Both Lady G and Lionheart, while having limited financial and physical resources, feel it is important for them to contribute in some way toward the wellbeing of others. We do not wish to boast but hope that our telling you what small things we try to do will inspire you to act, on a small or large scale, on your own. Lionheart and Lady G met because Lady G, physically disabled to the point of being unable to take care of her household, was visited by a county volunteer who had offered to help her with the housework. That volunteer turned out to be Lionheart! Lionheart donates blood, sometimes for preemies, sometimes by means of aphoresis, on a regular basis (Lady G feeds him lots of iron for the week preceding a donation). Lady G's blood is not especially useful to anyone, and her post-traumatic stress disorder involves a terror of needles, but together she and Lionheart join others at a local synagogue to prepare meal packages for shut-ins, and to deliver them. In addition we donate dry goods to the food shelf chosen by that synagogue, every Yom Kippur. Instead of or in addition to buying or making physical gifts for Lionheart on gift-giving holidays such as his birthday or Chanukah, Lady G makes donations to various charitable organizations in his name. Often the donation is to an animal rescue organization, as this is dear to both their hearts.
When Lady G was a teenager, she spent one summer as a volunteer counselor at a camp for the developmentally disabled. Another summer she volunteered as a tour guide for the Smithsonian Institutions's Natural History Museum, in the Hall of the Cultures of Asia (little dreaming she would one day spend a decade residing in Japan).
GENESSA supports certain nonprofit organizations because we like them. Among the following you may find sponsors and nonsponsors alike. However, if GENESSA isn't behind a certain nonprofit, even sponsorship won't compel us to place its link on this page.
Some of the nonprofits GENESSA supports sponsor research and/or provide resources concerning diseases or disorders that affect Lady G or Lionheart, or someone they love. Others just appeal to them for reasons perhaps unknown to them. For example, Lady G has Lupus so the Lupus Foundation is a natural for her; neither Lady G nor Lionheart is homeless, and yet we can't help admiring Habitat for Humanity immensely.
Many worthy nonprofits are not represented on this page. The reasons are multifarious and include but are not limited to the following: We don't know about them; we are recommending something like them already; we think they're great but have no personal involvement with them (we are not affiliated with ANY of those we include on this page, either, with the exception of the very few sponsors of our site, with which our affiliation is simply that); we haven't gotten around to putting them on the page yet. Not appearing on our pages does not condemn a nonprofit to unworthiness, nor does it even mean we personally dislike that organization. (In fact, here is an article Lady G wrote for Associated Content about a cool way to celebrate Mother's Day: Donating to Charitable Causes as a Mother's Day Gift.) This is simply a page of nonprofits that means something special to us. We will try to explain why as we go along.
Eyegive has changed its name to iGive but it still raises money for charities at no cost to its online participants. Please investigate!
Before you choose your Eyegive charity, you may wish to learn more about systemic lupus erythematosus, which is a collagen's disease, a rheumatoid disease and an immune system disease all at once. As we mentioned Lady G is a lupique. Click on the above link to the Lupus Foundation of America to begin your quest for knowledge. The webring at the bottom of this page will also open avenues.
Another immune system disease is fibromyalgia, often mistaken for chronic fatigue syndrome. Lady G has fibromyalgia. Check the links above.
GENESSA's Lionheart believes in the American Heart Association's Lion-sized efforts to help us all have healthier hearts. Both his family and Lady G's suffered from a variety of heart ailments. Check out the association's heart-healthy checklist to see if your favorite food manufacturers and their products meet the AHA's standards, which include restrictions on fat, saturated fat cholesterol and sodium, and requirements for nutrient levels. Note that refined sugars do not yet seem to be of concern to the AHA. This does not diminish their good work but if you wish to remind them that the number one cause of high blood serum cholesterol is SMOKING TOBACCO (they do fight against tobacco use) and the number two cause is REFINED SUGAR, with fats coming in third, feel free to write/call/holler over and tell them.
Lady G suffers from rheumatoid arthritis so both she and Lionheart, who watches her suffer, have a stake in supporting the Arthritis Foundation. We hope you will too. Almost half of all Americans will develop osteaoarthritis, which is not the kind Lady G has; isn't that scary?
Save the Children is a venerable British foundation with about two dozen autonomous sister organizations. The U.S. version is known as one of the better charities in the world by virtue not only of the good they do but of the percentage of their funds that actually get spent charitably (as opposed to administratively). Save the Children uses money to improve conditions for the children's families and villages so that instead of buying a meal for one child it ends up creating meals for all the children. That's just an example; they combat everything from illiteracy to AIDS. Please email GENESSA if you're too poor or otherwise unable to sponsor a child on your own but would like to pool resources with others to sponsor one all in a gang. Save the Children: 1-800-243-5075, 54 Wilton Road, Westport, CT 06880.
Starflower Experiences is a Long Island-based nonprofit educational organization that offers adventures and experiences to help people learn to live more in harmony with the earth's life systems. Besides, Lady G is good friends with the chair, Laurie Farber, whom she admires greatly, and upon whom you must not sit. She is not that kind of chair.
The Cedar Cultural Center is a Twin Cities nonprofit cultural venue which brings in artists from all over the world, something that has become much more difficult (for the entire industry) since 9/11. Lionheart and Lady G both have volunteered many times at the Cedar and urge you, wherever you are, to do likewise if your burg has such an organization. (The last time we checked, Ann Arbor, Michigan, boasted a fine venue of this sort, called the Ark.) Meanwhile, check out the wonderful folks who work and play at the Cedar.
DogsTrust is "the largest dog welfare charity in the UK" and is over 100 years old. Its reach goes well beyond British borders and many a dog is happy that (or alive because) it exists. Its policy is never to kill a healthy animal, and rehoming dogs is its main objective. It has the support of such celebrities as John Barrowman, and also the support of Lady G and Lionheart.
Lady G is a lapsed Mensa member; it's the membership fee, hopefully not her I.Q., which has lapsed.
Per Mensa itself, "Mensa is an international society that has one -- and only one -- unique qualification for membership: you must score in the top 2% of the population on a standardized IQ test." You'll just have to see for yourself by clicking here.
Lady G has lost friends to AIDS. It's not an easy way to die (or live). The Gay Men's Health Crisis isn't exclusively for men, nor exclusively for gays, although it certainly serves both. It concerns itself in every possible area having to do with AIDS -- anyone's AIDS -- and sexually transmitted diseases. On September 11, GMHC had crisis counselors available and served lunch to nearly 100 clients. The next day, staff members, volunteers, and Board members were participating in clothing and food drives. Please visit and do what you can to help them help.
The Doris Day Animal League, formerly Actors and Others for Animals, is no frivolous fly-by-night. Check out the Resources and Links page; it's the BEST we've SEEN! There are some serious contenders there, including the Anti-Vivisectionist League and PETA. In fact there is so much information, GENESSA doesn't even feel it necessary to duplicate it here, and that is why there are no other animal rights organizations on this page; they're all over on Doris'. HOWEVER, GENESSA would like you to have this one additional link to:
This one is great for kids, even big kids like Lady G and Lionheart.
The above speaks for itself.
The National Organization for Women is a weighty group and there's plenty to see and do at their site but GENESSA, whose managing partner, Lady G, happens to be a woman, urges you also to check out their resources on the web, which include sites where one can check congresspersons' voting records (not only on women's issues -- but then again, what is not a woman's issue?) Do it NOW.
What, you cry, she devotes space on a page filled mostly with the purveyors of good works (as they once were called) to the memory of a guy who designed WALLPAPER? Yep. GENESSA's Lady G admires the designs of the late William Morris, 19th-century Marxist and wallpaper designer, so much that she practically cajoles you to visit the William Morris Gallery's website whatever your politics may be. It's better than you can know, Morris being a true artist, working and commissioning work in media including not only wallpaper but textiles, stained glass, handpainted ceramic tile, etc. On this site you can even download some free William Morris (what else?) wallpaper!
