The National Conference on Volunteering and Service is taking place right now in NYC. As it says on the home page, it is the largest gathering of volunteer and service leaders from the non-profit, government and corporate sectors. The best part about this amazing event is that you can follow it almost entirely via social media, and let me tell you IT IS WORTH FOLLOWING!
What we so often forget is that a lot of a little adds up to a lot, FAST. By your taking a few minutes to look at the opportunities presented at this conference, you are in fact committing a portion of your time to community service. And that’s what it’s all about.
If you do anything, watch this video which sums up the conference, then go to the home page and find one of the social media outlets that works for you and hook in, even for just a few minutes, to see what’s taking place at this groundbreaking event.
Love+Water- Heifer International has many different programs in place that work to end poverty and hunger. Can you explain how they are set up?
in the world. It is both local and global, almost equally so, and that is extremely valuable as well because there is a huge poverty issue here in the United States. The fact that we can be a part of a local and global organization that produces such a high success rate from their programs is extremely fulfilling to us.
To learn more about Heifer Portland, visit the Heifer Portland Blog
You have most likely heard of Livestrong, and could even be wearing the famed yellow bracelet as you read this post. But many people don’t realize the core mission of the amazing organization started by Lance Armstrong, or the many ways to get involved. Livestrong not only works to put an end to cancer, they also provide assistance to ANYONE who thinks they may have cancer and work with you every step of the way, from early detection to final-stage treatments. Brooke McMillan, the ‘Online Community Evangelist’ for the organization spoke with me about the programs they have that are tailored for just about every issue that arises around cancer.
L+W- What is the core mission?
BM- Our mission overall is to inspire and empower people affected by cancer. We do that through programs such as educational efforts, advocating on Capital Hill for folks affected by cancer, teaching people how to advocate for themselves and providing one-on-one support for people and families affected by cancer. You can call us at anytime to talk to a professional if you have questions about how to seek the proper medical help, how to receive support in your area and any other questions you may have for yourself or a loved one affected by cancer. We help people who are having problems with insurance as well, which is a huge part of our program and one that I encourage people to take advantage of. We don’t want anyone to not get an exam or the treatment they need because they are afraid they can’t afford it. We can help in that area.
L+W- How can people find resources available to them locally?
BM- First, we help anyone over the phone locate places in their community that can offer them support. They just have to call the number on our website and we will do a search for them as well as help them each step of the way. Secondly, we are in the process of opening a new patient navigation center here in Austin, TX to walk people through the resources available to them locally, and we hope to replicate that program in different cities moving forward. We also advocate for more funding for cancer research and support and treatment on a national level and we work for smoke-free initiatives by state and by city, which will help on many local community levels.
L+W- Do you have any international programs in place?
BM- Our global initiatives just recently launched. We are working with organizations to get cancer drugs to where they are needed in developing countries. Right now the infrastructure is not set up in developing countries so people are getting diagnosed very late. As a result, a panic sets in with those diagnosed and their family members because they automatically think they are going to die. We are working to break that stigma and also help people get diagnosed earlier so they can see that there is hope.
L+W- What are some ways people can get detected early?
L+W- I noticed you have special programs in place for African Americans and American Indians. Can you talk about those?
L+W- What is the most moving moment you’ve had working with Livestrong?
L+W- Is there anything else people need to know about Livestrong?
The LAMP, located in New York City, is an amazing non-profit organization that focuses on educating people to become media literate. They hold workshops and events in all five boroughs to teach children as well as parents, educators and anyone who is interested about the power of manipulation in advertising. Their programs have already created a cutting-edge response to media powers by having their participants question ads that are extremely powerful. I talked with founder DC Vito to learn more about this fast-growing organization.
Love+Water- Can you explain the basic concept of The LAMP?
DC Vito- The LAMP is creating a grassroots movement to improve and reform the media. We provide media literacy services to youth, parents and educators throughout New York City. These services take the form of workshops or events, and we go into communities to work to create critical, savvy media consumers. At the end of every program we do, we make sure that everyone understands that all media are constructions. They are constructed by someone with an intended target audience; for example, when you suddenly feel thirsty and crave Coca Cola, there is a reason for that which has a lot to do with the way the media have taught us to think. Our goal is to create more media-savvy consumers who will demand a better media product that is more responsible, more geared to their needs and more sustainable.
The time is so near! Love+Water designs will launch in a few weeks, and we are very excited about the prospects for contests and designs and charity-giving that will take place. We will begin our countdown about a week before the first contest begins, and until then there are some things to keep in mind:
-If you know of a GREAT charity we can feature on the blog before the launch, let us know and we will!
-If you know of a GREAT designer/artist/photographer/all-around creative person we can feature on the blog before the launch, let us know and we will!
-If you have any GREAT ideas for us before we launch, based on your amazing insight into our mission, let us know and we will listen!
-If you have any well-wishes, or questions, or concerns let us know and we will do our best to answer!
We’re psyched people, and we hope you are too! We can’t wait to see you ALL on the site…in just about four weeks!
Flying Horse Farms is a camp that is a member of the Association of the Hole in the Wall camps, started by Paul Newman for children with serious illnesses. They’ve been in development for the last four years, and are getting ready to open their doors this Fall for their first program. I talked to Jennifer Kerns, Flying Horse Farms marketing director, to learn more about this AMAZING program.
Love+Water- How did the idea for Flying Horse Farms come about?
Visit Flying Horse Farms Site
Follow Flying Horse Farms on Twitter: @FlyingHorseRide
Women News Network is dedicated to bringing the highest quality journalism about and for women that is not prevalent in mainstream news. Here is a niche where women journalists can have their voices heard by a community dedicated to working together to discuss, problem-solve and advocate for women’s issues around the globe. The quality of the features on the site are of the highest, and the stories are riveting.
Lys Anzia, founder and editor at large, clearly had a goal in mind, and has seen her mission through. The staff consists of journalists from around the world who focus on humanitarian work, and they are not limited to women. This incredible mix of voices is undoubtedly a way to change the face of journalism and bring forth voices that would otherwise go unheard.
I am inspired and motivated by this kind of work. This is the kind of model I see Love+Water designs following in terms of changing people’s perspectives about charities and social responsibility. Check them out.
If there ever was a place for artists to share their work on the web and gain exposure while networking with other artists, it is Total Art Soul. Artists of all genres can go here to house their work, participate in forum discussions with other artists, blog, Tweet and share their work. Active members get featured on the main blog, and random members are featured on the front page.
The best part of Total Art Soul is the fact that there is no pressure to advertise your art. It simply provides a platform of support for artists in order to encourage the creative process and facilitate ways for artists to share their work with others- the best way to naturally gain more visibility. Entirely community-driven, Total Art Soul reaches talented, creative people and gives them a platform to thrive even more. And the work on the site is GORGEOUS!!! It is well worth a visit to feast your eyes on some art that will knock your socks off.
Love+Water designs supports and thanks Total Art Soul for providing such a cool place for the artistic community to thrive. Spend a moment today looking at some of the art on the site- it’s like taking time to smell the roses of creativity.