Friday, October 31, 2014

Feel Good Friday - Giants Community Fund

Giants fans in San Francisco and beyond are certainly feeling good this Friday as the Giants celebrate a World Series victory with a parade!

There's another reason the Giants are today's Feel Good Friday topic and that's the Giants Community Fund. For the last 20 years, the team has sponsored the Junior Giants. 

As explained on their website, the Junior Giants "is a free, non-competitive and innovative baseball program for boys and girls ages 5-18 years old." The Community Fund provides all the uniforms, equipment and training and serves over 21,000 kids.

But it's not just about learning how to appreciate and play baseball. "Junior Giants focuses on the four bases of character development - Confidence, Integrity, Leadership and Teamwork - and offers programs in Education, Health and Violence Prevention."

Their Round the Bases Reading Program encourages kids to read during the summer months by awarding Giants branded awards as the kids reach various achievement levels. You can learn more about the program by watching this video and following the fund on Twitter @giantscommunity

I would love to tell you more about it but I've got to get to the parade!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Feel Good Friday - Globetops

As I sit typing this blog on a MacBook Pro, I think about an old PC sitting in my closet that I no longer use. Is there a Feel Good Friday solution for what to do with my old laptop? Of course there is! The best news is it will work for your old laptop too.

Globetops is a non-profit organization founded by Becky Morrison which, according to their Facebook page, "connects people who have laptops they don't use anymore with someone in the world that needs one." So simple and yet, so awesome!

The Globetops site says that "roughly 220 million tons of old computers and other tech hardware are trashed in the United States every year. 50% of those computers are in good working order." By donating your laptop to Globetops, you not only prevent your computer from flowing down the e-waste river, but you also empower someone to use technology to improve their lives and connect with the world.

The laptops are distributed in Guinea, Haiti, India, Nepal, Brazil, Kenya and the United States. You can watch this video to follow the journey of a laptop and see how it works. Much like Kiva, if you're interested in donating a laptop, you can either give it to the organization to send to any project or choose a specific recipient whose story moves you. Current people in need of your old laptop can be found here.

While you're waiting for the latest upgrade to whatever you have, get excited to donate your soon-to-be-old laptop by reading the origin story of Globetops in this article from Daily Good or viewing this gallery of photos guaranteed to make you smile.

As with all the groups profiled on Feel Good Friday, you can stay in the social media loop by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @Globetops

Excuse me while I go dig through my closet.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Feel Good Friday - Louie's Legacy Animal Rescue

Perhaps today's Feel Good Friday should be renamed, Look Good Friday. Why? Because Louie's Legacy Animal Rescue is raising funds by selling a 2015 calendar titled "Hunks and Hounds".

I first learned about this while swooning over, I mean reading this Huffington Post article. Yes, it has pictures.

According to their Facebook page, "Louie's Legacy is a non-profit, grassroots all-breed animal rescue which saves, rehabilitates and rehomes animals from high-kill shelters across the United States."

If you live in or near Cincinnati, OH or Staten Island, NY you can foster or adopt one of these animals. Anyone who loves shirtless men and animals can support the organization by buying a calendar at this link.

I haven't been able to figure out who Louie was but the organization in his name is doing great animal rescue work. Louie is leaving quite a legacy.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Feel Good Friday - Parikrma Humanity Foundation

A year ago, Feel Good Friday highlighted the work of Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani advocate for girls education and today she shares the Nobel Peace Prize with another Feel Good Friday subject, Indian child rights campaigner and founder of GoodWeave, Kailash Satyarthi! On this Feel Good Friday we're going to share more good news about education in this part of the world.

The Parikrma Humanity Foundation was founded in 2003 in Bangalore by Shukla Bose. As stated on their website, "Parikrma's ambition is to ensure that quality education is accessible to marginalized children."

Children from the poorest slums in Bangalore typically go to government run schools, when they go at all. The education provided is substandard and dropout rates are high. To combat this Parikrma's model focuses not only on delivering top quality education with an emphasis on learning English, but also 3 meals a day and comprehensive health care and family care.

Parikrma schools educate students from levels K-12, afterwards they provide scholarships to college or vocational training before placing the children in jobs. With four schools and 1500 students, Parikrma is making a huge difference in the lives of these children and their families!

To learn more you can read this in-depth article from the Christian Science Monitor and watch a short video with fabulous music that shows how much change you can affect with 1/2 a day's salary.

To get involved as an international volunteer check this link. As always, an easy way to keep yourself educated about what Parikrma is doing is by liking their Facebook page or following them on Twitter @parikrma

Friday, October 3, 2014

Feel Good Friday - Bridges to Prosperity

If you've been following Feel Good Friday (and probably even if you haven't), you've heard of people building houses around the world with Habitat for Humanity. Well it's a new Feel Good Friday and time you heard about people building bridges around the world with Bridges to Prosperity (B2P).

Their mission, as stated on their website, is a simple one. "Bridges to Prosperity provides isolated communities with access to essential health care, education and economic opportunities by building footbridges over impassable rivers."

B2P was founded in 2001 by Ken Frantz, a man who saw a broken Ethiopian bridge in a National Geographic photos and was compelled to rebuild it. Since that beginning, they have built 140 bridges around the world and, much like Habitat, B2P partners with local builders to use local building methods and materials in the bridge construction.

Their vision of "a world where poverty caused by rural isolation no longer exists" is slowly being realized. Data on their website shows that after a bridge is built, "12% more children enroll in school" and there is a "24% increase in healthcare treatment, 18% increase in women employed (and) 15% increase in local business".

Living in a city where the bridges I cross to get things done are iconic and photogenic, it's important to realize how vital something as simple as a well-contructed footbridge can be in a community of people that walk everywhere.

To learn more about the work being done by Bridges to Prosperity, you can watch a 3 minute B2P promo video or the 11 minute TEDx talk from CEO Avery Bang. As always, like their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter @B2P