Wednesday, November 26, 2008

How to Encourage Your Child's Philanthropy

Piggy bank from German bank HASPA, around 1970.Image via WikipediaBeth Kanter practices what she preaches. She blogs about how nonprofits can use social media, raising money for causes she cares about using social media, proving to the old-school skeptics that it can be done.

Today, she posted about Kids and Philanthropy: Teaching your child to be charitable. I encourage you to read the whole post and I've reproduced her parenting tips here:

Parenting Tips To Encourage Your Child's Philanthropy

1. Help Them Learn More About Nonprofits: YouthGive is a site that helps young peole and their families easily donate to charities while learning more about the organizations. The organizations listed are profiled by other young people.

2. Let Your Kids Choose: Kayta Andresen from Network for Good has fantastic idea last holiday season, "Give with your kids day" She suggests giving your child or someone else's child $25 to donate to a charity. "You can give them money to spend at Network for Good (which has every charity based in the US) or Global Giving (which has a bunch of international projects). Let them choose how to spend it, either by letting them pick the charity or by designating their donation to a special project. Spend it together online, checking out pictures and project descriptions."

3. Offer a Match: Blogger Marion Conway,whose children are now grown, recommended the book Raising Charitable Children by Carol Wiseman. With her children's fundraising projects, she and her husband offered to match what they raised because they both worked for companies that matching gift programs.

4. Set up a Spend, Give, and Save Allowance Policy: Celeste for the studio 501c3 blog suggests this piggy bank, with separate slots for investing, saving, spending, and donating is a great way to teach kids about devoting a portion of their income to

5. Encourage Them To Give Their Time: Laura Hecht shared a wonderful story about a class project where students made cards for some elderly residents of a group home. They had to work hard to spare the time for the effort, but when the residents wrote moving letters of thanks, the kids felt great. As Laura notes, "This prompted a sincere discussion about giving the most valuable thing we possess - ourselves."

How do (did) you teach your kids about philanthropy?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments.
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Celebrate StoryCorps' National Day of Listening Friday

Everyone has a story.

This Friday, yes, Black Friday, you can join thousands of us across the country in the first annual National Day of Listening. Spend an hour recording a conversation with someone you care about.

This holiday season, ask the people around you about their lives — it could be your grandmother, a teacher, or someone from the neighborhood. By listening to their stories, you will be telling them that they matter and they won’t ever be forgotten. It may be the most meaningful time you spend this year.
The Story Corps site offers a Do-It-Yourself Guide, a question generator, teacher and library toolkits, and wonderful excerpts from the thousands of stories they have collected for the Library of Congress over the last four years.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Holiday Sale and Exhibit at Historical Society of Woodstock

I just atteneded a lecture at the Eames House 20 Comeau Drive in Woodstock and I am excited to share with everyone that the Historical Society will have a Holiday Exhibit and Sale on
Saturday Dec. 6th 10 am - 3 pm
their web site if need be, their email

The town historian, Richard Heppner has put together a collection of essays from the archives of the Historical Society, Remembering Woodstock. It is part of AMERICAN CRONICLES, a history press series.
It is a lovely book, one that all Woostockers would love to see under their holiday tree

A few of Janine's Passions

Janine Fallon- Mower has launched a blog that will support her monthly TV show
View From My Kitchen Window. Watch Wednesday night at 8 30 PM on Woodstock channel 23 or view live via ustream at
The blog address-

I look forward to seeing you all at the AAUW meeting Tuesday Nov 18th.
I will be bringing copies of Images of America - Woodstock, Woodstock Revisited, American Tapestry, the Mowers of Maple Lane to sell at the AAUW fundraiser.
I will also bring along an assortment of beautiful Irish Linen tea towels and a selection of
AVON products for purchase. Cash or Checks accepted as payment.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Want to Attend the Inauguration?

