Friday, November 26, 2021

Feel Good Friday - Giving Tuesday

Happy day after Thanksgiving! I don’t often repeat posts but it’s been 7 years since I first posted about this organization so it’s time for an update on Giving Tuesday.

Although many people know today as "Black Friday" and spend their morning running from store to store shopping for bargains, I consider this a Feel Good Friday because it’s almost time for 
Giving Tuesday!
Giving Tuesday is “global movement unleashing the power of radical generosity to transform communities and the world.” It was created in 2012 when the 92nd Street Y in New York (92nd Street Young Men's and Young Women's Hebrew Association) joined forces with the United Nations Foundation. They were "inspired by the core Jewish value of tikkun olam, 'repairing the world'."

The day is held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and is meant to counterbalance Black Friday’s focus on consuming and celebrate the holiday season by giving instead. Non-profits create unique goals for the date, corporations double employee matches, and individuals find ways to give what they have whether that's money or time.
When I first posted about this, there were 10,000 organizations worldwide participating. Now there are Giving Tuesday movements in 80 countries and “in 2020, at least $2.47 billion were donated in twenty-four hours in the U.S. alone.” More details can be found in the 2020 impact report. There’s also a program called #GivingEveryTuesday, “a series of weekly opportunities to come together to give, volunteer, and show kindness in shared moments with communities, causes and countries around the world.”

Want to participate but can’t decide how best to get involved? There's a tool kit for givers with ideas, graphics and sample social media messages to use. You've got the whole weekend to figure something out!
Start by showing your support on social media. Like the Giving Tuesday Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @GivingTuesday and Instagram @givingtuesday. Once you come up with your Giving Tuesday goal, let the world know by using #GivingTuesday in your posts. The best part of this is you don't have to get up early or stand in line to participate. Now that's a tradition I can support!

Friday, November 19, 2021

Feel Good Friday - Meals on Wheels America

With Thanksgiving coming up next Thursday, food and family is on my mind. That’s why I want to spend today’s Feel Good Friday talking about an organization that delivers food to senior citizens, Meals on Wheels America.

Founded in 1974, the mission of Meals on Wheels America is “to empower local community programs to improve the health and quality of life of the seniors they serve so that no one is left hungry or isolated.” It is the oldest and largest national organization supporting over 5,000 community-based, senior nutrition programs across the country. Meals on Wheels America provides these local organizations with funding, leadership, education, research and advocacy support.

The problem Meals on Wheels America is addressing is explained on their website. “Nearly 7.4 million seniors have incomes below the poverty line” and “nearly 9.7 million seniors were threatened by hunger.” That’s why millions of volunteers deliver 221 million meals to 2.4 million seniors every year! Locally supported programs also manage what are called congregate nutrition sites – think senior centers. That allows more mobile seniors the opportunity to socialize during their meal.

You can find additional statistics and impacts of the meal deliveries on this page. One that I found eye-opening is the fact that “2 out of 3 recipients report the meals make up half or more of all food eaten that day”.

In addition to delivering meals, and helping combat social isolation, volunteers conduct safety checks around the house when they visit. They also look for changes in their clients’ physical or mental health that might impact future medical needs so they can be addressed before they become catastrophic and costly health issues.

If you know of someone who would benefit by participating in the program you can use this link to find a provider. If you’d like to volunteer, go to this link to learn more. There you can watch videos of volunteers with their seniors and sign up to volunteer.

You can also support Meals on Wheels America with a donation and by amplifying their work on social media. Like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @_MealsOnWheels and Instagram@mealsonwheelsamerica.
Happy Thanksgiving! 

Friday, November 12, 2021

Feel Good Friday - Native American Rights Fund

In another Feel Good Friday celebrating National American Indian Heritage Month, we profile the work of the Native American Rights Fund. 

Founded in 1970, the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) is “the oldest and largest nonprofit legal organization asserting and defending the rights of Indian tribes, organizations, and individuals nationwide.” They do this through litigation, legal advocacy and expertise.

NARF’s legal resources are concentrated in the following five areas:

Current efforts include protecting Native voting rights, creating space for communities to heal from boarding school policies that removed children from their homes and placed them in government run boarding schools from the mid 1800’s to 1950’s, and fighting for fair districting in Indian country.

To get involved with any of these efforts, click the links above. You can also support the Native American Rights Fund with a donation and by amplifying their message on social media. Like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @NDNrights and Instagram @nativeamericanrightsfund.

Friday, November 5, 2021

Feel Good Friday - Native American Health Center

November is National American Indian Heritage Month and we’re kicking it off with the story of an organization I see on my daily walks, the Native American Health Center. 

Founded in 1972 and located in Oakland, California, the Native American Health Center (NAHC) is “a community health center serving the California Bay Area Native Population and other under-served populations in the Bay Area.” As their website explains, their mission is “to provide comprehensive services to improve the health and wellbeing of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and residents of the surrounding communities with respect to cultural and linguistic differences.” All are welcome, regardless of tribal affiliations, ethnicity, or ability to pay.
Services include medical, dental, and behavioral health and follow a holistic model of care that responds to people’s physical, emotional, spiritual, and social service needs. NAHC serves over 14,000 members each year in these departments.
The Community Wellness Department provides services and events such as cultural groups (beading, sewing, drumming, Aztec Dance, etc.), traditional healing activities, and workforce development. They also run programs for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and School-Based Health Centers located in eight campuses around the East Bay. In addition to all of this, the NAHC is a both community testing site and vaccination center for Covid-19.
If you want to help ensure that the Native American Health Center can offer culturally informed programming to the American Indian community in the Bay Area, support them with a donation. You can also raise awareness of their work by amplifying them on social media. Like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @7Gen1D.