Not Just a “Family Matter” – Domestic Violence in the U.S.

Image Source: Flickr

Domestic violence, intimate partner violence, and battering are all different names for the same alarmingly widespread social problem. It affects more people than you think—one in every four people experience abuse—and what we see in the media isn’t the whole picture.

Recently we’ve seen domestic violence news about high-profile celebrities, framed in a typical manner: a male abuser and a female victim. Although every 9 seconds, a woman in the United States is assaulted or beaten, domestic violence isn’t just a problem between women and their male abusers. It affects us all.

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Image Source: Flickr

Domestic violence affects entire families, endangering the safety and mental development of young children. And elderly adults and disabled family members are often the most vulnerable to domestic violence, due to dependence on caretakers and lack of mobility. Family pets are often treated cruelly too. A study from 11 U.S. cities revealed that a history of animal abuse is one of the four largest indicators for potential domestic abusers.

Domestic violence doesn’t only affect women.  More than 830,000 men fall victim to domestic violence every year in the U.S. (National Violence Against Women Survey). Men, women, same-sex couples, and gender variant folks are all victims. Recently, the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) survey showed that one in five trans people experienced domestic violence for their non-conforming gender identities.

Intimate partner violence doesn’t begin in adulthood. One in five high school girls has been physically or sexually assaulted by a dating partner. Sadly, eight U.S. states don’t consider a violent dating relationship domestic abuse, leaving teens unable to obtain a restraining order for protection from their abuser.

Domestic violence is closely related to gun violence. While it can, and often does, extend beyond physically abusive behavior to include sexual violence, financial exploitation, stalking, harassment and emotional abuse; tragically, it commonly ends in gun violence. According to an analysis of mass shootings since January 2009 released by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns (a coalition from around the country), “There was a noteworthy connection between mass-shooting incidents and domestic or family violence.” A majority of the mass shootings in the four-year period studied were domestic-violence related.

The epidemic of domestic violence affects every one of us. We need to stop it together. Here are a few resources that help victims, and actions we each can take to make change happen.

 

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

Resources

The Hotline provides crisis intervention, information and referrals for victims of domestic violence, perpetrators, friends and families. Their toll-free number is available nationwide—helping victims find the courage to act and a local shelter.

The National Domestic Violence Pro Bono Directory lists resources for free legal help for survivors of domestic abuse.

SafeLink is a government-provided safe phone service for survivors.

 

What you can do to help

Give to organizations that provide resources to survivors and work to end violence:

Image Source: Flickr

 

For more charities working to end domestic and gendered violence, take a look at this list.

 

-Alex Mechanic

Service Team Manager

Get involved in the fight for Alzheimer’s disease

blog_title_image_alzheimersTwo of my good friends have lost their mothers to Alzheimer’s disease. It’s a heartbreaking experience. I watched as the women I knew disappeared into themselves and blankly became someone who didn’t recognize their own child.

One friend described it as losing her mother twice – once to Alzheimer’s and once to death. And it’s the ultimate role reversal: The parent who taught you how to tie your shoes now needs you to do it. That’s true for so many simple, everyday actions.

The sixth leading cause of death in the United States, flickr_ann_gordon_mom_handsAlzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. Every 67 seconds, someone in the US develops the disease. Today, more than 5.2 million Americans are living with it.

Recent studies found low Vitamin D can double the risk of Alzheimer’s but didn’t show a direct cause and effect link. Why it strikes older adults is still a mystery, and scientists don’t yet understand what causes the disease. It’s most likely a mix of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors.

As the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s continues to soar (tripling to 16 million by 2050), it’s maddening there are no clear ways to slow or stop the progression of this life-robbing disease. It’s the only cause of death among the top 10 in America that can’t be cured.

What can we do?

Fund research and advocacy.

Here are three organizations making a difference through research and policy changes:

The Alzheimer’s Association, started in 1980, is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Committed to accelerating the progress of new treatments, preventions and ultimately, finding a cure, the association reaches millions of people affected by the disease across the globe. If you’d like to support Alzheimer’s Association and get some exercise at the same time, join one of the Fall Walks to End Alzheimer’s. Find one in your area here.

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BrightFocus Foundation supports research and provides public education to eradicate brain and eye diseases, including Alzheimer’s. The foundation awards research money annually to fund highly innovative, experimental ideas it believes will lead to revolutionary therapies.

