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Saturday, January 02, 2010

let's give back: be an activist

wondering how to make a difference in 2010? questioning what your legacy will be? in my latest tranquility du jour newsletter, i noted that i would share my end of year giving. there are SO many ways to give back and do good. a few simple everyday ideas are saying thank you, sending a "thinking of you" note, giving a small homemade gift, volunteering your time, donating money, or even simply spreading word about a good cause/event online or via word of mouth. in tranquilista i outline how to host a chariTea soiree to help raise awareness on a special cause.

my first activist efforts began with tithing my $2 weekly allowance at church. then i became obsessed with turtles. raised urtle, yurtle, murtle, nosey, and pudding, wrote so many creative stories about my turtles that my third grade teacher (boo mrs. stever) told me to come up with another topic, and then donated my allowance to "the turtle lady" in south padre island. even collected turtle figurines, wrote more turtle stories, took murtle to the vet when she got ill, and held christmas parties for them (whole other blog post). ah, grade school energy = the launch of my do-gooding efforts!

giving always feels so good. this year i chose to donate to:

mid-atlantic pug rescue - yay for adopting animals. (top secret: since i'm losing on my battle to mother a potbelly pig, i'd LOVE to adopt a pug from this fabulous organization. stay tuned.)

trees for the future - sponsored another grove of trees thanks to all class passes and massages purchased at tranquil space. GREAT gift idea!

friends of the animals - amazing organization doing phenomenal work. i receive their great magazine actionline and focused my donation on primarily primates. i heart monkeys.

tranquil space foundation - as the founder of this organiztion (along with beau + michelle hynes) the mission is incredibly close to my heart. we give microgrants and bring yoga, creativity, and leadership to women and girls through our tranquil teens program.

my sister's place - when we began selling tranquil space tees i wanted to find an organization to donate a portion of sales to so, as a women's studies grad student at the time, i chose my sister's place which works to eradicate domestic violence. we continue to support them each year.

humane society - half of all our beverage sales at tranquil space are donated to the washington humane society. i *adore* this organization and am excited for their upcoming sugar + champagne event, our annual doga class i do each may (photo above), and monthly adoption events outside our bustling 17th street location.

greenpeace - a few years ago i came upon one of their workers at dupont circle on a very cold day. she showed me images of the polar bears on melting glaciers and i signed up for monthly donations.

aspca - if you watch the commercial with sarah mclachlan you'll donate, too! i have a monthly donation set up to this organization that does amazing work for the animals.

farm sanctuary - tranquil space adopted jd (a big pig) and travolta (a big cow). beau and i visited them in 2008.

red apes - i've always had a fascination with orangutans and tranquil space adopted dodo this year. cutest ape ever!

there are SO many deserving organizations and causes out there. i hope this post gives some ideas on various ways to become an activist. who are your favorite organizations? how do you give back through small gestures, donations, volunteering, or compassion?

here's to being a do-gooder in 2010!

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Melita said...

instead of buying mine & my boyfriend's parents gifts that they don't need (or probably want haha) we buy animals from heifer international ( their name. it's always a hit! hugs!!

Sarah said...

Great post! I posted one of my own a couple weeks ago (, inspired by your podcast.

Two years ago, my New Year's Resolution was to donate to my local humane society, but I didn't have a huge lump sum to give at once. Instead, I would spend about $2-$3 per week on can cat and dog food, and would drop it off each month. It felt so good providing food.

Which Farm Sanctuary did you go to, Cali or NY? I went to the one in NY a couple years ago and was amazed at how large "Snickers" the cow is! Huge!