From GovGab -- the US Government Blog (and a great addition to your RSS reader)

presidential_transition_and_inauguration: "There's no hotter ticket in town than one for Obama's inauguration. To get a ticket you have to contact your Senator or Representative of the 111th Congress. Realize though the 110th Congress will be in session until early January, so if your current Representative or Senator is leaving office after this current term, you will have to contact your newly-elected member. Tickets will be handed out the week before inauguration and have to be picked up in person. Tickets are free, so beware, anyone who claims to have tickets for sale is probably trying to scam you."

So, raise your hand -- I mean, call Congressman Hinchey for a ticket. Hmm... what about tickets to the ball?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Give Thanks to All Our Veterans; Remember the Often Forgotten Women Who Serve

The fact that today is Veterans Day has hovered in the background as I worked. I knew I wanted to post something in remembrance but the words weren't there yet.

I found myself thinking about Mary, a colleague of mine years ago, and the other nurses I know who served in the Vietnam War. After the war, they seemed to gravitate to assignments in the Emergency Department or the Intensive Care Units -- places where their competency and composure, well tested under fire, kept the daily threat of chaos at bay. These fine nurses served us well as soldiers and continued serving us as civilians.

As I reflected on them this afternoon, two things happened.

First Patty Hankins, a professional photographer and AAUW member in DC, posted a link to her memorial photos. They included her lovely photo of the Vietnam Women's Memorial sculpted by Glenna Goodacre honoring all the women who served in the Vietnam War.

Then, I saw this brief slide show:

President-elect Barack Obama and Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth shared a moment of silence at 11 a.m. this morning after laying a wreath at the Soldiers Memorial in Chicago.

These images captured what I wanted to say.

Today women stand side-by-side with their male colleagues in many military roles unavailable to women in Vietnam. We fought for the right for women in the military to take their place alongside men, just as we fought for the vote and continue fighting for pay equity, comparable worth, Choice, and childcare.

Today we honor and remember all our veterans -- men and women who serve us at great personal sacrifice. May we keep you in our minds and hearts everyday and care for you as you care for us.

Many thanks to Patty Hankins for permission to use her photo in this post. I encourage you to visit her site to see more of her photos available for sale.
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Monday, November 10, 2008

Give Thanksgiving Food Box to Local Food Pantries

Turkey, Stuffing, Gravy, and Cranberry Sauce -...Image by Old Shoe Woman via FlickrLet's make this Thanksgiving food collection a special project for November open to all who wish to brighten local hungry.

Locally, Hanneford's food store's pitching in to help the urgent needs at our Food Pantries. I know Rondout Valley Food Pantry expects to provide 150 meals, a huge jump from last year.

So together with the Kingston Public Library, AAUW members (and pass this on to friends also) can purchase these Thanksiving food gift boxes for ten dollars while doing their own shopping. Hanneford's (I don't know about the other groceries, maybe, ask!) has a prepared holiday box with *everything* except turkey for Thanksgiving. Cans of corn, green beans, gravy, cranberry sauce; boxes of stuffing and brownie mix, plus spaghetti and tomato sauce for another meal.

When you come to shop for your holiday, you also pick up the very visible box in the front of the store. When it comes time to pay your own bill, the charge of $10 for each box can be added at the register. Final step, then you bring the gift box to Kingston Library.

Margie Menard, the Library director, is an AAUW member and will alert the staff to accept the boxes.

For those of you planning to come to book club or branch meeting, you can deliver the gift box upstairs to the book group at 1 p.m. Tuesday Nov. 18 and to the branch meeting that same night at 7 p.m. in KAL.

The boxes will be distributed to People's Place in midtown Kingston, and to the Rondout Valley Food Pantry that serves Stone Ridge, Accord, Marbletown and south residents.
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Alice Walker Writes to President-Elect

Reading and talking about Image via WikipediaFrom new AAUW member Lyn Mayo:

Author and poet Alice Walker (The Color of Purple and many others) The eloquent prose might have been titled: "Please remember to stay human while being the President of the U.S."

