Gifts for the Bookworm

For those friends who always have their noses in books (eyes on Kindles, whatever).

Better World Books partners with Books for Africa to help end poverty and increase education in African countries. For every book sold, a book goes to Africa. This is a great gift for college students too, as they offer textbooks on various subjects.

Out of Print Clothing also works with Books for Africa. They have items that feature some of your bookworm’s favorite books. Deck out the whole family with gear that will make everyone want to turn a page.

harold.jpg

 Shout Mouse Press books are not only excellent sources for emergent readers, they help show kids the power of their own abilities. Shout Mouse publishes books written by high school students.

Anyone you know love showing off her love of books in every way possible? Rebound Books creates handmade wallets and purses from discarded book covers. They’re a great way to rock some literary love.

About the Author: Ashley Angeline completed an internship with the Daily Do Good in Fall, 2015. A student at the University of Cincinnati, Ashley aspires to be a broadcast journalist. And to marry Prince Harry. 


Gifts That Sparkle

For the friend who loves all things bling. 

1. In partnership with We.org and Feed the ChildrenMe to We sells gifts with a #givegood spirit. The purchase of a holiday rafiki (Swahili for friend, and yes, the name of the mandrill in "The Lion King") donates 100 liters of clean water to a child in Africa.

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2. Liberty United gets illegal guns and ammo from police to create beautiful pieces of jewelry. Every gun they transform is one less gun that could be on the streets. Plus it gives the person wearing the piece a great story to tell.

liberty united.jpg

3. This is My Brave helps keep the discussion of mental illness alive and helps those suffering from mental illnesses tell their stories. They offer brave beads, which act like worry beads, which can help someone focus when they’re feeling anxious. Every bracelet has a charm with a “B” on it to remind them they are brave.

4. Do you know someone who is always late? WeWOOD uses mostly scrap and leftover wood, to create beautiful watches. For every watch sold they will plant a tree to help reforestation in forests around the world.

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5. Alex and Ani have a large selection of bracelets that support a wide variety of charities. Know someone passionate about breast cancer or Alzheimer's research? Check out the Charity by Design collection.

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About the Author: Ashley Angeline completed an internship with the Daily Do Good in Fall, 2015. A student at the University of Cincinnati, Ashley aspires to be a broadcast journalist. And to marry Prince Harry. 

Gifts for the Chill

Got that friend who shivers from November to April? Give them a gift to keep them warm and cozy all through the winter months. 

1. For every cozy. U.S. made infinity scarf, hat or pair of gloves you buy, Twice As Warm gives one to a local shelter or organization to help people in need stay warm this winter. 

 This unisex infinity scarf is called Circle of Warmth/Photo credit: Twice As Warm

This unisex infinity scarf is called Circle of Warmth/Photo credit: Twice As Warm

2. Is there anything better on a cold night than wrapping up in a soft comforter, maybe with a cup of hot chocolate? The Company Store has partnered with Family Promise, a New Jersey-based nonprofit dedicated to helping homeless families. They match every comforter purchase with one donated to a homeless child in the U.S. 

3. Love Your Melon began as a project for an entrepreneurship class at the University of  St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. Three years later, more than 2500 students at colleges across the country act as ambassadors to represent the brand and personally give hats to children undergoing cancer treatment. Fifty percent of proceeds are donated to the Pinky Swear Foundation and CureSearch.

  Photo credit: Notre Dame Observer

Photo credit: Notre Dame Observer

4. Each pashmina shawl by Shawl Wallah is handwoven and colored with environmentally friendly vegetable dyes. The company reinvests in the communities populated by the Kashmiri artisans who make the shawls. Your purchase supports sustainable economic growth, fair trade practices and programs to support children. 

  Photo Source: Avenue Calgary

Photo Source: Avenue Calgary

5. When the winter chill stings your toes, pull on a pair of patterned socks from Mitscoots. Every pair bought means a pair donated. The company pairs with nonprofit and social service organizations to employ individuals fighting homelessness.

