Monday, February 16, 2015

Amigos de los Rios Building Parks and Engaging Community

Amigos de los RĂ­os (AMIGOS) was founded in 2003 with the mission of building parks with a bigger use while fostering environmental sustainability.

AMIGOS focuses on developing  and implementing  multi-purpose, state-of-the-art parks in park-deficient neighborhoods. Their projects use green techniques such as on-site water filtration, bioswales, and low-water-use irrigation. In their park projects they also integrate  drought-tolerant and native-plant landscaping to conserve water, protect biodiversity and natural resources.

They are currently working to make their amazing vision of “The Emerald Necklace” -an unbroken network of parks and connecting nature trails and bike paths that stretches from the San Gabriel Mountains to the Sea- a reality.

AMIGOS  is committed to engaging the community while reflecting community needs through programs including curriculum creation for K-12,  family-oriented environmental education program,  developing vocational green collar training certification programs and encouraging community involvement in all aspects of their parks projects development.

An initiative spear-headed by AMIGOS has resulted in approximately 2 acres of exterior space at the historic Los Angeles County University of Southern California Medical Center being transformed into the innovative LAC USC Wellness Park and Fitness Trail.  With outdoor exercise equipment along the trail it is available for the health and enjoyment of the public and definitely worth a visit.

If you are looking for a hands on way to make a difference in local environmental sustainability- or you’d like a fun meaningful way to meet a community service requirement- this may very well be the cause for you!

They have a wonderful, highly skilled Volunteer Coordinator, John Latsko, who is extremely knowledge about indigenous California plants.  And they are always in need of extra helping hands. To volunteer, donate and learn more visit

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Pay It Forward Foundation

The Pay It Forward Foundation,  based in Cleveland, Ohio,  is an all volunteer, nonsectarian nonprofit organization. Their mission is to use the money they raise to help hard-working people who have fallen on tough times regardless of their beliefs, color, sex, age or orientation--- and  give a little relief and shine a little light at the same time. We don't have to be geographically located in Cleveland to understand their work and the need.

It doesn't matter where we are we can still make a difference. And as always remember you can use your social networks to do social good by sharing this information. To donate, learn more or volunteer visit
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Monday, February 2, 2015

Shoals Area Families Foundation Helps Families Make Ends Meet

Melissa Hargett is a successful Alabama business woman. She launched the Shoals Area Families Foundation (SAF) to assist temporarily impoverished families with making ends meet. Families that request assistance also sign up as part of an innovative "give back program," where in exchange for support they agree to volunteer at start-up local thrift shop.

Shoals Area Families was formed to assist local temporarily impoverished families with utilities, food and shelter to give them a way to give back and to train them with a new skill that will hopefully break the cycle of impoverishment. The mission is simple -One to take person at a time over the poverty line.

SAF is opening a thrift store to help fund the foundation.  They have a 10,000 square foot building where they take donations, process items, and sale the merchandise. The families they work with come to the organization through referrals from public school counselors and through the SAF Facebook page, They are located at 602 Veterans Drive, Florence, Alabama 35630 and you can email Melissa to donate or for more information at

Monday, January 26, 2015

Inside Climate News- An Environmental Resource

Their mission is to produce clear, objective stories that give the public and decision-makers the information they need to navigate the heat and emotion of climate and energy debates.  Having won a Pulitzer Prize in 2013 it is very clear that they are accomplishing that goal on and ongoing basis.

Inside Climate News is a non-profit, non-partisan news organization that covers clean energy, carbon energy, nuclear energy and environmental science.

They have grown from a founding team of 2 to staff of ten full time professional journalists and a growing network of contributors. Their aim is to double in size and come to full scale in the next two years.

Currently their media partners include Bloomberg, Associated Press, The Guardian, center for Public Integrity, The Weather Channel and McClatchy. In addition to their 2013 Pulitzer they organization has won the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, 2013 Society of Professional Journalists Award and a Scripps Howard for the Best Journalism of 2012, among others.

