Sunday, August 24, 2014

Backwards {10 Inspiring Organisations Doing Great Things}

Sometimes I think we are living backwards.  Chasing after all the wrong things.

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by everything I hear on the news.

Mostly I feel helpless to do anything about anything.  And that's a really crap feeling.

And almost always I have no faith in those in charge because they make terrible decisions and do awful things either because they think they are right or they are too stupid to know better.  Or because they are influenced by money or fear or power.

And I never trust corporations to do anything good.  Ever.  They might do some good some of the time, but only if it serves their bottom line.  I expect nothing more.  That's their objective.

But the thing I can't reconcile is the disconnect between the good I see in the people around me and the horrors that beleaguer humanity.

I believe that we all want the same things, really.  Safety, security, a life without fear.  Food, clean water, education.  And if we are lucky enough to have all that already we can dare to dream for happiness, fulfillment, joy, love, and to live our best life.

These beautiful, peaceful, optimistic endeavours are what I observe.  These are what the people around me seek, what I seek for myself, for my children and friends.  And they are worthy endeavours.

But if this is what we all want for ourselves, if this is what we are all seeking then why are there so many ills in the world?

Why do people hate, harm, hurt?  Why do governments oppress, fear-monger and discriminate?  Why do corporations lie, short-change and cheat?

Because sometimes it feels like despite all the warm and fuzzy feelings, despite all the memes of positivity and gratitude, despite all the creativity and support, the jerks are running the race, the bastards are winning and the nice guys are finishing last.

It's depressing and deflating and exhausting.  And it's making me feel a little bit shit.

So in an effort to make myself feel better here are some people who are doing some wonderful, inspiring, amazing things.  If you are feeling a little bit shit too check out these pages, they will restore your faith in humanity.  Well, here's hoping.

Australian Breastfeeding Association

What they do: Help and support mothers to breastfeed.  If you have kids you know, breastfeeding can be tricky. And when it is you can feel really alone.  The ABA provide breastfeeding counsellors to help mums and bubs get their breastfeeding on track, or help them know when it's time to look to other options.

What you can do: Become a member, become a volunteer or donate funds. See the website for details.

Bicycles for Humanity

What they do: Send bikes to Africa where they are used for transport to help access employment, education and health care. Even better? The shipping containers the bikes are sent in are turned into Bicycle Empowerment Centres where people are trained in bike maintenance and run bike workshops - self-sustaining businesses that benefit the whole community.  Can you think of a more sustainable, self-empowering endeavour?

What you can do: Donate your bike or donate your money

What they do: Aim to ensure the release of children from detention and determine that these children are afforded their basic human rights while in detention. They also aim to raise awareness and bust the myths embedded in the Australian political debate around asylum seekers and children in detention.

What you can do: Get involved in these actions, volunteer (Chilout is currently looking for a Book-keeper and Merch Co-ordinator!), donate.

Fare Share

What they do: Rescue food to fight hunger.  With the incredible aim of cooking and giving away 1 million meals each year.

What you can do: Donate food (if you are a cafe or restaurant owner/ worker), Donate money, Donate time, Run/Walk 50k's to raise money for Fare Share (if you are crazy fit, or just crazy)

RAW Community Garden Project

What they do: Provide a community garden for connection, sustainability and education.  Aiming to create an empowered, creative community with a conscience, a place of deeper connection for women.

Red Dust

What they do: Deliver innovative and tailor made health programs to remote indigenous communities to lift the health, economic, educational and cultural outcomes of the individuals in these regions.

What they do: Provide great quality pre-loved children's clothes, toys, prams, cots and other equipment to Mum's in need.

What you can do: Donate your pre loved (but great quality!) kids clothes, toys, cots, prams and more, Donate money, Volunteer

The Palestine Children's Relief Fund

What they do: "The Palestine Children's Relief Fund (PCRF) is a non-political, non-profit organisation dedicated to healing the wounds of war, occupation and poverty for children in the Middle East, regardless of their nationality, religion, race or gender."

West Welcome Wagon

What they do: Provide material aid to asylum seekers on bridging visas. Once housing is provided asylum seekers who cannot legally seek employment have difficulty accessing basics such as furniture and groceries.  The West Welcome Wagon aims to assist with these needs.

What you can do: Join the Facebook page in order to stay informed about what goods and items are required where, you can then donate items or put a call out to your friends to do so, you can also help by delivering items as required.

What they do: Working in conjunction with Suluhisho the aim is to provide a self sustaining Arts and Community hub to allow the expression and enhancement of art and culture.

What you can do: Like the Facebook page and stay up to date with events, fundraising and donation opportunities.  With building planned for 2015, this promises to be an exciting time to get involved with this vibrant and heartfelt organisation.

The best thing about this list is that not only are these people and organisations inspiring and uplifting, but they can help you be too.  If you are feeling helpless, hopeless and futile like me, all of these links are looking for donations of money, goods or time.  Do something for yourself by doing something for somebody else.  And maybe we can start moving forwards, instead of living backwards.

Who is your favourite charity?

Listen to Eric Clapton Change The World

Image Licensed under Creative Commons


  1. Hi Kate
    What a great post, I learned about some new organisations and their great work. Thank you so much for contributing to the linky. It's been really positive reading everyone's posts. I've been reading your blog its terrific. I've got two little boys, so some of the parenting posts really hit home. Thank you, Pia

    1. Oh thank-you Pia! Yes I made a really concerted effort to list organisations with smaller profiles - I even learned about some new ones myself. So thrilled you are enjoying the parenting posts and thanks for the linky opportunity! x

  2. Wonderfully uplifting. A nice balance to the bad news we here daily. Thanks for sharing with us!

    1. Thanks Jeanette - the bad news is getting me down some, so I needed a little focus on the good guys for a change! Glad you liked it. x

  3. What a lovely and worthwhile blog post. I have felt very similar, especially with all the bad things that seem to be in a constant stream on the news at the moment, I always try to remember that the worst situations often bring out the best in people, without hardship we would have no strength of character....which is very easy for me to say in my own cushy life. Thank you for this, for some time I have been wanting to do more to help others and this has given me a push to actually do something.

    1. Thanks Naomi, it's so hard to get weighed down and especially at the moment, the news is so horrific on so many levels. But as you say, once you scratch the surface you see that where there is need there are amazing people doing amazing things. I'm thrilled this post has inspired you to action! x

  4. Excellent post Kate. I identify with so much of what you have said. You are right though, for all the jerks, bastards etc who often do appear to be running the show, there are the good guys to balance things out. We just need more of the good guys !! All these groups sound amazing but I will be checking out bikes for humanity - they sound like a great place to send a couple of our tired but perfectly good bikes we have sitting out the back.

    1. We need more of the good guys in the powerful positions - only, most of the good guys don't want to play the game enough to get there. It's such a conundrum. Bikes for Humanity is a really great grass roots organisation doing amazing things, I think you'll really love getting involved with them. Let me know how it goes. x