Tuesday, April 28, 2020


Ten years ago this week, I turned forty-two (42), the age of the "the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything." This week, I shall turn 52. There is nothing particular about this number in the H2G2, but Facebook keeps reminding me to setup a charity through them. Well, screw them. While I regularly engage with their platform, I won't use it to guilt my friends into donations, particularly when Facebook charges high fundraising fees (for anyone not a verified non-profit). And FB can delay distribution of funds to the orgs.

No, in recognition of the questionably auspicious occasion of another orbit around the Sun, I will not have a party (not even a virtual or physically distanced one), nor will I seek presents. But I do have a request. If you choose to participate in celebrating my Born On date, I ask that you donate time or money to your favorite charity or not-for-profit organization. If you do not have a favorite, I happily suggest a few of my own:
  • School of Sacred Ministries -- Independent divinity school that offers a 27-month program of spiritual training with ordination as an Interfaith Minister upon conclusion. I was ordained here, I continue to work with them, and they can always use money to continue their programs and further the cause of interfaith dialog.
  • Montgomery Theater -- A small professional theater in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Montgomery Theater is my home-away-from-home. Like many not-for-profit enterprises operating in the arts, they are in a budget crunch. Donations can help pay actor salaries or utility bills, or keep the education programs running.
  • Cat Tales -- This is the animal rescue where we got Milo and Otis. When we are ready for more fur-babies, we will probably go back to them. 
  • Leukemia and Lymphoma Society -- My father-in-law would have celebrated another birthday on Monday (4/26) -- if he had not succumbed to cancer in March 2005. My own father was diagnosed with a recurrence of Myelodysplasia syndrome (MDS) in November 2009. He is currently recuperating after a successful mini transplant, but eventually passed in 2013 due to complications from a recurrence of cancer. So, yeah, I'm all for funding cancer research and treatment.
  • Cleveland Clinic -- My father had his bone marrow transplants performed here. They also treated him in March 2013. This clinic has an excellent medical staff and wonderful family support programs.
  • Philabundance -- The Delaware Valley’s largest hunger relief organization. Working to end hunger and malnutrition since 1984.
  • KidsPeace -- Top notch (and kind of local, for me) facility helping children and their families. Founded and headquartered in PA in 1882, they have services in "Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and the District of Columbia."
  • CBLDF -- The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is "dedicated to the protection of the First Amendment rights of the comics art form and its community of retailers, creators, publishers, librarians, and readers." They fight on behalf of all sorts of banned books
  • Hero Initiative -- These folks help comic book creators in all sorts of situations: emergency medical aid, financial support, help finding work, etc. Much of their work is in the sales of merchandise or features whose proceeds benefit creators in need, but they also have several donation options
  • poets.org -- A trio of groups dedicated to poets, poetry, and poems (Academy of American Poets, National Poetry Month, and American Poets Magazine). While April is National Poetry Month, they also have an ongoing poem-a-day service, and they have posted special Shelter In Poems options during the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. 
  • EDF and EarthJustice -- Two organizations working for environmental protections and justice. 
  • Americans United for Separation of Church and State -- With that name, it's probably fairly clear what Americans United (or AU for short) does. Help them fight theocracy in the US. 
  • Planned Parenthood -- This group is about so much more than access to safe abortions. They provide vital health care, sex education, and information to many people who otherwise could not get they help and attention they need.
  • Life After Hate -- People who have spent much of their lives indoctrinated into hateful, dangerous lifestyles need help rejoining the compassionate, humane communities. And that's where Life After Hate picks up their work.
  • Planetary Society -- Education, advocation, and exploration! Join CEO Bill Nye and the Planetary Society in their mission to "empower the world’s citizens to advance space science and exploration."
  • A Woman's Place (AWP) -- Providing emergency shelter, counseling, legal advocacy, legal assistance, and more for victims of domestic violence in the Bucks County, PA, area. 
  • Human Rights Campaign -- More than ever, advocating for equal rights is necessary. Particularly with the current administration seeking to undermine hard-won LGBTQ+ protections. 
  • Congressional Dish -- Operating under the value-for-value model, Jennifer Briney accepts no advertising or sponsorship for her twice-monthly podcast She works for you, not the corporate bigwigs, in covering bills, hearings, and more goings on in the US House and Senate.  
Thank you in advance!