Some of their most viewed stories include As Oil Prices Sink Tar Sands Riskier, Elections Deliver A Blow To US Climate Leadership, 40% Of Wisconsin Frac Industry Violates Rules, Arctic Meltdown-In Maps and 2014: the Year Climate Change Undeniably Arrived.

To read stories and if you have environmental journalism tips, want to donate to keep environmental journalism alive and to get engaged visit

Monday, January 19, 2015

Wounded Warrior Project

Their statement that “The greatest casualty is to be forgotten” really says a lot in summing up the organization’s mission.  The vision IS achievable - To foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation's history. And their road map to do so is one certainly worthy of support with three simple but impactful steps.

·         To raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members.
·         To help injured service members aid and assist each other.
·         To provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members
As of December 2014 the organization had served over 61,000 veterans and nearly 9,000 families.

Services and programs include Post Traumatic Stress Disorder coping skills, family support, peer mentoring, economic empowerment through transition training and their Warriors To Work program.  As part of their engagement initiatives they offer adaptive sports events. And as indication of the program of the alumni more than 50% remain actively engaged. The program also works with veterans gaining their benefits for them from the VA and has successfully gotten program participants over $16 million in VA benefits.

To volunteer, get engaged, get assistance or make a donation visit

Monday, January 12, 2015

The It Gets Better Project

In September 2010 after a number of gay, lesbian and transgender youth taking their own lives as a result of bullying Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller made a YouTube video to create a personal way for supporters around the world to spread the word and outreach to LGBT youth letting them know that it does get better.

The It Gets Better Project is now a worldwide movement with more than 50,000 personally created videos that have been viewed over 50 million times.

The project has received celebrity submissions including President Obama, Hilary Clinton, Ann Hathaway, Colin Farrell, Adam Lambert, Sarah Silverman, Ellen DeGeneres and many others.

In March 2011 the It Gets Better Project book was released. The book, It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living is on-sale wherever books are sold.  It includes essays and new material from more than 100 contributors, including celebrities, religious leaders, politicians, parents, educators, youth just out of high school, and many more.

The project includes an international affiliates program, a legal program to provide relevant content and message points to legal service providers and the community for court cases and advocacy initiatives. The organization also has a speakers bureau to help get the message out and to answer questions of LGBT youth at outreach events.

To get help, get involved, donate or learn more visit

Monday, January 5, 2015

Algalita Marine Research And Education

Started in 1994 by Captain Charles Moore the organization’s initial mission was to restore the disappearing kelp forests and improve water quality along the California coast.  In 1997 all that changed. Captain Moore made a startling discovery at sea. Taking a shortcut from Hawaii to California aboard his 50-foot catamaran he veered away from his usual course and went through the rarely traveled North Pacific Gyre.
He recalls that “As I gazed from the deck at the surface of what ought to have been a pristine ocean, I was confronted, as far as the eye could see, with the sight of plastic,” the captain wrote in an essay for Natural History. “It seemed unbelievable, but I never found a clear spot. In the week it took to cross the subtropical high, no matter what time of day I looked, plastic debris was floating everywhere: bottles, bottle caps, wrappers, fragments.”
From that point Algalita has pioneered the scientific study of plastic pollution in the marine environment. The organization has literally made it its mission to understand the enormity of the problem and share our findings with the public and other organizations.
The organization has taken the lead in integrating global research on marine plastic pollution. The organization participates in a number of collaborative projects such as reducing plastic debris in the Los Angeles and San Gabriel watersheds, studying microplastics in inshore Hawaiian waters and Japanese Tsunami Debris Field Investigation.
Algalita has a number of youth and children educational initiatives. The organization hosts a Plastic Ocean Pollution Youth Summit for students and teachers. They provide an Algalita Debris Science Investigation Kit—a complete curriculum set on the impacts of plastic marine debris customized for one 50-minute period. They also provide STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) workshops either in classroom visits or at their Redondo Beach, CA labs. And harnessing remote technologies in their Ship 2 Shore program they have connected thousands of students from around the world with their team while they conduct research aboard the oceanographic research vessel Alguita.
For information on marine plastic pollution research collaborations, the Ship-2- Shore student program, POPS Youth Summit, volunteering, donating and getting involved visit