Giving rice for free!

Forgive me for being skeptical, but rice for free?

The FreeRice website claims that for every correct answer while playing their vocabulary brain-teaser, they will donate 10 grains of rice through the World Food Programme to help end hunger.

I’ll admit it. I was a complete cynic too.

So I decided to actually visit the website and play the game. It started off fairly easy. ‘Effect’ means ‘result’…correct! ‘Teacher means ‘instructor’…correct! As I continued to get each answer right, I noticed the questions gradually getting harder and after 13 right answers, I finally got one wrong. It felt really nice to be sharpening my vocabulary skills – something I hadn’t touched on since finishing high school. It was then that I saw a banner mentioning my donation of 130 grains of rice – ten for each of my right answers as promised. Curious to find out how all this works, I dug deeper.

In Read more…

Inspirational talks from TED

TED is not a person.

Don’t worry I made the same mistake the first time too, thinking

Wow, this TED guy is really smart and gives some really thought provoking speeches. How come I haven’t heard of him before?

And even though the person giving the talk was always different, it never really occurred to me that TED was in fact not a person, but an organization.

One that is determined to create ideas worth spreading.

TED – the organization

Founded by Richard Saul Wurman and Harry Marks in 1984, TED started out as a conference bringing people together from three disciplines: Technology, Entertainment and Design.

Since 1990, the conference has been held annually in Long Beach and Palm Springs (USA) and has recently expanded to a TEDGlobal conference in Oxford, UK.

In these conferences, some of the most remarkable thinkers (scientists, professors, leaders, etc) in the world would get up on stage and give some of the Read more…

WWF: More than just an organization

Every single thing you do has an impact on the world we all share.

Every item you buy, every trip you take, every piece of mail you receive, and every bite of food you eat.

Consider all the decisions you make in a day. Now multiply those decisions by 6.7 billion, and imagine the effect of all those choices on the world around us.

The Worldwide Fund for Nature [WWF] knows that the future is man made.

This ad is just one of many from the creative and provocative advertising department at the World WWF, all designed to remind us that with every new development, we take away habitat and resources needed by the populations that share our planet: animals, plants, and, well, everything. The ads are part of a global initiative to draw attention to the ways we all hurt every living thing.

Where it begins, Where it Read more…

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…

It’s time we Stand up 2 Cancer

What does Cancer mean to you?

For the majority of us it sparks sirens of fear and uncertainty and immediately associate it with death.

And for good reason too – we ALL know of someone who’s been affected by this disease.

Cancer kills 1,500 Americans every single day, 1 person every minute. 1 out of 3 women and 1 out of every 2 men will hear the words “You have Cancer”.

Then there are those who’ve fought Cancer and won and I applaud you. We all do actually.

These people inspire us because in them we see incredible strength and the determination to stay alive, for their friends, families and most importantly, for themselves.

They’ve stood toe to toe up against one of the most terrifying epidemics known to mankind, and won.

So what if I asked everyone reading this to Stand Up to Cancer?

Well, that’s exactly what StandUp2Cancer.Org is asking you to do.

Led by a group Read more…

The Girl Effect: The Most Powerful Force for Change

“Invest in a girl, and she will do the rest, but to do that, she needs your help now.”

The Girl Effect is ‘a movement driven by girl champions around the globe.’

When a girl living in poverty turns 12, her life reaches a crossroads.

One path has her marrying – one in seven marry at the age of 14 in developing parts of the world – becoming pregnant by 15, possibly contracting HIV, and possibly forced to sell her body in order to survive.

The other path is much brighter – receive an education, stay healthy, marry when she chooses and raise a healthy family.

How it all began

The Girl Effect is the brainchild of Maria Eitel , the founding president of the Nike Foundation and Jennifer Buffet, president and co-chair of the NoVo Foundation. NoVo and the Nike Foundation joined forces in 2008 and committed $90 million to The Girl Effect.

In a 2010 Read more…

350.org’s battle against climate change

Quick fact: The Earth is heating up.

Thanks to the increase of greenhouse gases, the burning of fossil fuels and continuing deforestation, we are faced with the crisis that is Global Warming. With the rapidly melting polar ice caps and rising water levels, I felt like our future on this planet was a grim one.

Then I stumbled upon 350.org. And I was inspired.

350.org is a worldwide campaign aimed at inspiring us to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis, create a sense of urgency and thus produce a new possibility for our planet. It was founded by Bill McKibben (an American environmentalist and writer) and a team of seven friends from Middlebury College in Vermont, USA.

Why 350? According to science, up until 200 years ago, our atmosphere contained 275 million parts per million of carbon dioxide (CO2). Once we began burning coal and gas to produce energy that number continued Read more…

ONE: We’re not asking for your money, we’re asking for your voice

In a world where nearly everything costs something, it’s nice to take comfort in the fact that we all have a valuable resource to offer that doesn’t come with a price tag – our voices.

That’s the objective of ONE, a grassroots anti-poverty advocacy organization that works to increase public awareness of poverty and places pressure on political leaders to work towards poverty alleviation.

They’re not soliciting funds, they’re soliciting support.

In the beginning

ONE is an organization that has been in the making since 2002.

The concept itself began when Bono [front man for world renowned band U2], along with Bob Geldof, Bobby Shriver, Jamie Drummond and Lucy Matthew got together and decided to start up advocacy organization DATA (debt, AIDS, trade, Africa).

Shortly after, ONE was born as a means of creating a broader campaign to mobilize public support to fight against poverty and raise global health awareness. By 2008, it was concluded Read more…