openness to another person, your willingness to be moved, is one of the greatest gifts you can offer.

“To sustain this openness, it helps to have a sense of your own body. Tune into breathing, and steady the sense of being here with the other person’s issues and distress over there.

“Have heart for yourself as well. It’s often hard to bear the pain of others, especially if you feel helpless to do anything about it. It’s OK if your response is not perfect. When you know your heart is sincere, you don’t have to prove yourself to others. Know that you are truly a good person; you are, really, warts and all, and knowing this fact will help you stay authentically open to others.”

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Surf's Up For the Wounded Veterans

Amazing Surf Adventures, a community program that utilizes surfing to help others overcome a particular life challenge, is hosting Operation Surf Central Coast 2014, October 6th through the 12th. 

This year’s surf event is for the “severely wounded active duty and veteran service members from various branches of the U.S. military who served in Afghanistan and Iraq will take part in an epic life-changing experience at beaches across the Central Coast,” according to the website. 

It goes on to say, “Through the healing power of the ocean and surfing, these wounded heroes to whom we owe so much, will overcome challenges and build a new understanding of their life’s potential.”

“For many participants, the trip to Operation Surf is their first time leaving the hospital since being injured in Iraq or Afghanistan, making this unique and highly effective healing tool an invaluable part of their early recovery. At previous Operation Central Coast events, the wounded heroes have been astounded at the outpouring of love and appreciation from the Santa Cruz community and its many volunteers.”

Monday, October 6, 2014

Clean Water Access For Kenyan Community

Beth Koigi knows the effects of dirty water all too well, when polluted water in Kenya’s Chuka District made her sick. After watching children drinking the same water, Beth started a project to give families inexpensive access to clean water.
Her project, Technologia Mashinani, will provide affordable charcoal water filters made from recycled materials (such as plastics, charcoal dust).  The materials will be bought from the community itself.  Beth explains, “the filter will promote health by encouraging people to use clean water; hence, improving health conditions.”
Purchasing filters is usually out of reach for most families because they are usually expensive, but with Beth’s project, families will be able to purchase the filters through a payment plan of $1 per month for a year.
Funds from the Pollination Project will help Beth provide the filters to 500 households.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Youth Work For Sustainable Planet

"Earth Guardians is an organization of dedicated youth and adult mentors from around the world. We are committed to working together to protect the Earth, water, air and atmosphere so our generation, and those to follow, inherit a healthy, just and sustainable planet.
"Earth Guardians is empowering a generation of young environmental and social leaders by providing education, tools and resources to become effective leaders in their communities. We inspire youth to connect with their creative passion and take it into positive action.

"We believe that today’s youth have a vital role in addressing our environmental and climate crisis and in creating the kind of world we want, and deserve to live in. This is evident by the rising movement of youth that is growing around the planet to protect the Earth and our Future."

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Dollar A Day for Nonprofits

Launched 24 hours ago is a crowd-funding nonprofit source, A Dollar A Day.

From the new website:

What is Dollar a Day?
Dollar a Day is a simple new way for people to discover and support nonprofits that do great work.

How does Dollar a Day work?
Every day we feature one amazing nonprofit. Everyone (who’s signed up) automatically donates a dollar to that featured nonprofit. No daily decisions to make, no customization — every day we’re all supporting the featured nonprofit, together.

Every day, we send out a simple email about the featured nonprofit we’re all supporting. These emails are an incredibly easy way to be introduced to great nonprofits. We also offer these daily emails to anyone for free.

Who is Dollar a Day for?
Dollar a Day is for anyone who wants to be more engaged with nonprofits. Finding great organizations can be difficult, and many of us are busier than ever. We wanted to make it easier for people to both discover and support great nonprofits.

At its heart, Dollar a Day is about discovery. We hope that our daily emails will be a gateway for people to give directly, volunteer for, or simply learn more about a variety of great organizations and the problems they’re trying to solve. A public more fluent in nonprofits and their work is really exciting.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

"Life is not only about wealth"

Indian mining magnate Anil Agarwal announced Thursday that his family has agreed to turn over 75 percent of their wealth to a charitable trust, the Financial Times writes. The principal owner of London-based Vedanta Resources has a fortune estimated by Forbes at $3.5-billion, placing him 24th among Indian billionaires.
Among other philanthropic causes, Mr. Agarwal said he wants to establish a world-class university in his home country. “What we earn must be returned for the greater good of society. Life is not only about wealth,” Mr. Agarwal said in revealing the planned donation on the 10th anniversary of Vedanta’s listing on the U.K. stock market.