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Posts Tagged ‘Social Media for Social Good’

Hi friends! I hadn’t mentioned this here before because I’d hoped you’d followed me over to TartSweet which is my new home on the web. Same thing – different domain.

Anyway, Social Media for Social Good is back and it ends tomorrow and there are a TON of giveaways. See? All the giveaways. So many giveaways. And guess what? Odds are GREAT for winning. Comment pledges are over… but you know, that’s ok.

And – if you could find it in your heart to donate – even $1.00, that would be AMAZING. And you know what else? It’s a charitable contribution and thus tax deductible. Win! You can use your credit card, paypal, or a check. It even lets you donate anonymously! Http://www.mycharitywater.org/albtalbs

Thank you! I hope this catches some of you! ❤ For those of you who have lost contact – I miss you!!!

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Thank you so much, Lime, for having me here again to talk about a cause near and dear to me. Last night was the StandUp2Cancer benefit, and I find it so touching and heroic how people come out of the woodwork to support such amazing and worthwhile causes. I walked in the ACS Relay for Life for several years to support cancer research. Last year, I changed my focus to ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease. I’m hoping that you will find it in your hearts to help me out just a little (or a whole freaking lot!). You can donate to my Walk to Defeat ALS here: http://webgw.alsa.org/goto/loris

A lot of people don’t know much, if anything about ALS. It’s a quiet disease, a quiet killer. Back in March, I posted about my sister in law. She was diagnosed with ALS 2 years ago, Lou Gehrig’s disease. It’s a neuromuscular disorder that basically paralyzes your body and eventually is fatal. You slowly lose your ability to walk, talk, swallow, breathe. Yet you remain completely aware of everything going on around you and can still feel pain. It is among the cruelest of diseases. Every 90 minutes a person in this country is diagnosed with ALS and every 90 minutes another person will lose their battle against this disease. Very few people live longer than 7 years after diagnosis. The most famous person with ALS today is the brilliant Stephen Hawking.

Sue’s diagnosis took 18 months, which is sadly not unusual. Since I last posted here about ALS, Sue has lost her voice, because the vocal cords don’t work anymore. She has a tube in her stomach for medications and feeding She can’t take care of her most basic needs alone. The saving grace for my brother and sister-in-law has been our local chapter of the ALS Association. The ALS Association is  there to help families in their local communities with the necessary adjustments – providing affordable equipment such as wheelchairs for patients, contractors to retrofit houses, and social services to give patients and their families the support they need. Our local chapter helped my brother find a handicap-equipped van at an affordable price. They recommended a contractor to them who works with the ALS Association to give a special break in price to ALS patients for retrofitting their home. They support a ton of research as well.

Last time I was here I shared the story of Saints player Steve Gleason, who is battling ALS. Since that time, new research has shown that in addition to other brain related injuries, NFL players are 4 times more likely to die from ALS than the rest of the population.

The average life expectancy of an ALS patient ranges from 2 to 5 years from the time of diagnosis.  We are now at the 2 -year mark. I know that there is quickly going to come a day when we no longer have Sue with us. She’s been my sister for the last 30 years. I hate that this is happening to her and my brother and my nieces. There is no cure for ALS. There is not even any sort of treatment yet. While I hate to say it, it’s not likely that Sue will benefit directly from the ongoing research. Where she doesbenefit immediately is with the support offered to them by the ALS Association and the community of families that reside within it. The ALS community is a tightly-kit one, and it breaks my heart every time my brother tells me that one of their friends has lost their battle.

My greatest hope is that Sue will win her battle, and be here to watch both of her daughters graduate from college, dance at their weddings, and live to see her grandchildren. I pray we find a cure for the millions of people with ALS, but most especially… and selfishly (I admit)… I pray for a cure for Sue, my brother, and my nieces. I am so very proud of Sue and my big brother – they personify grace and dignity and unselfish unconditional love.

