v. to make radically different
n. a fresh set of clothing; money

Change t-shirts 52 times in 2010 to raise awareness and funds for 52 world changers.

What do you change for?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Who wouldn’t love to be a CEO?

CEO meaning Chief Eternal Optimist, of course.

That’s how Cameron Sinclair describes his position at Architecture for Humanity. 11 years ago Kate Stohr and Cameron Sinclair founded Architecture for Humanity; an innovative solution to capture the talent and intellect of the design world focused on sustainable building.

With a network exceeding “40,000 professionals willing to lend time and expertise to help those who would not otherwise be able to afford their services, [Architecture for Humanity] brings design, construction and development services where they are most critically needed.”

This enterprise taps into the tangible skills of professionals in the architectural and design fields to use their expertise in a meaningful way. Every year, their dedicated work has manifest itself in over 10,000 built structures for needy populations, while engaging an additional 50,000 individuals in advocacy, training, and outreach.

By working with local communities, “aid organizations, housing developers, government agencies, corporate divisions, and foundations” Architecture for Humanity “has channel[ed] resources of the global funding community to meaningful projects that make a difference locally.”

Some of Architecture for Humanity’s thoughtful, sustainable designs have changed communities around the world by “providing access to water, sanitation, power and essential services, bringing safe shelter to communities prone to disaster and displaced populations, rebuilding community and creating neutral spaces for dialogue in post-conflict areas, [and] mitigating the effects of rapid urbanization in unplanned settlements.”

In addition to building and initiating sustainable design in needy communities, Architecture for Humanity has created the online Open Architecture Network, where “architects, designers, builders and their clients… share architectural plans and drawings-including CAD files. All plans are shared through an open-source model and can be freely downloaded.”

While each Architecture for Humanity project is uniquely memorable in itself, one of Kate Stohr’s favorite experiences was working with the community in Biloxi, Mississippi to complete Model Homes after Hurricane Katrina. This program allowed families affected by Hurricane Katrina to partner with designers and architects to use “the latest in materials research, disaster mitigation and sustainable building techniques…to help set the bar for new construction in the area…By rebuilding responsible homes in a devastated community, families have a real base for contributing to the reestablishment of their community, rather than just getting by until the next disaster.”

Architecture for Humanity thrives on building and thinking in a sustainable manner. By integrating the importance and appreciation of design with local community needs, they are able to “engage all stakeholders in the design process.” Continually working to both build and rebuild, Architecture for Humanity can be found constructing schools in Haiti to building community centers in Rwanda.

No matter where its impact is felt, Architecture for Humanity’s immense network of design professionals has opened their resources, expertise, and hearts to help those in need.

Kate explains that “We learn by doing. We know the value of sharing success stories and lessons learned-our own as well as those of others. Design is the ultimate renewable resource.”

Thanks Kate, for building a sustainable future!

Please visit to learn more.

(Architecture for Humanity is dedicated “to building a more sustainable future through the power of professional design”)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


So where do these t-shirts come from?

Short answer: The Internet

Long answer: I have no idea

Anvil, a for-profit clothing company implementing responsibility, integrity, and value into their knitwear, contributes their share of corporate social responsibility (CSR) to enhance the sustainability of their business.

CSR is based on the “deliberate inclusion of public interest
into corporate decision-making, and the honoring of a triple bottom line: People, Planet, Profit.” With CSR on its mind, Anvil has designed their products to raise awareness about the sustainable processes used to make the t-shirts they create.

One of Anvil’s websites, Life of a T-Shirt allows individuals to track the life of a t-shirt—from birth to purchase.

The interactive website engages the consumer; in t-shirt making; from the cotton gin process to recycling plastic bottles. People may track how their tee was manufactured by typing the unique code found on Anvil t-shirts on

To highlight Earth Day this week, Grand Central Station (GCS) in NYC is inspiring its daily commuters to become more aware of their natural surroundings. A series of exhibits focusing on sustainable initiatives and healthy lifestyles currently surround GCS’ Vanderbilt Hall.

From Safari 7, an exhibit which illustrates the variety of urban wildlife along the #7 subway line to a presentation about healthy food opportunities in American public schools, Vanderbilt Hall has transformed temporarily into a wealth of information about the newest sustainable initiatives and gadgets.

Anvil knitwear is among the Earth Day exhibits in GCS.

Their station is not only selling “healthy” t-shirts (using sustainable practices), but Anvil is also raising awareness among their clients to think about where their daily wear is manufactured, purchased, and finally consumed.

While some of the t-shirts I have purchased for this project claim to be made from recyclable or sustainable processes, most are just “plain old t-shirts” from a far away land, shipped on a boat or plane to my doorstep.

I guess some fuel was spared for my t-shirt delivery this week since I bought it in person at the Anvil exhibit in GCS.

Hopefully, someday soon all of those “plain old t-shirts” will be created through environmentally conscious practices.

40 years ago, some people decreed that “The End is Near.”

Others created Earth Day.

Please visit and to learn more about Anvil’s sustainable practices.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010



While some may think the SOS international Morse code distress signal has become obsolete in our technologically advanced society, the people at Share Our Strength (SOS) are answering calls for help and aid to ensure that “No Kid [goes] Hungry” in America.

SOS uses innovative programming, creative marketing, and intriguing partnerships to integrate healthy nutritional eating habits into the busy lives of hungry children. From the most developed nations to third world countries, hunger rests on every nation’s doorstep.

Almost 1 in 4 children in America (about 17 million kids) is hungry.

We often think of hunger’s immediate effects—growling stomachs or perhaps a headache. But SOS has highlighted hunger’s long term effects, which include weak immune systems, behavioral difficulties, and deteriorating academic performance, among other consequences.

