Project Tzedakah February - Empower Women!

It’s February in beautiful Maine. We have lots of snow but we also have a Patriots Super Bowl victory. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Instead of chocolates or flowers , I’m going to make a $25.00 donation to one of the organizations below, and help empower women. As with Project Tzedakah January, you vote and I make the $25.00 donation to the winning organization. This month’s selections are: Women LEAD,  Women Who Code, and Black Girls Code.

 

Women LEAD

Women LEAD works with women in Nepal to help them develop leadership skills. In their own words,

We came to Nepal in the summer of 2010 and ran a two-week leadership development course for 28 girls. It was successful because the program had a far bigger impact on our girls than we had expected—they were so enthusiastic about Women LEAD that they wanted to invite their sisters and friends to join. By the end of the program, we knew we did not want to leave this as a one-time project. We realized that we had an effective and unique model, one that has become much bigger than we ever imagined.”

They are a great organization. I’ve had the pleasure donating to them in the past.

 


Women Who Code

Women Who Code’s goal is to connect 1 million women in tech careers. I’ve worked in the tech field for most of my professional career and there is no reason why women should not have a career in technology, science, engineering, or math if that is where their interests lead them.

In their own words,

“Women Who Code is a non-profit dedicated to inspiring women to excel in technology careers. We provide an avenue into tech, empower women with skills needed for professional advancement, and provide environments where networking and mentorship are valued. The organization has executed more than 1,200 free events around the world, garnered a membership exceeding 20,000, and has a presence in 15 countries.”


 

Black Girls Code

Encouraging and teaching children to code is important. It teaches them to solve problems logically, learn skills valuable for college and employment, and develop pride and self worth.

Black Girls Code, in their own words,

“Black Girls CODE is devoted to showing the world that black girls can code, and do so much more. By reaching out to the community through workshops and after school programs, Black Girls CODE introduces computer coding lessons to young girls from underrepresented communities in programming languages such as Scratch or Ruby on Rails. Black Girls CODE has set out to prove to the world that girls of every color have the skills to become the programmers of tomorrow. By promoting classes and programs we hope to grow the number of women of color working in technology and give underprivileged girls a chance to become the masters of their technological worlds.”

Click here to vote.

 

Project Tzedakah - Still time to vote for January's nominees

For my Project Tzedakah 2015 experiment, I nominated 3 worthy organizations to which one, I will make a donation of at least $25.00. Which one? Your vote tells me. #MitzvahBowl is in the lead, #SmileSquared is in second place, and #Cooking Matters rounds out the pack. If you haven't voted please do.

Why Project Tzedakah 2015? I want to introduce people to some of the many organizations and social entrepreneurs that are doing good things to help others. Click here to read my Social Entrepreneurship article. So, if you haven't voted please do.

Project Tzedakah 2015 - Nonprofit and Social Entrepreneurship Candidates for January

In my Project Tzedakah 2015 post, I pledged that I would make a minimum donation of $25.00 to a different nonprofit or social entrepreneurship-based business for each month throughout 2015. Each month I will list 3 nonprofits or social entrepreneurship-based businesses from suggestions from readers of this blog and those that I find. Here are my selections for January.

Cooking Matters teaches low income families about nutrition and how to cook. Their efforts are part of the No Kid Hungry Campaign to end childhood hunger in America.

Bar and Bat Mitzvahs are the entry for a Jewish child into Jewish adulthood. Some celebrate this event with an extravaganza. Others however, complement this event with a mitzvah project, a project based in community service. The Mitzvah Bowl shares ideas for these community service-based projects.

Basic dental health is a simple act that prevents other health concerns. Brushing your teeth is a simple start, but what if you can't afford a toothbrush? SmileSquared uses the buy one, donate one model to provide toothbrushes to those in need in the United States and throughout the world.

There are many nonprofits and social entrepreneurs. I considered 2 others, By Your Side and SharingSmall. Both will be reconsidered throughout 2015.

Click here to determine who I should donate to.

Email and Paper - Let's communicate more, not less

Twitter, Facebook updates, texting, Google+, instant messaging - we have so many ways to communicate. These are great ways; I am an avid tweeter. At work, instant messaging is a popular method for my team to communicate with each other.

However, when these tools are used to substitute a quick message when a longer message is better, I think the relationship between those involved becomes less meaningful. A Happy Chanukah or Merry Christmas text message is nice but a card is better. This year I sent my friends Chanukah and Christmas cards with messages appropriate to our relationships. My friends and family appreciated it.

Email is a great tool. Some say it is old technology but it is a great way to share a message with someone. Taking the time to write, not a one-liner, but a message is thoughtful and reflects positively on the writer. Anyone can type a one-liner. My dad always said, "Put your brain in gear before you put your mouth in motion." Writing a longer message gives you time to put your brain in gear.

This is especially true when you use that age-old technology, pen and paper. No backspace key or cut and paste for those that proof before clicking on the Send button. Pen and paper makes communication very personal and thoughtful.

Tweeting, texting, status updates are all fine. Just don't substitute a short message when a longer one is more appropriate. And, there is nothing wrong with handwriting. It's a great way to send a personal message.