Vote (in some places you can still register) 

According to this voting guide you can register to vote on Election Day (Tuesday, November 2) if you live in the following states: Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Wyoming...Categories: Advocating.


Kerry won the debate; help him win the election 

Celebrate Kerry's debate victory tonight. Go to www.johnkerry.com and donate dollars or register to donate your volunteer time. Moveon.org always has lots of stuff you can do to make a difference, including calling people in swing states and urging them to vote for Kerry.


Bush Voters Choose Kerry in 2004 

"Republican Switchers" shows how many Republicans and conservatives are choosing Bush over Kerry in this election. It's a choice that's consistent with the values of GuideforGood!


Responding to Crisis in Darfur, Sudan 

Supporting Mercy Corps is a simple and effective way you can make a difference in the lives of the many who are horribly suffering in the Sudan.


Fahrenheit 9/11--The critics are plain wrong! 

I like Michael Moore because he is one of the few in the media who is sufficiently outraged at the injustice in our country. But I also think he has taken cheap shots in his first two films. Because of that, and because of criticism I've read, I was sincerely skeptical about his latest film, Farenheit 9/11. I was proved wrong. I saw it tonight and was very moved. He does a masterful job of showing how the rich benefit from a war that is fought only by the poor. His Web site contains a story on a call by military and 9/11 families for our lying President Bush to see the movie.*********************Categories: Advocating.


One-Stop Shop for Progressive Causes 

NetVocate is a blog that aggregates various causes and campaigns that progressive people will want to participate in. You can subscribe to the site or browse by category, e.g., civil rights, the environment.*********************Categories: Giving, Volunteering, Advocating.


Catalog of Culture For Kids 

CultureforKids.com has a fabulous catalog of books, toys, and games--some that focus on a particular country or culture; others that celebrate many. Pre-school teachers, day camp directors, elementary and high school teachers, and youth group leaders will all find something here to enrich their work. Even if the kids in your care are not from diverse or multicultural backgrounds, the world they are growing up in is a many-splendored thing. In order to succeed at school now and at work in the future, young people -- no matter what their background -- will need to appreciate and understand diversity and people of different ethnicities, races, and religions.*********************Categories: Living, Traveling, Learning.


50 Ways to Love Your Country 

MoveOn.org's 50 Ways to Love Your Country: How to Find Your Political Voice and Become a Catalyst for Change is a guide for good that's not just for liberals. The reviews on Amazon.com show that many Republicans like it, too. All royalties go to support MoveOn.org, a wonderful organization that offers us hope that we can reclaim our country. Categories: Giving, Volunteering, Working, Living, Traveling, Advocating, Learning.


Teaching Kids Tolerance 

Tolerance.org is the Web site of the wonderfully informative Teaching Tolerance project of the Southern Poverty Law Center. The site offers many practical and educational activites for kids, including an interesting program on creating welcoming schools, "Mix it Up." One of the newest additions is a curriculum on Vietnamese Americans. All the resources are highly recommended.*********************Categories: Learning.


You Can Never Be Too Rich or Too Generous 

The Very Rich, It Now Appears, Give Their Share and Even More says an article from the New York Times (free registration required) quoting a study from the New Tithing Group. GuideforGood featured New Tithing's calculator in our second-ever post in January 2003* even when the group seemed to be "hiding" the calculator from visitors to its Web site. A note at that time said that they were planning to release a new calculator (which was, in fact, released in December 03). But GuideforGood remembered seeing the old calculator at NetworkforGood.org, so we "stole" it from there. Note that Claude Rosenberg of New Tithing claims that wealthy people, nonetheless, could give 40 percent more, without hurting their economic status.*********************Categories: Giving.

*That was when we had high hopes of making this a daily blog. Lately it's been more like monthly, but that's mostly because we're working on a new theme and strategy, promise!


Shop Well, Do Well 

If you're buying presents this season, consider catalogs and Web sites that benefit kids, families, and communities. For example, seventy-five cents of every dollar spent on the beautiful gifts and cards from UNICEF goes to support programs that promote the health and welfare of low-income children around the world.

Another site to check out is Musee.com (musee is French for museum), which links to many museum stores around the world. These stores help raise money to keep the museums open and accessible to the public.

