The Good News

The title of this section is called "The Good News" because this blog is about the amazing things people do to help others, and isn't that good news? I now have a few helpers of my own to keep this blog going. Hopefully you can use this as a resource when you are looking for ways to help or share your talents.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Heifer International

“Heifer International is a non-profit organization whose goal is to help end world hunger and poverty through self-reliance & sustainability.”

I love doing this blog because every week, I learn about organizations and people who truly make a difference.  Some weeks, I discuss organizations with which I’m pretty familiar.  This week, I’m highlighting an organization I’d never heard of until my friend Michael sent its link my way.  Heifer International fits perfectly under the theme of this blog as it produces ripples around the world.  Its motto is “pass on the gift.”

I asked Michael to help me with this post and he graciously obliged.  Based on the website, he wrote the following:

A Four-Footed Attack Against Hunger
A Midwestern farmer named Dan West was ladling out rations of milk to hungry children during the Spanish Civil War when it hit him. "These children don't need a cup, they need a cow." West returned home to form Heifers for Relief, dedicated to ending hunger permanently by providing families with livestock and training.
In 1944, the first shipment of 17 heifers left York, Pennsylvania, for Puerto Rico, going to families whose malnourished children had never even tasted milk.
Heifers are young cows that haven't yet given birth – making them perfect not only for supplying a continued source of milk, but also for supplying a continued source of support. That's because each family receiving a heifer agrees to "pass on the gift" and donate the female offspring to another family, so that the gift of food is never-ending.
Since 1944, there have been 13.6 million families helped directly or indirectly —more than 70.5 million men, women and children. In 2009 Heifer International helped 1.63 million families.
The program has expanded to include ducks, geese and chicks as well as sheep, llamas, rabbits, goats, water buffalo, bees and other animals. For as little as $20 you can help a family on their way to self-sufficiency.

To learn more about Heifer Project International, here is the link:

How can we get involved?
-the website has a “get involved” tab as well as “gift” tab
-you can buy an animal (or part of one) on someone’s behalf for a gift.  Come on, if someone bought a goat or llama on your behalf, you know you would never forget that!
-you can make a donation under the heading “where most needed”
-you can help fund a project

We know there is plenty of food to feed everyone in this world yet so many people are starving.  Although it sounds silly, the topic makes me think of the children's song by Raffi because it seems it could be resolved rather simply if we took the lyrics to heart. 
“It’s mine but you can have some.  With you I’d like to share it.  ‘Cause if I share it with you, you’ll have some too.”~Raffi

Monday, April 18, 2011

Organ Donation

Ever since I could make the choice to be an organ donor on my license, I chose yes.  However, it wasn’t until four years ago that I realized there was more to it than just having that put on my license.  My brother-in-law, Greg, was the first person to tell me I needed to register and receive a sticker to put on my license.  He is very passionate about this subject and agreed to help me with this week’s post.  This is what he wrote:
April is Donate Life Month
Being an Organ & Tissue Donor means that you can save the lives of 8 others!
There are over 110,000 people on transplant waiting lists in need of organs.  18 of them will die every day.  At one point my Dad was one of those people.  He suffered for years with severe health related issues while on the transplant list waiting for someone to save his life.  Because so few people have signed up to be Organ Donors there is a lack of available organs.  But, one day someone saved my Dad’s life.  They took just 2 minutes out of their day at some point in their life to sign up and be an Organ Donor.  My Dad received their liver through a transplant after they died in a car accident and although there is a family out there who lost a loved one that day that person now lives on as a part of our family. 
Last year alone, organ donors made more than 28,000 transplants possible. Another one million people received cornea and other tissue transplants that helped them recover from trauma, bone damage, spinal injuries, burns, hearing impairment and vision loss.
Please take the time to save a life by signing up today!
·         You can still have a traditional funeral if you donate your organs
·         You can choose which organs you would like to donate and which you would not
·         Most major religions support organ donation
·         There is no cost of organ donation to the donor, their family, or estate
·         Doctors will always do everything they can to save your life regardless of whether you are an organ donor or not
·         You should tell your loved ones about your decision to be an Organ Donor because they will be asked to confirm permission to donate your organs even though you have signed up
For more information & to sign up to be an Organ & Tissue Donor go here:National Organ & Tissue Donation website:
Arizona Donor Registry website:
“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Pat Tillman Foundation

In honor of “Pat’s Run” taking place this weekend in Tempe, the Pat Tillman Foundation is the highlighted charity for this week.
“The mission of the Pat Tillman Foundation is to invest in veterans and their families through education and community.”  This organization is truly amazing and has already created many positive ripples as its nature and desire is to help one so he/she will be able to help many. The first big action of the PTF was its support to ASU for the “Tillman Scholars-Leadership Through Action” program which included a leadership development and service –learning component to the curriculum.    Then the focus turned more to the need of military families. To date, 1.3 million dollars have been awarded to over 111 Tillman Military Scholars.  “Family and friends created the Pat Tillman Foundation in 2004 to honor Pat’s legacy and pay tribute to his commitment to leadership and service.”  It’s amazing what a group of family and friends can do, and it’s because of one person that they’re doing it!
I will never forget the day I waited on Pat Tillman.  He and a few of the other ASU football players were grabbing a bite to eat and it happened to be his 21st birthday.  I do believe I served him his first official (legal) beer.  I was very excited because even though I didn’t watch football all that much, I knew who he was.  After that, I was pretty attentive to any football games that had Pat Tillman playing.  Some months ago I read Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman.  To me, Pat Tillman is the epitome of a “humble hero” as his desire to not be seen as a hero made him that much more of one.

To learn more about the Pat Tillman Foundation, here is the link (it’s also where you can find the information I quoted):

How can we get involved?
-Proceeds from merchandise (see site) directly benefit PTF.  There’s a pretty cool painting available for sale as well.
-Participate in Pat’s Run (Tempe, April 16)  30,000 people get together to run this race...again, because of one person!
-Donate directly to PTF (check out the “ways to support” tab on the website)

“Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself than of other people, nor does it mean having a low opinion of your own gifts.  It means freedom from thinking about yourself at all.”~William Temple

Monday, April 4, 2011

Locks of Love

 “Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis” (  Donated human hair (in the form of ponytails), is turned into custom-made hair prosthetics that can retail between $3,500 and $6,000!  The child receives the hairpiece long and is then able to get their hair styled to their liking.  One of the differences between this and other wigs is they are specifically made to fit the child’s head and there is no glue or adhesive that holds the piece into place.
Locks of Love used to be a connected with a for-profit wig manufacturing business but it became its own separate entity and an official 501(c)(3) in 1997.  One of the women who spearheaded the development of the charity suffered for a time from alopecia (the loss of all hair) but later recovered.  When her daughter was 4, she too developed alopecia but unlike her mother, she was never cured.  This was the driving force behind her mother’s passion to create this organization.
The first time I donated my hair was right after I returned home from the Peace Corps.  I had a lot of hair!  The second time I donated my hair was a month after I got married (my husband prefers long hair!).  The third time I donated my hair was a week ago. 

The website gives a clear list of rules to follow such as the length of the ponytail needs to be 10” from tip to tip and they do not accept hair that has been bleached.  They do however accept gray hair or hair that has been colored.   
To check out the list of guidelines, click on this link:

How can we get involved?
If you don’t have hair to donate, or if you really don’t want to cut your hair offJ there is a tab on the website that lists other ways to help.  Locks of Love is always accepting financial donations as the manufacturing costs are so great.

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.” (the fox’s secret- The Little Prince)~Antoine de Saint-Exupery