Generativity

It took a long time to decide on a name for this new section. In keeping with the Editorial about Feeding the Soul and how we may be experiencing a strong loss of soul at this stage of the game, finding meaning in life becomes all that more important and almost urgent. The word generativity means many things, all with a common root. It denotes a concern for establishing and guiding the next generation, making a difference, the sense of contribution, of helping others, of giving back, and taking care of. The word was actually coined in 1950 by psychoanalyst Erik Erikson.

This new section will take the place of our Rachel’s section, which has run for years and years. I’m sure many of you really enjoyed it, so you can still find it here –www.rachel.org. We encourage you to keep in touch with the political and environmental concerns expressed on that site. It is hard-hitting and extremely timely.

But I thought we might want to go to the next level of involvement with our world. Rather than just reading about other people’s opinions and what they do as far as contribution and giving back, perhaps we may want to do some of that ourselves, eh? This new section will contain quarterly listings of interesting data and websites about giving back, going green, and helping each other and the planet in many ways. If you have a favorite site that you’d like to share with our readers (this will also appear on our website), please email us the link to thedooropener@comcast.net. We’d love to feature it.

Some of the following are our all-time favorites, of course, but there may be some goodies here that you may not be aware of. These sites include fair trade, green sites, environmental sites, supportive sites, inspiring and uplifting sites, philanthropic sites and so much more! This list will be cummulative, so what you see below is a compilation of quite a few of our lists. Enjoy and make a difference!

www.savethefood.com – Did you know that the average 4-person family loses $1,500 on wasted food? Interesting: Food is the number one thing in America’s landfills, and it contributes more to climate pollution than all of the cars in Georgia.  Learn what you can do about that!

www.cpwda.com – The Connecticut Police Work Dog Association’s website is amazing! It has absolutely everything you need to know about our K9 cops here in Connecticut, including stories, videos, training information, photos, events, tribute pages, a poetry page, a memorial page for those lost in the line of duty along with the stories of their deaths – word of warning – these stories will bring tears. I’m going to say it again – this website is amazing! If you are a Connecticut resident, this page is a must-connect-with.

www.soldiersbestfriend.org – A heart-enriching site with a mission of providing U.S. vets suffering from PTSD or TBI with a trained service or therapeutic companion dog. It raises the question of Who rescued who? Many of the dogs were rescued from shelters and given new lives with the vets. The pair train together until they “graduate” from the program. The dogs help the vets adjust back into civilian life, lead more productive lives, and raise their self esteem. And the dogs are clearly winners in the deal, too! This site contains stories and photos which are truly beautiful.

www.medicalservicedogs.com – Aptly called “Angel Guardians,” the dogs that are trained and then released into service are truly angels. Their home page reads as follows: “Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc. was created for the charitable purpose of rescuing, raising, training and then donating medical service/assistance dogs to mentally and/or physically impaired individuals to provide assistance, independence, and improve the quality of life of both the recipient and the dog. In addition, it is our goal to promote education and pioneer research studies to further advancement of service dog training, raise public awareness regarding the laws pertaining to service dogs and lessen the dependency of the handicapped on government, communities, caregivers and families.” I’m loving the research aspect, aren’t you? They go on to give us some statistics – “There are over 52 million people or approximately 20% of our population in the United States that are mentally and/or physically handicapped and those numbers continue to grow significantly each year. It is estimated that with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars that there is an additional 25% to 30% increase in PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). There are over 11 million people who require assistance with one or more daily activities such as walking, picking up dropped items, answering the phone, etc. Roughly 12 million others require a wheelchair or some other ambulatory equipment such as a cane, walker, or crutches. The assistance these disabled people require not only strips them of their individual freedoms and quality of life, but also often creates an enormous burden on the caregivers and community.”

www.petsforpatriots.org – This sweet site has in big letters on thier home page rolling sayings such as “Save A Life, Save a Soul,” “Leave No Pet Behind,” and “Bring Loyalty Home.” The site is clean and very simple to navigate. There are plenty of opportunities to donate and help. There is a plethora of photos of rescued dogs who are paired with vets, along with a blog that has many success stories. There is a great page called “Petiquette” with many training tips. We have 4 participating shelter organizations here in Connecticut. A great site to spend some time with!

www.vetsadoptpets.org – Another fabulous organization that supports military dogs, veterans and animal shelters. A triple win! This site has success stories, photos, and a really nice page on the health benefits of having an animal companion. I am particularly drawn to the information on war dogs, and this site has an 8-minute video about the prestigious Michigan War Dog Cemetary established in 1946. It’s a must-watch. There are also photographs of the various War Dog memorials around the country. This is a very interesting site with regard to the history of military canines.

www.k9sforwarriors.org – And yet another organization devoted to the pairing of vets with companion animals. More beautiful success stories and tons of photographs. This site has a store where you can purchase clothing for men and women, hats, sweats, and much more with one of their logo of “K9s for Warriors – Giving a New Leash on Life” – how awesome is that! Another logo depicts an amputee soldier standing with a dog with the saying “Sit Stay Heel!” – except the e is crossed off in Heel and it says Heal! I am so loving this site!

www.themiafoundation.com – One of the sweetest websites you’ll see! The information on the home page of this site states: “The Mia Foundation was developed to give animals born with birth defects a fighting chance. So many animals born with birth defects, such as cleft palates or missing limbs, are euthanized at birth. With a little work and a lot of love, these animals give back so much more than anyone could possibly imagine. All they need is a chance! A tiny little Chihuahua named Mia was the inspiration behind The Mia Foundation. She was born with a cleft palate and it was suggested at birth that she be euthanized. She was given a chance and in return gave much love, hope and inspiration to many people all over the world!” I dare you to remain dry-eyed as you watch the video!

www.guardiansofrescue.org – “Therapy dogs are of great importance to veterans suffering from PTSD,” says Robert Misseri, CEO and foundation of Guardians of Rescue, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping veterans through their Paws of War program. “We have placed multiple dogs with veterans suffering from PTSD, and our Paws of War program has been proven successful time and time again in helping our service men and women return to their normal lives,” says Misseri. As our soldiers return home from overseas, it is imperative that they get the help they need. Rescue dogs from kill shelters and war torn areas have been found to be invaluable in helping our military personnel.
These dogs are chosen, trained, and then matched up with a PTSD patient. The organization is funded only by donations and its volunteers work around the clock. You can sponsor a therapy dog – not only will you save a life, but you will help train the dog to truly be man’s best friend in a time of need. You will receive a Certificate with the name of the dog and its picture!

