SEPTEMBER ACTION PROJECT
This month we will be holding our 6th Annual Love Alliance Fall Cleaning. We cannot believe this is our sixth fall cleaning! It is always one of our favorites and we look forward to hearing about the impact it makes this year.
We encourage you to go through your piled up stuff this month and give away anything you no longer wear, use or want. Be sure to not confine your giving to just clothes. Think about any household items, appliances, electronics that you no longer use. Many times we look at the needs in the world and feel like they are so big that there is nothing we can do to help. But this simply is not true. This month you have the ability to give away things that are cluttering your life to someone who is in dire need of it. Whether that is a pair of shoes you never wear (Check out Soles4Souls to see if there is a drop off location in your area: http://www.soles4souls.org/about/locations.html), or an old computer that is collecting dust. Lets be sure to have just as much fun with this year's Fall Cleaning as we did the last five years.
If you would like to make an even bigger difference, you can organize a clothing drive.Friendship Used Clothing Collection offers suggestions for organizing a used clothing donation drive, as does this guide to campus clothing drives and this guide on organizing a clothing drive in your office. Charity Guide also has an easy 5 Step Guide.
It is your decision as to where you would like your donations to go. Find a local non-profit that accepts and distributes clothing and other items. Every town should also have a local thrift store that accepts donations, if not you can donate to nationwide non-profits like Salvation Army and Goodwill.
JULY/AUGUST ACTION PROJECT
In July we remember those living in poverty within our own communities. With kids on summer break many are gearing back up to go back to school in the month of August. We as The Love Alliance community want to rally behind these kids to support their efforts to get an education and hopefully break the cycle of poverty.
Often times in low-income areas, school supplies are a luxury that many students go without. Teachers are given limited supplies for their students and it is very common for the teachers to take this burden on themselves and purchase materials on their already small salary. In fact, teachers spend an average of $659 out-of-pocket on school supplies every single year. If the teachers don’t have the means, the students often go without. Children deserve better than this. They deserve to have access to the school supplies they need to learn. They should be surrounded by good books, convenient supplies, and the materials necessary to conduct projects and experiments.
You can help kids have a better education by donating school supplies to a classroom in need. In just a couple hours, you can make a huge difference and will probably even find donate-able school supplies sitting unused in your own home.
It's easy to donate school supplies. Here are some different ways to do so:
Do a School Supply "Drop and Run"
Search your house for any usable office supplies that you no longer need. Don't worry if your supplies are slightly used – teachers will be so happy to have the school supplies that they won't be too picky about their condition. If you are feeling like organizing some people try to get friends, family and co-workers to join you. Here are a few basic items you may want to look for:
- lined paper
- pens and pencils
- dry-erase markers
- overhead projector transparency sheets
- overhead projector markers
- report covers
- staples and a stapler
- construction paper
- glue sticks
- art supplies (for elementary and art classes)
You may also want to pick up some school supplies from your local dollar store. Then, put your donation in a bag and drop it off at a local school. You can leave the bag at the main office or you can give the school supplies to the teacher of your choice.
Give Kids the School Supplies They Really Need
Call a local classroom ahead of time and talk to a teacher to find out what school supplies her students really need. Aside from the basic supplies, keep these common needs in mind:
- various books for classroom libraries (check your garage or stop by yard sales)
- class sets of a particular book curriculum
- resources that the district cannot or is not willing to pay for
- materials for special projects
- skills and talent donations (a printer might be able to make copies of a student-created book; a scientist might provide the opportunity for a fieldtrip to a lab)
Let the teacher know what your resources and abilities are. You're sure to come up with an easy way to help kids get the school supplies they need.
*Information taken from: http://charityguide.org
Donate Towards School Supplies Online
DonorsChoose.org is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. Public school teachers from across the US post classroom project requests on the site. Requests range from pencils for a poetry writing unit, to violins for a school recital, to microscope slides for a biology class. You can then browse project requests and give any amount to the one that inspires you. Once a project reaches its funding goal, DonorsChoose.org delivers the materials to the school. Donors then receive pictures, updates, etc.
At DonorsChoose.org, you can give as little as $1 and get the same level of choice, transparency, and feedback that is traditionally reserved for someone who gives millions. They call it citizen philanthropy. The site is great and you can serach by location, project type, cost, poverty level, etc.
JUNE ACTION PROJECT
In celebration of our Five Year Anniversary, this month’s Action Project is to simply celebrate someone who has made a difference in your life and in the world. It can be someone you know or don’t know. Post a picture or story on your social networks, blog, website and/or our website, etc.
This month we celebrate all those who have been a part of The Love Alliance, past and present. We celebrate and thank Owen and others like him; our Group Leaders past and present; Marjie and all the kids at No Limits Academy. Those who helped us get our start, Craig Gross; The Ranzino, Buckingham and Frenke families; and our board members, Curt and Jesse. Our tour family, Candice, Brian, Hade, Matt, Chris, Bryan Kemper, Eric Samuel Timm, Emma and others. All of our generous donors, supporters and volunteers. The list could go on. Your support has impacted more lives than you know.
Lets celebrate these unsung heroes together this month.