The Heifer Project offers a different way to share. Its catalog allows you to donate (in someone else's name) an income-producing animal, such as a pig or a goat, to a low-income family in one of 47 countries. The Heifer Project was recently named a "gold star" charity -- one of ten in the U.S. -- by Forbes magazine). Heifer Project gifts keep on giving because the receiving families agree to give the first-born female of their animal to another family. See especially the delightful "movie" that you can "send" (via an e-mail link) to people who ask you want you want for the holidays.

Finally, see the entry under August 20 about shopping at places that are part of the Fair Trade Federation.*********************Giving, living.


Youth Action Nets Change 

Youth Action Net is an all-around excellent Web site about involving youth in positive change. It offers awards on social entrepreneurship, profiles of young change makers, ideas for getting involved, and much more good stuff for young people and their parents and teachers.********************Categories: Giving, Volunteering, Living, Traveling, Advocating, Learning.


Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF 

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF is a great way to teach kids about giving and service. This site has ideas and resources for kids, youth leaders, parents, and educators.**********************Categories: Giving, Volunteering.


Matters of Race 

Matters of Race on PBS is a new series that comes highly recommended by a diversity expert whom I greatly admire, Linh Song. Linh runs MamNon.org a wonderful organization and Web site for Vietnamese adoptees and adoptive families of Vietnamese children.**********************Categories: Advocating, Learning.


Remembering Peace 

One Day's Pay is a national organization that advocates for individuals, families, schools, places of worship and other kinds of communities to take some time to perform acts of voluntary service, charity, and compassion on this sad anniversary.

May we all also perform acts of peace, as taught by the venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk and activitist who was once nominated by Martin Luther King. Jr. for the Nobel Peace Prize for his peace work during the Vietnam war. In this interview, from belief.net.com, he shares what he would say to Osama Bin Laden.

My family and I had the good fortune of meeting Thich Nhat Hanh when he was in Chicago recently speaking on peace at Loyola University, a large Jesuit University. Thay, as he is known to his students, has many followers of religions of all kinds. He is a gentle soul to be sure.*********************Categories: Volunteering, Living, Advocating.


Simple Actions to Free the Slaves 

This Labor Day, take a few minutes to review 21st-Century Slaves, an excerpt of the current issue of National Geographic.

I heard about this through a newsletter I receive from one of the groups that helped with the article, Free the Slaves (www.freetheslaves.net).

As it said in the newsletter, "The article and the photos are so captivating and heart-wrenching that National Geographic Magazine Editor Bill Allen was moved to write, 'You may cry. You may be sickened. You may be riveted, unable to stop reading. Or you may decide you can't bear any more, and flip to the next article.... You'll never look at the world the same way again.' "

Take note, it's a huge tragedy, but THERE IS A SOLUTION that we can all be a part of. This fall, important anti-slavery legislation is being considered. Write a letter to your senator as suggested in the section, Take Action. Also consider joining and making a donation to Free the Slaves. Finally, see How We Can End Slavery from Kevin Bales, director of Free the Slaves. (There are also audio clips but I'm unable to "blog" those for some reason.)

At the Free the Slaves site, you'll find the stories of Salma and Drissa.

There are age-appropriate resources for children at Did You Know? while teachers and leaders of community and religious youth groups will benefit from the excellent Free the Slaves Education Pack.*********************Categories: Giving, Volunteering, Working, Advocating, Learning


Conscientious Consumption 

I've been referred to this site by a brilliant librarian who says that it "checks out legit" (which is often not the case on the Web). It looks like a great resource for gifts, decoration, coffee, and food.

As it says on the site, "the Fair Trade Federation (FTF) is an association of fair trade wholesalers, retailers, and producers whose members are committed to providing fair wages and good employment opportunities to economically disadvantaged artisans and farmers worldwide.

"FTF directly links low-income producers with consumer markets and educates consumers about the importance of purchasing fairly traded products which support living wages and safe and healthy conditions for workers in the developing world.

"FTF also acts as a clearinghouse for information on fair trade and provides resources and networking opportunities for its members. By adhering to social criteria and environmental principles, Fair Trade Organizations (FTOs) foster a more equitable and sustainable system of production and trade that benefits people and their communities."*********************Categories: Living, Advocating


Board Stiff? 

