Coffee, Music, and Education

My March Tzedakah 2015 selections are here. Each month, I choose 3 social entrepreneurship and/or charities. Readers vote and I make a minimum $25.00 donation to the winner. January's winner was The Mitzvah Bowl and February's was Women Who Code. My goal is to introduce people to some of the many excellent organizations making the world just a bit better. 

Toms was one of the first social entrepreneurship companies. It began with the "buy one, donate one model" where for every pair of shoes purchased, they donated one pair to a needy child. They've expanded and I'm featuring their Giving Water initiative. For each pound of coffee purchased, Toms provides 140 liters of safe water, a week's supply, to a person in need. I love coffee! To meet the $25 minimum, I'll purchase two pounds providing 140 liters of safe water for two people.

Competition is beautiful especially when it helps those in meed. I started a small project called MusicalConversations where I have visited nursing homes and senior centers to engage people in conversation and memory through music. So, I am very happy to learn about Music and Memory. In their own words,

"MUSIC & MEMORY℠ is a non-profit organization that brings personalized music into the lives of the elderly or infirm through digital music technology, vastly improving quality of life.

We train nursing home staff and other elder care professionals, as well as family caregivers, how to create and provide personalized playlists using iPods and related digital audio systems that enable those struggling with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other cognitive and physical challenges to reconnect with the world through music-triggered memories."

Khan Academy is one of my favorite online educational resources. They offer a variety of free lessons in math, science, arts & humanities, and more. It's a great resource that is not only great for self-study, but acts as a resource for blended and flipped classrooms.

Click here to vote.


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.