Posts with Category Glocal

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Volunteer 2hrs/week & offset budget cuts from debt ceiling debate

We live in tough times. Budgets are being slashed in households, cities, states, and our nation. Show me someone who hasn’t been impacted or had someone close to them impacted and I’ll show you a hermit with a billion bucks stuffed under his mattress.

With congress coming to terms at the last moment, the debt ceiling has been raised, but another $2.4 trillion of cuts are to be made over the next 10 years. $2.4 trillion seems like a lot, but it’s nothing that a nation of volunteers can’t make up for.

Let’s do the math:

$2,400,000,000,000 of cuts / 300 million Americans = $8,000 of cuts / person

1 hour of volunteering = $20

$8,000 of debt per person / $20 per volunteer…

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Fire Eaters Wanted

Fire Eater
What do you like to do?

Do you enjoy planning events, taking photos, editing videos, designing posters, playing guitar, playing video games, fire eating, sword swallowing, or working with spreadsheets?

I don’t mean to knock volunteering in a soup kitchen or swinging a hammer to frame a house, but that’s not the best way for me to use my time. Like BJ I don’t have a ton of time. I’ve got a two-month-old baby boy and a two-year-old daughter. (That’s a lot of diapers!) And I have to be very selfish with my time. Volunteering is an important part of my life, but I only have so much time,…

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Announcing LeadershipBoard.org: Follow your passion & lead the way:

I’m excited to announce a new local group that I’ve helped found in Muncie along with Brandon Coppernoll and BJ McKayLeadershipBoard.org.  Last week we appeared at our first public event – Converge 2011 at the Horizon Convention Center.   Today, I’m doing a three-part series on LeadershipBoard.org.

To kick the day off and to bring you up to speed on what we’re about, I simply cut and pasted our About page below. ( I wrote it, so why not!)  I’d love for you to check out the site, if you’re a resident of Muncie we’ll find a way to put your feet on the ground and start making connections and a difference.  If you’re…

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The Human Narrative bends toward empathy

If I had to narrow the goal of my writing to one thing, it would be empathy.   I try to make my readers feel what I feel or feel what it’s like to be in my subjects’ shoes. That’s why I’m such a huge fan of this video and of Jeremy Rifkin’s book, The Empathic Civilization.

Rifkin traces humans from our early day’s, trying not to be eaten on the African savannas, to modern day, and how we have divided the world into Us and Them.  First it was blood, then tribes, then religions, then nations, and so on.  Our Us continues to expand. It’s with…

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Poverty of Community

I’ve been to some of the most poverty-stricken places on earth, including shanty towns, villages made up of mud huts, dumps where mothers and fathers scavenge alongside their children, and urban slums. What often strikes me the most isn’t what they don’t have, but what they do have: a strong sense of community, much stronger than our sense of community in Muncie, Indiana. Their communities live in abject poverty. We have a poverty of community.

What are you doing to build community?…

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Arianna Huffington and Glenn Beck agree!

Beck - vs - Huffington

Well, they didn’t actually agree, but they delivered the same message. Arianna wrote about it in a piece titled Post Card From Greece: This Should Not Be About Austerity, But About The Future of Democracy. And Glenn Beck delivered it in his last monologue ever on Fox’s Glenn Beck show.

Arianna Huffington is from Greece. (That’s why she talks funny.) Greece is an interesting place to be from these days, with all the protests, spending cuts, and youth unemployment at 40%. She revisited Greece and writes:

But now people are rushing, quite literally, to reengage in civic life. They want to start fresh and awaken the…

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The Rubber Glove

IMG_1715“We have a lack of quality low-income housing in Muncie,” Steve, the city’s building commissioner, said. One night a month the Circles community, which works to lift people out of poverty, hosts a Big View session open to the public to discuss issues that people living in poverty face.

Last night we talked about housing.

“Two week into my job I got called out to a house.” Steve paused and stared at the floor. It seemed as if he was setting up a long story that would include details like where the house was and what it looked like. But then he sat back and got right to it. “A mother was holding her…

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Volunteers are the new city employees

Ask not what your city can do for you; ask what you can do for your city. Chances are your city no longer has the budget to take on certain tasks.

The  USA Today reports that Philadelphians are stepping up as “graduation coaches,” in Nashville citizens are cleaning waterways; in New York volunteers are painting roofs. These are all jobs that city employees would have done.

Twenty-two cities have created positions to recruit and manage volunteers. Has yours?

Asking for help isn’t easy

You couldn’t pay me enough to be in local government right now (or probably ever). Budgets are uber-tight and you’re in trouble if you spend money on something and you’re in trouble if you don’t spend money…

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TOMS shoes: half-assed aid & a bad deal???

toms shoes, pic 2

I’ve written about the problem with TOMS and their critics and about TOMS recent big announcement: selling sunglasses.

Courtney Martin, author of Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists, takes the TOMS criticism to the glossy pages of the American Prospect magazine and even quotes me in the process:

Others argue that it’s important to see TOMS, and the businesses it has inspired, as baby steps in public awareness. Kelsey Timmerman, the author of Where Am I Wearing? A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes, writes: “The problem isn’t shoelessness. The problem is poverty. … If every person…

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