You've all seen Jerry Lewis and his gang of entertainers on TV for the annual MD Telethon. (Lionheart just loves it!) Now visit the website and find out what it's all about. You'll be surprised how many diseases this organization battles.
Greenpeace needs no introduction. Their website seems to be kept very current, as you can see from their general information page, which archives their activism as well as giving accounts of each individual ship's projects, and their Links to Other Sites are well organized and worth exploring.
Amnesty International has a site for its U.S. branch but the main site is more interesting and contains a links page to other human rights organizations.
Without intending any copyright infringement Lady G finds it easiest to explain this link's presence by copying the FORMER first paragraph of its main page, which currently focuses more on its position on terrorism. You will be astonished at the range of peace programs and health programs administered by this organization. It is an indispensible institution.
The Carter Center in Atlanta, Ga., is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute founded by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in 1982. The Center is dedicated to fighting disease, hunger, poverty, conflict, and oppression through collaborative initiatives in the areas of democratization and development, global health, and urban revitalization. At present, the Center operates 13 core programs, which have touched the lives of people in 65 countries, including the United States.
GENESSA suggests that as you wander marveling through the programs, you also take time to read the media resources, which give an historical perspective you might not otherwise gain.
Lady G loves National Public Radio, and forces Lionheart to listen to Minnesota Public Radio in the car, even on the freeway.
This organization dedicates itself to preventing gun violence. The little bar on the left that contain information links may not look impressive with that tiny print, but look again. There is a LOT there, and, like so many sites that have GENESSA's approval, it is kept quite current.
Scroll to the bottom of the Peace Corp's page -- not too fast, because there is good stuff on it, including current news (unfortunately in teeny tiny little print) but when you get there, LOOK AT THOSE LINKS! If you can't find it here, it must not have anything to do with the Peace Corps. It is hard to believe JFK pushed this through Congress more than 40 years ago. It is hard to believe there was ever a time such a caring institution did not exist.
Lady G worked briefly for unicef and holds a deep admiration not only for its good works but for its employees. In brief, unicef looks out for the children of the world. And who, may we ask you, needs more to be looked after? You may also read French, Spanish and Arabic versions of this site. UPDATE: GENESSA recommends UNICEF on its own merits and has not had any connection with it other than Lady G's stint as a temporary employee there in 1996; we have been naming it here since 1998 or 9 because we believe in this organization and for no other reason. Now we are very pleased to announce that as of August 25, 2009, UNICEF has become one of GENESSA's sponsors!
Lady G is considering becoming a member of this American trade union for obvious reasons. If she can't get the $90 together for the annual fee that is still no reflection upon the bargaining capabilities or other member services of this entity. In addition, the links are wide-ranging (within the already wide-ranging field of writing) and there is a health plan for members.
Anyone here in favor of slavery? Raise your hand. Now LEAVE. The rest of you might be horrified to know that slavery still goes on all over the world, including in the Sudan... Mauritania... the United States of America....
Lady Bird Johnson, former First Lady of the United States, founded the National Wildlife Research Center, whose importance to our environment (which with Ms. Johnson has always been concerned and active) should need no explanation.
Here's a tough one: GENESSA knows of so many fine political and politico-activist organizations that to link to them all here would probably burden your computer unbearably. (Maybe we'll get ambitious some day and try it on a separate page) This one, though, is a bit special, as it is, first of all, not so much political as grasroots activist humanist... anyway, it carries on the good work of the late Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone, who died, along with his wife, Sheila; his daughter, Marcia; and campaign staff members Tom Lapic, Mary McEvoy and Will McLaughlin, in a plane crash on October 25, 2002. Just go look. You'll see. Definitely special.
Do you know of an organization that seems to fit in with GENESSA's concerns, or which you think should? Do you have a nonprofit with a website where you would like to be linked and reciprocally link to GENESSA's nonprofits page? Do let us know by emailing GENESSA. Or if you'd like to raise money for your favorite charity, try FastTrack: