Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 100: National Optimism Month .

Today is the last day of March and the entire month was Optimism Month. To lead into April, it was a good thing to call attention to Optimism again. It doesn’t hurt to have optimism every month so start your next month with optimism and carry into each month.

National Optimism Month was created to encourage people to boost their optimism. It is a national event, which takes place every year in March. It's a perfect time to get rid of negative or intruding bad thoughts. Research proves optimists achieve better health, greater prosperity and more happiness than pessimists.

Optimism is an outlook on life, such that one maintains a view of the world as a positive place. Optimism strongly correlates with high self-esteem, psychological well-being and physical and mental health. Optimism is correlated with better immune systems in healthy people. So, what are you waiting for to begin acting like an optimist yourself!

So how do you get an optimistic attitude? Cleanse your cranium, and all those negative thoughts that dwell within it! Sometimes we can't help it. Insecurities and doubt weigh on us from time to time, but it's up to us to cast away those dingy demons in our heads. To gain optimism, try this exercise: when problems arise in your life, focus immediately on finding a solution. Negative people would spend countless hours complaining, wallowing in self-pity and nursing their anger at the situation. Optimistic people, on the other hand, focus on fixing the problem and when it's been taken care of, they move on. No time for negative thoughts, complaining or feeling sorry for yourself!

Use this next month to practice optimism and turn optimism into a delightful, permanent habit every month.

Optimism is needed to pursue dreams. Children have dreams and so often loose them because of the unfortunate turn of events that happen to them and their families as they are growing up. Dreams For Kids empowers at-risk youth and those with disabilities through dynamic leadership programs and life-changing activities that inspire them to fearlessly pursue their dreams and compassionately change the world.

Dreams For Kids’ vision is to unite children of disability, race, religion, and socio-economic background and inspire them to realize their full potential and serve as active members of their communities and citizens of the world. At the core of their programming is the empowerment of youth who live in poverty and those with disabilities. The heart of the approach is reminding each young person they have something to give, and then giving them opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others. To break down the barriers of segregation, embrace the abilities and potential of an isolated population, and empower them by their paying it forward in such a way, which changes their communities and transforms their lives.

Donation: $5

To support Dreams For Kids, please visit:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 99: National Doctor's Day

National Doctor's Day was created to show appreciation to your doctors. Doctors perform vital diagnosis, treatment and care for yourself and your family. When you are well, your doctor keeps you well. When you are sick, there is no other person more important to you than your doctor.

The first Doctors Day observance was March 30, 1933 in Winder, Georgia.  Eudora Brown Almond, wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond, decided to set aside a day to honor physicians. This first observance included the mailing greeting cards and placing flowers on graves of deceased doctors. The red carnation is commonly used as the symbolic flower for National Doctors Day.

On March 30, 1958, a Resolution Commemorating Doctors Day was adopted by the United States House of Representatives. In 1990, legislation was introduced in the House and Senate to establish a national Doctors Day. Following overwhelming approval by the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, on October 30, 1990, President George Bush signed S.J. RES. #366 (which became Public Law 101-473) designating March 30 as "National Doctors Day."

Doctors play a vital part to assure there is an organization like Children’s Health Fund. Founded in 1987 by pediatrician/child advocate Irwin Redlener, MD, and singer/songwriter Paul Simon, Children’s Health Fund commits to providing comprehensive health care to the nation’s most medically underserved children through the development and support of innovative primary care medical programs and the promotion of guaranteed access to appropriate health care for all children.

Children’s Health Fund realizes this mission through the energy and talent of their dedicated team of doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers, nutritionists, and other clinical and support staff and our partnerships with esteemed academic medical centers and concerned corporate and individual sponsors.

Children’s Health Fund  believes in “A Doctor for Every Child”. For too many children in poor rural and urban areas, there is no consistent, quality health care in their lives. The problem may be transportation, insurance, or language and cultural barriers. The end result is too often the same. Children lack the essential health services to grow and thrive. In the most heartbreaking scenarios, they develop life-threatening illnesses—or lifelong conditions—needlessly, for want of decent health care.

Children’s Health Fund has created a “Blue Bus,” a pediatric mobile medical clinic, which draws children and families for curbside checkups and treatments.  To ensure underserved children get the health care they need, sometimes caregivers must go to the children.

