behavior · community · culture · Social

From Tsunami to Storm, communities continue to give

The worldwide expansion of Salvation army
Salvation Army's presence throughout the world. Image via Wikipedia

My work was having a bake sale today for the tsunami victims of Japan when we heard the news about the major tornado in Alabama (one of the managers’ first thoughts: “maybe we should have another bake sale for Alabama.”). For my birthday we made crafts to donate to a local children’s hospital.

While it seems like the last couple of years have been filled with horrible natural disasters (or man-made; thanks BP!), and a bake sale isn’t going to fix much in the large scheme of things, what struck me is that despite our nation’s economic woes and our disaster-weary national psyche, we are still interested in reaching out to help each other, whether across the nation or across the Pacific.

As organizations and first responders offer emergency relief, food and shelter, many people across the country are looking for ways to help storm victims.

The Salvation Army has set up 10 mobile kitchens to provide hot meals to survivors in hard-hit areas like Tuscaloosa, Guntersville and Lauderdale in Alabama and Montpellier and Oxford, Mississippi.

Another 22 mobile kitchens are on standby.

Follow The Salvation Army’s blog for updates, visit its website or text “GIVE” to 80888 to make a $10 donation to the organization’s relief efforts. It will show up on your next mobile phone bill.

Samaritan’s Purse has dispatched experts and two disaster relief units, tractor trailers stocked with emergency supplies and tools, to assess the needs in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham and Cullman, Alabama.

more via Storm recovery: How you can help –

There are lots of different ways to help both nations. Post here for different ways you have seen your community reach out, either for these disasters or others.

education · environment

Defending sloths, frogs, and other animals

First, happy Veteran’s Day. Thanks to all the veterans for defending us.

Speaking of defending, I’d like to introduce the Amphibian Avenger:

Not only did she fall in love with amphibians, she fell in love with sloths. And apparently the world did too!

The world’s gone bonkers for sloths. It seems my little video featuring the sleepy residents of the world’s only sloth orphanage is the equivalent of grade A cute crack for millions of LOL squee loving junkies. It’s been watched by nearly 2 million people around the world from Greece (one of the first countries where the clip went viral – but then they needed a laugh that week what with the small matter of total economic meltdown) to Guam (66 Guamians have now watched which is presumably the entire population).

The sloths are now more famous than Jesus having been featured in Entertainment Weekly, The Huffington PostThe Daily Beastthe Approval Matrix in the New York magazine and on CNN all in the space of a week. Everyone is jumping on the sloth bandwagon – I hear that Madonna is adopting one, Jordan is attempting to marry one and Obama is considering using the sloths to help negotiate a peace agreement with North Korea.

Read more about it.