2/25/15

Five Places You Can Help

Remember how I was going to do 50 good deeds throughout the month of February to help celebrate my fifth birthday? Well, my friends, I am in home stretch. I only have about six more to do, which is a good thing since the month is almost over. I will tell you all about them and what I've learned later, but, right now, I will tell you something that I have discovered: fifty is a lot! At this point, I feel like an insane, obsessive person, sort of like Batman but not so dangerous or brave.

That's it! That's all I'm going to tell you. I'll tell you more next week.

But, I do want to use this little bit of space to do one more good deed. I would like to tell you about some organizations that are very dear to me. I invite you to give them your money, your time, your attention, and your general loveliness.

1.  The Children's Ranch. The Children's Ranch, located in Los Angeles, provides equestrian therapy, social skills training, and so much more to children and teens with disabilities. My big girl has been attending the ranch monthly for three years. During her time there, she has learned to work in a garden, to lunge and groom horses, and to care for other animals including, rabbits and ducks. With the help of the ranch's amazing and dedicated staff, she has (and continues) to learn the importance of listening, regulating her emotions, working as a team, and taking responsibility. If you are looking for a non-profit that does amazing work and that helps disabled youth and/or animals, this is the nonprofit for you.

2.  SPACE. This is another gem of a small non profit. It provides arts education of all kinds (writing, painting, drawing, etc), provides studio space for teens, and puts on an amazing quarterly spoken word night. I performed there once. It was really wonderful. In fact, they are having a spoken word night this Saturday. You should go. It is the best, cheapest Saturday night you can find, and parking is easy so no blah blaming the parking, traffic stuff. (See Personal Space on the website for details.)

3.  Girl Scouts. I sort of love/hate Girl Scouts. Next year will be my last year being a Girl Scout leader. To be honest, Girl Scouts LA--the organization--is always a little disorganized, and if they can find a difficult way to do things, they will. That said, the opportunities they provide girls for leadership are amazing, and--for many girls--Girl Scouts is their one ticket to seeing what life is like outside the big city. I am speaking of camping, and, I have to say, I think teaching girls to camp is as important as teaching them to code.

4.  Scripps College. I'm going to come right out and tell you that my alma mater is better than yours. I don't care where you went, there is no college in the US that is better at not only educating young women but at fostering conversations between women of different generations. I have learned more about how to navigate life through Scripps alums than I have anywhere else or doing anything else. We are taking the Girl Scouts on a tour there in March. It is my deepest secret wish that one of them (not my daughter; she must spread her wings) will go there, but I try not to think about it.

5.  The Glendale Humane Society. You know that I am a crazy dog lady, and that is largely because I am so crazy about my dog Scout. Scout was dropped off at the San Gabriel Humane Society (another lovely place), but she had such bad separation anxiety that they finally sent her over to the Glendale Humane Society, which is a no-kill facility. When they take a dog or a cat, they are taking it with the knowledge that it may be there for the rest of its life. Our sweet Scout was a mess when we adopted her, but the trainer there really helped us, and then we took a basic obedience class there, and the rest is history. Now Scout is the best dog in the world. (I'm sorry. I know you think your dog is better, but you are wrong.) PS: That's Scout's picture and you can see she is adorable.

I'm doing 50 good deed in one month. You can do one. Support one of these organizations--or one that you love.

11 comments:

Olga Hebert said...

i think I am coming a little close for being on the east coast. I volunteer at a horse ranch called InStride that does equine assisted physical therapy with students with a wide range of physical disabilities and learning challenges.

Margaret said...

Olga, I think that definitely counts. It is amazing, isn't it. There is really a special connection the kids form with the horses.

Bellis said...

Congratulations on your upcoming (or has it been?) fifth birthday. Why are you doing 50 good deeds when 5 would have sufficed? It's been fun following your daily deeds, and thanks for the tips about great places. The Glendale Humane Society sounds wonderful. How do they possibly have enough room to keep a dog for the rest of its life?

Margaret said...

Bellis, I think the goal is to find homes for the animals, and thus open up space for new ones. But I think they realize some animals (particularly ones with illnesses or chronic conditions) will be hard to place. I know they don't take in kittens because they know that those will find homes much more easily.

Shell Sherree said...

All wonderful causes and I love crazy dog ladies. You're one of the best, Margaret. {And Scout is indeed magnificent.}

Cathy Perlmutter said...

Let us subtly pressure my daughter toward Scripps. Scout is the best dog ever. Your good causes are heartwarming. So are your fifty things. They've taught me a lot.

Watson said...

You picked the shortest month of the year to do this, Margaret! Extra credits! There are so many good organizations out there helping people. It's good to let people know about them. Thanks for the reminder.

Petrea Burchard said...

I won't argue with you about Scout because I know the truth. But she's a very fine pooch, an example to many.

As are you! Not a pooch, but an example.

Ms M said...

A very good deed to highlight excellent organizations! We have some excellent organizations locally that we support. They make a real difference in the community.

Gloria said...

What would we do without these places and our dogs? As a matter of fact, I cannot get up right now as mine is taking her morning lap nap.

Cheers for your good cheer, Margaret.

Gloria

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I can sneak this comment in because everyone has moved on -- but I actually gave my horse away to a place like the Children's Ranch, and she was such a pill that they gave her back : /