Donation: $5

To support Children’s Health Fund, please visit:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 98: National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day

National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day celebrates small business owners. These individuals spend countless hours nurturing and growing their young enterprises. The workload demands, and lack of a hired staff, often translates into long and late hours, and many missed family and personal events. But, all in all, they love what they do. After all, they are their own boss.

New businesses have always been a vital, yet not fully appreciated, part of the U.S. economy. On they retail side, they bring different and unique products to the marketplace. They provide stellar and personal service support. When you call, you are more likely to get a real, live person. And unlike big national chains, they know their products. They are outstanding performers in niche markets. In manufacturing, they create many new concepts and ideas, making them creators of new products.

In today’s business parlance, “mom and pop shops” are often called “microbusinesses” (if they have 5 or fewer employees). In 2007, there were 21.7 million microbusinesses without any employees at all, according to the Small Business Administration, and many millions more microbusinesses with employees.

Celebrate National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day by showing your support. Shop their stores today, and everyday.

The Council for Economic Education envisions a world in which people are empowered through economic and financial literacy to make informed and responsible choices throughout their lives as consumers, savers, investors, workers, citizens, and participants in our global economy.

The mission of the Council for Economic Education is two-fold: To advocate for better and greater school-based economic and personal finance education at the K-12 level; and to educate young people in the United States and around the world, primarily through well-prepared teachers, so they may become empowered with economic and financial literacy.

The Council for Economic Education offers comprehensive, best-in-class K-12 economic and personal finance education programs, including the basics of entrepreneurship, consisting of teaching resources across the curriculum, professional development for teachers, and nationally-normed assessment instruments.

Donation: $5

To support The Council for Economic Education, please visit:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 97: National Optimism Month

March is National Optimism Month, a time to get rid of negative or intruding bad thoughts. According to one source on the Internet, optimism is an outlook on life that maintains the world is a positive place.

“Optimism strongly correlates with high self esteem, psychological well being ... and better immune systems,” according to the source. There is much to be optimistic about in March — the first day of spring, shrubs and trees starting to blossom, summer birds returning.  Sure, winter is not over yet here in the high country, but it is never too early to plan your garden.

 "Optimism takes work.  Being pessimistic means you are stuck in identifying the problems over and over again.  Being optimistic means you have to move forward and do something about it."  Beverly Beuermann-King (Handling Negative Attitudes and Difficult People workshop)

Wikipedia states that Optimism is "an inclination to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome.  Optimists generally believe that people and events are inherently good, so that most situations work out in the end for the best. 

We tend to look at optimistic people as those with their heads 'in-the-clouds' - out of touch with reality.  However, we know from research that optimistic people are not always smiling and chipper - they get mad and angry.  However, they don't get stuck in their emotions and they have been found to be better at doing one thing then those with a different attitude or outlook on life. They are better at problem-solving - they move quickly from problem-identification to problem-solving.  They believe that situations will work out, so they spend their time and energy on making these situations work, rather than focusing on their own emotional reactions. 

The mission of the "I Have a Dream" Foundation - Los Angeles is to help underprivileged children become productive citizens by providing a long-term program of academic enhancement, mentoring, and cultural enrichment with an assured opportunity for higher education.

Their primary goal is to motivate and empower children from low-income communities and under-performing schools to reach their education and career goals. They believe that every child deserves the opportunity to pursue their dreams and develop to their full potential. To achieve this overarching goal, eight objectives drive the design of their program:

·       Enhance reading, writing and math capabilities so Dreamers can succeed in school and, later, in careers.
·       Making learning, especially reading, a “want to” instead of a “have to”.
·       Giving Dreamers the ability to understand what their own dreams might look like and the preparation to make their dreams a reality.
·       Helping Dreamers develop the life skills needed to succeed in the everyday world.
·       Broadening the range of educational and cultural experiences beyond Dreamers’ neighborhoods, but also showing them how to make positive contributions to their own communities.
·       Preparing Dreamers to make good choices during adolescence: avoiding drugs; gangs and unplanned pregnancies.
·       Creating personal bonds among Dreamers so there is a positive group affiliation and sense of community for youth who may otherwise have little stability in their lives.
·       Creating trust and respect amongst Dreamers, their families and IHAD-LA, so that that they can guide Dreamers in productive directions and foster positive values.