For our friends with Breast Cancer:

www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer – Tried and true – one of the best cancer sites out there. Sponsored by the American Cancer Society, this is a go-to website for all things cancer. Loads of information that will answer most of your questions, how to get involved in supporting the organization, videos about wellness, and so much more. If you are involved with breast cancer in any way, it is worth spending some time on this site.

www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/breast – Another one of the besgt cancer sites. This one was cretad by the National Institutes of Health. A little more clinically laid out, there is a vast amount of research articles, information, and studies here to explore, as well as a section on Complementary and Alternative Medicine which provides a thorough exploration of which modalities are utilized in cancer treatment. I know that many of our Door Opener community members work with cancer patients. This is a site that you will find interesting and enhancing to your practice.

www.cleaningforareason.org – This is a non-profit organization that provides maid service for women undergoing treatment for breast cancer. An amazing and compassionate site, it identifies the fact that environment is so very important in the process of healing. It serves the entire United States and Canada by partnering with maid services and offering professional house cleanings to people dealing with any kind of cancer. As of October 2013, they have provided more than 14,000 cleanings and partnered with over 1,000 maid services, donating a total value of over $3.7 million worth of service. It is interesting and wonderful to see how many maid services in our very own State of Connecticut are participating!

www.imermanangels.org – What a fabulous idea! Move over eHarmony and Match – here is a brilliant new idea for relationships (non-romantic, but hey, who knows!). Imerman Angels is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Their home page reads as follows: “Imerman Angels carefully matches a person touched by cancer with someone who has fought and survived the same type of cance (a Mentor Angel). Additionally, personalized matches are provided for cancer caregivers (family and friends of fighters) to benefit from other experienced caregivers. These relationships provide hope and comfort from someone who is uniquely familiar with the experience. This personalized matching service is absolutely free and is available to anyone touched by any type of cancer, at any cancer stage level, at any age, living anywhere in the world.” Wow! This is so very cool!

www.breastcancer.org – A beautiful website to help women at any stage of breast cancer. Recognizing the isolation, loneliness, sadness, and confusion that may accompanhy this condition, this site contains chat rooms, ask-the-experts online conferences, book recommendations, videos, newsletters, resource directory, and even a medical expense tax deduction information. All from the comfort of your own home!

www.kidshealth.org/kid/grownup/conditions/breast_cancer.html – Not only is this site great for kids who have breast cancer (not common, but it does occur), but it’s fabulous as a source of information for kids to find out about this condition if someone they know is suffering from it. Loaded with info, there are even games to make learning very user-friendly.

www.whitefeatherfoundation.com – Founded by Julian Lennon, son of John Lennon, this foundation is devoted to environmental and humanitarian issues. Julian explains his foundation very clearly through a quote on the home page that reads as follows: “Dad once said to me, that should he pass away, if there was some way of letting me know he was going to be ok – that we were all going to be ok – the message would come to me in the form of a White Feather. Then something happened to me, whilst on tour with the last album, Photograph Smile, in Australia. I was presented with a White Feather by an Aboriginal tribal elder, from The Mirning people, which definitely took my breath away. The White Feather Foundation was created for the purpose of giving a voice and support to those who cannot be heard. The tribal elders asked for my help, as I could bring awareness to their plight and to others who were suffering the same. Having had the White Feather bestowed upon me, I knew this endeavour was to be part of my destiny. One thing for sure is that the White Feather has always represented peace to me, as well as communication…”

http://www.ndlbrescue.org/ – Can there ever be enough organizations to help dogs? The No Dog Left Behind organization was created to help man’s best friend. There is a quote on their site that rings so true: “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” – Josh Billings. The missions of this organization, which hosts adoption events and has a nicely maintained website that features available dogs is simple – to find dogs their forever family; to speak for the abused, neglected, and abandoned; to educate adopters, reduce the number of homeless, and provide proper vet care; and to save those that need saving. They are a 501c3 rescue organization with 3 board members and many volunteers who devote countless hours to helping the dogs. They have adoption events and accept donations. We have many organizations like this in Connecticut. Be on the lookout for some of their events and step up to save the dog – which is God spelled backwards!

www.betterworldbooks.com – The stats on this charity organization are mind-blowing. To date, they have donated 9,801,958 books, raised for literacy and libraries $14,935,247, and reused or recycles 109,497,602 books. Wow! They call themselves the Online Bookstore with a Soul. And that is what they are – an online bookstore with over 8 million titles in stock. They were founded in 2002 by three friends who had graduated from Notre Dame and were selling their textbooks. And the rest is history. They offer free shipping worldwide. They are so conscious of their impact, they state, “And in case you’re concerned about your eco-footprint, every order shipped from Mishawaka is carbon balanced with Green-e Climate certified offsets from 3Degrees, a leading green power and carbon balancing services firm.” I know our Door Opener community members share a hunger for books. Why not switch over from Amazon and eBay and support the world while you’re purchasing your books? I tossed in “Doreen Virtue” just to check this out and 150 books came up with awesome prices – even some of her card sets! That did it for me – I’m switching over!

www.hellohumankindness.org – What a sweet, sweet organization! I wish I could be cloned to be able to participate in all of these wonderful endeavors. These people are focused on the idea that human connection promotes the highest healing and is the most meaningful thing we can do as humans – help others (which we all know to be the highest spiritual calling). They offer many programs and ideas on how to get involved – like an on-going program as a volunteer at the Oakland Zoo in San Diego. They feature things from all over the country. If you can’t get out to some sites you are interested in, you can mirror the project in your area. There is a short 31 second video called High Waters which depicts a rescuer in a helicopter saving a struggling dog from flood waters. The minimal caption reads, “Does everyone matter? YES!” Love these guys …

therainforestsite/greatergood.com (no www.) – I’ve mentioned this before and it bears repeating. This is such an awesome and comprehensive site! I can’t say enough about it. This is one of those sites that you can link your email to and you will receive daily reminders to Click. It literally takes less than one minute to click on these 9 themes – Greater Good, Hunger, Breast Cancer, Animals, Veterans, Autism, Diabetes, Literacy, Rainforest. Also within their pages you can find personal stories in each genre, really cool clothing, jewelry, and items for purchase, and some specific projects along with a counter measuring the amount of clicks accumulating to support the project, such as “Feed Ten Bears for a Month – 120,000 Daily Clicks Fund This Project.” There are products and stories from all over the world, and they are supported by such other wonderful organizations like Doctor Without Borders.

Purpleheartsreunited.org – Ok, when I pull up this site, either using .com or .org, I come to a simple one-page screen with a beautiful purple heart (military) and an address, phone, and email from Vermont. I can’t remember where I ran across this information, but apparently there is a gentleman – in Vermont – who reunites families with a lost Purple Heart medal. This gentleman finds the medals in antique shops, tag sales, wherever, and does the research to find out who the medal was awarded to. He then tracks down the family and returns the medal. I think this is the coolest thing! Holding my hand in a salute to you, sir!

Compassion.com – Christ centered. Child focused. Church based. Committed to integrity. This is a faith-based site focused on eliminating poverty for children. You can pick a child from any location in the world (your choice), the gender, and age. You are then matched up with a specific child. Charity Navigator, America’s largest charity evaluator, has consistently awarded Compassion.com its highest rating of four stars for the past 11 years, placing it in the top 1 percent of all “good” charities. www1.networkforgood.org/good-card – Are you looking for a sense of contribution and connectedness, but not sure where to donate? Do you have a gift you need to purchase for someone for some upcoming occasion? Look no further! Here is the perfect match! $830 million have already been donated through this site. There are 1.2 million charities listed, and you can donate anywhere from $10 to $250. This is a really interesting concept. Their website states: “If you’re looking for that perfect gift to give to someone you care about, our charity gift cards are a fantastic gift option.” The perfect gift for the person who has everything! The Good Cards are simple to order and can be sent via email, could be printed at home and send through snail mail, or can be sent via fax.

AND FOR OUR BEAUTIFUL BRAINS …

Jigzone.com – OK, so I’m addicted to this site – I admit it! You need to have a high speed internet connection for this or you will be frustrated beyond belief. Jigzone is a jigsaw puzzle site that lets you choose a picture, choose a cut, and choose the number of pieces you want in your puzzle. Then it times you (you don’t have to pay attention) as you put the puzzle together. The selections are endless – you can build a 6 piece puzzle of a puppy or a 247 piece puzzle of a European castle, or anything in between! You can sign up to receive the Puzzle of the Day in your email. You can send puzzles to other people or add one to your blog. I warn you – once you begin, you may never be seen again! (Just did a 55-piece six-star cut Daisy in the Garden in 5.20 minutes – help!)

Lumosity.com – I’ve been seeing this on TV and had to find out what all the fuss is about. Come to find out, it’s really neat! You begin by answering a series of question about what you’d like to work on with your little brain – enhanced memory, problem solving, attention span, etc. Based on the concept of neuroplasticity – the ability of the brain to grow new neurons and connections – this site improves your brain function. Based on what you’d like to work, your training is personalized. You can pay for even more personalization, too. I don’t – I just do the free stuff. For people who love puzzles (that’s me), you’ll love this. I’m hooked on this now, too. Created by neuroscientists, lumosity.com has an impressive list of collaborators: Stanford, Harvard, Columbia, UC-Berkeley, UC-San Francisco, UC-San Diego, University of Michigan, University of New South Wales. Sweet!!!

Aarp.com – Hey, don’t undervalue this site! It is soooo comprehensive, it’s mind blowing. You will find any kind of information you are looking for here – from insurance rates to health tips. I love the games (of course). There are discounts on everything here. You need some time, though, because this site is so big. If you have the time, you can find this site very fulfilling. As a side note, it’s actually very interesting to see who else in over 50 – actors and actresses, politicians, authors, etc. You can find out about movements in your state and nationally. There’s even a singles section and a wisdom circle! There are videos and webinars. There are news articles and hobby articles. You can spend hours here! Enjoy!

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www.heifer.org – Most people have heard of the Heifer Project, whose catalog refers to them as “The Most Important Gift Catalog in the World.” Originally created in 1944, the Heifer International association has brought more than 15 million families in more than 125 countries hope, food, and warm clothing. Their field staff are specialists in relieving hunger and poverty, and are considered among the most successful in the world! Donations are made for heifers, goats, sheep, rabbits, honeybees, chicks, tree seedlings, and cheeses, just to mention some. Check out this amazing site for information on how you can help to alleviate world hunger!

www.hopeelephants.org – A very unique and beautiful facility is in the works up in Hope, Maine being built by this 501c3 organization. It is a rehabilitation and educational facility for retired elephants where they will receive state-of-the-art physical therapy and also be hosts to school children, who will learn about the life of an elephant. The goal of Hope Elephants educational program is to inspire visitors to act upon their experience and find their own path to participate in wildlife conservation. What a beautiful vision.

http://www.elephantartgallery.com/ -Continuing on the theme of elephants, how about purchasing a painting made by an elephant? Remember these videos that went around the internet a few years ago? Some are fake, but many are true. This is a reputable site where you can purchase a piece of art made by an elephant from the National Elephant Institute in Thailand. This site holds the largest collection of elephant art in the world. Purchasing a piece of art helps this endangered species that may be gone within the next 50 years. For some of you, that is within your own lifetime!

http://www.wolfmountainsanctuary.org/ – I love wolves and I know so many of our readers do, too, or have wolf as their totem or power animal. Located in southern California, the Wolf Mountain Sanctuary is a forever home to wolves they have rescued from the movie industry, private owners, and breeders. Their goal is to save the wolf population from extinction. For wolf lovers, you will find this site very fulfilling. You can adopt wolves, support wolves, read about wolves in tremendous detail. The photographs of these majestic creatures are gorgeous! When you visit (because we know you will!), you can get very close to the wolves. There is even a professional photographer you can hire who will capture your wolf moments. Wow! It’s on my list!

www.nywolves.org – And even closer to us is the New York Wolf Conservation Center. The coolest of sites, there are web cams so you can watch the wolves in real time! So very awesome! You may get hooked watching the web cams, waiting for the wolves to look at YOU! You can watch the Den cams or the Enclosure cams. WOW! The amount of information on this site is mind-blowing! South Salem, NY is now also on my list of places to see – SOON! This site may be almost as addictive as Facebook! Nah, even more so!! You can adopt a wolf, attend educational programs, or go to an Evening Howl event. There are some beautiful videos dedicated to ambassador wolves who have passed away. I dare you to get through them without crying. Wolves most certainly touch our souls….

www.dogsfindingdogs.com – Dogs Finding Dogs is a beautiful nonprofit organization established to find missing animals, not only dogs and cats, but horses, ferrets, turtles, and iquanas, just to mention a few. Established in Baltimore, tracking teams have been set up by Anne Wills, who cites a 94% success rate in finding missing animals. She states that a scent can last 3-4 weeks, and that her teams are “aggressive and persistent.” And that’s what accounts for their high success rate. She recommends microchip tracking devices for your pets, as well as GPS collars, both of which are in extremely minimal use.

KEEP YOUR EYE ON THIS: Military dogs, who perform life-threatening work for our safety, are currently classified as “equipment” by the U.S. Department of Defense. This means that it is extremely difficult to transport these dogs back home after their service has been completed. They are often left behind. In May of 2012, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Canine Members of the Armed Forces Act as part of a larger defense policy bill. This legislation reclassifies Military Working Dogs as “canine members of the armed forces” and creates a system of care for their retirement. Unfortunately, identical legislation was introduced into the Senate Committee on Armed Forces by our own Richard Blumenthal, where it continues to languish. As of this summer, it has less than 20 Senate cosponsors.

www.myboneyard.com – Another great site where you can recycle your electronics. You choose which item you’d like to recycle and are asked specific questions about the device. While this may appear to be a bit cumbersome, I respect their integrity in getting to the bottom of how to recycle each item in the best way possible. You name it, they’ll help you recycle it!

www.charitywatch.org – Such a very cool site! Formerly known as the American Institute of Philanthropy, they are a top watchdog for charities – something we have discovered is greatly needed to avoid unscrupulous behavior with our donations. They are focused on helping donors make informed decisions through charity ratings and evaluations. Some of their themed charities include the following: animal protection, cancer, child sponsorship, environment, human rights, international relief, senior citizens, veterans and more. How do your favorite charities rate??

www.greatnonprofits.org – Another outstanding site for those who love to give! They strive to help us find nonprofits who are trustworthy by inspiring and informing donors and volunteers. They provide information on the impact of various charities, and help provide more feedback and transparency. Their current stats are wildly impressive with 1,840,697 nonprofits listed, 13,257 reviewed, and 109,441 reviews.

www.rockstarsofscience.org – What do rock stars and scientists have in common? This is the question being addressed here. A bit out of date with info from 2010, this is still a mesmerizing site which allows you to click on a scientist and read about their contributions, research, and current work. They do “Self Exams” which are basically their mini-biographies. Take a peek at these movers and shakers – they are astounding! I wish this site would continue to expand! It’s so very cool!

http://jasonheiglfoundation.org/compassion-revolution/ – This is an extremely comprehensive site devoted to our animal companions. Founded by Jason Heigl, the brother of Katherine Heigl of Grey’s Anatomy fame, this organization has a mission to “unite diverse groups and individuals under one alliance to implement programs that directly address the pet overpopulation crisis in the Greater Los Angeles area and set a precedent for similar programs across the United States.” They invite everyone to look at their model and develop something similar in their area of the country. On September 23, 2010, Katherine Heigl accompanied by the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation Board announced a $1 million pledge for spay / neuter and supporting programs in the City and County of Los Angeles and neighboring communities. Take a look and see if there is anything you can do!!

http://act.oceana.org/sign/p-scaredforsharks/ – Are you afraid of sharks? Are you an avid fan of Shark Week on TV? This beautiful site says that you should be afraid FOR sharks, not OF them. They say the shark populations are plummeting as tens of millions (yes, you heard that number correctly – tens of millions) are caught and killed for their fins every single year! The site says that sharks have swum the waters of the earth before the dinosaurs. These killings are an abomination! Please visit this site and learn more about one of the planet’s most misunderstood animals!

