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Posts tagged ‘charity’

Aunt Tova’s Closet

imagesChantall’s story about her aunt’s material things. Excerpt from Zen Master Tova Tarantino Toshiba: The Illustrious and Delusional Abbess of Satire.

Master Tova’s niece, Chantall, had recently arrived from the land of the Maori to care for her aunt in her final days. The first thing The Master requested was that Chantall clean out her bedroom closet.

“It would be my pleasure Auntie. Where would you like me to put everything?”

“Just clean it out first, then we’ll figure out what to do with it.”

Chantall went to work and was surprised to find such an array of items packed into such a small space. She pulled out three bags of clothes, ten pairs of shoes (including some sequined platform clogs), a shredded bed roll, five pairs of candlesticks (which were melted almost to the wick), fifteen unmatched socks, a pair of rusty engraved silver scissors, scroll after scroll of some ancient texts (which she could not read and did not understand), two balls of yarn, a broken knitting needle, seven lightweight blouses (with stains and various colored material), a large pair of men’s pants, a moth-eaten velvet hat, an earring, nose ring, ankle and wrist bracelets, an array of playing cards, a begging bowl, an ochre-colored robe that had turned almost gray, a wooden chess set, two brass bells, some old letters (which she planned to read as soon as her Aunt drifted off to sleep, as they appeared to be love letters), a drawing of an elephant sitting in meditation, and a necklace with a green emerald pennant in the shape of a Bodhi tree. Clearing out the closet took much longer than she’d expected.

“Now what Auntie? What would you like me to do with all your things?”

“We must first clear out the closets of our mind, before we can be free,” Master Tova replied. “A mind cluttered with ideas, thoughts, the past, the future, or desire, will never find freedom.”

“Okay,” Chantall said, “but what do you want me to do with all this?” She nodded towards the high pile of Master Tarantino’s possessions.

“That? That is nothing more than a collection of matter, which had been stored inside a container of matter. Holding on or letting go of material objects makes no difference. It is our attachment to people, places, or things which causes suffering and keeps us on the endless wheel of karma.”

“Yes. I understand Aunt Tova, but where should I take it? What do you want me to do with it?”

“Oh, I don’t know. Just leave it. Better yet, why don’t you take what you wish, give some to your mother, and distribute the rest to charity?”

“I’m not sure how to say this Auntie, but most of this is useless. It wouldn’t even be worth donating.”

“Then burn it all. Light a pyre and reduce it to dust, just as I will soon become.”

“As you wish.”

Chantall took load after load out into the light of day, built a fire, and started throwing Master Tarantino’s material goods onto the fire. She kept the ancient scroll, the necklace, and a bell. She tried to retrieve the love letters, which she’d inadvertently thrown in with everything else, but it was too late. Then she returned to her aunt’s room.

“It is done Auntie.”

“Excellent. Now you are free. There is nothing holding you back. You can move on.”

“Those were your things, not mine.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, I’m sure.”

“Well, it doesn’t matter, does it? Desirelessness is a trap and desire is liberation.”

“Don’t you mean . . . oh, never mind.”

As Aunt Tova drifted off to sleep, Chantall quietly tiptoed out of her room, wondering what she would have found in her aunt’s love letters, and berating herself for having inadvertently thrown them into the fire.

Chantall told this story to her mother after she returned home from caring for Aunt Tova. Her mother wrote it down and later passed it on to an undisclosed student of her sisters community.

More stories of desire at: Zen Master Tova Tarantino Toshiba: The Illustrious and Delusional Abbess of Satire.

No-tie Charity Ball

You can join an elite group of individuals fundraising for a difference in the global community – all without leaving your seat. This month, FINCA is hosting our first-ever no-tie charity ball. And you’re invited!

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We believe in supporting low-income entrepreneurs with life-changing loans, so much so that nearly 96 cents of every dollar donated directly support our programs. We don’t believe in pomp and circumstance; we believe in results, and making a lasting impact where it matters.

