Thursday, July 4, 2013

Be Truly Patriotic This 4th of July, Speak Out!

We have a lot of Independence Day traditions, but you know, there's nothing more patriotic than participating in our democracy. I've been looking at the uprising in Egypt and reflecting on this yet again. How much would you personally be willing to sacrifice for your freedom? Not just the freedom to act out your dreams, but to even talk about your dreams or speak critically of a leader who is actively suppressing - say - the rights of women to do just about anything. Now that you've answered that, rest easy. Most Americans don't have to sacrifice a thing to be heard. Millions have already fought for our liberties. The least we can do is exercise them once in a while!

We honor our military veterans with parades - which is great, I love being in and watching parades - yet it occurs to me that the best way you can honor the fallen, wounded, and those currently serving is by speaking out. About anything. Make your voice heard. Yeah, it's a holiday, but guess what? Congressional offices are open tomorrow July 5. So, think about what CONSTRUCTIVE thing you would say to your senator or representative and put it in a handwritten letter...or an email...or pick up the phone and leave a voicemail. Global vaccines? Renewable energy? Women's rights? Early childhood education? Veteran's benefits? Student loans? The pothole in front of your house? Well, that last one is really more of a local alderman kind of deal, but okay, go for it!

In fact, here's a web page on the RESULTS site that gives you tips on how to do these things for your U.S. senators and representatives. Even if you don't want to talk about poverty, it still gives you all the tips and links to find your member of Congress' contact info and how to structure your message on your favorite topic. Depending on which action you choose, this will take you between 90 seconds and 10 minutes. 

Now that you've done your duty, it's summer vacation. Go jump in the lake!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Run Like a Superhero & Fight Poverty!

I love running. I love superheros fighting injustice in comics. I love fighting poverty and injustice in real life. So, when the all these things come together, I just have to shout it from the rooftops! Behold, the RESULTS Everyday Hero Virtual Dash where YOU can win a shiny hero medal for running or walking any distance, any time or day, any location you darn well please. Now, a fascination with race bling may not always be the healthiest thing. Sometimes I do feel like I'm channelling Wreck-it-Ralph: "I'm gonna win a medal! Oh, I am gonna win a medal. The shiniest medal this place has ever seen!" But you don't have to go through what he did in Hero's Duty to get your Hero Medal. $25 gets you a race bib with your name - for instance, "Hero Cindy" - to wear during your walk or run and a medal when you finish (possibly so shiny it will make all Fix-it-Felix's medals wet their pants) Proceeds go to RESULTS Educational Fund to help educate and train activists who speak out to Congress on behalf of people struggling in poverty in the U.S. and around the world.

Even though it's a virtual event, there is an actual in-person component to it if you happen to be out in the Washington D.C. area. The actual everyday hero volunteer activists and their support staff are meeting in Crystal City area at the RESULTS International Conference and Lobby Day. They'll spend the weekend in a sort of activist boot camp brushing up their lobby skills and the learning the finer points of how Congress can pass smarter, more effective anti-poverty legislation. This kind of activity is where your registration donation goes...when these trained volunteers speak face-to-face with senators and representatives, your donation and others are leveraged to generate millions for people in the greatest need. Which is all well and good and professional, but what I really, really want to tell you is many of these intelligent, courageous people will also be dressing up in costume to run and walk together in public! You can join them from home by posting your picture to the facebook event site or just run/walk in normal clothes and silently chuckle over their pictures at home. Either way, you get to join in the fun, save lives of people in need, and get yourself a medal to remind you of how important you are in the fight to end poverty. 

So, I hereby invite everyone to check out the details at this registration link for the RESULTS Everyday Hero Virtual Dash and join me. See you out there!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Marianne Williamson helping raise $1000 for RESULTS with Utopia Fund match

If you are a fan of Marianne Williamson, I wanted to let you know she's helping RESULTS Educational Fund receive a bonus $1,000 and you can donate today to help!

If you don't know of her, Marianne Williamson is an internationally acclaimed spiritual teacher. Six of her ten published books have been New York Times Best Sellers. A paragraph from her book, Return to Love, has become rather famous as it begins "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure..." Oprah is certainly a big fan of her, so you may have seen her there before.

I've heard Marianne speak in person multiple times, including at the RESULTS
International Conferences and two RESULTS fundraising events I've helped with in Detroit. 
She always inspires people to look beyond our comfort zones to become an even more powerful advocates for change. Every time I've heard her speak, I hear her call out the facts that there are 17,000 children on this planet who starve every day and 1 in 4 children in America who are food insecure. I admire the way she strives to ignite the passion of American women to protect the survival of children on our planet. 

She and I also share a believe that RESULTS is an exemplary organization to help everyday people become extraordinary voices for change. RESULTS Educational Fund seeks to end hunger and poverty, in particular among children around the world. It creates long-term solutions by supporting programs that address poverty’s root causes — lack of access to medical care, education, or opportunity to move up the economic ladder.

Check out this powerful talk Marianne recently gave as part of 2013 TEDx Traverse City. At the event, she generously chose RESULTS Educational Fund as her charity of choice. As her charity, all donations made to RESULTS Educational Fund will be matched, up to $1,000 total, from the Utopia Fund. These donations must be made through the Utopia Fund's website and are tax-deductible.

Could you donate today and spread the word to help RESULTS Educational Fund and Marianne meet a goal of $1,000 in donations by July 14? It's a great chance for us to turn $1000 into $2000 for one of the greatest lobby organizations for people in need.