6 reasons to make a difference

6 reasons to make a difference

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Folks, I believe that it's important to help people out when you're able to, and that means making a difference. It doesn't have to be big stuff to really create change.

A lot of the work I do on craigconnects involves quiet, back-channel communications, which I might never go public with. Mostly you hear from me bearing witness to good works of others, or, if I think I'm funny. (I know I'm not as funny as I think, though by Washington standards, I'm hi-larious.)

Here are 6 reasons that I work to make a difference:

  1. Code is power, and it's important to encourage girls to learn how to code. Orgs like Girls Who Code and Black Girls Code are doing this.
  2. Vets and their families do a lot for us. If they're willing to risk their lives for me, I'm willing to give back to them as much as I can. It's one of the reasons I became the VA's Nerd-in-Residence.
  3.  Ok, I really just want news I can trust. Trustworthy journalism's far and few between lately, and that needs to change. Couple years ago, I blurted out that "the press should be the immune system of democracy," and I still believe that.
  4. The Declaration of Independence reminds us that everyone is equal under law, and I figure election integrity is a big deal. However, there are some bad actors that are trying to pass legislation that will keep eligible people from voting. I'm working with folks like Voto Latino to stop 'em. Here's an infographic the craigconnects team and I created about these issues: Think You Have the Right to Vote? Not so much!
  5. Consumer protection is needed to protect regular people from predatory financial institutions. That's like home loaners who'll make loans to people who can't pay the bills, or payday loaners who deceive military families. Check out the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to see how an effective government org gets stuff done.
  6. I'd like to help give a voice to the voiceless and power to the powerless. Everyone should get the chance to be heard. It's why I started craigconnects. My goal's to team up with good folks in an effort to connect people and orgs around the world to get stuff done.

I'm looking to help solve problems that exist now, while learning how make things work better in the longer term by motivating people in increasingly large numbers.

social change

Photo Credit: Aleksi Aaltonen

That includes figuring out how to get people to work together, particularly the people at groups with similar goals. Nonprofits with common goals normally find it really hard to collaborate, and that begs for a solution.

To be sure, I don't feel this is altruistic or noble, it's just that a nerd's gotta do what a nerd's gotta do.

Sure, sometimes I gotta be a squeaky wheel, or sometimes I need to be annoying enough to motivate people, but will do so reluctantly. What are your reasons for making a difference?

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2 Comments

Kanani

It's all about fulfillment, on so many levels. But mostly it's about getting out of your own space, using this gift that we have to reach out to others learn something, and make a difference. Not in an idealized way, limited to a sound bite or an Instagram moment. But really being able to understand what makes life better, and trying to put things in place to fulfill it.

1. I work to make sure that military kids are recognized for their service, and get to go to camp each year for free through Operation Purple Camp. Send Military Kids To Summer Camp

2. I believe that music in school enriches the lives of kids beyond the walls of the classroom. Choral music is the great equalizer: no instruments needed, everyone has a voice, you can mix high achievers with kids who are struggling and they all have to work together to make music. That's why I run FullertonSings

3. I honor the memory of my friend, the late photo journalist, Image-maker Tim Hetherington, by supporting the "Bronx Documentary Center. What they do: bring the community together to talk about and express themselves about pertinent issues through the art of photography.

4. I run a small blog called WarRetreat devoted to parsing out information about sports, outdoor recreation, arts, and counseling opportunities for veterans, contractors and their families.

A

It's what matters.
We owe it to future generations.

(So it's a no-brainer, as long as you're dealing with people on a spectrum from well-meaning to indifferent.)

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