T’is better to give than to receive…



The holidays are a time for giving–not just giving presents, but also giving of ourselves.

This is why for my Advent entry, I’ve decided to talk about a few charities that I think do excellent work. Just to make it interesting, there will be a drawing–but you have to read to the end to learn the details.

(1) Women for Women International
Women for Women International provides women survivors of war, civil strife and other conflicts with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency. The organization provides financial aid, job training, rights awareness and leadership education.
The women who complete the 1-year program go on to start businesses, support their families, send their children to school, and become community leaders.
You can donate or sponsor an individual woman for the course of her one-year program. “When you educate woman, you educate a nation.” (Ghanaian saying).

(2) The Search Dog Foundation
The Search Dog Foundation rescues shelter dogs, trains them to become FEMA-certified search-and-rescue dogs, and pairs them with firefighters to form disaster response teams. Search Dog Foundation dogs have sniffed out survivors at 9/11, Katrina, tsunami-ravaged Japan, and other disaster sites.
Many of the characteristics that land dogs in shelters and make them hard to adopt–hyperactivity, loud barking, toy-crazy, etc–are the flip side of the characteristics that make an excellent search dog–high energy, outgoing, intelligent, and extreme focus. SDF saves dogs’ lives, so that these dogs can go on to save human lives following disasters.

Once a dog is taken from the shelter, it has a permanent home, whether it completes training or not. Dogs retire at age 10. After this, they either go home to live with their handler, or retire to another loving home. Once rescued, SDF dogs will never have to be rescued again.

(3) The Vitamin Angel Alliance

Vitamin Angels reduces child mortality worldwide by connecting essential nutrients with infants and children around the world–including the rural U.S. Their work is concentrated into two efforts: Operation 20/20 and Thrive to Five. Operation 20/20 provides Vitamin A and anti-parasitic treatments, and has reduced child mortality by 24% in the areas where it has been introduced. Thrive to Five focuses on multivitamins and improving childrens’ overall nutritional levels.
The Founder’s Story is fascinating, and a good look at how the business community can organize to do some good.

So now you’ve heard the pitch. What’s in it for you?

On Jan. 31, 2012, I will hold a random drawing for the following Awesome Swag:

(1) 3 autographed paperback copies of my book, The Affair of the Porcelain Dog (3 winners will get one copy each).

(2) A super-duper APD promo pack, including an APD refrigerator magnet, sticker, and Official Bookmark.

(3) A Porcelain Dog shot glass. Believe me, these are cool.

All you have to do is this:

(1) Donate to one of these fine organizations. Any amount will do.

(2) Reblog this.

(3) Send an email to jessfaraday at hotmail dot com with your name, donation amount (I trust you) your snailmail address, and the address of your reblog post. Also, please say which prize you’re most interested in. I can’t guarantee you’ll get first choice, but if you’re chosen, you will get something =)

On Jan. 31, I will choose five winners at random and send out the goods.

Happy Holidays. Now, go out there and do some good!


Jess Faraday is the author of one novel, three book translations, a handful of short stories, and numerous nonfiction articles.

She is a graduate of the University of Arizona (B.A.) and UCLA (M.A.). Since then, she has earned her daily bread in a number of questionable ways, including translation, lexicography, copyediting, teaching high school Russian, and hawking shoes to the overprivileged offspring of Los Angeles-area B-listers.

She enjoys martial arts, the outdoors, strong coffee and a robust Pinot Noir. She also receives a trickle of income from Faraday Bags, her line of data shielding handbags and clothing. She is also a reviewer at Speak Its Name.

The BONUS BUMPER PRIZE QUESTION (don’t answer this yet – write them down and I’ll ask you to email them in on Christmas Eve.)

“All I want for Christmas is ….” What did the little girl want?

9 Responses

  1. Excellent post, Jess. Too easy at this time of the year to get hung up on what we’re going to ghet.

    (PS In re the question, I think that little girl wanted Billy Twelvetrees. That’s what the little girls in our house want.)

  2. Great post, Jess. Very much in the spirit of Christmas. Giving.

  3. Great post – and a timely reminder there are a lot of people in the world to whom a fraction of the money we all spend at Christmas would mean a great deal.

  4. These are fabulous charities – I’d heard of Women for Women but not the other two. Do you know if they take Paypal donations? Living in Canada, that’s easier for me.

  5. I sure enjoyed The Case of the Porcelain Dog and now your wonderful post here. Search Dog Foundation really combines my husband’s and my causes, animal rescue and disaster rescue and relief. Jim is a Certified Emergency Response Team member and we are long time supporters of Purrfect Pals, a cat shelter in Arlington, Washington State. I can’t thank you enough for bringing SDF to our attention.


  6. Absolutely lovely idea! I’d never heard of any of them before.

  7. Nice post Jess. and three nicely diverse charities. Happy soon to be Christmas

  8. Terrific idea. Those are wonderful charities. The Search Dog Foundation is a great organization that speaks to me personally. Thanks.

  9. What a great idea, Jess, and what a nice way to kick off the advent calendar!

    They all sound like such worthy charities, too. I hope your post raises lots of money for them 🙂

    Please exclude me from the draw – I’m participating in the calendar later in the month and I don’t think it would be fair if I snaffled any of the goodies. But I will reblog, and once I’ve decided which charity I’d like to support (Which is going to be really tricky!) I’ll also donate.

    Paige x

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