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The Alliance for Aging Research advances scientific and medical discoveries that can maximize healthy aging, independence and quality of life for older Americans. Founded in 1986 in Washington D.C., it has become a valued advocacy organization and a respected influential voice with policymakers. The Alliance believes that research helps people live longer, happier, more productive lives, and reduces health care costs, long term.

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Give to organizations that support caregivers.

Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) is one of those organizations. Founded in the late 1970s, FCA was the first community-based nonprofit organization in the country to address the needs of families and friends providing long-term care for loved ones at home. The alliance raises awareness about caregivers’ daily challenges, provides the assistance they need and deserve, and helps improve the quality of life for them and those they care for through education, services, research and advocacy.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 15.5 million caregivers provided 17.7 billion hours of unpaid care to those with Alzheimer’s and other dementia in 2013.

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Be there for friends who are caregivers.

Don’t shy away or do nothing when you learn a friend has a family member with Alzheimer’s. Instead of asking them to let you know if they need something–just step in and help: Tell them you’re bringing over dinner on a given night. Or when flickr_Susumu_Komatsu_ALZ_TYyou’re stopping by with groceries. Send them cards of encouragement in the mail.  Call or visit when it’s convenient, and listen while they vent. On any given day, you have no idea how much it can mean to them!

While there is no single answer for tackling Alzheimer’s disease, I know the care I’ve shown and donations I make can help . . . until a cure is found. I challenge you to do the same. Join the fight today.

A fond adieu to Kelly after 7 years at JustGive

We have a great crew here at JustGive and many of our team members have been working here for over 5 years.

Today, we said a bittersweet farewell to Kelly, who has worked at JustGive for 7 years. In those 7 years, Kelly has worked or helped out in pretty much every area of the company whether it be marketing, customer service or tech. And she’s always done it with a smile and as we know here in the office, a snazzy ‘do.

Like many JustGive team members, Kelly has a charity registry on our website to help support the organizations that matter most to her.

“I care deeply about bringing awareness to the issue of violence against women —particularly providing services and advocacy for survivors of domestic violence. Check out the inspiring video below and then help me raise money to provide services and advocate for survivors. “

Kelly, we’ll not only miss your great style, but also your laugh, your big heart, your willingness to help out with anything, your penchant for purple, your inclusion in “dance breaks” and most of all, your dedication to JustGive and what we do.

We will miss you and wish you all the best in your endeavors.

The JustGive team

Help Save Animals—Channel Your Care and Passion into Action.

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We have a 2-year old goldendoodle affectionately known as “Sir Riley Flannigan.” Flannigan for his apricot color, Riley’s a mix of poodle and golden retriever that’s taken a place in my life and heart I could never have imagined.

My family had outside cats and dogs when I was growing up on the farm, but until Riley (who doesn’t shed), my allergies kept me from owning an animal as an adult. Now, sharing every day with such a loving, sensitive, energetic, and smart dog that has comforted me through sadness and sickness– I can’t imagine what kind of person could harm or hurt any companion animal.

We know animals love and remember us, and feel pain and fear. Their eyes and expressions tell us what they can’t say. They’re companions who watch over and protect us. Dogs, in particular, give many humans a new “leash” on life—they guide the blind and visually impaired, improve the lives of autistic children, save diabetics, and give independence to people with disabilities and veterans.

There’s no question our pets miss us when we’re gone—watch Bugaboo show and tell his owner, Lieutenant Gary Daughtery, how happy he is to see him after six months overseas:

 

Honestly, the many types of animal abuse and cruelty—what we know, see, read and hear about—can be overwhelming. I sometimes turn away from TV ads and scroll quickly past Facebook posts because they get to me. And I feel pretty helpless to stop all the abuse. There are a lot of issues to tackle.

How do we move past anger and overwhelm about how animals are treated to help save them? We can start with what we see every day and be their voice—using our passion to take action.

Learn and Recognize Signs of Pet Abuse

Pay attention to the animals around you. Are there any dogs you’ve seen chained up for hours on end? Have you ever walked your dog and witnessed another aggressive, out of control one? Or gone by a house where there are so many animals you worry about their care? These could be signs of neglect or violence.

  • Neglect is denying an animal adequate food, water, shelter (a dog house), medical care (injuries left untreaDogted), clean area, socialization (is the animal aggressive or timid when approached by owner), or chained up in a yard.
  • Violence is deliberately torturing, beating, or mutilating an animal.

