Chattering Mind

Afer I write a blog item these days, I try to locate a free photograph on the web to accompany whatever I’ve written. So just now, when I went on the prowl for a Richard Gere photo, I decided to turn to his own Gere Foundation, which coordinates funds and grants to foster AIDS research and a free Tibet. Gere’s foundation website should be a good place to find his face, right? Wrong.

The foundation’s website is almost exclusively about the history, people and landscape of Tibet. It’s not about Gere at all. Gere isn’t even pictured. Nice!

Additionally, the website says where the Gere Foundation’s money is channeled. I hadn’t realized, for instance, that the group gives money to Tricycle magazine, the wonderfully written, thoughtfully edited Buddhist periodical.

Allow me to pick up and run with what follows, something I just lifted off their website, since it tells you concisely about the causes the Gere Foundation supports. I think you might one day be moved to contribute to this gracious, peace-loving group.

The Gere Foundation awards grants to humanitarian organizations supporting victims of war and natural disasters, providing HIV/AIDS care and research and addressing human rights violations occurring around the world. Our primary mission is to assist the cultural survival of the Tibetan people through health, technological and educational projects. The Gere Foundation contributes directly to The Tibet Fund, supporting His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan community-in-exile. Dislocated from their homeland since 1959 and under the continuing brutal occupation of the Chinese, thousands of Tibetan refugees risk their lives every year escaping to freedom in India, Nepal, Mongolia and elsewhere.

The Gere Foundation also contributes to other humanitarian causes: Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for their work in global human rights with particular emphasis on China and Tibet, Survival International for their work with indigenous endangered cultures, Oxfam America, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) for their work in famine, war, and disaster relief, AMFAR, AIDS ReSearch Alliance, AIDS Project of Los Angeles, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Children Affected by AIDS, Harvard AIDS Institute, Naz Foundation and many other groups and research projects for their continuing fight against HIV/AIDS and their outreach to assist its victims.

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