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Archive for the ‘Social Missions’ Category

10 Ways to Help with Typhoon Haiyan Relief

A huge outburst of charity always follows a terrible disaster, but that can fade as the news cycle moves on to fresher news. It’s important to always remember the road to recovery is long, painful, and expensive. Sometimes the biggest impact you can make is to donate to charities well after the disaster has passed.

With that in mind, here are eight different charities still helping to rebuild after devastation hit the Philippines.

Philippine_Red_Cross_logoThe Philippine Red Cross is the logical starting place. A little trickier if you want to write a check, since you’ll have to mail it to Manila, but you can also just use Paypal. Don’t be confused when the provided link suggests giving to Typhoon Yolanda relief. These storms are one and the same (Haiyan is the Japanese name, Yolanda the Philippine).

oxfamOxfam is one of the most powerful and reputable non-government charity organizations, and is typically a good bet if you want to make sure your money is used appropriately.

logo

Medecins Sans Frontieres, known in the US as Doctors Without Borders, tends to be more upfront about the fact that your donation dollars sometimes go to help all sorts of projects, not just the ones that prompted you to donate in the first place, but their missions of providing medical treatment to those who can’t afford it is always in demand and always worth donating to.

crs

Catholic Relief Services is focusing on providing clean water,  temporary housing, and other basic needs to displaced refugees.

worldvision

Another religious-based organization, World Vision‘s efforts have gone toward food and clean water, focusing primarily on families with children. It has established a separate fund just for typhoon relief.

Saving_Lives_WFP

As the name implies, the World Food Program, run by the UN, focuses on providing food to those in most need of it. They also work to keep the basic communication and transportation infrastructure operational, so resources can get where they need to go.

americares

Americares has sent $1.4 million in medical supplies and care to the Philippines so far. That number sounds impressive, but it’s a drop in the bucket compared to what’s needed.

mercy_corps_logo_detail

Another incredibly easy-to-donate-to organization, Mercy Corps provides a variety of humanitarian services and is very upfront about how it spends its money.

hfh

Habitat for Humanity is focusing its efforts on literal rebuilding. The donations it collects go toward providing tools and assistance to piece back together the homes Haiyan took away.

Warhol-Campbell_Soup

OK, this last one isn’t so much an organization, but you should really make sure you give cash, not canned goods or other resources you’ve collected. Charity organizations are very good at stretching every dollar as far as possible. Canned green beans and cream of mushroom soup isn’t quite as flexible. Let the charity organizations decide the best use of your money.

Of course, there are many, many more options available that aren’t listed here. Just be sure to always take special precautions to make sure you’re not donating to any scams. Awful as it sounds, they do exist, preying on the generosity of others.

Ethiopian Kids Go From Illiterate to Hackers in 5 Months

Kids are smart. Much, much smarter than we give them credit for. Most kids have an inherent curiosity, a craving for knowledge and a greater patience with the learning process than most adults. And curiosity is the most powerful force in education.

That was the hope of the non-profit OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) project, an organization that provides educational resources to kids in the poorest communities. For this particular project, they shipped a box full of Android tablets to a rural village in Ethiopia. The town was illiterate. The kids had no concept of written language. Yet they were suddenly gifted a box of English-language tablets. No instructions, no instructor, just a powerful device.

The old axiom tells us that teaching a man to fish is better than giving him a fish. But what about giving the man a fishing pole? OLPC wanted to see how well these kids would perform if they simply had access to better tools. Would the kids’ curiosity be enough?

The answer was yes, but to a much greater degree than anyone expected. These kids went from having never seen the printed word to accessing hidden and disabled features on the tablet in months.

It’s an amazing story, but kind of a bittersweet one. There is limitless potential inside kids who haven’t yet had access to education and millions more who will never have access to education. There aren’t many causes as noble as providing that access.

For more information on OLPC, visit laptop.org.

Barrel Decorating For Charity

Every November, the staff at Bookbyte breaks into groups to compete in a food drive. Each team gets a giant metal barrel and gets a short amount of time to decorate it according to a theme. Then we stuff the decorated barrels with as much food as we can scrounge up and donate it to the Marion-Polk Food Share, a charity that feeds the needy in our community of central Oregon.

The theme this year was the 1980s. As you can see from the pics below,  the first thing most of us thought about was 8-bit video games. (Click on any of the pictures for a larger image.)

A mock arcade cabinet for Donkey Kong  made with cardboard and a metal barrel.

1. An impressive Donkey Kong arcade machine using cardboard, paint, and LED lights, complete with buttons and a joystick.

A Pac=Man themed barrel, with added references to Ferris Bueller and other distinctly '80s pop culture references.

2. This Pac-Man themed barrel packed in as many ’80s references as it could. You’ll notice Ferris Bueller, Ghostbusters, MTV, ALF, and other stuff that people born after 1990 might not recognize.

3. If we’re talking classic 80′s videogames, you can’t overlook Super Mario Bros., the elephant in whichever room you’ve setup your NES.

4. This entry was most tightly tied into actual purpose of the contest: fighting hunger. Most of our younger readers probably don’t remember “We Are the World.” It was a song written for charity by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie and featuring something like 8,000 other musicians. It was a huge deal at the time.
Feed the World barrel.

5. Our grand prize winners painted trash bags and boxes and made them into a homage to the greatest ’80s action star, the former Governor of California. (As somebody point out, it mostly looks like a Minecraft version of the Terminator.)

Those glasses aren’t painted on either, they’re hanging off his face. When you take them off, you get to see the T-800′s red robo-eye.

Giving Back: The Marion-Polk Food Share

Around here we love giving back and supporting the community right here in Salem.

One organization we’ve been happy to partner with is the Marion-Polk Food Share. Each year they are able to distribute over 7.6 million pounds of food to those in need in the Willamette Valley. They run and facilitate several programs that help and support the community.  Some of their programs include a community kitchen where they provide cooking classes and serve meals to those in need. They provide support to children and senior citizens through various programs as well. Working with local prisons and jails, they grow gardens for food production.  This program helps provide food for the Food Share and agricultural skills to the inmates. These skills are often used to find future employment.

The last two years Bookbyte has held a companywide food drive during the month of November. As a company we were able to donate over 6,000 pounds of food each year! Knowing our donations help our neighbors and friends in need, make them more a little more special and meaningful.  We’re grateful to partner with the Marion-Polk Food Share and to join them in making a difference here in Oregon.

Below are some images from their warehouse.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/yourfoodshare

What local organizations and charities do you enjoy donating to and volunteering with? Let us know in the comments.

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