Donation: $5

To support "I Have A Dream" Foundation – Los Angeles, please visit:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day 96: Education and Sharing Day

To emphasize the vital role of education in society, the United States annually marks "Education and Sharing Day U.S.A." Established in 1978 by a joint Congressional resolution, Education Day U.S.A. focuses on the very foundation of meaningful education: instructing our youth in the ways of morality and ethics, and teaching them an appreciation for divine inviolable values. The Presidents, in conjunction with the Washington, D.C. based American Friends of Lubavitch, designate annually Education and Sharing Day U.S.A. on the anniversary of the birth of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory, who dedicated his life to the cause of education.

“A hopeful society helps ensure that its citizens develop the character, knowledge, and skills they need to succeed. On Education and Sharing Day, we underscore our dedication to encouraging our Nation's youth to build a solid foundation for a lifetime of accomplishment.”  GEORGE W. BUSH,  April 16, 2008

“To secure a bright future for America, we must instill in our children a love of learning as well as a spirit of compassion. These are two of our Nation's most cherished and enduring values. Today, let us rededicate ourselves to preparing our next generation of leaders for the world they will inherit. For America to thrive in the 21st century, we need a workforce with the knowledge and skills to compete in the global economy. More than ever before, the success of every American will depend on their level of academic achievement. A world class education can unlock every child's full potential, and that remains our best roadmap to prosperity. “  BARACK OBAMA, March 25, 2010

First Graduate is a San Francisco-based college access program that helps students finish high school and become the first in their families to graduate from college.
They work exclusively with aspiring first-generation college graduates – students whose parents never completed college in the United States – because parental education is a major predictor of children’s educational attainment and economic success.

To help students realize their dreams of attaining a college degree, First Graduate  utilizes a long-term program model that is unique within the field. They make a 10-year commitment to each student, starting the summer after sixth grade through college graduation.

Their program provides students with a comprehensive array of services, including: year-round academic instruction, tutoring and support; high school and college counseling; mentoring; family engagement activities; career exploration activities; and college scholarships and support. All of these services are organized via an effective case management system.

Donation: $10

To support First Graduate, please visit:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 95: National Athletic Training Month

March is National Athletic Training Month, an awareness and motivational program sponsored by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. Athletic trainers are specially trained individuals responsible for the prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of athletic injuries and illnesses. They play a major role in taking care of our nation’s athletes at all professional levels and are instrumental in promoting safety at an early age with our nation’s student athletes.

Athletic trainers work under the direction of physicians. Athletic Trainers are clinically and academically qualified to medically treat patients and clients of all ages in any physical setting. Public safety, injury and illness prevention, and early intervention are keystones to the practice of athletic training.

This is a good time to thank those that make participation in sports and athletics safe, or in the very least, take some time to learn a little about what athletic trainers do. Their job entails conducting injury prevention protocols (think about training techniques to prevent ankle sprains), injury evaluation and immediate return to play decision making (think sideline concussion diagnosis), and injury rehabilitation.

Fans Across America is about building a community of sports and entertainment fans to deliver hope, opportunity and support to families with seriously ill and special needs children.

The Fans Across America® Charitable Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organization, is a community of sports and entertainment fans committed to providing much needed financial assistance to families with seriously ill and special needs children. In appreciation for their support, Foundation team members receive special promotional offers and discounts from Fans Across America partners for professional & collegiate sporting events, restaurants & entertainment, and retail and services. Ultimately, Fans Across America unites fans, athletes, celebrities, businesses and all those committed to making a difference in the lives of these families during the most difficult times.

In December 2007, the Fans Across America Charitable Foundation delivered assistance to its first two families. Leslie Rodriguez and Joshua Coppoth were both nine years old and had brain tumors. From surgery to radiation and chemotherapy treatments, these children endured far more suffering than any child should, and their families did everything they could to help them get well. Because of the generosity of the Fans Across America community, the Foundation was able to help relieve some of the financial burden these families faced as a result of the illness by assisting with their rent and other living expenses such as food and gas.

Donation: $5

To support Fans Across America, please visit :

Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 94: March is Music In Our Schools Month

Music programs nationwide are in danger. State and local legislators are attempting to make up for funding shortfalls in this difficult economy by cutting education budgets, which can place school music at risk. Advocacy takes place on many fronts, and advocates for music education need to learn to speak to different audiences, each of whom has a key contribution to make. Now’s the time to get involved and do your part to ensure that America’s students have access to a comprehensive, sequential music education taught by exemplary music educators!

