Friday, December 30, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Moderation Management

It’s the last Feel Good Friday of the year and the day before New Year’s Eve. A perfect time to reflect on your alcohol intake with Moderation Management.

Founded in 1994, Moderation Management (MM) is “a behavioral change program and national support group network for people concerned about their drinking and who desire to make positive lifestyle changes.” They are the group behind Dryuary, an outreach initiative to support people abstaining from alcohol during the month of January.

First, let’s define moderate drinking. For men it’s no more than 14 drinks per week, and not more than 4 per occasion. For Women, no more than 9 drinks per week, and not more than 3 per occasion. None of us should drink on more than 3-4 days per week if we want to be considered a moderate drinker. If you’d like to score your drinking to see if you have a problem with alcohol dependency you can take this self test.

Next, let’s talk about moderation versus abstinence. As they explain on their Facebook page, “by the time people reach serious stages of alcohol dependency, changing drinking becomes more difficult, and treatment is usually costly. MM believes that this situation needs to be remedied in the interest of public health and human kindness with early intervention and harm reduction programs. Moderation programs are less costly, shorter in duration, less intensive, and have higher success rates than traditional abstinence-only approaches.”

MM offers members a supportive mutual-help environment that encourages people who are concerned about their drinking to take action to cut back or quit drinking before drinking problems become severe. All meetings are free of charge and you can find resources to help you develop awareness of your drinking habits on their website. These include:

  • MM Tool Box - a month’s worth of tips such as: abstain for one day, buddy up with someone who has a similar goal, and brush your teeth to signal your brain and your mouth that you are done drinking for the night
  • Abstar Drink Tracker - a tool to help you develop awareness of your drinking habits and share them (if you choose) with members of the MM community
  • BAC Limits - charts that show how each drink affects your Blood Alcohol Content

You can read the MM step-by-step approach to moderation management here: Guide to Moderation Management Steps of Change

If you like what Moderation Management is doing and want to get involved you can register for, Dryuary 2023, support MM with a donation and spread the word about their work on social media. Like the MM Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @ModerationMgmt and Instagram @moderationmanagement. 

Friday, December 23, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Oregon Food Bank

I'm in Oregon for Christmas and wanted to highlight a local organization in today's Feel Good Friday, the Oregon Food Bank.

Founded in 1988, the Oregon Food Bank (OFB) is a network made up of 21 regional food banks that manage logistics and distribute food and services to more than 1,400 sites where anyone can get free food. Their mission is “to eliminate hunger and its root causes… because no one should be hungry.”

As they explain on their website, nearly 1 in 5 Oregonians experienced income and job loss in recent years and the result was an unprecedented need for emergency food assistance throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington. OFB served nearly 1.7 million people in 2020 and over 1.2 million in 2021. Locations where people can pick up free food are community based and accessible to all, and many also help people connect with additional services, such as nutrition support and affordable health insurance.

The most recent numbers listed In the 2022 Impact Report are impressive: 

  • 12,273 volunteer shifts and actions to help end hunger and its root causes
  • 58% of all food distributed as fresh or frozen produce, dairy and protein
  • 44.4 million meals shared across the OFB network

In addition to food distribution, the Policy Leadership Council engaged in over 3,500 actions to advance anti-hunger policy and systems change. Recent victories include: $87 million invested in the OFB emergency food assistance network, $400 million invested in affordable housing and a law providing overtime protections for farmworkers.

Numbers tell one part of the story, here’s another. This 2-minute video gives you a peak into one of the warehouses and lets you hear a forklift operator explain what motivates him about the work he and OFB are doing.

While you may not be able to move pallets of canned goods around a warehouse, there are many other ways you can support the Oregon Food Bank this holiday season. Locals can volunteer their time and all of us can make a donation and amplify the OFB message on social media. Follow them on their Facebook page and also on Twitter and Instagram @oregonfoodbank.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Trees for Troops

In today’s Feel Good Friday, we invite you to take a break from trimming your Christmas tree and learn about Trees for Troops.

It starts with the Christmas Spirit Foundation, an organization whose mission is “to advance the Christmas Spirit for kids, families and the environment through programs and activities.” One of their major programs is Trees for Troops.