www.thebluegreenalliance.org – A very cool site where you can find stories about people and businesses who have gone green in big ways. It’s basically a news site, a compilation of green changes being made and some of the top initiators of change. Truly an inspirational site where you can cheer for the leaders in the green industries and get great ideas to implement yourself and share with others.

www.film-foundation.org – What a neat site and project! The website states its Mission Statement as follows: “The Film Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1990 by Martin Scorsese, dedicated to protecting and preserving motion picture history by providing annual support for preservation and restoration projects at the leading film archives. Since its inception, the foundation has been instrumental in raising awareness of the urgent need for film preservation and has helped to save over 545 motion pictures.” Bravo! They also create educational movies about movies! This site is full of beautiful photographs and quotes from heavy hitters in the movie industry – just gorgeous to take your time and read through!

www.sixdegrees.org – To date, this organization has raised nearly $4 million. Based on a game originating with “the Kevin Bacon guys,” the focus is that everyone is within six degrees of connection with everyone else. In affiliation with the Network for Good, you can buy, use, donate, volunteer, or fundraise. On this website, Kevin Bacon has posted a video telling us about the origination of this cause, some of his life experiences, some of his six degrees, and much more. He is totally charming and disarming in his monologue. I will say no more … just watch it!

www.dmachoice.org – Direct Mailing Association – let’s you opt out of receiving unsolicited commercial mail and email from national companies.

www.donationtown.org – A very cool little site that requests your zip code and then connects you to organizations that pick up your donations for free in your area. I plugged in my zip code and was connected to a veterans organization that picks up within 24 hours – sweet! While there may not be a wide selection of organizations that will pick up for free in your area, everything counts! Someone will make use of your no-longer-wanteds, you will not have to schlep things to a site, and you get a tax deduction! They focus on charities that support homeless, veterans, and cancer and medical research.

www.donatemydress.org – Well, the proms are over (as of the publication of this issue) and all of those gorgeous prom dresses are on hangers or the floor, never to be used again. But why not?! This site is the first national site that works to encourage girls to donate those dresses to girls who may not be able to afford them. There is a directory of national dress drives around the country – you can look up a local market. Help our young girls feel that important sense of contribution to their global sisters!

There has been a tremendous effort to bring all of our boys home. But until they are all back with their families, we have wonderful sites like the few that follow. The day will come when these sites will have served their loving purposes and be closed down.

www.anysoldier.com – This site states that it is 110% voluntary. It was begun as a family effort back in August of 2003 to help soldiers in one particular Army unit. However, extremely quickly, the response was overwhelming and they were swept away with growth. So in January of 2004, the Any Soldier(r) effort was expanded to include any member of the Armed Forces in harm’s way. You can send support in a number of different ways. Listed on the site are items that are requested by the soldiers. You can pick out individual names – kind of like having a penpal.

www.yellowribbonsg.org – Prayers, letters, and “wish list” packages are the primary requests of this website. Supporting the individuals in active military duty in foreign lands, they encourage their continued dedication to the protection of the United States and the endorsement of peace on earth around the world. On their site, they send the following message to those folks: “We are very proud of you and all of our military personnel deployed to foreign shores on behalf of the United States of America to ensure and protect the freedom of others. We pray for your safe return to American soil and peace in the world. Be assured you are in our thoughts, on our minds, and in our hearts!

www.operationcareandcomfort.org – Another great website that promotes “Deeds, not Words” to support not only the troops, but veterans and families. Their official name is Operation: Care and Comfort. They are a 501(c)(3) non profit organization. They graciously accept what they call time, talent, and treasure. They know that Americans are extremely generous and encourage support of the troops by writing letters, mailing care packages, arranging welcome home events, or by showing support for a deployed service member or Veteran’s family. They “adopt” units of deployed soldiers in conflict areas, assemble donations, and ship them to the unit. They currently support 200 units per month. Statistically, since April of 2003, they have shipped over 855,000 pounds of care packages (over 427 tons) to Marine, Army, Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard personnel that are deployed in the conflict regions. Also, another 600,000 pounds (300 tons) have been shipped domestically on their behalf.

www.worldwildlife.org/inneranimal – This is more fun than anything else. What a very cool page on this site! We’ve had the World Wildlife organization as part of our Generativity page since the beginning, but look what we found! By answering about 8 simple questions like what is your hair like and where do you like to live, you can find out what your Inner Animal is! There are over 100 choices! What fun – Dory is a gibbon! Try it!

www.firstbook.org – A gorgeous, huge-hearted site that works with literacy and has donated more than 85 million books so far to poor children in America and Canada! First Book also donates educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada. This is an interesting program through which you can donate or volunteer. First Book matches up the extensive needs of educators with the millions of books that go unsold from publishers. “First Book created the first and only clearinghouse for publishers’ excess inventory, one that gives them an efficient way to donate large quantities of books – for free – to thousands of programs serving children in greatest need. The Book Bank helps children get more educational resources and also contributes to a stronger, more vibrant publishing industry.” What’s better than that?!

www.TheResonanceProject.org – Like quantum physics? Like space-time, worm holes, black holes? This is a cutting-edge non-profit organization workout out of New Zealand and Australia dedicated to the unity of the sciences and philosophies coming from the view that physics underlies the wheels of nature, archeology, and anthropology – the Unified Field Theory and its applications. There are many pod casts, scientific papers for the layman and/or scientist, books, research projects, multimedia presentations, etc. This is a higher intellect site that invites exploration by multidisciplinary research teams with a singular core purpose: to enlighten.

www.grey2kusa.org – Since March of 2001, Grey2K USA has had a mission of protecting greyhounds nationwide. This non-profit organization works toward passing stronger greyhound protection laws and ending the cruelty of dog racing and was the first organization to successfully outlaw dog racing using the ballot initiative process. To this end, they work tirelessly with state legislatures, at the ballot box, and in the courts, as well as supporting international advocates. They have been successful in closing down 26 racetracks across the country. You can view their victories, purchase greyhound jewelry, etc., and learn how you can get involved. Extremely thorough site!!! We really encourage you taking a look at this site, as Dory has two rescued greyhounds – Stormy and Lilly.

www.dyingtolearn.org/lostdog – This is a very difficult site to visit. It deals with the hard facts that many lost pets end up being used for research in teaching labs at U.S. colleges and universities. With the economic times being what they are, many pets are tragically left behind after foreclosure, or end up in pounds and shelters, where they are taken or sold for research. They are asking for your help: “If you or someone you know has a story about a beloved pet that was brought to a pound or shelter, only to later discover that your pet was sold to an animal dealer or given directly over to a research facility, Animalearn would love to hear from you. Your story could help us end the use of shelter animals in labs.”

… and because you know we love our animals …
We just wanted you to know: that on October 14, 2011, a new bill was passed in the House of Representatives that supports the use of shelter dogs to help veterans with PTSD. Called the Veterans Dog Training Therapy Act, this innovative bill, introduced by U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, D-N.Y., would establish a program where service members suffering from PTSD could train shelter dogs to be service dogs for disabled veterans. “When more and more servicemen and women are returning from overseas with PTSD and other injuries, this bill will allow for our veterans to get the therapy and assistance they need and will give some worthy shelter dogs very good homes.” says Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Government Relations. We need to follow its progress and hope it becomes law!

www.bestbuy.com – It doesn’t matter whether you purchased the electronics at Best Buy or somewhere else, Best Buy will recycle it for you! Age of the product and brand does not matter. They’ll take TVs, DVD players, computer monitors, audio and video cables, cell phones, and much more. Check out their site and see how you can let Best Buy help you and your planet!

www.lovinghugs.org – This is another huge-hearted organization (we love those) that works toward helping children. Based in Colorado, they collect your donations of stuffed animals (new or very ‘gently used’) to send to children in war zones, orphanages, refugee and IDP (internally displaced persons) camps, and medical/hospital facilities around the world. They call these stuffed animals “hugs.” They also send stuffed animals for emergencies from natural disasters around the world, such as the 2009 flood in Manila, Philippines, and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, to bring some comfort and hope to those children. You just pay for postage. They give you very detailed information on how to donate and will provide you with a tax deduction receipt. Their website states: “Inspired by a letter shared with her from a U.S. soldier serving in Iraq, Wendy Clark, the founder of Loving Hugs, Inc., learned of the tragic consequences for Iraqi children caused by insurgent bombing attacks near where the soldier was based; many of the injured victims were innocent children. Some learned that they no longer had their families and were alone in the hospitals; many would ultimately be placed in orphanages.” Loving Hugs, Inc. partners with the U. S. Navy and other non-profit organizations. Check their site for their affiliates and some real heart-warming information! FYI: Some shelters use stuffed animals to comfort puppies – check with your local shelters.

www.dosomething.org – This is a very cool site dedicated to helping teens find good things to do as contribution to their planet. They can pull up a menu with the following options: What cause? Who with? Where? How long? By making these selections and hitting the Search button, a new page comes up listing all of the possibilities for good, hardy philanthropy! What fun!

www.theuniformproject.com – Boy, this site is right up my daughter’s alley! The Uniform Project™ started in 2009 when a young woman realized she was drowning in the doldrums of an advertising career. To counter the uninspired demands of the corporate world, she came up with an unusual creative challenge; to wear the same dress for an entire year – but, and this is where the real challenge came in, she’d have to make it look unique every single day and do so without buying anything new. The challenge was also designed to be an online fundraiser, raising money to send underprivileged kids to school. Thus, in May 2009, with fashion as her medium, and education her cause, U.P founder Sheena Matheiken launched the Uniform Project, pledging to wear one little black dress for 365 days as an exercise in sustainability and a fundraiser to support the Akanksha Foundation – a non-profit organization providing education to children living in Indian slums. And for the next year, Sheena reinvented her uniform solely using accessories that were either vintage, handmade, reused, or donated. By the end of the yearlong challenge, the U.P site received over 2 million hits and raised over $100,000 in donations for the Akanksha Foundation and Sheena was named one of Elle Magazine’s Women of the Year for 2009. The U.P now has an international following of supporters, a few of whom have joined Sheena to form the Uniform Project company. The U.P is now in its second year, expanding its first year model as a global platform converging philanthropy, fashion, sustainability and social commerce into an ongoing mission.

www.earth911.com – This is a beautiful sleek site featuring loads and loads of information on green news and lifestyle, recycling, and sustainable business solutions. This site is put together very well and is actually restful and easy to use, with hundreds of tips and historical data around greening and sustainability – you really need to see this one!

www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com – Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded by teenagers Robbie and Brittany Bergquist from Norwell, Mass., with $21 of their own money. Since then, the registered 501c3 non-profit organization has raised almost $2 million in donations and distributed more than 500,000 prepaid calling cards to soldiers serving overseas. Cell Phones for Soldiers collects approximately 50,000 cell phones each month through a network of more than 3,000 collection sites across the country. The phones are sent to ReCellular, which pays Cell Phones for Soldiers for each donated phone – enough to provide an hour of talk time to soldiers abroad. “Americans will replace an estimated 130 million cell phones this year,” says Mike Newman, vice president of ReCellular, “with the majority of phones either discarded or stuffed in a drawer. Most people don’t realize that the small sacrifice of donating their unwanted phones can have a tremendous benefit for a worthy cause like Cell Phones for Soldiers.” Go onto this site to find out how you can donate YOUR old cell phone!

www.improveverywhere.com – You will not be able to get off this site! (In fact, I was supposed to be writing this column and got sucked right in!!) Have you heard of the No Pants on the Subway prank? This site contains prank after prank after prank. Groups of folks go out into crowds and create scenes. You will enjoy many videos like No Pants on the Subway, Black Tie Beach, Where’s Rob? It’s a collection of studies in human behavior – you’ll love it!

www.doonenicething.com – This site states on its home page: Are Mondays tough? Sure. Feel better by doing at least one nice thing for someone to start the new week right. Do one nice thing every Monday. Or any day that ends in y. Make it a habit every week. Join us, and become a Nice-o-holic. We’ll tell you how, and who else is doing nice things. We want to hear your nice ideas too. Sign up for our emails. That’s good news in your inbox once a month, free of course! And we’ll send you a gift. Helping feels good. You could get hooked. A uniter, not a divider, we embrace everyone. Do One Nice Thing is a No Politics Zone. Working together, it’s amazing what we can achieve. If you don’t have any imagination, there are oodles of suggestions on this site in all areas!

www.footprintnetwork.org – The Global Footprint Network promotes a sustainable economy by advancing the Ecological Footprint, a tool that makes sustainability measurable. Together with its partners, the network coordinates research, develops methodological standards, and provides decision makers with robust resource accounts to help the human economy operate within the Earth’s ecological limits.

www.zsl.org – Founded in 1826, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity whose key role is the conservation of animals and their habitats. ZSL runs ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, carries out scientific research in the Institute of Zoology and is actively involved in field conservation in over forty countries worldwide.

www.ctgreenscene.com – This is a wonderful blog spot about Green Connecticut. It’s filled with blog articles about everything green in our state – opportunities, new ventures, upcoming movies, health information, organic recommendations, genetic engineering info, and so much more! If you are a green individual, this is the site for you!

www.global-mindshift.org – With the motto of “To change the world, change your mind,” this is a beautiful site dedicated to the formation of a global community. Watch the intro video. If 5% of a community’s population adopts an idea, it’s embedded. If 20% adopt it, it’s unstoppable. Their Mission Statement: To help make the emergence of a global community unstoppable. The site contains global communications and interesting things called memes (videos). A meme is a unit of cultural information that can be transferred from one individual to another. Like genes for the body, memes help cultures evolve. View them. Share them. Submit your own. Any one you choose, you’ll be helping to build global community.

www.nwf.org – The National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest conservation organization. They work with more than 4 million members, partners, and supporters in communities across the country to protect and restore wildlife habitat, confront global warming, and connect with nature. Theirs is a massively huge website dedicated to protection of the animals and education for the public. You can find timely information on the oil spill, as well as info on how to turn your garden into a Certified Wildlife Habitat. And the photographs on their site are simply spectacular.

www.gethuman.com – While this is not a site to help the planet per se, it sure helps the frustration level of its human inhabitants. This site provides a list of about 2,000 companies and the accompanying phone number where you can reach an actual human being to speak to. There are also ratings on the satisfaction level. (Note: I also read in Reader’s Digest recently that if you want to speak to a human but are stuck in an automated menu, press all the buttons on your phone or speak gibberish as replies to their automated questions. A human will show up on the line shortly!)

www.happiness-project.com – Based on the New York Times #1 bestselling book of the same name by Gretchen Rubin, a lawyer turned writer, this is a delightful site that is loaded with suggestions, quotes, and video snippets on how to be happier. The volume of information and inspiration on this site is impressive – there’s absolutely something here for everyone. It’s not a pie-in-the-sky, Pollyanna type site. It’s very grounded, practical, and logical – and totally uplifting. Check it out and spend some time exploring.

