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Friday, January 14, 2011

Life, strife, and suffering

Are you comfy? You cozy? You snuggled up next to your computer with a warm cup of coffee like I am? Good. We're lucky. Not only are we just lucky- we're AMAZINGLY lucky. I believe, with all of my heart, that if we, as a species unite to help each other we are unstoppable. I've decided that I'm going to occasionally list causes that I'm supporting along with information and links to be able to donate. I can't make you care, and I can't make you donate- but I can't enjoy my cheap coffee with a clear conscience if I don't at least try.

It's hard for me to just think of just one cause to start with because there are so many wonderful ways we can all contribute to each other's well being, so I'm going to start with the last cause I donated to- Habitat For Humanity, specifically, the chapter of Habitat for Humanity that is supported by The Echelon (read: awesome huge fan base/family) of the band 30 Seconds To Mars.

I'm an Echelon member myself. Partly because their music is awesome, partly because of Jared Leto's extreme sexiness, and partly because of all the causes the band and their fans support. The Echelon House (HFH's 30STM group) is responsible for the building of 24 houses all over the world- that's 24 houses built by the fans of one band. Can you imagine what could be done if every major band put their backing to causes like this?

I recently chatted on Skype with the primary founder of Echelon House, and I can assure you that there's wonderful plans for the upcoming year: houses for people in flood-ravaged Australia, houses for people still displaced by the Haiti earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands of people last year, houses for people in places where you forget there is suffering.

As I sit here in this townhouse, it's easy for me to think about how much I hate the carpet or how I'd rather be somewhere else- but when I think about all of the individuals and families who don't have a place to call home, I become overwhelmed with gratitude for the things I have and I feel my desire to help others start to boil over. It makes you think about how lucky you are, and when you feel grateful for who and what you have around you, you treat people a little nicer, laugh more often, and cultivate compassion for the people around you.

Donating, no matter how small, makes you feel this amazing gratitude and compassion. When I'm having a shitty day (or I want to beat someone's head in with a frying pan because they're a moron) my whole outlook is changed when I donate to something I believe in. Sometimes it's only pocket change. The economy blows and money doesn't go as far as it used to. But $.01 donated by each of us could, literally, change the world. So, the next time you're out and you see a donation jar, put a penny in for me. Regardless of what it's for, that penny is going to help someone who needs it. And the gratitude you feel expands not just with the amount you donate, but with the cause you choose.

Here's a link to The Echelon House. Each donation makes a difference, no matter how small.

If you're on Twitter, The Echelon House would like you to nominate them for a Shorty award for their cause.

If you love photography and want to support a good cause, Jared Leto's book of photos from his time spent helping Haiti can be preordered/purchased here, and 100% of net proceeds will be donated to help people in Haiti:

Thanks for reading, and happy helping!

1 comment:

  1. Donating is good causes is definitely a worthwhile pursuit. The main organization we donate to is The Epilepsy Foundation.