Could you climb Mount Kilimanjaro? Would you sacrifice you time, your energy and your money to climb for good?
This story features a good friend, Kay Walten. She is on her way to Africa next week to help change the world one very steep step at a time. Please consider supporting Kay on her plight to help women and children in Africa as climbs Mount Kilimanjaro. Watch the video and just click on this link on Go Fund Me . Help Kay reach her goal before she begins her climb September 29th.
Be inspired. Be generous. Give.
My favourite day of the year is almost here: World Give Day – May 4th, 2012. After completing my own personal giving journey for 365days I had the honour of meeting people from all over the world that are doing so much to give back in their own way. I was asked by the team at World Give Day to write a story how small gift can create a big impact. It happens to be the 365give philosophy. You don’t have to be a Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey and give billions of dollars away in your lifetime but one small gift / give and make a huge impact.
My World Give Day story is based on one such women that saved one little beings life in Romania while there on business.
Meet my sister Karen Somers – animal rescuer extrodinaire and Stella – the life she saved from Romania. You will see how her one small gift has brought so much joy to a family and will now make a great impact on hundreds of dogs lives.
Little Stella is one of over 2 million street dogs that wander throughout Romania.
This one-month-old pup crossed our paths on a movie location outside Bucharest. At the end of a long, cold night shoot, during a rain storm, this sickly puppy was the last dog left, too weak to find shelter. We were in a foreign country and didn’t know what to do.
Stella’s experience is a common one in Romania, a country that struggles to provide for its impoverished citizens on every level. Night after night, thousands of dogs go hungry, left to fend for themselves in temperatures that will eventually freeze many of them to death. The problem is not only a moral one, it also comes down to math. Every unsterilized female dog and her offspring in their lifetime and that of their puppies can produce over 67,000 dogs. Spay and neuter programs, education and shelter are in short supply to deal with this overwhelming dilemma. So USA-based 501(c)(3) non-profit, Romania Animal Rescue (RAR), was formed by American animal activist, Nancy Janes, to help where help was so sorely needed. Nancy and her team have created an effective free spay and neuter program in Romania utilizing highly skilled local veterinarians. They go town to town, doing up to 300 operations in a weekend. Their efforts are making headway on a grassroots level, slowly transforming the way a generation will help “man’s best friend”.
Stella and I were lucky that night.
She was wrapped up in a blanket and smuggled into my Romanian hotel room. After fostering with a local vet, she got her shots and flew home (20 hours on my lap) with me to California last November. Stella is an incredible dog. She wakes up with joy and goes to sleep in peace. She brings laughter and sunshine where ever she goes. Stella inspired me to help her family left in Romania.
In Stella’s name we are raising $10,000 to help Romania Animal Rescue’s spay/neuter program.
You and your dollars will make a huge difference to a homeless dog in Romania. Please donate what you can afford today to the Stella Fund.
“This post is part of a blog series inspired by World Give Day and hosted by GiveForward. To find other posts in this series please visit www.worldgiveday.com or follow us on twitter @worldgiveday.”
Video by Playing for Change
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and 365give has 10 inspiring ideas to help you give the perfect gift for love & social good.
1) The Chocoholic: Does the one you love have a chocolate fetish? Why not give chocolate that creates social change and gives back to the planet with your purchase: One of my favourites is Alter Eco for fair trade and organic chocolate but for a great selection of socially concious chocolate take a look at this Top 10 Eco-Friendly Chocolate Treats list created by Greenopolis.
2) Roses from the Heart: Who doesn’t love to receiving flowers as a gift on Valentine`s Day especially roses as a token of your love. Consider buying Fair Trade Roses. Purchasing Fair Trade roses protects the people working hard to grow these special flowers with fair wages, protection against pesticides, and no child labour. Whole Foods is just one of the many places you can get Fair Trade roses but search online for a retailer near you.
3) The Pet Lover: Shop for the special pet in your life at the Humane Society Store and every purchase will help to support the thousands of animals rescued every year. Even better – buy one for your local SPCA animal rescue shelter and drop it off as a donation.
4) Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend: As most of us know diamonds may be a “girls best friend” but so many diamonds are associated with crime, child labour and environment stripping that it may not be the best gift for social good. Instead why not give the gift of jewellery that truly means something special. The Hunger Site features jewellery that is unique, inspiring and truly thoughtful as it gives back with every purchase.
5) For Kids Only: I still remember the days when everyone made a card for your classmates on Valentine’s Day. Instead of buying pre-made Valentine’s for your child’s class why not give a gift that will truly mean something to your child. Take the time to make cards by hand or home-made cookies that are cut with love. Spending time with your children doing creative projects is one of the greatest “gives” you can do.
6) Breakfast in Bed: I can’t resist sharing this one for the name alone and the taste is even better. Love Crunch: Dark Chocolate with Red Berries. Imagine that for Valentine’s Day breakfast. Here’s the giving kick – they follow the Bite4Bite model: for every bag purchased Nature’s Path will donate the equivalent in cash and/or organic food up to $1,000,000 a year to The Food Bank. Every bite will not only give your mouth love but it will give you love in your heart.
7) A Love Letter: What better way to show someone you truly love and appreciate them than a hand written letter. Get inspired by The Note Project and help them reach their goal of sending 1 million notes of appreciation to make the world a better place.
8) Love Song: You may be the hottest new artist to be discover on YouTube with your love song. Write a love song and load it up to YouTube for your loved one. Make a pledge that for every view you get on Valentine`s Day you will make a donation (even a penny per view makes a difference!) to your loved ones favourite charity.
9) E-Cards: Do you know how much waste is created from greeting cards every year? More than our planet possibly needs. Did you know that Americans spend more than 2 billion dollars on greeting cards alone over the holiday season? Imagine if that money went to charity instead – what if it planted a tree? Send an e-card that will truly make an impact. The Arbor Day Foundation has a selection of greeting cards that will plant a tree with every purchase. Save the planet one e-card at a time!
10) The Valentine`s Day Gift that Truly Gives. The Huffington Post and CauseCast has created the go to site for giving called The Goods. An online destination providing you with brilliant ideas for gifts that truly give this Valentine`s Day. Choose the amount you want to donate and search over 100 nonprofit organizations that truly need our support in honour of your loved one.
We can show our love for another in so many ways on February 14th. Please consider making your love count by doing some social good this Valentine`s Day. We would love to hear your great ideas for giving a gift that changes the world on Valentine`s Day. Leave a comment, send us a Tweet or post a comment on Facebook.
We can change the world one Valentine at a time.