  Kelly socks by Mitscoots

Kelly socks by Mitscoots


Hashtag Holiday Giving - Social Media Campaigns We Love

1. Oxfam America's Unwrapped holiday gift catalogue allows for donations to support families in need. For $150, you can support a midwife's training, or give a pair of chickens for only $18. Follow all the good on Twitter via the hashtag #Unwrapped (not to be confused with the Food Network Show) at @OxfamAmerica.

2. Evite and Pledgeling's #GiveMeFive challenge is a fun way to send holiday greetings to friends, family and coworkers, while encouraging them to make small donations ($5) to charity. Guests can opt to make a donation when they RSVP to a party. Easy as pie. 

3. Goodwill is offering a simple solution to the environmental impact of shopping online: Take the boxes you receive and use them to ship donations of clothing and household items. Visit givebackbox.com to send donations for free, and follow the impact via #GiveBackBox.

 You might need to fight for your box.

You might need to fight for your box.

Giving is Good

On Dec. 2, 2015, the Daily Do Good hosted a holiday market: GiveGood! Holiday Bazaar. DC-area residents visited WeWork Wonder Bread Factory to shop for gifts from 21 nonprofit and socially conscious local vendors. It was a fantastic night, and we loved seeing so many of you having so much fun. To everyone who made it out: Thank you! To those who couldn't come: Hope to see you there next year! 

Thanks to G. James of Capitol Media USA for the photos

Holiday Markets That Do Good

If you couldn’t make it to GiveGood! Holiday Bazaar, you missed out. But don’t worry -- you’re not completely out of luck. Check out five area markets that feature nonprofit and local vendors. 

 

  1. Downtown Holiday Market is the big one. There’s a rotating cast of vendors (60 a day), According to the website, “ the market features more than 150 regional artisans, crafters and boutique businesses of ethnically produced goods.” We think they might mean ethically…. Through Dec. 23, Noon - 8 p.m. daily, 8th and F Streets

 Get leather goods by Katie Stack of  Stitch & Rivet

Get leather goods by Katie Stack of Stitch & Rivet

2. Ever hear that expression "what do you get for the person who has everything"? How about a present at National Education Association's Alternative Gift Fair? An alternative gift fair gives you the opportunity to learn about the needs of different organizations like Heifer International or Music For Life, and sponsor them in your loved one's name.

3. The Del Ray Artists is a nonprofit organization working to promote the works of local artists for the enrichment of the community. Check out their holiday market over the next three weekends. There are different vendors on hand each time -- the perfect excuse to go back! Dec. 4, 11, 18, 6-9 p.m.; Dec. 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 11 a.m - 6 p.m. Del Ray Artisans Gallery at the Nicholas A. Colasanto Center, 2704 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA

 Find paintings by artist Claudia Olivos, owner, along with her husband Sergio, of  Olivos Art Studio    

Find paintings by artist Claudia Olivos, owner, along with her husband Sergio, of Olivos Art Studio

 

4. HOLIDAZE, a pop up shop by Fenton Street Market in Silver Spring, features the work of 40 local creative beings. Find handmade goods from crocheted stuffed animals to photographic gift wrap. Megan Moriarty, owner of Fenton Street Market, called supporting local makers and micro businesses an "amazingly effective" way to spend your dollars for good. 

 One Sock On Photography owner Jennifer Vallina will be selling gift wrap and other paper goods featuring her photos.

One Sock On Photography owner Jennifer Vallina will be selling gift wrap and other paper goods featuring her photos.

5. Imagine you're in Europe at A Holiday Market in Alexandria. Get special gifts and let kids decorate their own Christmas ornament. Donate toys and canned food to Volunteer Alexandria and Hunger-Free Alexandria

 BUILD has branches in DC, Boston, NYC and the Bay Area. This image is from a Holiday Sales Bazaar in Oakland, CA.  

BUILD has branches in DC, Boston, NYC and the Bay Area. This image is from a Holiday Sales Bazaar in Oakland, CA.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Kids Who Started Nonprofits

1. One day, 5-year-old Hannah Taylor saw a homeless man eating out of a garbage can in her hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba. She didn’t know why and wanted to help the man and those like him. She started The Ladybug Foundation to help find shelter, safety and food for the homeless. Hannah, now 18, has raised more than $3 million for Canada’s homeless and has even started another charity, The Ladybug Foundation Education Program, which encourages school children to make a difference.

