Monday, January 23, 2017

Growing Peace Through A Ugandan Coffee Bean

If you haven’t heard the inspiring story already you must find a way to see the documentary “Delicious Peace Grows in a Ugandan Coffee Bean,” directed by  Curt Fissel. The film tells a story we can all learn from.

 In 2003 J.J. Keki , a Ugandan coffee farmer had a dream. To make his dream a reality he walked door to door and asked his Jewish, Christian and Muslim neighbors to put their differences aside for the benefit of all. They were all third and fourth generation coffee farmers struggling to make a living with  low local coffee prices.

The farmers did put difference aside and formed the Peace Kawomera Cooperative.  With help from Laura Wetzler from the US-based organization Kulanu, and  Paul Katzeff, CEO of Thanksgiving Coffee Company in Fort Bragg, CA,  these Jewish, Christian and Muslim farmers formed a coffee cooperative that is not only sharing delicious coffee around the world but also showing by example that  differences can be put aside, and with dialog and partnerships in their place, a delicious peace can grow as well.

The coop has grown from a few hundred farmers to around 1200 and has expanded to cocoa and vanilla. To support the coop you can learn more about purchasing coffee products at www.thanksgiving or by visiting

Monday, January 16, 2017

Hillsides- Serving Vulnerable At Risk Youth in SoCal

This Southern California nonprofit group home provides special education and counseling to children of abuse, mental illness or in foster care. The main campus is 17 acres and includes 6 group homes serving kids 7 – 18. 

Founded nearly 100 years ago HILLSIDES, based in Altadena, CA,  has made its mission is to create safe places for children, strengthen families, provide special education; and advocate for children’s rights. This Southern California nonprofit creates safe places for children in its residential treatment program where children living in the group homes, are in foster care or that have been referred by the Department of Mental Health or public school districts. On the Hillsides’’ campus  they have the chance to live in a secure, stable environment enabling them to heal and rebuild trusting relationships with adults.

Hillsides works with many social and child services organizations, including Los Angeles County, Pasadena, Glendale, and San Gabriel Valley school districts who refer their students to the nonprofit. Through the efforts, support and encouragement of the Hillsides’ staff children begin to heal through programs and services that offer therapeutic activities, special education and family crisis intervention. To learn how you can volunteer, donate school supplies, school clothes or make a cash donation visit

Monday, January 9, 2017

Urban Harvester - Fresh Food Rescued To Feed The Hungry

Founded by Linda Hess in 2009 South Pasadena-based Urban Harvester is a nonprofit solving multiple problems to the benefit of grocery stores, restaurants, food pantries providing services for the hungry and those in need of a healthy meal.

According to the US Department of Agriculture 1 in 6 Americans go to be hungry every night. Data from The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicates that 40% of the food produced in the United States is discarded each year.

Enter Urban Havester. In 2013 the organization recovered 30,000 fresh meals - that's 20 tons of fresh food rescued rather than wasted. To learn more or to donate to support their good work visit

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Appalachian Efforts For Social Change

Since 1987 the Appalachian Community Fund (ACF) has been making a difference – helping create social change in West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee.

ACF funds and encourages grassroots social change in Central Appalachia. ACF works to build a sustainable base of resources to support community-led organizations seeking to overcome and address issues of race, economic status, gender, sexual identity, and disability. As a community-controlled fund, ACF offers leadership to expand and strengthen the movement for social change through its practices and policies.

Their efforts range from mentoring teenagers and guiding them toward college, supporting women in emotional crisis to keeping the only public clinic serving the poor open. And ACF has forced changes in the Federal Black Lung Program for miners and those in mining areas and they have helped protect endangered forests in the Appalachian region.

To find out more so you can help spread the word through your social network, or to donate, go to

Thursday, December 22, 2016

STEAM Coders Teaching Disadvantage Students Tech Fundamentals

Only founded in 2014 STEAM Coders has already served nearly 400 greater Los Angeles area students. The Pasadena, CA-based nonprofit  is teaching disadvantaged and underrepresented middle and high school students of color the fundamentals of Science, Technology, Engineering,  Art and Math (STEAM).

While ethnic and racial groups that have historically comprised a minority of the U.S. population are growing in size and influence, they remain underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics nationally. 4% of minority students are awarded degrees in physical science while 12% of other students receive degrees in this area. In 2011 National Science Foundation Reports Low Minority Representation on STEM Faculties. And according to the New York Times, in 2013, both women and people of color earned fewer higher education STEM degrees than ever.

STEAM Coders is on point to, through hands on activities, field trips and classroom instruction, help students develop the requisite skills to excel in the STEAM fields, spurring their appreciation the fields and fueling a desire to engage in activities that will spur imagination and innovation, in a quest to find solutions.

With burgeoning demand in the STEAM fields STEAM Coders is on a fast track to grow to assure underrepresented populations are not left behind. So far classes have been held in Pasadena, Claremont/Pomona, Inglewood and Los Angeles.Yhey are looking to expand with the help of grants, individual donations and strategic partnerships.  To learn more, get involved, teach courses and make a donation visit

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Bread Over Bombs Feeding People In Crisis

Their music is a message in action.  Bread Over Bombs is an activist rock band that uses 100% of profits from music CD, LP and downloads sales to feed people in crisis around the world.  Through their work with the LA Regional Food Bank Bread Over Bombs has already provided more than 10,000 meals. 

With the release of their new self-titled  album available on  and iTunes purchases and support, which translate directly to meals to feed people in crisis, are spreading internationally. CD’s are even available at Tower Records in Japan.  And Glasgow SE Foodbank in the United Kingdom is giving away the album with every donation.  You can check out their album review on AMN- the Australian Music Network.  The music is a blend of timely and relevant messages with great music.

The initiative started with Founder Brad Mitchell long ago. He began volunteering at the age of 7 alongside his grandmother in an Arizona charity-funded Navajo school and a San Francisco rescue mission.  In the years following the global financial crisis, primarily a songwriter and lead vocalist, Brad kept hearing the news say that the economy was getting better and better but he couldn’t see it. He was literally seeing people he knew still out of work and living in their cars. He started out handing out bags of oranges and apples along with bottled water and even giving pet food to those who needed it. But he wanted to do more. Being a musician he thought the best way to help would be to use those skills and create a non-profit musical entity with the goal of helping feed people in need.

You can like Bread Over Bombs  on Facebook, follow on Twitter and share their YouTube music video for the single “Revolution Now,”

You can also buy the music to share with friends and spread the word.

TWITTER @breadoverbombs

PRESS, and  NONPROFITS  feeding those in crisis, contact

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Not All American Indians Benefit From Casinos

That unfortunately is a myth.  The Native American Heritage Association was started in 1993 by David G. Myers after witnessing the extreme poverty and desperate circumstances of Native Americans families living on Sioux reservations in South Dakota and Wyoming.

It is a 501 c 3 nonprofit providing self-help services, clothing and food donations, transportation services for the sick and elderly and even propane for heat and cooking.

Please, through your social media networks, encourage your fans, followers, connections and "retweetters" to visit their site,, where you and your network can view a slide show of a typical day of deliveries, driving hundreds of miles, by truck drivers Vern and Dick. Or for info email
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