We returned to the States on July 8, after a year in France. We’re going through a long re-entry process. Here are steps you may have missed so far:
Step 1: getting cell phones
Step 2: becoming Betz
Step 2.5: becoming Betz (really)
Step 3: setting up house
Now that we’re back in the States & approaching the Big Move date, we’ve started to get ourselves back on track with our nonprofit involvement, giving ourselves more time to focus on the things that are most important to us but just didn’t work while we were abroad. I don’t know about Joe, but I wasn’t up for environmentalism in a foreign language. It was a bit overwhelming. I’ve renewed my membership to the Nature Conservancy, & I encourage you to do the same. (Not sure what they do? Start here, with their interactive special features that address many of their concentration areas.)
I also encourage you to take a look at one of my all-time favorite advocacy campaigns, ONE campaign. The campaign was started by BONO(whose wife, Ali Hewson, has a clothing line that helps develop African communities) a few years before (RED). Here’s a look at “What we do”:
Backed by a movement of more than 2.5 million ONE members, ONE achieves change through advocacy. We hold world leaders to account for the commitments they’ve made to fight extreme poverty, and we campaign for better development policies, more effective aid and trade reform. We also support greater democracy, accountability and transparency to ensure policies to beat poverty are implemented effectively. ONE is not a grant-making organization and we do not solicit funding from the general public. As we have always said, at ONE, ‘we’re not asking for your money, we’re asking for your voice.’
I’ve been supporting & volunteering with ONE for years, & I’m excited that I’ve had a chance to jump right back into the game. Their presence in Indiana is limited, which is a shame given the fact that there are four major cities in the state filled with students–and ONE is great at connecting to students. For my time in Bloomington, I’ll be serving as the Congressional District Leader (CDL) of Indiana’s ninth district, rallying the troops & contacting Congress members.
Take some time to check out what ONE is doing. Get involved with your iPhone. Read about issues that hit poverty-stricken nations the hardest but “trickle” up to us, like famine, drought, AIDS & malaria. Then get involved–sign petitions, speak to your community or take the next step & try to really reach out to the organization by offering your time.
Last summer, I was the CDL for my district of Ohio. I hosted an event for the Lazarus Effect (watch the documentary here). I advertised across town & held the event at the library. My direct superior came to help out. I had four people turn up: my parents, my grandma & my aunt. We wrote letters, watched the movie & talked about how much better we really understood what AIDS does to a community–what the stigmaof AIDS does to all of us.
It was discouraging to have such a low turn out, but we have to start somewhere. Think of the people that saw the flier, the people that my four family members then talked to, the people that saw the ONE bracelets or pins they wore. It spreads, but not until you start doing something.