Speak Up: Report Abuse

Almost all acts of animal violence or neglect are punishable by law. While animal cruelty laws vary from state to state, 49 states have laws that contain felony provisions. (South Dakota is the only one that doesn’t). Be prepared: Search online at Pets911 or PetFinder’s database to find a local animal control department, animal shelter or humane society in your area—and program the number into your cell phone.

If you suspect abuse or neglect of any animal, report it to your local police department or area animal control agency. If you’re traveling, call the local police department (911).

If you know of dog or cock fighting, call The Humane Society hotline at 1-877-TIP-HSUS and report it.

Donate—Support Organizations Working to Stop the Abuse

According to the ASPCA, every 60 seconds an animal is abused. Put your money where your heart is, and give for the education, protection, and care Stray Kittenof animals. (Consider an ongoing monthly gift.) If you don’t know where to start:

While animal issues may seem staggering and even depressing, you and I can take action to make life better for them—to end suffering and save these amazing creatures, one by one.  And the next time I sit with Riley or get a doggie kiss, I’ll feel good knowing I’m doing something to help precious creatures like him.

 

 

My Dad Taught Me About Community—And Giving

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My Dad will turn 90 this coming September. As some aspects of his life quiet down, his character and his stories have become more vivid for us, his family.  The child of immigrant parents in the Italian-American community in San Francisco, he survived World War II in the South Pacific. And he has gone on to experience so much through his profession in corporate sales, his travels, and most of all through his lifetime of friendships. We often revel in his lively ongoing community.

Dad’s history of community has been as charitable as it is social. As a member of the Geneva Excelsior Lions Club in San Francisco for more than 50 years, he has, with his co-Lions, coordinated fundraising events to benefit charities for the blind, at-risk youth, scholarships, and more. Even though he lives many miles from where they hold their meetings and events, his commitment to the organization and those involved—who have become old friends—remains steady.roxdad2014 - Copy (2)

The Lions strive to recruit new members. And by many accounts, membership in fraternal organizations is in decline. Longstanding supporters are aging. Many younger people—potential new members—spend more of their time working or pursuing personal goals. Though I also have a history of volunteerism, in recent years I have opted for one-off opportunities over invitations to regularly attend meetings with local organizations, due in part to my “busy schedule.”

Although changing lifestyles make recruitment to service clubs more challenging, the trend also reflects changes in the ways many of us give these days. While online cause-based social giving and crowdsourcing may keep more people in their living rooms, these platforms have also galvanized effective new communities around giving and provided new ways to give.

Can online giving replace the warm camaraderie of three friends working in a neighborhood soup kitchen, or 500 people attending a neighborhood crab feed and charity raffle?  Not necessarily, but if an online database or shared events alert someone, for the first time, to a compelling charitable organization in their area—one to which they are inspired to donate or volunteer—then ideally, those online tools have indeed achieved something more personal.

Like my Dad, I have always found volunteering a wonderful way to contribute, network, and make friends. But decades ago, when his kids were finding our own ways in life, he urged us to “learn about computers.” My pursuit of his suggestion, along with observing his lifelong example of engaging with giving communities, have brought me to the work I do with JustGive.

This Father’s Day, I thank my dad for showing me how to be charitable and get involved in community. Following the example he set for me, one way I contribute is to maintain an online registry, for supporting causes that serve the local community where I live.

- Roxanne Gentile, Director of Technology

One Million Donations and Counting!

blog_title_image_millionWe reached a major milestone in the history of JustGive last week when we processed the one-millionth donation on our website.

Who was behind this auspicious donation? His name is Al Danish, and he hails from Glen Mills, Pennsylvania.

Al made his donation to PathWays PA, a nonprofit dedicated to helping to keep low-income, vulnerable women together with their children by offering programs and services that help families stabilize their lives.

“If my donation can help in a small way, then that makes me feel good,” Al said about helping PathWays.

Al said his role as a grandfather of two makes PathWays’ mission even more relevant to him. “I liked the idea of making a donation for something specific like a case of diapers for a baby,” Al said.

Pathways PA is also a JustGive nonprofit affiliate. Since 2008, they’ve used our nonprofit services to accept donations through their website.

With just a few clicks, PathWays created a customized donation page, allowing their donors to select from a list of suggested gifts like $25 to “provide basic toiletries to a mom in need,” or to enter in any desired donation amount.

“JustGive is a wonderful avenue for our online donors to give in a quick and easy way,” said Fran Franchi, Director of Development for PathWays. “We are so grateful for supporters like Al Danish. Thank you, Al for your continued support of PathWays PA’s mission and congratulations on being the one-millionth donor.”

