7 Nonprofits to Support in 2014

By Photos public domain.com [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Photos public domain.com [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

There are those who think New Year’s Resolutions are a waste of time, and there are those who diligently make them every year. I’m in the latter camp. I love New Year’s resolutions, and what’s a better resolution than supporting some great causes?

If you’re looking for a little altruism to start 2014, here are a handful of really great organizations to support:

Cure JM Foundation works to raise money and awareness for Juvenile Myositis, a collection of rare autoimmune conditions affecting children. Rare disorders are the hardest to raise funding for, and organizations like Cure JM provide invaluable support for families.

Curiosity Hacked (formerly Hacker Scouts), founded by our own Samantha Cook, is collecting donations to bring their outreach programs to Children’s Hospital and family centered homeless shelters, where children have no access to build their skills and create what they have only imagined.

Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International continues the work of its namesake, who was murdered in 1985 while working to protect the endangered mountain gorillas of Africa. The African outpost of the organization is the Karisoke Research Center, founded by Fossey. The center works to protect the mountain gorillas of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, but also works to educate and support the local communities. They smartly believe that educating and helping the people of these embattled areas is one of the best ways to keep the gorillas, a prime target for poaching, safe.

DoSomething.org encourages young people ages 13-25 to get out into their communities and take action on issues that matter to them. GeekMom Laura included them in her tips for fighting Mean World Syndrome. There is a donation link at the bottom of the site, but this organization is really about helping your older kids find their voice and make an impact. It’s their world.

Lupus Research Institute focuses on another devastating autoimmune disease. Lupus affects an estimated 1.5 million Americans, and according to the institute “Most are young women of childbearing age.” What sets LRI apart from other Lupus research organizations is its sole focus on the most innovative, “novel” research in the field.

One Simple Wish grants wishes to children in foster care. The founder, Danielle Gletow, was a Top Ten CNN Hero in 2013. Foster children receive the absolute basics through government funding, but they do not have access to the simple pleasures that many of us take for granted. Gletow’s organization lets you search wishlists that children have made through their social services agency and fund a specific child’s wish. It could be anything from an XBox to an outfit for job interviews. You can also purchase $40 “We Care” kits for children entering or aging out of foster care, with essentials like shampoo and a toothbrush.

Worldbuilders is running its annual fundraiser for Heifer International through February 2nd. Author Patrick Rothfuss runs a lottery with all kinds of glorious literary prizes. For every $10 you donate, your name is entered into the lottery. GeekMom Kelly wrote about last year’s fundraiser, and you can find all of the details on Patrick Rothfuss’s blog.

This Week With the GeekMoms

Dakster Sullivan is geeking it out this weekend at Otronicon with her fellow 501st and Rebel Legion troopers. It’s her third year attending the event, and it’s sure to be a blast. On top of that, she is getting her new costume ready for its debut at Megacon in March. She can’t wait to show it off to everyone and get their reactions.

Laura is experiencing the short-lived but blissful euphoria that comes with getting over a nasty cold. She is using her newly recovered lung power to sing made-up songs with bizarre lyrics, despite her family’s threats to make stealth recordings. Today’s compositions include ditties about deadline purgatory, refrigerator smells, and movie piracy.

Rebecca Angel is currently listening to her daughter play the drums in her basement with some friends in a “band.” This is news since her daughter has only done musical things with her mom and other family members. She’s branching out! Other than that, Rebecca is very excited to see Potted Potter with her sister this weekend.

Rachel Cericola is desperately clinging to her New Year’s resolutions by continuing to exercise on a regular basis. She’s also trying to incorporate more local foods into her daily diet and is thrilled to be hitting up the farmer’s market this weekend. Of course, all of that may be sabotaged by a birthday party on Sunday. Her mother-in-law isn’t known for her healthy choices!

Melissa Wiley is binge-reading the novels of Muriel Spark.

Kathy Ceceri is busy putting together samples of projects from the Geek Mom book and her Robotics activity book for an appearance at the Barnes & Noble in Saratoga Springs, NY on Monday, January 21. The high school NASA club will also be there, showing off their rocketry projects, so if you’re in the area, come say hi!

Girly and Geeky, All at the Same Time!

One of the perks of writing for this amazing GeekMom site is finding other like minded people. Through the magic of the internet I stumbled across the blog of one of our loyal readers. Her name is Cindy and, although she’s not technically a mom yet, she’s one of the GeekTribe, for sure.

(Side note: she is a high school science teacher, which I think does count as being a mom, much of the time!)

Cindy has a lot of fun, geeky interests, but one of her most awe inspiring is her sewing. A year ago she decided to move beyond sewing elastic waist pants and zippered pouches and she dove into making herself a real dress. Fitted. With a zipper and everything.

Her bravery brought her a long list of completed projects, just twelve months later. And now she’s vowed to tackle harder projects in this new year. In these weeks of New Year’s resolutions, Cindy inspires me to step up my list.

Photo: Caiton Designs

Here are a few of her most famously geeky creations from last year, including this amazing Star Wars dress, that originally caught my eye. Head to her blog to see more detailed pictures. Don’t miss the view of the back, and her carefully placed characters.

Here’s a fabulous dress made out of Superman sheets, with a very cleverly shaped cut out on the back. Look familiar, Mr. Kent?

Photo: Cation Designs

Now head over to this post, to see her spectacular Batman creation.

I not only love the inspiration I receive from sifting through all of the projects on Cindy’s blog, I respect her humility. She’s very transparent about her weaknesses, when it comes to sewing, and documents her projects thoroughly. Honestly, it helps me feel better about myself, when the latest thing I’m creating seems a bit lopsided.

Way to go, Cindy! It will be fun to follow along on your projects for the new year. Here’s to another year of fabulous geeky creations!