community

Remembering Newtown Victims and Lost Loved Ones

THIS WEEK’S FEATURED CAUSES

This week, we’re focusing on remembering Newtown and lost loved ones, with fundraising campaigns to cover travel expenses for gun violence survivors, support a family that lost a son and fund a health clinic in Kenya.

Vigil for Newtown Families and Gun Violence Survivors

Clipped Newtown Vigil

The Newtown Action Alliance held a vigil on Thursday to honor the more than 30,000 people who lost their lives lost to gun violence over the last year. The vigil took place just a few days before the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which killed 20 children and 6 teachers. The group created a fundraiser to help cover travel expenses for survivors and families to attend the vigil at the Washington National Cathedral. They’re almost a quarter of the way to their goal of $26,000. A contribution to the campaign will support these families and individuals who have come together to grieve.

The Smelser Family

SmelsersThe Smelsers of Arendtsville, PA, are grieving the sudden and recent loss of their son Adam. A family friend, Stephen Rouse, set up this fundraising campaign to honor Adam’s memory by providing his family with emotional and financial support to help them get through this difficult time.

“Just hearing [Adam’s] name bring so many hilarious [and] encouraging memories,” writes Stephen.”As the Smelser family goes through the coming days and weeks, I know many of you are wanting to help. There is much that we cannot do separated by distance, but I want to make sure that there’s one dimension of all this they don’t have to worry about: money.”

Visit the Rally campaign to see this bittersweet tribute to Adam.

Brothers for Bolo

Brothers for BoloNiall Gannon’s life was forever altered when a priest from Kenya came to speak to his church in Clayton, MO, about his dream of building a health clinic in his native village of Bolo, Kenya.

“Gretchen and I had felt a calling to begin doing more giving outside the U.S. and this seemed like a perfect project,” said Niall. “We told Father James we would build the clinic for him. Two months later, after he returned to Kenya, Father James was murdered by an armed gang. We committed ourselves to continue, and even expand the project to honor his life and his love for this community. Last month, my brother Liam (who is a medical doctor) and I traveled to Kenya to officially open it and see the first patients. You’ll see from the picture (to the left) that it is still at the cinder block level but two exam rooms are open. He and another Doctor (Father James’s brother) saw 500 patients over (the course of) two days.”
Niall hopes to raise $25,000 for an x-ray machine, incubator, medical exam tables and equipment, and also to dig a fresh water well.

NOTABLE NEWS STORIES

Read the news stories below for an in-depth look into some of the important work and worthy causes our Rally leaders are invested in doing to make our world a better place. There are plenty of great

MORE USERS IN THE NEWS

STAY CONNECTED

There are plenty of great ways to stay on top of the latest news, tips and opportunities from Rally.org and our cause leader. Here are a few ways you can stay in the loop.

Rally for Typhoon Relief in the Philippines

Rally for Relief 1

We’ve just posted our latest story in our series of inspiring Rally fundraising campaigns on Yahoo! Shine. This week we highlight a special collection featuring a variety of causes that are raising funds to help people of the Philippines in the aftermath of Haiyan Typhoon.

Global relief operations are doing their best to help the victims of Haiyan Typhoon in the Philippines, but still, many communities are suffering. A recent survey from Pew Research Center found that so far Americans are giving less to Haiyan relief efforts than they did in the aftermath of earlier high-profile natural disasters.

Many of us at home want to help, but we’re faced with this challenge: how can we give the people of the Philippines the support they need? There is no easy answer to the challenges facing the millions of people who are trying to rebuild their lives. But we believe that fundamentally, giving starts when you connect with a story.

Learn more about our special collection at “How You Can Help Victims in the Philippines Right Now.”

Coffee Shop for a Cause in Philly

lisamichell@taffets

We’ve just posted our latest story in our series of inspiring Rally fundraising campaigns on Yahoo! Shine. This week we meet Lisa Miccolis, the founder and president of the non-profit the Monkey and the Elephant. Behind the whimsical name lies a serious story about how a former foster kid in South Africa inspired Lisa to launch an organization to help young adults who have aged out of the foster-care system in Philadelphia.

For Lisa Miccolis the path to working with former foster kids in Philadelphia began with safari animals…and coffee.

Lisa, the founder and president of the non-profit organization and coffee shop the Monkey and the Elephant, got the name from a secret code she started using several years ago, after a trip to South Africa. In October 2008, bringing little more than her clothes and her camera, she visited a friend who had been living in Cape Town and owned a bakery there.

Lisa hung out at her friend’s bakeshop, chatting with workers and customers and eventually connecting with Homestead Projects for Street Children, a local non-profit that works to get boys off the streets of Cape Town. Homestead thought her photography skills might be useful, so she agreed to meet with the staff and the boys living at its shelter.