www.muttville.com – A former Commissioner of Animal Control and Welfare in San Francisco, Sherri Franklin saw that so many elderly dogs were euthanized due to their age – no one wants an old dog. She founded Muttville in 2007. It specializes in the placement of senior dogs, who have loads and loads of love left to share. Their mission is to rescue wonderful, older, loving dogs from shelters and euthanasia and find them homes with people who love seniors as much as they do. Sherri started Muttville because “every dog deserves a happy ending!” They have begun a Seniors for Seniors program which matches senior dogs with senior humans. You really need to go to this site and watch their video. There’s a scene of Sherri in her home with all her elderly dogs – many graying and dressed in warm sweaters. Absolutely heart-warming!

www.commonkindness.com – This is an interesting site where you can print coupons and buy things – and Common Kindness will donate a portion of the proceeds to the charity of your choice. First, you sign in and select your charities. Then you “clip” printable grocery coupons. The companies pay advertising fees to Common Kindness – 20% to 60% of funds received with the charities you select – at no cost to you!

www.freekibble.com and www.freekibblekat.com – These are quiz sites – there is a daily question and you guess the answer from a multiple choice list. Whether you’re right or wrong, 10 pieces of kibble are donated to various locations. Astonishingly, 385,173,670 pieces of kibble have been donated since April 1, 2008. Sign up for an email reminder – it’s fun and helpful! Their motto is “Every dog deserves a decent dinner.”

www.freerice.com – You may know about this one – it’s been around for a while. Another quiz oriented donation site, you are asked to choose the meaning of a vocabulary word from the multiple choice list. For every correct answer you get, 10 grains of rice are donated. You can go on and on until you get tired … If you get an answer wrong, it will retest you so you can donate as much rice as you are able to. Expand your vocabulary (there are some doozies here) while feeding the hungry! It’s crazy – you’ll get hooked!

www.caringbridge.org – CaringBridge is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing free websites that connect family and friends during a serious health event, care, and recovery. Their mission is to bring together a global community of care powered by the love of family and friends in an easy, accessible and private way. A CaringBridge website is personal, private and available 24/7. It helps ease the burden of keeping family and friends informed. The websites are easy to create and use. Authors add health updates and photos to share their story while visitors leave messages of love and support in the guestbook. Each day, over half-a-million people connect through CaringBridge. More than 1 billion visits have been made to personal CaringBridge websites. The CaringBridge community includes authors, visitors and/or donors in all 50 states and more than 215 countries/territories around the world.

www.worldvision.org – World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. They serve close to 100 million people in nearly 100 countries around the world. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. Motivated by faith in Jesus Christ, they serve alongside the poor and oppressed as a demonstration of God’s unconditional love for all people. Wherever they work, their prayer is that their efforts will be used by God to heal and strengthen people’s relationships with Him and with one another. They do this by demonstrating God’s unconditional love for all people through service to the poor – which includes providing for daily needs, working to build peace and promote justice, and partnering with churches and individuals to encourage spiritual transformation. World Vision is a global organization with offices in approximately 100 countries. These interdependent national offices are bound together by a Covenant of Partnership, a biblically based agreement that enables them to work together in a unified and complementary way as they walk alongside those they serve.

www.terracycle.net – Here is a company destined for the big time. You send them your trash, and they make products out of it. In fact, in April of 2010, they did a huge 60-product program at Walmart. These 60 products were displayed for sale right next to the products/garbage they were made from. For example, a backpack made from old Oreo packages was displayed for sale next to the real Oreo cookies. Cool! So far, the company has nearly 10 million folks participating, has collected 1.2 billion waste units, and has made 178 different products from waste. Their products are trendy and innovative – check them out!

www.savethefrogs.com – Kerry Kriger is one of the most dedicated “animal saviors” we have seen. It is for that reason that I want to point this site out again. This site is really neat! The use of color and photographs is terrific. How to help the frogs: drive slower on wet nights, don’t use pesticides, build a frog pond, don’t purchase wild caught amphibians as pets, don’t eat frog legs, and eat locally grown organic food! Frogs are way too cool to lose!

www.41pounds.org – Get junk mail? Don’t want junk mail? It is estimated that the average American receives 41 pounds of unsolicited, unwanted junk mail per year. Connect up with this website and they will work on your behalf to contact dozens of companies to stop your junk mail! Their service is for five years. Consider: Time – No credit card offers to shred or unwanted catalogs. Trees – Keep 100+ million trees in forests, cooling the planet. Water – Protect 28 billion gallons of clean water. Climate – Junk mail produces more C02 than 9 million cars. Planet – They donate 1/3 of your fee to your favorite charity when you sign up. Check them out on Facebook, too!

www.nccan.hih.gov – The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine is dedicated to exploring complementary and alternative healing practices in the context of rigorous science, training CAM researchers, and disseminating authoritative information to the public and professionals. For additional information, call NCCAM’s Clearinghouse toll free at 1-888-644-6226, or visit the NCCAM Web site at nccam.nih.gov. NCCAM is 1 of 27 institutes and centers at the National Institutes of Health, the Federal focal point for medical research in the United States. Follow their research, get their free newsletter, and review their statistics on the use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

www.transitionus.org – Transition US is a nonprofit organization that provides inspiration, encouragement, support, networking, and training for Transition Initiatives across the United States. They work in close partnership with the Transition Network, a UK based organization that supports the international Transition Movement as a whole. The Transition Movement is a vibrant, grassroots movement that seeks to build community resilience in the face of such challenges as peak oil, climate change, and the economic crisis. It represents one of the most promising ways of engaging people in strengthening their communities against the effects of these challenges, resulting in a life that is more abundant, fulfilling, equitable and socially connected. They believe that they can make the transition to a more sustainable world.

www.whitehouse.gov – Looking for ways to stay connected to our administration and the White House on a daily basis? Want to boggle your mind with pages and pages of information about the various branches of our government, committees, summits, etc.? Check out this website for videos, announcements, photos, messages, and on and on. This site contains absolutely everything on all things White House and Obama Administration. As you know, President Obama is very user-friendly and extremely connected to the public and communication. You can be sure that he has a personal hand in keeping this site chock full of information that the American public wants to know.

www.foresightnews.com – This is a pretty serious site. ForesightNews USA has over two decades of experience providing comprehensive news and events information to the world’s most demanding media, government, and business organizations. ForesightNews USA covers the issues that matter. The service’s coverage is constantly evolving, reflecting the stories set to dominate the future news agenda. ForesightNews USA is the essential future news and events forward planning service. Its foci are as follows: editorial forward planning, PR and communications campaign planning, business and competitor intelligence, staying ahead of the news agenda, and anticipating and influencing public opinion.

www.grist.org – This is a source The Door Opener has been connected with for many years. Grist presents snippets of current news with a touch of sarcasm and real-life reaction. There are no topics off limits for Grist. They work heavily with stories in the arenas of politics, climate change, recycling, energy, healthy living, and so much more. They are well worth a look and an e-subscription.

