Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Gaia Fights Hunger has partnered with Soles4Souls for the Flippin’ Good Deeds Challenge. The challenge will have me, Linda the blogger, hosting a shoe drive for the entire month of October. This shoe drive is very important because the shoes collected will be donated to those who are in dire need of foot protection.

Families and children all over the world are living in extreme poverty or have been faced with natural disasters that have left them without food, water, or clothing. Soles4Souls does an incredible job of collecting and distributing shoes (and much more) to those who need it most.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting some of the organizations representatives and then writing about them as a guest contributor for Poverty and Homelessness Issues and Resources. I’m very happy to be taking part in the “flippin’ good deeds challenge” because it combines so many things I am passionate about.

There will be four locations in my hometown area of the Poconos where donations can be made. I’m working on securing them today and will post them as soon as I’m able.

If you run a blog I’m going to encourage you to participate in this challenge also. Other than being able to do “flippin’ good deeds,” blogger’s participating will have a chance to win an international mission trip with Soles4Souls to help deliver the shoes to the people who need it most.

Shoes are so important and often we here in America take for granted our footwear. I know that I do. I have a closet filled with shoes and most I don’t even wear. Shoes can prevent disease and it could mean whether a child receives an education in some places.

Can you imagine walking miles to school only to be turned away because you didn’t have a pair of shoes on your feet? Children in other countries face this reality every day.

If that isn’t enough incentive to get you to give up a pair of shoes then think about this; shoes can prevent the spread of parasitic diseases that plague over 1.4 billion people worldwide.

The “flippin’ good deeds” challenge is sponsored by flipflop wines, a brand well worth checking out. To learn how to get involved or to learn which blogs are participating check out visit Soles4Souls “flippin’ good deeds” sign up page.

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W is for World Food Programme

Posted: April 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

The World Food Programme is a program run by the United Nations that fights worldwide hunger. WFP is one of the largest, if not the largest, humanitarian agency dedicated to wiping out hunger. In 2011, the WFP was responsible for bringing food assistance to over 90 million people in 73 countries.

WFP provides food assistance in emergency situations and helps institute programs to prevent against future hunger risks by making communities food secure. By using a strategic plan, the humanitarian agency is able to acheive the goal of reducing hunger, saving lives, and helping people restore and rebuild their lives after an emergency.

Donating, providing relief, and lending a helping hand are easily done through the WFP’s website. Sending e-cards, placing banners on websites, and even playing computer games help to spread awareness about global hunger and raise food funds for those in need. Free Rice, a trivia game, provides grains of rice to those in need. Every right answer is 10 grains of rice that goes to end worldwide hunger.

Writer’s can learn help end the hunger fight by joinging the WFP’s platform “Bloggers Against Hunger”. If you are a writer, have a blog, and want to end hunger, consider joining.

V is for V-Day

Posted: April 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

A horrible, shocking statistic that comes from the United Nation’s says that one of every three women on the planet will be physically or sexually abused in her lifetime. V-Day is a global activist movement dedicated to ending the violence inflicted on women and girls all over the world.

Violence against women is real. Rape, incest, abuse, genital mutilation, and sex slavery are still happening in the world. V-Day seeks to put an end to this desecration of human dignity by opening up communication through performances, creating new opportunities and providing resources for women and girls of all ages.

Eve Ensler, playwright and performer of The Vagina Monologues, started the grassroots movement of V-Day in 1998 with a small group of women and volunteers in NYC. She was inspired to start the movement after speaking with women who attended her performance piece, The Vagina Monologues, and would share their own stories of surviving violence and abuse. Ensler believed that, “performances could be a mechanism for moving people to act to end violence.”

Now in NYC alone over 5,400 events take place annually in support of the V-Day movement. Many other events take place all over the world.

Read V-Day’s mission statement and if you agree, join to help end the violence against women.

Remember to follow all the awesome blogs at #atozchallenge on twitter!

J is for Jumpstart

Posted: April 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

Jumpstart is a program designed to give children the chance to succeed in life through education. The program was started in 1993 at Yale University when a group of college students decided all children should enter school by being prepared to succeed. Thus, Jumpstart was born which allows college students to mentor preschool children from low-income neighborhoods.

