Comedy Legend Don Rickles Dead at 90
Comedy legend Don Rickles died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles, according to his publicist. The cause of death was kidney failure, and Barbara, his wife since 1965, was by his side. Rickles was 90. Short, stout and full of energy, Rickles had a career that spanned six decades and featured regular appearances on the…
ChildFund Still Going Strong After 75 Years
Although Richmond might be the state capital of Virginia, ChildFund is what has put the city on the map—literally. In its 75 years, the international child-focused development and protection agency has touched 100 nations across Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe and currently serves children in 30 countries.
Since its creation in 1938, the idea behind ChildFund has been simple simple: Create a link between those who want to give and ◊children in need [www.childfund.org]◊.
After its founding as China’s Children Fund, the organization then began to expand to other countries and for decades was known as the Christian Children’s Fund. (You may remember TV advertisements that urged viewers to sponsor a child living in poverty.)
Although ChildFund International (www.childfund.org), as the organization is known today, maintains the individual sponsor-to-child relationship, its approach has broadened to include community development. To this end, ChildFund pools the sponsor funds to improve the community environments where children live. Diverse donors allow the organization to expand its reach and work for the children.
Over the years, ChildFund has learned that children need compassionate caregivers, health care, nutrition, clean water, sanitation, education, opportunity and safety. If even one of these is missing from a child’s immediate environment, that child’s potential will remain out of reach.
While we know that at every age, children have unique gifts to offer their communities, it follows that the first few years of a child’s life are the most important. During this time, say experts, a child’s future development is laid out, and disruptions have lifelong consequences.
For instance, children’s experience of poverty differs from that of adults, and that experience changes as they grow from infancy to childhood to adolescence and young adulthood.
In this way, locally owned change is the most sustainable. When community members join hands to create an environment in which children can thrive, children do.
To support this dynamic, ChildFund has mobilized a global network of relationships, connecting children, sponsors, parents, teachers, community members and leaders, local organizations, schools, local and national governments, foundations, corporations and more.
What cannot be measured is how many children ChildFund has helped, because so many of the children who have been helped by this organization have paid it forward by helping others. Monica, for example, was once a sponsored child in Ecuador. She has since earned a degree in finance and now manages her community’s credit union and helps many families.
Thanks to wonderful supporters, these sponsored children have grown up to change more children’s lives.
New Movement Picks Up Where Occupy Wall Street Trails Off
Occupy Wall Street’s most recent push, “May Day,” exemplifies the crux of the protest: it’s a great forum to express widespread discontent about financial issues, but less adept at affecting bona fide change between giant corporations and average consumers.
Critics of the movement tend to call it politically dangerous and radical, like pollster Doug Schoen in the Wall Street Journal. On the other hand, President Obama is embracing a 2012 platform crusading for the 99 percent against the presumptive GOP nominee.
However, Obama’s administration didn’t fulfill its original vows promising Wall Street culpability or repercussions for reckless bankers. Despite the public sentiment created by the Occupy movement, in four years, the federal government hasn’t filed a single charge against any Big Finance executives.
“It’s perplexing at best,” said Phil Angelides, the Democratic former California treasurer who chaired the bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. “It’s deeply troubling at worst.”
While Occupy Wall Street succeeded in presenting a means to express concern, the federal government continues to hedge upon promises of financial accountability. How can individual consumers take action?
A budding movement called All Our Power offers an alternative that’s designed to build off the momentum created by Occupy Wall Street and spur real action. As the fledgling movement spreads, millions of members will give All Our Power the ability to negotiate with top bankers, retailers, health insurance companies, cell phone providers and more.
In fact, the Occupiers at Zuccotti Park were joined by a large rally of protesters from All Our Power in early May. Their signs and chants urged passersby and Occupiers alike to join their member base to amass a group 10 million strong. As the movement continues to swell in size and influence, the group intends to secure lower prices, significant discounts and long-term contracts for all members — and membership is free.
“With these kinds of numbers, we can truly bring negotiating power to make huge corporations concede to the needs of individual consumers,” explains Joe Kalfa, founder of All Our Power. “Our plan is to hold a bunch more rallies in the coming months across the U.S. Our movement is a solution that bridges the gap between the 1 percent and the rest of us.
To learn more about joining All Our Power and receiving significant discounts at no charge, visit www.allourpower.com. Or, ‘like’ them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/allourpower, and follow the revolution on Twitter @allourpower.