Wednesday, December 5, 2007

GEN101 #4 (RED) effort

GEN101- RED effort

Prior to going to the Gap, I decided I had better research the program myself before I started firing out questions to the employees. In almost 20 months, the (RED) effort has raised $50 million in the global fight against AIDS/HIV in Africa. For each (RED) product purchased, nearly one million people are reached. Much of the money has gone to educating people on the AIDS/HIV virus and prevention. In Rwanda, money has been put towards trained doctors and nurses to help with the prevention of mother to child contraction during birth. In both Ghana and Swaziland, money goes to teaching awareness and home medical treatment. Half the profits raised by companies, such as GAP, go to the (RED) effort in Africa.
I couldn’t believe how much that a single tee-shirt sale could benefit another’s life so greatly. At this point, I was really excited and couldn’t wait to drive over to my mall and talk to some of the employees at GAP. Unfortunately, I did this research on Thanksgiving Day and wasn’t able to go until Saturday because there was no way I was going to go on Black Friday. So when Saturday finally rolled around, I was set and ready to go. I got to the GAP shortly after it opened and stalked down the nearest employee, which wasn’t that hard considering that I was one of two shoppers in that early. The kid didn’t look like he was much older than I was, never the less; I approached him with my questions. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a more confused individual; he looked at me like I was insane when I asked him how he felt about working for a company that was conscious to the hardships over in Africa. When I explained to him the (RED) effort that GAP supported, and that he unknowingly did by working there, his eyes just kind of glazed over.
I decided to get started on my Christmas shopping and come back later, when someone else was on the clock. After a few hours of roaming fro presents, I went back to the GAP. By then, the store was packed! I had difficulties even finding an employee, and by the time I did, the girl was swarmed by several customers demanding extra sales. I waited patiently for the irritated shoppers to disperse and when they finally did, I approach the employee. She was actually really rude to me, and acted like I had some nerve trying to talk to her while she was working. I felt a little silly so I thought if they aren’t doing anything to contribute, at least I can. I bought three (RED) tee-shirts, and hoped that my brothers would at least appreciate the effort.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

GEN101- famous philanthropist

GEN 101- famous philanthropist

Paul David Hewson, Bono, is not only famous for being the lead singer of the Irish rock band U2; he is also a very famous philanthropist. Bono and his band have advocated the work of Greenpeace, War Child, Amnesty International, and Jubilee Plus.

Greenpeace is an organization in which peaceful actions are taken to expose the environmental problems. In the early 1990s, U2 joined a Greenpeace protest to boycott a nuclear plant in England. Greenpeace has been recently doing work to stop global warming, save the forests, eliminate toxic chemical, preserve the ocean, and to enforce peace and nuclear disarmament.

War Child consists of networks of independent organizations that fight for children caught in the cross fires of war all around the globe. Bono, and several other pop groups including Pavarotti, The Edge, Meat Loaf, Michael Kamen, Marco Armiliato, L'Orchestra Filarmonica di Torino, joined together and made an album, Pavarotti and Friends: Together for the Children of Bosnia. The money raised from the album sales went to the War Child foundation.

Amnesty International, a nongovernmental organization, aims to protect those whose human rights are abused and to arouse public opinion on the issue. Amnesty International is now Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and a UN Human Rights Prize winner. In 19985, Bono preformed with his band, U2, for the Amnesty International’s 25th anniversary. U2’s lyrics advocate to fans to join their local chapter and help the fight for human rights.

Jubilee Plus in an international program, which works to try and eliminate poor countries $376 billion debt by getting the support of the wealthy countries. Bono has been raising awareness though the media for support in Africa. Bono’s lyrics not only help in calling attention to Africa’s unpaid debt but also to help in bringing attention for the AIDs catastrophic breakout.

I think that it is amazing what Bono has chosen to do with his fame and influence. So many Hollywood stars are content with leading their million dollar lifestyles and not even giving second thought to the “little people”. Bono has gone above and beyond what most people would even considering doing for others. Obviously he’s not just participating to make himself look nice and charitable to his fans in an attempt to raise his album sales.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

GEN 101 #2

GEN 101- research on a service organization

The Head Start organization was organized to help the growth and development of newborns to three year olds. President Lyndon Johnson introduced the program as a part of the War on Poverty. The program was approved to meet the needs of underprivileged children by the Economy Opportunity Act 1964. The program began as an eight week summer program. In Children of such young ages were particularly taken care of because evidence shows that the younger the child is, the more important it is to begin dealing with their social skills and development.

There are several branches to the program; early head start, head start, Migrant and Seasonal Program, and American Indian-Alaska Native Program. Early Head Start works with strengthening development in infants. Some of the children enrolled are newborns. Head Start works to create a healthy environment within families. Migrant and Seasonal worker branch works with the children of both migrant and seasonal workers who meet the criteria for the program American Indian-Alaska Native Program was established to directly meet the needs of American Indian families and Alaskan natives and to help in getting their children prepared for school.
In order to be eligible for the Head Start Program, most of the participants are at federal poverty level. Other eligibilities can fall into addition help with family life and dealing with disabilities. Many of the programs have full services dedicated to helping children with disabilities and assisting the family with dealing with the disability.

Head Start’s goal is to use the combined efforts of families and staff to ensure that the child is taken care of. Head Start is a program, used nationwide, that helps to prepare children for school. Head Start helps both the child and the child’s family by bettering them social, nutritionally, and educationally. The program is able to focus on reading and math skills for economically deprived families by supplying grants to public and private, non-profit and for-profit organizations locally. The Head Start facilities encouraged parents to become more active figures in their child’s learning process by assisting them with their own education and employment standards. One of Head Start’s goals is to ensure that families are able to meet basic health needs. They do this by combining the efforts of family, staff, and health care professions

GEN 101 #1

GEN101- reflective journal

In the beginning of November, I went to Heard Start with several of my friends who also needed to perform their community service. When we first got there, the ladies at the front desk spilt us up into several groups. My friend Shannon and I stayed inside and went to one of the classrooms, while my other three friends went outside to play with the kids. As we were leaving to go to the classroom, one of the desk ladies was mumbling to the other about how “all them kids waiting on the very last minute to do our community service”. When I first walked into the classroom, all the kids were already broken up into groups and were having play time. The teacher introduced herself and told us that the kids ranged from ages three to five. I felt a little awkward and wasn’t really sure what to do with myself. That was until one of the kids ran up to me, grabbed my hand, and demanded that I play blocks with him. Next thing I knew, I found myself sitting on a colorful rug, surrounded with toys and toddlers. It was so much fun sitting there and playing with all the kids, who each wanted your full attention totally dedicated to them. It was weird how quickly I learned some of the personalities of the kids. There was one little trouble maker who kept knocking over the massive block towers, other who was convinced he was a firefighter, there was a little boy who spoke very little English who was glued to my side, and a little girl who sat in the corner all by herself coloring. Another really cool thing about the whole experience was that a few of the kids were Spanish speaking, and the teacher, who was multilingual, spoke to them in both English and Spanish.

After working and being with the kids for only two hours, I was considering becoming a teacher. I was so happy and had so much fun working with the kids. It was so different than dealing with high school kids or even college students. These children were so excited and happy to see you, and they had unlimited question for you. They were a bit rowdy at times, but they were so young. Elementary teachers have such an impact on young children’s lives. I still remember every single one of my teachers kindergarten through sixth. And I remember which ones were nice and sweet and made me want to be there, and the ones that made me not so excited to go to school. If I do so choose to pursue a teaching path, this experience is defiantly one of the reasons that I would have chosen to do so. Working with the kids just made me so happy and I think that it would be the kind of job that would make me excited to go to work. It’s a hard decision to try and make right now though because I am currently enrolled as a biology major. I do enjoy taking sciences but it’s a lot more work than I anticipated. When I was talking to my parents about it, they did tell me that nothing worth it is easy.

One of the course experiences that I felt most closely related to going to Head Start was when everyone shared a personal artifact with the class. The two reminded me of each other because when I was in kindergarten, every week we would have show and tell and share with classmates something close to us. Also both experiences gave me a better understanding of the two different groups that I would be working with. The personal artifacts in class helped in getting to better know everyone; I learned that many people, like myself, love the beach and I also found out that Erin grew up in a town very close to my home town, which is unusual since we both grew up so far away from The Mount.