Sustainable Harvest International: Farming Change in Central America

What do YOU look for when choosing a non-profit organization to support?

I look for an organization that actually has a goal of putting themselves out of work by creating and implementing a program that meets the needs of the people and the environment they are trying to serve.

“SHI is a charity well worth supporting because its mission isn’t charity at all — it’s empowerment.” – SHI supporter and volunteer.

It is important to me that the people receiving the assistance have ownership of the program and the decision-making power over what happens to their families and businesses.

Sustainable Harvest International (SHI) is one organization that has an extremely sustainable business model and that’s attractive to someone who really values local empowerment, sustainable practices and creative solutions.

In The Beginning

SHI was founded by Florence Reed in 1997. SHI works to provide farmers with sustainable alternatives to current slash-and-burn agricultural practices and addresses the tropical Read more…

Get off your butt:

They walk among us.

We all know one. We admire their tenacity, their determination and their leadership abilities. They amaze us with their capacity to make informed, mature decisions. Their passionate desire to make the world a better place to live is truly inspirational. The agents of change I am talking about are not heads of state, corporate CEO’s or even executive director’s multi-national charitable organizations.

They are teenagers.

I consider myself very lucky to have one such teenager in my family. My cousin Mallory and her friends believe that they can make a difference in their community and they aren’t letting anyone stop them from helping those in need. From organizing winter clothing drives to anti-bullying campaigns, these girls are taking charge and showing adults, including myself, just how it’s done. They shatter the stereotype of disengaged teenagers who are selfish and uncaring. And they are not alone. There are Read more…

Earth Day Network & Earth Day Canada: Making Earth Day Every Day

I want you to act out.

I promise you won’t get in trouble. I can also promise you won’t be the only one. In fact you will be joining hundreds of millions of people in 184 countries around the world.

I’m talking about a global movement known simply as Earth Day.

It was created in 1970 by a U.S. Senator, after he witnessed the devastation of the 1969 California oil spill. He wanted to leverage the emerging awareness of air and water pollution and combine it with the social energy created by the anti-war movement to force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. And so on the 22nd of April, 1970, 20 million Americans participated in massive coast-to-coast rallies to bring attention to conversation and force political leaders to listen to their concerns.

And it worked.

The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Read more… Online Volunteering for Busy People (like you)

Oh the irony.

I have been feeling a little guilty that I just haven’t had time to work on my next TheSociallyConsciousBlog article. Things have gotten so busy lately. I was looking around our TSCB website bank, searching for inspiration and riddled with guilt when I decided to randomly click on a link. Low and behold I should land on – the “easy, social, online volunteering for busy people.”

I think it’s a sign.

Of course I’m not the only one who is busy. 73% of Americans (and about the same for Canadians) don’t volunteer and cite lack of time as the major reason. Sparked makes it easy for skilled professionals to help nonprofits get valuable work done, in a time frame that fits in with the demands of a full-time job. Sparked is labeled as the world’s first micro-volunteering network.

What is micro-volunteering you ask?

Well one of Sparked’s co-founders, Ben Rigby Read more…

The Nature Conservancy: Earth’s biggest fan

What inspires you?

I spent the last week investigating The Nature Conservancy’s website for my next TSCB article and I have to say I am truly inspired by the work of this organization.

The Nature Conservancy has an impressive legacy as the leading conservation organization that protects ecologically significant land and water for nature and people. It’s their mission to preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.

They work in all 50 States and in more than 30 countries protecting habitats and addressing threats to conservation involving climate change, fresh water and conservation. They have protected more than 119 million acres of land, 5000 miles of rivers and operate more than 100 marine conservation projects worldwide.

Check out their latest video highlighting some of their work last year:

Founded in 1951, The Conservancy can trace its history Read more…