Author, Consultant, Executive Coach - Helping people and organizations grow into desired results

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Save-the-world in 2011

In this inaugural Save-the-world-Sunday (STWS) post I expand on the resolution I made for 2011 to help charities through fundraisers, by volunteering time and of course by increasing people's awareness of what they can do about the issues that matter to them.

As mentioned in my previous post, I've decided to restart my Save-the-world Sunday (STWS) series. Regular blog readers are aware of my own support (and that of my company, tmc) for environmental causes, particularly those devoted to animal welfare and habitat preservation. While this is a "corporate" blog, I began the STWS series on the principle that weekends are for spending time pursuing hobbies and interests, and so I designated Sundays as the day to highlight some important causes and provide information on how readers can act for change. I hope this will continue to be of interest and aim to publish series posts roughly fortnightly.

For now, here are a few things I have in mind for this year to give charities a helping hand:

Charity athletic events
  • I've registered to swim the annual Cole Classic, Australia's largest ocean swim which takes place here in Manly on 06 February (and sharks be damned!) - will post further details later this week on which charity I'll fundraise for and how you can get involved
  • With luck, I'll (survive?) enjoy that one so much that I'll be keyed up to do the 10th annual Sydney Harbour Swim Classic 2km circuit that takes place next to Sydney Opera House on 13 March - if I decide to go ahead with it I'll figure out which cause to support with the event
  • Another maybe event is the Bridge to Beach 11km ocean paddle happening on 17 April - again, I'll look into it and provide an update closer to the date
  • And of course later this year there's the City2Surf 14km race from Hyde Park to Bondi Beach on 14 August. At this point I've got it in the back of my mind and I think it'd be a bit of fun, maybe even get a team to enter...for now I'll see how things develop over the year.

Pure, total surf-stoke!
DSA (Disabled Surfer's Association) I volunteered at last year's "Let's Go Surfing Day" at Collaroy Beach and I'm looking forward to doing so again on 26 February this year. You just need to look at the face of first-time surfer James in this picture to understand why - you just can't find a more authentic expression of raw surf-stoke!

Have a look at the DSA website for info on when and where other events are happening near you - you don't need any experience as a surfer whatsoever, just a willingness to bring an amazing experience into the lives of people who might otherwise never get the chance.

[UPDATE: if you'd like to come along and are nervous about showing up on your own, come look for me & my mates from the Sydney Surf Group - there's over a dozen of us who'll be volunteering on the day and we're always happy to welcome new faces!]

(Click image to find out more)

Doggie Rescue is a registered charity with a strict No Kill philosophy and relies heavily on volunteers for all operational aspects. DoggieRescue has saved almost 9,500 dogs from death row in council pounds around Sydney and has some 200 dogs looking for homes. DoggieRescue runs a shelter at Ingleside and has many dogs in foster care throughout Sydney. Its Life Saver program enables dog lovers to support a doggie on an on-going basis.

If you have read Seth Godin's excellent book Tribes you will have heard of the work of Nathan Winograd (@nwinograd) in opposing the killing of healthy dogs and cats in animal pounds and "shelters". It's estimated that anywhere between 5 and 6 million healthy animals are killed each year in the US; in Australia at least 200,000 healthy cats and dogs are killed each year. Starting this week I'll be volunteering at Doggie Rescue in support of its continuing good work. [UPDATE: check out pix here] If you'd like to offer financial support click on the "Life Savers" logo above to find out more.

I'll wear a cooler hat though... ;-)
Penguin Monitoring - Something else I'd like to have a go at this year is to participate in the penguin monitoring program at Montague Island Nature Reserve in South Coast, NSW.  The project supports ongoing wildlife conservation, including monitoring the difference in breeding success of penguins (which is more scientific and less lewd/voyeuristic than it may sound). It's a great way to learn a more about them in a beautiful natural setting and to contribute to the long term protection of the Australia's third largest Little Penguin colony.

Now that's a look that says, "Thanks mate..."
Koala volunteering - A few years back during the Victorian bushfires an unlikely hero emerged from the ashes: Sam the Koala. I wrote about this iconic Australian critter previously and have had an ongoing interest in helping to protect these unique and endangered animals. So far, however, my research has yet to provide any tips on where/how to get involved as a volunteer in a koala-related activity - so I'd be grateful of any tips or info that readers can provide in the comments section below.

If there's one thing that my research into how I can support charities has shown, it's that there is no shortage of need. I hope that this year brings more people into contact with these worthwhile organizations and that you'll get to experience the feel-good that comes from doing good.

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