Epilogue

Epilogue–I always enjoy it when books include an epilogue.  Just a brief summary of events gives any story that finishing ribbon on satisfactory completion.  So, true to that, I have decided that this year-long journey of blog posts deserves an epilogue, or if you will, an “epiblog.”

I started the 365 Day blog on May 1, 2011 after assigning a 2-week philanthropic blog post project to my grade 11 and 12 students.   To prove to them that 14 blog posts wouldn’t be as hard as they were imagining, I joined in and did one (or, 351) better.  I committed to blogging a total of 365 times in as many days on causes, non-profits, events, organizations, good works, etc.  Why philanthropic, and not just for entertainment purposes?  I see a lot of apathy in my job.  Not just from students who could care less about what’s happening outside their own hamster cage, but also  (to some extent, anyway) from friends, family and colleagues.  I thought to myself, let’s hit apathy with an abundance of reasons to care, 365 in total.  My posts were meant to be short and to the point, bringing awareness to the many, many, MANY causes and organizations doing good out there. I chose topics from every type of interest in hopes that at least one would hit home to someone out there reading.

I learned a lot during this part year.  My heartstrings has been tugged, my desire for justice poked into action and my hope for humanity renewed through the stories and causes I’ve written about these last 365 days.  In total, the 365 Day Blog had 10,142 views, with people from over 45 countries.  I hope that this journey inspired you at least once, made you smile or laugh at least twice, and hopefully gave you the drive to be less apathetic towards the plight of humanity and the darling earth we inhabit!

And so there you have it.  Project complete.  God bless, and thank you again to my unofficial sponsors and supportivefollowers.  Stay turned for whatever comes next!

-Michelle

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April 30, 2012

April 30, 2012–It’s a lot of things today.  It’s the last day of April.  It’s a Monday.  It’s also the FINAL blog post in the 365 day blog.  Since May 1, 2011, the Apathy for Ransom blog has posted 364 causes, and today will be number 365.  I’d really like to thank everyone who’s been reading and following, giving ideas and generally just being supportive.  First, let’s get to the last post–It’s Monday, and one of my all-time favourite organizations, Sevenly.org, posts a t-shirt in support of an organization doing good.

Today’s the t-shirt is in support of GEMS (Girls Education & Mentoring Services) which is a non-profit that works to help end the sexual exploitation of young women, as well as domestic trafficking.  Through their mentoring programs and educational opportunities they empower young women ages 14-24 in order to stop the cycle and end this way of life.  GEMS operates in New York State, and was started by a young woman who formerly was sexual exploited as a teen.  You can learn more about GEMS and the programs they offer by clicking HERE.

As a “bonus causes,” I’d also like to mention another organization who doing work similar to GEMS on international level: Action to End Exploitation.  They work globally to help woman and children trapped within circumstances that lead to human trafficking, sexual exploitation and economic marginalization.   They offer support for victims and offer the most important thing that is needed to them: a way to stand up for themselves and have a voice to share and help stop what’s happening in their communities, in their countries and around the world.   They work primarily with individuals who have entered into sex trade involuntarily, or without any other choice.  Through their programs, they have helped many children and young women.  You have the opportunity to learn more about their programs by clicking HERE.

So there you have it.  365 causes in 365 days.  Bamn!

April 29, 2012

April 29, 2012–When you’ve got only two more days to spread the word about non-profits, charities, great causes and the like, it becomes a bit pear-shaped when you try to narrow down your options for blog posts.  I’m not exactly going to just be silent once things end here, but I won’t lie: feeling a little panicked.  It’s okay though.  I am always blessed with topics and causes to inspire me and today was no different.  I started off the blog with Child of Mine, and I thought it would be fantastic to finish with it (well, almost finish with it).

Recap: Child of Mine is a Christian organization from Canada who partners with two Children’s Homes in India.  The overall vision is to raise the future leaders of India’s church.  Through a few churches in BC, we’ve learned about the homes and the staff and children living in them; but the stories don’t stop there.  This is where the help of some fantastic people and great companies have stepped in to help deliver to us, the general public, the eye-opening and inspirational story of life after Child of Mine in India.  This Spring, after a long wait for journalism visas, a team of young film makers from Transposition Films, will be making their way to India to continue the story through a documentary film.  The equipment, the time, the effort, talent and skill is all donated to this project, and the remaining costs (airfare, etc.) have been fundraised personally by the team through events, through friends, through strangers.  You can still contribute to the team via Westside Church HERE.  The team is also going to be updating Twitter via the tag #indiamediateam so you can follow along and pray for them as they travel.  They leave Vancouver on May 3rd.

There is so much going on in the world we live in, and it takes just a few individuals to stand up and share to get people talking.  It doesn’t have to be on the news anymore, and talent filmmakers like Transposition Films taking this step certainly deserves an accolade and send off for this mission into India.  Good luck team!

