Tag Archives: charity

A Shout Out To The Socially Responsible

After writing my post yesterday – off the cuff and pushing the publish button as fast as my fingers could because I was so late in posting – I realized I could only name one company, off the top of my head that epitomized social responsibility.

I’m all about the socially responsible. I’m fantastic at boycotting the companies I’m in disagreement with. I want to be just as fantastic at supporting the companies that promote value and values. Social ones, that is.

Yesterday, I mentioned TOMS Shoes.

Love them. The shoes. The company. Great product and purpose.

I did a little research and here are my next top 5 shout outs for social responsibility:

Bodoblankets.com – Another “One to One” company. Quality, gorgeous blankets. And for every one you buy, they’ll donate one to someone in need. They are environmentally conscious and committed to community service.

We Are One Heart: An organization that sell t-shirts with the same phrase. Every time you buy one, one is given to a child in Haiti.

Newman’s Own: The great Paul Newman started this company where 100% of the profits go to worthy charities. To date, they given over $295 million. We love their salsa and Caesar dressing. You can find their products in your local grocery store, too.

Ethos Water: Another easy purchase. My kids like a treat after school and Starbucks is quite convenient for us. But I don’t like to drink caffeine that late in the day. Ethos Water, sold at Starbucks, is committed to providing fresh, clean water to people in developing countries. Granted, just 5 cents a bottle goes to the cause but nickels add up. To date, they have raise $6.2 million of their $10 million humanitarian water grant goal.

Bead for Life: Their catch phrase is “Eradicating poverty one bead at a time.” Beaded jewelry, created by impoverished women from Uganda and around the world, trying to make a better life for their families. The goal is to make the women self-sufficient, independent and able to support themselves within 18 months of entering the program. I’m all about empowerment! Love this program!

Now start clicking! And in the comments section below – add your favorite socially responsible charity. Spread the word and we can all make a difference.

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Money For Nothin’ And Givin’ For Free

Remember when my blog exploded because of a little Random Act of Kindness post?

Remember how I promised a post on the random comments I received?

Well, here it is.

I’m tempted to just end it here. Leave you in suspense. But what suspense? Oh, sure. I got the same crazy spam that prompted this post. Or this one, when I thought aliens were sending me spam.

Then there was the 2000 word comment. (I’m not kidding. I cut and paste it and put it into Word so it would count the words for me.)  A 2000 word, nonsensical comment. Just a string of 2000 words. Who does that? And why?

But quite honestly, most of the spam I received was of your garden variety.

Except for one.

A comment from someone who claimed to have been a sexual slave for 18 months in Morocco. She began listing her financial troubles and general woes. And then she shared that she was praying that someone might bestow upon her, some random act of kindness – in the form of a couple hundred dollars. She ended her comment with this line: “Love to Jane and everyone who agrees with her talent of giving for free.”

That comment has been gnawing at me for over a week now. Is it real? Should I have let her comment appear? Why did I feel so strongly about censoring it?

Is it real? – Who knows. We can never know. There is so much deceit and scam running rampant on our internet waves. It’s hard to tell.

Should I have let her comment appear? – No. Then why am I telling you about it now? Maybe I want to be absolved of any guilt should it have been a true cry for help. Maybe I want her to see this post so she can hear me say, there are other places to go to for the kind of help you need. And then, when I write that response, I start to feel silly. Of course it was another scam.

Why did I feel so strong about censoring it? – “Giving for free.” Handouts. The old story about giving a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime. (Oh, don’t I sound like a hardened, old Republican? Shudder.)

I was a member of the Junior League in our area. No. I wasn’t one of those bored doctor’s wives, looking for a few volunteer gigs to put on my resume. I was a single mom, passionate about giving back to my community. The years I was in the league we had out-of-this-world, amazing leadership. True givers. Movers and shakers. I learned skills about organizing and getting things done that I couldn’t have learned anywhere else.

I also learned that there are tons and tons and tons of resources out there for the downtrodden. For the infirm. For the poor. And they’re not that hard to find.

The world owes me. Stick it to the man. If I can get away with it, why not? Who does it hurt?

It hurts me. Most of all, it hurts you.

