Tag Archives: non-profit

Intent Former Editor Chelsea Roff Gets “Best Shift Ever”

Chelsea Roff
Photo Credit: Chelsea Roff’s Facebook page

Good things happen to good people – that’s karmic belief. This week Intent’s former blog editor Chelsea Roff was the subject of Break.com’s “Prank it Forward” series where they surprise deserving individuals with life changing gifts.

For those that don’t know, Chelsea left Intent last year to pursue creating her own non-profit organization that shows the vital importance of yoga in eating disorder recovery. Chelsea herself suffered from extreme anorexia – at one point dropping to 58 pounds and caused her to have a stroke two weeks before her 16th birthday. She spent 18 months recovering under the custody of a Dallas hospital. When she was released her therapists suggested that yoga might be good for her – and it turned out to be a life changing experience.

To give back to the community that gave so much to her Chelsea started an IndieGoGo campaign last July that raised over $51,000 in four days. For those four days Chelsea camped out above the “You Are Beautiful” mural in Santa Monica, refusing to leave until she reached her goal. Now that money is going to fund research based studies in yoga studios and treatment centers around the country. To help get the funds to hire a full-time staff for the organization Chelsea has also been moonlighting as a waitress. Did we mention she’s only 24? Chelsea Roff is the definition of using your own talents and abilities – and the power of intent – to save the world. To reward her for all of her selfless good work, her friends and co-workers teamed up with Break.com to provide Chelsea with the best shift ever.

It starts off with a kind stranger leaving a ridiculously huge tip – that Chelsea insists on sharing with the rest of the wait staff. Then a free trip for two to Hawaii, followed up by Chelsea’s dream job where she’ll be able to use the work she’s been doing with Eat. Breathe. Thrive. in conjunction with a funded medical center. To top it off Chelsea was surprised with a brand new car and a visit from her very first yoga teacher that showed her so much about strength and being proud of your body and the space you inhabit.

We are so proud of Chelsea, who will always be a member of the Intent family, and all of the things she’s done. It’s such a wonderful thing to see her get the rewards she deserves for doing such amazing, wonderful work. Congratulations to Chelsea! You deserve it, girl. And we can only hope that Chelsea’s journey also inspires all of you to show the potential of setting an intent and following through with it. We really have the power to make meaningful change in people’s lives!

Learn how you can help Eat. Breathe. Thrive. or find one of Chelsea’s programs in a city near you here.

One World: The Art of Impact with Malaria No More’s Ray Chambers

Ray Chambers There aren’t many people who have had more of a dramatic impact on the health and wellbeing of children globally than Ray Chambers. In April 2011 Ray Chambers was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine not for his career in private equity-though he had an illustrious and extremely lucrative career that is worthy of note in and of itself-but rather for his work on behalf of children in the developing world.

Chambers is the founder of the Malaria No More campaign; a campaign built on the simple idea that if children sleep under insecticide treated nets, not only are they protected from the mosquitos that carry the deadly disease but the mosquitos will die from landing on the nets and disrupt the breeding cycle.

The results of his work are significant. As he stated in his ONE WORLD conversation with Deepak: “Over the last seven years,” Ray explains, “we’ve raised over 8 billion dollars, we’ve covered 800 million people with these insecticide treated mosquito nets and the annual death rate has gone from 1.2 million to less than 500 thousand.” These are results that speak for themselves.

It is an extremely effective solution to the malaria epidemic sweeping sub Saharan Africa and it is one of the reasons that in 2008, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon named Ray Chambers as UN Special Envoy for Malaria. In February 2013, Chambers was named Special Envoy for Financing the Health Millennium Development Goals, a position that intersects his business career and his philanthropic endeavors.

Today, one of his most impressive accomplishments remains one of his simplest; by ensuring that children have a mosquito net costing less than $10 to produce, he and his organization Malaria No More have been able to drastically reduce the effects of Malaria on some of the most vulnerable populations in the world. An accomplishment that proves influence is not always about money or power, but rather recognizing need and meeting it head on with compassion and ingenuity.

You can watch Deepak’s full conversation with Ray here.

5 Valentine Movies to Watch with Your Best Friend

friendshipMy best friend and I have known each other since the 6th grade. We’ve endured middle school treachery, dramatically intense boarding school, family drama, broken hearts and quarter life crises together – all the things that make a solid friendship. We haven’t always agreed about each other’s decisions, but when it comes down to it we know that the other will always pick up the phone when we need it (even if you are way too drunk and it’s 3am and no one can understand what you’re saying because you’re crying too much).

Her dream to run her own non-profit and mine to write the next indie darling dramedy require us to live on separate coasts though. Maintaining a BFF-ship from that distance can take a lot of work but we’ve come up with a few tricks to make it work. One thing we do is go to the movies together. We pick something we both want to see and find similar movie times (her three hours ahead of mine). We text on the way there and then call to sum up what we saw when it’s finished. It’s almost the same as her sitting right there next to me.

I’ve seen so many movie lists this week – “The Most Romantic Movies of All Time” or “The Best Movies to Watch with Your Valentine.” Since I am on the never ending quest to get a boyfriend, these lists are really just depressing. Since we are celebrating all the different types of love this week on Intent (and today is friend love!) I thought I’d make my own list – The Best Movies to Watch with Your Best Friend. Here are my faves:

I Love You Man – 2009

Say what you will about Judd Apatow, but this is one of my favorites. I don’t think BFF-ship should be limited to girls and this is an excellent movie about dude-bonding. I enjoy movies where multiple characters have to go through “growth” arcs. Paul Rudd stars as the shy, socially awkward Groom-to-be on the hunt for his best man while Jason Segel plays the outgoing unrefined best friend that Paul never knew he needed. They both like Rush and they both have a lot to learn from each other. It goes to show that there is nothing more important than life than finding your best bro, and realizing that Chocolat is delightful.

The Fox and the Hound – 1988

If I’m going to be listing my favorite buddy movies, I should probably include my best friend’s favorite as well. First of all, animated movies are nostalgic and amazing and thus always a great choice for BFF bonding. Secondly, this is one of the few Disney films where the main tragedy isn’t a parent dying. However, there is still definitely tragedy and any person who does not sob by the end of this movie is heartless. You and your best friend may be completely opposite people, but that could mean you’re the perfect match. Even if it causes you to go down separate paths, the love of a true friendship is always going to anchor you. It’s always going to come first. So grab a box of tissues and snuggle up, because if Fox and Hound can do it, so can you.

Thelma & Louise – 1991

Is it possible to have a BFF movie list without mentioning Thelma & Louise? These two literally die for each other (Sorry, spoiler! But you should already know about this…) in one of the most iconic movie endings of all time. This is a great movie about friendship because these two stick together no matter how deep the trouble they get into becomes. It’s the ultimate tale of loyalty. Also, a very young Brad Pitt shows up shirtless with a blow dryer down his pants. Really, you can’t lose.

Beaches – 1988

While we’re on the topic of iconic movies, how could we forget the film that gave us The Wind Beneath My Wings? This is another movie that drives home that your best friend is your anchor and no matter how far you drift apart you can always be brought back together. This is another one that requires a box of tissues, but it’s worth it if only to belt out the best friend anthem with one of your favorite people on the planet.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 – 2011

I am currently wearing a shirt that says “Books turn Muggles into Wizards” and I have made no secret of my love for Harry Potter on this site. And having known my best friend since I was 11 we traversed through this series and the movies together. There were midnight screenings and intense conversations as we made it through each of the books. Harry Potter was a monumental part of our growing up. The story is about a lot of things – overcoming adversity, the importance of family, belief in magic – but at the core of all of that are three best friends. The three of them, as completely different as they are, have to band together to defeat the Dark Lord and save the world that they hold so dear. Their seventh year puts them in constant danger, and despite Ron’s brief departure, they stick together. If you’re going to celebrate your friendship, do it with a movie that shows the truly remarkable things you can do when you believe in each other and work together.

What are your favorite BFF movies? Or favorite traditions with your best friends? Share in the comments below!

photo by: birterohden

What Would You Do With One Second of Carefreeness?

