Social Action

Get involved! Make a difference!

As the song says, “We can’t solve all the world’s problems, but we can try to put the little things right.” There are some things that we can all try to help change. Please take a few moments to read the following paragraphs and pass on the message to your family and friends. There are so many organisations out there, with good people trying to fix all the stuff that’s broken: even if you choose to support only one of them, your assistance will be valuable and appreciated.

A problem critically connected to the environment is the way many people in the West shop for clothing. The amount of wastage, both in economic and environmental terms, is staggering, and truly scary. Please take the time to watch the 2015 documentary The True Cost. You’ll never look at the fashion/clothing industry the same way again. Tell all your family and friends, get them to watch it, and start making a genuine difference today!

Humanitarian emergencies:

The current situation in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Chad and Darfur, and many other locations, with enormous numbers of vulnerable, under-privileged people in need of assistance in many aspects of their lives, calls to us from around the world. Please help now by donating to the various campaigns. Small donations add up; so even if you can’t afford to give large sums of money, please give something toward medical supplies, food and other necessities. An Irish organisation, Concern works as both a fast response emergency agency and a facilitator of long-term development projects, recognising that there is a strong link between poverty and the impact of emergencies. This non-governmental, non-denominational organisation maintains a clear mission to respond to emergencies alongside its established work in development. Concern works in many countries where poverty is at unimaginable levels. Check out their site. Thank-you for helping.

Make a difference every day by clicking on each of the following sites. By donating to these important causes, you can help improve the situation on this planet. For those who have to watch their pennies: it won’t cost you more than a few seconds.

GreaterGood

The Hunger Site

The Breast Cancer Site

The Autism Site

The Alzheimer’s Site

The Diabetes Site

The Literacy Site

The Animal Rescue Site

The Rainforest Site

Another site well worth checking out is that of Survival International. This organisation — independent of all government funding — was established in 1969, and has a long record of supporting tribal peoples around the world to achieve greater self-sufficiency and hold on to their lands. You can make a difference by donating money, signing petitions, writing letters, and/or volunteering. These campaigns have proved successful in several places, and with the help of concerned people, such successes will multiply over the coming years. In earlier centuries, tribal peoples who were threatened by Western civilisation were pretty helpless, and we can only look back in anger and regret at their fate. Today, with trans-global communications at an all-time high, we can make the best possible use of the technologies at our disposal to help those still fighting for a dignified way of life of their own choosing. For gift ideas for the turning of the year, you might like to check out the annual calendars, greetings cards and special T-shirts that the organisation sells to help raise urgently-needed funding for their projects.

Instead of buying someone you love or wish to acknowledge another trinket that needs to be dusted, you can donate livestock such as cows, goats, pigs and chickens to needy families around the world through Heifer International. In this way, you can help provide a way for families to feed themselves, earn income and learn sustainable agricultural techniques.

If you’ve been carrying around an organ donor’s card for years, believing that by signing up for one your wish to donate organs will be respected, check it out more carefully in the country where you live. In the USA and UK, for example, just having the card is not enough. You need to make a binding legal agreement through a lawyer so that your wish to donate organs is not overridden by your family. Several organisations deal with this important topic. One of them, in the USA, is the James Redford Institute for Transplant Awareness. Please don’t hesitate to sign up as a potential donor of organs and/or tissue: there are thousands of people out there in desperate need.

Universal Giving is an NPO that promotes both the giving of donations and volunteering as an everyday part of life. This web-based service connects donors and volunteers with the organisation most appropriate to their field of interest.

One of the most shocking problems in parts of the world today is that of female genital mutilation. At the Scholars’ Conference at Azhar University in Cairo in November, 2006, Muslim clerics officially outlawed this practice. Let’s hope that the practitioners will now begin to comply. Please take a look at the Target site about the fight to prevent further abuse of young girls and women. You can also sign the petition against this practice and spread the word about it to your family and friends.

If you are concerned about the future of our environment — and particularly the problems related to biological diversity — you might like to visit the web-site of the World Wildlife Fund, and get involved in their campaigns.

TreeHouse (Charity Registration No. 1063184)

Generations of children with autism are not reaching their potential because of lack of investment in autism education. Without this they will be dependent on society to fund and care for them for the rest of their lives. Yet so much of this long-term expenditure could be avoided. With the right investment in early intervention, TreeHouse in the UK really can make a difference for all children with autism. Fundraising is very important to TreeHouse as they require over 1,000,000 pounds in voluntary contributions each year, to continue their work. Without charitable support, TreeHouse could not maintain its intensive teaching and high quality resources offered to existing pupils or provide a nationally relevant solution to a growing national problem.

Medieval woodcut; from the Defensorium Virginitatis Mariae, 1471.

Medieval woodcut; from the Defensorium Virginitatis Mariae, 1471.