2. Alex Scott received a neuroblastoma diagnosis at age 4. To fight back, she created Alex’s Lemonade Stand to raise money for children’s cancers. Once a year, she set up a stand in her front yard. Word spread and others started making their own Alex’s Lemonade stands. Shortly before young Alex died at the age of 8, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation raised $1 million. The foundation is still going  strong today.

3. Craig Kielburger was 12 when he saw the story of boy his age who had been murdered for speaking up about human rights and slavery in Pakistan. From that moment, he knew he needed to help. Craig, along with his older brother and several classmates, decided to speak out against child slavery. They established Free the Children to bring an end to child slavery. After realizing freeing children from slavery was not the only problem, Craig began Adopt a Village, a program that gives the village the tools needed to empower themselves out of poverty.

 

4. Leanne Joyce has a congenital heart problem.  Back in 2010 while waiting for her test results, she was given a gift by two of the hospital volunteers. The joy of receiving the gift made her forget about being in the hospital. Seeing that others care, Leanne wanted to give back to other children in hospitals to help them be happy too so Leanne established Positive Impact for Kids. Since then she has brought joy to hundreds of children. She has goals to make the stays of children and teens in the hospital better by raising money for iPads to keep them socially and educationally engaged.

5. Austin Gutwein created Hoops of Hope after seeing how children whose parents died of AIDS were suffering. On World AIDS Day in 2004 he shot 2,057 free throws to represent the number of children losing their parents to AIDS. Austin raised almost $3,000 for World Vision to help 8 of those children. To date, Hoops of Hope has raised more than $2.5 million to  help children get food, clothing, schooling and more. Parts of the money also goes to help buy mosquito nets, clean water and more to children in Malawi. This year they are working toward their goal of building 15 new dormitories for children as the current ones are overflowing with children that live too far away from the schools.

6. Jonas Corona created Love in the Mirror at age 6 after volunteering to feed the homeless in the LA area. He noticed that there were many children who were in line for food in clothes that did not fit them. All he wanted was to make these children happy and healthy. He started Love in the Mirror to provided families in need with the necessities of life.

 

7. Who run the world? Girls! Shannon McNamara launched Shannon’s After-School Reading Exchange in 2008, when she was 15 years old. While planning a mission trip to Africa, Shannon learned that many girls were not able to access education. Shannon, along with neighbors, friends and family gathered books and supplies to give to the girls of Africa. Since then SHARE has helped build school libraries and created scholarships in Tanzania. Recently they launched a Keep Girls Safe Initiative.

 

 

About the Authors: Ashley Angeline and Sarah Nylen are interns with the Daily Do Good. Sarah, an American University junior, dreams of lazy beach days in her coastal Massachusetts hometown, while striving to be a marketing major for a socially responsible company in DC. A communications student at the University of Cincinnati, Ashley aspires to be a broadcast journalist. And to marry Prince Harry.

 

Put the Giving into Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and we can almost smell the turkey, pumpkin pie and apple cider. It’s a time to gather with family and friends, and to give thanks for everything we have. But what about those who are less fortunate? You can show your gratitude by giving back for the holiday. Here are five ways how:

1. Feed the Hungry

This is the most obvious choice. Each year, both area and national nonprofits strive to give a proper Thanksgiving dinner to those in need. DC Central Kitchen needs at least 400 whole turkeys, as well as sides and pies to provide 5,000 Thanksgiving meals to clients. Feeding America can distribute 22 meals for every dollar donated. Have a sweet tooth? Buy a pie to help Food & Friends deliver meals to homebound DC residents.

2.     Step Lively

Fun fact: Before a Turkey Trot was a Thanksgiving morning 5K, it was a ragtime-era dance. 

Thanksgiving is a good time for charity runs and fitness challenges. It helps us feel less guilty about that second (okay, fourth) slice of pie. Take part in Everyday Hero’s Thanksgiving Charity Challenge to help your workout pay off for you and your favorite cause. Or join So Some Others Might Eat on Thanksgiving morning for DC’s only annual Turkey Trot. NoVa  residents can trot with Christ Church of Arlington to benefit several area organizations.

3. Attend a Fundraiser

 The best Friendsgiving

The best Friendsgiving

Enjoy a parents’ night out Friendsgiving with Frances Hazel Reid Elementary and the Backpack Friends initiative to help provide weekend food for children in need. If a 5K isn’t your bag, you can still help out SOME at a Thanksgiving Holiday Soirée. Or attend the Chronicopia Harvest dinner and cooking demo to benefit Bread for the City and Capital Area Food Bank.

4. Volunteer!

Giving food or money is always wonderful, but sometimes there’s nothing quite like giving your time. The Jewish Community Center needs help setting up for Monday and Tuesday Thanksgiving dinners. Assemble and deliver Thanksgiving baskets to area seniors and families with We Are Family and Family Matter of Greater Washington. Help So What Else lead a service fair for the students of DC Prep Ex.

5.     Adopt a Turkey!


No, not as a pet. Since 1986, Farm Sanctuary has been raising awareness for animal welfare. Save Tom Turkey from the dinner table. Try this vegducken instead.  







Tap an App for Good

A 2015 study found that Americans spend an average of 4.7 hours EACH DAY on our mobile devices. But if we each spent just a few of those minutes on one of these apps designed for doing good, we could make a whole lot of difference.

1. Budge

Bored of daring without a consequence? Budge is here for you. Challenge your friends to anything: The loser donates to a charity of the winner's choice! Turn your fun into a meaningful donation. Available for iOS.

2. Charity Miles

Like to run or bike? Charity Miles empowers you to earn money for the charity you support. Just choose one and hit the streets. The app donates 10¢ per mile for bikers; 25¢ per mile for walkers and runners. An extra bit of motivation for you not to skip workouts! Available for both iOS and Android.

 A selection of charities supported by Charity Miles

A selection of charities supported by Charity Miles

3. Charity Box

Easily donate and track your donation by downloading Charity Box. You can find the charities you support in the U.S. and donate to them with your credit card or link your bank account. The moment you donate, you will receive the tax-deductible receipt right away. Giving back has never been so easier! Available for iOS and Android.

 You can't keep this sort of charity box in your pocket

You can't keep this sort of charity box in your pocket

4. Donate a Photo

Love taking photos and sharing them with your friends? Now you can make those photos mean a lot more. For every photo you share through Donate a Photo, Johnson & Johnson gives $1 to a cause you want to help. Raise awareness for the causes you care about. Spread the word and spread your love. Available for iOS and Android phone.

5.  DonorReminder

With the DonorReminder app, you can track your blood donations, and never miss a donation day. Don't let those needing blood wait! Available on iOS and Android.

About the Author: Ariel Chiang is an intern with the Daily Do Good. She studies at National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan.

 

 

 

 

You Came, You Saw, You Grew.... Your Good!

On Oct. 21, 2015, the Daily Do Good hosted the inaugural Grow Your Good conference to boost nonprofit growth. Thanks to our wonderful speakers, sponsors and attendees for a smashing success. We look forward to seeing even more of you next year! 

Testimonials

"Great choice of content and great choice in people/professionals who led the workshops."

"Kudos on the half-day structure. 8-4/9-5 conferences are too long."

"The topics were great, speakers very knowledgeable but I wanted more time in the sessions!"

"Great work guys! Would love to see this as a day-long event too"

"The short keynotes were most helpful but there wasn't enough time for the breakout session."

Speakers

Danielle Ricks, Danielle Ricks Productions, Social Media

Ron Imbach, RWI Solutions, Fundraising

Vanessa Tribastone, Censeo Consulting Group, Strategic Planning

Sponsors

Elevate
The Taproot Foundation
Relay Foods
The Collective Good
Cafe Los Suenos
Enthuse Creative

Happy 1st Birthday, DDG!

On October 7, 2015, we held a party at We Work Wonder Bread Factory to celebrate the first anniversary of the Daily Do Good. Check out this slideshow of images. 

Photos by Joseph Simmons

It's been an incredible first year, and we're looking forward to everything the next year has to offer. To everyone who supported, encouraged and cheered for us, thank you. 