College students team up with preschool children to mentor them in literacy, language and social skills. All of which are needed to succeed in school and life. Since 1993, the program has gained momentum all over the country. Jumpstart now has offices in Boston, MA; Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; San Francisco, CA; and Washington D.C.

With the support of over 3,000 college students across the country over 9,000 preschool students are on the path to success.

Jumpstart’s programs include circle time (social interaction through group activities), small group reading (reading together to promote vocabulary and comprehension), center time (hands on activities and experiments for children to practice with words and ideas), and much more. If you are interested in getting your child involved in Jumpstart or want to be a mentor visit the website for more information.

I is for Imagination Library

Posted: April 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton receiving the Woodrow Wilson Award.

Dolly Parton, the famous singer/songwriter, started something wonderful in 1996 when she decided to foster a love of reading among her counties preschool children and families. So she decided to mail a book per month to children in Sevier County who were under the age of 5. The first book she mailed out to the preschool children in her hometown in Tennessee was “The Little Engine That Could ™” and the last book those children would receive in the first program was “Look Out Kindergarten Here I Come” just before they would be heading off to kindergarten.

The idea of the Imagination Library program caught on. Numerous other communities wanted to get in on this type of program. Free books for preschoolers, regardless of their families income, could only provide a great reading foundation for the children in these communities.

Soon enough Dolly Parton as she put it, “put her money where her mouth is – and with such a big mouth that’s a pretty large sum of money,” by providing books to children in Branson, Missouri and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Other communities wanted in on the action too. Ms. Parton then partnered with Penquin Group USA who is now the exclusive provider of Imagination Library books. Penquin chooses which books are just right to send to preschoolers on a monthly basis until they go off to kindergarten.

Every community has the opportunity to bring an Imagination Library to their area. You can find out exactly how to get your community in on this wonderful idea that will bring books into the hands of small readers by visiting Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library today.

*In New York City alone there are an estimated 2,200 children victimized by commercial sexual exploitation annually (OCFS 2007 Prevalence Study).
*The Department of Justice estimates the most frequent age of entry into the commercial sex industry in the United States is 12-14 years old (www.usdoj.gov).
*100,000 – 300,000 children are at risk for commercial sexual exploitation each year in the United States (Estes & Weiner, 2001).

In 1997, Rachel Lloyd came to the U.S. as a missionary to work with women who were exiting prostitution but while she was doing her missionary work she realized that something needed to be done about the young women who were at risk for sexual exploitation. Sitting at her kitchen table, she came up with a plan. By 1998, Ms. Lloyd had founded GEMS: Girls Education & Mentoring Services, an organization designed to help end commercial exploitation and trafficking of children while providing education, outreach, intervention, and court advocacy services for survivors.

GEMS is dedicated to empowering survivors of sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to help them reach their full potential by focusing on the beauty and self-worth of each individual survivor.

The Mission of GEMS is clear, “committed to ending commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking of children by changing individual lives, transforming public perception, and revolutionizing the systems and policies that impact sexually exploited youth.”

If you are a family member, victim of sexual exploitation or domestic trafficking, or a survivor please consider contacting Girls Education and Mentoring Services. It could be your story that makes a difference.

F is for Feeding America

Posted: April 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

Here are a few shocking statistics:
-1 in 6 people struggle to get enough to eat in this country.
-17 million children are at risk of hunger – 1 in 4.

Feeding America, the organization formerly known as Second Harvest, seeks to provide food to the hungry through a network of food banks. The organization also provides emergency assistance for disaster victims, gives children a safe and nurturing place to have a meal and campaigns on a local, statewide and national level to end the hunger that exists in America.

Some of the Network Programs and Public Assistance Programs that Feeding America has in place include:

The BackPack Program- Designed to discreetly feed hungry children during the times that would not have access to a school lunch such as on the weekends or school vacations.

Kids Cafe- Provides snacks and free meals to low-income children at safe places like church, school and community centers.

Disaster Relief- A program designed to provide immediate relief through emergency feeding centers with the help of organizatons like the Salvation Army and the American Red Cross.

If you want to donate, volunteer or advocate to help end hunger happening in America, check out Feeding America’s website.