Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our Cause...

I will go into more detail in the next entry...but here is our main focus at this moment. It must be stopped.

*******WARNING: This video contains graphic and cruel acts against dolphins. *******

Monday, November 29, 2010

What Can I Do?

"We must remember that one determined person can make a significant difference, and that a small group of determined people can can change the course of history."~ Sonia Johnson

  Are you ready to take that stand? So now what? What can you do?

 Pick a Cause(s)! There are millions of issues out there that needed someone to stand up for. Humans, Animals, the Environment~ they are all in trouble somewhere, needing your help. You just have to figure out where you can help. The first step is picking the cause.

 So now that you know what you want to to, the question is who do YOU turn to. There are so many amazing organizations out there. More then likely one of them will relate to your cause. If not, start your own! So, organizations, which one is good? Well, that's were you have to do a bit of research. Some charities have multiple organizations available. Some go more in depth to a particular cause. Are you looking for a cancer organization or a breast cancer organization. Or do you want it to be worldwide, or just local? These are things that you will have to look into, to find just what you are looking for.  The charity navigator is a wonderful website that list over 5,500 of America's largest Charities (this is not just charities that benefit Americans, they have international charities as well). Not only does it give the name and the contact info, but it gives the financial health and over all ratings of each organization. Its a great place to look.

 So you have your cause(s)/charity, now what? Donating money to your cause is, of course, a good way to help. Its you sending money to your Charity knowing they will use that money where it is needed. But handing out money is not the only way to help. Did you know that the single most important thing you can do for your cause, more so then sending money (unless you are sending thousands of dollars)is spreading awareness and educating others about the cause? Just think about it. You can send in money yearly or weekly, to help your cause and that's wonderful. But if you tell friends, family, and anyone else you can get to listen, and then they tell others, who tell others....you just created a network of support for your cause. That is more awareness (more people knowing about the cause) and more money if these people donate. Plus, in spreading awareness you never know who might hear about your cause.
   Lets go back to the bone marrow example again. Say you know through word of mouth of a person who needs a bone marrow transplant. Without it they will die. You test, but your not a match, you tell family and friends, maybe coworkers. Some of them really want to help so they get tested, none match. But they tell others and down the line, there is a match. If you had not spread the word who knows if there would have been a match.
 This is an example of course, but it can work for all causes. Sure, finding a cure for Cancer or Aids, may not be solved this way, but you never know. The money you and your friends raise just might give that research the extra money to run the test that does find a cure, or at least puts them a step closer.

 How do I raise awareness? I don't want to force my cause on other people, how do I go about it?
  The last thing you want to do is force your cause on anyone. But at the same time, you can spread awareness without pushing it on others. And you would be surprised how many people might be interested in a cause, I know I was. So how do you do it? We live in a world of technology. There is a million ways to get the word out. If you blog, you can blog about it. If you use Facebook or twitter, you can post information there. Of course talk to your friends and family.
 Have a dinner party for your cause. Invite people over to talk about your cause. You provide dinner and the info, and your guest come to learn. Tell them you don't expect them to bring money, just the willingness to learn about something that matters to you.
 Talk to your boss at work. Let him or her know you want to raise awareness for a cause and see if they can help. Maybe have a causal day for those who donate to the cause. Or any other creative idea you can come up with. Check and see if your company has a charitable giving plan. If so see if your charity is on it, if not find out if you can get it on there.
 For Birthday, Holidays, wedding, or any other event that involves gifts ask people to donate to your charity in Lu of gifts. And when your the gifter, ask if your giftee has a favorite charity.

 Letter writing campaigns are another thing you can do for your cause. I had never wrote a letter to my congressman, any political figure, or celebrity before I got involved with saving the dolphins. Now its a part of my daily activity. Finding key figures who could help your cause, or just finding the right person to hound (remember activist are activist... bugging them to death sometimes works!) is key. The extent of your writing will depend on your cause. If your cause is a cancer awareness or feed the children, the way you handle your writings would be different compared to someone who's cause is Anti-killing of animals. But there are key people that any activist should try and contact. Media and Celebrity. Contact major media outlets and TV host and ask them to do a show or segment on your cause. This is not a "Hey, I am raising awareness, interview me!" Letter, but a " This is a cause I am working hard to raise awareness on, and here are some key people in the organization that you should contact to do a show on them. Example.... I have contacted all major media outlets and every talk show in the US asking them to have Rick O'Barry on to talk about the issues going on in Taiji, Japan. Figure out who might be able to help your cause and start writing!

Most Organizations have "how you can help" sections on their websites. They will give you more ideas that fit your particular cause. But don't always rely on this. Be creative. Have fun with it. The options are endless!
You will never know what you can achieve until you try!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Take a Stand!

    "A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to preserve and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles." ~ Christopher Reeves
On any given day, in any given country, Earths creatures are being treated unfairly, abused, or neglected. Humans and animals alike are dying needlessly. Many thrown aside and forgotten. Most of the deaths and inhumane treatments could be prevented. But there is not enough people to stand up for them. No one is there to help.

 Why? Does anyone care? Do you care? Do you stand up for these lives? Have you taken a stand for a cause and said "No More!"? Have you done all you can?

 There are so many causes to become involved with. There are tons of wonderful organizations to join or help. Sadly, most people around the world do little or nothing to help. Someone may donate a dollar at the store for a cause, but that's were it stops. Don't get me wrong, your dollar helps but there is so much more one could do.

 There are people around the world who fight everyday of their lives for others. Be it traveling around the world or around their own town, they do everything they can for their cause. But the truth is, most people don't? They don't get involved with any cause. Even for a cause that might have effected them or their families. Why? Surely these people care, so why don't they get involved? I don't think there is one correct answer to this question.
    "I am to busy!" "If I get involved, I have to except that the problem exist." It doesn't effect me, why should I help?" I don't have the money to feed myself, much less donate to someone else!" "How do I know the money I give really goes to the cause?" "Ho could anything I do actually help?" 
  These are just a few reasons I have heard out of peoples mouths. And I find them all, extremely sad! If you had a child who was dying, how would these answers make you feel? And I'm not even talking about curing cancer! It could be as simple as just blood, or bone marrow. You do know that people die simple from the  lack of bone marrow donors, don't you. They don't even get a chance to fight their battle, they lose because no one was there to help. How about the animals, that have no voice, that are being neglected, abused, and killed. They have no clue what they have done to deserve this treatment. They endure pain and suffering, because no one would stand up to be their voice.

  I'm not trying to make anyone feel guilty. I'm not trying to push anyone into any certain cause. I just want you to care. I want you to get involved. I want you to stand for something! Pick a cause! There has to be something out there that you are passionate about. More times then not, there are probably of number of issues that you find meaningful. Do some research! Make a stand!

This Blog is about our family and our causes. We are involved with a number of causes, all on different levels. Some of the cause we donate money and our time to support. Some are causes that we just spread awareness about. But all are important. No cause is more important then another. That is something to remember. If someone does not agree with your cause (and trust me there are plenty out there), don't take it personal. Some people just might not get it, or they see things different then you. I have ran into many people who just don't understand why we care so much about Dolphins, whales, and sharks, when there are kids going to bed at night hungry. All I can do is explain to them why they are important and then let them know that there are many causes out there and all are important. Remember just because you see someone speaking out on one cause, doesn't mean they don't care about others.

 What is your cause? What do you stand for? What are you doing about it?