 

Five Heartwarming Stories You May Have Missed Last Week

 Photo source: ABC.com

Photo source: ABC.com

Kirsten lost her father, police officer Kent Mundell, in 2009. He was killed in the line of duty. When she got married several of his fellow officers came and helped walk Kirsten down the aisle and lined up to take turns dancing with her. Kirsten was moved to tears by the show of love from the officers as they asked to dance with her in lieu of a traditional father-daughter dance.

2. "World's Ugliest Woman" uses personal experience with bullying to help motivate others and create positive spaces

Trailer from "A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story."

Lizzie Velasquez was once called the “World’s Ugliest Woman” by a bully online. From that moment, she decided to help others facing bullying. Lizzie has an extremely rare disease that causes her to age faster than normal, be unable to gain weight, and has made her lose sight in her right eye. Lizzie is teaming up with Tumblr and their “Post It Forward” initiative to spread good things on the internet, such as a gif, picture or a letter, to help someone else get through a tough time in their life. Her story is featured in the documentary "A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story."

3. A priceless gift from a stranger

Tracy Orr lost her job and was unable to save her house from foreclosure no matter what she did. Her home was put up for auction and she went to watch strangers bid on her home. Marilyn Mock saw Tracy and asked if she was there to buy a house. Tracy broke down and tears and told Marilyn what had happened. Unknown to Tracy, Marilyn went over and bought Tracy’s house back for her. Tracy says she’s blessed by the actions of Marilyn and hopes that one day she can repay the favor.

4. A girl and her dog are both survivors

Maria Williamson lost her eye when she was a victim of an attempted carjacking. While she was at her home recovering her boyfriend saw a puppy at a nearby animal shelter. The puppy was attacked by a bigger dog and as result he lost his eye. The couple adopted the puppy and has a fundraiser and a GoFundMe page to help with both Maria’s and the puppy’s medical expenses.

5. A grandmother doing good.

Phyllis Shaughnessy lives in Grays Harbor County, Washington, where many children are on free or reduced lunches. During the summer, many of these children have no way of getting food. Every day she makes and delivers lunches to almost 200 kids. Phyllis says that she does the summer lunch program so that the children know someone cares about them.

About the Author: Ashley Angeline is an intern with the Daily Do Good. She is a communications major at the University of Cincinnati. 

Good Music, Good Food, Good Causes

On Sept. 3, 2015, Gourmet Symphony and Capital City Orchestra hosted the Taste Your Music benefit to raise money for three nonprofits working to fight hunger in the DC area: Miriam's Kitchen, Bread for the City and So Others Might Eat

At the benefit, each course and cocktail was specially crafted to complement a piece of classical music. 

Taste Your Music strives to examine the intersection of culinary arts and classical music. The goal is not only to partner with charitable organizations to help fight hunger, but to establish a "renewed commitment to socially conscious arts programming." 

Photographs by Joseph Simmons

Thank You, Fun Runz!

We're feeling pretty grateful...

... to the 84 people who showed up bright and early Sunday morning to join the Daily Do Good and Fun Runz for a 5K in gorgeous Great Falls Park! 

... to our 27 new subscribers!

... and especially to Fun Runz for hosting a benefit run for DDG! We appreciate your mission "to support grass-roots boots-on-the-ground charitable organizations by bringing visibility to the good work they're doing, and providing them with a financial contribution from the event proceeds." 

Thanks for making it super-easy on us to bring in some much-needed support! 

You are all awesome!

xoxo,
The Team at DDG


Starbucks Savior

Late Thursday morning, I found myself fighting both cabin fever and a caffeine craving, so I decided to take a walk down the block to Starbucks. 

I placed my order and when I went to pay, realized I had no money. My wallet was in a different handbag than the one I was carrying. Yeah, I know, #firstworldproblem: "Oh, no, I have too many bags! I can't get my Starbucks!" 

 That moment when this book could be your biography. 

That moment when this book could be your biography. 

Sitting at a table, I proceeded to download the app on to my phone, hoping I'd be able to use that to pay, when the barista placed my coffee and oatmeal next to me. 

