Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Purple Cake Day for Haiti & Nepal

March 1 has a new designation--it's now Purple Cake Day

About 1036 schools and groups from 25 countries participate in Purple Cake Day in an effort to learn more and benefit students in the countries of Haiti and Nepal.

The 2012 goal is to raise $60,000 to help 87 children in Haiti who still live in tent camps; to help three nonprofits in Nepal that develop and improve early education; and help establish The Children's Emergency Fund when a humanitarian emergency arises, notes the Purple Cake Day website.

Free resource kits are available on line: http://www.purplecakeday.org/_pcd/Library/PDF/Resource%20Kit%20Jan%202012.pdf

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

First Nation 10-Year-Old Sings For the Sea

A 10-year-old singer/activist, Ta’Kaiya Blaney , writes songs and speaks to groups about the importance of preserving the environment.  A recent issue of Yes Magazine reports,

... British Columbia. Premier Christy Clark sent the girl an email, saying she had “watched your YouTube video and commend you for your talent. Your message is very clear—we must be concerned about the environment.”
Clark said the B.C. government supports the ongoing environmental review, a process that has met much criticism from First Nations communities, environmental groups, and political leaders.

This June, Blaney's environmental efforts will be recognized by a Christopher Benchley Youth Award, in San Francisco.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Feral Cats Neutering Project

The feral cat in our neighborhood has a clipped ear--which we thought came from a nasty fight.  But what it means is that it was caught, neutered, given its shots, and released.

The Feral Cat Project and others like it, are devoted to saving and improving the lives of feral cats, as well as, find a means to reduce the population.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cross Country Walk For Dementia Awareness & Support

A North Caroline public health researcher plans a cross-country walk--from North Carolina to California-- to raise funds "..used to provide much-needed assistance for co-pays for prescriptions; low-income meal programs; and relief services for caregivers...of the  vulnerable elderly and their caregivers and the challenges of aging and care giving in our current social and economic times," the website explains.

The telling acronym, SOAR Feat 2012, not only hints at the condition of this walker's feet after 3000+ miles, but actually stands for SENIORS OBTAINING ASSISTANCE AND RESOURCES.

The 6-7 month walks begins this April.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

"The Largest Volunteer Army in the Nation"

The "largest volunteer army in the nation...numbering between 800,000 and 1.7 million individuals," work to provide over 1 million meals a day to senior citizens in America who are either unable to afford regular nutrition or facing mobility issues, according to the Meals on Wheels Association of America.


All told, there are some 5,000 local Senior Nutrition Programs in the United States.

Friday, February 24, 2012

5-10-5-10: A How To Formula For A Better World

5reject greed
10tread lightly
5connect with (the bright side of) community
10build up democracy



The above is the formula presented by FairShare International,  as stated on the website,  "... a diverse, global community of individuals, families and businesses who are taking a stand for a fair share for everyone, always. We are against the unjust distribution and misuse of the world's resources - money, water, energy and minerals. We are for a fair go for all people.

Of the earth's water, energy and minerals used each day, 80% is consumed by 20% the earth's wealthy population (about a billion of us). Leaving almost nothing for the majority of people and compromising the existence of future generations, this consumption is neither fair nor sustainable. By joining the FairShare community, you can help achieve:
  • decreasing the gap between rich and poor
  • better use of the earth's resources
  • more ethical connections with others
  • conservation of the natural environment and threatened species "

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Los Angeles Plan for the Homeless Succeeds

"In just over a year, more than 3,000 of Los Angeles County's most entrenched street dwellers and homeless veterans have moved into permanent homes, exceeding the targets of an ambitious plan launched by business and philanthropy leaders," reports today's Los Angeles Times.

"The Home for Good plan aims to end long-term and veteran homelessness in the county by 2016," the report noted.

Follow this link for the report:
http://www.homeforgoodla.org/Home_For_Good_Final_Progress_Report.pdf


The video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zsFdP5-na4&feature=player_embedded#!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Generosity Assists Distressed American Families

"Gradient Gives Back Foundation is a Minnesota-based non-profit organization that supports the Gradient Gives Back Community Outreach Program and devotes its resources to assisting Americans. The Foundation strives to help poor, distressed or underprivileged American families who are at risk of losing their homes.

It also seeks to unite communities by inspiring Americans for the purpose of charitable giving.
Since its establishment, Gradient Gives Back Foundation has awarded mortgage or lease payments to eight families across the United States and continues its commitment to actions that make immediate and real differences in the lives of families who have fallen on hard times."

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Recylcing Mardi Gras Bling

"Don't Throw It Down, Clown," reads recycling containers that will be placed throughout downtown New Orleans, LA  through the end of Carnival season. The 55-gallon drums are outfitted with special tops to allow the collection of beads, reports WKRG.

