Posts Tagged ‘Hugh Jackman’

Shoe4Africa–Work for the Sole

Photo: Shoe4Africa. Kenyan school girls running for peace at the post-election clashes

Photo: Shoe4Africa. Kenyan school girls running for peace at the post-election clashes

Yesterday’s blog post was all about being shoeless intentionally (Barefoot College), and today is the flipside–trying to get children shod to fight disease and injury and increase the quality of life while also empowering and educating through sport. Shoe4Africa started in 1995, when donors sent shoes to athletes in Kenya. By 1999, the organization was promoting AIDS awareness through sport. While the name says “Africa” they have worked in many nations: Russia, Sri Lanka, Dubai, Morocco, refugee camps, parts of America, etc. By 2006, they held a race: the largest women-only event in Kenya, then a similar event in Tanzania. By 2008, they had such a continent-wide and Internet savvy presence through their AIDS education work, that they were asked to build an East African children’s hospital–only the second one in all of Sub-Saharan Africa. TV star Anthony Edwards turns his fame from the show “E.R.” into philanthropy for the cause, and many international Olympians have also joined the efforts. Athletic events pepper the annual calendar, including a Deaf and Disabled run, plus malaria campaigns, general health education, and the cause continues to grow, attracting the likes of Natalie Portman, Hugh Jackman, Elijah Wood, Jake Gyllenhaal, Rosario Dawson, Tom Cavanagh, Michael Stipe, Ellen DeGeneres, and more. Food packets now get distributed in addition to shoes, scholarships for youth help them reach previously unattainable levels of education, primary schools have been built and outfitted with textbooks and some laptops, and in the wake of the devastating storm, Sandy, that hit the NY area around the same time a Shoe4Africa 5k race was o be run in Manhattan, they turned their focus, temporarily, to relief for the children affected by the storm. Now the work continues in an ever more facile way, finding holes in the fabric of the systems for African youth, and plugging them. Find out more, get super-inspired, and support Shoe4Africa (send shoes, send donations, donate air miles, etc).

Earth Day

happy earth day

Today is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, a chance to take note of where we stand with the planet (worth doing every day, of course).

I’ve just returned from a conference with Condé Nast Traveler’s “World Savers” program, entitled “Doing the Right Thing Now.” It was a fantastic discussion about sustainability and corporate social responsibility with panelists from Goldman Sachs, Blue Hill and Stone Barn restaurants, and the InterContinental Barclay hotel. I found it inspiring to see different ways different sectors of the business world are taking up the gauntlet of environmental responsibility as well as what moderator Dinda Elliott (who blogs about responsible travel at: dotherightthing.truth.travel) sees as the next frontier (after the travel industry has done a pretty good job leading the charge on ecology): poverty alleviation and world health. It feels quite “right” to see that huge organizations, as well as the little guys and NGOs, see it as a responsibility, as well as good for the bottom line, to be answerable for our impact. I’ll be digesting much of what I learned for quite some time.

What are YOU doing for Earth Day? Don’t just let it pass as another Thursday–find a way to mark it for yourself, your family, your community (and that includes all of us as a global community–so thank you for what you will do…for me/us).

I had the good luck this morning to sit next to a woman who works with Conservation International, an NGO I can’t wait to learn much more about. From their website:

People depend on nature for many things. A stable climate. Clean air. Fresh water. Abundant food. Cultural resources. And the incalculable additional benefits the world’s biodiversity provides. Conservation International (CI) works to ensure a healthy and productive planet for us all.

Yet economic and infrastructure development, which are so necessary for human well-being, can also have serious impacts on nature. That is why CI is working at every level – from remote villages to the offices of presidents and premiers – to help move whole societies toward a smarter development path.

Through science, policy and field work, we’re applying smart solutions to protect the resources that we all depend on. We help communities, countries and societies protect tropical forests, lush grasslands, rivers, wetlands, abundant lakes and the sea. Only through properly valuing the essential services these ecosystems provide can we create a sustainable development path that will benefit all people for generations to come.

They have some outstanding international initiatives, and it is worth getting involved. Here is a link to ways you can help CI make a difference.

To get a jump start, tonight there is a Green Auction at Christie’s that will help raise funds for CI as well as three other great institutions. A Bid to Save the Earth will support Conservation International, Oceana, Central Park Conservancy, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

You can bid in person or online tonight, as well as bid on silent auction items through May 6—everything from a round of golf with Bill Clinton or a day on the set with Hugh Jackman to a Lexus hybrid or lunch with Vera Wang.

Aside from bidding…reducing, reusing, and recycling…and finding new ways to change your habits of consumption and eco-responsibility…turn off this computer and GET OUTSIDE!!!, wouldya?!