Friday, May 25, 2018

Feel Good Friday - Detroit Impact

I've been in Detroit all week and wanted to look for a local organization to profile for Feel Good Friday. That led me to Detroit Impact.

As explained on their Twitter page, "Detroit Impact Goal; to train, coach, educate, equip, and engage youth who have shown potential in the areas of leadership, mentoring, counseling and advocacy."

Founded in 1991, their programs include academic assistance in the form of group and individual tutoring, life skills mentoring, a Microsoft Computer Learning Center, a Motown Writers Journalism Class, Remote Car Circuit for kids 6-12 and education on money matters.

They also have voter registration education workshops, pet care classes and community clean ups! Click here and scroll to the bottom to watch a news clip on their recent STEAM classes and kids making rockets from water bottles. Click here to learn about how they connect students with paid summer internships.

To support the youth of Detroit and the many programs run by Detroit Impact you can make a donation and show the social media love by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @DetroitImpact91.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Feel Good Friday - Green For All

I learned about today's Feel Good Friday organization, Green For All, when watching a local town hall meeting earlier this week. Examples of people doing good work really are all around us.

Green For All is a national organization, founded in 2007 "dedicated to building an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty."

Their Facebook page summarizes their work. "By advocating for local, state and federal commitment to job creation, job training, and entrepreneurial opportunities in the emerging green economy - especially for people from disadvantaged communities - Green For All fights both poverty and pollution at the same time."

Specific programs include supporting policies that direct money from carbon polluters to neighborhoods to provide green jobs, raising money to fix the pipes in Flint Michigan, mobilizing moms to fight cuts to environmental protections, advocating for the Clean Power Plan (a federal rule that limits air pollution from power plants and has been proposed to be discontinued), and encouraging governors to use settlement money from the VW emissions scandal to purchase electric school buses and reduce the carcinogens put out by diesel busses.

You can learn more these programs by clicking the links above or watching some of the Green For All videos.

If you want to get involved in building a green economy you can volunteer, download a Clean Power Plan toolkit, sign a petition to preserve funding for the Environmental Protection Agency or make a donation. As always, stay in the loop by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @GreenForAll.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Feel Good Friday - Wine to Water

I learned about Wine to Water at a volunteer event at work this week and they're a perfect organization for Feel Good Friday!

As explained by their mission statement, "Wine to Water is a nonprofit committed to serving in community to provide water to those in need."

What does that mean? Volunteers work with the communities and available, local resources to provide access to water, methods of filtration to clean it and education on sanitation and hygiene.

Founded in 2004 by Doc Hendley, he learned about the world's water crisis while working as a bartender in North Carolina. Wanting to take action, he had a party with his friends, pouring wine, beer and spirits and collecting money to travel to Darfur and provide clean water for people in the midst of war. Upon his return to the U.S. in 2007, Wine to Water became an official nonprofit organization. You can read more about Doc in his book "Wine to Water: How One Man Saved Himself While Trying to Save the World".

For insight into the work of Wine to Water, you can watch this video which tells the story of a recently completed project in Dahakhani, Nepal. Volunteers worked with the community to dig a trench from a natural spring, to a reservoir closer to the village. The reservoir now provides clean water to 160 houses, 1800 people, and a school with 500 students.

There are other projects taking place in the Amazon, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Uganda and Ethiopia. A great way to learn about the details and the impact is by reading the field notes written by Wine to Water volunteers.

To date, Wine to Water has helped provide clean water to over 500,000 people! If you want to support this work, you can fundraise at a lemonade stand like 8-year old Kara or follow a more traditional path: host a corporate filter build (which is what my company did) volunteer in the field or join the community of monthly donors called The Tap. As always, share the social media love by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @winetowater.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Feel Good Friday - International Labour Organization

Tuesday was International Workers' Day so today's Feel Good Friday is all about the International Labour Organization (ILO).

A visit to the website explains that "The ILO brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 member states to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men." Their motto is "promoting jobs, protecting people".

This 4-minute video is a quick way to learn a lot about the ILO, as are some of these fun, fast facts:
  • the only tripartite United Nations agency (representing governments, employers and workers)
  • founded in 1919 as part of the Treaty of Versailles 
  • headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland
  • oldest U.N. agency
  • awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 1969
"The main aims of the ILO are to promote rights at work, encourage decent employment opportunities, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues."

There is an annual conference in Geneva where international labor policies and standards are set. Work gets done by consulting with governments and partnering with organizations in member states. As part of the U.N.'s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the ILO has developed a Decent Work Agenda with four strategic objectives:
  • promote decent employment opportunities
  • enhance social protection
  • strengthen tripartism and social dialogue
  • guarantee fundamental principles and rights at work
There are over 600 active programs including fighting sexual exploitation of children in Madagascar, running a job fair for Syrian refugees in Jordan and getting youth involved in occupational health and safety in Indonesia. You can read details and watch videos about those programs and many more here.

If you support what the ILO is doing and want to stay in the loop, the best way is to like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @ilo.

Workers of the world, unite!