This website is about helping children and teens with books. There are some organizations that are near and dear to my heart that help and empower children and teenagers around the world. Here are the ones that I like. If you feel so inclined, please check them out and tell others.
**Heifer International: This organization allows people to buy animals for families, so that they can become self-sufficient. It is not just a charity. For example, if you give a family a flock of chicks, they will raise the flock and use the eggs for food. They also agree to give the offsprings to other families in their community that are in need. You can give several farm animals if you have a lot of money. If you have a little money, you can give part of an animal. I like to give parts of animals at Christmas time. I donate them in the names of people who have helped me throughout the year such as editors, the mailman, my hairdresser, my mom. People love to help each other, especially during the holidays. This is a great gift for someone who has everything.
I am so honored that Heifer International of Portland has featured my blog on their site! Thank you so much to this important group who is helping to end poverty and starvation around the world. Read These Books and Use Them was included in a list of sites to bookmark along with Idea Aid, which is a brainstorming benefit where you give your ideas to help solve some of the planet’s toughest problems, and Keep The Fleece, which is a non-profit organization that is getting groups of people around the country to knit the world’s longest scarf while they raise money for Heifer International (love this idea!). If you are interested in Heifer International, this is a great site to check out, and this page also lists people to follow on Twitter.
The Empowerment Network: One of the saddest things that goes on in our world is human trafficking and sex slavery, especially of young children. Did you know the International Justice Mission has found a girl as young as two years old in a brothel? The horror of brothels, filled with young children who are enslaved by people who promised them hope and security, is a reality in our world. But the Empowerment Network is doing something to help these women and children. The products on this website, which you can purchase as gifts, are made by the survivors of human trafficking. Before you purchase a gift, check out all this site has to offer, such as the beautiful necklace pictured here. Consider buying one the next time you want to give something to a loved one. Each gift comes with an explanation of how the present helped stop human trafficking.
Can You Hear Us? This is a website that you must check out. I first heard this family musical group at an information night about human trafficking and sex slavery on the University of Illinois campus. Their music will bring tears to your eyes, fill you with hope, and make you want to make a difference in the world. Consider purchasing one of their CDs. You can listen to sample songs on their site. They also have information on how each song came about–yes, they write their own music and lyrics. This is one of my favorite CDs, and it supports a great cause.
Nothing but Nets: This organization has gotten a lot of publicity thanks to Ashton Kutcher, CNN, and Twitter. When Kutcher reached one million Twitter followers before CNN, he donated 10,000 nets to the campaign. Nothing but Nets is simple. They are providing mosquito netting for beds to stop malaria from spreading. Here’s a fact from their website: “Studies show that use of insecticide-treated bed nets can reduce transmission as much as 90% in areas with high coverage rates.” And each net only costs $10. When you purchase nets, you can purchase them as a gift in someone’s name. The site will send an e-card to this person, so he knows about the donation in his name. Children’s lives are being saved by this program!
Cleaning for a Reason: If you know of any woman currently undergoing Chemo, please pass the word to her that there is a cleaning service that provides FREE housecleaning–one time per month for four months while she is in treatment. All she has to do is sign up and have her doctor fax a note confirming the treatment. Cleaning for a Reason will have a participating maid service in her zip code area arrange for the service. Please pass this information on to a woman going through breast cancer treatment. This organization serves the entire USA and currently has 547 partners to help these women. So pass the word and let them know that there are people out there that care. Be a blessing to someone and pass this information along. Thanks!