There is a yearly theme, for this year the slogan is "Music Lasts A Lifetime." Participating schools and related organizations have various activities and concerts held in different venues. These activities help showcase the talents of students together with their teachers and band directors.

The goal of this event is to stress the importance of quality music education in our schools and to enlist the support of teachers, students, parents, members of the community, organizations and individuals to become advocates of music education.

The KCVI Music Education Charities were created by the Kansas City Vocal Institute to provide free music education to the underprivileged children of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. They want to provide these children and families with music training, competition opportunities, performance opportunities, access to instruments, and other instruction to help further their music education. They also help charities and businesses provide scholarships and lessons for the underprivileged children of Kansas City, so that they may be able to participate in other fine arts programs.

The Kansas City Metropolitan Area is home to almost 2.1 million people.  About 17% live in poverty, which is just over 350,000 people.  That is larger than the entire population of Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, or New Orleans.  Johnson County, KS may be one of the most affluent places in the country, but the inner-city areas of Kansas City, KS and Kansas City, MO are not as fortunate. Children who grow up in these neighborhoods do not lack opportunities for music lessons, as Kansas City is one of the most musically vibrant places in the US; rather, many cannot afford them. Lessons are expensive and may require instruments and traveling to studio locations.  So, Music Education Charities helps set studio locations at area schools and community centers, provide children with full scholarships for lessons, and help provide them with any other needs to further their music education including performing opportunities, contests, and access to instruments.

Donation: $5

To support Music Education Charities, please visit:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 93: National Red Cross Month

President Barack Obama has proclaimed March as Red Cross Month across the United States, a tradition upheld by every U.S. President dating back to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943.

“The American Red Cross is there when people need us most. During March, we thank those whose support enables us to continue our work,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. “Their generosity helps us continue to serve those who need us every day – whether they are down the street, across the country, or around the world.”

The American Red Cross is part of the world’s largest humanitarian network – 97 million volunteers helping in 186 countries. In this country, the Red Cross helps change lives seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

Since its founding in 1881 by visionary leader Clara Barton, the American Red Cross has been the nation's premier emergency response organization. It was largely dependent for publicity and funds on the spontaneous support of people who learned of catastrophic events and the Red Cross response to them. News of an event broke. The American Red Cross rushed to the scene with help. People around the country came forth with outpourings of volunteer assistance and donations of funds and supplies.

A change occurred in 1917, when the United States entered World War I. After declaring war, President Woodrow Wilson ordered the American Red Cross to raise funds to support its aid to the military and civilians affected by war, as Congress had mandated. In response, the Red Cross held its first national War Fund drive in June 1917 and set as its goal $100 million, an astoundingly large sum at the time. The public response was immediate and overwhelming.

As part of a worldwide movement that offers neutral humanitarian care to the victims of war, the American Red Cross distinguishes itself by also aiding victims of devastating natural disasters. Over the years, the organization has expanded its services, always with the aim of preventing and relieving suffering.

Today, in addition to domestic disaster relief, the American Red Cross offers compassionate services in five other areas: community services that help the needy; support and comfort for military members and their families; the collection, processing and distribution of lifesaving blood and blood products; educational programs that promote health and safety; and international relief and development programs.

The American Red Cross recently announced an initial contribution of $10 million to the Japanese Red Cross Society to assist in its ongoing efforts to provide medical care and relief assistance to the people of Japan following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Donation $10

To support the American Red Cross, please visit:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 92: National Puppy Day

National Puppy Day is a special day, recognized on March 23rd annually, to celebrate the magic and unconditional love that puppies bring to our lives. But more importantly, it's a day to help save orphaned puppies across the globe and educate the public about the horrors of puppy mills, as well as further our mission for a nation of puppy-free pet stores.
National Puppy Day was founded in 2006 by Pet Lifestyle Expert, Animal Behaviorist and Author, Colleen Paige, who is also the founder of National Dog Day and National Cat Day. This holiday, as well as others, are part of Colleen Paige's Animal Miracle Foundation & Network, a non-profit organization which offers financial assistance and educational programs ranging from pet cancer to fire safety and travel safety for kids and pets alike. Colleen Paige, envisioned not just as a day during which to marvel at just how gosh-darn adorable the little guys are, but also to serve as a reminder about the importance of pet adoption and the perils of puppy mills. The creation of this holiday has helped to save over 50,000 puppies since it’s inception in 2006, not only to celebrate puppies for how much joy they bring to our lives – but to raise public awareness about the plight of homeless puppies and to educate the public about why adoption is a better choice than buying puppies from pet stores, which are supplied by puppy mills.