Because every donation goes almost exclusively to the local chapters, every gift you make will go directly toward helping my brother and his family. Here is, in part, how donations help:

  • $25 pays for a walking cane that will transform the hope for safety into peace of mind.
  • $60 helps webcast an “Ask the Experts” research summit online for those who are unable to attend in person.
  • $100 enables repairs and maintenance of an augmentative communication device (AAC) from the ALS loan closet.
  • $250 funds one of sixteen monthly support groups that serve people with ALS and their families in my community.
  • $600 supports one day of a multi-disciplinary satellite clinic which serves people with ALS who aren’t able to travel long distances.

Money is so tight for so many of us. I’d really appreciate anything that you could donate to help fight against ALS. Even $5 or $10 helps! With your help, we can make a tangible difference in the lives of families affected by this disease. Last year, your generous donations helped to raise close to $6500 for my team of walkers. My own personal goal is to raise $1500. You have already helped me get partway there.

To donate to my Walk to Defeat ALS: http://webgw.alsa.org/goto/loris

Find out more about ALS and the amazing work being done by the ALS Association here: http://www.alsa.org/

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Hi friends!

I only just learned it’s International Pay It Forward Day. 🙂 So… nothing hugely organized – but, I wanted to ask – is there anything I’m able to do for you?

I asked on twitter too.

If so – just let me know. I’ll do my best.

Did you know about it? Will you try to do anything? (I’m being lazy and staying in…)

Somewhat along those lines… National Make a Difference Day is coming up in the fall – and I always have a Social Media for Social Good fundraiser. I’m still trying to pick a charity. One that does something that matters, is a 501c3 (at least in the states), is well run, and ideally, international. If you’ve got suggestions I’d love to hear them.

Also – I know charities can send a lot of mail. Like a lot of solicitations. I’ve gotten so much mail from Save the Children, from last year and previous years. And other organizations. (I’m sorry about that.) I wanted to know then – if I started a collection on paypal or something – would you be more or less interested in donating? (That way you wouldn’t get the email/paper mail solicitations.) Paypal would take a slight fee, so it wouldn’t be a 100% donation – and all the other issues, but it would save you the junk mail.

Thoughts?

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If you haven’t signed up for Kiva yet, you should. Right now.

Here – go. Use this link. I’ll wait.

Why? You can give a free trial loan! How amazing is that? At the last time I checked (10:20 PM) there were still 28,553 free trials.

What is Kiva you ask? Well this is from their “about” page:

We are a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world. Learn more about how it works.

I can’t believe Kiva was (only) started in 2005. Kiva is a 501c3 and it allows you to help someone in an extremely passive way. You can either donate, or you can loan money. And if you choose the latter, you’re [generally] likely to get your money back. It’s more of a sure thing than not.

I won’t say much more about it, other than, if you’ve never signed up before, now is a great time. Even if you don’t do anything else with it in the future, at least you can give someone $25 to help them make their life better at zero cost to yourself!

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I have this special fondness for Thanksgiving being on the 24th of November. There’s no particular rhyme or reason, but it just seems right to me. Like Thanksgiving is meant to be on the 24th. Sure, sometimes it’s on different days – that’s how the calendar works. I’m sure each and every one of us also has something to be thankful for. Sure, some of us have it better than others. (And most of us reading this blog have it better than many parts of the world… but that’s a dangerous game to play.)

I think today’s post, though, is absolutely perfect, and fitting. Sarah M. Anderson prompted me to do the mini SMSG drive for the Pine Ridge Reservation. (I can’t seem to escape it – actually watched Imprint last night (the indie film not the… other horror?), not knowing about the location/specifics.) But really, I can’t say anything better than Liz. For such a small effort, I think we did fabulously, everyone. Anyway, Liz commented on my original post, and I asked if she’d be willing to blog about the experience, giving to the Reservation, and here it is.

I don’t know what it’s like to go to bed hungry. I never lived with anyone growing up except my two parents. My mom stayed home with us kids while my dad worked. My brother and I had closets full of clothes, shoes, and toys. We were warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Now, I can say that my children don’t know what it’s like to be hungry or cold or wonder where their parents are. I know that we’re blessed and I’m grateful every day for the life we enjoy. And I’m never more aware of just how blessed we really are until I see programs like 20/20s report on the Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation’s children. My nine year old daughter Rachel and I sat together and watched the show. Throughout, she kept saying “it’s so sad”.