Nov. 5, 2008

Dear Brother Obama,

You have no idea, really, of how profound this moment is for us. Us being the black people of the Southern United States. You think you know, because you are thoughtful, and you have studied our history. But seeing you deliver the torch so many others before you carried, year after year, decade after decade, century after century, only to be struck down before igniting the flame of justice and of law, is almost more than the heart can bear. And yet, this observation is not intended to burden you, for you are of a different time, and, indeed, because of all the relay runners before you, North America is a different place. It is really only to say: Well done. We knew, through all the generations, that you were with us, in us, the best of the spirit of Africa and of the Americas. Knowing this, that you would actually appear, someday, was part of our strength. Seeing you take your rightful place, based solely on your wisdom, stamina and character, is a balm for the weary warriors of hope, previously only sung about.

I would advise you to remember that you did not create the disaster that the world is experiencing, and you alone are not responsible for bringing the world back to balance. A primary responsibility that you do have, however, is to cultivate happiness in your own life. To make a schedule that permits sufficient time of rest and play with your gorgeous wife and lovely daughters. And so on. One gathers that your family is large. We are used to seeing men in the White House soon become juiceless and as white-haired as the building; we notice their wives and children looking strained and stressed. They soon have smiles so lacking in joy that they remind us of scissors. This is no way to lead. Nor does your family deserve this fate. One way of thinking about all this is: It is so bad now that there is no excuse not to relax. From your happy, relaxed state, you can model real success, which is all that so many people in the world really want. They may buy endless cars and houses and furs and gobble up all the attention and space they can manage, or barely manage, but this is because it is not yet clear to them that success is truly an inside job. That it is within the reach of almost everyone.

I would further advise you not to take on other people's enemies. Most damage that others do to us is out of fear, humiliation and pain. Those feelings occur in all of us, not just in those of us who profess a certain religious or racial devotion. We must learn actually not to have enemies, but only confused adversaries who are ourselves in disguise. It is understood by all that you are commander in chief of the United States and are sworn to protect our beloved country; this we understand, completely. However, as my mother used to say, quoting a Bible with which I often fought, "hate the sin, but love the sinner." There must be no more crushing of whole communities, no more torture, no more dehumanizing as a means of ruling a people's spirit. This has already happened to people of color, poor people, women, children. We see where this leads, where it has led.

A good model of how to "work with the enemy" internally is presented by the Dalai Lama, in his endless caretaking of his soul as he confronts the Chinese government that invaded Tibet. Because, finally, it is the soul that must be preserved, if one is to remain a credible leader. All else might be lost; but when the soul dies, the connection to earth, to peoples, to animals, to rivers, to mountain ranges, purple and majestic, also dies. And your smile, with which we watch you do gracious battle with unjust characterizations, distortions and lies, is that expression of healthy self-worth, spirit and soul, that, kept happy and free and relaxed, can find an answering smile in all of us, lighting our way, and brightening the world.

We are the ones we have been waiting for.

In Peace and Joy,
Alice Walker
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Campaign Withdrawal? Keep tabs on the Transition

From Ruth Wahtera:

If you're suffering from campaign withdrawal, try subscribing to It's the Obama Transition Team's official site.

Maybe you're over on msnbc's site telling President-elect Obama what you think he should do. Here's the link to an invitation to share your opinion about the two or three things you think should be at the top of Obama's list.

Or maybe you're focusing on the holidays.

What are you doing with all your free time now that the election is over? Share in comments, please.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Women Determined to Vote in 1871

Victoria WoodhullImage via WikipediaN.Y. Suffragists Took the 14th to Polling Booths in 1871

By Louise Bernikow
WeNews historian

Nov. 7, 1871: New York women, determined to vote, confront election officials.

(WOMENSENEWS)--Victoria Woodhull and her sister, Tennie Clafin, truly maverick spiritualists, stockbrokers, publishers and political activists, always commanded public attention. When they called the press to their apartment on Election Day, 1871, reporters responded and listened as the sisters and 10 other women announced that they were about to become the first women to vote in the city of New York.

