Charitible Gifting, Environmental Causes, Great Old Broads For Wilderness, Howard Zinn, Kiva, Kuleana, Nancy Peterson, Non-Profit, ONDA, Oregon, Oregon Natural Desert Association, random acts, Resist, Sisters Of The Road, Social Entreprenuership, Social Gifting, The Syringa Gulch Survey, travel, vacation, Volunteer, Wallowa County, wilderness areas, William, WIP
Kuleana Thursdays is where I shine a light on causes and organizations of merit as well as the wonderful people who support them with time, energy and funds. They show us their character by revealing their kuleana.
Kuleana is where our actions meet our beliefs.
My friend, Nancy Peterson, is no stranger to readers of this blog. For those of you coming later to the party, I introduced Nancy in Random Acts of Nancy. Note: When Nancy read the account of our first hike, she had no memory of that particular one of our many hikes. It stands out in my mind because it was the first of many encounters of the surreal kind in Wallowa County.
She and I share an uncanny ability to keep calm amid heightened situations that would make most folks pretty skittish. We both go into a mode of focusing laser-like on what needs to be done NOW. Later over a beer and potato chips––Nancy’s rendition of afternoon tea––we can let ourselves have our emotional moment.
When we both lived in Wallow County, she watched my daughters’ school plays, and I watched over house and pets while she was out of town. We were frequent dinner guests, mostly when then-husband, an environmental activist, was away on business. We hiked together several times a week, mostly impromptu shorter hikes.
On Tuesdays, we hiked with a mission. Longer hikes away from our normal haunts, these ventures were to check out the conditions of a place for a scientist or someone updating their book or just for fun. Mostly, we had fun. And for two self-described introverts, we did a whole lot of talking. Mostly wonderfully nerdy topics. Both of us are big on random factoids. I would not have gone to so many wonderful wilderness areas if I hadn’t had the company of Nancy and her pound puppies, Bert, Margaret and Edith.
Nancy’s Picks: Click on their logos to check out their websites
My first incarnation of the Thursday project highlighted The Broads (aka GOB), Nancy’s Picks: Great Old Broads For Wilderness. Please check it out for more information than I can fit into this brief space. Their annual auction is a place to shop without guilt, and patrons are rewarded greatly by the generosity of the donors. You can’t get more win-win than that. But it’s their sassy, no-nonsense environmental advocacy combined with their sense of fun that makes them an easy favorite. How many times can you truly feel as if you’ve made a difference and had a blast in the process? Every dollar gifted is frugally spent.
“In here there are no strangers only, just friends we’ve never met.”
The logo itself has quite a story. Outside of their start-up cafe in 1979 someone had chalked the circle with three X’s on the pavement. That is the traditional hobo sign for “good food and hospitality.” Community through feeding one another. I invite you to click their website to learn more of their story.
“Working to protect, defend and restore Oregon’s high desert for over 25 years.”
ONDA’s website is a must-visit just to gawk at the stunningly gorgeous pictures of High Desert Country. I was lucky enough to volunteer for the 2000 Desert Conference in Malheur. This September the Conference returns after a long hiatus with a new venue: Bend, Oregon. Not sure if they will be simulating the tradition of poetry reading in hot springs by starlight.
“Loans that change lives.”
For as little as $25, you can create a loan that can change the life of a person, a family, a community. The loan is repaid and can fund more empowering stories. Kiva has a global reach. It’s a way to be involved while encouraging the independence and accomplishment of those with little resources. Now that is an investment on your returns Wall Street can’t begin to match.
“The resistance can be funded.”
Resist has been working to create a better world and a better society since the halcyon days of 1967. That their work has been steady and strong while others flashed in the pan is a testament to the effectiveness of this nimble nonprofit. They fight the good fight. Their commitment to grassroots organizations as a resource is what makes gifting to them pay in exponential dividends.
Civil disobedience is not our problem.
Our problem is civil obedience.~Howard Zinn
Nancy will not be a stranger to this blog. You will find her in upcoming Memoir Mondays. Reworked and composite events, characters, and themes from our Eastern Oregon days are front and center in my current WIP (Work In Progress), The Syringa Gulch Survey. She loves her privacy behind the scenes.
She and I both would rather email than talk on the phone. I doubt a week has gone by in the 15 we’ve been friends where their wasn’t a flurry in our inboxes. Yet I’ve gone years without hearing her voice or accompanying her and her current generation of pound puppies, William and Louise, on a hike. I would be stunned if she ever posted a comment below, yet I would be equally stunned if there was a post of mine she hadn’t read. I would trust her to act with integrity no matter the personal cost. That’s just how she rolls. Anything less would be out of character.
Her birthday is in November, but she prefers gifts that come at random times of the year. The ways I can give back to our friendship include:
- Gifting, volunteering or otherwise supporting the causes she believes in
- Sending her a piece of art, book, CD, especially if there is a connection to the artist
- She used to collect snow globes and out of habit I still have a few in my closet
- Earrings, mostly subtle and fun
Any Nancys in your life? Have you ever wondered what volunteer or charitable gifting your favorite characters were involved in? It gives an added dimension to the normal character sketch format, a chance to try out another facet of life. Have stories to share about these nonprofits or your personal favorites? Has volunteering changed your life?