Al was gracious about his 15 minutes of online donor fame when we first shared the news, saying, “You made me feel very good about helping out with a donation.”

JustGive was one of the first nonprofit organizations to channel the power of the Internet for online giving. Since 2000, we have sent more than $400 million to over 70,000 charities working throughout the world—and every day, we are inspired by donors like Al Danish to create new ways for people to find, learn about, and support virtually any charity, anytime.

Thank you to Al and PathWays PA for helping us reach this important milestone!

 

—Sarah Bacon, Director of Product

Mother’s Day – Musings on the Meaning of Mothering

image source: flickr: Peggy2012CREATIVELENZ

image source: flickr

As a child (and an only child, at that) I was frequently jealous of the attention, love and mothering my mom would give to other children in our community.

Working individually with kids at my elementary school (and later on in her long career in the juvenile justice system), my mom focused intently on helping children with special needs. She treated them all with love, kindness and respect, which is the very best way to teach those qualities. She did everything as a volunteer—from large-scale organizing to providing childcare and tutoring, and even raising awareness about diversity and body positivity—issues that continue to be important to me to this day.

Truly a mother to anyone who needed one, my mom was a lifelong nurturer. At home, she never said no to me . . .  even when I brought in a foundling stray kitten, or once, a pair of miniature aquatic crabs we found inexplicably crawling up Fillmore Street in San Francisco. In addition to the cat I have now adopted, her social justice work and her extensive networks of friends and family, my mom left behind a large number of rather brilliant abstract paintings, a sassy assertiveness I strive to emulate every day, and a deep respect for treating all living things with kindness and care that’s instilled in me.

When my mother passed away unexpectedly on April first of this year, I created a charity registry in her name, to raise funds for animal rescue and nonprofit veterinary organizations ASPCA and Pets Unlimited, plus our local Make-a-Wish chapter. And you know something? Each heartfelt donation and sympathy message that came through my registry made me feel incredibly cared for and loved. It’s amazing that even someone who might not be related to me, or know me very well, can give me that kind of love, strength and support with a simple gesture. It’s certainly made this time a lot easier.

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Source: Alex Mechanic

I honor my mother by striving to carry on her legacy of compassion, in the warm, giving spirit remembered by all who knew her. And the best feeling lately has been having that same warmth and generosity offered to me by all the various people in my life who I know in so many different ways. They have all been caring for me like one of their own.

Anyone can nurture like a mother does. It doesn’t depend on gender. It doesn’t even have to entail raising children. Caring and compassion are universal: Every one of us can give love and nurturing to anyone else – a child, adult, plant, or animal.

My good friend Sara can’t help but rescue a dying houseplant whenever she comes across one. It doesn’t matter what type of plant it is, she revives them back to health with a little work and TLC. That’s a perfect example of someone taking time to nurture the world around us in just the way a mother might.

So while it’s in my mother’s honor that I remember to smile and say hello to my neighbors and their kids, offer a listening ear to anyone I see having a bad day, and will continue to adopt as many animals as fit in my house, my models of mothering extend beyond her personal example.

I will never have children of my own, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to be mothering, and nurture everyone I share this earth with for some finite time. We can all do it. All we need to do is care for each other.

—Alex Mechanic, Service Team Manager

Help Girls Overcome Media Pressure and Reach Their Potential

photo source: flickr

photo source: flickr

There is no better time in history to be a girl. All around the world, countries are realizing that investing in girls has the potential to change the world. In the United States, girls outpace boys in test scores, college enrollment and graduation rates, and high school leadership positions.

But alarming statistics show that girls still face enormous challenges. As they approach adolescence, self-esteem in girls plummets—and that’s true across ethnic, racial, and socio-economic lines. According to Rachel Simmons, co-founder of the nonprofit organization Girls Leadership Institute, this is the time in girls’ lives when they become aware of pressure to be conventionally feminine: to be liked at all costs, to be pleasing, to be passive, to be modest, and to become conventionally beautiful women.

In adolescence, girls become obsessed about their appearance. According to Confidence Coalition, 81 percent of 10-year-old girls are afraid of being fat. When we look at the messages the media sends girls, it’s no wonder their self-esteem is in shambles. Fifty seven percent of rock music videos portray women as a sex object, a victim, as unintelligent, or in a condescending way. On the movie screen, female characters are scantily clad, even in G-rated movies—which surprisingly show the same amount of skin as R-rated movies.

