Riders Report in From Around the Globe!

Kate H joins the on-bus crowd with a donation to MCC which was graciously matched by her company, Merck. Besty D who was already on the bus danced her way to a seat of special honor! Turns out she was participant in a local edition of Dancing with the Stars which raises money for charities in her town. David R checks in from the deep South with multiple efforts both in his own neck of the woods and for water transport in Micronesia! And just to round things out with another Hatian effort, my Aunt-in-law, Patricia, who’s been doing missionary work in Haiti for years reports in on her contributions to the recovery efforts.

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Springtime and the Return of the Charity Run, Walk or Ride

So today’s news flash comes from two backwards bus veterns.

First, Suz P in New Hamsphire has laced up her tennies and is doing a 5k run for Girls Inc. of New Hampshire, an organization who’s mission states “Our mission and passion is to help girls achieve their personal best through one-on-one attention, leadership development, a talented staff and volunteers, a wide range of enrichment programs, and a caring family environment.”

Second, Adonica G reports that her original KIVA loan is heading out for a second round of good works. The Kiva thing is so much fun that I’ve just put $25/month in budget to throw their way. It’s cool to put money into something and then see the results and have it keep on giving!

Who will think of the children?

Well, it seems folks on the bus are. 

These things seem to come in clusters and this week’s cluster is the various organizations that allow one to “foster” a child stuck in poverty somewhere around the world. In the last few weeks I’ve run across two absolutely amazing stories regarding folks who started out sponsoring a child almost on a whim and ended up with a life long relationship of sometimes stunning poignancy. The stories are so intimate that I don’t feel proper just posting them myself, but KM and AW know the good work they’ve done and if you’re looking for a monthly contribution to get on a roll, World Vision and Save The Children are both organizations with an established track record. Appropriate in some way with Mother’s Day approaching.

In a related note, there’s an emerging thread of fighting terrorism through better education. One example is the Kashmir Family Aid non-profit. Seems a bit focused on the Muslim side of the world, even if the Texas and Kansas State Boards of Education could use a little help with their extremist thinking.  Regardless of one’s political, religious or scientific beliefs, I’m thinking education is one of those “do good” imperatives.

Exercising Your Heart (and Soul).

So the big day came and went with no blackest night at noonday, plagues of frogs or anything like that. In fact it was a pretty sweet day and a great wrap up of a month’s worth of celebrating with y’all. As I said in my birthday greeting, this was an unexpectedly moving and reassuring exercise and I don’t see any reason to fold up shop just because the actual birthday has passed.

I’ve got a little backlog of stories and it seems like every post or email generates one or two more stories so I’m going to keep the blog going with more stories, ideas and links for good causes, good works, and good times.

This time around Suzanne P chimed in, recounting her several charity bike rides a summer, with her favorite being the American Lung Association, a three day journey on the cape. Between walks like the one Fran N is doing or the rides like Suzanne’s there are a ton of opportunities for the moderately active to get out and enjoy the outdoors and raise money for their favorite causes. Dust of those running shoes, pump up those bike tires and earn a good buck or two for your favorite charity.

Good Business is Good Work

So my Best FiveOh Ever has taken a turn to the work side in the last week. I mentioned a while ago that it turns out I’ve got a lot of friends working professionally for good causes (Hi David, Elissa, Victoria among others!). As it turns out those aren’t the only folks doing good work as part of their professional endeavors. On the work side, I’m looking to hire a consulting partner to help out transforming the software testing org I run. Reached out to a buddy who’s company plays in that space and found out they do this coolest thing I’ve ever run across in a for profit techno-biz. We need some folks on-site but also are looking for remote testing capabilities both as a round the clock play and potential financial savings (ain’t everybody). Kyle pops up this company that’s part of their corporate family called nAblement. From their web site:

nAblement is a truly unique service that fosters and supports careers in IT for qualified candidates with disabilities, while at the same time strengthening diversity in the technology industry. We exist to provide rewarding employment opportunities for candidates with disabilities, and to present the business community the opportunity to engage this rich, underutilized, and diverse technology resource.

Turns out the big boss has a daughter that’s disabled and he’s been looking for some way to support folks with disabilities to return to or enter the work force in professional capacities. So in this AIG fogged world, don’t believe every CEO is a crook out for only their own interest at everyone else’s expense. There’s good business that makes for good citizenship in this human tribe as well. SPR/Redpoint, the umbrella company for nAblement, is a great example of a company that delivers top-notch services (stories to be told but for another day in another blog), but also finds a way to enrich our common experience.

So I started noticing this kind of thing and it’s all over. One quick example comes from a New York Times article a ways back on a bank in Virginia that’s finding ways to serve the financing needs of it’s observant Muslim community. Got no personal connection with these folks, but kinda wish I did. Something about the creativity to take their business forward in a way that also opens up the sweet life (yeah it’s corny but there’s nothing wrong with that battered old American dream. We get goofy in the ways we choose to pursue some times, but the dream is a pretty sweet one) to a part of the population that might not otherwise have access.

And then there’s Betsy G, a working art teacher and artist. Every year she does the poster for a local charity run. They make a bunch on the posters and the original auctions off for more money than most of us are ever going to drop on a charity in one wad.

We’ve all heard about shopping local. Now I’m shopping integrated as well, looking for businesses that not only do good business but also do good work for this human tribe. Thanks Kyle, Betsy and Stephan!