Posts Tagged ‘President Obama’

All Together Now: A Celebration of Service

Photo: Associated Press

Tonight at 8PM, NBC will air All Together Now: A Celebration of Service, the first time since President Obama’s inauguration that all four surviving presidents will gather. Clinton, Carter, Bush & Bush will assemble at the Kennedy Center for the event sponsored by the Points of Light Institute to honor President Bush, Sr. for his contributions to engendering a country that embraces volunteering and service. Since all four have been champions of community involvement for all Americans, it is a nice move to bring all together to show that making a difference in the world means political parties make no difference. Performances this evening will also feature Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Cee Lo Green, Reba McEntire, Sam Moore, Brad Paisley, Kid Rock, Darius Rucker, and Carrie Underwood to champion the service movement (and up the cool factor for different generations).

25 million more Americans are volunteering today than were in 1989—and we’ve only just begun. Dip into the well for a little boost of inspiration.

Autism Support Here, There, Everywhere

Ari Ne'eman, National Council on Disability

How much do I LOVE that President Obama has appointed the first ever autistic White House appointee, Ari Ne’eman, new member of the National Council on Disability (NCD), advising the president and congress about ways to reform health care, schools, support services, and employment policy?! And he’s only 22 years old!! Inclusiveness is such an important element of our leadership right now, when divisiveness rules the airwaves and rhetoric (and public appearances by government officials–thoughts and prayers for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and all the families of each and every victim of that tragedy).

Autism is a thing we never heard of, or spoke of, when I was growing up. Like peanut allergies, it must have been there, but wasn’t named or responded to as sensitively as it is now (and I am not likening the two–just my own obliviousness to the issues prior to recent years). I have dear friends who have autism in their families, and are so inspiring in the empowering and nurturing ways they work together as families–it is truly a lesson in how to BE in this world.

If you know or are part of any families with autism, ever saw a TV show or article about autism that hooked you, or just know you can be of help…think about doing some Autism volunteering.

  • Traveler’s Worldwide offers volunteer vacations to help children with autism in South Africa. How much time do you have? A month? a summer? You will work in a school dedicated to treating autistic children as a classroom assistant and work one-on-one, tutoring. When the end-of-school bell rings, you still get to have incredible interactions in the evenings, playing and imagining with autistic children who are resident  at the school.
  • The Beijing Institute for Autistic Children in partnership with Volunteer Abroad provides opportunities to work with Chinese children with autism. For one to eight weeks, volunteers help autistic children develop skills and learn to interact with others.
  • WLS International also services the autistic community in China and has volunteer experiences from one week or longer, in Beijing.
  • Teach Abroad provides volunteer opportunities to work with autistic children, ages five and older, in Delhi, India. For a minimum of two months, you will teach subjects like music, drama, English, and arts with a motivated autistic student body.
  • The Canadian Alliance for Development Initiatives and Projects does a three-week camp program (one week of training and two camp weeks) for volunteers to work with autistic kids in Courtenay, British Columbia.
  • The Comox Valley Child Development Association sends volunteers to help children at a yearly autism summer camp in Canada. At this three week camp, volunteers help autistic children and teens participate in group activities, meal preparation, and day trips.
  • The Cultural and Academic Travel Organization facilitates volunteer vacations to Ghana’s New Horizon School for Persons with Intellectual Disability. At this school, volunteers help children and adults with mental challenges, including autism. Volunteers teach academic subjects, tutor autistic people in life skills, supervise activities, and work at the autism resource center.

Lazarus Effect

Just because Christmas is at our doorstep, doesn’t mean you should stop giving.

Do you need charitable donations for the tax man, before December 31? ONE is an amazing organization, and even if you’ve given until it hurts, you can still go here to take action while keeping your wallet closed. Encourage President Obama to invest in the Global Fund for the end of year budgets and help the world’s most vulnerable countries continue their progress against HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria (all treatable and preventable diseases). The money that could be allocated for this is not instead of healthcare here at home, we’re not robbing Peter to pay Paul–and it will make a world of difference.

Let your voice be heard. Click over and take action.

Greenpeace Action

-1Rock on Greenpeace !!!

Sending a message to President Obama and all the other leaders gathered in Italy for the G8 summit, the environemntal action organization unfurled this banner at Mt. Rushmore, challenging the world’s leaders to act now on global climate change.

Unconventional? Sure.

Getting them in trouble with federal law enforcement? Without a doubt.

…and really really important to make big bold statements to inspire big bold action. Nothing less is acceptable for the planet.