If you have not guessed by now, I am a bit of a fantatic when it comes to social issues. I am BIG on social responsibility.
I want to clarify something. Because I believe my philosophy does not line up with many of my friends. I believe we should take care of one another. Including ourselves.
George Benard Shaw said it best - "I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live."
I could not agree more.
You may be wondering.. okay, okay,.. but what are your social causes?
I have several that I am super passionate about!
1. Amnesty International - I am a HUGE supporter. Both monetarily and by writing letters. They call us "Freedom Writers." There are several priorities Amnesty works toward:
Amnesty International's Demand Dignity Campaign works to end the human rights abuses that are a cause and a consequence of poverty. Poverty is not just a matter of lack of income – it is a matter of lack of security, inclusion and participation. These are human rights violations.
Individuals at Risk
For more than 45 years, Amnesty International has come to the aid of prisoners of conscience and other individuals at risk of serious human rights violations. Thanks to the actions of Amnesty supporters, countless individuals have been freed from prison, saved from torture and protected from death threats.
Counter Terror With Justice
The "war on terror" does not justify violations of international human rights law. The Counter Terror with Justice campaign works to stop torture; close Guantánamo; end illegal U.S. detentions; stop extraordinary rendition; restore fair trials and habeas corpus; and hold accountable all those who authorized and implemented these human rights abuses.
The Death Penalty
The death penalty is the ultimate, irreversible denial of human rights. By working toward the abolition of the death penalty worldwide, our Death Penalty Abolition campaign looks to end the cycle of violence created by a system riddled with economic and racial bias and tainted by human error.
Immigration is growing and increasingly visible. Immigrants and their families carry all their human rights with them when they move. But undocumented immigrants often live in the shadows and are at heightened risk of human rights violations. Amnesty International calls for immigration reform to ensure immigrants are treated with full respect for their human rights and human dignity.
Stop Violence Against Women
A campaign to stop violence against women. The Stop Violence Against Women campaign vows to break the silence around violence against women, and to create a world where women and girls are afforded their basic human rights.
There is clear evidence that the international transfer of arms or the training of foreign security forces can provide repressive governments and abusive armed groups with the means to carry out or intensify gross human rights violations.
Amnesty International is committed to create an international system of justice that complements and reinforces national justice systems. Such a system is essential to deter those contemplating human rights crimes, to enable survivors to obtain justice and redress, and to support post-conflict reconciliation.
LGBT Human Rights
Around the world, the human rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) people are violated daily. Many of those who speak up for their rights are persecuted with impunity.
2. People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals- I support both monetarily and by using their "stickers" on all return letters.;-) I have these little "animal rights" stickers that I seal envelopes with. I also boycott (personally) any food establishment that they recommend. For example - KFC.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), with more than 2 million members and supporters, is the largest animal rights organization in the world.
PETA focuses its attention on the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer the most intensely for the longest periods of time: on factory farms, in laboratories, in the clothing trade, and in the entertainment industry. We also work on a variety of other issues, including the cruel killing of beavers, birds and other "pests," and the abuse of backyard dogs.
PETA works through public education, cruelty investigations, research, animal rescue, legislation, special events, celebrity involvement, and protest campaigns.
3. Girl Scouts of the USA - I grew up in the Girl Scouts, I later volunteered for the Girl Scouts, and I even worked for the Girl Scouts. I truly believe in the character building that is offered through this organization.
Girl Scouts of the USA is the world’s preeminent organization dedicated solely to girls—all girls—where, in an accepting and nurturing environment, girls build character and skills for success in the real world. In partnership with committed adult volunteers, girls develop qualities that will serve them all their lives, like leadership, strong values, social conscience, and conviction about their own potential and self-worth.
4. The American Heart Association - Yes, I work for them, but YES - I truly believe in the mission. It has affected me personally. I do give back in our workplace giving program, and if I ever leave the AHA - I will definitely work as a volunteer.
The American Heart Association is a national voluntary health agency whose mission is: "Building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke."
The mission statement was updated by the American Heart Association during its Annual Meeting in April 2007. The mission statement undergoes a formal review process every third year.
The association's impact goal is to reduce coronary heart disease, stroke and risk by 25 percent by 2010. Progress toward the goal will be measured according to these indicators:
Reduce the death rate from coronary heart disease and stroke by 25 percent.
Reduce the prevalence of smoking, high blood cholesterol and physical inactivity by 25 percent.
Reduce the rate of uncontrolled high blood pressure by 25 percent.
Eliminate the growth of obesity and diabetes.
5. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Association, Inc. - I suffer from PCOS and I find it to be one of the most confusing diseases a person can deal with or live with. I am learning more and more and I want to go further with this organization.
Formed in 1987, PCOSupport is an all-volunteer grass-roots organization that is operated by women with PCOS and those who support them. This organization is dedicated to serve the many women who struggle on a daily basis to deal with quality-of-life as well as life-threatening consequences of PCOS if untreated. We celebrate the many victories over the PCOS condition that have been achieved by working together and sharing information on the management of PCOS, not just at the symptomatic level but at its very core. We offer hope to those who feel alone and isolated, as PCOS is known to affect between 5 and 10% of the female population from puberty through the end of life.
6. Ovarian Cancer National Alliance - Many of my female family members have died from Ovarian Cancer.
The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance is the foremost advocate for women with ovarian cancer in the United States. To advance the interests of women with ovarian cancer, the organization advocates at a national level for increases in research funding for the development of an early detection test, improved health care practices, and life-saving treatment protocols. The Ovarian Cancer National Alliance educates health care professionals and raises public awareness of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer.
7. Voices of Meningitus - I have suffered from Meningitus three times and it is a horrific virus. There is a group pushing to educate more people about meningitus.
School nurses have joined together as Voices of Meningitis to reach parents with an important message: although rare, meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial illness that includes meningitis (the inflammation of the protective layer surrounding the brain and spinal cord) and septicemia (blood poisoning) which can potentially cause death or disability of an otherwise healthy teen within just 1 day.
That's just a few of the national organizations I support. I am also a huge supporter of the arts, cultural activities and other local organizations. (Greater Birmingham Humane Society, Local Church charities.. etc.)
"In the end, poverty, putridity and pestilence; work, wealth and worry; health, happiness and hell, all simmer down into village problems." ~Martin H. Fischer
What groups do you support? How do you make this world a better place?