Beliefnet
Their Bad Mother

Today is Earth Day. I am, personally, feeling a little bit irritated with the Earth, the Earth being the source of the pollens that have attacked me and clobbered me into an allergy-ravaged mess, and so I am not feeling particularly motivated to go outside and hug a tree or collect recyclables or what have you. Not that I could if I wanted to – I’m sluggish and dopey from Benadryl and am curled up on the couch feeling sorry for myself. So. What’s a sick and/or lazy person to do if they’re feeling twinges of guilt about laying down on the job of being the change that they want to see in the world?

Well, here’s something (and, disclosure ahoy! this is a sponsored post, although one the content of which is directed entirely by, and enthusiastically endorsed – hence the writing of it – by me. Which is to say, no, really, this is a really good thing, and I mean it when I say so):

American Express has partnered with TakePart.com to create what they’ve called The Members Project:
a platform for, yes, taking part in social change in the easiest
possible way. Easy is good, people. Easy doesn’t mean passive or slow
or inactive – it means accessible and manageable and ready-at-hand and
DO-ABLE. Being the change you want to see in the world is an awesome
sentiment, but it means squat if you’re not able to do it. The Members Project aims to make it do-able. That – as I said before – is a very, very good thing.

So how does it work? In their own words:

Everyone can help change the world for the better, one step at a time.
American Express has joined with TakePart.com to bring you
opportunities to make a difference and provide a platform to express
your passion – in small manageable steps.

Whether it’s voting for a favorite charity to receive funding from
American Express, volunteering time, donating, or telling friends,
everyone can take a small step with Members Project and start making a
difference.

Volunteer at charities that American Express helps you find and get Membership Rewards® points for doing so

Vote once per week for the causes American Express should
fund.  Members Project is donating $200K to five causes every three
months.  This quarter’s voting ends May 24, 2010.

Donate money or Membership Rewards® points to one of each
voting period’s 50 selected charities, or choose from over 1 million
other charities.

Share your involvement with the program to inspire and encourage others to participate.

There’s a whole section devoted to organizations working in the
areas of the environment and wildlife, so it’s ridiculously easy to
just click over and take part in supporting an earth-friendly
organization for Earth Day. Or use the platform to find a volunteer
opportunity, and get out of the house and get your hands dirty.

There’s also a section for health and wellness. My favorite charity isn’t there – yet. I actually wrote to the project and asked them to consider including Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, one of the organizations that works to raise awareness of and research funding for the illness that is killing my nephew. If they do add, expect me to be plugging this even more.

Now, go do something that gets your hands dirty. Or give away some money. Whatever works.

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