28 February 2013

Today marks the end of month two! Somehow noting that I’m 1/6th of the way through the year sounds like I’m so much further along than if I say I still have more than 300 entries to go. 

That’s not to complain at all. The number is daunting, to be sure, but I’m taking it one day at a time. It feels digestible that way. I spooked myself a few weeks ago and freaked out about never taking a day off from This. For. 365. Days. A number of you called and emailed with great suggestions on how to handle crunch times and I will definitely put those into effect. They were ideas that will help me, but, more importantly, will make the blog better.  Plus, this month I got through the Grammys, which is an incredibly busy time for me, and my first international trip while writing the blog and no one got hurt. 

My process continues to evolve. Whereas in the first month, I often tailored the post to the charity I selected, I now find myself usually picking the charity after I’ve decided what I want to write about that day. For example, yesterday I wrote about the Mars expedition after reading about it in the news, so then I needed to go find an organization that taught kids about science and found Dark Skies, Bright Kids.  

One of the best parts about this project is realizing how many good groups are out there. I have a list that I started Jan. 1 that I add to when I think of causes I like. Plus, I have the list of charities that so many of you have suggested for Chooseday Tuesday (and what a great list it is, thank you!) and then I have the organizations that I’m discovering from doing research. 

For those days when it feels to me like the dark side is winning, all I have to do is find a new charity or go click on the website of one of my new favorites that I’ve found these past 59 days and I realize good is —and will — prevail. The race is slow and long and hard and there are agendas and special interests that are fighting just as hard for their side in some cases.  Often, it feels like one step back for every two steps forward, but these organizations keep chipping away and chipping away in an effort to make the world better and I believe in them and am awed by the work they are doing. I have a whole new list of superheroes, who walk among us disguised as mere mortals. 

At the end of January, I mentioned that one of my goals for February was to figure out how to allow people to subscribe to the blog. I added that widget today (it was embarrassingly simple. A computer wiz, I am not...). There will be more developments to come. If you’re so inclined, please enter your email address in the upper right hand corner and you’ll get Causes & Effect delivered to your email inbox every day when I post it. Thank you in advance to any folks who decide to opt in.

The big news is today was Pope Benedict XVI’s last day. What do you get a Pope Emeritus? A nice sweater? A cap so his head doesn’t get cold now that it’s uncovered? I’ve already given to a few Catholic-run charities including Catholic Charities USA and I can’t repeat, so I’m hedging a little and donating to Catholic Charities Los Angeles.  One of CCLA’s big projects is the Temporary Skilled Workers Center it runs out of the Home Depot in Burbank. As you may know, many places like Home Depot are where immigrants go to find day labor jobs. The Temporary Skilled Workers Center provides them shade and restrooms and tries to make sure they are paid a decent wage and monitors working conditions. That’s just a small part of CCLA’s mission: it also works with the homeless and the aging. 

59 down, 306 to go.

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