Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day 2008: Poverty

Today I am one of about 10,000 bloggers participating in Blog Action Day. This year we are focusing on poverty. What do I mean by focusing? I am talking about reconsidering your priorities, if only for a day.

Every time someone talks about poverty, it seems like the word is a signifier for an abstract concept that not many of my readers have experienced first hand. This is the reason I am asking YOU, today, to make a difference. I have no answers to the problem, but I am positive that everyone can do something, even if it seems like it is too little to make a difference. Just think, my little action plus your little action, plus your friend's little action, plus her friend's and family's and you have a movement!

Following is a list of the actions I take, you can use them as inspiration, join, or just help spread the word. You can also visit the Blog Action Day homepage for other ideas.

The ONE campaign. I have been involved since its beginning and I take action whenever I can. I add my voice to the thousands of others out there. Right now, ONE is asking the European Union to support a proposal to give € 1 billion left over from the 2008 budget - lots of it unspent agricultural subsidy money, to African farmers. You can take action here.

Donate to causes you care about. We support The Girl Effect. An organization helping girls living in poverty to get education and with it, a way to raise the standard of living for themselves and their families. Simple, right? Donate here.

We invest our money in ethical funds. You know, your 401K, your 529, etc. I feel much better knowing that our investment is going into funds that balance social responsibility with financial return - showing businesses that social responsibility is profitable. Now more than ever we need to tell the market that ethics are important to us.

We buy local, we support small business, and we buy Fairtrade whenever possible. You might think that this has nothing to do with poverty, but everything is connected. Your actions today, what you use and CONSUME today, have repercussions all over. I am adding a link to the Story of Stuff video, take some time to watch it, with the kids, with your friends, with anyone who is willing to listen.

Thank you for reading, and now, get busy following some of these links!

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