Worthy Causes

For the past two Wednesdays during Vegan MoFo, I’ve blogged about my favorite apps. Well, that didn’t happen yesterday, nor is it going to happen today. I want to take time to draw your attention to a few good charitable events that are going on right now. You’ll need to act quickly if you want to help out, because some have deadlines that are drawing very near.

Some are local and some are (or can) be national. If you know of any other charitable happenings or causes, leave a comment and I’ll add them in (please try to keep it food or animal related). I hate that some of these nonprofits even have to exist, but since they do, I love that they coincide with food and/or animals.

Many times, giving can be self-serving. Like if you decide to purchase $10 worth of groceries at Albertsons (if you have one) and give it to a food bank, you’ll earn a sticker to potentially get Cuisinart stuff. Or, if you decide to donate to Sunny Day Farms, you get a cool cookbook zine.  Details below.

Warning: Ranty part about giving ettiquette

Before, I list the causes, I want to personally comment on giving non-perishable food items to organizations. I’m not sure if this is the case for all food banks and organizations, but I used to volunteer with a group that handed out meals to homeless individuals every Saturday. I was thrown into volunteered to coordinate food donations and meal planning for a short while. We were really grateful to receive so many food donations at a fundraising event, but it was difficult for me (especially since I had no experience) to handle the odd assortment of food items. We received a mishmash of strange items that people were obviously trying to get rid of and some of it was even expired.

So, before you clean out your pantry and feel good about your generosity, consider this:

  • Non-perishable items are actually perishable. Don’t give someone your expired food. Throw it away! If there’s no expiration date, and you can’t remember when you bought it, throw it away. When in doubt, throw it out!
  • If you don’t want to eat it, why would someone else want to eat it?
  • If you don’t want to purchase food to give, try donating your time or talent.
Deadline: October 21, 2011 You can still donate after the deadline!
Last week, eight-year-old Ellen, was featured in the El Paso Times for her awesome Make a Difference Day project. You can read the article online while it’s still available. She’s been volunteering at the Animal Rescue League for 6 years! She decided to collect $2,000 for this no-kill animal shelter. This will help save 10 animals! Coincidentally, she was at the Farmers’ Market when I went last week and I was able to donate to her cause. As of today, she has raised $820. Please help her out, regardless if you’re from El Paso by visiting the site and donating online. How can you say no to an 8 year old or to 10 animals that might be killed?
Now through October 24, 2011
This is a national initiative that seeks to “bring Americans together to push for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way.” Hmmm….kind of sounds like they’re promoting vegetarianism/veganism. There’s a lot of info on the site, including recipes of which the majority are vegan. Oh, wait. Except for the ones that have meat?! The majority of Americans don’t have access to so-called ‘humane, sustainable’ meat. So, why include it? Anyways, you can also type in your zip code to view the events that are taking place in your city (if there are any).
I found out about Food Day through a work email received from the Mayor asking us to take part by donating food items to the West Texas Food Bank. I wish I knew about this sooner, because it seems like El Paso is participating halfheartedly (to put it nicely). Las Cruces is totally upstaging us. They actually have a co-op and NMSU is participating. You can view the El Paso/Las Cruces events here.
Ongoing
This farm animal sanctuary is located near San Antonio, and is currently fundraising due to struggles recently caused by the drought, extreme heat, and rising cost of hay. I know we, El Pasoans often feel isolated and not very Texan at times, but this is a worthwhile cause. All you have to do is either donate money or purchase a fundraising zine loaded with delicious sounding vegan recipes. If a vegan cookbook sounds gross to you, just head on over to Lazy Smurf’s blog. She’s making and posting pics of all the recipes in the book this month! I still need to purchase my copy. I’m dying to make that jack fruit brisket everyone’s been talking about. Buy the zine here.
Upcoming (November 12)
Eastsiders are always complaining that everything happens on the westside. Well, in November the Vegetarian Society is hosting a vegan bake sale at the Cielo Vista Natural Market at 8900 Viscount from 9:30 am-2pm. You can participate by donating vegan baked goods, purchasing them, or manning the table. This time, proceeds will go to From the Heart Animal Rescue. Eastsiders better represent this time!