As adults, women enter professions that pay less and offer less prestige. In 2011, only 15 percent of board positions and corporate leadership positions were occupied by women. By no coincidence, in family-rated movies, 81 percent of employed characters are men. For every 15 movie characters holding STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, And Mathematics) titles, one is female.

photo source: flickr

photo source: flickr

On the whole, women are underrepresented in the media. In family films, there is only one female character for every three male characters. In group scenes, only 17 percent of the characters are female. The media is literally sending the message: women and girls aren’t as important as boys and men. Our culture revolves around media, and women don’t take up even half the space.

 

How to Make a Difference

Change the Media Message

According to the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media, TV and movies have an incredible impact on women’s choices and perceptions. The one science-based profession that “employs” an equal number of women and men on television programs is forensic science. As a result, colleges now can’t keep up with the number of women applying to become forensic scientists. Similarly, people who were familiar with the show Commander in Chief, which featured a female president, were 68 percent more likely to vote for a female for president than those who were not familiar with the show.

The Geena Davis Insitute concluded, “if she can see it, she can be it.” With that belief, the institute focuses on changing media messages to feature more women and girls. If you’d like to get involved to help make this change, consider donating:

The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media researches how gender is portrayed in the media and its impact on women and girls, then directly educates content creators. Sixty eight percent of creators who heard the Institute’s presentation said it impacted two or more of their projects. Forty one percent said it had affected four or more of their projects. The goal: 50 percent female representation in all TV shows.

Donate Now

You can also get involved directly! Check out The Representation Project’s #Notbuyingit campaign. By getting vocal on Twitter, people just like you changed Superbowl ads to be less sexist. For example, GoDaddy.com has a history of hyper-sexualized Superbowl ads, but in 2014 after being railed against by the #notbuyingit campaign, they chose to tone it down.

 

Help Girls Discover New Choices

In addition to changing media messages, you can help educate girls about all their options by supporting these amazing girl-oriented nonprofits:

Girls Leadership Institute offers camps and workshops designed to teach girls, educators and parents about emotional intelligence, healthy relationships, and assertive self-expression.

Donate Now

Girl Up is a unique opportunity for American girls to become global leaders, channeling their energy and compassion to raise awareness and funds. They focus on United Nations programs that help some of the world’s hardest-to-reach adolescent girls.

Donate Now

Girls Inc. equips girls to achieve academically, lead healthy and physically active lives, manage money, navigate media messages, and discover an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Donate Now

 

And for free girl power and inspiration, follow organizations like A Mighty Girl and Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls on Facebook. A Mighty Girl is a resource for girl-friendly media, toys, and clothing. Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls is a resource to help girls and women find their authentic selves.

While the statistics show we still have a long way to go, we have made incredible progress. Together, we can move toward gender equity in both the media and in business leadership.

—Sara Olsher, Marketing Manager

photo source: flickr

photo source: flickr

Creative Approaches to Solve the Poverty Crisis

POVERTY

image source: flickr

According to World Bank, 1.4 billion people – or 20 percent of the world’s population – live in extreme poverty, earning less than $1.25 a day. And unfortunately, it’s getting worse. Seven out of 10 people in the world live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years.

The question of how we solve this problem has become a source of debate, but one thing is clear: what we’re doing isn’t working.

The most recent thinking is that we can’t solve the poverty crisis by simply throwing more money at the poor. Instead:

  1. We need to consider social services a necessary safety net to keep the bottom from falling out.
  2. We need to empower the poor to improve their own lives, so they can work to get themselves out of poverty. A one-size-fits-all solution will not work—we need to help people as individuals.

Check out what these three nonprofits are doing to change the face of poverty by empowering the poor.

Family Independence Initiative

FII logo orangeThe Family Independence Initiative helps people toward independence by encouraging them to help themselves. In the past decade, they’ve learned that three elements are critical for building personal social and economic mobility:

  • Connections – No one makes it alone. They need family, friends, and colleagues to provide support, information, advice, resources, and a sense of accountability.
  • Choice – Rather than being directed or controlled by social services, families must have control over their own choices to succeed. This takes giving them a range of options related to finances, housing, health, education, and other opportunities needed for well-being.
  • Capital – The biggest difference between low-income families and upper-income families is money — not intelligence or resourcefulness. Families need access to financial capital to gain control and improve their lives.

The Family Independence Initiative wants us to recognize that low-income families have strengths, capacities, and initiative, and will work to get themselves out of poverty; they just need the resources to see that it’s possible.

Like what they’re doing? Make a donation so the Family Independence Initiative can continue their inspiring work:

Donate Now

PovertyCure

PovertyCure_Logo-colorPovertyCure is a global network uniting organizations and individuals who recognize that we need to work together to alleviate global poverty. They examine the economic, social, political, and spiritual foundations for sustainable human development. Specifically:

  • Enterprise solutions to poverty. Some people are able to rise out of poverty using intelligence, action, will, and ingenuity to make money.
  • Dignity and capacity of the poor. Many people look at the poor as though they are incapable of improving their situation or getting out of poverty.
  • Private property rights. The poor do not own land. As a result, they can’t borrow money against it to set up businesses or pay taxes, and they don’t have access education and investment incentives.
  • Entrepreneurship. Poor regions can meet their wants and needs through enterprise and grow their way out of poverty, but they need proper legal and social structures.
  • Foreign Aid. Foreign aid is a controversial topic. Proponents insist that it is a moral duty for wealthy nations to assist the poorer nations. On the other hand, wealthy countries developed themselves through trade, innovation, and business.
  • Microfinance. Unlike foreign aid, microfinance gives someone the capital they need to help themselves, using their own abilities to provide for their family.

PovertyCure feels the question “What causes poverty?” is the wrong one to ask. Instead, they focus on the antithesis of poverty, questioning, “How do we encourage people to flourish?”

If you like PovertyCure’s approach to poverty, consider donating to support their work:

Donate Now

Grameen Foundation

e06d287baa343075a704c88b7297bdecGrameen Foundation believes that all of us want to improve our lives, and that even the poorest among us can reach our full potential if given access to the right tools and information.

Grameen Foundation focuses primarily on women to provide :

  • Financial services. Financial tools, which are typically not available to the poor, can help people create businesses, build savings, manage their money, and plan for the future.
  • Better health care. Mobile technology can improve patient care, increase efficiency of health care providers, and make medical information relevant and easily accessible.
  • Agricultural help. By developing phone applications and human networks, Grameen Foundation helps farmers get relevant and timely agricultural information to increase their productivity and raise their income.

The Grameen Foundation is thoughtful about creating long-term solutions, and partners with like-minded companies, organizations, government agencies and more.

Interested in supporting Grameen Foundation’s work? Make a donation to help them do more:

Donate Now

Poverty is an incredibly complex issue and a growing problem. It is essential that we work together as caring, global citizens to lift each other up—because we all deserve the opportunity for a better life.

—Sara Olsher, Marketing Manager

Save Three Lives in One Hour: Donate Blood

image source: flickr

image source: flickr

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. Giving blood is easy and saves lives. (In fact, one pint of blood can save up to three lives!)

In one hour, you could watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, or you could help one of the five million real-life patients who need blood every year.

Why donate blood?

People need blood for a variety of reasons:

  • Much of today’s sophisticated medical care (for premature babies, transplants, heart surgeries and more) relies on an available blood supply.
  • Car accident and trauma victims may need as many as 50 or more transfusions.
  • Cancer patients, including children with cancer, depend on multiple blood transfusions to win their fight.
  • Bone Marrow transplant patients may require blood from more than 100 donors.

What is involved?

The process of donating blood takes about an hour, including registration. Here’s what happens:

Step 1, Registration: Fill out a donor registration form with your contact information and brief health history.

Step 2, Health Screening: A technician checks your blood pressure, temperature, and pulse, and reviews your health history. If you meet all donor requirements, you begin the donation process.

Step 3, Donation: A specially trained technician draws your blood, which takes about 10-12 minutes. You give a little less than one pint of whole blood in a standard donation. Fun fact: Your body replaces the plasma within 24 hours and the red blood? cells within 4-8 weeks.

Step 4, Refreshments: After your donation, you relax and enjoy a snack (like cookies!) in the refreshment area for 10-15 minutes.

Where do I donate?

Find a local blood bank by searching in your area. Or make an appointment with the Red Cross.

More ways to help

Not eligible to donate or want to make a bigger difference? Support your local blood banks with a monetary donation:

Donate Now

Make an exponential difference: Spread the word about giving blood! Share this post, and convince your friends and co-workers to join you in donating.

Together, we can save lives.

—Sara Olsher, Marketing Manager