Sunday, October 26, 2008

Stand by Me - Around the World

Bill Moyers ran a terrific piece this weekend on filmmaker Mark Johnson, who went around the world asking musicians to play or sing together as part of a documentary Playing for Change: Peace through Music. He edited these together for powerful performances, including this killer version of “Stand by Me,” from New Orleans, the Netherlands, South Africa, Rio, Moscow, Toulouse, Zuni, New Mexico, the Congo, and more.

Peace out.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Charity Piggy Bank: Belated September Update

I’m late in posting, but happily with automatic savings the piggy bank grows whether I’m paying attention or not! Herewith, a belated Charity Piggy Bank September update. In keeping with the blog’s theme, the charity piggy bank is a small way to make a difference in a big world (even on a budget). Here are the August totals:
  • Proportional giving: $34.75
  • Savings account interest, with thanks to ING!: $9.15
  • Rebates for BYO grocery bags: $1.60
  • Balance forward: $330.92
  • NEW TOTAL: $376.42

Today’s mitzvah: Consider creating a “charity piggy bank” to collect small sums for a year-end charitable contributions. I’m always interested in ideas for what I should do with this in December. It looks like I will be right around $500, which is a nice contribution (and makes me very happy since it involved so little work — this has been pretty pain free savings!)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Mitzvah Toolkit:
Caring Bridge and What Friends Do

A colleague recently used Caring Bridge in a very difficult situation, and another friend also mentioned it recently — so I thought this would be a good time to reprise this post from December 2007.

Here are two wonderful resources I hope we will never need to use. Caring Bridge is an online service that allows a person or family facing a crisis to stay in touch with family and friends through a free and easy-to-create web site. During a serious illness, hospitalization, or other life-altering situation, Caring Bridge facilitates communication by providing a template that includes a patient update journal, a photo gallery, and a guestbook for messages of support.

What Friends Do is a web-based concept that allows friends and family to come together as a team, via a centralized site, to offer coordinated and organized support during a health or other crisis. Once the group’s “coordinator” completes the sign-up process, a web site allows the team to: coordinate schedules for meals, childcare, errands and other needs; provide information updates via a team blog; share photos; and post messages of support.
The main site also contains practical suggestions for how friends can help, as well as insight into maintaining a relationship with someone who is seriously ill or otherwise in crisis.

Today’ mitzvah:
Check out Caring Bridge or What Friends Do for your mitzvah toolkit, to keep in mind in case a friend or family member might need them.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

CROP Walks This Weekend

I’ve been AWOL and missed posting on this earlier, but there’s time to donate to the many CROP Walks against Hunger across the country this weekend, sponsored by Church World Service. CWS provides an interactive map, where you’ll find many walks around the country, especially on Sunday, October 12.

Here’ a video with more info!