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Be a Mensch!
    It's Better to Give than Receive...

Being a Mensch: Longer, Happier Life

What is a mensch anyway? Basically, a mensch is someone you admire and want to emulate because of their noble characteristics and good deeds. So what does this have to do with living a longer and happier life, you ask? Well, recent studies just may prove that the old saying, “It’s better to give than receive”, may not be just a benevolent cliché. Scientists are now studying the effects of positive behavior on health. Using brain scans, they have found evidence, that we homo sapiens, are actually hard-wired to help each other! (Try and tell that to your five year old son that just hit his sister with a tinker toy.) Really though, these experiments show that the simple act of thinking about someone else’s problems triggers the same part of the brain that gets activated when we reflect on our own, while compassion registers in the brain’s pleasure zones. Is it time to forget the broccoli and munch up some serving sizes of compassion? I’d say so. Much to the like of a runner’s high, researchers have coined the term, “helper’s high.” This high can give the immune system a boost, speed recovery from being under the knife and cut down on restless nights. “By changing the lives of those being helped, researchers propose it keeps Good Samaritans happier, healthier and living longer.” If you’re sitting back, like the rest of us hard working “do gooders”, trying to think of ways that you can help the world’s poorest of the poor have a better life, while boosting your immune system at the same time, then this is the page for you! Everyone can help in some way, seriously. So, next time you’re thinking about speed-dialing Papa Johns for that extra large specialty pizza, just think to yourself: if I make a healthy snack instead, and donate the money it would cost for that tasty pizza, not only will I feed 250 children, but my good heart might let me live another day. See, everyone wins!


African Boys

Village Volunteers »

Village Volunteers (VV) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that works in partnership with rural village and capacity-building programs to support the development of sustainable solutions for community survival, education, and growth. They were founded on the belief of healing areas plagued by poverty and disease. Village Volunteers is a cool organization, because not only does it help those in need, but it teaches them how to have a sustainable income. Volunteers are welcome from anywhere around the globe--so pack your bags. VV teams with local village programs, which work together on goals such as, incorporating international volunteerism, sustainable community development projects, as well as, program assistance. There are numerous projects to choose from: You can donate to the building of a rural school; support the work of a clinic; fund vocational workshops for women on solar cooking, briquetting, or organic farming methods; provide seed money for a woman starting a micro-enterprise; sponsor an orphaned child; or provide books, bikes, or goats to orphaned youth. 100% of your contribution will go directly to the project of your choice. If you would rather be more hands on, volunteering opportunities are abundant in many rural villages. 'Haba na haba hujaza kibaba'-Swahili translated to mean: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” So, get out there and see what project will best fit your needs/desires. One step is all it takes! Donate Today!



Village Housing
Cross International »

Cross International was born out of the vision of two ministries with a heart for the poor -- Christian Children's Charity and the Kielar Family Foundation. Together, they founded Cross International in the 1990's. The organization originally started in Haiti, and thanks to many generous people, efforts have since grown to reach those suffering extreme poverty in other Caribbean countries, as well as, countries throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America. There are numerous ongoing projects for you to choose from, including: natural disaster relief, care and education for orphans, housing for the homeless, medicines and health care for the indigent, food for families suffering extreme malnutrition, and clean water for communities that have none. Additionally, there are micro-enterprise programs and other long-term development efforts to break the cycle of poverty! Check out the numerous projects on their website to find a project that will fit your specific desires to be a mensch. 98% of proceeds go directly to the project of your choice. Donate Today!




African Women Well
Blue Planet Run »

In the past 10 years, diarrhea has killed more children than all the people lost to armed conflict since World War II. Did that get your attention? In 2002, Jin Zidell created the Blue Planet Run Foundation, which is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization “dedicated to raising global awareness about the lack of safe drinking water, while funding solutions for the billion people living without immediate access to this life sustaining resource”. The Foundation’s ardent, yet realistic undertaking: to provide safe drinking water to 200 million people for the rest of their lives by 2027. Seems unattainable to some, but they’re well on their way. No pun intended. Since 2004, the U.S.-based foundation has funded 11 non-governmental organizations worldwide, which have in turn implemented 135 sustainable water projects in 13 countries impacting 100,000 lives! Wow! Much like the other organizations on this page, locals take ownership in building, maintaining and running their facilities, while also adapting the principles of safe drinking water, hygiene and sanitation. The great thing about this website is that it is unbelievably informative and for those of you who don’t like to read, it even has videos. A couple of fascinating facts, for instance, did you know: The average distance that women in Africa and Asia walk to collect water is 3.7 miles, leaving no time for education or a career. Or that: People with waterborne illnesses occupy half of the world’s hospital beds and 2.2 million die each year / which equals about 6,000 people every 24 hours! The facts are startling. The catastrophic results of not having such a commodity (that most of us take for granted): clean water, are endless. Check it out, for only 30 bucks, you can give one person clean drinking water for the rest of their life! That’s right, for the rest of their life! 100% of your contribution will go directly to fund water projects. Imagine what can be done if we would all donate a measly 30 bucks. Blue Planet Run better hold on to their horses; their goal just may be reached before 2027. Donate Today!




Cambodian Woman Tabitha »

The Tabitha Foundation is an altruistic trust, founded in 1994 to support aid efforts begun and organized by Janne Ritskes. The Foundations “field activities are centered in Cambodia, whose people were decimated by a regime which promoted enforced starvation, mass executions, slave labor and wholesale dislocation to such a degree that the social, moral and economic fiber of the country was left in tatters.” The development initiatives include copious projects to choose from. Just to name a few: work in health care, education, sanitation (water, sewage), housing, small business and co-operatives. These efforts enable the poorest of the poor to improve their health status, rebuild shanties into homes, have their own toilets, clean water, and drainage systems, reconstruct roads, develop their own small businesses or become workers in cottage industry programs and learn to work together as a community. The main goal of this organization is to always help create a healthy, viable community to allow human beings to realize their full potential. They attain this by “instructing indigenous trainers, who by example and teaching, work to restore control to communities themselves and guide the work towards self-sustainability.” Over the 11 years of its operation, Tabitha has lifted more than a quarter of a million Cambodians out of poverty and despair! Donate Today!







Habitat House Habitat for Humanity »

If you have never even heard of Habitat for Humanity (HFHI), then we need to handle first things first. Before considering to “Be a Mensch”, you need to dig yourself out of that dark hole you’ve been living in since 1976. The organization was founded 31 years ago by Millard Fuller along with his wife, Linda. Habitat is a worldwide, grassroots movement that has been extremely successful in eliminating poverty houses and homelessness. It has a presence in more than 90 countries, including all 50 states of the United States, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. Habitat has built more than 225,000 houses around the world, providing more than 1 million people in more than 3,000 communities with safe, decent, affordable shelter! Wondering how you can jump along the building bonanza? It’s easy. You can either donate money directly, or if you’re more of a hands on kind of fella’, then you can roll up your sleeves and jump right in to actually help build a shelter from ground zero. Check out their website for a project near you. There’s no need to be a contractor or even have any building skills; they will teach you want you need to know. So, not only will you give a family the gift of having somewhere to lay there head at night, but you will also learn valuable skills which you can use on your own house. Donate Today!


Haba na haba hujaza kibaba..."A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Are you going to take your step of giving Today?