Why Blogs Are So Cool (And Important) Part 2

Last month I told you all a story about how I found a blog (Steady Mom) that mentioned a nonprofit (Love146) that moved me. I then wrote a post and that post moved someone else — someone who happens to live in the same town I do. She mentioned Love146 to people she’s connected with and as a result, Love146, was selected to receive a donation far greater than the one I could contribute on my own.

I’m happy to report that the numbers are in.

During the month of April, The Thrifty Quaker thrift shop sold enough merchandise to allow them to donate $1,644.42 to Love146.

All because of a blog post that beget another blog post that someone else read and decided to take action. And that’s the key. I read a lot of great blogs and a lot of great blog posts. I often think, “Isn’t that nice, what they’re doing over there?” or “I should help with that.” But these thoughts are usually put aside and later forgotten. A lot can be accomplished if we use our resources and take action on things that are important to us.

I hope to spend more time taking action. How about you?

Why Blogs Are So Cool (and Important)

Today I’d like to tell you a story about one of the best things that’s happened since I started blogging. It’s a story about the power of our voices and the power of the all the people out there listening. It’s a story about the power of one, who tells one, who tells another, and another, until things happen. It’s a story about ideas coming to life and about real lives getting better because of it.

Here’s the story:

Once upon I time I stumbled on Jamie Martin’s blog, Steady Mom. I can’t remember exactly how I found her; it was probably the way most of us find each other: I read a blog that led me to a blog that led me to another. I was so moved by what Jamie was doing over there that I ordered her book, Steady Days [my review], right away. I wanted to know more of what she had to say. Something else I found on Jamie’s site was Love146.org. This is an organization that works tirelessly to put an end to child sex slavery. I have two young daughters. This group spoke to me.

Like most people, though, I don’t have an endless supply of money. I’d love to help Love146 in a significant way, but I just don’t have the funds. I did contribute what I could, but they’re doing such important work, I wanted to let more people know about them. So I wrote a post. I wrote that post hoping to make people aware, hoping a few might be moved to give a little, because I do believe in the power of a lot of people giving a little.

What I didn’t expect was this: a colleague and friend who lives right here in my town reads my blog. She is a nice person and a concerned citizen. She’s also a part of the local Quaker Meeting of Friends. This Meeting operates a thrift store called The Thrifty Quaker. Each month, the store’s profits are donated to a different charitable organization. Since their opening in September of 1996, they’ve donated over $2,000,000.

My friend was so touched by what she read about Love146 here at Smart Green Tips, she suggested that they receive the proceeds from April’s sales at The Thrifty Quaker; her Friends agreed. She told me the wonderful news and now we’re busy here talking things up. We’re trying to get a lot of people to donate this month so there will be more to sell. Obviously, the more sales, the more money will be available to donate.

This is why blogs are so cool — I happened on a blog that mentioned a charity that spoke to me. I wrote about that charity on my blog and it spoke to someone else. That person told people she knows and as a result, Love146 is going to receive a donation at the end of April that will be far larger than any monetary contribution I could make on my own.

If you’re reading this and you blog, please remember that you never know who’s reading and who those readers know. You never know when someone may be moved by the words you cast out into the world and when those words may turn into funds for a worthy cause.

Sometimes writing blog posts seems inconsequential. It isn’t.

Bloggers, keep writing.

Readers, keep sharing what you read with your friends and your neighbors.

Together, we just might change the world, one writer, one reader, one friend at a time.

Do Good, Feel Good

I’ve just started reading Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project Do Good, Feel Good. One of her “Secrets of Adulthood” is Do good, Feel good. This is a concept that’s been around for ages, but it’s important to remind ourselves of the idea once in a while.

The fact is that when we do good for others, we feel better. It makes us happier people who then do more good. There are lots of ways to do good — you can find a charity you’re passionate about and donate time and/or money to it, you can take action by promoting a cause that’s important to you, you can do something as simple as holding a door for someone or giving a hug to friend.

Below are a few resources to get you started.

Charities/Nonprofits:

There are so many charity groups, it’s hard to know where to start. It can also be difficult to determine which charities are set up in such a way that your money will actually do some good for real people in need. I tend to focus on charities where there is some personal connection — I like to know someone either working for the charities, or someone promoting them.

Love146.org. Ending child sex slavery and exploitation. I wrote about Love146 the other day. It’s difficult to read about the atrocities committed against these young girls, but the work Love 146 is doing is amazing.

Charity: Water. Chris Guillebeau has recently partnered with this group to build wells in Africa. Without access to clean water, communities cannot begin to dig themselves out of poverty.

The Environmental Working Group. It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of this advocacy group. They conduct extraordinary studies and lobby Congress to promote real change for the safety of our products and our food.

Healthy Child, Healthy World. Another favorite here at Smart Family Tips. Healthy Child focuses all of their efforts on making the world a safer place for our children.

Find a Cause:

Visit Change.org to browse through a number of causes and click the links to take action. When taking action, you can send letters to Congress, among other things, right from the web site.

Go Local:

Find a homeless shelter or a nonprofit in your area that needs some help and volunteer your time. Volunteer Match is a good place to start if you’re unsure.

Get Personal:

Helping other people doesn’t require a formal organization. If you know of someone in need, help in any way you can. You can even help anonymously if you’re more comfortable doing it that way. Some ideas:

– If you know someone is really struggling financially, buy a gift card to a local grocery store or gas station. You can give the cards directly, or have them delivered anonymously.

– Cook a meal for someone who’s overwhelmed. Make sure to find out their tastes and any allergies they have before proceeding.

– Write a note to someone who’s been down lately.

– Tell someone you love them.

– Sign up at It Starts With Us to participate with a large group of others in “Weekly Missions” that provide you with lots of great ideas.

– Listen when someone needs to vent.

– Say nice things to others. When someone does something that impresses you, say so.

– Smile more. It makes both you and the people who come in contact with you happier.

How about you? How do you do good?

Can You Spare $1 To Do Some Good?

Logo Web Can You Spare $1 To Do Some Good?
Jamie Martin from Steady Mom and author of the newly released, Steady Days, has a special project going this month. She’s asking each reader of her blog to donate $1 during the month of February to raise money for Love146, a charity that works to abolish child sex slavery and exploitation.

You can read more about her Invitation to Give on her blog and see if this is something you feel you can do. As a mother of two daughters, I am moved by the work Love146 is doing. There’s no doubt it is difficult to fathom the lives these children have had to endure, but Love146 proves that there is hope, and for the girls they rescue, there is life.

Please visit Jamie’s blog to learn more. If enough people donate $1, a real difference can be made in the lives of young girls.

A Question

earth kid 199x300 A QuestionToday, just a question:

If you could make one thing better, what would it be?

Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks