Posts with Category Giving Back

A year of giving: Team Morgan "the hitchhiker"

Sometimes in life you just stick out your thumb and see what adventures will find you.

That’s kind of the approach I’m taking to my year of giving $10 to a cause every Tuesday. I thought I would have to spend more time looking for causes to support. So far the causes have found me. I’ve supported groups helping in Haiti following the earthquake, and a homeless shelter in my hometown after my sister-in-law emailed me about a walk she was doing. This week is a bit different still.

I follow Matt Gross, the New York Times’ Frugal Traveler, on Twitter. Last week he posted this:

frugaltraveler Founder of hitchhiking site gravely ill, needs help.

I read the story of Morgan and his tumor he…

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Hometown Homeless Shelter – The ten4tues Project

This weekend my sister-in-law, Emily, is participating in “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” to raise money for the Muncie Mission homeless shelter. Go Emily!

Emily and her family have been very supportive of my shenanigans over the years, and I’m thrilled to give $10 in support of this important cause.

Unfortunately, it’s getting more important by the day.

In Delaware County, Indiana, where I live the number of homeless people has increased by 100% in the last year (from 223 to 447).  Ivy Farguheson, one of the Star Press’s finest reporters, has written about the increase and about the circumstances that have left folks homeless.

This week if you donate to your local homeless shelter and report back on this post or…

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Stand with Haiti or get bodyslammed! #ten4tues

There are saints, then there is Paul Farmer, the co-founder of Partners in Health.

He values all life equally.  I’d like to think I do too, but I don’t. Not like Farmer.

The New Yorker did a feature on him and asked how he would set the ratio of the love for his own children and his love for unknown children.

“I don’t know where I’d set it,” Farmer answered, “but I would not let many children die so my kids could live.  I don’t think that two kids should die so that one of my kids has comfort, and I don’t know that two children should die so…

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#ten4tues winner…

I started the #ten4tues project on Tuesday and I was thrilled to have a number of participants via Twitter, Facebook, and this blog.

This week I’m giving away a copy of The Life You Can Save by Peter Singer.  I assigned all the participants a number and then used this random number generator to make the final selection. And the winner is…

Rob Reed!  Rob gave to the Clinton-Bush Haiti initiative.

I’m in the process of selecting next week’s organization to donate my $10 to. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know.

Also, I’m actively seeking folks who would be interested in donating something to the giveaway.  I’m donating $10 every week and can’t afford to buy and ship a prize each time.  It doesn’t need to be anything fancy. …

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A year of giving: My #ten4tues project

Sometimes my travel recollections are less memories and more hauntings. I’m haunted by a legless beggar in Nepal who chased me around a stupa swinging wildly at my legs with a stick. I’m haunted by the smile of an orphan in Guatemala. I’m haunted by the smell of a dump in Cambodia.

I never know what will trigger a travel haunting. The other day I was speaking at a high school in San Francisco and another one surfaced.

I was in the village of Matlab in Bangladesh. My translator, Dalton, was giving me a tour of the village when a serious looking man approached us. He grabbed me by the arm and led us through the worn dirt paths around rice paddies and ponds until we stood in a…

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Be a small part of microfinance

I lent $25 to a businesswoman who runs a food stand in Cambodia through  At least I thought I did.

As it turns out, the money didn’t go directly to Mao Yan whose grown children work in garment factories.  Yesterday I learned this in a column by Ron Lieber in the NY Times:

KIVA When you sign up to be a lender at Kiva, your money does not go directly to the entrepreneurs whose requests appear on the Web site. Instead, a microfinance institution administers the actual loan.

Often, these Kiva partners engage in what a Kiva founder, Matt Flannery, refers to as “pre-disbursals.” In plain English, that means that borrowers get their loans before their appeals appear on Kiva’s…

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I don't say this often…

Watch Oprah today.


This is why…

I watched that video last night with my 9-month-old girl on my lap and nearly started crying.  I’m such a sap….

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Why I'm running the NYC marathon and how you can help

Annie gave me The Look that I’ve become all too familiar with…

You’re doing what?

I saw it after college when I moved to Key West. I saw it when I told her about my plan to go to Bangladesh because my underwear was made there.

She had just returned from a full day of work and was smartly clad in her office attire. I was still in my writer’s uniform: shorts, ratty T-shirt, and barefoot.  I looked like her jobless, thirty-something, live-in mooch.

“I’ve committed to running the NYC marathon and raising $3,000…”

(insert The Look)

“…for cancer.”

The look softened.

Annie knows cancer.  She works at a radiation treatment center.  She takes pride in smiling at patients and their families.  Annie and her co-workers become part of the patients’ daily routine.

The treated are cared for….

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