HELP FOR HAITI – Haiti will be needing assistance for quite a while. The State of CT Crisis Reponse Teams have compiled a list of reputable relief organizations. They are as follows:

www.redcross.org – American Red Cross

www.americares.org – AmeriCares

www.savethechildren.org – Save The Children

www.PanAmericanRelief.org – Pan American Relief

www.pih.org – Partners in Health

www.doctorswtihoutborders.org – Doctors Without Borders

www.oxfam.org – OxFam International

www.mercycorps.org – Mercy Corps

http://www.drsforamerica.org/insurance stories/ – This is a very timely website and extremely interesting. Each state in our country is featured and those sections present compilations of stories and comments submitted by doctors on the frontlines in each state. You can hear directly from the doctors about their opinions on the health care reform movement in our country.

www.savethemanatee.org is one of those “save the ___” sites focused on one animal. There are so many, sadly, and this is one of our favorites. You will note our Save the Manatee ads in The Door Opener from time to time. Horrifying statistics will move you to take action to help save these gentle giants of the waters. Please visit for more information and to make a difference. This is a 501c3 membership-based organization.

www.savethefrogs.com is another 501c3 nonprofit organization founded in May 2008. Save the Frogs is comprised of an international team of scientists, educators, policymakers and naturalists dedicated to protecting the world’s amphibian species through environmental education, scientific research, legal defense and the acquisition of critical habitat. Please see more information on this organization in our Holistic Gaia section of this issue of The Door Opener for startling statistics.

www.dogster.com – This is site that is Facebook for dogs! It features everything dog, including dog blogs, dog of the day, dog of the month, educational info, adoption info, news stories, contests, and dog profiles with photos and videos. As of the writing of this column, there were over 500,000 dogs on this site. Give it a look-see! The quantity of information on this site is truly incredible.

www.kiva.org – This is a truly uplifting site that links financial lenders with low income entrepreneurs throughout the world, particularly women. Nearly $2 million have been loaned to date. Kiva’s mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty. Kiva is the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend to unique entrepreneurs around the globe.

www.buildanest.com – Nest is a nonprofit organization that empowers female artists and artisans around the world. Using a unique combination of interest-free microfinance loans, mentoring from established designers, as well as a market in which to sell their crafts, Nest helps its loan recipients create successful small businesses. Nest instills pride of ownership, preserves ancient artistic traditions and successfully moves women from poverty to self-sufficiency.

www.symphonyofscience.com – The Symphony of Science is a musical project headed by John Boswell designed to deliver scientific knowledge and philosophy in musical form. Here you can watch music videos, download songs, read lyrics, and find links relating to the messages conveyed by the music. The project owes its existence in large measure to the wonderful work of Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, and Steve Soter, of Druyan-Sagan Associates, and their production of the classic PBS Series Cosmos, as well as all the other featured figures and visuals. Continuation of the music and videos relies upon generous support from fans and followers. You can make a donation if you wish to contribute support to the project.

www.national911memorial.org – A well thought out site depicting the breath-taking proposal for the 911 Memorial grounds. The National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center Foundation, Inc. began formal operations in the spring of 2005 and worked with the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation on the design and construction management plan. In the summer of 2006, the organization assumed responsibility for overseeing the design and working with The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), the construction manager on the project. The National September 11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center will bear solemn witness to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993. The Museum will honor the nearly 3,000 victims of these attacks and all those who risked their lives to save others. It will further recognize the thousands who survived and all who demonstrated extraordinary compassion in the aftermath. Demonstrating the consequences of terrorism on individual lives and its impact on communities at the local, national, and international levels, the Museum will attest to the triumph of human dignity over human depravity and affirm an unwavering commitment to the fundamental value of human life. Read here about the Memorial, Library, and ways to donate to the cause.

www.plasticbagrecycling.org – This is a website about all things plastic bag, which is one of the most recent recyclables. You can find all kinds of information about plastic bag recycling including what material is readily recyclable as well as a list of retailers that offer plastic bag recycling recovery. You can find specific information such as plastic film types, recyclers, how to calculate the economics of recovery, and recycling signage. Retailers can help through education, providing recycling bins in convenient locations, and listing in their directory.

www.projectsmile.org – Project Smile is federally tax exempt non-profit organization which donates stuffed animals, coloring books/crayons, small toys and children’s reading books to police and fire departments for police officers, fire fighters and paramedics to give to children involved in traumatic situations. Project Smile has recently launched the Operation Elder Care program which provides stuffed animals to elderly people who are making the difficult and frequently traumatic transition to life in a nursing home. Established in November 2003, Project Smile was founded by Catherine Pisacane.

www.ourmilitary.mil – This is the official site for our U.S. Department of Defense Community Relations and is truly amazing. You can read about our country’s heroes, submit your own story, and find ways to support the troops. Read about how to send the troops a message, read messages back from the troops, and hear shoutouts from the troops in a section called Faces of Freedom. Faces of Freedom is an amazing section which personalizes the soldiers and lets them speak to their families and us via well produced videos.

www.preventchildabuse.org – Since 1972, Prevent Child Abuse America (PCA America) has led the way in building awareness, providing education and inspiring hope to everyone involved in the effort to prevent the abuse and neglect of our nation’s children. Working with chapters, they provide leadership to promote and implement prevention efforts at both the national and local levels. With the help of our state chapters and concerned individuals, they’re valuing children, strengthening families and engaging communities nationwide.

www.smartpower.org – SmartPower was created by forward-thinking, private foundations and the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, who believe that renewable energy solutions require the same consumer marketing approaches as traditional brands. Consequently, SmartPower has become the nation’s award winning, non-profit marketing organization on clean energy and energy efficiency. On their website, Smart Power states, “We uncover consumer barriers that the American people face when considering a clean energy or energy efficiency purchase. We use innovative research approaches that help us pinpoint the most effective messages to our customers. We build partnerships with stakeholders, utility companies, state agencies and clean energy funds to develop ground level approaches that connect interested consumers and prospective customers with our message. We provide marketing tool kits for local use that deliver the clean energy message in a compelling, breakthrough way. We spread the renewable energy message through the latest traditional and new media approaches to help build a strong voluntary market. Simply put . . . Our mission is to help build the clean energy marketplace by helping the American public become smarter about their energy use.”

www.petfinder.com – As the holidays approach, many well-intended people will be purchasing various kinds of animals to serve as pets. However, many of these people do not consider all of the variables to pet ownership. PetFinder may be the largest and most comprehensive pet locator and educational resource on the internet. Its primary functions are to help its readers learn everything they need to know prior to adopting a pet, both pros and cons. It lets the reader search for all kinds of animals that can legally serve as pets in the U.S. – dogs, cats, amphibians, reptiles, barnyard, bird, small and furry, horses, etc. You can find adoption groups from all around the country and well beyond into Canada and some of the islands. You can also post pet classified ads in the event that the well intended “gift” sadly does not work out.

www.gettingpurpose.org – Getting Purpose, Inc. is a non-profit organization that helps individuals and companies reconnect to their purpose, reclaim their power, and ignite their passion. Through the leadership and guiding wisdom of Larry Ford, they dedicate themselves to reawakening the conviction that we are here for a reason by providing practical, real-world education and examples to help guide individuals and organizations into an empowered life of purpose. Sign up to receive weekly words of wisdom sent to your email account.

www.motivationinaminute.com – This site features current motivational movies and books for personal development and as business resources. The organization has a deep passion for the personal and professional development industry. They focus on people who are ready to make their life or business better. It’s helping a person just like that that gets them “fired up.” They have two goals: (1) inspire, uplift and motivate; and (2) hold up a light and show you that,”Yes. You CAN live your dreams. There are people who will support you and here are resources to help you reach your goals. For us, one of the worst things in life is unfulfilled potential. We want to help save the world from unfulfilled potential and unfulfilled dreams… starting with you!”

www.shopnwf.org – Adopt an animal for someone as a holiday gift! The National Wildlife Federation offers two adoption options. You can adopt an animal or a wild animal baby. Surprise a loved one with a symbolic gift of a gibbon, vampire bat, giraffe, koala, lynx, bison, and so many others!

www.greenamericatoday.org – This very responsible site is dedicated to education and support of harnessing economic power, the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace, to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. Formerly called Co-Op America, Green America is a not-for-profit membership organization founded in 1982.

www.sierraclub.org – Founded in 1892, the Sierra Club is one of the most loved organizations in the country. With over 1.3 million members, the Sierra Club works to help sustain a safe and healthy community in which to live, use smart energy solutions to combat global warming, and create an enduring legacy for America’s wild places. Sierra Club is the oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States.

www.nature.org – The Nature Conservancy was founded in 1951 and is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people with over 1 million members to date. Since 1951, they have protected more than 119 million acres of land and 5,000 miles of rivers worldwide. They operate over 100 marine conservations projects and work in all 50 states. Consider a holiday gift of the adoption of an acre in Australia or in the Rocky Mountains.

www.grinningplanet.com – a very funny site that advertises itself as “Saving the Planet One Joke at a Time.” Features not only jokes and cartoons, but quotes such as: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Dr. Seuss, from The Lorax.

www.treehugger.com – a high quality consumer site that has bountiful education from numerous sources about green living, products, building, automobiles, etc.

www.rescueink.org – a phenomenal national site dedicated to preventing abuse to animals in a very unique way. These guys say of themselves, “You take a look at us, and maybe your first reaction is to cross to the other side of the street. Just remember to look both ways before you do. We’re not a gang, vigilantes or a social organization, but we do have that certain “in your face” style when it comes to animal abusers.” A group of animal-loving bikers, they travel around the country to hunt down abusers and get justice for the defenseless animals. It’s worth taking a look at this awesome site and considering getting involved in some way.

www.ncreview.com – New Consciousness Review. This is a tremendous site for books “that expand minds and lift spirits.” This site contains countless book suggestions and reviews in the areas of spirituality, holistic health, metaphysics, religion, astrology, paranormal, UFOs, healing arts, food and nutrition, art and literature. Dangerous site – you’ll find soooooo many that you need to have in your library!

www.dawn-dish.com/en_us/savingwildlife – Did you know that Dawn dishwashing detergent has been used to wash animals covered in oil from oil spills for over 30 years? When you buy a bottle of Dawn and activate your donation online, one dollar will be donated towards the International Bird Rescue Research Center and the Marine Mammal Center. Please consider switching to Dawn and helping the oil-spill victims.

www.artfortheanimals.org – This is an outrageous site for people who love artwork featuring animals. You can select the category of animal you’d like to see and pick from numerous beautiful pieces of artwork. This site also features strong education on each animal. This program combines wildlife donations and original folk art into extraordinary holiday gifts. There are also a variety of donation packages to choose from, each representing a threatened or endangered species or habitat.

www.inspiremetoday.com/globalhugtour – The Global Hug Tour! Follow them as they travel around the world – two people in a small prop plane, stopping in 100+ locations on a tour to gather inspiration, deliver 100,000+ hugs, and share more than $1 million with important causes. Just one hug will feed 3 homeless people in Chicago. Two hugs will help educate a child in Cambodia. 100 hugs will pay for heart surgery to save the life of a child in India.

www.earthlings.com – If you can handle it, watch this trailer. This is noted to be one of the most violent films of all time. Why? Because it’s all real. It states there are three powerful forces on this planet – nature, humans, and animals. These three need to live in balance. This film was created in support of our ethical treatment of animals. By showing the horrors of real-life treatment of poor animals of all kinds, it is this movie and site’s hope that people are moved to activism and step up to help. This is an international venture and very firmly (understatement) decrees that things need to change!

www.worldwildlife.org – The World Wildlife Fund Network, of which the U.S. World Wildlife Federation is a part, is involved in environmental conservation and has a very simply stated mission: To protect the future of nature. The organization, founded in 1961, is 45 years old and began in Europe. It is an international organization and, interestingly, began on September 11. There are currently 30 independent network member countries from all over the globe. Since 1985, the WWF Network has invested over $1.165 billion in more than 11,000 projects in 130 countries.

www.defenders.org – Defenders of Wildlife is a US nonprofit membership organization founded in 1947. It is one of our country’s leaders in science-based, results-oriented wildlife conservation. They work closely and strongly in support of the Endangered Species Act and work towards the preservation of all native animals and plants in their natural communities.

www.conservationfund.org – This is our country’s top rated environmental nonprofit organization. Founded in 1985, the Conservation Fund has helped to protect more than 6 million acres of land, thereby sustaining wild havens, working lands, and vibrant communities. The Fund is committed to advancing America’s land and water legacy by focusing on conservation for future generations.

www.arborday.org – This is the organization we here at The Door Opener contribute to. For every one-year subscription, we purchase a tree – two-year subscription, two trees. There is a tremendous amount of information about trees, planting, care, purchase of, donations for, etc. The site states that in 2008, its members planted 8.5 million trees. Its mission is stated as follows: We inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. You receive 10 free baby trees when you join.

www.planetgreen.com – This site is supported by the Discovery Channel companies and is a fabulous resource for all things green. There are articles on fashion and beauty, food and health, home and garden, tech and transport, travel and outdoors, and work. There are a lot of DIY and recycling projects. There is also a great Treehugger page with environmental news briefs.

www.wherevertheneed.org – Wherever The Need (WTN) is a non-profit organization focused heavily on Africa and India. Their website states the following: “WTN focuses on a holistic approach in the use and provision of eco-sanitation, water and the development of sustainable livelihoods. In its simplest form, WTN provides sanitation and clean drinking water to human beings, and where possible extends the supply of water to livestock, crops and trees. In tandem with the provision of sanitation and water, WTN has responded to the building of houses and community centers in areas stricken by disaster. All projects are approached in the most environmentally sensitive manner possible to further the Trustee’s aim to safeguard the planet.”

www.carbonfootprintcom – Our carbon footprint is a measurement of all greenhouse gases we individually produce. There is an online calculator on this site to find your own personal footprint. Solid national and international organizations have contributed to the calculation formulas.

www.sustainlane.com – Very friendly site that has interesting categories for going green, human and pet health, eco-friendly products, green cities and jobs, health and wellness, blogs, and so much more. This site describes itself as a people-powered sustainability guide.

www.dailyom.com – This site is produced by Spirituality and Health magazine. If you love spirituality, metaphysics, and the like, just visit this site. I need say no more … You’ll get hooked!

www.wearewhatwedo.org – This is a very fun-loving and big-hearted site with a motto of: Small actions x Lots of people = Big change. There are 130 things listed on this site in the area of actions. You can track your actions and then get a tally when you’re done. The tracker captures all of your “daily bits of goodness” and gives you proof of how doing your part really does help. The things could be from declining a plastic bag at the grocery store to paying a compliment.

www.igive.com – Over 700 stores participate in this online retail and donation site. Just find the store you want to make a purchase from, choose your charity, and a portion of your purchase funds will be sent to the charity. Some of the retailer participants are Barnes and Noble, QVC, eBay, Staples, and Best Buy. There are 655 causes to choose from in Connecticut, and if you don’t see your cause listed, you can add it in!

www.i-to-i.com – Founded in 1996, this is the original volunteer travel company. Would you like to do some volunteer work in Asia, Latin America, or Africa? When you do volunteer travel, you will engage in a life-changing travel adventure with deep immersion into the culture while making a difference. In 2008, 24 countries around the world received 5,000 volunteer travelers.

www.rainforestsite.org – By clicking on this link, you can also access the following: Hunger, Breast Cancer, Literacy, Child Health, and Animal Rescue. From this one site, you can Click once a day on each of the other sites for a donation. A Click donation on the rainforest site, for example, protects 11.4 square feet of rainforest. A Click donation on the breast cancer site helps women receive free mammograms. And it’s all free!

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