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Using IT for Political Advocacy

February 27, 2017 Leave a comment

senate-house20seals

While many citizens choose Twitter and/or Facebook to advocate for important causes (or just vent), it’s definitely not the only weapon in the advocacy arsenal.

Countable and VoteSpotter are two apps enabling social advocates and political junkies to obtain info regarding issues and bills, so citizens can respond in real time to their elected officials.

We need everyone to fight for our Rights. Please contact your elected officials and tell them what’s important in your life. Remember, they work for you.

Do the elected officials in Washington stand with ordinary Americans – working families, children, the elderly, the poor – or will the extraordinary power of billionaire campaign contributors and Big Money prevail? The American people, by the millions, must send Congress the answer to that question. -Bernie Sanders

 

 

 

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It’s One Year on July 4th: How I Kicked the Habit

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While almost everyone seems to kick the habit as a new year’s resolution, I didn’t; instead, I chose a holiday in a month that celebrates independence: July 4th. It was so much easier to quit when I was active in places where you couldn’t smoke, so by the time winter came along, I already had months of not smoking under my belt. I’m not saying it was easy to quit, but it sure was a heck of a lot easier than previous goes, and this July 4th, I’ll be one year cigarette and cigar free. Other dates to consider quitting for you, your family, your friends and/or to honor someone or something are Memorial Day, Labor Day, a special birthday or anniversary. All you have to do is pick out a special day in your most active season and start the countdown! (And completely forget it on occasion just so you don’t drive yourself crazy.)

Oh and one other secret was starting a new activity. I boarded pets in my home; not only wouldn’t I smoke, but petting them and taking care of them took up tons of time and shunned the thought of smoking on more than one occasion! Since then, I adopted one of my boarder pets, so it’s a done deal. I’m committed.

Lastly, I wrote things down I didn’t like that I associated with the habit, such as smells and other adverse effects. I left the list where I could easily access it if I felt my resolve slipping.

Well, I hope these wee secrets help! Good luck and the best of health to you and yours!

Fact: From quitting smoking to skiing, we succeed to the degree we try, fail, and learn. Studies show that people who worry about mistakes shut down, but those who are relaxed about doing badly soon learn to do well. Success is built on failure. – Martha Beck, Sociologist

 

Eco Home Ideas – Old Pictures, Memorabilia and Family Heirlooms

My second article for Eco Home Ideas, a website filled with eco-friendly articles:

Eco Home Ideas – Old Pictures, Memorabilia and Family Heirlooms.

old photos

As you go through the attic, basement or storage space of your home or a loved one’s, it’s difficult to know what to do with old pictures, memorabilia and family heirlooms. You want to keep it all, but it’s not possible. Not to worry, you can find a respectful home for items you cannot keep.

One rule of thumb is to give what you can to family members, especially articles of sentimental value, and distribute historical artifacts to organizations that can provide a setting where the viewing public can appreciate it.

The first step is to get your boxes and labels ready, so when you peer into the eyes of an old doll, flip the pages of a revered book or grasp the handle of a timeworn teapot, you can consider who in your family can truly appreciate its significance.

Here’s the tough part: giving away pieces to non-family members. What can make this an easier task is having comfort in knowing that a much-loved keepsake is going to a home that your parents, grandparents or great grandparents would appreciate. You can contact a local historical society, sports club or museum in your town, city or state about submitting treasured items. Likewise, if your relative is from another country, you can contact a local library, museum or college for guidance. In the United States, the following institutions welcome gift donations:

The National Archives and Records Administration accepts documentary materials.

The Naval Historical Foundation accepts photographs, artwork, books, physical artifacts and paper documents through its Naval History and Heritage Command. The NHHC headquarters is in Washington, DC, but it has museums located throughout the United States.

The Library of Congress takes books and other materials.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum accepts artwork, clothing, uniforms, textiles, documents, correspondence, diaries, propaganda and other objects directly associated with the Holocaust. In addition, the museum accepts prewar, wartime and postwar photographs as well as liberation photographs.

The National WWII Museum accepts books and periodicals, photographs, letters and journals, medals, uniforms and insignia as well as service documents, scrapbooks, ration books, postcards, leaflets programs, tickets, souvenirs, news articles and wartime brochures as well as Axis pistols and rifles.

Since guidelines vary, prospective donors should contact organizations directly about gift-giving procedures. Furthermore, donors should avoid vigorous cleaning of an item; unintentional damage can occur, making the item unfit for donation.

~Maureen F. 

Categories: Environment Tags: , ,

Eco Home Ideas – Online Social Recycling

It was my pleasure to write an article for Eco Home Ideas:

Eco Home Ideas – Online Social Recycling.

Online Social Recycling

online recycling

It’s happening again. You’re online connecting with friends, posting pictures, and responding to event invites. Eventually, you become vaguely aware that clearing out the closet is fast becoming a fading dream, but it doesn’t have to be. You can do it all with social recycling.

