Monday, January 19, 2009

Straight Talk on service and volunteerism

Today, on the eve of Obama's inauguration, we are reminded for the need to serve, to volunteer, to give something of ourselves for others. This help may either be direct involvement in charities or causes or a donation to the same.

I know many of us would like to help but either don't know where or how to get started. I was in that position as well some time back but online friends pointed me to several charity-run and aggregator sites where one may register to participate. Participation comes in several forms: recruitment, awareness, and/or fund-raising. Awareness requires the posting of site badges on personal websites or blogs. Recruitment involves inviting friends to participate in the program, usually through social networking sites. Fund-raising is self-explanatory but with a twist - people may give through numerous online payment gateways like Paypal, VISA/MasterCard/ Discover/AmEx or debit cards.

I have recently signed up on SocialVibe, a charity/cause aggregator and chose Clean Water as my charity. There are numerous others including AIDS care, cancer awareness, poverty alleviation, and the like. Click on the blog title to see one successful project that has allowed the installation of a deep well for 333 individuals in Central Africa.

Given the proliferation of such sites, one will now be hard-pressed to claim ignorance of ways to help.

No comments: