December 30, 2008

Helping the homeless of Harrisburg

A quick Tuesday afternoon serving of inspiration:

Surviving on the streets: Woman goes on weekly crusade to help homeless by Mary Klaus of The Patriot-News

Kelly Shaffer spends her Sundays feeding and clothing the homeless on the streets of Harrisburg. What do you do on Sunday? Maybe we all need to head out and help Kelly change the world.

Take note of this excerpt from the article: "Kelly's Christian Crusade to help Harrisburg's homeless can use new or gently used items such as wool blankets, sweat shirts, sweat pants, jeans, long underwear, socks, sleeping bags, hats and gloves. It also needs toiletries such as nail clippers and travel sizes of deodorant, toothpaste and shampoo. To arrange a drop-off for donations, call Kelly Shaffer at 903-3262 or 367-8211 or e-mail her at"


December 28, 2008

Stoves for Women in Darfur

So, I was flipping through the television this weekend and came across a CNN story about a 17-year-old who is single-handedly doing what he can (a whole lot, it turns out) to change the world. His name is Spencer Brodsky and his story is truly inspiring.

Brodsky has been raising funds to purchase fuel-efficient stoves for women living in Darfur, where war is raging. To learn more about the situation in Darfur and what is being done by at least one group to stop it, click here.

The Maryland resident started his project in 2007. He has raised enough money to purchase more than 400 stoves, which go for $30 a piece. The importance of the stoves goes beyond face value. A little research (or a visit to Brodsky's Web site) shows that families in Darfur must travel far into dangerous territories to collect enough wood to build a fire and cook their food. The stoves Brodsky supports requires 75 percent less wood to cook the same amount of food.

So, I propose we help Brodsky out by contributing $30 to his project. He'll take care of the rest, which results in making life a tiny bit easier for women and children who are experiencing a kind of life that most of us only visit in our nightmares. Click here to buy a stove.

Brodsky purchases the stoves by partnering with CHF International - an organization that has worked to improve the social, economic and environmental conditions in more than 100 countries over the past 50+ years. To learn more and/or donate directly to CHF's fund for stoves for women in Darfur, click here. To read what CHF had to say about Brodsky, click here. And to find out how else you can change the world by partnering with CHF, click here.

Happy Changing,

December 22, 2008

Donate while you Celebrate the Season

Christmas is upon us, people. What does that entail? Tons and tons of food consumed during numerous parties and gatherings.

I've been attending a number of parties myself, and one recently took place that I thought I should share with the masses. While attending an event thrown by a couple of lovely ladies I graduated college with whom are now living in the Philadelphia area, I was struck by their cleverest of open-hearted ideas. Instead of asking their guests to bring along a dish or a beverage or anything else at all, they requested donations to pin to their Christmas tree.
Not just any donation, mind you, but a combined donation that would be split between two causes chosen by the hosts. It was a somewhat small gathering, but the pair managed to raise $250. I think this is awesome. I also think you should follow suit. It is Christmas, after all...and those resolutions of change are just around the corner. Start early. Begin making your changes now.

Already throw your holiday shindig? Not to worry. This is a great idea for any kind of party all year round. Tuck it in your back pocket, but don't leave it there. Do it.

Wishing you the kindest of holiday blessings,

December 15, 2008

Urban Poverty in Central PA - Part 2

The second half of The Invisible Workforce by Central Penn Business Journal reporter David Dagan published this past Friday. The series is focused on urban poverty and the resulting workforce issues in Central Pennsylvania.
Here is the second half of The Invisible Workforce:
--Redefining recruiting: Outreach, workforce-system changes target underemployment
--The skeptical view: Long odds and disputed assumptions
--Reporter's Notebook: In search of malaise – an enlightening walk

To read the first part of the series, please visit my previous post. New videos and other information are available here. My favorite piece of the series can be found here.

Read it. Educate yourself. Let it sink in. And let it motivate you to make a change.


December 5, 2008

Urban Poverty in Central PA

Today's post is made possible by the hard work of an esteemed reporter at the Central Penn Business Journal. David Dagan spent many months this year investigating the topic of urban poverty as it relates to workforce issues within the Central Pennsylvania region.

I invite you to take a close look at the results: The Invisible Workforce. You will find some compelling information about why change is necessary, not just in this region - but across the country and into the world.

Here is what published today:
--Uninspired: Communication gaps, apathy clog labor pipeline, advocates say
--A fragile Future: Between courts and jobs, a young man stumbles (FYI - this one made me cry.)Videos and more information on the series can be found by clicking here. The second part of the series is set to publish a week from today. Stay tuned.