What’s a volunteer worth?

LGBTQ performers

According to the Independent Sector, a membership organization of nonprofits, the value of volunteer time is “the average wage of non-management, non-agricultural workers.” So actually the stat is pretty meaningless and simply an average wage of an American worker.

Not every volunteer or volunteer task is equal.

I worked summers at my parents’ wood truss manufacturing plant swinging a hammer, pushing a broom, and cutting and stacking boards. But I am by no means a carpenter. When I built a bookshelf in shop class in high school, the cuts were rounded and it was a rocking bookshelf, which really isn’t a very desirable quality for a bookshelf. My father, on the other hand, can build anything. If Dad…

Read More >
 
1 comment

What are the Human Rights anyhow?

8340240246_cc77afd0a8_o

Yesterday Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, announced that the United States was withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council.

George W. Bush thought about doing the same thing. The Obama administration recognized the group wasn’t the most effective, but decided to work from within it.

But putting the politics aside…do you have any idea what the human rights actually are?

I bet you can’t name all 25 articles. I bet you didn’t even know that there aren’t 25 articles but 30. Ha! Got ya! I certainly couldn’t until I looked them up while researching WHERE AM I GIVING? Here’s an excerpt–probably…

Read More >
 
Add a comment

PRIDE & Prejudice

 

Facing Pride group shot

(Facing Pride volunteers, photo by Kira Childers)

“I don’t think they should be executed, just imprisoned.”

And by “they,” the twenty-something grad student in Uganda meant anyone who was gay.

Throughout my travels I’ve seen that the most consistently persecuted group is anyone in the LGBTQ community. “Homosexuality” is illegal in 74 countries and punishable by death in 14.

Each country seems to have a group, at least one, of people looked down upon. There is usually some regional variance. Costa Ricans aren’t fans of Nicaraguans taking their jobs. The government of Myanmar denies the existence of the Rohingya. Most countries don’t like migrants. Sometimes the hate is fueled by…

Read More >
 
Add a comment

Want to make the world a more generous place? Help launch my next book

Kelsey at APSU

 

My new book Where Am I Giving? comes out on July 25th, or 15th, or who knows? I’m not JK Rowling. However, I do I believe there is magic in this book that can make each of our lives and the world better.

I need your help! The world’s a noisy place and marketing budgets are limited.

So far I’ve received some great endorsements from world renowned philosophers, bestselling authors, and Gandhi’s grandson, but none of them meant as much as what my high school English teacher, Dixie Marshall, wrote to me after reading an early version of the book:

“I believe this is the most important book you have written and may ever write. It’s really an impressive book, a valuable book,…

Read More >
 
2 comments

Sociology professors uncovers radiological testing on US citizens

Lisa Martino Taylor

I met Lisa Martino-Taylor when I visited St. Louis Community College for the first time eight years ago.  Since then I’ve spoken with her sociology classes a few times.

Lisa acquired government documents that uncovered a US military program during the Cold War that tested radiological, chemical, and biological weapons on Americans living in urban populations.

This isn’t some chem-trails conspiracy. Lisa wrote her dissertation on this, has been featured in reputable media outlets around the world, has inspired lawmakers to demand a full investigation, and recently released a book on it.

From a recent AP story, Cold War radiation testing widespread, author claims:

Martino-Taylor said the offensive radiological weapons program was a top priority for the government. Unknowing people in places throughout…

Read More >
 
Add a comment

Happy Red Nose Day?

photo by Bryan Ledgard Flickr Creative Commons

If you’ve shopped at Walgreens recently, no doubt you’ve seen red clown noses for sale. They fight poverty or something, whatever that means.

“60 percent didn’t quite understand what we did,” says Janet Scardino, CEO of  Comic Relief USA  that partners with Walgreens to sell the noses.

Between the US and the UK, the campaign has raised more than $1.4 billion, which goes to organizations like Save the Children, Feeding America, and the Boys & Girls Club to help children in need.

NPR’s Goats & Soda reported on the campaign: “But how does buying a red foam nose at a drugstore for a buck help the cause? And does this charity with the silly name really do good work? We…

Read More >
 
Add a comment

Proud to support Dave Ring for Indiana State Senate

IMG_1192

Sitting in the Downtown Farm Stand, the only 100% organic grocer in my area, I watched the presidential returns come in on election night in 2016. I swore between sips of organic beer, as the election started to fall Donald Trump’s way.

How is this our country?

How is it that I can’t understand the voting decisions of nearly half of Americans?

Someone should really do something about this.

Dave Ring, the owner of the Farm Stand, hosted our small election gathering. Gary Younge, a reporter from The Guardian, was also there. Gary was reporting on Muncie, an area that went for Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in the primary. He told us this is how Brexit felt. One day you wake up…

Read More >
 
Add a comment

What the “elephant whisperer” teaches us about listening

05.tif

When Lawrence Anthony died, elephants he had rescued and released years ago, showed up to mourn at his graveside.

Here’s what his wife wrote:

“Tonight at Thula Thula, the whole herd arrived at the main house home to Lawrence and I. We had not seen them here for a very long time. Extraordinary proof of animal sensitivity and awareness that only a few humans can perceive. And Lawrence was one of them. Thank you for your wonderful messages. Lawrence’s legacy will be with us forever at Thula Thula.”

They stayed for two days and two nights and then left. Some share this story as proof that animals mourn. But anyone who has had animals knows this already. There is a bigger…

Read More >
 
1 comment

A war criminal & humanitarian

Anne Spoerry

Tiger Woods is one of the greatest golfers ever, but the last decade has revealed a series of affairs, transgressions, and DUI’s. He’ll play in the Masters this weekend. Is Tiger back? I’m not much of a golf fan, but I’ll keep tabs on him as he makes his way through Augusta National.

Mother Teresa is a saint and a Nobel Peace Prize Winner. She’s also criticized for not giving patients in her clinic adequate medical attention despite pulling in huge sums of money. She had dubious political connections and held dogmatic views on abortion, divorce, and contraception.

Can we accept the good works of people while acknowledging their mistakes and flaws?

While researching WHERE AM I GIVING? I came across…

Read More >
 
3 comments

I love republicans

KTNKU

Speaking at NKU about Donald Trump, but not about Donald Trump

Two days after the November 2016 election, I spoke at Northern Kentucky University to a few hundred first year students. What would I tell them?

After the election, I was in shock. I couldn’t believe that Trump won. Annie came down stairs in tears. We knew what it could mean for our health insurance that we buy from healthcare.gov. We’re heavy insurance users. Between paying our premium and hitting our deductible in February, we paid about $20,000 in 2017.

Could our son with autism be seen as a preexisting condition and denied insurance that pays for his therapy?

The election seemed to validate racism, sexual assault, and a lack of basic decency, kindness, and empathy.

I decided I…

Read More >
 
4 comments
  • 1
  • 2