By “attending” FINCA’s first no-tie charity ball, you’re standing with an organization dedicated to empowering individuals and improving the quality of life across all communities.

Change a life today; you can do it all without leaving your seat.

Thank you for your generosity.

Sincerely,
Soledad Gompf
Vice President FINCA

For the Greater Good

Happy New Year!

G4_Thankyou2012_220x375There is perhaps nothing more satisfying — nor more motivating — than a celebration of good deeds accomplished in the name of charity. As we look back on 2012, we’re proud and grateful for all that we’ve accomplished together with you, our tireless supporters.

This past year, the largest hunger relief grants went to Feeding America to help hungry Americans in need of food bank assistance in all 50 states. Grants also went to Mercy Corps’ many hunger relief programs worldwide and Millennium Promise for their groundbreaking work in Africa.

In the spring and early fall, in response to tornadoes in the Midwest and hurricanes along the Gulf Coast, GreaterGood.org contributed to numerous local charities in the United States. And when Superstorm Sandy struck the East Coast, GreaterGood.org grants supported the emergency assistance and clean up efforts provided by Team Rubicon and the Community Food Bank of New Jersey.

Your commitment to children’s health and education was reflected in GreaterGood.org grants to Partners in Health, which focused on fighting cholera in Haiti, as well as providing vitamin A supplements and oral rehydration. Funding also supported pre-natal programs and midwifery services in Africa, Nepal, and Tibet, reducing infant mortality rates. Additional grants helped Splash’s (formerly A Child’s Right) efforts to provide clean water to schools and hospitals, HALO Trust’s work to assist in landmine removal, and Prosthetics Outreach Foundation’s surgical aid to children born with clubfoot.

Our longstanding support of vital literacy programs worldwide continued through our charity partners First Book and Room to Read. Contributions to the Nepal Youth Foundation, Community Partners International, Razia’s Ray of Hope, and Zabuli Education Center for girls in Deh’Sub helped provide girls with a valuable education. In many cases, contributions also saved children from a life of indentured servitude. Further grants also provided secondary education for young women in Africa, India, and Central Asia through nonprofits, such as Eliminate Poverty Now, CAMFED, Darfur Peace and Development Organization, and others.

Efforts to preserve or improve the health of our planet were strong in 2012. We are pleased to report that last year several of our charitable partners successfully completed projects to save endangered wildlife habitat.

With final land acquisition by the World Land Trust-US, the 6,000-acre Sierra Caral Amphibian Reserve will protect some of Guatemala’s most endangered wildlife. In Africa, the new Laikipia National Park, created by the African Wildlife Foundation and Nature Conservancy, will give wide ranging animals like elephants, lions, and zebras the ability to move safely through open habitat that is not bisected by roads, fences, or other forms of development. More than 17,100 acres of previously privately held land were protected.

Also in 2012, additional grants funded wildlife rescue and preservation programs for big cats and marine mammals, as well as sanctuaries for threatened species like the Sumatran orangutan. Along with World Land Trust-US, GreaterGood.org ended the year with a concerted effort to save an additional 332 acres in the Serra Bonita rainforest of Brazil.

Support of these programs and other humanitarian efforts at The Hunger Site, The Child Health Site, The Literacy Site and The Rainforest Site totaled over $640,000 in 2012! These funds were raised thanks to the direct actions of supporters like you via our click-to-give websites, purchases and promotions at GreaterGood Network stores, and donations through the Gifts That Give More™ program or directly to GreaterGood.org.

When you add in all the good that was achieved in 2012, GreaterGood Network and GreaterGood.org has given nearly $30 million to charity since 1999 — proof that your efforts do make a difference. Let’s use these donation figures as inspiration and motivation to make 2013 our best year ever!

Best Wishes & Continued Gratitude,

Tim Kunin
CEO, GreaterGood Network
Greg Hesterberg,
President, GreaterGood Network
Liz Baker
Director, GreaterGood.org

Shop Where It Matters

They have donated an amazing amount of money to many many great organizations. Give them a look for holiday shopping.

Hi Gabriel,

Supporters can contribute directly to charity by purchasing Gifts that Give More™, where one hundred percent (100%) of their donation is given to charity or by purchasing one of the 6000+ products we carry, including jewelry, apparel, and gifts. Between 3%-100% of the retail price from items purchased from The Greater Good Network’s online stores is paid to GreaterGood.org, a 501(c)(3) charity that has pledged to grant all proceeds to charity partners. With the Gifts That Give More the product details page describes who we are partnered with and exactly how the funds are helping.

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I’ve included a link below which provides details on how much money was donated last year to each and every charity we support, information about each charity we have partnered with, and also provides you access from the “results” tab to our previous IRS 990 forms.

http://www.greatergood.org/results.html

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance.

Thank you for your support and have a great day.

Sincerely,

Lacy L. Durnil
Customer Relations Specialist
GreaterGood Network Stores
“Shop Where It Matters”®
http://greatergood.com
Phone: 888-355-4321 (USA & Canada)

Giving While On Business

From BBC – The Passport Blog
by Nick Easen
11 April 2012

Business Travel Gives Back

For many, the only time charity plays a role in business is when executives think about the deductions they can make from their taxable income.

But giving has never been easier for road warriors, thanks to several travel companies that are keen to counteract their environmental impact and donate to charitable causes.

Qantas, American Airlines and seven other international carriers place UNICEF envelopes in their seat back pockets. Travelers can help the United Nations children’s organization by donating their small change – including unused overseas currency. In 25 years, UNICEF has raised more than $70 million just by collecting unwanted coins and notes from air passengers. There are similar onboard initiatives with Virgin Atlantic’s Change for Children and British Airways’ Flying Start program.

Many credit cards and frequent flier programs allow you to earn points for good causes or convert your miles into charitable donations. American Express, for example, gives you access to more than one million worthy organizations. Many hotel loyalty cards, such as InterContinental and Starwood, also allow you to donate points to charity.

Hotels are involved in other schemes as well. For instance Best Western, Carlson, Mandarin Oriental and others have teamed up with Clean the World, an initiative that recycles your partially used soap from the hotel room. The soap is cleaned and reformed into new blocks, then sent to people in Haiti and other third-world countries.

Clean the World also created a program specifically for corporate meeting planners. When conferences and their respective organizers sign up to participate, soap from the entire hotel gets recycled. Since its launch three years ago, the charity has distributed more than 10 million bars of soap to people in 45 countries, from Zimbabwe to El Salvador.

In North America, several convention centres, including those in San Francisco and Denver, donate leftover food to a program called Network for the Needy. It was founded by the US Professional Convention Management Association to donate excess food from meetings and special events.

Read entire story and other news at BBC.

Cricket In Rwanda

From ROP Stories
ROP Center for Street Children

Cricket Without Boundaries visits ROP
Posted on October 14, 2011 by Sean

Last week the Rwandan Orphans Project received a surprise visit from a group of men from the UK who represent an organization called Cricket Without Boundaries. CWB uses the game of cricket to promote education on HIV/AIDS prevention and other topics to children in developing countries. In their own words:

Cricket Without Boundaries (CWB) is a UK based charity dedicated to helping, educating and developing local communities around the World through the spread and growth of cricket. It is also about personal empowerment, both for adults and for children. The Charity uses the sport to help develop personal skills ranging from basic teamwork to self-discipline and leadership.

What was great about the visit is that they never actually intended on coming to the ROP. They were spending some time with a local school when someone told them about our Center and they decided to come pay us a visit. It shows the commitment and interest these men have for vulnerable children that they would squeeze us in their already tight schedule not only for one, but two days.

The first day they came we gave them a quick tour of the ROP Center and then all but three of them had to rush off to another school. All of us went to our playground with the three who stayed behind and soon we had divided the boys into three groups and each group went to learn a specific skill such as catching, batting and running.

Read entire story, with additional photos at: ROP Stories

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