10/10/2016 01:06 pm ET Updated Oct 11, 2017

Do Something About the Global Refugee Crisis With Adopt-a-Future

Does the campaign "Adopt-a-Minefield" ring a bell? If not, here is some background: starting in the late 90s and going strong into the 21st century, millions of regular citizens rallied around the idea of clearing minefields. This was -- and still is -- a good and noble idea considering the harm minefields cause to non-combatants in war-torn countries. Minefields routinely destroy people's lives and limbs as well as hapless livestock in the fields. Adopt-a-Minefield, created by the United Nations Association of the United States (UNA-USA), was successful on many levels by engaging individuals, schools and other non-profits in addressing a collateral damage crisis.

Every year, UNA-USA chapters all over the country do something to celebrate UN Day which is traditionally observed on October 24, the founding date of the UN. This year, the UNA Pasadena Chapter in California is marking the date with the launch of Adopt-a-Future.

The UNA-USA Adopt-a-Future program stands on the shoulders of its predecessor in addressing a similar global problem. There are now 65 million people displaced from their homes by war, many of them children. 65 MILLION. Allow that huge number to sink in for a moment. There is nothing quite as heartbreaking, and dangerous to our future, as unmoored and uneducated people. Imagine losing your family, your home, any sort of stability at all, and then having no safe place to understand your world or your place in it. Schools are where young people generally create dreams for a future. It's not by accident that war-ravaged countries produce children who are all too frequently exploited by warlords or fanatics, religious or otherwise. Those children grow up to hate, and hate is contagious.

This is a perfect time to introduce both yourself and younger people to the work of the UNA. Many long-lived and established non-profits suffer from membership deficits as the founders and their children get older. We want our elders to continue, and we also need to replenish the ranks! A classic example of this problem was The Shakers. The Shakers were an exemplary religious organization; however, they didn't really think about the ramifications of their sexual abstinence requirement. The result of that policy? There are only 3 members left! The UNA analogy is not perfect because obviously, the UNA membership is not bound by arcane notions of procreation. That said, recruiting young people has got to be a priority.

The Pasadena UNA event features special guest speaker Katie Martin, Senior Associate: Global Health Advocacy, Better World Campaign. You can enjoy an afternoon of live music and refreshments as UNA Pasadena partners with the UN's commission on refugees for a nationwide fundraising campaign to build schools for displaced children.

There are few better ways to express "Think Globally, Act Locally" than by taking the family to find out about the Adopt-a-Future campaign and, at the same time, generating a future for the UNA too!

My parents enrolled our entire family in the UNA when I was a little girl, and it has apparently stuck. I was even a past president of UNA Pasadena! While hate can be contagious for uneducated kids in war-torn countries, altruism and kindness are also contagious. Spread the germ of understanding and goodness as you take action to create a better world. It's a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

United Nations Association Pasadena's "Adopt-A-Future" Launch Party
Saturday, October 15, 2016 from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Cost: $35.00 - $100.00
Sponsor: United Nations Association, Pasadena Chapter

To purchase tickets, click here

For readers not in the Los Angeles area, please click here to find a local event for Adopt-a-Future