Shop For The Snow Leopards

January 29, 2008

Every once in a while I come across a thoroughly excellent site, and the Snow Leopard Trust definitely falls into that category – it combines exotic ornaments and textiles, charity, and one of my favorite things, big cats.  Besides having tons of information about these majestic creatures, you can shop for handmade goods from the felines’ homelands of Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, and more.  It’s a great way to add a touch of the exotic to your home; of course, you can also adopt a snow leopard or two as well.

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How can you say no to this adorable face?

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Here’s a picture of some of the Nepali children I mentioned in my last post.  These are the actual kids that Dudes Making a Difference helps to educate.  Note their “DMD” t-shirts.  Don’t they look happy?

In response to this post/contest at the 4 Hour Work Week:

Tim Feriss asks his readers “What would you do with an extra 36 hours per week?”

My first response was that I would do some pro bono writing and website/blog development (because many, many organizations don’t utilize the vast amount of free resources available to them on the web) for local nonprofits. 

In an ideal world, however, I wouldn’t keep it local.  There are so many groups around that world that would benefit from some added visibility, they just need someone to help them out – to teach them how to work the internet system.  Obviously, this would be more difficult in countries where the use of the web is censored, but it still could be possible.

One such nonprofit is an organization that a family member (my previously mentioned fabulous aunt) helped found – it’s called “Dudes Making a Difference”, and their goal is to fund the education of Nepali boys and girls.  All it takes is a couple hundred dollars a year to send one of these children to school, so a decent website (including a blog that the children could post on – many of them speak good English and they do have internet access) and some focused web marketing could significantly increase the Dudes’ impact on that Nepali community.

That’s just one example out of thousands.  Hell, just check out Kiva.org for lots of examples of how the web can change peoples’ lives.  With my extra 36 hours, I would use my skills – writing, marketing, and internet savvy – to help others to help themselves.  It all comes back to the adage – “Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day.  Teach a man to fish, he’ll eat for a lifetime.”  I might not have tons of cash to donate, but I have my abilities and my time.

 *Yes, I know that you have to enter the contest through the comments.  I’m just organizing my thoughts.

**I also know that I’m hopelessly idealistic.