Give Something Back in the New Year

pencils promise photo

Photo: pencils of promise

It's new year's eve, time to think about those resolutions for 2011. Some for you (diet? gym? less computer?) and some for others.

Under that category there are so many worthy and important causes that one can donate to--here are just a few. Pencils of Promise, a non-profit group which works with communities in developing countries to build schools for under-privileged children.

raise voice photo

Photo: the voice project

The Voice Project works with women in violence-ridden Northern Uganda to create music to spread the message of peace and forgiveness. Some professional musicians voluntarily work with groups of women to develop song lyrics that let the former soldiers know that they are forgiven and that they should come home. The songs are passed by radio and word of mouth out into the bush, as far as the Sudan and DR Congo.

It's a lovely concept: artists voluntarily perform songs, the videos are put up on the site and the money from donations is used to support programs which aid in the peace and reconciliation process.

giving effect photo

Photo: the giving effect

The Giving Effect is a new website that connects donors with community-based organizations that are looking for used and recycled items.

You type your ZIP code in and chose your organization and what you can donate. There are more than 1,000 charities involved in almost all of the states in the USA. For example, Long Beach Organic in California is looking for gardening tools and vegetable seeds for their community garden. Jacob's Heart, in Freedom, California, is amassing art supplies, toys, and games for cancer patients. You can drop the donations off and get more involved personally or send them by post.

A happy and healthy new year to one and all.

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