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, June 30, 2010


2,000,000 people for 1.

Bono’s campaign to fight global poverty in 2002, started as DATA (debt, AIDS, trade, Africa), an advocacy organization focused on solving major problems in developing countries. After partnering with ten other anti-poverty organizations, Bono and his crew decided to launch ONE, an advocacy organization that mobilizes “Americans from all walks of life” in the fight against poverty.

Through “global online actions [and] an iconic ad campaign, [ONE] succeeded in helping to secure a pledge by the G8 to direct an additional $25 billion in effective assistance to Africa by 2010 [and] in less than a year, signed up more than 2 million members,” as a part of a grassroots campaign to support better policies in combating poverty.

Officially combining forces in 2007, DATA and ONE merged into a single organization: ONE. “DATA’s high-level global advocacy and policy depth [and] ONE's grassroots mobilization expertise” form the foundation that executes ONE’s mission.

Kim Smith, ONE’s Deputy Director of Field, has been involved in fighting HIV/AIDS for years. She notes that one of the most attractive aspects of ONE “is that we are non-partisan and that we do not ask our members for money.”

Not the most common formula among non-profits.

ONE has in fact united some 2,000,000 among the wide spectrum of political opinions and views in America to fight against global poverty. By eliminating the draining effort of fundraising campaigns from their agenda, ONE is able to engage its members in “focus[ing] purely on advocacy and us[ing] their voice for the world’s poorest people.”

Reaching out to members of Congress has been ONE’s most major success. Kim explains that in 2008, “the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which has provided more than 2.1 million people with life-saving retroviral treatments,” was reauthorized. While this bill was stuck in the Senate, ONE mobilized its member network to call their Senators to support this “life-saving legislation.”

While ONE does not endorse political candidates, whichever Senators do win the next open 2010 Senate races across America will be well-informed “on the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease.” Thanks to ONE members and staff who are educating candidates, no matter their political affiliation, such crucial issues will be on the forefront of the political agenda.

From its inception, ONE has consciously worked (not competed) with other similarly goal-oriented organizations to be a leader in advocacy to fight global poverty.

2 thoughts from 1:

Sidestep politics.

No fundraising needed.

Thanks Kim (and Robyn), for uniting the political front in the fight against global poverty.

Please visit for more information.

(ONE is a grassroots campaign and advocacy organization dedicated “to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.”)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


The next time you purchase Mango Tango juice or any other Newman’s Own product, smile.

Smile in honor of Paul Newman, a role model for his philanthropic endeavors and for his humble approach to helping hundreds of thousands of individuals around the world.

While many may associate Paul Newman with his highly successful acting career, kids today know him as the man smiling on their tomato sauce, or even better, as the man who created their summer camp.

Through donations from the net royalties and profits from Newman’s Own products, Paul Newman not only created the Newman’s Own Foundation but he founded the Hole in the Wall Camps, an international family of camps for kids with serious medical conditions, named after the Hole in the Wall Gang in the hit film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” starring Robert Redford and our very own Paul Newman.

Paul “wanted to acknowledge luck; the chance and benevolence of it in my life, and the brutality of it in the lives of others, especially children, who might not be allowed the good fortune of a lifetime to correct it.”

And so, along with12,000 volunteers, over 42,000 children, suffering from medical illnesses, have the opportunity to attend summer camp free of charge. From Israel and Ireland to Uganda and the United States, the Hole in the Wall Association runs (summer/winter) camps and programs ranging from recreational activities on acting and zip lining to educational activities on self esteem and HIV/AIDS awareness.

At the Hole in the Wall Camps, campers experience a yearning they long for the remainder of the year: “just to be a kid.”

While their abilities range from wheelchair bound to oxygen tank dependent, campers, staff, and volunteers at the Hole in the Wall Camps can be found smiling and cheering in the midst of the weekly dance party or at a quick IV pit stop at the “Body Shop” (known to the rest of the world as the infirmary).

As Hole in the Wall continues to expand and provide opportunities around the world for kids to just be kids, they are constantly finding new funding opportunities and partnerships with various organizations, companies, community groups, and individuals.

Donating money to a cause individually is meaningful, however being part of a team of donors is uniquely rewarding. And that is exactly what Team Hole in the Wall achieves—an opportunity for individuals to raise money for Hole in the Wall Camps while achieving a great athletic feat (marathons, triathlons, Riding events) knowing thousands of campers are cheering you on.

Smiling across the finish line after 26.2 miles gives an athlete a taste of the courage, will, and determination that campers attending the Hole in the Wall Camps encounter on a daily basis.

This summer thousands will celebrate Paul Newman’s legacy as they chant “Mango Tango Mango Tango” in the Hole in the Wall Camp dining rooms.

While you may not be able to fit summer camp into your busy schedule anymore, if you are a young professional in the New York City area, experience summer camp Hole in the Wall style at Hole in the Wall’s first young professional’s event in NYC! RSVP at:
Please visit for more information.

(Hole in the Wall Camps provides an opportunity for children suffering from long-term illnesses to attend summer camp and programs)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


You probably won’t find a marathon winner or star sprinter among this bunch.

What you will find among this group of runners, however, is willpower and perhaps a welcome addiction.

After personally experiencing the effects and consequences of her father’s gambling addiction, Anne Mahlum found that one of the most tragic effects of addiction is often homelessness.

Determined to channel an addict’s “downward spiral” into a positive obsession, Anne founded Back on My Feet in 2007 to “promote the self-sufficiency of homeless populations by engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem.”