"...if left on the streets and sidewalks after a parade, (the beads) often wind up in our waterways. Once in the ecosystem, beads, like other litter, have a negative impact on wildlife and waterways.

In an effort to reduce the environmental impact of abandoned beads, the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program has partnered with Keep Mobile Beautiful, the Downtown Mobile Alliance, the Bellwether Group and the City of Mobile to create a clever bead recycling opportunity."

The Arc of Great New Orleans will also bring up a trailer behind some parade and encourage revelers to throw the trinkets back into the trailer for recycling.

Another volunteer group, Verdi Gras, will participate in greening up Mardi Gras.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Awesome Gamer Marathon for Cancer Prevention

 A recent  6-day online video gamer marathon raised $149,000 for the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

"About 90 people gathered, in shifts, at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center, in Chevy Chase, Md., to play video games around the clock for a good cause in the event called “Awesome Games Done Quick 2012.”
Participants completed 107 games for the event, which was watched by thousands of online viewers around the world through a live broadcast stream on the Speed Demos Web site, where they could donate. During that time, some 3,200 donors gave 5,850 times, with an average gift of about $25. (One donor contributed $3,500)," reports Philanthropy Today.

Friday, February 17, 2012

"Healthy Harvest" A Healthy Partnership

The Harris County Hospital District has partnered with a Houston-based nonprofit organization called Veggie Pals to offer fresh vegetables and fruits at a subsidized price, to compete with the cheaper food options in these patients' neighborhoods. The easy availability — it's just down the hallway from the doctor's office — is coupled with advice about the benefits of these foods and how to prepare them.
Since its start in November 2011, the program, called Healthy Harvest, has sold more than 5 tons of produce, according to Ann Smith Barnes, the medical director of the hospital system's Weight Management and Disease Prevention department. The program is offered at five facilities and is growing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Preserving Sacred Waters

While an Arizona coal mining company employs many from the Hopi Tribe, according to a news report, tribal members formed the Black Mesa Trust   to educate Black Mesa residents and the wider public about the impacts of (coal mining water pumping)...about  3.3 million gallons of pure groundwater, per day,  from the aquifer to mix with crushed coal.  "The poisoned water is neither reclaimed nor reused. Ultimately, Black Mesa Trust seeks to stop (the) needless water pumping and permanently secure the Navajo Aquifer, with its surrounding springs and watershed, for present and future generations who will value its unique influence upon the indigenous people and their environment," explains the website.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Donors Help Men Suit-Up for Job Hunt

In a time when job hunting is like hunting for unicorns, compounded with waning bank accounts, looking good and professional for a job interview can be a challenge for men.  While most nonprofits that provide professional attire for women in the same circumstances, only a few offer dress for success for men.

Career Gear -- A Suit--A Second Chance, a nonprofit,  offers more than a business suit, "We now deliver much-needed job retention and advancement coaching, helping our clients to build on their achievements and continue their upward path," the website explains

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Nepal's Vulture Restaurants Revives Population

When standing out on the Piedras Blancas bluffs near San Simeon, Ca., and answering questions about the northern elephant seal, a common question is "What do you do with the dead seals?" 

I answer, "The clean-up committee handles that: gulls and vultures." The turkey vultures here seem to be in good shape.  But not so much for the vultures in Nepal that have feasted on cattle carcasses that have traces of the drug diclofenac--a compound that causes kidney failure and death in vultures. The White-rumped and Slender-billed -- are now critically endangered in Nepal, as well as in Pakistan and India.

According to an article in Planet Ark , five years ago Bird Conservation Nepal "came up with the idea of 'restaurants' as places where the birds could feed on safe carcasses...and now...the number of nesting pairs there has grown to 46 compared with just 17 before the feeding site was opened five years ago.."

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Banking Used Supplies For Worldwide Use

Imagine that your nonprofit group of volunteers committed to setting up a beneficial service to people in a part of the world where drinking the water could be perilous, your group is short funds for proper electronics, office supplies, and a requirement of certain agricultural equipment for grounds maintenance and community assistance.  The current worldwide economy has further lessened your group's ability to purchase essential operational requirements. 

There's a bank for that.  Banc de Recursos or Resource Bank, Barcelona, Spain. "Resource Bank is a non-profit organization that collects surplus materials from businesses and individuals and sends them to countries and collective needs...The mission of the BDR is to redistribute resources more fairly. BDR also wants to strengthen solidarity networks (voluntary, non-governmental organizations, mutual information, etc..) And public awareness of the need for a more rational and responsible use of material goods (based on non-consumer, non-destruction and non-waste)," explains the website.