By collaborating and partnering with restaurants and foodservice professionals, SOS has shared the industry’s strength of food knowledge to raise awareness about hunger through cooking classes, volunteering, and fundraising events.

Much of SOS’ success comes from their partnerships with world renowned chefs, restaurants, and corporate sponsorships. From their first
“Taste of the Nation” (an American Express sponsored event where restaurants host tastings to benefit SOS) in 1988, involving 25 cities and raising $250,000, to the current “Taste of the Nation” which includes 55 cities and has since raised over $70 million, SOS has reached millions of lives and continues to promote and expand their mission.

The $265 million raised from SOS’ four main events: “Taste of the Nation,” “Great American Bake Sale,” “Great American Dine Out,” and “A Tasteful Pursuit” is allocated into grants for SOS’ partners and for their own educational program “Operation Frontline,” which teaches low-income families “how to shop for and prepare healthy, low cost meals.”

These grants focus on state partnerships and individual organizations whose work aligns SOS’ 10 points national plan to end childhood hunger. SOS’ Funds and partnerships have already helped to serve 40.2 million meals to kids, created almost 1,000 afterschool feeding facilities, and educated hundreds of thousands about healthy foods.

While many of us living in one of the wealthiest countries in the world rarely think about where our next meal will come from, there are millions of Americans wondering how they will make it through afternoon recess without their snack.

SOS is their help.

Please visit to find out more.

(Share Our Strength has been feeding the hungry and teaching the importance of nutrition not only in America, but in Ethiopia, Mexico, El Salvador and Haiti as well.)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


So You Think You Can....


Yes, So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) has made it to charity change. In the summer of 2009, Nigel Lythgoe, the executive producer of SYTYCD, launched The Dizzy Feet Foundation. Partnering with other star choreographers, including Adam Shankman and Carrie Ann Inaba; and star performer, Katie Holmes, Lythgoe has formed a new creative dance venture.

The Dizzy Feet Foundation hopes to impact the dance world in three major ways:

1. Supply scholarships to students studying dance

2. Institute standards for dance education “and an accreditation program for dance schools in all of the major styles of dance”

3. Expand and create dance education programs for disadvantaged children

Fame in the dance-world usually remains as fame in the dance-world. Pop culture does not often tap into the talent among those who leap and chasse across the floor. Rather those spotted on red carpet premieres claim the fame of the public’s eye.

With his immense knowledge of who’s who in the dance world, Nigel Lythgoe along with Katie Holmes, a red carpet star, have taken advantage of their popularity. They have used their own fame as well as the hit show SYTYCD as a platform to launch The Dizzy Feet Foundation. The foundation’s success is built in the popularity that accompanies this fame. After all, who doesn’t love to be a part of a popular movement?

The Dizzy Feet Foundation is currently providing scholarships to nine dancers in dance academies across the U.S. It has also partnered with local community organizations, including LA’s Best, an organization dedicated to enriching after school programming for the most vulnerable in Los Angeles, to bring the joy of dance to people of all backgrounds.

Lythgoe and Holmes, along with the support of major choreographers in contemporary dance, are making dance accessible.

Humans have a spirit of freedom—albeit some more talented than others—to move.

It’s simple—just ask kindergartner Julian why he loves to dance: “I like to move it, move it.”

Please visit to learn more.

(The Dizzy Feet Foundation is dedicated to improving and expanding access to dance education.)

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Have you ever calculated your daily wages?

Well, Eugene and Minhee Cho have done exactly that and have formed a global movement out of their calculations. In their quest of ending extreme global poverty, the Chos donated their 2009 income to combat global poverty.

But they didn’t stop there.

They created One Day's Wages (ODW), an organization dedicated to ending extreme global poverty by partnering with existing organizations to raise funds to aid their work. This movement encourages individuals to be conscious of their own daily earnings by donating small amounts to their ODW’s partner’s work. ODW works with non-profit organizations including charity:water, Partners in Health, Heal Africa, and Not for Sale, among others, to raise funds to aid those suffering in extreme global poverty.

Kate, ODW’s operations director, changes for ODW “because it invites people to give what they can, as they’re able. It’s the knowledge and awareness that even small amounts of money can go far in the fight against extreme poverty.”

ODW has reframed the notion of giving.

As Kate mentioned, ODW illustrates the power one individual has to impact the large fight against global poverty. In dedicating just one day’s wages, whatever your salary may be, you become conscious of your earnings and the impact just one day’s work can have in helping to save another’s life.

“3 billion people [who] live on less than US $2/day and 1.4 billion people [who] live on less than US $1.25/day.”

The numbers are staggering—but innovative solutions are on the way.

By using social media and investing in existing organizations which are already involved in impoverished communities in “doing effective and transparent work to empower people to uplift themselves out of poverty,” ODW is reshaping the giving world.

Things aren’t as expensive as we imagine.

ODW highlights the direct effect organizations have created through individual small donations:

Malaria Net: $10
Clean water for one person for 20 years: $20
Child’s tuition for education: $45
Teacher’s salary in jungles in Burma $60/yr”

Contributions pour in from across the globe. Kate explained that “Every so often, we'll get kids - sometimes really young ones - who save up their allowances, or get their school friends together to host a fundraiser of some sort....seeing a younger generation recognize the importance of generosity is really inspiring.”

One of ODW’s newest ventures in 2010 is Birthdays for a Cause!” Tapping into new social media networks and technology, ODW will serve as a forum for individuals to “create your own page and choose a cause that ODW is currently fundraising for, forward it to your friends/family/coworkers and invite them to donate in honor of your birthday.”

Think about it as volunteering one day of your work. Use the wages from your “volunteer day” at work to help someone else live a dignified life.

Thanks, Kate, for teaching us how to use our wages wisely!

Please visit to learn more.

(One Days Wages is a movement focused on ending extreme global poverty.)