Global Citizens: How You Can Get Involved

February 4, 2011 at 3:26 pm , by

Dr. Hodnett with a patient

In our latest issue, we salute six American women who are changing lives around the world. Check out these resources to get involved in one of their causes (or all of them, if you’re feeling ambitious!).

The Humanitarian Doctor: Marlo Hodnett, M.D.
You don’t have to be a doctor to help feed hungry kids. Dr. Hodnett volunteers with the National Association for the Prevention of Starvation, which is always looking for volunteers for its U.S. efforts and mission trips abroad, as well as donations.

The Cultural Ambassador: Ginny Lou Laughlin
Ginny Lou is active in her town’s sister cities organization, which help kids and adults connect with other cultures from around the world. Check with your local government or Sister Cities International to find out if your town has a chapter. If you don’t have a sister city, help hook up your town!

The Compassionate Coach: Colleen Lewis-Aguilar
Coleen’s organization, Basketball as a Mission, helps bring sports camps—and the self confidence that comes with learning a new skill—to underprivileged kids. They’re looking for donations (of gently-used gear or money) and volunteers, and you don’t have to be a jock to get involved.

The Selfless Saleswoman: Pati Going Frey
Patti sells bags that are handmade by women in Zambia, and 100% of the proceeds go to the women to help them take care of their families. They don’t have a website (yet!) but you can email Pati if you’d like to buy a bag or sell them in your area.

The Nurse Without Borders: Mary Loftus
Mary volunteers at a rural health clinic in Haiti with the group Friends of the Children of Haiti. If you’re not up for a trip to Haiti yourself, you can sponsor a child through the organization and provide your child with food, education and health care.

The Knitter Who Sends Hope: Amy Berman
If your’re into knitting, this one’s for you: Amy’s Mother Bear Project sends handmade bears to kids in Africa. You can knit or crochet bears with their provided patterns and send them to Amy for distribution. Not so crafty? Sponsor a bear instead, donate supplies or volunteer.

Do Good: Look How Much Your Dollars Can Do

April 5, 2010 at 9:51 am , by

Sometimes the problems in other countries (and even the problems here in America) can seem so big and complicated that it’s hard to feel like you can make an impact. But it’s amazing what a few dollars can do in places where the need is greatest. The International Rescue Committee’s From Harm to Home program helps ordinary people like you and me contribute to people in need in very concrete ways. You’ve probably heard of Heifer International (where $50 buys a share of a cow). This is similar, only your money buys emergency relief, education, and healthcare for people across the globe. For instance, $34 can provide four kids with nourishment for a month. $52 can enable an Afghan girl to attend school for a year. $215 can provide five families with emergency survival kits.

When faced with numbers like that ($52 for a year of school!?), it’s hard not to get excited about the real good you can do—on any budget. It would also make a great Mother’s Day gift for the do good-minded lady in your life.

Do Good: Help for Chile

March 1, 2010 at 11:37 am , by

chile-mapIt’s hard to believe we’re talking about another devastating earthquake so soon after the events in Haiti. The quake that struck Chile on Saturday (one of the most powerful in recorded history) has killed more than 700 people and displaced millions more. Relief organizations are already working with the Chilean government to get aid to the region. But if you’re wondering how you can help, like Haiti (and most natural disaster relief efforts), usually the best way is to donate money, which will get aid to Chile much faster than other kinds of donations.

The Mobile Giving Foundation (which helped organize many Haiti mobile fundraisers, including the one by the Red Cross), already has a list of groups you can donate to via text message:

  • Text the word “CHILE” to 20222 to donate $10 on behalf of World Vision.
  • Text the word “CHILE” to 52000 to donate $10 on behalf of the Salvation Army.
  • Text the word “SAVE” to 20222 to donate $10 on behalf of Save the Children.
  • Text the word “CHILE” to 85944 to donate $10 on behalf of International Medical Corp.

Organizations like the American Red Cross and UNICEF don’t have a specific Chile donation pages set up (yet), but those groups use donations to get aid where it’s needed most, if you’d prefer to donate the old-fashioned way instead of via text.