Posts Tagged ‘Save the Children’

Want to Know How to Change the World? Ask Young People: We Day

Photo: FreeTheChildren.com

Photo: FreeTheChildren.com

So it turns out I kind of missed the coolest party of the year last week. I probably wouldn’t have been invited anyway–they were looking for a younger crowd–but boy I wish I had been there. I have friends who went, so I look forward to picking their brains about it.

We Day had it’s big California party last week, in Oakland, and the reason I wasn’t invited is because We Day is all about youth—a category that rarely still applies to me. A movement of Free the Children, We Day inspires kids after a year-long initiative, “We Act,” which gets young people becoming active for social change. The generation speeding toward adulthood now is the first that can actually put an end to the worst forms of poverty, cut a large slice out of global hunger issues, and more. The We Day events are held throughout the US, Canada, and the UK, to celebrate the amazing work kids are doing. Guests at events include super luminaries, like (just to name a few):Kofi Annan, Queen Noor of Jordan, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Jane Goodall, Richard Branson, Magic Johnson, Elie Wiesel, Deepak Chopra, plus performers like Jennifer Hudson, Demi Lovato, One Republic, Joe Jonas, Jason Mraz, Colbie Caillat, and tons more. As a young person, what wouldn’t you do to get to go to a party like that with thousands of other inspired, fired up peers?

Well, here’s what some ARE doing: Schools and groups commit to taking on one global and one local project per year, and take specific action on the issue of their choice.  Since 2007, We Day participants have raised 37 million dollars for 100 different causes and volunteered nearly ten million hours for global and local initiatives. Tickets to these mega concert events in huge stadiums are dearly sought, and can only be paid for with service. Some of the most recent lesson plans and activities added to the website include units on Girls’ Education in Afghanistan; Racism in Canada; Adopt-a-Village programs focusing on water, education, alternative finance, and health; Hunger Heroes; Take a Stand on Aboriginal Issues; etc.

Your kids want a piece of this…trust me. Go explore, make sure your family’s teachers, faith groups, and community groups know about it and look for ways to get involved as well. The only regrets will come from not jumping in.

I Can Feel Your Heartbeat: One Republic Makes Pulse Music

ONE REPUBLIC

The new single from One Republic, called Feel Again has a catchy beat…it is sourced from the heartbeats of children in need of Malawi and Guatemala. Recordings of the actual heartbeats of these kids provided the backdrop for the song. The recording is part of the Every Beat Matters campaign of Save the Children, and if you download the song (link here), you not only add to your bitchin’ playlist, you raise awareness and money for children in need. Your donations help train Frontline Health Workers around the world to save millions of children. This is not only great marketing, it is a quirky, and kicky way to fight for survival. Be a part of the movement. A band has made making a difference even cooler, to a wider audience…and you just can’t argue with that.

Your Giving and Crisis Response in Japan

Photo: AlertNet.org

Our instinct to reach out and help in times of crisis, like in the aftermath of today’s 8.9 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan, is laudable, but can result in misdirected and wasted money. Charity Navigator, the non-partisan survey of charitable organizations that rates them on effectiveness and transparency, has a list of ways to target your donations.

Some of the tips include:

*Avoid Newly-Formed Charities and give to an established organization that has worked in Japan.

*Designate Your Investment–specifically for earthquake relief in Japan.

*Do Not Send Supplies–systems will not yet be in place to appropriately receive and distribute them.

*Beware E-mail Solicitations.

*Think Before you Text–texting seems easy, but funds don’t always go where you wish they would…do your homework.

Some of the highest rated charities who are ready to respond and already moving into action in Japan are:

AMERICARES

SAVE THE CHILDREN

SHELTER BOX

INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE

Chilean Aid

This weekend’s 8.8 earthquake in Chile was 500 times more powerful than the one in Haiti, but thanks to the epicenter being further below ground, as well as the randomness of tectonic plates and building codes in Chile, it has resulted in fewer deaths (and we’re still talking about 700+ casualties with that number expected to rise).Villages and towns have been devastated, and resulting tsunami waves also took out some small coastal villages.

Where to donate our dollars can be daunting–we heard about so much fraud surrounding Haitian relief efforts. Google, in all it’s worldwide ubiquity (except, perhaps, in China with it’s censorship practices) very quickly established a Google Crisis Response page, and a newer feature that I fervently hope works as well as is intended: their Person Finder helps family and friends around the world get information about their loved ones in the disaster zone by wiki methods of user-generated information.

Additionally on the page are direct links to vetted aid organizations. A list of links (there are other direct donation methods made available on the Google Crisis page):  AmeriCares, Oxfam, Save the Children, World Vision (English), World Vision (Spanish), Un techo para Chile, the Chilean Red Cross, KSAR Chile, SOS Children’s Villages, Global Giving, ShelterBox, Habitat for Humanity, Operation USA.

Donor fatigue can set in with all the help needed around the world, but if you can help, please do