The first thing she said to me when it was over was, “Mom, I want to send them my hats.” We looked up the websites mentioned on the 20/20 website, settling on one that would accept hats and gloves and also books for children of all ages. That weekend, we went shopping and purchased hats, gloves, and books (baby, toddler, and elementary age) to add to the freshly washed, gently used items we had at home.

I told her that there were several hundred kids on the reservation that had little or no winter clothes. She looked down at the hats and then up at me with her big blue eyes and said, “We only have six.”

I gave her a hug and said, “Six isn’t a big number, but those six kids will be thankful to get those hats this winter. So it might not seem like a big deal, but it will be a big deal to a handful of kids.”

I know that there are many people who did more than we did – who gave money or boxes of clothes and supplies; but I couldn’t look at my daughter and say – well we can only do “x” and it won’t matter in the whole scheme of things. Because in truth, every little bit counts, but only if the “bits” make it where they’re needed. We did what we could and tried to fill a need as we were able.

Grown men can learn from very little children—for the hearts of little children are pure. Therefore, the Great Spirit may show them many things that older people miss.” Black Elk

Today, I’m thankful and humbled to be part of the romance community, where I get to meet and mingle with wonderful people like you. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I hope you have a wonderful day. ❤

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Beverley Kendall, who runs The Season has this wonderful post up: RAINN: Comment for a cause. It’s there for an extremely sad reason – the Penn State incident(s) – but the thing is we can do our best to make a bad situation better. RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) is the charity she’s donating to – and she’ll be giving 50 cents per comment through November.

All it takes is a comment, and you can do some good. I think everyone knows what’s gone on at Penn State… but even if you don’t – do please stop by The Season Blog post and leave a comment.

Thanks so much!

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Remember when I talked about the Children of Pine Ridge Reservation a few weeks ago? Well we gave at least $725.00 to various charitable organizations that help there! Fantastic! (I’m saying at least because I don’t know all the amounts and I’m pretty sure others gave as well.) And, just as fantastic, I know a number of you donated books, clothes, and other items as well.

I was really touched to see how many of you already knew about the situation there. I’m totally behind the curve! It’s insane how things like that are happening in the United States, isn’t it? And yet so common. I remember one of my extremely privileged friends was shocked when he started volunteering in college. I was part of this program called Healthy Asian Youth – where we tutored/mentored at-risk underprivileged Cambodian children, grades K-12. I never went inside their homes, but I know there was one family that couldn’t afford … well basically anything. They only had one light bulb, and moved it from room to room as needed.

Sadly it’s only gotten worse in the past few years with our economic turmoil.

Anyway, my point though, isn’t to drag us all down – it’s to say that every little thing makes a difference. And it matters, and that you’re all lovely, awesome, and wonderful for caring. So much so, that… well I’m going to ask you to do something else.

Author Melissa Schroeder has a charity post up at her blog. It’s a “Veteran’s Day Fundraiser” for Fisher Hope. All you have to do, is leave a comment, and Melissa will donate to Fisher Hope. Simple as that – she’s giving up to $250, and this is only going until Monday at 8 AM Central time, so please take a minute to go there now! I’ll wait.

Veteran’s Day was yesterday (and I only post on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday “technically” – have you noticed that?) but I hope you all had a nice holiday, whether you were off work or school or not. All my uncles served, and my mom’s side of the family all the guys have been in the military as well. Hats off to all of them, as well as the men and women who serve, and have served their country. ❤

Oh and bookwise? Yesterday I bought SEAL of my Dreams an anthology that eighteen authors contributed to, for a great cause.  All proceeds from sales of SEAL of My Dreams go to the Veterans Research Corporation, a non-profit fundraiser for veterans’ medical research. You can, and should get it too. 😉 The book is available in both print, and electronic format.

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