Since 2005, the Christmas Spirit Foundation has partnered with Christmas tree growers and FedEx to provide “free, farm-grown Christmas Trees to United States armed forces members in all branches of the military and their families, through donations, sponsorships, grants and the work of many volunteers.”

To date the Trees for Troops program has delivered more than 277,001 trees to military families in the U.S. and to troops stationed overseas in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Qatar, Spain and Guam. This year they will pick up over 15,000 trees from 55 locations around the country and deliver them to 77 military bases.

Trees are donated by individual farms and lots, the collective efforts of state and regional Christmas Tree associations, local sponsoring groups, and the customers of participating locations. If there’s not a location near you, check the websites as some of these locations offer online purchase and donation of trees. 

Each year, hundreds of donors and volunteers participate to make Trees for Troops happen. Ilf you’d like to be one of them you can make a donation to Trees for Troops and amplify their message on social media. Like their Facebook page, and follow them onTwitter @Trees4Troops and on Instagram @treesfortroops. 

Friday, December 9, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Project Linus

As Feel Good Friday heads into December, it’s time to switch into winter holiday mode! Let’s start with Project Linus.

If reading the name Linus calls to mind the Peanuts character who loved his blanket, you’re on the right track. Founded in 1995 and headquartered in Belton, Missouri, the mission of Project Linus is “to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need.” They do this with blankets.

There are Project Linus chapters in all 50 states. Volunteer chapter coordinators actively work within their communities to gather homemade blankets and then distribute them to children in need. The volunteers who make the blankets are called “blanketeers” and there are many ways they can stay engaged with Project Linus throughout the year.

A great time to get involved is on National Make a Blanket Day! Coming up on February 18, 2023, this is a day set aside by Project Linus and their chapters to bring awareness to the mission. If you need inspiration, or a pattern, for your blanket creation you can find some on the website. There are even options for no-sew fleece blankets, perfect for people like me.

In addition to National Make a Blanket Day, there is an annual Knit & Crochet Along that runs from March to August. On the first Saturday in March a knit and a crochet pattern segment is released. New pattern segments are released succeeding Saturdays through the end of April. You can download the segments from the website at any time during the entire event period so that you can knit at your own pace.

Finally, there is a Mystery Quilt Challenge and Contest. The Challenge portion consists of weekly “clues” revealed over several weeks to challenge registrants. Each clue is a PDF document that contains very detailed instructions, diagrams, and even templates to make a segment of the mystery quilt. Clues are accompanied by online videos demonstrating step-by-step how to make them. At the end of the challenge, all weekly clue segments are assembled into a beautiful quilt. The Contest portion consists of entrants rallying everyone they know to make donations in the form of votes for their entered quilt. Vote-buying for good!

Across all chapters, Project Linus donates an average of 350 blankets each month. Since they began in 1995 they have delivered over 9,058,293 blankets to children in need!

If you want to support the work of Project Linus, you can find a local chapter where you can volunteer, donate a handmade blanket or donate materials. You can also make a monetary donation, shop for merch, and amplify their message on social media. Follow them on Facebook, on Twitter @ProjectLinus and on Instagram @project.linus.official.

Friday, December 2, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Ten Year Anniversary

Today we’re celebrating TEN YEARS of Feel Good Friday! 

I started this blog back in 2012 as a way to share weekly stories of people and organizations making a positive impact in their communities. Ten years later and I haven’t stopped because there are still many more stories to be told.

As I did in the five year anniversary post, I’m going to take a trip down memory lane and recap the most viewed story for each of the last five years, starting with 2018.

2018 -
Sacramento Tree Foundation

Focused on building healthy, livable communities in the Sacramento region by growing the best urban forest possible. Sacramento Tree Foundation offers education, advice, training and support for people planting trees in the community.

2019 -
La Clinica

A health clinic founded in California over 50 years ago, their mission is "to improve the quality of life of the diverse communities we serve by providing culturally appropriate, high quality, and accessible health care for all."

2020 - COVID-19

In March, 2020 when people in the U.S were first being asked to stay home for what we thought would be a few weeks, many zoos, theaters and museums made their content available online. Revisit this blog to see what adventures you can have from the comfort of your couch. The live jelly cam from the Monterrey Bay Aquarium is a favorite of mine.

