Posts Tagged ‘Day of Service’

Mandela Day–Your Day of Doing (or at least 67 minutes)

mandela-dayI don’t know how you have time to read this between all the volunteering and contributing you are doing today in honor of Madiba’s birthday. Today is Mandela Day, the birthday of Nelson Mandela and a day to inspire everyone around the world to do something for others. It is a global movement for good, and after his recent health scares, we should celebrate a little extra because he is still with us, leading the charge of spirit and action–teaching us that we can, each of us, make a difference.

There are official and unofficial activities and events around the world. This year, the foundation asks each of us to give 67 minutes of our day in service to others–representing the 67 years that Nelson Mandela has been an activist and advocate for a better world. An hour and change…for change. You can make a Pledge for Mandela to broadcast your plan to help (and keep yourself accountable). Clean up your neighborhood…visit an animal rescue program or senior citizen’s home…offer mentoring, or a ride, or canned goods from your pantry, or toiletries, or a monetary donation…spread the word about an organization you love and support…talk to your family and friends about how to give extra of your time and energy, even if you can’t give extra dollars at this time…advocate for political and human rights causes that inspire you–or anger you–or sadden you…sign up for a charity ride or run or walk…give an unexpected gift to a complete stranger or buy coffee for the person behind you in line…create a neighborhood watch program or recycling system for your community…your hour and seven minutes can have an enormous impact today (and if you are booked solid all day–commit to yourself that you’ll create the time before the weekend ends). While you are busying yourself with making a positive ripple in the world–wish Mandela a Happy Birthday.

First Angelina Jolie Legal Fellow

Jolie (L) and Nozile (R), Chris Polk/Getty Images, PR Newswire

Nathalie Nozile was, when she was younger and living in Haiti, and long before she got her law degree from University of Florida’s Levin College of Law, a resident of SOS Children’s Villages, a global organization dedicated to providing family-based services for children without parental care. In two SOS Village sin Haiti, there are about 700 children being given a nurturing home life, and another 14,000 Haitians receiving emergency food each day.

Coming from being an orphan in Haiti, and with a commitment to return and make the nation a better place for all, post-earthquake, Nathalie was just named the first Jolie Legal Fellow. This is an honored position, sponsored by the Jolie-Pitt Foundation and named for Angelina Jolie, to support the Haitian government’s work toward strengthening the judicial system and protecting the nation’s most vulnerable children. She is devoted to protecting the kids like those with whom she grew up, and the Foundation recognized her incredible potential for changing the world.

“I am thrilled that Nathalie Nozile will be our first legal fellow in Haiti – where the need to enhance child protection is so great,” said Angelina Jolie. “Nathalie has a heartfelt commitment to improve conditions in her homeland, and brings to her work the unique perspective of growing up in an SOS Village. There, she learned firsthand the importance to a childhood of a stable and nurturing environment. Now, as a promising attorney, she will draw on her personal experience as she returns to help strengthen the Haitian judicial system. Nathalie will be working to help ensure equal access to justice and the protection of children’s rights in Haiti.”

Nozile made it a priority to volunteer in Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake–just one of many ways she has shown her commitment to Haiti. “It is a great privilege and honor to become the first Jolie Legal Fellow,” she said. “I made a decision to obtain a law degree long ago so that I could return to Haiti to serve my country, now in such a critical state. I hope my commitment will inspire more young professionals to return to Haiti, because Haiti needs us all.”

Ms. Jolie concluded: “Nathalie is a force … just wait and see. She will be doing many great things. She represents the best of Haiti. She is an extraordinary example. I am proud to know her and extremely grateful to have the opportunity to work with her.”

Speaking of extraordinary commitments to community and making your home region a better place, what are your plans for tomorrow, Martin Luther King Day, and America’s Day of Service? HERE is a place to find volunteer opportunities convenient to you.