About a month ago, I wrote a bit about mouse-based activism, suggesting that even clicking on links can be a way to make a small difference: authors who write about issues or causes that concern them feel heartened by getting traffic, and motivated to write, and do, more.
Of course, there are more direct ways to make a difference. Volunteering. Getting involved in local politics. Or going to Africa to help children orphaned and villages devasted by the AIDS crisis. Not all of these options are equal, nor do they seem equally possible for all of us. However, one more way we can make a difference is to give. If not our time and energy, then the other stuff. You know the stuff I mean.
Here’s the story. Jen of one plus two and Mad of Under the Mad Hat are about to celebrate the 6 month mark of their online marriage. For their wedding, they asked attendees to give a gift of a post about an issue of social justice. And so the Just Posts were born. (Hey, does that mean it was a shotgun wedding?) On the 10th of each month since then, they have rounded up a collection of posts relating to social justice and all kinds of activism.
This time, they are requesting not just words as gifts, but something a little more substantial. They’ve set up a gift registry of sorts. Jen has identified a small non-profit that is doing amazing work in a village in Africa. Mad has written up information about another organization that also is dedicated to supporting grassroots projects in response to the AIDS crisis in Africa. Both women have written eloquently about the crisis, and the need for action. (Did you know that 13 million children have been orphaned due to AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, and that this number is steadily rising?)
This endeavor is also a kind of experiment. Marketers have already figured out that blogs are good real estate for ads. Spammers have figured out that they can try to hawk their cheap crap and porn through unwitting bloggers. But what about the power of bloggers themselves to make a difference about things that matter to them?
I’m planning to make a donation. If you’d like to also, you can follow the links from jen or Mad, or go right to the sources. (Open Arms or the Stephen Lewis Foundation. To help track, put “Just Post” in the “company” line of the donation form.)
Finally, at the risk of sounding like I’m trying to be a comment whore, ah, what the hell. I’m a comment whore. But I’m going to up the ante and increase my donation by $5.00 for each comment I get on this post (before Sunday, June 10th) that contains the word…pants.