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is to Alicia in Bolivia, who will use the money for seeds (corn, potato and onion) and fertilizer.

I have a ways to go to catch up with [ profile] jbru, who just funded his 39th loan. (Well, I have also invited seven people who've accepted my invitations to join Kiva, and they've made a total of 53 loans. So that's something!)

Kiva is offering FREE $25 trials to new lenders. Click here to learn more.
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What I did this year to decrease worldsuck:

January )

February )

March )

April )

May )

June )

July )
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This was sort of impulsive, but...

I just submitted a proposal to the Imagine Better contest presented by the Harry Potter Alliance and Splashlife, suggesting that they award a $1000 grant to A Liter of Light to promote solar bottle lights.

I suggested calling it the Patronus Light Project, as the lights have always reminded me of a patronus. And hey, I like the idea of bringing light to dark places.

The solar lights cost $3.50 to make and install, so if it wins, that'd be 285 lights installed in homes in the Phillipines. Their goal is to install a million lights by 2012.

What I did today to make the world a better place )
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New loan, to Miriam Andia of Bolivia, to buy feed for her cows. My ninth loan.
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Here's a really excellent article about the collaborative consumption movement, i.e., the concept that by sharing resources, people can reduce waste and reduce costs. It includes a list of over seventy links to websites that aid in sharing commodities such as travel resources, housing, food, clothing, personal finance resources, transportation, landscape/gardening, media (books, games, movies, etc.), and there's a special section for students, too.

Learn more about Collaborative Consumption at the website, on Facebook and on Twitter (@collcons).

What I did today to make the world a better place )
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Please don't forget [ profile] jemyl who still needs to sell jewelry to keep her head above water. Specifically, she needs to sell enough jewelry before February 6 to keep her site domain registration. Anyone need to check off some decrease worldsuck today?

It's great that we gave her some orders and some hope earlier. But the need doesn't go away.

Can any of you cross-post?

Love Drop

Jan. 1st, 2011 12:52 pm
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You may remember the indefatigable Nate St. Pierre, who started the internet projects ItStartsWith.Us and Love Bomb (you may also remember that I called upon the help of the latter project when I was attempting to get help for [ profile] jemyl...and isn't it time to check back with [ profile] jemyl's website to buy some of her lovely jewelry?)

Anyway, Nate is starting out the new year with yet a new project: Love Drop. Love Bomb encourages people to send supportive blog messages to someone having a difficult time, but maybe my suggestion of [ profile] jemyl for the project started Nate thinking along new lines, that some people could really use some practical and financial assistance during a hard time, too.

Each month, Love Drop will promote one individual or family and spend the month trying to find ways to help meet their needs. You can join the network with a very low monthly buy in, as low as $1 a month via Paypal. The network will give the families financial help, but it will also be focused on giving them practical assistance, too, the way that we hooked Ellen up with a local church and found people to help cut her lawn.

From the FAQ section of the website )

The website also partners with sponsors.

The first month's designated recipient is a single mother who lost her job, then her daughter, and then all of her possessions in a fire:

So if you think you might be interested, check out Love Drop. Again, caveat: it isn't a 501(c)(3) charity, and there are administrative costs, but it is a way you can connect with someone in need and make a difference, for a very small buy in cost. Check out Love Drop at Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Thanks.

What I did today to make the world a better place )
pegkerr: (Default)
What I did this year to decrease worldsuck:

January )

February )

March )

April )

May )

June )

July )

August )

September )

October )

November )

December )
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I checked the level of my loan repayments, and it was enough to fund another loan, with just a modest pay in. So now I am helping to buy flour, yeast and flour for a baker in El Salvador.

This is my eighth loan.

What I did today to make the world a better place )
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I love the HP Alliance. Have I mentioned that I love the HP Alliance?

You may remember the post I did last month about their Deathly Hallows Campaign. The Horcrux last month was the Starvation Horcrux, and the campaign was a push to get Warner Brothers to use Fair Trade chocolate in all of their products.

Now they have announced the next Horcrux, and this campaign is near and dear to my heart:
All of us know the "dementor horcrux" first hand: that awful voice within that tells us that we suck. Mean and predictable, this "dementor horcrux" will always try to convince us that we’re horrible for the way we look, think, feel, act, etc. Like Harry, who was sensitive to dementor attacks, many of us may feel debilitated by the dementor-like experiences of anxiety, depression, low body image, and lots of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that knock us off balance.

Though the Dementor tries to make us feel alone so that we’ll stay within its grip, the reality is that we are surrounded by people going through similar challenges to us as well as those who have gone through dark and difficult times, feelings, and experiences. Together we can go beyond the Muggle Mindset and tap into the magic of our power and creativity. And so the HPA is working together as a community to cast Patronuses. Each of us was with Harry and members of Dumbledore’s Army when they cast a glowing corporeal Patronus of such light, such beauty, and such fierce power that it sent the dementors running, and each of us has the same breathtaking power within.