Imagine you could let all of your worries and troubles go for one second, what would that moment look like? A french non-profit called the Mimi Foundation gave 20 cancer patients that chance a few weeks ago.

Each patient suffers from a terminal form of cancer. Many have completely lost their hair due to radiation treatments and their days are filled with dread of the next hurdle in fighting the disease. For one day they were invited to a studio to have their hair and make-up done, all while keeping their eyes closed. Then they were placed in front of a one way mirror that had a photographer on the other side. As they opened their eyes he took a photo of that first few seconds of happiness. He captured the pure joy of a carefree moment, something they so rarely get to experience in their current every day lives.

As we come to the close of our week on stress, what would your carefree moment look like? If you could choose it, where would you be? What do you think would bring you that joy? Tell us in the comments below.

What You Can Do To Support The Philippines

Screen shot 2013-11-12 at 3.41.09 PMThis weekend one of the most powerful storms in recorded history hit the eastern side of the Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan touched land with winds estimated at points to be between 195-200 miles per hour. For perspective – Super Storm Sandy that devastated the northeastern United States last Halloween had winds that maxed out at 115mph. Hurricane Katrina reached winds of 174mph.

Thousands are displaced from their homes in the Philippines as aid workers are rushing in to deliver food, water and supplies to survivors. The final death toll is currently estimated to reach 2,500 people.  According to a recent CNN report more than 200 million people are in need of aid – over 300,000 of them pregnant or new mothers. Cities that were once bustling metropolitan areas last week are in heaps of rubble – The Philippines are in trouble.

In times like these there are always an outpour of charities rushing to help those in need, but unfortunately there are also those who use devastating disasters like this as an opportunity to take advantage of people’s generosity. If you are willing and able, we have assembled a list of verified non-profit organizations that could use your donations to help stabilize and rebuild the Philippines after this horrible storm.

 

Red Cross

Emergency responders and volunteers throughout the Philippines are providing meals and relief items. Already, thousands of hot meals have been provided to survivors. Red Cross volunteers and staff were already on the ground delivering preliminary emergency warnings and safety tips before the typhoon hit. The Philippine Red Cross has also already mobilized its 100 local outposts to help with relief efforts. Give by donating online or mailing a check to your local American Red Cross chapter. Learn more and donate here.

AmeriCares

The relief organization is sending medical aid for 20,000 survivors, including antibiotics, wound care supplies and pain relievers. AmeriCares is also giving funds to local organizations to purchase supplies. Learn more and donate here.

UNICEF

UNICEF’s chief concern is a disaster’s impact on children’s health and well-being, and they are working to ensure the safety of children and families affected by the typhoon. Learn more and donate here.

Oxfam

Oxfam has experienced staff on the ground, ready to provide immediate help to people in need. Learn more and donate here.

(Credit to Care2 for links)

If you are looking for non-financial ways to help support then consider adding your name to these petitions to encourage government leaders to take a better look at global warming and instituting practices to slow down the destruction of our planet.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those in the Philippines currently suffering through this disaster and to all those who have lost loved ones in this storm.

(Photos from CNN coverage)

Bringing Music Back to the Kids Through High School Nation

89d94678302311e39d8022000a1fa9ec_7Imagine you’re back in high school trying to make it through 3rd period history without falling asleep. How awesome would it be if a giant truck rolled into the parking lot and unloaded all the makings of a music festival onto the front lawn? That’s what High School Nation, a non-profit organization that works to promote and fund music and art programs in schools, is doing for high school and middle school students around the country. By bringing live music to campus and giving kids a free concert with the help of generous sponsors, High School Nation hopes to inspire students to pick an instrument and express themselves in creative ways.

Intent recently chatted with lead singer of the band STAMPS – who are currently on their third HSN tour – Ren Patrick about the organization, how they got involved and what it means to her to make sure music programs and the arts stay alive in public schools.

Intent: What is High School Nation and how did STAMPS get involved? 

Ren: High School Nation is an organization that is promoting arts and music in schools all across the country. It’s really cool and important to us because I was so involved in choir growing up, since middle school. Basically, it’s a charity tour with a ton of sponsors – like Ernie Ball, Guitar Center, and Monster – all of those donate their products and money. All of that is given to each school.