Building a community network of personal support and help is the core of Back on My Feet’s operations. While she was familiar with numerous programs for the homeless population in “education, housing, or even job[s],” Anne found a lack of personal support available to one of the most vulnerable populations in Philadelphia.

And so, “Back on My Feet now serves the role of not only connecting our members with those education, housing and job programs, but also helping our members develop that personal support.”

Three mornings a week, volunteers wake in the pre-dawn hours to run with groups of individuals struggling with homelessness. Participants in these group runs now have a network of individuals they can rely on and the discipline to propel them towards their goal of getting “back on their feet.”

“Fellowship, teamwork, friends—that is where it all starts.”

And it shows no sign of ending any time soon.

Back on My Feet is on the verge of major expansion. They are ready to spread their running addiction to Philadelphia’s neighboring major cities. With branches already in Baltimore and Washington D.C., programs are being launched in Boston and Chicago. And by 2011, Back on My Feet hopes to be in 10 major cities in the U.S.

With the help of Back on My Feet, 19 previously homeless individuals completed a marathon— but more importantly, over 1,000 individuals have been impacted through Back on My Feet’s running. Participants rely on team support to help them through the physical as well as mental training. The skills they learn from the early morning runs with Back on My Feet are paving the road to rejuvenate their lives.

With incentives ranging from free sneakers to finding a job, Back on My Feet has the infrastructure and programming to rebuild the lives of homeless individuals.

Decision time:

Run as an addict or Run as an addiction?

Thanks Anne, for the virtual run with Back on My Feet!

Please visit for more information.

(Back on My Feet is dedicated to helping the homeless get back on their feet through the discipline and personal support of running.)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Be an Abolitionist.

Not metaphorically. For Real.

Slavery exists in our lifetime—make it history.

Upon discovering that his favorite Indian restaurant in California had been trafficking women from India, David Batstone embarked on a journey around the world to understand how “slavery flourishes in the shadows.”

During his travels, David met remarkable heroes, constantly engaged in fighting the war against modern day slavery. He joined the battle and created Not for Sale, a movement that “combines technology, intellectual capital, abolitionist groups and a growing network of individuals” to end slavery.

Modern day slavery is often hidden from our line of sight—precisely why it is able to thrive and spread around the world.

While supporting the innovative projects of abolitionists from Asia to South America, Not for Sale has also created an abolitionist network in the U.S. With the help of its regional directors who facilitate events which raise awareness and funds for Not for Sale’s global partners, the movement to end slavery has taken on a thoughtful yet modern design.

Not for Sale identifies with the individual, and it provides the tactics and resources to take action regardless of your interests, successfully engaging the businessperson and the athlete alike.

Their “free2work” campaign highlights the integrity and transparency of certain companies’ supply chains, while their “free2play” campaign supports the rehabilitation of slavery victims through physical activity.

Founded on “open source activism” and transparent communication, Not for Sale is paving the way for spreading open advocacy through a smart and fresh communication forum.

Not for Sale workshops and events encourage abolitionists to evaluate the process and production of everyday materials and products whether made in “their own backyard” or in small village halfway across the world.

Join modern day abolitionists to make this reality a story of the past.

For more information, please visit

(Not for Sale’s grassroots social movement is fighting human trafficking and slavery.)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


This week I learned that a crowbar and a hammer go a long way.

In fact, these tools can break down a standing house into a pile of sheetrock, wood, nails, mold, and other various materials.

When a natural disaster hits a community in the U.S., many volunteer groups collaborate with the government to quickly assess the need of the affected area.

One of the newest volunteer groups that is joining the relief effort is the Jewish Disaster Response Corps (JDRC), an organization founded by recent college grad, Elie Lowenfeld. With its t-shirts fresh off the presses, JDRC is partnering with other organizations in the field to learn from their experience and to build its volunteer base.

Nechama (Hebrew for “comfort”) is one of these organizations. Equipped with a trailer full of tools and gadgets, Nechama is leading relief groups in organizing, assessing, understanding, and finally addressing the demolition process after a natural disaster.

Most recently, JDRC and Nechama have been spotted pulling sheetrock and water tanks from homes affected by extensive flooding in the greater Nashville, Tennessee area. I had the opportunity to get my hands dirty and learn the harsh reality of the damage that 3 feet of standing water can do to a house.

Floating furniture, soaked photo albums, and children wading in water up to their shoulders, was the reality for members of the Nashville community in early May 2010. As water crested streams and creeks at 15-20 feet, many neighborhoods saw their usual water sources overstep their natural boundaries, turning their streets, yards, and houses into flowing rivers.

Unfortunately, time does not erase the consequences (mold) that form from wet wood and wet sheetrock. It must be removed.


Enter the JDRC and Nechama’s awesome tool truck.

Enter the crowbar and hammer.

With the help of some good souls from around the country (including Americorps and the Muslim disaster relief group), JDRC was able to gut 4.5 houses in the 3.5 days I was with the group.

They have taken the overwhelming task of emptying and gutting a house (some lived in for 40+ years) and have methodically instituted a type of checklist to eradicate the mold buildup from flooding. While the work may be physically draining, the homeowner’s will and strength is at times overwhelming.

Watching her once cherished possessions rest in a now large garbage pile, one homeowner explained that it is in this place, this home, that she is at peace.

That pile of stuff, she said, is replaceable.

That’s the message Nashville left me and that’s the hope the JDRC is bringing to victims of natural disasters.

Thanks Elie for an incredibly productive and exhausting tour with JDRC!

Please visit for more information.

(JDRC is “mobilizing American Jewish communities to lend skilled hands to assist American communities recover from natural disasters.”)