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Giving Tuesday

November 29, 2016

Dandelion by Bert Heymans via

Black Friday, no, thank you. Let’s stay home and play cards and make quilts and laugh.

Cyber Monday, meh. I’ve got to go to work.

Giving Tuesday, huh, I guess I’ve finally gotten to a stage in my life where I have money to give. I should probably support something, huh?

In fact, in this political climate, I feel it is imperative to put my money where my values are. Therefore, I’m supporting the following people and groups this Tuesday. The first two are people I know personally and gladly vouch for. The next three are organizations that I have personally benefited from for many years, without ever supporting. The last four are defenders – of civil rights, of women’s rights, of the world. Please consider supporting just a couple of these groups on this giving Tuesday. Spread the dana.

Engaged Buddhist Alliance

Three of my good friends from University of the West started this non-profit in order to bring the Buddhist teachings into prisons throughout California to increase rehabilitation and curb recidivism. They are trying to offer college-level courses in Buddhism to men and women at what Venerable De Hong calls “unnatural monasteries,” where he often teaches meditation in the desert heat. Please help them raise $1,000 to continue their work.

Compassion Without Borders

My friend, Dr. Khim Berling, a professor of Buddhism here in Southern California has been raising funds without pause to assist the victims of the April 2015 Nepal earthquake. Her most recent project involves providing medical care for one of the families she has been assisting after their father was struck by a motorcycle that broke his leg. He can no longer continue working to rebuild their house. Please help Khim raise $1,500 to bring them a toilet and clean water.

Planned Parenthood

Before the Affordable Care Act, Planned Parenthood was my only source of medical care. I received free annual exams and cancer screenings (including one biopsy) from them for four years. Although I couldn’t pay at the time, I can support them now and I hope you will too.


I have listened to NPR for over ten years without sending them a dime. I am addicted to their podcast app, especially the podcasts under humor, science, and the social sciences. As much as I paid for my college education, I think I’ve learned at least as much from NPR over the years absolutely for free. It’s time to give back.


Speaking of college, what student would ever get anywhere without Wikipedia to point the way? As I tell my own students, you can’t stop your research at Wikipedia (and for Buddha’s sake, don’t cite it!) but you sure can start there to get a great overview of something new and find better references. I have found their Buddhism portal to be comprehensive and accurate, right down to the diacritical marks. Support them through the Wikimedia Foundation and support the democratization of knowledge.

American Civil Liberties Union

I have never before felt the need to support civil rights organizations. I do now and I hope you will too. I anticipate many court battles in the years to come as the current government attempts to undermine freedom, oppress minorities and women, end freedom of religion, and exploit the natural environment for profit. Don’t let them. Support civil rights for all.


End violence against women, especially sexual assault and harassment, by supporting the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. RAINN operates help lines for victims, programs to prevent sexual violence, justice initiatives, and collects some of the best and most comprehensive data on sexual assault in America. No one deserves to be grabbed by their pussy, or any other body part. Help end it by supporting RAINN.

Southern Poverty Law Center

Continue the work of King to end hate, preach tolerance, and dispel the mechanisms of economic inequality. With the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center is going to be on the front lines of watching and fighting harmful rhetoric and legislation from the new government. Support racial harmony and equality by supporting them.

Our Children’s Trust

Again I’m supporting an organization that will fight in court to protect something we all value and depend on – the Earth and our children. This group just won an important legal victory that gained a group of children the right to sue the U.S. government to do more about climate change to protect their futures. Support their case in order to support the protection of our environment, win the war against climate change science, and show young people that they do matter.


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