All Articles Tagged "volunteer"
Valentine’s Day, V-Day, Doomsday, D-Day – the one time of year where singles across the world are reminded of just how single they are. Commercialism and society put so much pressure on people regarding this holiday. What many fail to address is that although Valentine’s Day is commonly associated with a romantic kind of love, it isn’t the only form of love. So, before you get all down on yourself for not having a significant other to spend the day with this year, start throwing yourself a pity party or even linking up with a random person all for the sake of not being alone, check out nine ways to spread love this Valentine’s Day that will not only leave you feeling fantastic, but will help someone else as well.
NBCUniversal’s telethon “Coming Together,” which aired on Friday, raised about $23 million for the American Red Cross, the company says. Besides the previously reported guests — Bruce Springsteen, Christina Aguilera and Billy Joel among them — celebrity guests included Mary J. Blige and Tina Fey. We’re happy to report that this isn’t the only charitable effort out there.
Disney and ABC have also partnered with the American Red Cross to raise money for the effort. As of about 1pm this afternoon, they’d raised about $9.25 million, including $3 million from Samsung. (The New York Yankees, U-Haul, and Home Depot are among some of the other companies that have donated millions of dollars to help.) For more info about how you can participate with that, click here.
While there are many uplifting stories about people pitching in, donations pouring in and life slowly getting back to normal in some areas, there are also disturbing stories about people who are still in dire need with supplies running low and temperatures dropping. ICYMI, there’s this story from the Times this weekend discussing the scary circumstances that people living in New York’s public housing system face, from a lack of water to crime at the hands of disgusting opportunists.
Digging a little deeper, a follow-up story discusses the belief among some victims that relief is coming to people based on socioeconomic status.
“Around the city, particularly in places already sensitive to the afterthought status conveyed in the Manhattan-centric characterization ‘outer boroughs,’ the accusations of neglect seemed colored by a growing belief that the recovery from Hurricane Sandy has cleaved along predictable class lines,” The Times writes.
Sadly, it goes without saying that those with money, those places that are centrally-located and the parts of town that are deemed “more important” (usually based on their economic importance) do get the most attention first in situations like these. Many years ago when New York City suffered a blackout, for instance, I lived in the Financial District of downtown Manhattan and promptly regained power the following morning while places in Queens and other parts of the city suffered much longer.
Infrastructure has been a hindrance. In some cases, relief organizations says they literally can’t get to the people who need it. But we need to make sure to continue to maintain a focus on the many thousands who continue to struggle to pull their lives back together, and work quickly to get them the basics they require. They need us and we must answer the call.
Social media has been critical to the response to Hurricane Sandy. During the storm on Monday and early Tuesday, Twitter donated Promoted Crisis Tweets to the Red Cross and FEMA, the New York City’s Mayor’s Office and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, Mashable reported. This allowed the organizations to get their messages in front of as many social media users as possible. The social site also posted a blog with Twitter accounts users could follow to get up-to-the-minute updates on the situation.
This type of outreach was very important during the storm, as social media was one way people kept updated on the storm in real time. Users posted pictures and videos of the storm and how it affected their neighborhoods, and kept friends and family posted on their situations.
CBS News reported that there were more than 3.5 million tweets with the hashtag #Sandy over the past day, and Instagram users posted 10 photos per second with storm-related hashtags, CEO Kevin Systrom said.
But now that things with the storm have calmed down, news and social media coverage has shifted to clean up and recovery efforts. Red Cross volunteers and others from across the country have already made their way to the East Coast to help.
If you have information about other ways that people can help with the clean up and recovery effort, please post it in the comments.
The season of beaches, BBQs and outdoor festivals is quickly coming to an end, but it’s not completely over yet! Take advantage of the last unofficial weekend of the summer season — Labor Day weekend — and pack lightly (or not at all!) for these last-minute, affordable ideas for ending the summer on the right note!
Deals online through various getaway websites like Groupon, LivingSocial, Last Minute Travel or Expedia can make your last summer weekend your best weekend of the season. With many deals in various destinations, going online to book a last-minute trip has become one of the most popular ways, with up to 80 percent off regular hotel prices.
Tip: Make sure you read the fine print of your online deal to make sure the Labor Day holiday weekend is covered with the number of nights you need. Book your travel, pack your bags and you’re all set to soak up the last summer weekend.
For the majority of college students, encountering student loan debt is an inevitable reality. But depending on the types of loans you take on and what you decide to do after graduation, loan debt doesn’t have to be a lifetime burden. Maura Kastberg, the executive director of services for college prep company RSC, tells the Daily Finance that if college students address their student loans sooner than later, there’s a greater chance of loan forgiveness.
“When they graduate, many students immediately consolidate their loans,” Kastberg says to the Daily Finance. “While this can simplify things, it also can close off many loan forgiveness options.”
When it comes to loan forgiveness options, there are several traditional and non-traditional approaches recent graduates can choose from. While these are careers that may not align with the graduate’s ultimate career aspirations, they are opportunities that can provide new exciting learning experiences, and perhaps even place you in a career you never thought you’d enjoy. For those of you who can’t afford to wait for the court or congress to make a ruling concerning student loan debt, take a look at these optons:
Americorps and Vista: This program is especially beneficial for someone with minimal student loan debt. As a volunteer for Americorps or Vista, recent graduates can gain experience in a variety of fields and positions that can add new competitive skills to their resume. In addition, after one year of service, volunteers receive $4,725 to pay off loans and a stipend of up to $7,400.
Peace Corps: If volunteering interests you as well as the prospect of gaining overseas experience, then the Peace Corps may be the right program for you. If you have Perkins student loan debt, Peace Corps will cancel up to 70 percent of your debt. For Stafford and consolidated loans, you can receive a deferment of up to 27 months.
Teaching: There are several school districts that offer additional incentives for teaching. Some school districts will even offer full forgiveness for Perkins loans and up to $17,500 for Stafford loans in exchange for five years. Check into school districts near you to see if you can qualify for any loan forgiveness as a teaching.
Military Service: If you’re facing a tremendous amount of loan debt, the Army National Guard has the Student Loan Repayment Program. Depending on your field of student, the program will pay as much as $50,000 of student loan debt
Become a Rural Veterinarian: For those who have the skillset and background, the Department of Agriculture has the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program. For qualifying applicants who don’t mind living in rural areas, the program offers up to $75,000 in loan forgiveness.
Healthcare Professionals: For those interested in health fields, your loan debt can be addressed through programs such as the National Health Service Corps or the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program. Both of these programs place medical workers in underserved areas and offer funds for student loan payments.
The National Institute of Health is another option that repays up to $35,000 per year for clinical researchers that qualify.
Legal Professionals: Some states offer loan repayment aid for state employees who studied law. There are also several nonprofit and public interests groups that help young lawyers pay off their debt as well.
If none of these offers work for you and it looks as if you have no other option, there’s always the French escape route. The French Foreign Legion allows new members to travel to distant lands and even encourages them to pick a new identity! After one stint, members can pick up a French citizenship, which may assist you in securing legal protection against creditors.
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By Blair Bedford
The path to employment isn’t limited to just one road or direction. There are various ways you can make the most out of your time and energy in-transition during the job searching process. Although interning and volunteering have a stereotype for only being opportunities for young, inexperienced college students looking to get coffee and answer phone calls all day, these methods are some of the best ways to occupy your time while on the job hunt. Plus, if you find the RIGHT internship you can be given a lot of responsibility, and in turn, get your foot in the door and possibly be offered a position in the end. While you’re waiting, try utilizing and broadening your skill set and experience with some of these non-traditional employment alternatives for some of the traditional college degrees:
In today’s fast-paced world, many individuals are so consumed by the busy-ness of life that they forget to take time to empower themselves, as well as others in their everyday microcosm. Empowerment is a very robust term, but I think that most would agree that it is a process whereby one spiritually, socially, politically and/or economically strengthens oneself, as well as other individuals without expecting anything in return.