Where Did It Go (2013)?

Have you wondered what organizations I’ve supported with the 10% of writing income I pledged to charity?

Alice Piper Statue: Honoring Equal Education for All

Alice Piper is “an unsung victory of school desegregation battles, a Paiute girl” who challenged school segregation laws in California long before Brown vs. Board of Education made national headlines. Through her actions as a young Native American teen, she opened public schools to Native Americans throughout California. History has mostly forgotten Alice Piper — but it shouldn’t.

Information about the Kickstarter campaign to honor Alice Piper is available here, and more information about the decision granting her permission to attend the new public high school in her community is here.

(Note: If the project is not successful, I’ll find a way to donate to this project beyond the Kickstarter campaign or re-direct the money to another public art project.)

Why I picked this project?  It has all the earmarks I find important:  History, public art, civil rights, social justice, education, the empowerment of women and young people…

The Malala Fund

“I think of it often and imagine the scene clearly. Even if they come to kill me, I will tell them what they are trying to do is wrong, that education is our basic right.” – Malala Yousafzai

This young woman is a role model for all young girls, right here and right now in our lifetime. What does her foundation support? There are “600 million adolescent girls in the developing world who are an undeniable force for social and economic impact. But only if given the opportunity. Around the world, girls are denied a formal education because of social, economic, legal and political factors…. The Malala Fund aims to change that. Education empowers girls to raise their voices, to unlock their potential, and to demand change. The Malala Fund’s solutions are grounded in inspired innovation: they are girl-centric approaches to education that support the Fund’s goal of creating a world where every girl reaches her true potential.”

For more about The Malala Fund, visit the website here.

Why I picked this project? To be honest, the experience of reading Malala’s story with my daughter Hope may have changed her forever. And look, here we are with the empowerment of young people and women, civil rights, and social justice.

Imagine No Malaria

Starting with the project Nothing But Nets, the Imagine No Malaria campaign is stopping the spread of malaria in Africa through prevention, treatment, education and communication. While founded and run by a mainline Christian denomination, Imagine No Malaria is supported by the World Health Organization, the International Red Cross, the United Nations Foundation, and others. It has already raised nearly $60 million and plans to meet a $75 million commitment by the spring of 2015, including a $28 million commitment to The Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. Since the campaign began, the annual death toll from malaria has been cut in half.

Why I picked this project? I’ll admit it, my family supports Imagine No Malaria. We have since the Nothing But Nets campaign began in 2006. Mr. Sabine has a t-shirt with a mosquito on it that he’s worn since our first donation to this movement, but this contribution from my writing income is beyond what we would normally contribute. Every $10 saves a life.

Why I picked this project? This campaign has had a visible impact on health and life quality in Africa. Without healthy children, all the educational opportunities, political reforms, food banks, and water projects won’t make a whit of difference. The end of malaria is but one key to a healthy continent, but it is an important key we can’t ignore.

Scarleteen

Scarleteen is real sex education, by experts, for our young men and women, all of whom deserve accurate, frank information when they are mature enough and curious enough to seek it out, even if we as parents will not provide it. The site and its experts discuss homosexuality, heterosexuality, masturbation, teenage sex, birth control, orgasms, self-care, and gender identity. How important is it? According to Scarleteen, “We served those five million young people last year, in all of those ways and more, on a budget of only $45,000.”

Yes, I’ll tell Hope about Scarleteen when she’s the right age for it, and if it’s still here. Support for Scarleteen can be done through PayPal and the Network for Good. (And yes, I’ll happily discuss birth control options with her, too.)

Why I picked this project:  the empowerment of young people and women, education.

Finally, do you know about Amazon Smile?

Finally, if you buy anything from Amazon, instead of skipping over to http://www.amazon.com and filling your shopping cart or your Kindle by going to smile.amazon.com instead. Amazon has created a foundation in which thousands of non-profit projects are supported by your purchases. It may be only 0.5% of the purchase price, but across the total amount of Amazon purchases, that’s an immense investment in charities across the United States. They feature big ones (St. Jude’s, Red Cross, Nature Conservancy, etc), but many small charities in our local neighborhoods are also benefiting. Search your community for active non-profits or pick a featured charity, and re-set all of your Amazon bookmarks to smile.amazon.com.

It really does work. Really.

In 2013, my Amazon purchases supported our local Bread for the Journey chapter. This year, I let Hope decide who we would support, fully expecting her to choose her school’s foundation, which provides amazing opportunities for her and classmates in science, physical activities, and the arts. Instead, she picked St. Jude’s Research Hospital, pointing out that she could give more of her quarters to support her own education.

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