Filed under: Giving, Volunteering | Tags: change, community, environment, How to Help, Oil Spill, resources, take action
Today’s post comes from guest writer, Alexis Bonari
When a man-made disaster is as large as the BP oil spill (or leak), individuals can feel overwhelmed when searching for ways to aid in cleanup efforts. Aid can come in the form of physical labor, or donations to the organizations spearheading attempts to contain the damage. Here are four ways a concerned citizen can help clean up the BP oil spill, and do their part to save the planet:
1. Donate to the Greater New Orleans Foundation.
This organization guarantees that all donations made will go directly to organizations heading-up the cleanup efforts. Links are available for organizations that want to post a link to the donation site on their blog or website. Please note that donations cannot be directed towards any specific aspect of cleanup efforts. Donations are distributed at New Orleans Foundation’s discretion.
2. Donate hair, nylons, and fur to the Matter of Trust organization.
Their initial drive to collect hair, nylons, and fur to create oil-absorbing booms was a huge success. Matter of Trust has filled two warehouses with booms and cannot house any more.
Currently, they are in need of anchor line, burlap bags, crawdad bags, nylons, zip ties and gloves. All that’s required is to sign up on the Matter of Trust website.
3. Volunteer with Volunteer Florida.
Volunteer Florida is an organization funded through the governor’s office. According to their latest reports, over 3,000 people have already volunteered to help with oil relief efforts. Interested volunteers will be assigned to watch the coast, pre-oil beach cleanup, and fundraising. Training is being offered for positions in Community Emergency Response Teams, 211 operators, and volunteer managers.
4. Donate items to the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary.
Florida’s seabirds are suffering the direct effects of the oil spill. As the largest wild bird hospital in the United States, the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary is playing a vital role in minimizing the loss of seabird life as a result of the spill. Every year, they care for 8,000 injured birds.
Your family can work together to gather paper towels, bottled water, Gatorade, trash bags, kennels, shovels, bleach, shovels, gas gift cards, moving boxes, and tooth brushes. These items can be sent to the Sanctuary for use during cleanup efforts.
Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education, researching areas of online degree programs. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.
Filed under: Holiday Giving | Tags: awareness, change, charity, children, Christmas, climate change, education, environment, generosity, giving in hard times, hope, Peace, Santa Claus, sharing, take action, Volunteering
By Cheryl Mahoney
It’s that time of year again. Garlands are strung and lights go up and the malls are packed and kids write letters to Santa Claus. And sometimes, adults do too. Here’s what I might ask for, if I were to write to the man at the North Pole.
Dear Santa Claus (or St. Nicholas, or Father Christmas, or Kris Kringle–whoever’s listening),
I hope you, and Mrs. Claus, and the elves, are all well this year. In the enchanted land of Santa’s village, I’ve no doubt you are. Out here in the rest of the world, I can’t complain for myself, but the world in general has quite a few troubles. But you’re likely aware of that, considering you have eyes everywhere! So for Christmas this year, while I would like Michael Crawford’s autobiography or the complete Star Trek DVD box set, there are a few bigger matters you might look into.
To start with the most pressing, time-wise, I’d like world leaders at Copenhagen to feel some of that giving, harmonious spirit you embody, and do the right thing for all of us by coming to an agreement for reducing carbon emissions and protecting the planet. Perhaps you’ve encountered the problem of climate change yourself, Santa–have you noticed any melting near the North Pole? If leaders can’t come to an agreement though, please, no coal this year. How about some CFL Lightbulbs instead? Could be a good way to change with the times…
My mother’s been asking for world peace for Christmas (and sometimes birthdays and Mother’s Day too) for years. I think we’d both settle for peace in the Middle East though. And in Darfur. And the Philippines. And…well, perhaps you’d better aim for world peace after all.
I don’t need money, but a few millions would be nice–a million trees planted and a million mosquito nets for Africa and a million soccer balls for kids in refugee camps. And a million girls going to school and a million babies born safely and a million letters sent to old friends.
I’d like unemployment rates to go down, and charitable donations to go up, for volunteering rates to increase and for UniversalGiving’s follower count on Twitter to reach 2,000. I’d like people to think about others who are in need of a little help, and to think about reaching out. And to keep that spirit into the new year.
And in the spirit of “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” I suppose I’m not really writing to the man at the North Pole at all, but rather–to whoever is listening. Santa might be the only one who can help everyone all by himself (with some help from elves), but everyone can help someone.
“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.”