How to Participate
In partnership with, we’re asking you to create individual Patronuses in the form of writing, photos, drawings, paintings, videos, songs- basically any piece of art that expresses an element of your Patronus. You can submit you Patronus through the submissions page on our tumblr or by emailing it to us at Check out Tumblr every day for more updates.

We want as many Patronuses created as possible. Once they are all made, we’ll be taking many of them to create a collective Patronus that we will send as a message of our community’s hope and inner-power to a group who needs that message (the specific group is to be determined).

Please make sure to follow our ground rules and also PLEASE keep in mind that:

- No one here is a substitute for a professional mental health counselor.
- Internal emotional/mental change normally happens slowly. A month long campaign is here to lay positive seeds but is by no means a solution for everything.
- The Internet is a public space and please respect yourself and remember that.
- This is a sensitive issue for most of us and we ask that people are positive and supportive as we focus less on the Dementors that bother us and more on the Patronuses.
- Please read more here

Thank you all and Expecto Patronum!
I have submitted my own patronus, which I created a couple years ago as part of my soul collage deck. I will also send them an email about my Decrease Worldsuck project.

Expecto Patronum - Council Suit

Expecto Patronum - Council Suit
Expecto Patronum - Council Suit
am the One created from the magic that springs from the happiest memory, who shines in the darkness and protects against that which would destroy the soul. I am a shining silver shield of hope against encroaching darkness, despair and evil, and I can communicate with the souls of others. My form is beautiful, a reflection of the true self within. I am the embodiment of Light in dark places.

What I did today to make the world a better place )
pegkerr: (All we have to decide is what to do with)
I really REALLY admire the Harry Potter Alliance.
The Deathly Hallows Campaign spans the nine months between Harry Potter films. From November 2010 through July 2011, Harry will be struggling to destroy Voldemort’s horcruxes. At the same time, Harry Potter fans across the globe are joining the Harry Potter Alliance on an epic journey to destroy seven real world horcruxes.

Join this adventure as we shine the light of our love at Lumos Parties on the night of the movie’s release.
Sign this petition to help us fight the “Starvation Wages Horcrux.”

Join our exciting Dumbledore’s Army meetings the last day of each month to find out what the next horcrux will be and how we will fight it. Tweet with the hashtag #deathlyhallows, discuss creative tactics, follow our blog and YouTube.

There will be even more ways for you to be involved as the campaign continues!

The moment the Harry Potter Alliance has been waiting five years for has arrived and Dumbledore’s Army needs you!
About the first Horcrux, the Alliance says:
On November 1st, 2010, the Harry Potter Alliance sent a letter to Time Warner, the parent company of Warner Brothers, inviting them to switch to Fair Trade chocolate for all of its Harry Potter merchandising. When Hermione Granger discovers that the food at Hogwarts, chocolate included, is being made by house elves–essentially unpaid, indentured servants–she immediately starts a campaign to replace exploitation with fairness. Similarly, the cocoa industry is plagued by inhumane and unjust economic and labor conditions. Therefore, by switching to Fair Trade chocolate, Time Warner can ensure that no chocolate in Harry’s name is being made under inhumane conditions (including starvation and child slavery). Together we can fight the Starvation Wages Horcrux!

How you can help

Sign the petition now to show your support for Fair Trade chocolate. We are uniting as Harry Potter fans to ask Time Warner to stay true to the spirit of Harry Potter! And we need your help to spread the word to Harry Potter fans!

* Sign the petition and help your house with the House Cup! You have until December 31st, 2010 to sign!
* Tweet your support for Fair Trade Chocolate!
* Shine a light on the need for Fair Trade at the movie release on November 19th!

Please print out the petition from here to get your friends, family, and members of your school, work, and community to sign! When you’re done, enter all of their names and give credit to your House!

Share on Facebook or and Twitter.
What I did today to make the world a better place )
pegkerr: (A light in dark places LOTR)
This post caught my eye on my friends list on Livejournal this week. [ profile] jemyl has been on my friends list for years although she doesn't post very often. Ellen is a very kind, generous and warm-hearted woman in her late 60s living in Hawthorne, Florida, who describes herself as follows:
I am a grandmother and became both a widow and an orphan in December of 2005 with the deaths of my mother on the sixth and my husband, Bill, on the thirtieth. I am a diabetic as were they. I have 2 natural and 4 acquired children, all grown with 10 grandchildren. I am a bit of a geek, enjoy reading, websurfing, writing poetry and reading mystery novels. I like crosswords and puzzles, cats and dogs too. We live in the country in northeastern Florida near the University of Florida. That makes me a gator fan. My husband was bed and wheelchair bound for the last five years of his life so I am not used to being out much. I also like to crochet and do counted cross stitch when my arthritis and eyes permit.
Right now, Ellen is going through an extraordinarily difficult time, and her family is not able to give her much support or help. She is in poor health, presently struggling with an eye injury and sinus infection and she is recovering from back surgery. Her financial situation has become truly dire, and she is facing the possibility of homelessness. I was so impressed by her faithful and loving work as a caretaker when she nursed her husband and her mother through their last illnesses, but now she has no one to help take care of her.

