charity

Good Causes: September + October

Causes-S+O

One of my favourite personal goals for the year has been making a conscious effort to contribute to good causes. As I wrote on the page where I’ve been documenting the various organizations I’ve contributed to, I was ashamed last year when I was helping my grandmother organize her paperwork relating to her charitable donations for the year. I’d donated only about $20 over the course of the whole year to my friends’ causes, and it was not because I couldn’t afford it. It was just because I didn’t prioritize giving the way I actually believe in giving.

It only recently occurred to me that I should start profiling the organizations I’ve been supporting. These are causes that I really believe in, that I think are doing truly awesome work. So going forward I’m planning to share the organizations I’m supporting here on the blog, just in case you’re looking for a good cause to support as well.

Future Former Millionaire

This was a fun one I heard about from the World Domination Summit. Steven’s big idea is to get a $1 donation from a million people, and then give it all away to good causes. I’m not sure yet what he’ll donate to or even how much he’s donated, but I contributed my $1 even just because I think this idea is totally rad.

Pencils of Promise

I donated to PoP earlier in the year after reading the excellent autobiography of the founder. They build schools, train teachers, and give “scholarships” to children in developing areas of the world. It’s such an awesome organization. I donated again in September because they had an awesome campaign through a sponsor – they were matching donations up to $25,000.

Kiva

I adore Kiva, and have been donating regularly this whole year. Since it’s all loans, not donations, I usually re-invest the loans as they are repaid to me. I want to eventually donate to a business in every country on Kiva! You can learn more about Kiva here.

Run For the Cure

My aunt was raising money for the run to end breast cancer. I have a few issues with the pink campaigns for breast cancer – a great documentary on the topic is Pink Ribbons, Inc – but regardless I absolutely hate cancer and I think that awareness and fundraising are good things. Plus, I wanted to support my aunt.

The Human Voicebank

I didn’t actually donate money to this cause (there’s no option to, otherwise I would have) but I did donate both time and my voice, so it makes the list. I wrote more about this project here. It looks like the beta recording has been put on hold but I’ll be checking in regularly to see if there are any updates.

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I’m always interested in hearing about the causes that are doing awesome work in the world, so if you have any that you’re a big fan of, please let me know in the comments below.

I’ve been doing a lot of listening, learning and thinking about giving this year. Two things that stand out as having shaped my thinking are the book I mentioned above, Thrive by Ariana Huffington, and this excellent episode of the TED Radio Hour about giving. There are some seriously great ideas in all three.

You can see all of the good causes I’ve supported this year right here.

SocialVibe

So I just spent the better part of the morning mediating a battle between Firefox and Adobe Flash 10. I attempted to add the SocialVibe widget to my blog last night and was unable to work with it at all, or get onto the website. So I installed Flash, still nothing. The website and widget both work when I use Safari..but not on firefox. However, I did check another couple Flash websites on my Firefox, so I am now suspicious that it has something to do with the website itself. No matter. It’s an amazing program and I’d like to talk a little bit about my personal cause and why I like SocialVibe so much.

So for my cause, which you may or may not be able to see on my blog depending on the sillyness of YOUR flash player, I chose to start with the truth® foundation. I say start with, because since I’m not a celebrity, I am under no obligation to remain steadfastly loyal to one cause, nor do I wish to be. I looked over all of the charities before deciding, and one of the deciding factors was the dollars of funds each charity had already received through this program. That is not to say that the ones that have raised 50K + are not worthwhile causes, but I believe that every charity offered through SocialVibe is an important one, and so I wanted to begin by helping those who have not received as much funding.

I chose carefully this time, as I have always been an anti-tobacco advocate, always willing to spill annoyingly scary facts about the effects of tobacco to my friends and relatives, and was co-leader of an anti-tobacco campaign at my school a couple years back. I truly just believe it is an idiotic passtime that kills. My grandfather and my best friend both smoke like chimneys and not only do I think it’s disgusting, I don’t want them to suffer health complications, die early, or pass the effects of secondhand smoke onto me and our friends.

So if you aren’t aware of how the program works, want to learn more about the cause or are just a nice person, please click the ‘help now, it’s free’ button on my badge. It’s not a scam, simply by checking out the sponsor, the sponsor will donate money to the cause. Please help me help others! :)

Thanks guys.

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