We got involved with that through the person that created High School Nation. His name is Jimmy Cantillon. We went on tour with his brother who is in a  band called Tommy and the High Pilots. They heard our music and said “Wow, you guys would be great for this demographic because it’s all – it’s touring high schools all across the country.” It’s just really cool organization.

 Intent: What is a typical day on an HSN tour like when you get to the school? 

Ren: It’s basically a festival type thing. you go in and there’s a tent all set up. There’s an Ernie Ball stage – which is what they use at Warped Tour. All the sponsors have their own thing they are representing. All the kids come out and we play a show. It’s basically a crazy, madness sea of children and it’s amazing.

Intent: What do you guys think is your favorite part of performing for HSN? 

Ren: Sometimes at the show you can really connect to a kid. They’ll come up to you afterwards [or] they’ll be hanging around the merch table. They get really real with you, and say something that’s really hard for them to say. Sometimes they will come up to us and confess their depression or that the cut themselves or they’ve been having a terrible week, but [then] they say, “You guys just made my week,” or “Now I have a new favorite band and something to look forward to.” It breaks my heart but it makes me really happy that we can make them happy. To be able to make their day in any way is really special to us.

Intent: What difference do you think it makes when kids are exposed to the arts early on? 

Ren: I think it makes a huge difference. There are so many talented kids that have no idea they are talented yet. For a lot of people it takes something like band or choir or orchestra to realize what they are good at. You won’t know you’re good at guitar unless you start playing guitar. They have so much potential and it’s sad to see a talent like that go to waste. It would be sad to see programs like that disappear.

Photo credit: High School Nation snapwidget

***

High School Nation continues it’s fall Tour at the following cities

Oct. 9 – Newark, NJ
Oct. 10 – Trention, NJ
Oct. 11 – Atlantic City, NJ
Oct. 14 – Baltimore, MD
Oct. 15 – Washington, DC
Oct. 16 – Virginia Beach, VA
Oct. 17 – Raleigh, NC
Oct. 18 – Charlotte, NC

STAMPS was recently recognized as a BMI indie spotlight artist. They have a self-titled EP which you can listen to on their website. They are currently in the process of recording a follow-up and will continue producing a new record at the end of the High School Nation tour so stay tuned for that!

Go Inspire Go: Why YOUth Matter

Zararwadi SmileIf I could choose one quote that defines the ethos of our youth today, it would be, “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.” Simple but sweet words carefully crafted by my favorite poet, Dr. Maya Angelou.

This is a bold statement, I know, but hear me out.

Before I was invited to develop curriculum at the Academy of Art’s (AAU) Multimedia Department and the University of San Francisco, I too believed that many young folks were apathetic, entitled and not in touch with reality.

Boy, was I wrong. Or as my students would say, “You got moded.”

Reality Check #1: A few years ago, I was given the rare opportunity to build and teach a high school summer bridge program at AAU. I thought that my students would be excited to execute the final I had prepared. “You are going to create a short video on ‘hot spots’ in San Francisco. It could be a cool place to hang out, shop or eat.” I instructed in a sure tone of voice. I thought hands down, students would be stoked.

Instead, hands eagerly went up. The questions they asked changed the trajectory of my stereotypes toward the youth.

One student raised her hand and said, “My mom was so excited that you were teaching us because she follows Go Inspire Go (my nonprofit) on social media.” Another student said, “Yeah my friends follow you on Twitter in Sweden.” A third student said her friends who live in the Midwest follow our stories. Their collective wish: “Can we do our video on a story for GIG and if it’s good enough, would you post it?” My heart skipped a beat. Chills ran from head to my feet.

I was taken aback.

Julian Cohen, a high school junior from Jersey City, N.J., saw an article in his local newspaper about a reverend who wanted to build a high school in Grande Saline, Haiti, following the devastating earthquake in 2010. Cohen was sad that there was no high school in Grande Saline and was inspired to make a video to engage action. This led to two youth movements that eventually sent 32 kids to school for one year in Haiti.

