Hats for Homeless

January 31, 2016

Stack of Hats

Hat Handover

One of the lovely knitters in my Churchtown Yarn Group, Dublin 14  mentioned that a knitting group in America meet to knit hats for the homeless from their wool stash once a year, so we decided to give it a go this year. In two weeks we knitted 18 hats which i handed over to the Peter McVerry Trust last week. We’re planning on making it an annual event and hoping to encourage other knitters and knitting groups to participate, so if you wan to get involved just let me know.

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Great Social Initiatives

September 28, 2014

Kildarestreet is an Irish based searchable archive of everything that’s been said in the Dáil and all written parliamentary questions since January 2004, everything in the Seanad since September 2002, and all Committee meetings since September 2012.

Swapaskill is a UK based on-line community enabling users to register their skills or expertise in their personal profile page and meet people who have the skills they need.

BestHouseSwap is an American bulletin board that allows many home buyers and sellers to find a perfect property for exchange.

A mighty girl has a mission to provide books, toys and movies that depict smart, confident and courageous female characters as an antidote to the looks-obsessed princess culture that overwhelms girls in our Western culture.

Reusing Dublin – experimental research project that invites citizens to map underused spaces in the city so that collectively we can identify opportunities for using the city more efficiently for the benefit of everyone.

#Fruitshare is a twitter handle people can use to share their fruit surplus on Twitter with others who are interested in taking some.

LETS is a scheme for local people to exchange skills, goods and services using an alternative currency unit

The Red Cross have installed arcade game machines in Swedish airports that lets you donate money to charity by playing an arcade game with your left over currency.

The  Humanitas retirement home in Deventer, the Netherlands offers free accomodation to students if they spend at least 30 hours per month acting as “good neighbors”

Falling Fruit is an initiative to map the locations of fruiting trees and plants on public land throughout the world.

Credibles is an American based company empowering customers to invest in their own community by enabling local food businesses to sell store credit — called ‘credibles’. They do this by allowing customers to set up a prepaid tab which they can then use instore, giving the business a small financial boost in the mean time.

Roadie is shaking up the shipping industry with its peer-to-peer shipping network in America, which matches customers’ cargo to drivers with empty car seats heading in the right direction.

CityShelf is  a co-operative platform comprised of eight indie bookstores, which enables customers to browse the full catalogues of eight independent New York bookstores online before heading there to make a purchase.

Anou is an Etsy-style online marketplace which enables Moroccan artisans to sell their wares directly to western consumers. The marketplace is language free, so artisans can upload and sell their handmade crafts without having to overcome the language barrier which prevents them from using existing sites such as eBay or Etsy.

The Glia app takes into account a consumer’s full range of social, political and economic values and recommends businesses that support those beliefs and those which work against them.

Community projects make use of empty office space

Auction site connects entrepreneurs with business leaders and money raised goes to charities and non-profits – Connect for a cause

Meal sharing amongst neighbours – Cassorole

lovebeginswithl.com is based on a simple idea; Buy one condom and donate one to women in the developing world.

the Information Blanket for new mums in developing world. Works on the buy one donate one model.

Thunderclap help people with a social message to break through the noise by coordinating messages from all supporters at the same time.

aVOID helps consumers stay away from products associated with the exploitation of children.

Fundit.ie allows people with great ideas to attract funding from friends, family and supporters.

In Madrid, dog poo left in public places is mailed back to owners. The Council of Brunete’s Cacas Express scheme saw those neglecting to pick up their dog’s poo have it sent back to them in the post.

Missing Kids Stamps is a grassroots movement that wants to encourage people to use stamps bearing the faces of missing children whenever they send a physical letter.

Foodcloud.ie is a clever iniative that matches food nearing it’s sell by date with charities. A message about the stock up for grabs is sent to the charities that sign up and they just have to text back to request it.

The Street Store is a pop-up shop for homeless people that started in South Africa. Locals can just hang-up clothes on the purpose made sign / hangers that are dotted around the pop-up store.

Streetbank – This is a website that allows neighbours to give or lend stuff away to one another.

I love this well designed and written letter from Bill Gates. I found it very uplifting and inspirational and refer to it whenever the problems of the world appear insurmountable.

http://annualletter.gatesfoundation.org/

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Where to donate old computers

September 11, 2013

Camara

Camara is an International organisation dedicated to using technology to improve education and livelihood skills in disadvantaged communities around the world. With better education we expect these communities to break the cycle of poverty they find themselves in.

