Tags >> volunteer
Jan 18
2010

Tool Library

Posted by Bruce Robinson in volunteer , Sonoma County , Santa Rosa , resources , planning , nonprofit orgs , Ideas , community engagement , California , budget

Bruce Robinson

Obeying the old admonition to “find an need and fill it,” Dustin Zuckerman has created the Santa Rosa Tool Library.

The introduction of the Santa Rosa Tool Library started slowly, reports founder Dustin Zuckerman, but it gradually gathered support and users.

The Santa Rosa Tool Library lends hand and power tools, but only those powered by electricity. Zuckerman explains he has two reasons for that policy.

The full list of available tools is posted here. Go to this page for details on the tool library's lending policies.

 

 

 

Dec 18
2009

The Messenger

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , volunteer , veterans , politics , policy , media , international , government , families , author , arts

Bruce Robinson

The Messenger is a film about war that doesn’t take sides, according to director Oren Moverman, but seeks instead to personalize the losses experienced by the families of the servicemen and women who don’t return.

Oren Moverman (right), writer-director of The Messenger, says there is no political agenda behind it, other than a desire to raise awareness about the human costs and consequences of modern warfare.

The Messenger has drawn generally good reviews, but Moverman is even more pleased that coverage of it has also included his central themes about the people it portrays.

In his private life, actor Woody Harrelson (below right)  is well know for his progressive politics. But in the film, Moverman says Harrelson was entirely in sync with the director’s apolitical stance.

View the trailer for The Messenger below, or go here for a sampling of reviews of the film.

[video:http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi2740519449/ 300x300]

 

Dec 07
2009

Palestine

Posted by Bruce Robinson in war , volunteer , speaker , rights , protest , poverty , politics , peace , news , justice , international , government , events , education , activism

Bruce Robinson

News reports from the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip typically focus on clashes between Arab “militants” and the Israeli army. But when the dust clears, what is life there like for the Palestinian people?

Even for non-violent peace activists, simply being in the occupied Palestinian territories can be dangerous. Maggie Coulter offers two examples.

The military policies behind the Palestinian occupation are not unanimously supported by the Israeli populace, and Coulter reports that she found a number of local organizations there that are working to end or mitigate those policies.

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 12
2009

Global Student Embassy

Posted by Bruce Robinson in volunteer , teens , students , Sebastopol , planning , peace , nonprofit orgs , international , Ideas , events , environment , education , California , agriculture , activism

Bruce Robinson

Global Student Embassy, a youth-led grassroots international relations program based in Sebastopol, has branched out this year, both to more schools in Sonoma County, and to a new community in Africa.

GSE was started by brothers Lucas (left) and Jasper Oshun  as an outgrowth of their own experiences visiting and working with other students in Peru and Argentina.  Lucas says the successful conclusion of Global Student Embassy’s first international student visitation in early 2009 helped inspire them to want to expand their horizons.

Even as they continue to reach out internationally, GSE is also working with local students to build community at home. Co-director Yasha Mokaram describes one way that is playing out through their participation at Windsor High School.

 

This community garden at the Village Park mobile home park in Sebastopol may be the most visible manifestation of what Global Student Embassy is doing, but  it is just one aspect of their efforts. Here, student volunteers from Sonoma County, Zurite Peru and Santa Fe Argenita celebrate their shared accomplishment. Y0u learn support the work of Global Student Embassy here.

 

Sep 28
2009

Catholic Charities

Posted by Bruce Robinson in volunteer , speaker , Santa Rosa , religion , poverty , nonprofit orgs , healthcare , government , families , employment , economy , children , activism

Bruce Robinson

Official statistics on poverty in America tell barely half the story, even before the current recession kicked in, says the leader of a national anti-poverty effort, while the recovery now being forecast will take months or more to trickle down to the nation’s neediest citizens.

Father Larry Snyder took over as the head of Catholic Charities USA in early 2005, and found himself, just six months later, presiding over his agency’s efforts to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Looking back on that disaster now, he believes it has helped open Americans’ eyes to the prevalence of poverty in our midst.

 

 

The expansion of federal funding for faith-based organizations under the Bush administration actually amounted to less than it appeared, says Father Snyder. It merely extended a long-standing practice to include some additional service providers.

Catholic Charities  USA has announced a concerted campaign to cut poverty in America by half, and has developed an array of web-based resources and information as part of that effort. The data summarized below is taken from that website.

National Poverty Data

Updated September 2009

39.8 million people live below the official federal poverty level, which was $22,025 for a family of four in 2008. This number is up from 37.3 million in 20071.

The number of people in poverty has not exceeded the 2008 figure of 39.8 million people since 1960. It is expected to rise as the new census numbers account for 2008--which was just the beginning of the economic downturn.

The number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 45.7 million in 2007 to 46.3 million in 2008.

Almost half of all Americans will have experienced poverty for a year or more at some point in their lives by the time they reach age 60.

Income and Employment

The federal minimum wage is $6.55 per hour effective July 24, 2008; and $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009.   Real median household income declined by 3.6 percent in 2008. As of September , 2009 the national unemployment rate rose to 9.7 percent. Learn more

Location

Poverty rates are highest in central cities and rural areas. Inside metropolitan areas the poverty rate and the number of people in poverty were 12.9 percent and 32.6 million, both up from 2007.  The poverty rate for those outside metropolitan areas is 15.1 percent.

The South has the highest rate of people in poverty,14.3 percent. Mississippi and Louisiana have the first and second highest rates. Find your state's rank.

Racial Inequality

The poverty rate for non-Hispanic whites is 8.6 percent, while the rate for Hispanics is 23.2 percent, the rate for Asians is 11.8 percent, and the rate for African Americans is 24.5 percent.  Learn more about Race and Poverty.

Age

The number of people 65 and older remained at 3.6 million in 2008. Children experience a higher rate of poverty, 19 percent, than the rest of the population. This number is higher than in 2007.  Children represent 35.3 percent of people in poverty but only 24.6 percent of the total population.1

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