“I went to the orphanage and saw a young man sitting at a desk with a journal and a pen,” Lisa recalled. “The staff told me, ‘Oh, that’s Ephraim. He’s writing his life story,'” a life story that soon became enmeshed with hers.

Find out the meaning behind the Monkey and the Elephant passcode, and the mission of the Monkey and the Elephant cafe, at “This Week’s Rally for Good: Coffee for a Cause in the City of Brotherly Love.”

Singing and Rebuilding with Haiti After 2010 Earthquake

haitichildrenchoirblog

HAITIAN CHILDREN’S CHOIR SINGS AT RALLY.ORG HQ. PHOTO/GWEN ARMBRUSTER

When you need to take a break from sitting at your desk for hours, a little music can boost your mood. Especially when dozens of children, accompanied by percussionists, are the ones serenading you.

The Haitian Children’s Choir and percussion ensemble stopped by Rally.org headquarters in San Francisco on Tuesday for a lunchtime concert and impromptu dance party. The choir is currently on a 25-city tour across the U.S. Sing With Haiti, a Bay Area non-profit dedicated to arts education and child well-being, coordinated the in-office appearance as part of a Rally fundraising campaign to benefit children in Haiti.

(more…)

What’s on the Menu: Love & Vegetables, Pay What You Can

Avril & Keith L&V

AVRIL JOHNNIDIS AND KEITH KALMANOWICZ/PHOTO COURTESY OF LOVE & VEGETABLES VIA FACEBOOK

This story originally appeared in The Huffington Post‘s Impact section.

In January 2012 chef Keith Kalmanowicz ended up feeding a vegan dinner to his neighbors because of some broken bicycles.

He recently had returned from a volunteer trip to a farm in Costa Rica to move to Earth-N-Us Farm in Miami. He wanted to use the skills he learned on vacation to continue working and cooking close to the land. He also landed a full-time job preparing and wrangling fresh, local ingredients for a well-regarded locavore restaurant.

When Kalmanowicz was at the farm, he’d often see Matrice Jackson, the unofficial director of Earth-N-Us, teaching young people how to repair their bikes. Sometimes they’d come around to soak up nature and escape the violence and poverty in Little Haiti, the low-income-but-gentrifying neighborhood surrounding the farm.

Living on the farm opened up Kalmanowicz to what he calls a “message of altruism” that he wanted to help spread. It became clear how he might do that early one weekend morning.

(more…)

Back-to-School Fundraising on Rally.org


While some school districts have already started classes, once Labor Day weekend has come and gone, it’s officially time to put away the bathing suits and grab the book bags for the fall semester. To mark the start of the 2013-2014 academic year, we’ve rounded up this collection of education-related Rally fundraisers.

(more…)

Late Summer at RallyPad: Hacking Education and the Environment

teached still cropped

IMAGE FROM THE FILM SERIES ‘TEACHED’

Summer’s more than halfway over, but RallyPad is staying busy with events for local learners interested in school and environmental advocacy.

(more…)

The Power of Intention: Rallying for a Yoga Teacher and Her Son

clare&john

PHOTO COURTESY OF BETH SCHLANKER/THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Just about any yoga class begins with the instructor inviting everyone to “set an intention” for their practice: Essentially, contemplating what matters most to them and directing their behavior and attitudes in a way that matches these values.

In that spirit a student then takes these principles out of the studio and into the real world. For Linda Woodside, these values have involved rallying a community to support their respected teacher in a time of crisis.

(more…)

Barn-Raising and Rebuilding from the Ashes

barnanotherdayafter

THE BARN ON JANUARY 25, 2013, ONE DAY AFTER THE FIRE/ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF NICHOL MCGRANE

When Tropical Storm Irene swept through the mid-Atlantic and northeastern U.S. in August 2011, it caused especially vicious damage in villages around the Catskill Mountains.

Prattsville, N.Y., bore some of the storm’s most devastating winds and rain. Close to the town’s overflowing Schoharie Creek stood Megan Fromer and Gabe Faure-Brac’s home.

(more…)

Project Headlight Rallies for Boston Marathon Amputees

projectheadlightphoto

After two bombs ripped through the crowds at this year’s Boston Marathon, Michele Wisch knew she had to help the relief effort. She had sprung into action for other causes, such as raising $75,000 for Habitat for Humanity in the weeks following Hurricane Katrina and volunteering with Make-A-Wish. But she didn’t want to rush into just any Boston-related campaign.

“There are so many people willing to open their hearts and open their wallets,” she said. “I felt very strongly that we needed to find the right partner doing something specific, something long-term” to benefit the bombing survivors.

(more…)