Founded seven years ago in Dublin, Ireland the organisation has built a proven model of ‘education delivery’ that is both sustainable and highly scalable. Some 500,000 children in poor communities have been made digitally literate by Camara over this period.

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Love the idea of this … not sure about it in reality.

blackboard wall

Free the Girls

March 3, 2013

Free the Girls

Above all else i’m a pragmatist and i just love practical solutions to problems and this, in my opinion, is one.  Free the Girls is a US based charity that gives victims of slavery a chance to be financial free.

Currently 27 million men, women and children are being held as slaves around the world—more today than in any other time in history. 80% of those slaves are women and girls. There are a number of amazing organizations that are helping to rescue these women out of a life of prostitution, but what happens after they are rescued?  Many safe houses and aftercare facilities are doing great work in providing comprehensive rehabilitation and educational opportunities to survivors, but often their resources are limited. By partnering with safe houses and after-care facilities, Free the Girls provide an opportunity for women rescued from sex trafficking to earn a living selling second-hand clothing while going to school, getting healthy, and caring for their families.  Selling clothes allows them to work as much or as little as their school schedule permits.  The women in our program receive their starting inventory as a donation, and are then able to buy additional inventory from Free The Girls for below wholesale value to help maintain their competitive edge on the marketplace.  Revenue from inventory sales helps subsidize overseas program costs.

You can help by collecting or donating bras today.

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Seed Sharing

February 23, 2013

Seed Library

What a wonderfully simple idea to spread the ‘Grow it yourself’ bug and support local libraries. Basalt Regional Library in Colorado is offering a seed rental scheme on top of its traditional book leasing. Existing and new users of the library can pick a pack of seeds – whether fruit, vegetable or flower – to grow in their garden. Once the plant has blossomed, its seeds are collected and taken back to the library to be repackaged and lent to another member. Due to the process of natural selection, the seeds from plants that survive contain the qualities of their parent, meaning that the more popular the scheme, the greater the quality of seeds offered by the library. The project also offers a unique way for the library to engage its customers and boost book check-outs. As NPR reports, the American Library Association has initiated several similar programs across the US, indicating its popularity. Originally printed in Springwise.com

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Casserole

I think this is such a lovely and simple idea. Created by UK based social innovation startup FutureGov, the site is based on the premise that those with families or housemates who cook together might sometimes find they have cooked too much. Instead of throwing away the extra food, members of Casserole can post any meals they have leftover onto the site’s ‘menu’, detailing what it is, when and where it was cooked and how many servings are available. Others who don’t have the time, abilities or inclination to cook can then take advantage of freshly cooked food near to them. Cooks can list their leftovers as a one-off occasion, or sign up to Casserole’s Pair Up project, whereby they agree to share meals with a neighbor on a regular basis. According to the organizers, all of those currently receiving cooked food through the Pair Up scheme are over the age of 80. Originally published by Springwise.

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ShoutAbout enables news providers to give information on the meaningful actions readers can take to help out with the situation they are reading about.

News sites and blogs can embed the ShoutAbout widget at the end of an article and it pulls through a related link to a charity campaign or non-profit action that readers can get involved in. For example, an article about guns in US society may link to a petition to encourage President Obama and Senator Mitt Romney to discuss the issue, while a piece about the recent damage caused by Hurricane Sandy may link to an appeal for help with emergency response efforts by the Red Cross. The widget also allows readers to easily share the story on their social networks and get contacts involved. Campaign organizers also benefit by spreading the word about their projects through the service. ShoutAbout is currently testing its service with select news outlets before launching fully.

ShoutAbout helps make the news more than just a way for people to stay informed, it helps readers to get involved and make a difference. (Originally printed on Springwise)

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Armchair Activism

November 8, 2012

I love the idea of this. I get so mad when i read the news. It’d be great to know how best to direct that energy.

ShoutAbout is a tool that enables news providers to empower readers by offering information on the meaningful actions they can take to help out with the situation they are reading about.

News sites and blogs can embed the ShoutAbout widget at the end of an article and it pulls through a related link to a charity campaign or non-profit action that readers can get involved in. For example, an article about guns in US society may link to a petition to encourage President Obama and Senator Mitt Romney to discuss the issue, while a piece about the recent damage caused by Hurricane Sandy may link to an appeal for help with emergency response efforts by the Red Cross. The widget also allows readers to easily share the story on their social networks and get contacts involved. Campaign organizers also benefit by spreading the word about their projects through the service. ShoutAbout is currently testing its service with select news outlets before launching fully.

(Originally printed on Springwise.com)

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