Are you one of those incredible changemakers who has grabbed the bull of a particular issue by the horns and wrestled it into submission (or are engaging in the wrestling)? If you have a project or charity or organization or brilliant idea for making a difference in the world, how many others just like you, just as inspired, have been stopped because of money woes? Financial obstacles are some of the most potent blocks needing to be busted through to have the affect on the world we all want to have. Lack of bucks, too often, translates into lack of forward motion. It paralyzes us.
For those earth-shaking, problem solving, paradigm-shifting projects waiting to come to fruition, explore The Pollination Project. This group awards $1,000 seed grants to ordinary folks committed to making extraordinary changes in the world. Every person has the potential and power to transform our world–this belief propels the Pollination Project ahead every day as they grant funds.They evaluate grant applications EVERY WEEK and make decisions much more rapidly than so many granting organizations. EVERY DAY, 365 days a year, another worthwhile project is funded.
How can your impact be amplified if you got a windfall of $1,000 to spend on your project? Dream it, apply, and go out and rock the world the way you deserve…and the way the world deserves to receive your gifts. Don’t be stingy with your passion–we need you!
Not to induce guilt, but just to make what might seem like a bad day seem not so bad…
How great is this? Author Paola Gianturco is an author and photographer who has gathered images and stories of 120 activist grandmothers from 15 countries on five continents. These inspiring women are fighting against poverty, disease, illiteracy, and human rights abuses, working to better the world for children everywhere. Grandmother Power, A Global Phenomenon covers the valiant work of grandmother groups, united behind issues specific to their communities, from Argentinean education and justice issues to United Arab Emirates cultural preservation, addressing the world’s HIV/AIDS, poverty, energy, spiritual life, and environmental crises along the way. The photos are outstanding and so evocative of daily life, with laughter, love, and care emanating from the colorful frames. International women’s issues are international EVERYONE’S issues, and this books nicely showcases strength at the helm of communities…and provides a little kick in the pants for the rest of us to get active and engaged with the issues that matter to us most. The website even has a Show Your Power page so you can step up, too.
Three and a half minutes you won’t ever regret…”What if there really are only tow paths? I want to take the one that leads to awesome!”
…and THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is a commander in chief!
By now, you’ve probably been hit up by more and more fundraising creative ideas than you’d ever imagined possible. It isn’t just for non-profits, charities, churches, school groups, and community action committees–now anyone can start a fundraiser to make a difference in the world. Movies and records get made this way. Materials for construction projects get acquired. Websites are constructed, educational materials distributed, healthcare items sourced, information campaigns launched…crowd-sourcing and crowdfunding is the new way to extend your reach and solve problems today.
StartSomeGood uses a crowdfunding model (where people chip in and donate to your cause) to connect social entrepreneurs, changemakers, and non-profits, with people who truly want to help. People from around the world are turning great ideas into real answers to the planet’s problems. It is a platform to do charitable alchemy, turning a plan of action into measurable results, innovation into impact. This peerfunding tool helps you gather your tribe around your cause, locally and around the world. You can visit the website to find new causes and actions you’d like to support, or StartSomeGood of your own. Your imaginative innovation is the only boundary. There are terrific sites (the competition to StartSomeGood) who do some of the same things, but important differences all around–here you needn’t be an official 501(c)(3) so anyone can contribute to the betterment of our society, and there’s no all-or-nothing sticking point, so even if you can’t mobilize as many people to support your work as you’d hoped, you can still do good.
What’s your grand idea? How will you StartSomeGood?
If you’ve followed this blog, you might remember Rez Flicks, the documentary filmmaking project I initiated last November on the Nez Perce Indian reservation. Because of that project (still underway–entering an editing phase) my ears–no, my heart–perks up each time I learn of others trying to make a difference with a camera.
FilmAid goes into communities in crisis—people suffering the effects of war, poverty, displacement, and disaster—and through the medium of film, both educational movies and entertainment pieces, brings critical information and relief. Whether it is teaching about cholera or gender-based violence in a refugee camp, or projecting a Hollywood classic on a portable screen for hundreds in a village, the power of film to bring news, perspective, hope, and laughter, cannot be minimized. They do workshops with locals to create community-based film content (they make movies in the places they visit) and also screen projects designed to provide psychological relief and healing.
The organization was started in the Balkan crisis at the end of the last century, and has since brought inspiration and training to over two million people. Currently, projects are active in Kenyan refugee camps as well as settlements in Nairobi and Mombassa; with Burmese refugees in Thailand; and in Haiti.
Volunteers with FilmAid work on fundraising, communications, video editing, film production and programming, curriculum development, administration, and more.
Here’s a little focus on what so many people take for granted (or moan about with long lines or a decline in service and simultaneous hike in prices). The travel industry, in 2012, created 81,000 new jobs in 2012!
Travel is a significant employment sector—more than 7.6 million Americans work in the travel biz—and we added more jobs in this category last year than educational services, real estate, construction, utilities, information, or mining. Travel job creation was 14% faster than the rest of the economy, and the industry is a Top Ten employer of middle-class wage earners.
That’s the kind of economic indicator I like! This information and much deeper analysis is via the U.S. Travel Association.
It is wicked cold by LA standards here tonight–wind has been whipping fiercely all day, freaking my dogs out. When we moved here from Connecticut, I had fantasies about never again wearing anything heavier than a t-shirt, but today, wait for it…I had to put on a sweatshirt!
I’m making fun of our infamously thin California blood, but of course, being cold in winter, and unable to get warm, is not a joke. Here’s a really cool program that our gas company has launched for the wintertime: the Gas Assistance Fund lets caring customers help less fortunate customers keep their heat turned on. The fund provides emergency bill payment assistance for seniors, the disabled, and the newly unemployed. Every donation made by customers is matched dollar-for-dollar by the gas company, doubling the effect you can have on the lives of your neighbors.
I love it when corporations do the right thing. Do the service industries near you offer something similar? Check websites or call to find out, and give a little warmth for the winter.
About a hundred pre-teen and teenage girls in Katikamu, Uganda just embarked on an auspiciously awesome week: Camp Girl Power. The camp brings together promising yet vulnerable young women form some of the most economically struggling parts of the nation. In addition to traditional education, so sorely needed by so many, campers also get some truly important life skills. Almost 87% of rape victims in Uganda are between the ages of 9-17. Additionally, AIDS spreads like wildfire among uneducated girls–nearly twice the infection rate than that of girls who have gone to school. The girls in this program, created by the Just Like My Child Foundation are learning how to ward off sexual predators and unwanted pregnancy and disease. In addition to training these leaders for tomorrow, the range of effect from the program is likely to touch 10,000 women and girls, as camp graduates become mentors for their sisters and friends when they return to their villages.
That’s how we ALL roll in 2013! Get involved. Support.
(video from 2012 program)
The country may go over the cliff, but promise me if you are out tonight and driving and realize you had a bit more than you intended, you will not drive over any cliffs, curbs, or even drive from wherever you are parked. AAA offers “Tipsy Tow” nationwide, a FREE tow for drivers who have consumed alcohol. You needn’t be a member of AAA. Call 1-800-400-4222 (That’s the California number–but available throughout the US). Enjoy surging ahead into an outstanding 2013, beyond your greatest dreams.