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Give the Gift of Opportunity this Holiday Season

festive snow xmasFor almost twenty years, I have directly served and advocated for children and families living in poverty throughout the US. I have watched parents struggle to simply meet the basic needs of their families. With other educators, I spent years discussing the “achievement gap.” Then awareness grew and we realized that this conversation placed the blame for low performance in schools on the students!! It ignored the structures within the educational, social, and political systems that created the conditions of oppression, which create barriers to success. More recently, the conversation has switched to the “opportunity gap.” This is a step in the right direction, however, frequently people are still not ready (or unwilling) to go deeper into this extremely emotional and complicated issue. Shamefully, in the US, it seems instead of working to improve educational equity for students of color, sexual/gender minorities, students with disabilities, and girls we are taking huge steps backward! Unfortunately, the problems of inequity and lack of opportunity are not isolated to the US.

People all over the world experience similar barriers due to poverty and lack of access to opportunities. Lack of opportunity to explore interests, uncover talents, or build social capital are all barriers to people reaching their potential. The inequity can also lead to poor health outcomes and higher rates of mortality. The more we unite and work together, the sooner we can remedy this inequity. With this in mind, and in in the spirit of the season of giving – we ask you to consider giving a gift of opportunity!

Experiences and opportunities can be life changing!!!

This year won’t you join us in giving opportunities

to those who could benefit tremendously from them?

We have carefully cultivated a list of non-profit organizations that we know do great work! We know people who work with, volunteer at, or have received services from all these organizations.

To make the donations stretch a little further, we will contribute one dollar for the first 500 donations received! We will distribute the money between the organizations. Comment on the event page and tell us who you donated to. You do not need to tell us the amount! Every donation counts, please don’t hesitate if you can give just a little!! We wish you all peace, health, and happiness in 2018!

A few of our favorite non-profits

Connecther elevates the status of women and girls everywhere.
Connecther invests in women leaders who are creating sustainable impact in their local communities and provides a platform for youth to tell their stories about critical issues facing women and girls through the Girls Impact the World Film Festival.” Connecther was founded on a few major principles (a), Women and girls suffer disproportionately from poverty, conflict, oppression and war, (b) By working to advance women and girls globally, communities will be elevated since women give back significantly to their families & communities, (c) We need to highlight & invest in women leaders from developing world communities to help scale their efforts. For every woman leader we invest in, multiple more are created, (d) Encouraging women’s access to space and voice is crucial. Connecther provides a platform for women & girls to tell their own stories.  Donate @

Alvaro’s Friends. Animals deserve opportunity too. This organization helps the street dogs of Mexico by providing medical care, spaying and neutering, locating “forever homes” and caring for ones that cannot be rehomed. You can read more about them in the story, Loving the Street Dogs of Mexico Donate @

LGBTQ Community Center of New Orleans is dedicated to combating homophobia, transphobia, racism, and misogyny by supporting community-driven projects and organizations in the greater New Orleans area. They also assist homeless youth. Donate @

MamaBaby Haiti is a non-profit birth center and health clinic located in Northern Haiti. They provide a safe place for Haitian women to receive compassionate and respectful FREE prenatal, birth, postpartum, and gynecological care at the hands of skilled Haitian midwives. This care decreases their risk of dying from pregnancy and birth. Haiti has the highest infant and maternal mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere. In 2017, their Haitian midwives attended, 6,766 prenatal appointments, 587 births, 1006 postpartum visits, and 108 family planning appointments. Donate @

Northwest Youth Corps Since 1984, Northwest Youth Corps “offers a challenging education and job-training experience that helps youth and young adults from diverse backgrounds develop the skills they need to lead full and productive lives”. They serve over 1,000 youth across a four-state region in the Pacific NW.
Donate @

Jazz4Kids & Jazz Scholars at Seattle Reparatory Jazz Orchestra(SRJO)
Music is powerful! Learning an instrument can help build self-esteem and self-determination. Low-income and minority students often do not have the same access to instruments or lessons as children from families with more resources. The Jazz Scholars program works to provide the opportunity of music to youth that might not otherwise have access to it. Jazz4Kids provides children and youth a rare opportunity to hear jazz performed live in a concert hall. Donate @

Artist Trust Since 1986, Artist Trust has been supporting artists in Washington State. Donations to Artist Trust fund over $350,000 in grants to artists of all disciplines and thriving creative communities; produce 70+ programs annually on topics that ensure viable, sustainable careers for emerging and working artists; host low-barrier, responsive community events on topics from affordable housing and work space for artists to knowing your rights as an activist artist; pay fair wages to partners and teaching artists; and provide career opportunities for artists to connect with each other, as well as donors, collectors, and curators. Donate @

Safe Place provides housing, healing, and support for individuals and families affected by domestic violence, sexual assault, and exploitation. The also promote safe and healthy relationships. Their services focus on both prevention and intervention. They are located in Austin, TX, USA. Donate @

White Bird Clinic  “is a collective environment organized to enable people to gain control of their social, emotional, and physical well-being through direct service, education, and community.” They offer Medical and Dental Clinics, Drug and Alcohol Treatment, and Crisis Intervention Services, Case Management, and Counseling. The majority of their services are also available to teens. Their mobile crisis clinic runs 24/7!” White Bird is located in Eugene, Oregon. USA Donate @

Ava Snow Baby

Comments (4)

  1. This is such a great list! And I agree, I’d rather get a gift that makes the world a little better than just keep accumulating STUFF. I volunteered with Midwives For Haiti (another great org!) and heard great things about Mama Baby Haiti while I was there. Thanks for this!

  2. We donated to Whitebird Clinic and Mama Baby Haiti, also Parenting Now! for evidence based education for new parents. Thank you for starting this!

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