Invite Friends to Spark Online Chatter

With social media, you can invite your friends to an event, group page, or hangout without using your personal homepage as a source of contact. Instead, you can create an alternate way to exchange information for your online recycling project:

  • Facebook events: set a date and time for a recycling event and invite your friends
  • Facebook groups: create a group page focused on exchanging and recycling items
  • Google Hangouts: have a video chat with friends to plan upcoming recycling plans
  • Twitter: tweet about your upcoming event or post photos of items looking for a home

Events

If you can create an event to meet friends for dinner or a birthday, you can create one to host a recycling party, event, or both. Do yourself a favor and ask if a few guests can arrive early to help sort clothing types and sizes, books, toys and other items. Consider these event ideas as a starting-off point:

  • Throw a clothing-swap party in the day for kids or at night for adults
  • Schedule a yard-sale event or combine forces, making it a neighborhood event
  • Create an online flea-market event or page, so everyone can post photos of wares to share

Volunteer Meet-ups

Sometimes it’s not possible to host a gathering in your home, but you can still host a meet-up with your Facebook, Google and Twitter friends at an organization looking for volunteers. Here are a few suggestions to consider:

  • Meet at your local animal shelter and bring blankets, sheets, bath- and beached-sized towels
  • Choose a non-profit, such as Dress For Success or Career Gear, and donate gently used clothes
  • Volunteer at a local library and donate your used books, CDs, cassettes, records, and DVDs
  • Roll up your sleeves and build your own Little Free Library in your neighborhood

When you create events with friends and family, you create memories. These are special because of the company and the intention. So the next time you’re whiling away the time online, have some productive fun with social recycling—create new memories and clear that closet out.

~Maureen F.

Call to Action For Our Independence

July 3, 2012 1 comment

Photo credit to Google Free Images

On this holiday, most of our focus is on family, friends, barbecues and fireworks, but today on the eve of our national holiday my request is two-fold: a “call to read” the very document we celebrate: The Declaration of Independence, and a call to action to ensure our country knows the needs of our citizenry.

The Declaration of Independence is a quick read filled with contradiction, bias and hypocrisy, yet these words also reflect our rebellious nature which fills many citizens with pride. We are the United States of America; we are Americans. We understand that all men are created equal even if at the time of this document’s inception – or even now – we do not include everyone, nor are are they all treated in such a manner. Over the years, many people understood this document to be a starting off point not an end, and to those who fight for the America we endeavor to be, I salute you.

To those who shed light on the injustices of this world and request a call to action, thank you for your efforts in agitation.

To those of you who invest in our country, thank you for making the difference in our livelihoods and our future.

To those who fight “stop and frisk” procedures, thank you for your efforts in ensuring freedom for all.

To those who fight to stop fracking, thank you for your efforts to protect our environment and specifically our water.

To those who fought for a healthcare law because you understood the need, thank you for caring.

This list falls short; there are so many people who need to be appreciated for their efforts in working towards a positive evolution of our nation. So, I ask you to seize the opportunity to thank them, help them and if not already – become them. We can do better; we are Americans.

“When you have decided what you believe, what you feel must be done, have the courage to stand alone and be counted.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

Going Green: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

April 22, 2011 6 comments

Photo credit to Google Free Images

Happy Earth Day!  In honor of this great day, I thought a  few green links were in order to help us all go green.  Of course, there are very simple ways to start being green by following the “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra, and think twice before throwing something out, use steel bottles in place of plastic and try to avoid one time use plastics.   These are all small steps, but they make a huge difference.  Moreover, we can use public transportation as opposed to taking a car, or if you must drive buy an electric car.  Another great idea is composting your garbage.  There are so many smart Eco-friendly ideas, and thankfully there are websites out there to find the perfect green steps to take for you.

The first website I would like to share is Earth911.com where you can find articles and videos advising of tips to reduce your carbon foot print as well as a handy search engine to find local recycling centers for electronics, cell phones, compact discs, computers, floppy disks, game consoles, ink jet cartridges, MP3 players, medical equipment, office machines,records,cassette tapes, etc.  Earth911.com

Another website is for the Earth Day Network where you can obtain news, program and donation information, quizzes and yes, you can even measure your carbon foot print!  EarthDay.org

Lastly, a very helpful website to go green while helping out your neighbor is Freecycle.org.  At Freecycle, you can advertise items you are looking for and/or wish to donate, and as the name states it’s all for free.

Lest ye’ forget, the best way to go green is bring your family, friends and communities in on the action.  Rally your elected officials for cleaner and more efficient methods of public transportation, garbage and recyclables collection and most importantly issues inclusive of clean water,  clean air and clean energy.  Thanks to all for making the effort to make our world a better place for us all!

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.  ~Native American Proverb

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