They can't be avoided and they tug at my heart -- the flyers crying out for lost cats and dogs. I try not to look at the postings, but find I am drawn to the sad faces and I involuntarily begin to scour yards, sidewalks and driveways, hoping to spot a glimpse of the lost pet.
In the past week, Iran has been struck by two earthquakes that have killed dozens of people and leveled hundreds of homes. And because of the political standoff with Iran's government, Americans are largely unable to provide any help.
Charity watchdog sites rate charities on their financial growth and on the transparency of their publicly-shared information... but have yet to be able to meaningfully measure the quality or usefulness of their programs.
According to mythology, every 500 to 1000 years, the Phoenix dies in a fire in its nest and is reborn into a young bird from its ashes. It is from this story that Julie Anderson chose the name and the motto for her blog, "Phoenix Quilts."
After Hurricane Sandy, the retail industry quickly began assisting those who have had their homes and lives damaged. Some are boutiques that regularly give to charity and made special donations; others are larger corporations donating more than $1 million.
For many years, on those rare occasions when I cried, I'd get a headache. But when the grief is so intense, the tears wash over and seem to take out all the toxins and pain; at least, that's my non-scientific analysis.
Actress Eliza Dushku and screenwriter-director Joss Whedon launched a fundraising event in San Francisco to raise money for ThriveGulu, a charity founded by Dushku's mom, Judy, which aids survivors of Uganda's civil war.
If atheists and Christians started seeing one another as necessary partners in making the world a better place, what might we come to understand about each other? What might we come to better understand about ourselves? What might we accomplish together?
Walking around the Kaaba, I was at a vantage point to know that the jams I would get caught in were temporary -- they would end, literally, around the corner. This helped me be patient even when the pressure was greatest.
Programming in the HoA seeks to give people living in the region the ability to adjust to the cyclical droughts that return every few years. Feed the Future is one USAID program that hopes to build the capacity to withstand weather challenges.
It's more than a bit disconcerting to look at the low level of the African famine relief response -- especially when you've been around long enough to remember the 1984 Ethiopian famine and its massive tug on the hearts of the world.
I urge the donating public to take it slowly and deliberately. Better to carefully sort through relief agencies' descriptions of what they plan to do over the next month to two years in Japan to help it recover.
Many have been quick to point fingers and assign blame for the slow speed of recovery in Haiti. This can dangerously lead to a poorly-informed public and a skewed set of incentives for donors and NGOs.