Friday, October 06, 2006

Follow through. (Blog Anniversary!)

During the week of October 6-12, "So what can I do" celebrates two years online! It's our blog anniversary! This blog is such a joy to write because the research and writing process is so uplifting. There are so many people who are consciously altering their behavior to make the world a better place! I like to think that this blog contributes to those efforts. In today's post, I ask you to tell me about how you've followed through on the suggestions presented here.

* Have you started donating blood?
* Do you now click everyday to make free donations?
* Have you written a letter for change?
* How was your socially-responsible wedding or celebration?
* Have you been recycling batteries or other items?
* Are you now using cloth napkins or cloth diapers?

Let us know what you are doing to make a difference. Leave a suggestion for the next year of this blog. Identify your favorite post and share it with a friend. Leave an update on how you've followed through on the ideas presented here.

So, at least for this post, instead of asking "So what can I do" ask yourself "So what have I done?" And leave a comment with your answer. Thanks for reading and leaving comments, and for the contributions you are making to make life better for all of us. And please spread the word. On to year three!

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous. Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." - Maryanne Williamson, as quoted by Nelson Mandela in his 1994 inaugural address.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Get a free car seat inspection.

Just this weekend, my mother saw a woman riding with two children under the age of two who were not buckled in their child safety seats. She tried to talk to the woman about ways to ensure her children's safety, but unfortunately, the woman seemed unreceptive. She should have listened: car crashes are the number one killer of children and 80% of car seats are installed incorrectly.

Child safety seats save lives, but they must be correctly installed. Thankfully, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Transportation Safety Board, and the National Safety Council have joined with others to form They'll help you make sure your car seat is installed correctly. Here's how you can use this wonderful resource:

* Call 1-866-SEAT CHECK (1-866-732-8243) to get information on free child safety seat inspections. Information is available in Spanish and English.

* Visit to find a free child safety seat inspection site near you. The site is also available in Spanish.

Remember, this is important not only for parents of infants and small children, but also for anyone who transports a child in a motor vehicle. (Good call, Dawn!) Also, if the cost of a car seat is prohibitive, call your local department of motor vehicles. Your state may have a program that provides free or reduced price car seats to those who qualify.

So do something good for your child or the child you carry in your car. Get your child safety seat inspected, and keep children safe. Call or visit today!

"History teaches that grave threats to liberty often come in times of urgency, when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure." -Thurgood Marshall, US Supreme Court Justice (1908-1993)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Trick or treat for good.

It's hard to believe that it's almost Halloween. If you are preparing to trick-or-treat or to receive trick-or-treaters, consider these ways to trick-or-treat for good:

* Trick-or-treat for Sight Night and collect used glasses that will be recycled "for our international missions to developing countries" The Lions Club and Luxottica Retail, which sponsor the event, "will travel on 12 international missions, where they will work with Lions clubs to hand-deliver free eye exams and used glasses to more than 200,000 people in developing countries."
--> Call SightNight toll-free at 1-877-605-4242 for more information or to order your free collection kit.
--> Download collection materials here
--> Order your free collection kit here.

* Collect canned goods - Your child's organization can initiate a drive to trick-or-treat for nonperishable foods. Food can then be donated to a local food bank. Or collect clothes or coats for a local shelter. This is a great way to have a direct benefit on your or a neighboring community.

* Trick-or-treat for UNICEF and be a part of a 56-year tradition of helping children worldwide. Collect monetary donations that will save and improve lives. For example, "30¢ provides lifesaving antibiotics for a child suffering from pneumonia. $1 immunizes a child against the deadly disease measles. $10 provides enough high-protein biscuits to feed three hungry children for one month." Kits are available in the US, Mexico, Hong Kong, and Canada. Call UNICEF toll-free at 1.800.4UNICEF for more information or to order your free collection kit.

* Give fair trade chocolates to the trick-or-treater at your door. That way your gift will help cocoa farmers earn a living. Or scrap the candy all-together in favor or non-food items. Kids with diabetes and some other conditions will thank you.

These are just a few of the ways you and your child can make a difference this Halloween. And that's what every day and holiday should be about.

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." ~ Mohandas Gandhi