She has done her best for herself, but her most recent post alarmed me. She says that she doesn't believe in suicide, but she feels abandoned and lonely. All she has to keep her going, she says, are her three kitties, and she will lose them if she loses her home. Her post ended:
"I give up. It feels like no one cares and I just can't do it all all by myself any more. Please, God, send me a miracle or take me home. Amen."
I felt very badly when I realized that her post had been up for two days but not a single person had responded. Ellen has been trying to sell some handmade jewelry online but has not gotten many takers. She mentions her paypal account; you will find her paypal email address as a comment to the post. Can you stop by and leave her an encouraging note, maybe even buy some jewelry from her and/or leave a donation? Is there anyone on my friends list near Hawthorne, Florida who can give Ellen some practical help (like cutting the lawn, or whatever other help she needs), or do you know of someone? Can you suggest any other resources for Ellen?

How about doing this, right here, right now, as your contribution to fighting worldsuck? Please do what you can do, whether an encouraging message, money or practical help to help my friend feel less alone in the world and despairing. I would appreciate your boosting the signal on this, too. Thank you.

What I did today to help make the world a better place )
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Broadway stars rock out in a celebration of life, in the wake of LGBT suicides across the nation. Please SHARE this original song and video to help send a message of hope and support. Available October 19th on iTunes, with all download proceeds benefiting The Trevor Project. (c) 2010 Jay Kuo & Blair Shepard. Inquiries:

What I did today to make the world a better place )
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Boosting signal in response to a request from one of my readers:
The United Nations has designated the first Monday in October as annual World Habitat Day.

On Oct. 4, 2010, in recognition of World Habitat Day, Habitat for Humanity will raise awareness of the need for improved shelter and highlight Habitat’s priorities: the worldwide connection between human health and housing, and, in the United States, neighborhood revitalization. These themes echo the United Nations’ chosen theme for 2010 for events in the host city of Shanghai, China and the rest of the world: “Better City, Better Life.”

Every week, more than a million people are born in, or move to, cities in the developing world. As a result, the urban population of developing countries will double from 2 billion to 4 billion in the next 30 years.

By the year 2030, an additional 3 billion people, about 40 percent of the world’s population, will need access to housing. This translates into a demand for 96,150 new affordable units every day and 4,000 every hour. (UN-HABITAT: 2005)

Habitat for Humanity hopes that by raising awareness and advocating for universal decent housing we can dismantle and alter the systems that allow for poverty housing and make an affordable, decent place to live a reality for all.

Habitat for Humanity World Habitat Day events

Around the world, many Habitat for Humanity local offices have organized World Habitat Day events. Habitat for Humanity’s 27th annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project is a World Habitat Day event this year. It will be held Oct. 4 – 8 in six cities in the United States. Held in a different location each year, Habitat’s Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project is an annual, internationally-recognized week of building that brings attention to the need for simple, decent and affordable housing. This year, the Carters will work alongside volunteers in Washington, D.C.; Baltimore and Annapolis, Md.; Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn.; and Birmingham, Ala. to build, rehabilitate and improve 86 homes.

* To see a list of other Habitat World Habitat Day events, click here.
* To view online resources available for download, click here.
* To join Habitat's World Habitat Day Photo Wall, click here.
To learn more, click here.

I've worked on Habitat for Humanity sites. It's a good cause. Please spread the word. Thanks.

What I did today to make the world a better place )
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Here's mine, to a woman who farms in the Philippines..

I took a look at my portfolio page. I've gotten seven other people to join Kiva. I've done seven loans, personally, lending money to women in the Philippines, Nigeria, Viet Nam, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Togo. 57.1% of my loans have been for food sales, 28.6% for retail sales, and 14.3% for agriculture. My invitees have done 28 loans. Anyone else want to join the party? Let me know, and I'll send you an invite. Here's your chance to decrease worldsuck.

What I did today to make the world a better place )
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A long time reader of my journal, [ profile] cloudscudding, let me know about this, and so I'm sending the word out to you:
"The Circus of Brass and Bone" is a crowdfunded steampunk serial story that follows a circus traveling through the collapse of civilization. Read online or download the podcast to get your apocalypse fix!

