Posts Tagged ‘community’

Fab People: Neediest Cases Donors

January 19, 2009

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Letter written by a Neediest Cases donor:  “Dear Sir or Madam, Instead of giving gifts to each other this year, my family thought it would be a better use to donate the amounts that would’ve been spent on gifts to a charity of our choice. Please accept the enclosed donation of $360 on behalf of the (redacted) Family. Keep up the good work!”

You know how the economy has been, to put it gently, not so great?  People all over the world are tightening their wallets, trying to weather the storm.  So you would think, in this kind of dismal economic climate, that charity organizations would be experiencing huge drops in donations as people are cutting what they perceive to be unnecessary expenses.

But not the Neediest Cases charity from The New York Times.   Neediest Cases is a regular feature in The New York Times, in which one of the reporters writes about a person who is down on his or her luck.  Then readers can send donations to help that specific person or the charity in general.  Not only has Neediest Cases collected more than a half-million dollars MORE than they did the year before, but it has also seen a 53% increase in the number of donors.

The reason?  Many donors felt that if they were having a rough time dealing with the recession, then the people at the bottom must have had it a whole lot worse.  So the donors felt that now, more than ever, was the time to come through and help their neighbors.

I know there’s a lot of sadness in the world, but there’s a lot of goodness too.  🙂

Here’s the article.  And some letters written by the donors.

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Community Art

January 19, 2009

martin-luther-king-jr

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the U.S.  Yesterday I saw this really cool painting of Martin Luther King, Jr. hanging in the lobby of a school.   I tried to find a picture of the painting on the internet, but the best I could find was the photograph the painting was based on (above).

So the cool thing about the painting is that it was a community art project, involving the students, the faculty, and the neighbors surrounding the school.  For a few days in the lobby of the school, there was a lead artist present, along with multiple shades of gray paint laid out in trays (more or less corresponding to the different shades in the original photograph).  Throughout the day, people would come, place their hands palm-side down in one of the paint-filled trays, and the lead artist would show them where to place their handprints.  In the end, there was this really nice painting of Martin Luther King, Jr. made from the handprints of the community.  Fitting, isn’t it?  A community coming together to paint a portrait of a man who spent his life bringing communities together?

Have any of you seen any kind of artwork similar to this?  Something that was made by a community, with its active participation?

The Story of Stuff

January 18, 2009

Hey hey hey GBD!

This is going to be the only post from me today because…well…because I’m busy.  lol.  This is something that I’ve been meaning to post for a while now, but never found a good time for it because the video is about 20 minutes long.  But don’t let that scare you away!  It’s a really good, informative video that introduces you to “the story” of our stuff…where it comes from, where it goes when we’re done with it, etc.  Some people might stop watching it after a couple minutes because they’ll think they’re in school again.  😉  But I think the host does a really good job of maintaining your interest about something that can get bogged down in details and bore the heck out of people.  So stick with it because I think most of us want to be aware of how our decisions affect the rest of our world and the people in it.  And don’t worry…it’s not like a super-depressing video that’s going to make you feel like crap.  Unless you’re from the States, like me.  Hahaha!  I kid, I kid.  Sort of.  Anyway, the point of the video is to encourage you to be more active and aware of the decisions you make when you buy stuff.

The video above is a teaser trailer for The Story of Stuff video.  If you’d like to watch the whole thing, click on one of the links below.

The Story of Stuff (English version)

The Story of Stuff (International version – includes many languages to choose from, like Spanish, Portuguese, French, Mandarin, Arabic, etc.)

Also, if you haven’t already checked out Chloe B’s introduction to Aberystwyth, Wales…what the heck are you waiting for?  Her post is a few posts below this one.  And keep ’em coming!  We’ve got one about Bulgaria from Megi, and one about Quebec from MarilyneL in the queue.  Whoohoo!

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday GBD!

Passport to: Aberystwyth, Wales

January 17, 2009

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(“A” marks the spot where Aberystwyth is.)

GBD GBD GBD!  Today is a special day because today is the VERY FIRST edition of the finding-out-about-other-places-and-cultures-idea-thingie.  Remember?  Introducing Chloe B (aka “The Wales Girl” aka “cbee17”), from Aberystwyth.  Here’s what she wrote:

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aberystwyth

I live in a little university town in Wales in the UK called Aberystwyth (but moved from London to here about two years ago), and it’s pretty much bilingual language wise between Welsh and English. The people are kind of varied, cos sometimes there’s a little hostility by those who speak welsh and think everyone should…but generally people are ok, and the students aren’t bad, plus it’s cool because you got people from all over the place. Sadly there isn’t a lot to do around here…there’s the arts centre that is with the university which has a little theatre which sometimes has good productions, and a cinema in it, but most people (I mean the younger generation including moi lol) prefer our little local one, which only has one screen -.- and shows one film a week so we only really get the big films. Aber’s right on the coast too, so I’m near the beach. But it’s annoying because Aber isn’t exactly a city it’s quite difficult to travel between towns (and there’s only one main route to connect us to everywhere by road lol… and only one train line) so most of my friends travel about two hours by bus to get to school which makes it difficult to see them outside of school. A definite place to visit is Constitution Hill which has a railway going up, or you can walk, and at the top you can see the whole of Aberystwyth and a great view of the sea. But yeah that’s pretty much all the places you can visit! I guess people talk about normal stuff…and there aren’t really any traditions. Food, generally normal but apparently the Welsh are keen on stew (I repeat here that I’m not Welsh lol). But the scenery is lovely, and the place is great for a short visit, but to live it’s kind of dull, but I don’t mind cos I sometimes prefer the slowness to city life. Erm…attitudes to women? I suppose if you look at the general families, it’s kind of old fashioned with mums at home, and with some people you can detect a bit of sexism which I won’t go into, but I’d say there definitely is some around. But yeah again that’s only really with the older generations, the youth around here are very open-minded and have great ambitions, most of my friends all want to go to Uni (not here though :P)

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Thanks Chloe for telling us about Aberystwyth!

So whaddya think guys?  Isn’t this so cool??

Community

January 11, 2009

What makes a good community? Answer this from both an online and offline perspective. Go!