MAY ACTION PROJECT
While access to clean water is arguably one of the largest world needs it continues to be a need that is greatly unknown. This month we encourage you to freshen your knowledge on the clean water epidemic and to more importantly educate others on this issue that affects 800 million people in the world. Although this number is still large and overwhelming, it was recently reduced from nearly 1 billion people. Because of actions from individuals like you the clean water epidemic is one of the few major world needs that is decreasing in number.
We encourage you to visit some of the great websites and organizations that are fighting this injustice. Charity:Water, Blood:Water Mission,Water Partners International, Living Water International, our partner Seeds of Hope International, to name a few. As always we have facts and ways to get involved in the Remember the Thirsty section of our website. Our organization is here to serve as a tool for you to be educated and empowered to make a difference towards injustice in the world. Be sure to pick up a 50 pack of our 'Remember the Thirsty' flyer cards in thewebstore for only $1 to help you spread the word about the clean water epidemic this month.
APRIL ACTION PROJECT
We continue to focus on the Environment in April with our 5th Annual Community Cleanup. This month we encourage all of our groups and supporters to join a community cleanup or plan their own. Many cities put together their own community cleanups for Earth Day (4/22) and Arbor Day(4/27). Check out www.earthday.org and www.kab.org to see if anything is going on in your community.
No matter where you look, we guarantee you will be able to find trash that needs picking up. For an interesting story about what happens to a great deal of trash that does not get picked up listen to the prologue of this archive episode of This American Life called “The Middle of Nowhere”: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/253/the-middle-of-nowhere
It is also easy to plan your own community clean up. Choose a day and time and then invite your friends, family and co-workers. You can provide or ask people to bring garden or latex gloves and trash bags or reuse grocery bags to collect your trash. Past community cleanups have been done at the beach, parks, neighborhood streets, highways, etc. Of course we urge you to be extremely careful if you decide to do a road clean up.
Don't forget to recycle all of the garbage that you can. Let's be a part of making our communities and the world we live in a safer, cleaner and more beautiful place for ourselves and the generations after us that will be inheriting our mess. Be a part of not only changing the environment in a positive way, but of also changing the perceptions of the people around you.
MARCH ACTION PROJECT
When asked how to help the environment the usual suspects are probably thought of: recycling, litter clean ups, reducing our water intake, etc. But have you ever thought of going meatless to help the environment?
For this month’s action project we will be going meatless one day a week. We eat a lot of meat.. on average ½ lb a day. Did you know that meat causes more emissions than all transportation combined (nearly 1/5 of all man made emissions)? Beef production in particular uses 100 times the water than most vegetables do - It takes 2500 gallons of water for 1lb of meat! By choosing to go meatless even one day a week you will reduce emissions, and conserve approximately 1250 gallons of water that day. Not to mention the health benefits, as well as financial savings. Will you join us this month by going meatless one day a week to benefit the environment?
Click this link to watch a short video about the Meatless Monday movement:http://www.meatlessmonday.com/why-meatless/
If you want to take it a step further you can become a weekday vegetarian for the month. Click the link below to watch a short video about how the founder of Treehugger.com made the decision to become a weekday vegetarian
FEBRUARY ACTION PROJECT
We are in the month of love and this month we want to love the sick. Often times long-term care patients in hospitals or nursing homes are forgotten and neglected. We want to show some love to these individuals this month.
We encourage you to volunteer and/or visit someone sick this month and show them love. One of the easiest ways to do this and one of the places that needs love the most is to visit a nursing home. So many people in nursing homes never have visitors or if they do it is few and far between. Having human interaction and receiving love can help give these individuals have a better quality of life. There is also much that we can gain by spending time with these individuals. Many have lived full lives and have amazing stories to share.
Other places that are easily accessible are your local hospital, children’s hospital, Ronald McDonald house, assisted living facilities, etc. When you visit one of these places, ask one of the head nurses or activities coordinator who hasn’t had a visitor in a while or who would be best to visit and they can direct you from there.
Or another place to visit might be a friend or family member who is under the weather this month. Maybe make them some homemade soup, bring over a movie or just spend some quality time with them. The possibilities are endless. Lets make a difference and show some love this month to those that are sick and lonely. It more than likely will mean more than we will ever know.
JANUARY ACTION PROJECT
Our January/February Focus is once again Sickness. We wanted to start the new year by giving you an easy way to make a huge impact for the sick in your community.
January is National Volunteer Blood Donor Month. January has proved to be the month that presents the most challenges in recruiting people to give blood. Changing weather, busy holiday schedules, increased cold and flu symptoms and even the winter blues can keep the most dedicated blood donors from making or keeping an appointment to give.Yet winter weather can lead to more traumatic injuries on icy roads and may increase the need for blood.
The American Red Cross needs to collect 22,000 units of blood each weekday and around 15,000 units each weekend to meet patient needs. Every two seconds, someone needs blood.
This month’s Action Project is to donate blood at your local blood bank. This is such a simple, cost free way to be a part of saving someone's life. One pint of blood can save up to three lives. Visit www.redcrossblood.org or search “Donate blood” along with your cities name to find a local place to donate. We would recommend calling ahead to see if you need to make an appointment.
We do understand that not everyone can give blood because of one reason (primarily age) or another. If this is the case, we encourage you to get at least one eligible friend or family member to donate in your place. Another alternative is to volunteer at your local blood bank.