There are people out there, families truly hurting. Living each day without knowing if the next day will bring food or shelter. I am much more willing to help someone who is desperately trying to eek out a living – pounding the pavement, visiting soup kitchens and United Way and free health clinics and applying for food stamps when necessary – than someone standing in front of me with their hand out saying I owe them because I should be kind. Or because I have more.

I am much more willing to help someone who is taking responsibility for their destiny than someone who wants to ride coattails.

Oh, goodness. I sound like a cold, hard, witch.

I’m not. Really.

 I’m just wondering when personal responsibility will be in vogue again.

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Cute Bear – Great Cause!

You know me, I’m all about great causes. Abby, from Mutterings from the Moor, is very crafty. Oh, how I envy her craftiness. And she’s come up with an adorable little bear to raffle off, raising money for cancer research. To give please click HERE And to visit Abby and find out more about her craft and her cause, click HERE.  Thanks everyone! And thanks to Abby for your contribution and efforts to such a great cause.

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Help Me Keep Oil In The Lamp

I’m still struggling with my post from yesterday. About female suicide bombers. I can’t get it out of my head. And I want to apologize for it’s length, or more precisely the lack of depth to my inquiry. It was a mere 394 words. Typically, when I am charged about something I have to be careful not to create a short novel. I’m constantly editing myself, narrowing my focus to keep it a readable length.

But yesterday, I sat there, in shock, in front of the computer screen, still trying to wrap my head around the information I found on the internet. And I found myself typing my thoughts and then stopping short. It was hard to plow through. It’s a difficult subject to understand emotionally. I’m well aware that I was lost in a stereotype. Desperately wanting to believe in that stereotype.  I wanted to tell myself this can’t be real.

And in my search for information there was a short little blurb that struck me:

“Five days after the death of Jabbar, the Awakening leader, his wife gave birth to a daughter. Last month, Baidaa Muhammed, 30, sat in their living room, in front of a gold-framed photo of her husband. The baby was named Hibatullah, or “gift from God.”

As Hibatullah rested in her lap wrapped in a white blanket, Muhammed, her face streaked with tears, declared: “I hate women.””

I hate women.

Why would she say that? Did she feel abandoned? Worthless? Angry? Possibly. Her husband was Naeem Jabbar. He was the leader of a U.S. security group, Awakening, trying to improve conditions in Iraq. For about four months Jabbar had given food and money to a 19 year old woman begging in the streets. Because of their relationship, albeit limited, security never considered her a threat. But on an evening in July 2008, as he approached her as he had many times, she detonated a bomb that killed him, herself and four others.

Now, Baidaa Muhammed is a widow. In a country that does not cherish women. Her husband died trying to rebuild a broken country. And a woman is at the root of her loss. A fellow woman left her a widow and her child fatherless.

Jennifer, from My Wildlife’s Words, asked an important question yesterday: “What else has changed for women in the last 20 or so years?” I don’t know. But I wondered that, too, as I was writing and researching yesterday. I’m going to sit on that and someday I might have an answer.

But until then I feel the need to do something.

I don’t want Baidaa to feel abandoned. I don’t want her to feel alone. Most of all, I don’t want her to hate women or hate being a woman. I want Baidaa to feel loved, cherished, valued and empowered in a positive way. Empowerment shouldn’t mean strapping on a bomb to get revenge or to join your brothers with Allah or atone for your sins.

I did a search for best non-profits for women and tried to find some of the best ones. I realize, sadly, that not all organizations are legit. But I’ve done the best I can to provide a short list here that look promising. Please give, but not without educating yourself first. And if you know of other good organizations, please mention them in the comment section of this post.

We need to band together and try to stop this madness. We can make these past 25 years merely a blip on radar. One simple step can make a difference.

“If you want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.” ~Mother Teresa

Women For Women International – Helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives.

Care – Defending dignity. Fighting poverty. A humanitarian organization that focuses on poverty, especially poor women.

Americares – They deliver medical supplies and medical care here in the U.S. or around the world in times of disaster, civil unrest or daily struggle.

VDay – A global movement to end violence against women and girls.

Polaris Project – An organization committed to combating human trafficking and modern-day slavery.

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Shoes – One For One

If you haven’t heard about TOMS shoes I’m helping to spread the word. Suzicate first enlightened me with her post about her first pair of TOMS. She loves them! Her enthusiasm was catchy. I went to check them out myself. Yes. The shoes are cute. They look comfortable and I’m all about comfort. But then I clicked on the “Our Movement” tab and I was mesmerized.