2021 - Pay Away the Layaway

With a mission to “inspire hope and spread kindness” Pay Away the Layaway raises money year round. Volunteers then go to stores and use that money to pay off layaway balances for families during the holiday season.

2022 - Volunteer Match

As the web’s largest volunteer engagement network, the mission of Volunteer Match is to make it easy for good people and good causes to connect. You’re a good person, why not connect with a good cause today?

Whether you’re reading these stories for the first or second time, thank you for being a part of the Feel Good Friday community! Your comments, likes and shares make me feel good about telling these stories, so keep them coming. Stay in touch by following the blog at Hey Miss K or  connect with me on LinkedIn

Here’s to ten more years. See you next week!

Friday, November 25, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Native Land Digital

As Native American Heritage Month comes to a close, take a Feel Good Friday moment to find out whose land you’re on by visiting Native Land Digital.

Created in 2015 by Victor Temprano, and incorporated as a Canadian not-for-profit organization in 2018, Native Land Digital is a website dedicated to helping people across the world learn more about their local Indigenous history. They do this by mapping Indigenous territories, treaties, and languages with the goal of bringing awareness to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

In their own words, “we strive to map Indigenous lands in a way that changes, challenges, and improves the way people see history and the present day. We hope to strengthen the spiritual bonds that people have with the land, its people, and its meaning.”

You can input your location on the map to find out whose land you’re on, what languages were/are spoken and what treaty was used to take that land for the U.S. government. While there is a very visible Indigenous community in my neighborhood - headquarters for the Native American Health Center, a monthly Indigenous Red Market, graffiti reminding us “this is Ohlone land” - I didn’t know many specifics. After using the Native Land map I learned that I live on territories of the Ohlone, Muwekma and Confederated Villages of Lisjan. The language spoken is Ohlone and the area is covered by the treaty, Cession 281

In addition to the map, Native Land provides a Teacher’s Guide, a guide to Territory Acknowledgement, a blog, and other educational content in an effort to “correct the way people speak about colonialism and indigeneity, and to encourage territory awareness in everyday speech and action.” If you want to know whose land you’re on while you’re on the move, be sure to download the Native Land mobile app.

If you want to support the work of Native Land, you can make a donation and amplify their message on social media. Like the Native Land Facebook page and follow them on Twitter and Instagram @nativelandnet. We are ALL on #NativeLand

Friday, November 18, 2022

Feel Good Friday - City Harvest

Thanksgiving is next week and I’ve got food and family on my mind. That’s why I want to spend today’s Feel Good Friday talking about an organization dedicated to feeding hungry New Yorkers, City Harvest.

Founded in 1982, the mission of City Harvest is “to end hunger in communities throughout New York City.” They do this through food rescue and distribution, education, and other innovative solutions. This one-minute video gives a great overview.

Before we talk about the work, let’s talk about hunger in New York City. According to statistics on the City Harvest website, 1.5 million New Yorkers are struggling to feed themselves right now, including one in four children. Food insecurity has surged 36% since the beginning of the pandemic. 

This is where City Harvest comes in. Every day they have a fleet of 26 refrigerated trucks on the road, rescuing 300,000 pounds of nutritious food from donors such as farms, restaurants, grocers, and manufacturers. This food is then delivered to hundreds of soup kitchens, food pantries and other community partners in all five boroughs across New York City. To date, City Harvest has rescued and delivered more than 1 billion pounds of free food!

Nutrition education programs are focused on teaching people how to prepare delicious, nutritious meals and shop for healthy foods on a budget. While in-person workshops are still on hold, you can sign up for a virtual class or access recipes and video tutorials here.

Additional programs include: Mobile Markets, where community members gather in farmer’s market settings to receive fresh produce and participate in cooking demonstrations; Healthy Retail, which helps corner stores increase fruit and vegetable sales; and Plentiful, a mobile app available in nine languages that people use to locate food pantries near them and make reservations to pick up food without waiting in lines.

