New Site!

Please go to the new site, This site is no longer going to be updated or kept current. All posts and information will be on the new site.

Come join us on the new site!

Hey all. Just so you know this will now be the only place for these blog posts.

As we transition Change You Can Afford into a charity, that site will be dedicated to the charity and no longer host the blogging archives.

Friday, August 13, 2010

And now for something different!

Often times when Stumbling around the web, I am amazed by the wasted bandwidth on things such as cats. Now don't get me wrong, I love cats (crazy cat lady in training!) it amazes how much of the Internet is those sites instead of sites dedicated to trying to better ourselves or create change. Although, there are days where my mental capacity is not much beyond lolcat jokes, so I do understand the appeal.

However, today I stumbled to a site called One Day's Wages, whose site is premised of donating a day's wages to various charities and I was so impressed.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Rebuild lives through animals!

Today, the focus is going to be on Heifer International. This is an organization I am very passionate about. I have been donating to them since middle school. Instead of purchasing gifts one Christmas, our family bought each other chicks, rabbits, and trees. that was my first experience giving for charity and it felt really great. My grandparents are farmers and there have been farmers in our family for generations. To give someone a gift that can support them and their family, it was a measurable amazing concept to me.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

St. Boniface Haiti Foundation

The St. Boniface Haiti Foundation was started through the outreach of one church and has grown into a hospital providing medical services and now education and food services as well. The reason I want to support this organization is that it has been on the ground for so long in Haiti. I feel that their commitment and continued work in the face of the difficulties of the earthquake and the aftermath to be inspiring. They are currently working on rehabilitating patients who are still recovering from their injuries during the earthquake. The hospital offered a place to recover and rejuvenate for over thirty seriously wounded patients; over half of these have recovered and returned to their family and friends. If their doctors and nurses can work and save patients in such conditions, then the least I can do is recognize their efforts and give them my dollar for the day.

Haitian Water Quality & Matching Gift Opportunity

Hey all!

Today we are focusing on Oxfam America's contributions to rebuilding Haiti. Oxfam's main mission is to work towards a world without poverty, which is a noble goal. A reason I like this charity is that I feel they really recognize that many people are stuck in poverty due to systemic barriers, laws or customs or corporations, which conspire to make it harder for them to survive and have a good life. Oxfam works on a local level to alleviate and fix this problems instead of a bunch of people in the Global North telling them what to do. It works with the people and respects their voices, which is why I support this group.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Rebuilding Haiti

Today's organization is a nonprofit design firm that focuses on sustainable building practices. Architects for Humanity has a network of professionals that volunteer their time and knowledge for those who could not afford high priced design work - community groups, aid organizations, housing developers, government agencies, corporate divisions, and foundations. Part of what I like about this organization is that they don't just go in and build whatever they want. They include their clients in the design process and recognize their input as necessary for good design work.

"Design is important to every aspect of our lives. It informs the places in which we live, work, learn, heal and gather. We engage all stakeholders in the design process. We believe our clients are designers in their own right.
Thoughtful, inclusive design creates lasting change in communities by:
• Alleviating poverty and 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
• Mitigating the effects of rapid urbanization in unplanned settlements
• Creating spaces to meet the needs of those with disabilities and other at-risk populations
• Reducing the footprint of the built environment and addressing climate change
Design is the ultimate renewable resource. Join us in building safer, more sustainable and more innovative structures—structures that are assets to their communities and an ongoing testament to the ability of people to come together to envision a better future."

Here is a list of the many projects they are working on, in collaboration with other organizations, in Haiti to rebuild. The projects include schools, housing, building guidelines, and professional training.

So I find this organization really awesome, because it is working to rebuild Haiti and create sustainable buildings there. Hopefully you find them equally cool.

Here is the charity navigator rating for Architects for Humanity.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Haitian Inspiration

     The idea for this blog struck me soon after the devastating earthquake in Haiti earlier this year. I saw two common reactions among people I know. The first was feeling as if the little money they could give would not make a big difference, so why bother. The other was giving a small sum of money and feeling as if they had done enough.
     Both of these seem problematic to me. If everyone who could gave a small sum the total would be overwhelming, so the first reaction is silly. Twenty dollars is not huge in the face of an earthquake, but when 5,000 donate twenty dollars, it makes 100,000. Together that is a significant sum of money. The second feeling is problematic, because there are always groups and organizations worldwide everyday that need help. Only donating in the face of overwhelming disaster negates the many current issues such as poverty, hunger, HIV/AIDS, environmental issues, and violence against women to name a few.
     While thinking about this, I realized that I could be doing more myself. I do volunteer, but I cannot volunteer for every organization and cause that I support. So we are going to start this blog of with a week of organizations that are working in Haiti because it was my muse for this blog.

Partners in Health

     "The model of the organization is described as being one in which: clinical and community barriers to care are removed as diagnosis and treatment are declared a public good and made available free of charge to patients living in poverty. For people living in poverty stricken areas, the treatment of AIDS and multidrug resistant tuberculosis has been made possible by this model of care. This model of care provides an alternative to the conventional curative method of treatment for sick patients and instead tries to prevent diseases before they occur. This model believes that primary health care is essential because health is a right and therefore, it should be available to everyone. PIH strives to bring good medical care to the poor by establishing long-term partnerships with local sister organizations." ~Wikipedia

     Partners in health have been in Haiti for decades and when the earthquake hit they became even more involved in helping the Haitian people. They are very involved in preventing and treating health issues in Haiti and are working with the government to provide the best care they can for Haiti. The more I learn about this org, the more I like them, I hope others find them as impressive as I do.

Here is the ranking and evaluation of PIH by Charity Navigator.