This led me to create a GIG program called GIG Spark, Lesson on Compassion. Students think about a problem and how they could be part of the solution. They create a short 90 second video and send it to us to multiply their message.

Reality Check #2: I’m exited to announce that Go Inspire Go partnered up with The Bayview Hunter’s Point YMCA, YouTube, the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation and National Youth Radio to create GIG Sparks with youth at the Bayview Hunter’s Point YMCA. They wanted to make videos that inspire compassion, change and a shift in perspective.

If you watch the local media here in the San Francisco Bay Area, you’d think that this area is only known for its crime, violence and destitution. I found that there was so much hope for the youth living in this area of the City.

Photo Courtesy: Oscar Nilsson/ Interview with Betty Sells-Asberry, YMCA Teen Services Director

When I spent an afternoon training six of these young YMCA change makers, I was filled with pride. Kier Wilson, Tajae Hill, and Jonkia Davis were amazingly inspiring. They were so proud to call the Bayview Hunter’s Point their home, but were deeply saddened their neighborhood is viewed as “the ghetto.” They wanted to do something to change the negative perception of their community.

Thank you to YouTube and the Mayor’s office for inviting us to share our “GIG Spark” as an innovative, organized and fun way to inspire the YMCA kids to accomplish this mission.

* This video was created by four of my students at AAU — youth — who asked to come along on the shoot. Thanks Oscar Nilsson, Marcus Pettersson, Eva Broman, and Hugo Albrektsson for your great work!

Reality Check #3: At the University of San Francisco, my alma mater, I was asked to design and teach a Blogging for Social Change course. On the first day, I asked students, “What is your passion?”

With optimism and determination, one student said, “I want people to get out of their bubble and do something to help the people in their community.”

‘Nuff said! Amen to that.

As a kid, I felt insignificant. I thought I didn’t matter. I didn’t feel like I had a voice. What would a Chinese immigrant boy, growing up in a rough South Sacramento neighborhood, say of any importance? Why would anyone care?

I wonder how many youth feel like that today. What if adults took a moment to listen to the youngsters in their lives and hear them out. With a little guidance, support and inspiration, we too could be a part of inspiring a new generation of people who teach what they learn and give what they get!

* * *

Take Action:
* Check out “I LOVE Bayview” on Improve SF!
* Share their stories on social media and by word of mouth.
* Volunteer at your local YMCA

Follow us on: Instagram, Twitter & Facebook

Photo credit: Flickr

Give Back to Women in India

DharmaSmart has created a special bracelet to help non-profit organization Yoga Gives Back raise funds to support women in India with micro-financing and education.

Yoga is a gift from ancient India, embraced by the West. Today, however 76% of India’s population-800 million people-live below the poverty line of $2.50 a day.

Non-profit organization Yoga Gives Back has a mission to mobilize the global yoga community to empower women in India to build sustainable livelihoods.

Inspired by Nobel Peace Prize recipient Dr. Muhammad Yunus’ revolutionary micro financing breakthrough, Yoga Gives Back supports micro credit programs in India which lend small loans to women in particular, who have no access to capital. Additionally, the organization developed “Sister Aid” programs where YGB directly funds education, vocational training and micro credit programs for struggling mothers, girls and orphans. Women are the best poverty fighters-the most effective return on investment for development dollars is an investment in women. With $25 a month, mothers can start their own businesses; girls and orphans can go to school.

DharmaSmart.com is a new online store that serves the yoga community with “Purposeful Living Essentials.” The company has designed a special cuff bracelet for yoga practitioners to wear in support of the work that Yoga Gives Back is doing. The cuff retails for just $25, and $10 goes straight to Yoga Gives Back.

The cuffs will be featured at the second annual Global Day of Support “Thank You Mother India” to be held on Saturday, September 29th in Malibu, California. For more information about the event, including sponsorship opportunities, visit Yoga Gives Back.

