I know you’re probably sick of hearing about it, but it has to be said. This tragedy hits particularly close to home for South Floridians. We have a very large Haitian population. (Thus the reason we have an entire neighborhood called Little Haiti.) Haiti needed an immense amount of help prior to the earhtquake. They need the help even more now.
I’m not going to get all political on this one…yet. I will just say that Haiti has repeatedly been done wrong and there is a reason that country is in shambles. It’s not all their fault. They’ve been working very hard to turn things right along with help from a few other nations. From the interview with myone of my favorite Presidents ever (I really like Jimmy Carter, too), Clinton, it sounds like they had a plan in place to get themselves back on their feet. Then this.
I know you’ve seen the easy ways to give. We’re talking $5-10. That’s as simple as giving up a latte or a drink at the bar this weekend.
Two easy ways for those of us that are lazy:
- You can text “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 to Red Cross relief efforts
- Text “Yele” to 501501, which will automatically donate $5 to the Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund (it will be charged to your cell phone bill).
Two more things.
- Be careful what you click on, please. I accidentally clicked on something that was a link with a row of dead Haitian children. The person was being inflammatory and I didn’t know it. I am completely scarred. I did not need to see dead babies. Period. Don’t spread this crap around. These are people.
- FUCK YOU PAT ROBERTSON. SERIOUSLY. YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID.You are pure evil and I question anyone that follows you. I will dance when I hear of your death.
Since I’m still a bit low on funds, I decided to reinvest some of the money that I had been paid back by my first loan. I really like Kiva.org and thing it’s a great organization, so I also donated 5% to them. Total for this month was $13.64. (The new loan was $25.)
This is who I loaned it to this time:
I picked, Ronald because I wanted someone in Peru. I initially wanted to loan something to a woman, but upon reading that he is paying his way through school, I wanted to help him out. If you have a spare $25 sitting around, please see what you can do to help him reach his goal of buying more phones and equipment to sale.
My last Kiva loan went to Doreen in Ghana. She sales produce in a market and wanted to use the money to invest more into her business. Shes’s doing a great job and is managing to pay her loan back. Hooray for Doreen!
This month, I donated to The Innocence Project. The Innocence Project works to help wrongfully accused people be exonerated. I saw a story on the organization on Sunday Morning a couple of weeks ago. The stories were horrifying. One woman was convicted of killing her husband and spent 7 years in prison while her daughter, a lawyer, worked relentlessly to free her. Thanks to the work of her daughter and others, her mother was finally exonerated.
Case closed, right? Not really. After all those years, no one would hire her. She had to start her entire life over again. Though she was exonerated, her record still shows a murder charge. Not only did this woman lose 7 years of her life, the masters degree that she held meant nothing because people still saw her as a murderer. So, not only are they fighting to free people, they’re also working to figure out what needs to be done so that these people can move on with her life. (One state has proposed $35,000 per year incarcerated. That’s a start.)
Per their mission statement:
The Innocence Project was founded in 1992 by Barry C. Scheck and Peter J. Neufeld at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University to assist prisoners who could be proven innocent through DNA testing. To date, 237 people in the United States have been exonerated by DNA testing, including 17 who served time on death row. These people served an average of 12 years in prison before exoneration and release.
The Innocence Project’s full-time staff attorneys and Cardozo clinic students provide direct representation or critical assistance in most of these cases. The Innocence Project’s groundbreaking use of DNA technology to free innocent people has provided irrefutable proof that wrongful convictions are not isolated or rare events but instead arise from systemic defects. Now an independent nonprofit organization closely affiliated with Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University, the Innocence Project’s mission is nothing less than to free the staggering numbers of innocent people who remain incarcerated and to bring substantive reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment.
There are few things that I can imagine more horrible than sitting in prison for a something that I didn’t do. The scarier thing is that some are even sitting on death row. I think the work they do is tremendous and would secretly love to work for them!
Since March is Women’s History Month, my charity for the month is Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood works for women’s reproductive rights. From their site:
Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is the nation’s leading sexual and reproductive health care advocate and provider. For more than 90 years, we’ve done more than any other organization in the United States to improve women’s health and safety, prevent unintended pregnancies, and advance the right and ability of individuals and families to make informed and responsible choices.
