30 January 2009

Yes we can... update!

So, the picks are in. I'm loving the fact that it's January and I've already set up a whole year of giving. As I think I mentioned before, I'm pretty into systems. This can be an overly rigid trait sometimes, but in this case, I'm owning it. Charitable giving should be done intentionally, not through accident or chance... or simply hoping I'll remember to do it.

I think I'm going to refrain from disclosing the actual organizations that I picked for small monthly gifts... It feels kind of personal. I think the areas will suffice. I decided to go with:
  • a group that works within the US for justice, 
  • a domestic group dealing with animal welfare, 
  • an international group for animals and the environment,
  • a group which feeds hungry children internationally, and
  • my local public radio station! I used to be a member, but have been freeloading for ages. This stay-at-home mommy loves her some NPR, so it's about time.
Most non-profits these days have monthly giving programs, so that's what I went with. Just a little at a time will add up. I'll probably stick with these for a while, but maybe I'll mix it up with some other causes later. I love healthy school lunch programs... especially those in which kids mess around in a school veggie garden, and then get to eat their "project" at school lunches. How awesome.

By the way, if you want to do a little reconnaissance on charities--or just find one--it's easy to look them up here.

22 January 2009

yes we can... from home?

On Monday, many Americans heeded the president-to-be's call for a day of national service. I LOVE this new direction from the executive branch. I believe the American people have been waiting a long time for their leaders to *ask* something of them. To motivate them to look outside their personal bubble.

I'm not proud to admit that I'm not someone who normally volunteers at a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving or spends my vacations building homes for the poor. I've done volunteering in stints, but not to the degree that warrants bragging. At all. But, this year I was really hearing this call for getting out and doing something for others. It's obviously great for those you give something to, but I think this type of thing is good for the giver, too. Good for the soul.

So... only problem is that I've got this adorable, sweet, precious 7-week-old attached to my hip (and other body parts). We're not quite at the stage of getting out and volunteering all day, or even part. So, when the babe and I were stopped on 24th street the other day by those people with clipboards, I actually stopped and said, Yes I would love to join your charity/activist/philanthropic group and give a set amount of money every month.

If I can't get out and help people in person, I figure can help fund those groups who do this work every day. And so, being someone who *adores* systems, I'm going to make a list of causes that I care about and divide up a monthly "money pie" of regular contributions. For me, these are causes like the environment, animal welfare, women and children in impoverished nations, justice, healthy food in schools... I'll report back with my picks!

...and we're blogging

new baby... new house... new stay-at-home life... new year..... oh yeah, new president!... guess we better write something down about it all. Been meaning to do this for a while. For starters: I've been promising progress reports on the new house, which is still a work-in-progress. Should be a great before and after. And, of course, there's the new sweet babe... stay tuned.

oh, and what's with the name?

salt, for cooking and the ocean air
teak, for lovely furniture and the life curled up on it
fog, for this semi-permanent fixture of san francisco... that i've finally learned to love
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