Those who want to contribute to Yoga Gives Back through the purchase of one of these original cuffs may find them online at Dharma Smart. DharmaSmart co-founder Lissa Coffey says: “We are big fans of what Yoga Gives Back is doing to help the women of India to build their own businesses and to educate their children. It is an honor to have this opportunity to give back to a country and culture that has given us so much valuable ancient wisdom.”

photo by: Meanest Indian

A Five Point Plan for Maximum Impact

Photo credit: Lili Rahmati
Photo credit: Lili Rahmati

Thanks to the brilliant campaign sponsored by the generous folks at Gold Peak Tea, one lucky individual stands to win $100,000 so that they can take a year off to do whatever they wish – pretty amazing stuff and definitely the opportunity of a lifetime!  As a response to Mallika’s recent call to fellow Intent-ers to share their ideas assuming someone from the community might be lucky enough to win, I’ve been fantasizing about what this scenario would look, taste and feel like for me.  At first, so many things rushed through my mind that the exercise became quite overwhelming. But after allowing the thoughts to simmer down a bit, I’ve identified five distinct opportunities for allocating the winnings (both time and money) in a way which would create huge impact and fulfillment.

I have to admit that I found this exercise to be a little bit alarming, but also very enlightening. Instinctively, most of my initial thoughts about how to use the prize resources had little to do with myself and instead were almost completely focused on how to support others whether they were causes, organizations, individuals, etc.  Clearly, there’s nothing wrong with that, but I did become aware that I was perpetuating an all too familiar pattern of female behavior which is based upon always playing the role of dedicated nurturer, caretaker, and being the one who provides comfort and succor, etc.

It’s part of our biology to know how to readily give to others, but when it comes to ourselves, we often don’t know how to receive (from ourselves or from others). I can only speak for myself, and I don’t want to make sweeping generalizations. I’m sure there are many women who can be classified as outliers compared to this typical model of behavior. That said, I think that the conversations that we have with one another — whether in person or online –tend to lend support to the fact that women need to learn how to take better care of themselves so they can be better equipped to care for or give to others.

Once I allowed myself to become more comfortable with the concept of including myself as a recipient of the winnings, I was able to craft a solid vision of what life would look like and the impact and fulfillment which could result, both for me directly as well as for those who I want to help/support.

1) Self-care: This is an area of my life that needs a lot of attention. I’m lucky to have a thriving business (which gives me immense personal and professional satisfaction), but being an entrepreneur is hard work and I often am left feeling physically, emotionally and mentally spent. I realize that it is essential to allocate time and money to incorporate regular self-care rituals into my life. These involve yoga, meditation, nature hikes/walks as well as massages and other wellness practices.

2)  Photography: In recent years I’ve discovered the creative passion in my life which is photography. I usually shoot on film and print in the traditional darkroom, but recently I’ve incorporated digital photography into my repertoire as well. I would love to create the space for my own darkroom (or pre-pay for an entire year’s worth of rental darkroom time). I’d also use the additional resources to upgrade my camera equipment and bump up my inventory of film cartridges, media cards, etc.

3) Social Interaction/Quality Time: I score pretty high when it comes to spending quality time with my immediate family and a few close friends, but there’s a gaping hole in my life when it comes to spending time with my other friends, relatives and colleagues (even though we don’t live that far from one another). Putting forth the effort to have quality interactions with people we already know is not only fulfilling but also a huge component of our emotional wellness.

4) Travel:  Throughout my life travel has been a natural part of my existence, so much so that as an adult I truly identify myself as a world citizen. Every opportunity to travel is a chance to learn something new, and as a result my life is enriched in ways which I could never have anticipated. I often travel for pleasure, but if I had a year off and $100,000, the travel would be more purpose-driven. I envision incorporating my photography with my travels in a way that would tell stories of where I’ve been, who I’ve met and what I’ve learned. Or perhaps it would enable me to give a much needed voice to those who otherwise may not have one. Whether domestic or international, the opportunities for connecting with others in meaningful and impactful ways are endless and I would seize upon as many as I could.

5) Philanthropy: I’ve always felt the need to have a clear sense of purpose in terms of my place in the world. Although I haven’t always been connected with exactly what that meant, the older and more experienced I become, the more I’ve been able to craft a precise vision of how I want to affect positive change.

