In these last few hours before you ring in the New Year consider a philanthropic style new beginning by making a donation to a charity close to your heart.
I don’t mean to judge but if you haven’t watched the video “The Story of Stuff” it’s time to get out from under your digital rock and consider Annie Leonard’s work. The Story of Stuff project is a series of short videos that feature Annie as she explores our relationship with stuff including how we can make things better. The Story of Stuff Project is working to educate the world in a way that speaks to learners, young and old, about the things we can do to make the planet a better place.
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Nuru first caught my eye when a friend flagged their brilliant video to me titled “How Nuru Works.” I’m a big fan of infographics and the Nuru video looks like animated data visualization. Nuru mentors local leaders in communities living in extreme conditions and helps to break the cycle of poverty. This organization has produced a series of stunning videos that feature the work they’re doing around the world and how they leverage the help of their donors.
I first discovered Miss Representation when a friend on Facebook posted the trailer for the movie that, to date, has driven momentum around this campaign. Miss Representation, both the film and the organization, explores women’s under-representation in positions of power and influence by challenging how women are portrayed in the mainstream media. “Go vote, go run, go lead, go girl!”
Kiva is an organization particularly close to LOLE’s heart. In early December readers shared their very own “Kilimanjaro story” on Facebook by posting a dream or life goal. For every comment posted LOLE donated $10 to Kiva.org. Kiva provides micro loans to people living in impoverished conditions. In some cases a loan as small as $25 can change the economic trajectory of an entire family.
Child Haven has a special place in my heart. Every year I attend a local fundraiser for this charity with my extended family. We’ve been going for over ten years. Child Haven is not a charity with a flashy website or sexy giving campaign. It operates almost entirely on the compassion of volunteers and the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi. Child Haven builds schools and homes for children and women in developing countries. This organization provides food, shelter, education, health care and training in India, Nepal, Tibet and Bangladesh.
Happy New Year!
Editor’s note: this post has been edited from it’s original December 2011 version.