April 28, 2012

April 28, 2012–Today was pretty busy.  I bought flowers, refinished a table and chairs, planted an herb garden and release salmon spawn into the wild.  I know, Martha Steward eat your doily-lace heart out.  Forget the herb garden and flowers for a minute, and let me tell you about the Nicomekl Enhancement Society/Fish Hatchery in Langley, BC.

Each year they host an open house when the general public can stop by to view the facilities and help release over 40,000 baby Coho Salmon into the Nicomekl River system.  This society is made up of a dedicated team of volunteers who bring their years of experience and expertise the hatchery program run in rural Langley, British Columbia.  From collection to incubation to feeding and releasing the fry, the Nicomekl Enhancement Society serves all of BC with the role they play in keeping the wide varietals of Salmon species who use the Nicomekl river system to spawn each year.  Through their program they hope to restore the water shed to its former level of salmon stock and by keeping waterways clear of debris and ensuring spawning gravel is present, the Enhancement Society is doing their part to sustain our BC salmon spawning grounds and populations.  They have also begun to raise funds for their operations with an “Adopt a Fish” program!  No, you don’t get to eat the fish necessarily at a later date…

Today was an amazing event, and I encourage you to visit the website of the Nicomekl Enhancement Society to learn about their educational programs and volunteer programs that you can take part in to help them in their endeavors.  Click HERE to visit their homepage or by clicking on their logo.

April 27, 2012

April 27, 2012–One thing that I’m sad about as my blog draws to its close is that the summer months have so many amazing events to take part in.  In Vancouver, spring and summer are our walking and marathon months, and this year won’t be any different.  April 29 is one of the first charity walks of the season, with the MS Walk happening in communities across Canada.

The MS Society of Canada teams up with Scotiabank to put on this walk which not only raises funds for research on Multiple Sclerosis but awareness as well.  Multiple Scoliosis is a disease that affects the central nervous system with unpredictable outcomes for patients who range in age on average from 14 to 40; however, there have been cases in younger and older individuals.   MS goes after the lining of the spinal cord and brain (myelin), and each individual has varying symptoms.  The basic issue in this not-so-basic disease is that MS affects the myelin with patches of damage, the damaged areas interfere with nerve impulses which control a lot of what the body can do.  From fatigue  to cognitive impairment, MS and its unpredictable nature is a scary journey for patients and their family, friends and community.  This Sunday, you can stand up and walk for MS in the annual event that is participated in by patients, families, supporters and strangers alike.

Visit the home page of the 2012 MS Walk HERE to learn about events in your area or click on the logo above.

April 26, 2012

April 26, 2012–You might have noticed some odd wardrobe choices out there today.  No, not from the newest collection released by H & M today, but a whole whack of JEANS.  Yes, the office and business casual crowd had an excuse to dress down as they stand up for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation all in the name of Jeans Day.  This annual event in BC gets organizations running their own campaigns, as CEO’s allow a dress code violation as long as the standard and ever-changing Jeans Day pin is worn along side the blue jean outfit choice.

Perhaps you own a cowboy tuxedo and worn that to work today.  Good on you if you did.  My dad wears his on many a special occasion.  Each year the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation (BCCHF) releases a special edition pin to be worn on a designated day in April.  Pins have been available for purchase for a few weeks prior to today, and many workplaces offer the opportunity to purchase pins in house.  Last year, this simple yet very effective fundraising campaign raised over $1.3 million dollars, and the BCCHF is hopeful that this year and years to come does even better.  The funds from this campaign go directly towards the most urgent healthcare needs of BC kids.

You should still be able to purchase a pin this year (they’ve made them environmentally friendly!) but if you missed the memo and were just confused, you can still help the BCCHF in their  ‘Be a Superhero’ Campaign for BC Children, which has hopes of refurbishing and building new facilities to treat kids in need of intensive care in BC.   Click HERE to learn more about Jeans Day and other ways to help the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.

April 25, 2012

April 25, 2012–It’s freezing in my classroom today, so all I am trying to stay warm by thinking about the upcoming season of events that usually happen during those months where it’s warmer and sunnier.  One of my favourite parts about summer in BC is the enjoyment of meals and wine with family and friends.  One of the first big events happening this season is in South Surrey, and it promises to be a great night.

A Taste of BC’s Finest Fundraiser is May 12, 2012 all in support of Semiahmoo House Society and the programs they offer the community.  What started as a school for children and youth with mental disabilities, Semiahmoo House now provides services for individuals with mental disabilities and their families.   They operate in South Surrey with the philosophy that every individual they serve should have the same rights and opportunity to experience and participate in as many activities as their non-handicapped peers.  Through conservative uses of funds in order to provide the best services possible to as many people as possible with the least amount of funding, they successfully operate year round with programs, including but not limited to adult work programs, children and youth programs, support living options and HandyDart.  A Taste of BC’s Finest Fundraiser is in support of these programs, with an evening of silent auction, wine tastings, gourmet food, raffles and overall a night to relax and enjoy the best of BC.

If you want to give to a great organization and enjoy a night out, this event might be your May ticket of choice.  To learn more about this event and Semiahmoo House Society, click HERE or on the poster above.