Philanthropy is an essential part of my current life and within the context of a life-changing event such as the Gold Peak Tea campaign, the opportunities for philanthropic giving and being of service would be hugely magnified. Aside from having the time to volunteer for causes near and dear to my heart, the ability to make direct targeted contributions to causes, social enterprises and traditional non-profits would be at the top of my agenda. Whether it’s through providing a scholarship to a girl in a US high school who plans to study math/finance or business in University or supporting a crowd-funding campaign for a non-profit which addresses the basic health and hygiene needs of girls and women (in developing countries) so that they can pursue their education, undoubtedly there are numerous ways to make a meaningful, sustainable and life-altering impact. From my perspective, being philanthropic and cause-driven is immeasurably meaningful and rewarding, and I look forward to a lifetime of service and philanthropic giving.

What would you do if you had $100,000 to take a year off?

Help End Hunger: Feed Your Mind

Food is huge right now.  We’ve got The Food Network with programming around the clock, cookbooks flying off the shelves as people spend more time in the kitchen, and chefs are the new rock stars.  And yet, for 1 in 8 people in the United States hunger is a reality.  Worldwide the statistics are much worse.  The World Health Organization estimates that one-third of the world is well-fed, one-third is under-fed, and one-third is starving.  Approximately 800 million people in the world suffer from hunger and malnutrition, and about 8 million actually die from it each year.

September is Hunger Action Month.  And there’s no better time to take action than right now.  Feeding America, formerly named America’s Second Harvest, is one organization that is working hard to solve the hunger crisis.  It is a network made up of individuals, local food banks, and national offices, as well as corporate and government partners.  Feeding America secures food and grocery products on a national level and distributes as needed to local food banks.  For every $1 donated, Feeding America provides 10 pounds of groceries to hungry people.

Many children in the United States rely on free or reduced-priced school lunches during the school year.  And this is often the only meal they get each day.  During weekends and school vacations these children go hungry.  Feeding America has come up with the “BackPack Program” to help these kids.  The program started at the Arkansas Rice Depot, after a school nurse asked for help because hungry students were coming to her with stomachaches and dizziness.  The local food bank began to provide the school children with groceries in backpacks to carry home with them.  Now the program serves more than 90,000 children each year.

Action Against Hunger is working on a global basis.  Their program areas include nutrition, water and sanitation, food security, health and advocacy.  They have started the Campaign to End Malnutrition.  They say that the loss of life from malnutrition is all the more tragic because acute malnutrition is preventable, predictable, and cost-effective to treat.  And they have a plan in place to save lives.  Visit their website for all the details.

And while we’re online, there’s something we can do, once a day, everyday, to help eradicate world hunger.  Just go to TheHungersite.com and click on the “Click Here to Give – it’s FREE” button.  Since June, 1999, more than 300 million visitors have given more than 657 million cups of staple food.  The food funded by clicks is paid for by the site sponsors and distributed to those in need by Mercy Corps, Feeding America, and Millennium Promise.  100% of sponsor advertising fees go to the aid of hungry people around the world.  Besides clicking the button, which costs visitors nothing, we can also help by shopping in The Hunger Site store.  With each item purchased, shoppers generate funds for the hungry.  The store offers a wide variety of items to show support as well as fair-traded and handcrafted items from around that world that help families and communities pull themselves out of the poverty and hunger cycle.

Here’s another innovative way to help solve the world food problem.  I love it when I find a site where I can have fun, learn and also do something good for the world, and that’s just what I found at FreeRice.com.  With freerice.com you play a game to improve your vocabulary.  For every word you get right, 10 grains of rice are donated to hungry people through the United Nations World Food Program.  The game is challenging, even though it is multiple-choice.  If you correctly guess the meaning of a word, you get a more difficult one next.  If you get it wrong, you get an easier one.  If you’re online playing games anyway, you might as well play this one.  You’ll learn some new words, and help feed people in need at the same time.

Knowing about all the hungry people in the world gives us more reason to be grateful every time we sit down to eat.  And now we can take action to help feed people every time we sit down at our computers.  Every dollar counts, every click counts, every grain of rice counts to those who are hungry.

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...