Proof Positivity: Water For Life

Imagine your child goes to school in Tanzania or Malawi.  Your child is thirsty so he/she takes a sip the water is contaminated.  The reality, in Africa 650 people die a day mostly small children due to poor water quality.  In 2001 nearly 10,000 had cholera during outbreaks.  There is no doubt more more needs to be done to make the water safe for human consumption.
UNICEF estimates that more than half of the schools in developing countries do not have safe water and also lack proper sanitation and hygiene education programs.  Africare, which works in partnership with the people of  Africa to build healthy, sustainable lifestyle, H2O For Life and Water which is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization run by teachers, parents, and students, and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group which provides the know-how, consistency and credibility essential to success over the long term have formed a partnership.

The partnership is intended to raise awareness of the water crisis and funds for the program through H2O for Life’s efforts in schools throughout the US and Canada.

“Educating children about the importance of safe water, effective sanitation and hygiene practices in both the developing and developed world is an investment in our collective future, a way to help make the world more connected, and helps each of us fulfill our purpose to improve lives,” said Greg Allgood, director of the P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program.  “Innovative partnerships like this one with P&G, H2O for Life, Africare, and Wasrag help make each of us more effective than we are alone.  Given the fact that more children die from illness and disease related to unsafe drinking water than HIV/AIDS and malaria combined, the world needs our best efforts.”

Proof Positivity: Green Means A Lot More

Going green isn’t just about being Earth friendly; it’s about saving money as well and with gas prices as high as they are who wouldn’t want to save money?  Don’t believe me?  Let me put this into perspective for you.

I have a family of five.  If my family of five drank five bottles each of bottled water a day at approximately $1.20 per bottle that is about $30 a day, $210 a week, $840 a month, and $10,080 a year.  Common sense would tell you that tap water doesn’t even cost half of that.   If you build yourself you can add on an extra room to your home and maybe furnish it too for that cost.

I know the complaints, “But it tastes nasty!”  I agree tap water does taste nasty but so does bottled water since it came from a tap any way and causes all sorts of negative effects to the ecosystems they are draining water from.  That’s not the only negative thing about bottled water though.  It isn’t tested for safety.

According to Natural Resources Defense Council “The quality of some brands was spotty, however, and such products may pose a health risk, primarily for people with weakened immune systems (such as the frail elderly, some infants, transplant and cancer patients, or people with HIV/AIDS). About 22 percent of the brands we tested contained, in at least one sample, chemical contaminants at levels above strict state health limits. If consumed over a long period of time, some of these contaminants could cause cancer or other health problems.”

If you ever had real spring water right from a spring you would know bottled water with spring on the packaging doesn’t taste the same.  There is a sweet, cool taste to real spring water.  I do have a solution with better tasting water with fewer chemicals and before I plug this you need to understand I only promote products I believe in.  I am not getting paid for this and I am not getting any kind of compensation.

We own a Brita.  I fill it up, place it in the fridge and after it’s cold I put it in sports bottles.  My children and I have no bottled water plastic waste and it saved thousands of dollars.  I can go to sleep at night knowing that I did not encourage the sell of something you can collect in a rain barrel and we are not the cause of harming wild life.

The Brita I own is only one way to go green and save money.  Growing your own food is another.   There are fewer disease free bees than there used to be and bees are so important to growing more food.  It’s suspected that they are getting sick from chemicals placed on the vegetable and fruit crops.  If you have the money to buy organic then please do.  If you don’t have that kind of money, because it is expensive in comparison to the poison crops, why not grow your own food?  You don’t need a huge space just a container will do.  Every little bit counts and every little bit helps.

Another tip I have is to compost.  We have reduced the amount of our garbage by four bags a week.  Food, plants, clothes that would make the garbage, coffee that’s old and their grounds, guinea pig shavings, newspaper, egg shells, egg shell containers all go in the compost.  We save four bags a week that’s 16 a month and 192 a year.  Wow!  That is a huge savings and it all gets incorporated back into the Earth providing more nutrients.

Proof Positivity: My Thoughts Are With You

Last night produced horrible storms in eastern United States.  I just wanted to say my thoughts and prayers are with those who suffered the storms.   I know it seems like there’s nothing that can be done but and it’s hopeless  that simply isn’t true.