In my work and personal life, I meet so many people who have concerns about the nonprofit boards that they serve on or that they "staff" as nonprofit employees. The board volunteers are glad to serve, and the nonprofit employees are grateful for their board members, but almost everyone laments that their board isn't operating as efficiently or as effectively as it could.

The single best source of information on how boards should work is the national nonprofit BoardSource (formerly the National Center for Nonprofit Boards). Membership is $139, though there are group rates for folks from the same nonprofit. Non-members can still benefit from the free info and downloads found on the "Board Info" knowledge center. Don't miss the Board Essentials, especially the Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards. Also check out the free e-newsletter.

If you're a board member, tell your fellow members and your nonprofit's staff members about it. If you're a staff member, tell your board members about it. You're bound to gain something from the accumulated wisdom of BoardSource. ********************* Categories: Volunteering, Learning


Gain More by Giving 

ItsDeductible may be missing an apostrophe, but according to the vendor and media reviews that I've read, the software could help you gain financially. Use the software to determine and track donations of used goods: clothes, bikes, books, and more. The value of such donated goods is often much more than many people realize, and may result in tax deductions that are greater than what the items would sell for at a garage sale. Not only do you save the hassle of organizing a yard sale, you help people and organizations that need it.*********************Categories: Giving


Where Rush Limbaugh Shops....Not 

Progressive Resources Catalog sells, well, progressive resources.*********************Categories: Living, Advocating


The More Things Change... 

The article Warehousing Our Children is a thought-provoking examination -- by the Christian Science Monitor -- of the reversal toward institutional care.*********************Categories: Living, Advocating


It Pays to Play -- Physically, Mentally, Socially 

Another great summer activity: volunteer your time (why not involve the whole family?) to build a playground through the highly esteemed nonprofit organization KaBOOM! And if you're thinking of starting a playground project with your neighbors, school, or place of worship, KaBOOM!'s great online playground planner can guide you through the process, helping you manage volunteers, donors, contacts, budgets, and events. Playgrounds, are fun, sure. That's only part of what makes them essential community assets. Aside from the fact that studies show that play is healthy both mentally and physically, playgrounds are one of the few non-commercial places in America—what some scholars call a “third place”—where people of all ages, abilities, incomes, races, and religions can truly come together. For more on "third places," see this discussion by the way-cool ConservationEconomy.net.*********************Categories: Volunteering, Living, Advocating


Good Travellers Can Change the World 

Planning to travel this summer? Check out Business Enterprises for Sustainable Travel (BEST) at www.sustainabletravel.org. Be sure to see How to Be a Civic Traveler. Sustainable traveling, or being a civic traveler, has been defined differently. One definition is suggested by BEST's vision statement: "...simple-tourism can benefit destinations by providing better livelihoods for residents, preserving the natural environment and celebrating local culture. Tourism can even restore cherished cultural traditions and landscapes and enhance the quality of life in economically disadvantaged communities."*********************Categories: Traveling


And What School Doesn't Need More Support? 

After many years in the nonprofit field and several years as a parent of a school-age kid, I know that "writing grants" is a task that many educators would love for parents and other volunteers to take on. I haven't reviewed it thoroughly, but this site, SchoolGrants.org, seems like a good resource for folks who'd like to help their schools obtain grant monies for various projects. It's run by a consultant , but she offers many free services, including links to grants and a listserv, i.e., a group email newsletter/list.*********************Categories: Giving, Volunteering, Learning


Download Your Donor Card Today  

In a touching column on her niece's "live" donation of a liver, the fabulous Maureen Dowd of the New York Times (quick, free registration required) discusses the urgent need for people to not only sign a card indicating that they would like to be donors but also to inform their families of their wishes. Unfortunately, surviving family members often nix the decision of the deceased would-be donor. For more information, including templates of donor cards, go to OrganDonor.gov or the Coalition on Donation at ShareYourLife.org. Why not download donor cards today for you and all the members of your family? Tell them how you could save lives.*********************Categories: Giving, Volunteering, Living


A Sweet Way to Show You Care 

The Great American Bake Sale: End Childhood Hunger in America is a fun, national event sponsored by the esteemed not-for-profit anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength and Parade Magazine (which does a great job year-round of publicizing human, community, and societal needs and promoting volunteerism and activism to meet those needs). Simply hold a bake sale, and send in your proceeds by July 22. It's a great activity for kids and families, and the Web site also has special suggestions for schools, colleges, and universities; businesses and civic organizations; and restaurants.*********************Categories: Giving, Volunteering