Pet owners are often reported as saying that their dog brings far more than just an excuse for a walk in the park.  Many people find that their dog brings huge emotional and physical benefits, improving their fitness, relieving stress and helping as a social icebreaker. The evidence goes beyond just anecdotes, with research finding that dogs really do bring many positive benefits to our lives. For people with disabilities that effect can be much greater.
Dogs for the Disabled is a pioneering charity that trains assistance dogs for children and adults with physical disabilities, and families with a child with autism. Through practical tasks their dogs offer freedom and independence, but in addition an assistance dog becomes a reason to go out, giving a new found confidence that opens doors to fresh opportunities including friendships, hobbies, education and even careers. The partnerships they create between people with disabilities and dogs are life-changing.

Donation: $5

To support Dogs for the Disabled, please visit:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 91: International World Water Day

International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

This is the first time in human history that most of the world's populations live in cities: 3.3 billion people ...and the urban landscape continues to grow.

Expanding slums represents 38% of the growth, while the city populations are increasing faster than city infrastructure can adapt.

The objective of World Water Day 2011 is to focus international attention on the impact of rapid urban population growth, industrialization and uncertainties caused by climate change, conflicts and natural disasters on urban water systems.

This year theme, Water for cities: responding to the urban challenge, aims to spotlight and encourage governments, organizations, communities, and individuals to actively engage in addressing the challenges of urban water management.

International Rivers' mission is to protect rivers and defend the rights of communities that depend on them. They oppose destructive dams and the development model they advance, and encourage better ways of meeting people’s needs for water, energy and protection from damaging floods. To achieve this mission, they collaborate with a global network of local communities, social movements, non-governmental organizations and other partners. Through research, education and advocacy, International Rivers works to halt destructive river infrastructure projects, address the legacies of existing projects, improve development policies and practices, and promote water and energy solutions for a just and sustainable world. The primary focus of their work is in the global South.

International Rivers seeks a world in which rivers and the ecosystems they support are valued, and the importance of the links between healthy environments and healthy societies are understood. They envision a world where development projects neither degrade nature nor impoverish people, and where all people have a voice in decisions affecting their lives and livelihoods.

Donation: $5

To support international Rivers, please visit:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 90: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

 "Overcoming racism compels us to address public policies and private attitudes that perpetuate it. On this International Day, I call on Member States, international and non-governmental organizations, the media, civil society and all individuals to engage meaningfully in the promotion of the International Year for People of African descent – and to work together against racism whenever and wherever it occurs."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Message for the International Day for the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2011

 The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on 21 March. On this day, in 1960, police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid "pass laws". Proclaiming the Day in 1966, the General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination (resolution 2142 (XXI)).

Since then, the apartheid system in South Africa has been dismantled. Racist laws and practices have been abolished in many countries, and an international framework for fighting racism has been built, guided by the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The Convention is now nearing universal ratification, yet still, in all regions, too many individuals, communities and societies suffer from the injustice and stigma that racism brings.

The first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination reminds us of our collective responsibility for promoting and protecting this ideal.

Over the past 37 years, Cultural Survival has worked in dozens of countries around the world, both in on-the-ground projects and the advocacy campaigns of our Global Response program.

One of the unfortunate things common to almost all Indigenous Peoples is being under assault—culturally, economically, or physically.  In almost every case they suffer all the consequences of extreme marginalization: poverty, lack of government services, shorter life spans, poorer health, and substandard.

Because they look, act, and dress differently from the dominant society, Indigenous Peoples are often discriminated against or seen as less than human. There are enormous pressures on them to give up their unique cultural traditions and be assimilated into the general population. Those pressures may be circumstantial or the result of deliberate government programs. In Australia, Canada, and the United States, for example, hundreds of thousands of Indigenous children were taken from their families and placed into government- and church-run boarding schools and other institutions so they could be culturally reprogrammed. The damage from those government programs cannot be calculated.

Under the guidance of our Indigenous-led Program Council, Cultural Survival partners with Indigenous communities to defend their rights and sustain their cultures. They help develop the knowledge, advocacy tools, and strategic partnerships they need to protect their rights. Every Cultural Survival program is designed to become self-sustaining and run entirely by the Indigenous community.

Donation: $5

To support Cultural Survival, please visit: