Fourier Analysis is a mathematical tool which can do a number of things: separate out signals from noise; help identify patterns or trends in data; filter out all unwanted data and focus on a single signal; use approximations to make generalizations; make approximations of real world signals (think electronic music); combine harmonics to get a stronger signal. That's what I'll be trying to do here!! Won't you join me with your comments?

Friday, August 31, 2007

15 Links to Help Change the World

One of my favorite bloggers is a bit frustrated with the world she is currently dealing with and complained about the lack of sites where she can read about people who are trying to improve the world. I have a number of sites that I visit that do talk about efforts to help the world that I will be writing about in a future blog. But for this week's Friday Fifteen, I thought I would share with you some sites where YOU can make a difference.

For my last "round" birthday, I requested and received a number of donation gifts that made me feel I was "giving back" to the world. And at my girls' school they also have various donation drives where they give to charities, but in a specific, visible fashion. I include these sites here, along with others that have similar aims. Almost all of these sites also include a gift card (some via email) or a newsletter, poster or some other small token that you can send to the gift recipient.

So here is my list of links that allow you to help make the world a better place, one gift at a time...

1. Trees for the Future This is a great gift for a class or school, or for anyone concerned about the environment. As part of the funds that the PTA gets from the recycling of old paper, we go the next step and actually purchase trees. The last time we raised over $100 we were able to purchase a forest! Along with the certificate, the recipient gets regular newsletters and materials that can be used in class for a lesson on reforestation projects. This is also a great site to use as a resource for school reports.

2. Care for the Wild International I have not yet found an equivalent site in the US, but this UK site also will send materials and gift certificates to the US for a slight charge. What I love about this site is that you can choose the animals that you want to "adopt". DD1 is really into dolphins and fierce animals, while DD2 is more into the cuddly -looking favorites. And don't forget rhinos and elephants!. Don't forget to figure that you must convert from British pounds to US Dollars, or you may end up spending more than you planned.

3. Oxfam International Located in a large number of countries in the world, this is a fantastic site for families. Not only do they have donation gifts at every level for almost any occasion, but their sites are full of information about various projects all over the world. Great resource for school projects as well as a fantastic gift site. I received a number of presents from here for my last birthday (chickens, a can a worms, a goat, ...)! Check out their "Unwrapped" section!

4. Project Concern International Focused on prevention of disease, famine and clean water, this site has a number of different projects that might speak to a family's special interests. Check out their "Gifts of Life" Catalogue.

5. Changing the Present Especially for those interested in agriculture and education projects with values from $10 to $150. This site also has information about the tax deductions you can get with your donation.

6. International Child Care As the name implies, this site is focused on projects for children. It even shows how $0.25 can help to feed a child. Great use of children's allowances where they want to make their own contributions.

7. Educate the Children Focused on the women and children of Nepal, this is a great choice for a family that wants to put its focus on a specific country.

8. Heifer International You might have heard about this site on the Oprah show. It involves the gift of a calf or goat (or other livestock) that allows a family to feed itself.

9. Universal Giving Focused on education, you can donate a school, computers, education for one child etc. gifts start at $10.00.

10. Carbonfund Want to offset the carbon impact of a party, wedding or event? Or even just ease your conscience and offset your own carbon footprint? This site allows you to calculate your impact and to contribute to a fund used to plant trees and other activities to compensate for carbon output. Great was to educte kids about our environmental impact.

11. Humane Society Want something closer to home? This site is for the Franklin Humane Society in Michigan. It has a number of different gifts that allow for the care and feeding of animals at the shelter. But I'm sure your local shelter has some similar kind of set-up, even if it isn't online. Even if you can't care for a pet in your home, you can still show your love of animals in this kind of donation.

12. Global Giving This site has a number of different projects and allows for selection by region, topic, project, or donation level. Great variety of projects and levels to choose from.

13. Alternative Gifts International Want to see what you can get for the price of a take-out meal or a pedicure? A great variety of projects with cost comparisons that bring the message to heart.

14. Network for Good Similar to many of the other sites, but with "gift baskets" associated with specific projects including familiar charities such as Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross, etc.

15. One World is Enough And if you really want to give a gift that someone can hold in their hands, these fair trade gifts ensure that a good portion of the sales price goes to the craftsperson. Some great ethnic clothing gifts!

Happy Weekend!!

If you want to visit other Friday Fifteen entries, check out this site!


Csara said...

Oh - I really like this week's edition of your Friday Fifteen. It's a wonderful resource - thank you! Have a great weekend.

jennifer said...

Thanks you for this info. I appreciate it being put together for me like that.

anno said...

Fabulous list! Heifer International has long been a favorite of mine, and I'm thrilled to discover many new ones here. Thanks!

Jenn in Holland said...

Fantastic list! Like Jennifer, I appreciate having all those links in one convenient place. It's like you did the work for me! :)

Jen said...

This is a terrific list and will come in very handy at Christmas time. Our extended family gives donations in each other's names, because we all just feel blessed and feel we don't need more "stuff." We always try to match the cause to the person whom you're honoring... and this list has some great possibilities! THANK YOU!

Rebecca said...

great list Miss Analyst. A forest for $100? what a bargain! and a wonderful way to spend money.

Leslie said...

Quite a few of these are new to me. Wonderful list!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for stopping by to read my list! Yes, WV is a lovely state...I could've written about a lot more places but I was tired! Ha, ha...

I hope you can make/enjoy the trip...

Oh, and loved your list too...great sites... I'm a big fan of the Human Society...

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