"The lady behind you paid," she informed me, gesturing to a young woman. 

When I thanked the kind soul, she just smiled and said, "I know how much it sucks to forget your wallet." 

So, thank you, sweet stranger, for turning a sucky moment into a good one. I promise to do the same for someone else. 


About the Author: Holly Leber is the editorial director of the Daily Do Good. She doesn't own a coffee maker. 

Do It Like Esther Williams

Glitter, swim caps and hope: that’s all you need on the road to aquatic glory.

Well, maybe add some blinding white cleanroom suits…

and fly wings…

 

and a giant inflatable pink flamingo.

 

SynchroSwim 2015, the annual synchronized swimming performance art competition created by Washington Project for the Arts (WPA) dazzled the audience at the Capitol Skyline Hotel on Saturday, August 15.

WPA is a non-profit dedicated to promoting contemporary art and artists in Washington, DC by providing non-traditional exhibition spaces, free professional development workshops, and exposure through the annually published WPA Artists Directory. In a city where museums and monuments often divert attention from galleries and studios, WPA plays a critical role in supporting independent artists and engaging the public in their work. And as the force behind the Laser Cat extravaganza earlier this year, WPA has a talent for staging novel, decidedly unstuffy art happenings.

SynchroSwim spectators wearing bikinis and swim shorts lounged in deck chairs in the sun, sipping cocktails while contestants in every color of spandex marched toward the edge of the pool to slip, step or splash into their performances. Enthusiastic teams in nose clips smiled while dazzling the audience with routines about everything from strong women to water shortages to interstellar travel. Musical selections included the theme from Star Wars, Meghan Trainor’s All About that Bass and two earworms from the Netflix series “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”: the show’s theme song and the breakout hit “Peeno Noir.”Performances included both artistic and satirical sets involving (mostly) timed arm movements, (generally) upright leg lifts and floating human stars.

Okay, so some of the performances were less than precise. The point of this was not to send anyone to the Olympics. But what was the point? And how does this fit in with WPA’s mission in the arts?

“SynchroSwim fits within the mission of WPA because we work to serve as a catalyst for art in Washington, DC, sparking public dialogue on contemporary art and serving artists at all stages of their careers,” said Samantha May, program director and acting executive director of WPA.

The event drew a record nine teams this summer. Attendees of previous SynchroSwims noted that this year’s audience was also larger than ever.

Mary “Flamingo” Greer and Pam Larson attended last year, and talked about forming a team with friends who worked out together at DC Fit 10 gym. But it wasn’t until one of them actually registered for the event a couple of months ago that they actually considered what they would do.

“It all started with the flamingo,” said Greer. She saw the giant inflatable pink flamingo pool toy in a store and snagged it for their team, the DCFit-tastics. With one month to go, they trained in earnest with a plan to overcome their biggest obstacle:

“One of the people on our team can’t swim,” said a team member. “I won’t tell you which one.”

Another DCFit-tastic member smiled and piped in, sotto voce: “It’s the one in the pink flamingo.”

Baltimore-based Fluid Movement, on the other hand, came into the competition with a little more experience. The group stages water ballets and roller ballets on a regular basis to bring visibility to Baltimore’s public pools and recreation spaces. Fresh from their staging of “Goldblum: the Water Ballet,” they performed “The Flies” at SynchroSwim and flew away with first prize in the Visual Spectacle category.

First prize in Execution went to DC Synchromasters for their salute to body image a la “All About That Bass,” and the Audience Favorite was team “Intergalacticon” for its salute to “rocket launches, astronauts, starships, the silent beauty of a thousand thousand alien suns, and shiny metallic outfits.”

After the winners’ trophies and checks were handed out, a giant yellow rubber ducky and a floating purple dragon joined the pink flamingo in the pool. Dance music thumped, beer-ritas flowed, and the party splashed on.

About the Author: Tara Campbell is a DC-based writer of crossover science fiction. If she were ever to participate in SynchroSwim, she would be the one in the pink flamingo.

Aunt Flo Went to the London Marathon

Blogger, marathoner and musician Kiran Gandhi made headlines recently for her choice to "free bleed," i.e. use no feminine hygiene product, while running the London Marathon on her period. 