The "bank" operates in
  • South America: Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela, etc..

  • Central America and the Caribbean: Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Cuba, Dominican Republic, etc..

  • Africa: Chad, Cameroon, Senegal, Gambia, Morocco, Sahrawi camps, etc
  • Monday, February 6, 2012

    Peace-ability A Possiblity With Peaceabilities Program

    Peaceabilities , a Bringham Young University project, is designed to develop ".. higher-order skills that increase children’s abilities to live peacefully with others."  The program is designed to "...develop critical higher-order skills needed for building peaceful relationships - kindness, forgiveness, compassion, and a deep respect for self and others."

    This program "... can be used in schools, domestic violence shelters, after school programs, churches, community groups, and families," the website explains.

    Sunday, February 5, 2012

    An Oily Idea: Turn Grease Into Oil, Heat Low Income Homes


    Project T.G.I.F—Turning Grease into Fuel, aims to recycle used cooking oil into biodiesel to help heat needy people’s home in Westerly.

    The idea was first initiated after reading an article in The Westerly Sun about the WARM shelter’s A Dollar A Week campaign to raise funds for heating assistance in Westerly.  At the same time, we knew of the growing problem of global warming and the emissions produced by conventional petroleum based fuels.  We looked for a solution to this problem through recycling cooking oil.

    Some restaurants may produce between 100 and 300  gallons of cooking oil per month.  These restaurants then pay a company to dispose of the oil.  Instead, we envisioned a system where companies would donate their oil to be recycled, and some of the oil recycled would be donated to the WARM shelter for heating assistance.

    Saturday, February 4, 2012

    Religious Leaders Deplore"Ugly Racial Stereotypes on the Campaign Trail"

    While The Daily Prism is not a political site, we can't help but hear loud political rhetoric during the current presidential race in America. 

    It appears to be open verbal warfare on the poor and less fortunate.  So when faith organizations request candidates to cease decrying the poor and using racial code words, that's a big spark of light.

    An open letter to the candidates says:

    Some presidential candidates now courting “values voters” seem to have forgotten that defending human life and dignity does not stop with protecting the unborn. We remind (them)  that Catholic bishops describe racism as an “intrinsic evil” and consistently defend vital government programs such as food stamps and unemployment benefits that help struggling Americans. At a time when nearly 1 in 6 Americans live in poverty, charities and the free market alone can’t address the urgent needs of our most vulnerable neighbors. And while jobseekers outnumber job openings 4-to-1, suggesting that the unemployed would rather collect benefits than work is misleading and insulting.

    The statement came from the website PaxChristiUSA  a religious non profit that, "...commits itself to peace education and, with the help of its bishop members, promotes the gospel imperative of peacemaking as a priority in the Catholic Church in the United States. Through the efforts of all its members and in cooperation with other groups, Pax Christi USA works toward a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world," according to the website.

    Friday, February 3, 2012

    Compassion Wins

    After the Susan G. Komen For the Cure declined further funding of Planned Parenthood for breast exams for women in need, millions of people protested the move. 

    Today, compassion won.  The breast cancer research and support group reversed its decision and will continue grant funding to Planned Parenthood.  See:  http://philanthropy.com/blogs/philanthropytoday/update-komen-plans-to-maintain-support-of-planned-parenthood/44431?sid=pt&utm_source=pt&utm_medium=en

    Thursday, February 2, 2012

    Shared Bravery on Sinking Ship

    In a recent article by Zeno Franco, Ph.D discussing the recent cruise ship calamity in the waters off of Italy, he pointed out: ".. there were numerous examples of everyday heroism on display. Giuseppe Girolamo, a drummer aboard the ship who is currently missing, was witnessed giving up his spot on a life raft to a child. Individuals and groups of people used their own bodies to form human ladders to allow others to escape, exhibiting individual and shared bravery."

    Wednesday, February 1, 2012

    Seaweed Rebels Seek Marine Conservation

    Photo by C. Coimbra
    "Seaweed Rebels" unite under the banner of a nonprofit  that "...works to promote unity, provide tools to and raise awareness of the solution-oriented marine conservation community."  The Blue Frontier Campaign "... has established a nationwide network of grassroots (the marine conservation community or Blue Movement calls this 'seaweed') lobbyists. It is campaigning for an American Oceans Act to protect what the members call "our public seas" and is working to improve ocean policies in the 23 coastal states of the United States. Blue Frontier supports maritime community activists by distributing model policies and practices. Its other objectives include the creation of books, a TV documentary series, and other educational materials on ocean exploration and stewardship," according to Wikipedia.