One man. Blake Mycoskie. On vacation in Argentina. To play polo. He saw women and men wearing a style of shoe he thought interesting. It was the fashionable new thing. But then, literally right next door, he saw villagers without shoes on their feet. He spent the rest of his vacation volunteering at a local village. Fresh water was 2 miles away and walking with the children they had to stop every 5 minutes or so because their feet hurt. He took a closer look. Thick callouses. Cuts. Scrapes. Painful sores. He met grown children who had never worn a shoe a day in their life. Adults who had only owned a few pairs in a lifetime. Amputations because of deadly infections. He wanted to do something.

On the plane ride home he got an idea.

Blake Mycoskie was not a modern-day cobbler. He knew nothing about the shoe business. What he did know is that children around the world, in impoverished countries, were suffering because they lacked something most of us take for granted. What if he duplicated the “fashionable” shoe he saw on the polo field spectators? What if for every pair of shoes he sold he provided a pair for children in need? One for One.

So that’s exactly what he did. TOMS, Shoes for Tomorrow, was born in 2006. I love that this is a company that was started with the sole purpose of helping others. It wasn’t a shoe company that decided to do something good. It was one man, who wanted to help children around the world and he came up with a way to do it.

For some of us, the shoes are a little pricey. On the website they start around $40. Of course, they go up from there. If you’re the type that needs to see them live I googled it and Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom carry them, too.

I know many of us are focused on Haiti right now. And some of you may be saying, “Why can’t I just donate to some organization directly instead of having to buy something?” But if you like the shoes, if you’re going to buy shoes anyway – why not purchase them from a company with a primary mission to help others?

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Jane’s Own Make A Difference Saturday

Today, from the comfort of your laptop (or if you’re like me – your dinosaur of a monster computer shoved off to the corner of the playroom) you can make a difference and I’m going to show you how! Pick your passion or pick ’em all! Here are some worthy causes and some only take seconds to participate in!

Dove Self Esteem Fund My new favorite online charity. It covers a topic near and dear to my heart: encouraging the self esteem of young women. All you need to do is enter the UPC code of the favorite Dove product you have in your home. If you don’t have any, that’s ok. There is a tab for you to click where you pick a virtual product and they’ll enter the code for you. Dove will then donate $1 to your favorite charity (Girl Scouts, Boys & Girls Club of America or Girls Inc.) Easy, peasy. They’ve raised 3.6 million dollars so far but are trying to raise $5 million by January 1, 2010. Spread the word!

The Liz Logelin Foundation – $7 on the 7th This one is going to cost you. But $7? I’ll skip 2 caramel macchiatos for this organization. And today is the 7th of November. How perfect is that? Their mission statement says it better than I can: “The Liz Logelin Foundation was established to assist families who find themselves in the heartbreaking, catastrophic situation of having lost a spouse, life-partner, and parent.  The Foundation’s goal is to financially assist these families as they deal with the loss of their loved ones, and struggle to move forward.” Liz’s husband, Matthew, started this after his otherwise healthy wife died of a pulmonary embolism hours after their daughter was born. She didn’t even get to meet her. Sad, yes, but out of that great sadness he has started an organization to help others, ‘for the love of Liz.’

The Breast Cancer Site If this takes you more than 10 seconds I’ll find a way to give you back your time. I’ve had this button on my sidebar but here it is again in another form. Just click. Click again. You’ve just helped to donate a mammogram for a woman in need. It doesn’t get any easier than this!

Let’s Say Thanks – Sponsored by Xerox, this site allows you to send a note to our troops in just a few clicks. This took me all of 2 minutes to complete and it doesn’t cost a thing. The drawings for the cards were created by children all over the U.S. and they even have pre-fab sentiments you choose to have written inside – or – because I know you are all talented, prolific bloggers – you can create your own. Another easy, peasy task and it only costs 2 minutes of your time.

Ok. Choose one. Choose them all. But with a few clicks you can make a difference today! Have a great Saturday, everyone!

(P.S. Don’t forget about our get together Friday, November 13th. Start collecting the craziest search terms for your blog and we’ll all share them on Friday. You can write them in the comment section or blog about it – but don’t forget to link/comment here so we can all see them! See you Friday!)

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