Filed in Social Justice

Charities Fall 2010

Anna Bernhard, Monty McKeever, and Sam Mowe

Wisdom Collection

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Despite some of the best animal protection laws in the world and a renowned heritage of reverence for life, modern India is a country where millions of animals suffer severe neglect or abuse. Help Animals India (HAI) is an all-volunteer USA nonprofit charity dedicated to supporting efficient and effective animal protection organizations in India. HAI’s principal beneficiary is the Visakha Society for Protection and Care of Animals (VSPCA) in Visakhapatnam, state of Andhra Pradesh, India. An extraordinary effort by a dedicated team, VSPCA cares for thousands of animals including birds, monkeys, ducks, dogs, cats, horses, as well as 620 cows, bulls, and buffalo.

TO HELP: www.helpanimalsindia.org

Based in New York City, the Lineage Project is one of the few nonprofit organizations in the country to offer alternative tools for physical, emotional, and mental wellness to incarcerated youth and to youth in at-risk environments. The organization was founded in 1998 as a project of the Tides Center, a foundation committed to supporting social change and innovation.

The Lineage Project teaches awareness- based practices such as yoga and meditation in juvenile justice institutions, agencies, and educational settings. Dramatically reducing stress, the program creates a safe context for developing healthy relationships and communication skills, and helps young people make positive choices for their future.

The Lineage Project not only provides practical skills that allow youth to reenter society but in doing so, also improves public safety.

“Before learning yoga,” says Kayla, one program participant, “if I got angry I would hurt someone. So not only is my life saved but their life is saved from me.”

TO HELP: www.lineageproject.org

BuddhaBadges is a little grassroots nonprofit art project that sells one-inch Buddhist punk badges on the Web for one dollar apiece to help raise money for a rotating roster of worthy charities. Ninety percent of their sales profits are donated, with the remaining ten percent going toward materials to make more badges.

Wonderful in its simplicity and compelling images, BuddhaBadges has raised funds for the Tibetan Nuns Project; Doctors Without Borders– Haiti; Cambridge Mongolian Development Appeal; Help Bat Nha Monastery; Buddhist Global Relief; the International Campaign For Tibet’s Yushu Earthquake Relief Efforts; and the Tzu Chi Foundation. Their list of potential future beneficiaries includes the Children’s Shelter Foundation (Thailand), Nonviolent Peaceforce, Lotus Outreach, and many others. BuddhaBadges demonstrates to us the value of every donation, no matter the size.

TO HELP: http://www.buddhabadges.com/

Special Focus: The Gulf of Mexico

Waterkeeper Alliance established the “Save Our Gulf” campaign to coordinate their efforts to provide aid to the Gulf Coast in the wake of the BP oil disaster. Founded in 1999 by environmental attorney and activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Waterkeeper Alliance is among the world’s fastest-growing environmental organizations, with nearly 200 “Waterkeepers” currently patroling over 100,000 miles of rivers, streams, and coastlines on six continents. In the Gulf of Mexico, Waterkeepers are working to clean up the spill and provide support for gulf communities.

TO HELP: http://saveourgulf.org

Vietnamese-Americans own and operate roughly one-third to one-half of the thousands of working fishing boats in the Gulf. As the spill has coincided with the height of fishing season—and is likely to affect the fishing industries for years to come—these fisherman are desperate, just like their American-born counterparts, but they face the extra challenge of knowing little English. In a cruel twist, the only jobs available for Gulf fishermen, many of whom have little education and no other training, are with the same company that caused the spill. BP has hired a number of fishing boats to assist with the cleanup, but without English skills Vietnamese-Americans are often locked out of even this opportunity.

Boat People S.O.S (BPSOS) is a national Vietnamese-American com- The Gulf of Mexico munity-based organization that helps members of the Vietnamese community who have been affected by the spill to understand their legal rights, secure proper health protection, file loss of income claims, and identify available resources. BPSOS works closely with Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao of Louisiana, who said in a National Public Radio interview on May 27 that BPSOS has “the resources and the people with the language skills to help many of the Vietnamese-Americans here.”

TO HELP: http://www.bpsos.org

Gulf Coast Environmental Organizations

Gulf Coast Fund
www.gulfcoastfund.org

Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN)
www.leanweb.org

Gulf Restoration Network
www.healthygulf.org

Alabama Coastal Foundation
www.joinacf.org

Coalition to restore Coastal Louisiana
www.crcl.org

Emerald Coastkeeper
www.emeraldcoastkeeper.org

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