Sunday, February 18, 2007
Help! I need somebody.
"Help me if you can, I'm feeling down." In the words of Paul McCartney, we all need to ask for help every once in awhile. Who of us do not feel helpless when we hear how the Katrina damage has not been resolved. Residents are still misplaced all this long time later. Homes are still sitting off their foundations with cars trashed in the yard. AIDS medicine cannot get to those who need it in Africa. The poverty we are constantly seeing either on the news, in magazines or our own backyard leave most of us with a heavy heart, especially if we aren't in a financial position to do something about it.
My plan was to retire with a nice income so that my lifestyle and spending would not be changed from what it had been in recent years. Not surprisingly, that has not happened. Poor planning and life events have changed that for me. With so much time on my hands I've found time to read all those books I never had time to dedicate myself to before. It took awhile, but I smartened up and realized I don't have to buy books anymore. I puruse the county library near me every 2 weeks or so, and come home with 6 new books to read. Most libraries are also looking for volunteers to donate some time for their literacy programs.
I've found out that you don't have to have experience as a carpenter to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. You are given a 2 week training class and they are able to use your talents to do all sorts of things. There is a chapter in Pomona and in Pasadena, both near me. Currently I'm in the process of packing, selling my condo and moving into a new mobile home. Once I'm settled there I plan on working with Habitat. Check it out www.habitat.org/local/
Another thing I am very excited about: those coin star machines in all the supermarkets don't just give you a certificate to use in the store. You can also choose to buy a Starbucks card, phone card or donate to charity. My favorite thing to do is go in the market, take the change only out of my purse, which makes it a lot lighter, and donate the money to America's Second Harvest. This is a huge food bank that makes provisions available in emergency situations. (Like Hurricane Katrina)
Last week I had over $10. in change and didn't even realize it. If everyone did this at least monthly, think about how good you will feel knowing your small amount of money is doing so much good. Look into www.secondharvest.org .
Have you heard about join red? This organization was founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver. Many retailers are selling red items and a portion of the proceeds go to AIDS programs sanctioned by the UN based, Global Fund. Go to www.joinred.com .
One of my favorites of all is the Heifer Project. This organization helps families become independent with the gift of animals. They become self sufficient, feed their family and neighbors and can give off-spring to others. Your donation of $20 can buy enough chicks to lay eggs to feed a family and to sell to villagers. A goat, which provides milk, would cost $120 but you may also just donate part of the cost for a share of a goat. There are sheep, rabbits and llamas which provide fur and fabric. The cost of a Heifer is $500 or a share is only $50. This organization is available for you to donate according to your own financial status. One of the great things is this: you can make a donation and give it as a gift to someone who has everything and needs nothing. See www.heifer.org
These are a few of the things I've found work for me with just a little looking around. I would love to hear what you have found that works for your situation.