Oklahoma natives Reba McEntire and Blake Shelton will be holding a Tornado Relief concert on  May 26th.

American Red Cross offers support and shelter for those in need.

A tornado relief fund has been put into place.  All you need to do is go to your local bank and tell them you want to donate to Bridgeton Tornado Relief fund or bring it to the Bridgeton City Hall, 12355 Natural Bridge Road. Make checks payable to the “Bridgeton Tornado Relief Fund.

Moving company U-Haul is offering 30 days of free storage and U-Box Portable Storage to all residents who have been affected by recent storms and tornadoes.

I think at this time it’s important to bring up safety.  Tornado season isn’t over yet and you are the only thing that can’t be replaced.  I will direct you to the United States Search and Rescue Task Force which has a lot of tips and information.

Proof Positivity: Haiti Moves On

In January 2010 Port-au-Prince, Haiti  was rocked with a 7.0 sized earthquake.   Thousands were feared dead.  Enough of that I’m not hear to tell you about what was depressing and happened in the past.  I am here to tell you what is happening now in Haiti.

Honeywell breaks ground in Jacmel, Haiti for a new school.

Honeywell which invents and manufactures breakthrough technologies that address tough challenges linked to global megatrends such as personal, commercial and homeland security; safety in the air and on the ground; and energy efficiency for factories, refineries, homes, buildings, cars and trucks, has invested it’s time in to Jacmel, Haiti.

Jacmel, Haiti is expected to have a brand new school as of January 2011.

“Six months ago, Honeywell committed to contributing $1 million in aid to the region, including a 100 percent match of employee donations, to fund rebuilding projects in Haiti and we are on target with that promise,” said Tom Buckmaster, President of Honeywell Hometown Solutions, Honeywell’s Corporate Citizenship initiative.  “With the dedicated assistance of Mayor Edwin Zenny along with Operation USA, we’re confident that today’s ground breaking will help support education and overall community resources.  Honeywell has also made business jets available to relief agency Operation USA for airlift support to deliver medical supplies and transport medical staff.  We are dedicated to helping Haiti rebuild.”

This project will help to ensure the school can withstand a future earthquake and it will be made with sustainable building materials. Some of the special features of the school include  new computer lab,  a sustainable community garden, and regulation-sized athletic field.

A partnership between Honeywell and Operation USA has not only helped to bring this school to fruition, but also helped to create a scholarship fund  to help support expenses the students may incur during the school year, including mandatory school uniforms, books and supplies.

Proof Positivity: Kids Who Care

Kohl’s has announced the  recipients for their Kohl’s Kids Who Care  Scholarship Program which award $10,000 and recognizes outstanding volunteerism.  The winners are between the ages of nine to eighteen.  Kohl’s has also promised a donation of $1,000 per winner to the charity of their choice.

“Through incredible acts such as creating a thriving literacy program at a homeless shelter, harvesting and selling honey to benefit cancer research and leading a local movement to promote teen health, our 2010 winners exemplify the true meaning of volunteerism and demonstrate that regardless of age, people are capable of remarkable and inspiring accomplishments,” said Julie Gardner, Kohl’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “For the past 10 years, Kohl’s has been proud to recognize and support the education of extraordinary kids and hope their selfless acts will inspire more young people to make a positive difference in the lives of others.”

This year’s winners were selected from more than 27,000 youth nominees nationwide for volunteer efforts reaching far above and beyond what is normally expected of children. These remarkable efforts include raising funds to provide education to underprivileged kids, starting organizations to raise awareness and money for childhood diseases and providing toys, books and supplies to local families in need.

National scholarship recipients include:

  • Selchia Cain, 17, Kansas City, Mo. – Selchia started a local movement called “Health Hype: Super Size Your Minds…Not Your Bodies” to combat the rising problem of teen obesity in her area.
  • Charles Dewey, 18, Corona, Calif. – Charles founded a literacy program at the Circle of Hope Family Shelter for the homeless, growing a weekly three person volunteer effort to a four times per week 22-volunteer initiative.
  • Eileen Garrido, 11, Downey, Calif. – Born with a serious heart condition, Eileen founded the Beating Hearts Foundation and raised more than $930,000 in seven months for hospitals that treat children with cardiovascular diseases.
  • Carolyn (Carly) Houlahan, 15, Devon, Pa. – Carly co-founded Hives for Lives, a sustainable honey business that has donated more than $160,000 to cancer hospitals and research centers across the country.