If you like what City Harvest is doing to feed New Yorkers, help them out by supporting their work. If you live in New York City you can volunteer your time. The rest of us can make a donation and amplify their message on social media. Like the City Harvest Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @CityHarvest (while it still exists) and Instagram @cityharvestnyc. #WeAreCityHarvest 

Friday, November 11, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Honor Flight

Today’s Feel Good Friday coincides with Veterans Day, a day to honor those who have served in the United States military. One group that is making sure veterans get the recognition they deserve is Honor Flight. 

Founded in 2005 by by Jeff Miller and Earl Morse, the mission of Honor Flight is “to celebrate America's veterans by inviting them to share in a day of honor at our nation's memorials.” Coordinating with a network of 128 Honor Flight hubs around the country, veterans are transported to Washington, DC to visit the memorials and monuments dedicated to their service and sacrifice. 

The inaugural Honor Flight Tour took place in May of 2005. Six small planes flew out of Springfield, Ohio taking twelve World War II Veterans on a visit to the memorial in Washington, DC. Now commercial airlines are used to accommodate as many veterans as possible.

Top priority is given to America's most senior veterans, survivors of World War II and any veteran with a terminal illness who wish to visit their memorial. Next in line for the program are veterans from the Korean War, Vietnam War and all other veterans who served, on a chronological basis. The Honor Flight network, as a whole, serves over 22,000 veterans each year and, since they began in 2005, over 245,000 veterans have traveled Washington DC.

There is an Honor Flight Bay Area hub, founded in 2014, which covers California from the San Francisco Bay Area to the Oregon border. You can keep up with them by joining their Facebook page and tune in to KRON, channel 4 tonight at 6:30pm tonight where they will be showing a special segment on Honor Flight on their news broadcast. If you can’t wait until tonight, you can watch this 8-minute video highlight of Honor Flight from CBS Sunday Morning.

To honor and celebrate a veteran in your life, make a donation to Honor Flight and help them achieve their vision of “a nation where all of America's veterans experience the honor, gratitude, and community of support they deserve.” Happy Veterans Day!

Friday, November 4, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Voter's Edge California

The U.S. midterm elections are only four days away and today’s Feel Good Friday is here to prepare you for the polls with a little help from Voter’s Edge California.

As you’ve likely gathered from the name, Voter’s Edge California (VEC), is “a comprehensive, nonpartisan online guide to elections covering federal, state, and local races in the state of California.” It’s a joint project of MapLight and the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund that began in 1996 as the election information site,

The purpose of Voter’s Edge California is to help you “get the facts before you vote.” Start by entering your street address and zip code on the VEC homepage. You’ll get a personalized ballot that includes in-depth information on candidates and measures for the state, your county, your city, and your district. 

You can read candidate biographies, top priorities, and answers to questions, as well as see photos, policy videos, endorsements, and detailed information about who funds their campaigns. I found this useful because, while at a state level I only have to decide between a Democratic and Republic candidate for each position, there are ten people running for Mayor of Oakland and this site helped me learn more about all of them.

With the ballot measures, you can read unbiased explanations and find out who supports, opposes, and funds them. The site lists the top 10 donors for both the “yes on” and “no on” campaigns and also shows a breakdown of how much money is coming from inside and outside of California. Fascinating when you dig in to the funding of the gambling measures on the ballot. There are also explainer videos from CalMatters that give one-minute overviews on the state measures.

While researching everyone and everything on your ballot, you can use VEC to keep track of your choices and make filling out your ballot much easier. There’s also information on how to mail back your ballot, drop it off, or vote in person and then track it once you’ve voted.

If you like what Voter’s Edge is doing to help people in California make more informed choices you can support them with a donation. You can also help your fellow voters get educated by sharing this information on social media. Like the Voter’s Edge California Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @VotersEdge (if you’re still on Twitter) and Instagram @votersedgeca.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Bat World Sanctuary

Halloween is right around the corner so let’s get into the spooky spirit with today’s Feel Good Friday organization, Bat World Sanctuary!

Founded in 1994 and based in Texas, Bat World Sanctuary is a non-profit, accredited organization dedicated to ending the mistreatment of bats. They provide worldwide rescue, rehabilitation, release and lifetime sanctuary for orphaned and injured bats.

If you’re wondering why bats, you’ll find the answer on the Bat World website. “Fruit and nectar bats bring us approximately 450 commercial products and over 80 different medicines through seed dispersal and pollination. Up to 98% of all rainforest regrowth comes from seeds that have been spread by fruit bats. Insect-eating bats are literal vacuum cleaners of the night skies, eating millions upon millions of harmful bugs. They protect us by eating insect-pests that destroy crops as well as insects that cause human disease.”

Every year, the volunteers at Bat World rescue hundreds of bats that might otherwise die. There is a team of local rescuers who you can contact if you find an injured or trapped bat. Follow these directions to keep both you and the bat safe. Bat World also works with zoos, researchers and animal shelters to offer bats a lifetime of sanctuary instead of death. Considering most bats have a lifespan of 25-40 years, that’s a big commitment.

In a 2019 video the team at Bat World estimates that, since their founding they have rehabilitated 30,000 bats and saved another 200,000 from destruction. Just this month, 21 bats have been rescued. You can track the details and see photos on the Bat World rescue log.

Bats that are unable to be released back into the wild are given a home in the Bat World Sanctuary. Right now there are approximately 400 permanent residents who you can watch on the live 24/7 bat cams. The bats were pretty active when I checked in last night while writing this.

In addition to the rescue, release and sanctuary efforts, Bat World provides tons of educational materials. There is a page of resources for teachers that includes a quiz you can take to find out what kind of bat you are. I’m a vampire bat, perfect for Halloween. There’s also information on how to build a bat house, and a page that covers myths vs facts. Apparently bats are not blind nor are they trying to get tangled in your hair. You can learn even more by watching videos on the Bat World Sanctuary YouTube page.

If this post has made you want to help Bat World Sanctuary support the world’s 1100+ species of bats, there are a lot of ways to do so. Make a donation, become a volunteer, adopt a bat, shop for merch, and amplify their work on social media. Like the Bat World Sanctuary Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @batworld and on Instagram @batworldsanctuary.


Friday, October 21, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Dogs Without Borders

Since 1981, October has been designated as Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. That makes today a perfect time to talk about Dogs Without Borders.

Founded in 2006 and based in Los Angeles, California, Dogs Without Borders (DWB) is a “non-profit, small dog rescue that saves homeless and abandoned dogs from high-kill shelters in the Los Angeles area, and finds them permanent and loving homes.”

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, approximately 3.3 million dogs enter shelters every year. DWB rescues stray and abandoned dogs from shelters as far away as Taiwan and Mexico, though the vast majority of their rescue dogs come from Los Angeles County shelters. They are one of the highest placement rescues in the county and have found forever homes for over 6,000 dogs since their inception.

DWB does not have a facility and relies solely on foster volunteers to house and care for their rescue dogs until they are adopted. For volunteers in the LA area willing and able to foster a dog, DWB provides food, bedding, toys, a collar, leash, medical care, training and support. You provide a home, a routine, some love and bring the dog to weekly adoption events until they find their new family.

For people interested in adopting a dog, it starts with an application and chat with an adoption coordinator. Next steps include meeting a dog at an adoption event, or private session, taking the dog home for a week-long trial adoption period, chatting with a foster mentor, passing a home inspection and making your decision. All dogs are spayed/ neutered, vaccinated and micro-chipped prior to adoption, and come with a DWB ID tag. Clients also get advice and tips for the duration of their dogs’ lives to guarantee happy and successful adoptions.

If you live in the Los Angeles area and are considering fostering or adopting a dog, you can see photos of the currently available dogs at this link. You can also volunteer to work at an adoption event, transport dogs (to events and/or vet visits) or conduct home inspections. You can also swing by the Strut Your Mutt fundraiser tomorrow in Warner Center Park

For those of you who don’t live in LA but still want to support the work of Dogs Without Borders, you have options. Make a donation and amplify their work on social media. Like the DWB Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @dwbrescue and on Instagram @dogswithoutborders.

Friday, October 14, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Costume Connections

With Halloween right around the corner, it’s time to focus on organizations getting costumes to kids who need them. Let’s start with Costume Connections.

Founded in 2017 and based in Austin, Texas, Costume Connections’ mission is “to ensure that every child's imagination is nurtured with a costume of their choice at Halloween.” 

As they explain on their website, children who are unable to participate in school parades and trick-or-treating can be left with feelings of exclusion and shame. Costume Connections provides pop up costume shops for children in need so they can participate in these experiences with costumes they select and are proud to wear. 

You can see a short news story on the organization from KXAN and, if you live in Texas, you can visit their costume pop up shop on October 22nd. No matter where you live, you can help provide Halloween costumes for children in Austin. How? Support Costume Connections with a donation and by amplifying their message on social media. Like their Facebook page and follow them on Instagram @costumeconnectionsatx.

Another organization that provides Halloween costumes to children is ‘WEEN DREAM. They focus on children "who are faced with unique challenges, including those with special needs, physical and/or mental disabilities, homeless children, kids living in poverty or at shelters, children with serious medical issues, kids in the foster care system, and kids who have experienced a recent trauma or natural disaster.”

Although based in New Orleans, Louisiana, 'WEEN DREAM ships costumes to children in need around the United States. To learn more about this organization and how to support them, visit this Feel Good Friday post from 2019.

Finally, for those of you in the Bay Area, the San Francisco Public Library is having a Halloween costume swap on October 22nd. Bring a costume, take a costume or do both. Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 7, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Mizell Center

It’s Feel Good Friday and we’re heading to Palm Springs! I mean, I got here yesterday so I'm just making sure the blog catches up by posting about a local resource, Mizell Center.

Founded in 1974, Mizell Center is a non-denominational organization that serves the senior community in the greater Palm Springs area. Recognized as a leader in active aging, their “multi-faceted network of programs and services is designed to encourage creativity, promote lifelong learning and sustain an active and engaged lifestyle.”

Mizell Center’s nutrition programs include communal lunches at several senior centers on weekdays, and the largest Meals on Wheels program in the Coachella Valley. You can check out the monthly menu to see what’s being served. Today is chicken pot pie!

Their case management services assist seniors with accessing and navigating community resources and government services. That might mean referrals to affordable housing, medical care, counseling or transportation services. It also covers help applying for benefits such as social security, Medi-Cal and CalFresh.

In addition to these offerings, Mizell Center has a very active social calendar. Monday through Friday of any given week, there are 50 separate activities, classes and creative arts! Examples of the programs include: fitness classes like aerobics, Zumba and tai chi; game days to play bridge, canasta or chess; Spanish classes, art classes, line dancing, tech tutoring… so many ways to stay active!

The values of Mizell Center are respect, diversity, inclusion, compassion, innovation, and equity and their website states that “seasonal residents and guests are warmly welcomed.” I may have to stop by for some tap dancing lessons while I’m in town. 

If you’d like to support the work of the Mizell Center, you can become a member, volunteer, buy something at Aunt Betty’s Resale Shop, make a donation and amplify their message on social media. Like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @MizellCenterPS and Instagram @mizellcenter.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Mi Familia Vota

We’re in the middle of National Hispanic American Heritage Month and there are only 40 days left until the midterm elections. Sounds like a great time to highlight the work of Mi Familia Vota.

Established in 2000, Mi Familia Vota (MFV) is “a national civic engagement non-profit organization that unites Latino, immigrant, and allied communities to promote social and economic justice through citizenship workshops, voter registration, and voter participation.”

These programs operate in seven states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, and Texas. The web pages for each state show you registration and early voting deadlines as well as contact information for the local office in your chosen state.

To increase voter registration and participation within these states, MFV partners with Spanish language media, schools, and community, faith-based and labor organizations to provide non-partisan information to Latino voters. While voter registration efforts are in high gear now, they also take place year round. In the 2020 election cycle MFV contacted 7 million voters through phone calls, text messages and door knocks and got 550,000 people registered!

MFV also mobilizes the Latino, immigrant and allied communities to lead both local and national coalitions in the fight for voting rights, healthcare and access to COVID-19 vaccinations, environmental issues, education, reproductive rights, workers’ rights and immigration reform with a path to citizenship. Their political work includes a campaign highlighting the ways Governor Greg Abbott has failed the Latino community in Texas, which you can learn about in this short video: ¡Basta Abbott!

Finally, MFV has a year-long Youth Development Program that provides high school students with unique real-world experiences and training exercises that teach them how to influence change in their communities and understand the importance of building political power.

If you’d like to support the work of Mi Familia Vota, you can become a volunteer, make a donation and amplify their message on social media. Follow them on Facebook at this link, on Twitter @MiFamiliaVota and Instagram @mifamiliavota.

Bonus note for all of us in California: the deadline to register to vote online is October 24th (in person November 8th) and early voting begins October 10th. De nada.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Mujeres Unidas y Activas

National Hispanic American Heritage Month runs from September 15th to October 15th which makes this a perfect Feel Good Friday to talk about Mujeres Unidas y Activas, United and Active Women.

Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA) is “a grassroots organization of Latina immigrant women with a dual mission of promoting personal transformation and building community power for social and economic justice.” 

It began in 1990 as a project of the Northern California Coalition for Immigrant Rights. At that time MUA had a leadership training for women and a theater project that informed the community about AIDS, domestic violence, and immigrant and workers’ rights. Today, they have offices in San Francisco, Oakland and Union City, and offer a wide range of programs, campaigns and resources to support Latina immigrant women.

MUA support group meetings happen virtually each week and cover topics such as peer counseling, healing and wellness workshops, civic and political education workshops and Zumba classes. MUA also provides access to legal services, a support line for survivors of domestic violence, parenting programs, English classes for staff members, domestic workers and sexual assault crisis counselors, and a group specifically for the thousands of Guatemalan immigrants in the Bay Area who speak Mam

Details about all their programs can be found at this link and, for people unable to join a live meeting, there is a page on the website with resources for survivors of violence, domestic workers, immigrants and employers. 

In addition to this wide range of services, MUA also invests in campaign work to strengthen their organization, their leaders and their community power. They focus on rights for immigrant women and domestic workers, as well as language access and civic engagement.

What is the impact of MUA’s work? In response to the coronavirus pandemic, MUA shifted all of its programs to operate remotely. They set up food distribution to members who were hungry, and, through the MUA COVID19 Immigrant Families Relief Fund, they distributed over $500,000 cash relief to current and former participants who were out of work and struggling. MUA’s campaign work helped get the California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights signed into law guaranteeing daily and weekly overtime for domestic workers.

If you’d like to support MUA and the people they help, you can do so by making a donation and amplifying their work on social media. Like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @mujrsunidas and Instagram @mujeresunidasyactivas.


Friday, September 16, 2022

Feel Good Friday - Voting Resources

In case you don’t have your countdown clock set, there are only 52 days left until the Midterm Elections in the United States. The outcome will determine which party controls Congress and you get a chance to influence that outcome with your vote.

In preparation for these upcoming elections, I’m recapping several voting-related posts that will help you get informed, motivated and involved. Links to the organizations and to the original posts are included so you can learn more about the organization that interest you.

Get Informed

TurboVote is “a tool that helps you vote, no matter what.” Since 2012, TurboVote has helped 9 million voters keep track of voter registration, absentee, and vote-by-mail rules for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Ballot Ready provides personalized ballots and nonpartisan information to voters in all 50 states. Start by entering your address on the website’s home page and Ballot Ready displays a list of your federal, state and local representatives.

Get Motivated

EMILY's List elects pro-choice Democratic women to office. Their vision is to balance the voice of power by having the government more accurately represent the people it serves and to "elect leaders who ignite change”.

Fair Fight is leading the charge to protect voting rights. They promote fair elections around the country, encourage voter participation in elections, and educate voters about elections and their voting rights.

Get Involved

Vote Forward is a nonprofit organization that builds tools “to enable Americans, wherever they may be, to encourage fellow citizens to participate in our democracy.” Their mission is “to empower grassroots volunteers to help register voters from under-represented demographics and encourage them to vote.”

Swing Left is “building a lasting culture of grassroots participation in winning elections for the Left by making it as easy as possible for anyone to have maximum impact on the elections that determine the balance of power in our country.”

I hope the reminder about these organizations inspires you vote in November!