"I RAN THE WHOLE MARATHON WITH MY PERIOD BLOOD RUNNING DOWN MY LEGS," she wrote on her blog

How to describe my first reaction? Well, it went something like this: 

Because THAT SOUNDS SO INCREDIBLY FREAKING UNCOMFORTABLE. But moving on.

Gandhi has been quoted by various sources as saying that her goal was twofold: To break the stigma against menstruation and "for sisters who don’t have access to tampons and sisters who, despite cramping and pain, hide it away and pretend like it doesn’t exist."

Indeed, poor women in third world countries, and in our own country, are forced to use dirty rags, leaves, or other materials to stanch the menstrual flow. This can lead to urogenital infection and reproductive issues, and can have an effect on maternal mortality. 

Young girls are missing school during their menses because they don't have sanitary napkins, and are too embarrassed to attend class.

And think about how much money you spend on your period each month. Are you buying tampons, liners, pads? Maybe Midol or some other over-the-counter drug to alleviate cramps? For homeless women or women living in poverty, those items are a luxury, sometimes an untenable one. 

But neither Gandhi's blog, nor any of the many, many articles I've read about her free-bleed run, provided any sort of information about how to actually help with the very real problem that many women don't have access to proper feminine hygiene supplies. 

Noble though Gandhi's intentions might have been, there are more effective (and let's be honest, less sensationalistic) solutions: 

1) Start a tampon/pad/Midol drive at your school, office, place of worship, etc. to provide homeless women, or women in third world countries, with the necessary. Donate through an organization or create care packages and distribute them directly to women you see on the street. (Sure, include candy. Or chocolate.)


2) Check out No Taboo, Period, an organization started by University of Maryland students to promote awareness about the need for access to sanitary products. According to the group's Facebook page, they donate feminine hygiene products to the ladies at N Street Village


3) Contact organizations like Calvary Women's Services, Miriam's Kitchen or A Wider Circle and ask if they collect menstrual products. If not, work with them to spearhead that effort.

4) Offer to give "period education" sessions to pre-pubescent girls at places like Community of Hope, Girls Inc, or Girls on the Run. If you are going to do this, however, please make sure you've educated yourself in order to give accurate information. I used to be, essentially, a sex ed peer counselor, and yes, I got questions like "does using a tampon mean I'm not a virgin?" and "can I get pregnant from using a tampon?" 

In an interview with Cosmo, Gandhi she didn't know if it was safe to run with a tampon in or if she would hurt herself. I'm not a runner. Long-distance ladies, any insights? 


5) Just act like having a period is a normal thing, because it is. If you feel like crap and have to miss work or ditch plans, say "I have cramps," not "I have a headache." Ask a female coworker, "Hey, do you have a tampon?" in the same tone as you'd ask, "Hey, do you have an aspirin?" 

6) Donate to an organization like Afripads, which not only provides reusable menstrual kits to girls in Africa, but provides employment opportunities for women.

 

About the Author: Holly Leber is the editorial director at the Daily Do Good. She will never run a marathon. She tries to keep a spare tampon in her bag in case there's a fellow woman in need. 

 

 

Summer Vacation at N Street Village

Annabel Simpson and Devon Fore spent the summer of 2015 as interns at N Street Village. Annabel is a political science and sociology major at Baylor University. Devon is peace building and development major at Eastern Mennonite University.

Working at N Street Village, specifically in Bethany Women’s Day Center, has grounded the significant difference in meaning between “homeless people” and “people who experience homelessness” into our minds, hearts, and souls. Working with, and getting to know the women made it impossible to see them as their current housing situations, as people in the larger everyday society often do. People are complex, they demonstrate many characteristics, carry diverse stories, have many fears, hopes, and goals. No one is just one thing and the way that this became evident through our time at Bethany’s was both awe inspiring and heart breaking. How in the world do we as people just overlook the complexities that come along with being a human being? Maybe because it is easier than taking the time to understand people’s diverse narratives.

It has been hard for us as well.

While hearing stories of trauma and resilience is taxing, it is also enlightening, the stories allow us to remove the labels that we place on people and learn about their whole being. Miss C isn’t a homeless woman; she is a (seamstress) and a wife for 60 years this upcoming September. Miss D isn’t just living in a shelter; she is a radiant soul who works hard and will soon be a nurse. The ability to overlook what is on the outside or what appears to be on the outside is a gift that N Street gave us and that we will continue to use in our everyday lives.

 One specific attribute of the stigma of homelessness  that we have seen and hope to conquer is the lack of dignity these women often experience. For example, people often donate clothes for the homeless/low income community,which is great. But the condition that they are received in does not always reflect the condition that the women deserve. After hearing these women’s stories, it is apparent that one’s financial success is not completely a factor of merit, ambition, or tenacity, but is severely affected by the circumstances one is born into and the opportunities they are given, not just the ones they make for themselves. To want to separate yourself from individuals who experience homelessness and poverty is a very human thing to do. No one wants to relate to this group, because if there is common ground between us, then what is to stop this from happening to me as well? However, acknowledging this vulnerability isn’t a weakness, but a strength and serves as a connection to bring more respect and love to those who are in need. The woman who goes to nursing school and then sleeps at a shelter is no less worthy of the same dignity and respect than the CEO passing her by on the way to work. These women don’t deserve torn and stained sweatshirts any more than the staff at Bethany Women’s Center does.

 We will be forever grateful for the women we met, the lessons we learned, and the experiences that we had at N Street. There is no simple or concise way to write about the impact that this experience had on our lives and it is hard to imagine we won’t be benefitting from these women’s teachings years from now. If we want people to take one thing away from this piece it is that people are people. We all have fears, needs, and vulnerabilities and we hope that we can all learn to keep this in mind when we are judging someone as inherently different or less than us.

 

Internships Available! (We won't ask you to get coffee)

The Daily Do Good has for-credit internships available to DC-area college students starting in August. 

Content Crafters (Editorial)

Do you enjoy talking to people? Know your affects from your effects? Can you tell a complex story in a simple way? 

Editorial interns will contribute to the things our readers and subscribers see: The newsletter and website (as well as some social media). Tasks will include:

  • Researching upcoming fundraisers and volunteer opportunities
  • Writing calendar listings
  • Updating the volunteer board (to be launched soon!)
  • Covering events 
  • Interviewing nonprofit staff members, clients and volunteers
  • Blogging
  • Researching pertinent news articles
  • Writing at least one feature

Strong writing skills, including the ability to write sharply and succinctly, are vital. Intern must be an excellent communicator and a self-starter. Experience conducting interviews is highly preferrable. Rudimentary knowledge of SquareSpace helpful. Sense of humor and a passion for help others a must. This could be an ideal position for a journalism or communications major. 

Contact Holly Leber, Editorial Director, at staff@dailydogood.co.

Marketing Mavens (Business and Marketing)

Love makes the world go ‘round, but we can’t run the Daily Do Good on love alone.  So, frankly put: We need money. And in order to get money, we need as many people as possible to know about us and love us.

Business interns will take an active role in helping to expand the reach of The Daily Do Good. Tasks will include:

  • Attending events to recruit new subscribers
  • Maintaining communications with current and potential clients
  • Researching potential partners, sponsors and investors
  • Ad sales
  • Planning assistance for our October conference -- developing program materials, designing handouts, researching vendors, database management.

Candidates must be highly organized, outgoing, and have strong written and verbal communications skills. Independent self-starter a must. Research-savvy essential. Experience with marketing and advertising a plus. A qualified candidate will be proficient in using social media platforms, have a "think outside the box" mentality and an outgoing personality. Occasional evening and weekend work may be required.

Contact Saranah Holmes, President, at s.holmes@dailydogood.co

The Nitty Gritty 

  • Positions are remote -- interns must be able to work without constant supervision
  • Approximately 10 hours a week (can be adjusted according to school's requirements)
  • Daily (every day you are on the schedule) e-mail and phone communication with your      supervisor
  • Weekly individual meetings and weekly staff meetings

To Apply

Send a letter telling us why you want to work with The Daily Do Good.  Include a resume and a few pertinent work samples. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

 Do Good, Feel Good!