Service Central

January 19, 2009

“I will ask for your service and your active citizenship when I am President of the United States. This will not be a call issued in one speech or one program–this will be a central cause of my presidency.” –President-elect Barack Obama

“We’ve got 5,000 volunteer organizations and service projects across the country today. The Internet is an amazing tool for us to be able to organize people together. We saw that in our campaign. But we don’t want to just use it for winning elections; we want to use it to rebuild America.” —Barack Obama


Win a Trip to Africa…

January 18, 2009

…with award-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof.

Writes Kristof in “Win a Trip You Won’t Forget” in the New York Times:

“If you win, you won’t be practicing tourism but journalism. You’ll blog for and file videos for The Times and for YouTube.

I’m doing this for two reasons. First, I want to engage young people about global issues that I’m passionate about. Second, it’s good journalism, for you’ll bring a tool to reporting from Africa that I no longer have: a fresh eye.

The contest is open to undergraduate or graduate students at American universities. Details for applying are on my blog, You can apply by essay or by video on YouTube, or both.”

Reciprocity Not Required

December 18, 2008

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
— John Bunyon

Antidote to Mortality

November 17, 2008

“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” –Albert Pike

Bush Cuts Birth Control

October 9, 2008

Excerpts from Nicholas D. Kristof’s “Can This Be Pro-Life?” in the NY Times:

“The Bush administration this month is quietly cutting off birth control supplies to some of the world’s poorest women in Africa.

Thus the paradox of a “pro-life” administration adopting a policy whose result will be tens of thousands of additional abortions each year — along with more women dying in childbirth.

The saga also spotlights a clear difference between Barack Obama and John McCain. Senator Obama supports U.N.-led efforts to promote family planning; Senator McCain stands with President Bush in opposing certain crucial efforts to help women reduce unwanted pregnancies in Africa and Asia…

…Retrograde decisions on reproductive health are reached in conference rooms in Washington, but I’ve seen how they play out in African villages. A young woman lies in a hut, bleeding to death or swollen by infection, as untrained midwives offer her water or herbs. Her husband and children wait anxiously outside the hut, their faces frozen and perspiring as her groans weaken.

When she dies, her body is bundled in an old blanket and buried in a shallow hole, with brush piled on top to keep wild animals away. Her children sob and shriek and in the ensuing months they often endure neglect and are far more likely to die of hunger or disease.”

Steven Spielberg & Kate Capshaw have matched Brad Pitt’s $100,000 donation to help defeat Proposition 8, a California referendum to outlaw same-sex marriage.

The right for same-sex couples to wed was granted in May in a 4-to-3 decision by the California Supreme Court.

“When I was in the military they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.” –Epitaph of Leonard P. Matlovich, 1988

Emotional Rescue at YourShoes

September 4, 2008

YourShoes is a 24/7 toll-free hotline for anyone touched by breast cancer. It is staffed by trained peer counselors who are breast cancer survivors.

The counselors at YourShoes will answer your questions. Give you the info you need. Match you with a survivor who had a similar diagnosis or life experience.

YourShoes offers interpreters in 150 languages.

Call YourShoes Breast Cancer Hotline at: 800-221-2141.

Or e-mail a YourShoes counselor at



Do You Wanna Do Good?

September 3, 2008

Find out how at San Francisco’s Do Good.

Do Good helps you support issues that mean something to you: homelessness, animal rights, the environment, and more.

Go to

“When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.” 

-Dom Helder Camara, Brazilian archbishop and author of Spiral of Violence

Tell It Like It Is

July 23, 2008

“Having leveled my palace, don’t erect a hovel and complacently admire your own charity in giving me that for a home.”  

Heathcliff, in Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights