REACHing Kids

Peace Neighborhood CenterPeace Neighborhood Center

Trying to teach your child to reach out to other and become more social? Peace Neighborhood Center has an afternoon program for kids in kindergarten – 5th grade called REACH which involves creativity and learning social skills. If you have the time to be a mentor or tutor for this kind of program or would like to make a donation to help keep this kind of programming alive in our community, Peace Neighborhood Center could be a part of your future.

One Child, One Night

chld's handschld's hands

The holidays are upon us and many people are asking for our help now. If you are in the midst of deciding which group or organization to make a donation, consider the Interfaith Hospitality Network’s One Child, One Night program. Sponsor a homeless child's stay at Alpha House with his or her family for a night or two or three. Or sponsor one child a month in 2008.

Did you know that 43% of the homeless population in our country are children? To learn more, consider reading Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind: Homeless Children and Their Families In Small-town America. Or, contact the Washtenaw Housing Alliance for more information on homelessness in our area.

A Halloween Treat for a Cause

Want to have fun on Halloween and help a local non-profit organization at the same time? Consider going to the Halloween Benefit for the Women’s Center of Southeastern Michigan on October 31st at the Michigan Theater. The concert, held at 7:30pm, will feature MacPodz, Ragbirds, My Dear Disco, Jamie Register & the Glendales and many more.

The Women’s Center of Southeastern Michigan is one of the many non-profits that helps women and families in our area. Instead of giving out treats on Halloween, give to others and have a great time in the process.

Why do people give to public radio?

NPR logoNPR logo

Ah, October! With the tenth month of the year comes not only the onset of fall, but also Guilt Week, aka the fall membership drive for National Public Radio.

Public radio is an interesting beast because its finances are unlike not only for-profit businesses, but also other 501(c)(3)s. Through some magical combination of guilt and altruism, public radio stations manage to get lots of people to willingly donate money to something they could get for free. Not only that, but listeners pay based on how much they value the station. Businesses would kill to be able to charge customers like that.

So I propose a discussion topic in honor of Guilt Week: why are so many public radio listeners willing to donate often considerable amounts without coercion? Is it out of the goodness of their hearts? Because they fear their fabulous local station will disappear if they don't? Other reasons? What say those of you who donate to public radio? Why do you give?

The business of charity

We've all heard of successful businesspeople who give lots of money to charity. Indeed, such benefactors have huge impact, such as the library world's beloved Andrew Carnegie.

But is such philanthropy really as good as it seems? A pair of articles from our friends at the New York Times and The Economist suggests otherwise. Those big donations, according to the Times article, net donors some big tax breaks, meaning that money given to little Timmy's private school is money the government can't use for potentially worthier purposes.

And what about all those companies that do good works? Well, as The Economist notes, Robert Reich thinks that focusing on corporate social responsibility misses the point. Businesses, even socially responsible ones, ultimately focus on their interests. We shouldn't get so preoccupied with them that we take the heat off the people who are supposed to be watching the economy: the federal government.

Here's what economist Tyler Cowen thinks. What about you?

Casting Call for Canine Celebrities

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The Humane Society of Huron Valley is searching for the Official Celebrity Spokesdog for the Walk & Wag fundraiser to be held on Saturday May 19, 2007 at the Washtenaw County Farm Park. Your dog is definitely a contender if he/she is spayed or neutered, friendly to fellow animals and humans, and has that certain flair for the spotlight. Follow the links above for more info or call the HSHV at 662.5585.

Gimme Shelter 2006

The Interfaith Hospitality Network at Alpha House is hosting its annual fundraiser at the Morris Lawrence Building on the campus of Washtenaw Community College this coming Saturday October 14, 2006 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. A Silent Auction preview begins at 6 p.m.

Gimme Shelter 2006 will feature:
* a fabulous strolling dinner coordinated by Donnie Burton and Amie Mongeau
* live music by Mannafest
* a fabulous silent auction

Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the door. Children 6 and under can come for free!

Click here for more information about this fun event and this wonderful community organization.

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