The Best Top Ten List Ever 

According to The Better World Handbook, these are the top ten things an individual can do to, well, create a better world:

*Buy a Low Emission, Fuel Efficient Car
*Limit Your Work Time
*Buy Less Stuff
*Buy Products From Socially Responsible Companies
*Make Time for Loved Ones
*Eat Less Meat
*Open an Account at a Socially Responsible Bank or Credit Union
*Conserve Energy and Water
*Watch Less TV
*Join an Organization You Care About

You can find more details on each of these steps by clicking on the link above, and then clicking on "The Top Ten Actions" on the toolbar at the left. I haven't read it yet, but The Better World Handbook bills itself as the "definitive guide for the average person wanting to make a positive difference in the world.....people who may be too busy to be actively involved in social change organizations." From the reviews posted on the Web site, it certainly appears to live up to that promise."*********************Categories: Giving, Volunteering, Working, Living, Traveling, Advocating, Learning


For the Wonderful Wonks Who Work & Volunteer for Nonprofits 

The Stanford Social Innovation Review is a new quarterly publication from that university's graduate school of business. It's targeted to people interested nonprofit management, philanthropy, and corporate citizenship. I haven't studied the site, but some of the content is free (meanwhile, a subscription will cost a hefty $69 for four issues.) Funny, because, as soon as I saw it, I thought of the study, Knowledge Sharing in the Social Sector, by the nonprofit consulting firm affiliated with the elite management consultancy Bain & Co. The study said such a journal was lacking in the nonprofit sector. And sure enough, the first issue has an article from the director of Bridgepsan.********************Categories: Giving, Working


What Gets Measured, Gets Done 

Charity Begins at Schedule A, from yesterday's New York Times, is a brilliant proposal -- by Ian Ayres and Barry Nalebuff, Yale professors and Forbes columnists -- for increasing charitable giving in this country. Basically, it's a line on every tax return that would allow all taxpayers to see what percentage of their income goes to charity. With their awareness raised, the argument goes, many would be more likely to give more.*********************Categories: Giving


For Execs Looking for Jobs in Nonprofits 

Looking for work? Too many people are. ExecSearches.com bills itself as the Web's premier executive jobs and senior management employment site for nonprofit, public sector, and socially conscious organizations.*********************Categories: Working


Surveying the Anti-War Movement 

For an excellent survey of the anti-war movement, see this New York Times article (quick registration required). As the article mentions (and as proof of the points I made in my earlier posts about an anti-war position not being the same as an anti-troop position), one of the mainstream peace groups, Win Without War, is urging supporters to write supportive e-mails to the troops.*********************Categories: Advocating, Volunteering


"Send Your Twin Daughters Over to Kuwait" 

As Michael Moore points out in a letter to President Bush (parts of which he repeated on stage tonight when accepting his Oscar for Bowling for Columbine), "Of the 535 members of Congress, only ONE (Sen. Johnson of South Dakota) has an enlisted son or daughter in the armed forces! If you really want to stand up for America, please send your twin daughters over to Kuwait right now and let them don their chemical warfare suits. And let's see every member of Congress with a child of military age also sacrifice their kids for this war effort. What's that you say? You don't THINK so? Well, hey, guess what -- we don't think so either!" Moore's site also contains an excellent summary of the various things one can do to protest the war.*********************Categories: Advocating


Support the Troops: Don't Send Them to Die for Oil  

I'm totally baffled by those who charge that anti-war protestors oppose the troops. Are those who make the charge really that simple minded? Can they not see that those who oppose the war do so because they believe that sons and daughters are being sacrificed for no good reason? I see anti-war protest as the highest form of support for the troops. For an eloquent, pro-troops, anti-war statement, go to VAIW: Veterans Against The Iraq War, a coalition organizing Operation Dire Distress, a march and lobbying effort this weekend and Monday in Washington, D.C.*********************Categories: Advocating


A Sad Day Indeed 

War has begun. You can begin your response by signing MoveOn.org's Citizens' Declaration.*********************Categories: Advocating


Kits for Kids Affected by War 

If you want to do something small but significant, assemble and donate a health kit (soap, shampoo, etc) for suffering people -- many of them kids -- in Iraq and nearby countries. Their extreme living conditions are worsening with the threat of war.

According to the American Friends Service Committee, which is sponsoring the drive, "The Iraqis have lost everything. The middle class has been depleted. There are many children who are unable to go to school. In many communities people cannot get clean water. People are dependant on the government's monthly food rations. There is a collective sense of fatigue from 12 years of sanctions. The impending war will make Iraqis' lives even more difficult."

I have neighbors with family in Iraq. They report the same thing. A few weeks ago we were visiting with them at their home down the street when one of their friends phoned to ask them to contribute some money to a mutual friend in Iraq who once led a middle-class life, but who could no longer afford food for his kids.

Send the health kits by the end of April (extended deadline) to one of the offices of the American Friends Services Committee, which is sponsoring the drive. Check out the other resources on the AFSC Web site while you're there.*********************Categories: Giving, Volunteering


"Rekindle the Light of Reason and Hope" 

Did you light a candle tonight? See the photos from the candlelight vigil that took place (many in addition to marches) in hundreds of cities across the world. Said Archibishop Desmond Tutu, "May our candles rekindle the light of reason and hope so that war will be averted in Iraq and peace will prevail in the world." Reason is surely what we need now. So much of the debate in this country has turned hateful and irrational: rightwingers are accusing anti-war protestors of being traitors, boycotting French products for its anti-war position, and attacking singers and stars who exercise their freedom of speech to oppose the war."*********************Categories: Advocating


Ways to Really Help Those Who Really Need Help 

Learn how you can help tens of thousands of girls in Africa who are abducted, held captive, and raped. Oprah's show today, Women Held Captive in Africa, is summarized on her Web site. Two of the groups through which you can contribute: Witness, which uses video and technology to promote human rights, and the International Rescue Committee (IRC). The Oprah show featured an amazing 28-year-old woman who works for the IRC in Uganda to rescue the girls.*********************Categories: Giving, Volunteering, Advocating


Sing Against the War 

John Mellencamp has an anti-war song, "To Washington," that you can download free. According to an article in the New York Times about the song, it is based on a Woody Guthrie tune that is based on a Carter Family song.

A verse:
And he wants to fight with many
And he says it's not for oil
He sent out the National Guard
To police the world
From Baghdad to Washington

With a similar message, the Beastie Boys recorded, "In a World Gone Mad", also free. Some of the lyrics: "How many people must get killed/For oil families' pockets to get filled?" The New York Times writes about this one, too.*********************Categories: Living, Advocating


Pledge for Peace 

Sign the Iraq Peace Pledge.*********************Categories: Advocating


Way Cool Site for World News (and Kids' Country Reports) 

One of the most interesting sites I've come across in a while: Reuters AlertNet is designed to offer news and information to people and organizations that work in international development and humanitarian aid. But it's a great digest for anyone interested in world affairs from a humanitarian perspective.

Among many other things, check out the country profiles (great summaries for adults; a great resource for kids' reports) and the international humanitarian job listings.*********************Categories: Giving, Volunteering, Working, Traveling, Advocating, Learning


Mr. Rogers, We'll Miss You  

As my friend Esme wrote today, the world is a different place without Mr. Rogers. He was truly a "guide for good," one of the world's best. He helped millions of children feel loved and care for, and helped millions of adults love and care for the children in their lives. In his honor, I'm reposting an excerpts from two previous entries in the last few weeks:

"The Giving Box from Mr. Rogers....[is] a little book with stories of generosity from different cultures [that] comes with a pretty little "giving box" that children can use to collect coins to donate to others. Idea: engage the kids in picking a different cause to give to each month."

"Also on the PBS site... is a really helpful article from the venerable Mr. Rogers, Helping Parents, Teachers, and Caregivers Deal with Children's Concerns About Violence in the News. One of the best tips: anytime there is a scene of violence and danger, you can always point out the helpers, e.g., "Look at the people who are helping the people who were hurt."*********************Categories: Giving, Advocating, Learning


March Virtually Against the War 

From the MoveOn.org Web site: "MoveOn.org is hosting the online headquarters for the Virtual March on Washington on February 26th, sponsored by the Win Without War Coalition. Please join us NOW for the march. So far, more than 200,000 individuals have signed up to make more than 400,000 phone calls and send 100,000 faxes to Washington -- to their Senators and the President."

"Hundreds of thousands of constituents from across the country are sending the collective message: Don't Invade and Occupy Iraq. Every Senate switchboard will be lit up throughout the day with our message -- a powerful reminder of the breadth and depth of opposition to a war in Iraq. Media can visit the "antiwar room" online to monitor this constituent march throughout the day."

"We need your help NOW to make the Virtual March a reality. You can (1) prepare a free fax for transmission, and (2) make phone calls to Congress. Faxes are very easy and phone calls are the most effective. Do both or do whatever you can."*********************Categories: Advocating


Resources for Parents in Troubled Times 

As a parent, I know how hard it can be to help kids cope with current events and issues such as terrorism and war. I've scanned lots on the Web and found these sites to be among the most comprehensive and helpful:

*AboutOurKids.org is a child and adolescent mental health and parenting resource of the New York University Child Study Center. This is packed with great information. Note especially:
--A War in Iraq: Tackling Tough Issues With Kids and
--Helping Children Feel Safe in Unsafe Times

*PBS Parents has lots of good stuff, some of it age specific. Also on the PBS site, though not in the parents' section, is a really helpful article from the venerable Mr. Rogers, Helping Parents, Teachers, and Caregivers Deal with Children's Concerns About Violence in the News. One of the best tips: anytime there is a scene of violence and danger, you can always point out the helpers, e.g., "Look at the people who are helping the people who were hurt." Let's pray we won't need to use this advice in the coming weeks.*********************Categories: Living, Learning


Stand Up! 

Are you an upstander? Someone willing to stand up to those things that are terribly wrong in the world (say, a war in Iraq)? You might find yourself a more inspired one after reading the Swarthmore College 2002 commencement address given by Samantha Power.

Power recently wrote a book, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide. Here's an article about Rwanda that she wrote for the Atlantic Monthly.*********************Categories: Living, Advocating, Learning


"Bush, Play Golf, Not War!" 

No War in Iraq: Millions marched around the world, thousands of them in Chicago, carrying signs with slogans such as "Bush, play golf, not war!"

Interestingly, as of early Sunday morning, I could find no articles online from either of the city's two dailies, though I did find a report from ABC7Chicago.com and, best of all, there was a very descriptive article in the New York Times. The Times article mentions an anti-war marching band as well as Buddhists with lotus blossoms. Courtesy of my friend Pete, photos of both those groups -- and more -- are included in the aforementioned link "Bush, play golf, not war!".

One of the points of the march was to show solidarity with Pakistanis and other immigrants who are being treated like criminals (i.e., being asked to "register" with the government) simply because of their race or religion. The march took place on Devon Avenue in Chicago, which is at the heart of several immigrant communities: Pakistani, Indian, Jewish, Croation, Russian, Assyrian, and others. (Naturally, it's also the home of some great restaurants and interesting stores.)*********************Categories: Advocating


Conservatives, Too, are Against the War 

The last few days have seemed overwhelming. Aside from the mundane pressures of work and parenting, there's the specter of war in Iraq and the threat of terrorist attacks in the U.S. And it's all twisted: I have no doubt that we are more vulnerable to an attack as a result of our march to war, but at the same time, it's hard to believe that the government isn't overstating the threat as a way to scare people into supporting the war. Plan to go an anti-war rally this weekend. They'll be held around the world. And in the meantime, consider these anti-war views, some from conservative sources:

Military Families Speak Out includes original content as well as several links to anti-war veteran's groups, including Veterans for Common Sense.

The Libertarians at Cato Institute are mostly against the war.

Did you catch the ad, "A Republican Dissent on Iraq", published recently in the Wall Street Journal? I found a PDF of the ad only on the Web log of Libertarian Lance M. Brown, who discusses how the ad was actually "sponsored" by the left-leaning (but, in my opinion, wonderfully savvy) TrueMajority. Brown wonders why the Republicans wouldn't set up their own Web site as a more effective way of winning over other conservatives to the cause. In any case, check out the platform of TrueMajority.