All donations go to pay for my mother's cancer treatment and related costs. She was recently diagnosed with stage 3c ovarian and endometrial cancer, which is very serious but treatable--though the odds are not in her favor. She was working at a school in India at the time of diagnosis, so she doesn't have health insurance. My parents came back to the U.S. for treatment, so they've both given up their jobs. And they've spent much of their lives working to help others--working with farmers in Africa and teaching in India--so they don't really have anything in the way of a savings cushion. The situation is pretty dire.
I love the imagination here in taking a terrible situation and using it as an opportunity to make something creative. I know there are some steampunk fans on my friends list. And I hope there are even more Decrease Worldsuck people on it, too. So how about checking it out, making a donation and spreading the word...and drop an encouraging word to [ profile] cloudscudding while you're at it. Thanks.

What I did today to make the world a better place )
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I got an email from a reader of my journal asking me to pass this information along. Sara, I'm sorry I was slow to act upon your request, but I'm doing this blog post now to boost the signal, as you requested, and I'll tweet it, too.

Sara writes:
Every year, The Fresh Air Fund gives thousands of inner-city children the priceless gift of fun – and opens the door to a lifetime of opportunities.

Whether it's a two-week trip to visit a volunteer host family, or a fun-filled and educational stay at one of our camps, our programs make for unforgettable memories – and open a world of new friendships and fresh possibilities.

The Fresh Air Fund is in need of host families for this summer. Host families are volunteers who open their hearts and home to a child from the city to give them a Fresh Air experience that can change lives. If you could help to get the word out it would really help us place these wonderful children into a loving host family for an experience that can change their life.

We also just received a tremendous offer by a very generous donor. Any gift given from now until the end of June will be matched dollar-for-dollar. Donate here. All donations are tax deductible.
Sara also notes that she's put together a social media news release, so please feel free to use any of the images, graphics, banners, or copy:


You can find them on Twitter at @FreshAirFund and on Facebook here.

What I did today to make the world a better place )
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Katie Spotz, like me, wants to raise money to give people clean water to drink. So what did she do to bring attention to the cause?

She rowed ALONE across the Atlantic Ocean, the first woman and the youngest person to do so.

$75,000 raised so far. Awesome.

See her interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper here.

MyCharityWater Campaign Report:

50 people served
28 donations
62 days left

What I did today to make the world a better place )
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I've found another blog rather like Betty Londergan's project that I mentioned previously, What Gives 365. This one's called Year of Giving, by Reed Sandridge (@ReedSandridge on Twitter.) Reed Sandridge was laid off last year as a director of a nonprofit group in Washington, D.C. The 36-year-old came up with a pet project to keep him busy while he looked for work. He calls it the "Year of Giving."

Every day, Sandridge walks up to a stranger and gives away $10. So far, he's handed out close to $1,200. He also interviews the recipients about their lives and posts their stories on his blog. Think of it as Studs Terkel meets Santa Claus. Listen to an NPR story about this project here.

Reed recently included a link to this study:
In findings sure to gladden the heart of anyone who’s ever wondered whether tiny acts of kindness have larger consequences, researchers have shown that generosity is contagious.

Goodness spurs goodness, they found: A single act can influence dozens more.
Read more at the link. I had striking proof of that yesterday that sure made my day! I received an email from [ profile] lavendersleeves, who reads my blog and she told me that she and her sister, who have birthdays in May, have decided to devote their birthdays to my MyCharity:Water campaign. They're going to hold a fundraiser in Japan, where they live, and send me the money to help meet my goal for the well. Isn't that great? Thank you so much to [ profile] lavendersleeves and her sister!

MyCharityWater Campaign Report:

38 people served
22 donations
72 days left

What I did today to make the world a better place )
pegkerr: (Default)
I like reading the blog and following the Twitter feed for Afrigadget (The Twitter feed is @Afrigadget). It has great stories of scrappy people using their ingenuity to make their lives better. Today's story was about a woman named Jane who dreamed of being a surgeon, but she was too poor. But using a sewing machine she obtained through microcredit lending, she's managed to provide a decent life for herself and her children. Read Jane's story here.

It made me think about checking my Kiva portfolio to see whether I had enough money accumulated to make another loan. Sure enough, with just a few dollars added, I could make another loan. So, in honor of Jane from Nairobi, I made a loan to another woman, Elizabeth James, this time in Nigeria, who has a business selling fruits and vegetables in her local market.

What have you done today to make the world a better place?

Thanks so much to those of you who responded to my appeal and donated to my MyCharityWater campaign yesterday! I've reached 10% of my goal. I'm running a little behind, though, as we're 16% through the length of the fundraising campaign.

MyCharityWater Campaign Report:

28 people served
17 donations
78 days left

What I did today to make the world a better place )


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