So… yeah, if you were here yesterday I had to share the news that I’m without a volunteer position (get the scoop here) for the first time in about five years. This means that I’m currently on the hunt for a new volunteer opportunity, and I know there’s lots of choices out there. It’s time to weigh my options:
Saving the Whales or Polar Bears
I boycotted Sea World and zoos years ago – if you haven’t seen “Blackfish“, you must (FREE TILLY!) – but I know there’s more that can be done. I found an article, that offers 10 ways to help save the whales! Whew. A big part of it is actually getting into recycling, which I admit, I’ve never been good at. So, maybe this is something I should look into a little further.
I also looked at the Green Peace website, and found that (although I am a Clinton supporter), her Super PAC is being funded by corporate polluters. There is a pre-written email you can fill out to pledge that you will reject fossil fuel money. Check it out here.
Now, I know that you’ve seen those commercials about the polar bears. I don’t really know how I can help save the whales or polar bears from Austin, but perhaps it’s worth a shot?! According to Polar Bears International, polar bears could be extinct by 2050 because of greenhouse gases! That is within our lifetime, folks! The website notes Earth Day (which is April 22), and there are a few simple things you can do to help – the list is here.
For the last year, I’ve been making a bigger effort to eat organic food, or at the very least, non-GMO food. I am also very much against companies that support Monsanto (like fucking Starbucks) and/or companies that are against GMO labeling.
Whether or not you care about what genetically modified organisms and/or Monsanto-made pesticides have planned for the funeral of your guts, it’s also worth noting that any farming, other than organic farming, is bad for our environment. So, if you’re hoping things are as beautiful down the road, you might want to consider going organic.
I live in a city full of hipsters and granolas (no offense, I love it), hell, this is where Whole Foods was born. So I know the non-GMO cause is huge here. But I actually found a list of organizations (here it is) you can join in every state!
However, I am almost terrified of joining any groups because I know the passion is just going to be off the charts… but I will continue to skip on Starbucks and buy organic.
Other Environmental Causes
I know there’s a slew of other environmental issues I could volunteer for. Aside from helping the polar bears, Green Peace is a good general environmental fund to donate to, because they are always fighting against climate change. I found the website for Friends of the Environment, and they also have several different causes that help different areas of the environment, including climate and energy, food and technology, and the ocean and forests. And finally, there’s the Rain Forest Alliance that promotes green living, and sustainable…well, everything. Plus, the pictures of all the cute animals really just do it for me.
I can’t talk about volunteering and charity without mentioning my favorite radio DJs’ charity! From their website:
JohnJay & Rich have helped thousands of children and families in need for nearly 15 years by providing food, clothing, toys,… basic needs and experiences primarily during the holiday season through their Christmas Wish Program. In 2007 they formed their 501 c 3 non-profit organization The Johnjay & Rich Care for Kids Foundation and have most recently placed an emphasis on helping the nearly 400,000 kids living in the Foster Care System in The United States. #LoveUp is an accidental movement started by Johnjay Van Es. Auto correct changed his friend’s text from “love it” to “Love Up” and the phenomenon was born! Johnjay and Rich think #LoveUp will be a great way to remind people to pay it forward and spread the love!
So, you can simply buy a cute #LoveUp shirt or even sweatpants, and the money goes toward The JohnJay & Rich Care for Kids Foundation. Score!
As a woman, of course I care about my rights, and those of other women around the globe. I found a website for a foundation that focuses on women in poverty around the globe, which is good, but I think I like the idea of something a little more local.
The National Organization for Women (NOW) is a group of feminist activists right in the United States, and they really work for true equality for women. One of the causes they contributed to was the “Dirty 100” – fighting the 100 employers who refuse to let their women employees access reproductive healthcare as part of their insurance.
This was the most difficult thing to find information about. Of course, there are several groups and causes around domestic abuse you can donate to, but I was looking for volunteer opportunities in my local area. I found SAFE: Stop Abuse For Everyone, but it mainly focuses on children affected in these situations. No offense to the kids, but I’m more interested in helping the women who are affected. Turns out, there are several women’s shelters around Austin that are always looking for volunteers. This may be a good choice for me.
…So, there are some options out there. And BTW, I kind of hand to laugh when I made this list; if you didn’t know I was a liberal before, it’s kind of obvious now! Ha! In any case, if you’ve got other causes you think I should look into, please let me know! In the meantime, I think I’m going to buy some #LoveUp apparel…