  • Pearce Quesenberry, 12, Wilmington, Del. – Diagnosed with a rare brain cancer, Pearce started the Pearce Q. Foundation, which has directly helped more than 1,200 children and family members impacted by childhood cancer.
  • Ben Sater, 18, Plano, Texas – Ben founded KidSwing, an annual children’s golf tournament for kids, by kids, that has raised more than $800,000 for community-supported Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.
  • Pooja Shah, 17, Fremont, Calif. – Pooja founded Just Start, Inc., a nonprofit supporting after-school programs for 600 low-income second and third graders at more than 40 elementary schools in California.
  • Ashlee Smith, 11, Reno, Nev. – Ashlee founded Ashlee’s Toy Closet, and collected and donated more than 100,000 toys to kids in her community affected by natural disasters, personal tragedy and illness.
  • Elizabeth (Lily) Toomey, 9, West Hartford, Conn. – Born with a congenital heart defect, Lily raised awareness of and funding for heart health by speaking at American Heart Association events, raising $100,000 for the cause.
  • Jonathon White, 11, Stuarts Draft, Va. – Jonathon worked to collect, fold and pack approximately $500,000 worth of toys, clothes, school supplies, books and hygiene items for distribution to local families in need.

Congratulations to all of these children.

Proof Positivity: Heart Healthy World Healthy

Not only is General Mills heart healthy they are stepping into the green era to become world healthy as well.  In

Methuen, Massachusetts the company has added solar panels to the facility that makes yogurt.  Solar energy is expected to supply nearly 80 percent of the warehouse’s summertime power needs, and 40 percent of its needs the rest of the year.

“The enthusiasm of the work force and the partnership with state and local government led the way for us to install the solar panels,” said Jon Russett, energy manager in General Mills’ Supply Chain operations. “General Mills is committed to continuously improving its environmental performance.”

What solar power will do at General Mills’ Methuen:

  • The panels provide a year-round average of 55 percent of the annual electricity consumed by the warehouse building.
  • The panels generate enough electricity (110.7 kilowatts) to power approximately 12 average Massachusetts homes every year
  • Solar power will offset more than 112,000 lbs of carbon dioxide annually – this is the equivalent of taking 10 cars off the road.

I can see world healthy as part of the new mantra for General Mills.  General Mills’ San Adrian, Spain, facility now receives all of its electricity and one third of its overall energy from renewable energy sources such as wind power. The company is also constructing a biomass burner at its oat-milling facility in Fridley, Minnesota  that will burn leftover oat hulls from the milling process to produce about 90 percent of the steam needed to heat the plant and make oat flour.

“As we continue to work on sustainability across our supply chain, we remain confident that the groundwork we’ve laid will continue to show even more progress in the future,” said Russet.

Proof Positivity: Loud and Proud

Disability and Power Pride shout to the masses with one voice to change the perception of those with disabilities.  Founded in  2009 as a natural outgrowth of two first-of-their kind events that heralded a rising political force. The January 2009 Power & Pride Inaugural Ball attracted nearly a thousand guests from across the country.

To mark the 20th anniversary of the historic Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Disability Power & Pride will host a Gala celebration on July 26, 2010 at the National Press Club (529 14th St., NW), 7 to 11 p.m. – following a White House ceremony commemorating the ADA’s enactment. Disability community leaders, champions, advocates and supporters in government, business, the arts, service organizations, academia and the grassroots will join together to celebrate the past and reinvigorate a movement to change the future. This Gala is the capstone event for the anniversary day.

Disability and Power Pride mobilizes all Americans with disabilities, their families, friends and allies, to speak with your hands or mouth with one powerful voice.

Former Congressman and current chair of Disability and Power Pride, Tony Coelho states,  “The words in our name — Disability Power & Pride — distill decades of dreams and struggles, progress and challenges, and reflect the life work of countless leaders, legislators, advocates, and individuals of all ages, abilities and political affiliations. Difficult work lies ahead to deliver on the ADA’s promise, but to succeed we must come together, celebrate who we are, and build our political power.”

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