Or, see the text of the Republican anti-war ad on the Web site of Anita Roddick, the Body Shop founder and socially-responsible business executive. Hers is another site with good information on a variety of causes, including human rights and the environment.*********************Categories: Advocating


Teaching Kids to Give  

Teaching kids to be generous and compassionate is one of the best things we can do to promote a just and peaceful world. The Money Savvy Pig (tm) is a new transparent piggy bank with four marked compartments for your kids' cash: saving, investing, spending, ...and donating. It comes with tips on how to teach kids to manage money wisely. The site also sells a curriculum for teachers and youth workers, and includes notes on how to obtain federal funding for it under the No Child Left Behind Act

Another good resource is the The Giving Box from Mr. Rogers. A little book with stories of generosity from different cultures comes with a pretty little "giving box" that children can use to collect coins to donate to others. Idea: engage the kids in picking a different cause to give to each month. Note: GuideforGood earns nothing from sales of the Money Savvy Pig (tm), and only a small referral fee if you buy something after clicking through to Amazon.com from this site.********************Categories: Giving, Learning


Let Every Voice Be Heard 

Polls show that support for the war has gone up since Colin Powell's speech. Has your anti-war voice been heard? Contact everyone -- the President, your U.S. Representatives, and your U.S. Senators -- through firstgov.gov and contact them in every way you can: phone, fax, e-mail, and letter. Depending on the medium, the pols figure that for every message they receive, an additional x number of people feel the same way as the caller, writer, etc. Public policy experts have told me that, usually, the pols consider the methods that are more difficult to use, e.g., writing a letter, to count for more opinions than the ones that are easier to use, e.g., e-mail.*********************Categories: Advocating


Care2 to Save the World? 

While searching for an e-card for the Lunar New Year, I came across www.care2.com, which bills itself as the "Yahoo" for people who care about the environment. It offers free e-mail, e-cards, access to a store with eco-friendly products, tips, news, petitions, and alerts. Some of the content was not strictly eco, but it was in keeping with a progressive agenda. It was a refreshing combination of practical information, advocacy, fun, and free stuff.*********************Categories: Living, Advocating


Where There is Despair, Hope 

Our hearts are with the families, friends, and colleagues of the crew members of the space shuttle Columbia.

make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred,
let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

St. Francis of Assisi

********************Categories: Learning, Living, Advocating


Start the New Year Off Right 

Chuc Mung Nam Moi! Happy Lunar New Year! Many people call it Chinese New Year, but since it's celebrated in countries other than China, it's actually more accurate to call it the Lunar New Year. In Vietnam, the Lunar New Year is known as Tet Nguyen Dan, which literally means the first morning of the first day of the new year. Tet is a celebration of spring, a time of hope and optimism, and the equivalent of the 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and New Year's all rolled into one. This is the year of the goat in Vietnam (but the year of the sheep, or ram, in the Chinese zodiac.)

The Vietnamese are very careful about what they do on Tet as they believe that events of this day will determine their luck for the rest of the year. Why not start your new year off right by contributing to a humanitarian aid project in Vietnam? Click here for the projects in Vietnam of the very fine adoption and humanitarian organization MAPS International. As an adoptive parent, I have personal experience with MAPS and can vouch for their ethics and effectiveness. All of the MAPS projects in Vietnam are worthy, but see especially the center to help kids who are diagnosed with HIV and AIDS, and who are thus more likely to be abandoned. (When babies are given for adoption in Vietnam, it is usually because their mothers, often single, are extremely poor and unable to care for the children.). Your donation can help spread the new year's spirit of hope and optimism.********************* Categories: Giving, Learning


Imagine 25 Million More Orphans by 2010 

Read a response to President Bush's emergency plan for AIDS relief in Africa from DATA, the organization co-founded and championed by the band U2 and its star Bono. DATA stands for Debt, AIDS, and Trade in Africa. It receives funding from, among others, the foundations of George Soros and Bill and Melinda Gates.

As DATA reports, "only urgent action can prevent AIDS from leaving 25 million African children orphaned by 2010." Here are some quick and effective actions you take on their behalf.

For an in-depth look at the crisis, and how one writer decided to adopt a child, see this article from The New York Times, What Will Become of Africa's AIDS Orphans?*********************Categories: Advocating


Big Business for Affirmative Action 

Even big business supports affirmative action, so says an article in the business section of the New York Times, Some Companies Back Michigan's Affirmative Action Policy, which reports that the likes of Exelon, Microsoft, Bank One, Steelcase, and PepsiCo "plan to tell the Supreme Court that universities should be allowed to consider race as a factor in admissions because future employees need the experience of working with people from different backgrounds."********************Categories: Advocating


Justice for All 

Global Exchange, a reputable and "international nonprofit human rights organization aimed at forging closer ties between North Americans and grassroots groups working for democracy and social justice around the world," offers Ten Things You Can Do to Stop the War on Iraq. While you're at the Web site, take a look at some of their other admirable activities.******************** Categories: Advocating


Don't Despair; Turn the Tide 

Does the sorry state of the environment ever seem overwhelming? Don't despair; you can Turn the Tide with nine simple actions prescribed by the friendly and sensible Center for a New American Dream:   
1. Skip a car trip each week.
2. Replace one beef meal each week.
3. Skimp on shrimp, i.e., don't eat it.
4. Stop junk mail through an online service.
5. Replace four regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights.
6. Move the thermostat 3 degrees (down in cold, up in warm weather).
7. Eliminate lawn and garden pesticides.
8. Use efficient showerheads and low flow faucet aerators.
9. Inspire two friends to Turn the Tide, too. (Why not e-mail this page to them?)

Take a look at the Center's very thorough and thoughtful Web site, which includes lots of practical, money-saving, and environmentally-sound ideas, including some especially for kids and parents. You'll also find testimonials from high-profile supporters and articles about Turn the Tide from the Washington Post and other media outlets. If folks in the U.S. took these nine simple actions, we could reduce our dependence on oil from other countries and increase our national security.*********************Categories: Living, Advocating


Represent and Respond 

More anti-war days of action ahead: United for Peace and Justice has issued a National Call to Action, asking us to "Represent and Respond on January 27, 28 and 29, 2003."********************Categories: Advocating


Go Eco: Travel with a Conscience 

Planning a spring or summer vacation? (I read somewhere recently that you should plan your summer vacation now, before things get booked up. Dreaming of warmer climates and days has been quite easy this week in below-zero degree Chicago.) Check out the Ecotourism Explorer, an online database of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), a not-for-profit organization that defines ecotourism as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and sustains the well-being of local people."********************Categories: Traveling


One of the Best Web Sites in the World 

When job seekers, especially recent graduates, tell me they're looking for a job in the not-for-profit sector, I always send them to the "Career Center" at Idealist.org. It's probably the single best Web guide to careers in not-for-profit organizations, but there are other features to explore, too. Check out the resources for children and teens, teachers, and potential volunteers.**********************Categories: Working, Advocating, Learning, Volunteering


Take Action in Ten Minutes 

As supporters of reproductive rights rally today in Washington on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, like-minded folks can add their voices through NARAL Pro-Choice America's activist links, which make it easy to take important actions on behalf of reproductive rights. Of interest, perhaps, even to those who don't consider themselves "pro choice": some opinions of the Republican Pro-Choice Coalition, Catholics for a Free Choice, and the libertarians at Cato Institute.*********************Categories: Advocating


It Doesn't Hurt to Give More 

Without diminishing their lifestyle, most people could donate more money to charitable and social causes than they currently do. See how much more you can contribute with this private, online PrudentPal giving calculator from an organization called New Tithing. *********************Categories: Giving


"You Only Need a Heart Full of Grace" 

"Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don't have to know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve. You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love. And you can be that servant." From "The Drum Major Instinct", a sermon by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., 1968. Available on CD and print in A Knock At Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

For more information, to buy A Knock at Midnight or other books, or to hear audio clips of Dr. King's speeches and sermons, go to the Web site of the fascinating and comprehensive Martin Luther King Jr. Papers Project at Stanford University. *********************Categories: Learning, Volunteering


Headquarters for Peace 

In honor of the rallies this weekend, here's a link to one of the most comprehensive peace groups (and Web sites): United for Peace and Justice (which just added "and Justice" to its name). It has tons of links to other peace and justice groups, including the influential MoveOn, which has become a leader in online advocacy for good causes.*********************Categories: Advocating

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