"Unterrified, indomitable," one reporter wrote, "each determined female unsheathed her parasol and swore to vote."

At the crowded polling place, the inspectors refused the women's ballots. Woodhull demanded to know if it was "a crime to be a woman" and began reading aloud from the 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution, to no avail. The group left to begin work on a lawsuit that they hoped would become a test case against the government for preventing legitimate citizens from casting ballots.

The action was neither spontaneous, nor unique to the flamboyant Woodhull. Confronting election officials was part of a new national strategy. Since the first convention for women's rights in 1848, an organized and growing movement had tried petitions and speeches, legal arguments, lobbying and withholding tax revenues, without success.

Now they leaped on the language of the post-Civil War constitutional amendments, particularly these words from the 14th Amendment, adopted in 1868: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States, and of the State wherein they reside." The new tactic was to announce that women were citizens and already entitled to the vote.

In April 1871, women in Washington, D.C., including Belva Lockwood--the first female attorney to argue before the Supreme Court and, in 1884, a candidate for the presidency herself--had attempted to register and tried to cast ballots. After being barred, they filed cases at the District of Columbia Supreme Court against the Board of Registration and the election judges. While Woodhull was marching to the New York City polls, Matilda Joslyn Gage was confronting local registrars in upstate New York.

And in Rochester, N.Y., Susan B. Anthony was organizing for another assault, which would take place a year later. In 1872, while Victoria Woodhull was audaciously campaigning for the office of president, Anthony also read out the words of the 14th Amendment at her local polling place. She and 14 other women were rejected, but Anthony would stand trial for trying to vote. Hers would become, while not exactly the test case the women with Woodhull and Lockwood hoped for, a media and legal spectacle that brought women's citizenship claims even more intensely to the nation's attention.

Louise Bernikow is the author of seven books and numerous magazine articles. She travels to campuses and community groups with a lecture and slide show about activism called "The Shoulders We Stand On: Women as Agents of Change." She can be reached at

Women's eNews welcomes your comments. E-mail us at
(Used with Fair Use from the web).
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Monday, November 3, 2008

So it's finally time to VOTE

Here's some information we hope you won't need tomorrow when you vote.

Know Your Rights
If you are an eligible voter, you have the following rights:

  • If your name is not on the official voter list but you believe you are eligible to vote in that precinct, even if an election official challenges your vote, you have the right to cast a provisional ballot.
  • If you are in line when the polls close, you are entitled to vote no matter how long it takes to get to the booth.
  • In many states, employers must allow you time to vote at some point during the day. You can't be fired for being late due to long polling lines. Check your personnel policies with your employer.
  • You have the right to vote without being intimidated by anyone.
  • Visit the Election Protection website at for more information on your rights.

What if Something Goes Wrong?

First, document it. If there are specific individuals challenging your right to vote, intimidating voters, or interfering with the process, try to get their names. Write down exactly what happened, including the time of day, descriptions of the people involved, and any other details you can remember. A cell phone camera could be very useful in this process, if you have one.

Then, report it. There are many organizations that will be working to respond quickly to complaints of voter intimidation, suppression, and fraud. Here's who to call.

  • 1-866-OUR-VOTE. This hotline has been set up by the nonpartisan Election Protection coalition to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process. They have hundreds of lawyers standing by to immediately respond to problems at the polls. Call as soon as possible after you encounter problems.
  • Share your experiences with others and ensure that the media and watchdog groups are aware of any problems by using the citizen-driven election monitoring platform Twitter Vote Report.
  • Voters who believe they have been the victim of racial discrimination in voting should contact the U.S. Department of Justice at 1-800-253-3931 in addition to the 866-OUR-VOTE number.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Do you understand this change: analog to digital tv

From Betsy Tuel:
This could be us!