I am proud to support an organization that is concerned about women’s reproductive rights. ALL women (and men) should have access to accurate reproductive information. Family planning is a right. Not a privilege. Finally, what a woman does in regards to her pregnancy is her business. Just make sure that her options are open and they are safe and affordable.
Since I’m on my feminist soap box right now. A big up to President Barack Obama for announcing the White House Council on Women and Girls. It’s awesome to have a feminist president and I’m excited to see where we are all headed! (PS – People argued that Obama was not “gangsta”. I would say this is indeed gangsta!)
I’m sure you can guess what this months charity was. It was the World Wildlife Foundation. I love everything about this organization and I’m embarrassed to admit that this is my first time making an outright donation to them. I’ve bought shirts and things like that where some of the proceeds went to them, but this is the first time that I have just given money to them outright. I truly believe in this organization and thing they do a lot for not just animals, but the environment, too. They also have one of the most kickass logos ever. That panda is known all over the world.
This leads into something else that I want to tell you about. Saturday, March 28, 2009 is Earth Hour. For my time zone, the lights go out at 8:30 PM. In a show of solidarity and to take action on global warming we are turning our lights off for an hour. It’s not much, but it’s something. And since this is the year that I put up or shut up I’m in. Who’s with me? Anyone? If you are, let me know. I’d love to hear about it.
One more awesoms thing I realized: While planning for my trip I realized that a journal might be a good idea since I’m not taking my laptop and wouldn’t get a wireless conection IN THE ANDES, anway. But, I don’t want to use just any journal. I want to use something special. I then remebered that I have panda poop paper. The perfect thing for a travel journal. It’s super special because I got it while I was at the San Diego Zoo and it’s nice and natural. So, yay for using panda poop paper in Peru! Ha!!
School started yesterday. I’m already feeling behind. I didn’t make it to my class discussions last night because I was exhausted. Plus, the first day is usually a waste. Everyone introducing themselves, etc. I instead chose to read a chapter for my law course. Honestly, my work load this semester is kind of ridiculous. All 3 of my classes believe in weekly or biweekly quizzes. The Spanish class is going to be a HUGE pain in my ass. I have to actually SPEAK Spanish. Blech. They also have ridiculous amounts of reading, homework, and vocabulary. And since I pretty much need straight A’s to pull my GPA up to a 3.5, I’ve got to get my head in the game.
This morning was spent getting my Google calendar ready to go. Marking off when assignments, quizzes, and tests are do. The calendar looks a bit scary, but I know that I have to take it a task at a time. We’re almost to my senior year and these grades count. I desperately want to get into law grad school. I’ve got a long road ahead of me. I’m older than your average student, have a bumpy background. I have to shine much more than otheres.
In other news, I had a miserable 4.5 mile run yesterday. My legs felt like complete shit. I didn’t recover from that miserable 7 miler on Saturday. I plan on resting and hydrating today (as I did yesterday) to hopefully regain my legs. I’m seriuosly questioning my half marathon plans. Which is fine. I’ll make the choice at the last minute. It only cost me $15.
With that, I am also playing the marathon thing by ear. I promised my parents that I wouldn’t force my body to do what it is not ready to do. I plan to stick to that. I’m enjoying the miles I’m putting in now. If I don’t go for a fall marathon, I will go for a FAST fall half marathon and a big 5k PR. There is nothing wrong with the shorters distances. Especially if you’re blazing them!
My Kiva loan has been fully funded. I’m super excited to see what my business woman can accomplish with the $400 that was raised for her. Such a small amount can make such a huge difference in someone’s life. Pretty amazing.
I finally did it. I made a microloan through Kiva.org. KIva is an organization that makes microloans to business owners in poverty stricken nations. The loans are used to grow their business, which in turn provides more for their family. The entire thing, in my opinion, is about empowerment. When you show people that they can do for themselves, it’s a powerful thing.
I only loaned $25 and then another $2.50 to Kiva for operating expenses. My goal this year is to donate $20 monthly to random charities that I care about. I went over this month, so next month will be a bit less. I’ve had this goal for a couple of years and haven’t been financially able to. This year is the year that I share the wealth. I have a lot of great things here and despite the whining I live a pretty comfy life. I need to share with those that don’t / pandas. (You better believe the WWF is getting a chunk of my money. Along with PETA. I love animals.) Hopefully, if the Kiva loan is paid back I will just reloan it to someone else. That won’t count in my monthly giving.
Are their any organizations that you think I should take a look at? I’m pretty open.