SL has a very engaged social activism community and while there are outstanding events all the year through, holiday time proves to be a favourite for many such groups to host special activities for awareness and fundraising. One that caught my eye – and, as it turns out, my ear – is the Music Box for Children auction and sale event that has been running this December and will continue through January 22 2013. This event, hosted at Shekhawati Region by VK Navarathna India Gallery (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Shekhawati/100/33/22), has been the vision of VK and friends including Trill Zapatero, Quan Lavender and Secret Rage; I am sure there are many others who worked on this fine project, but those are the names I know – *smile*. The auction portion of the event is concluded, but there is plenty available for sale and some truly fine pieces are set at bargain prices! Most all are transfer for great gift-giving at the holidays – or any time. Pick up several to keep and to share; I did! In fact, I won the auction for Trill Zapatero‘s fabulous music box, and it will soon be delivered to me. I have just the spot for it at Ce Soir so you can all come over and enjoy it with me!
The list of reputable and well-managed charitable groups with presence in SL is long; we don’t know them all and so list the following with that note; we do NOT wish to exclude anyone doing good work to help others, and we thank you all. Just bear with us, knowing that we appreciate all the good things done in SL (and RL, for that matter) to make life happier and healthier for everyone. Still, we wish to mention some of the organisations we do know. Our main purpose here is to raise awareness that such wonderful philanthropic work is being done in our beloved SL, so please read on!
The list of organisations we know and hold in high esteem includes the American Cancer Society‘s Relay for Life SL (http://rflofsl.intuitwebsites.com/index.html or http://www.cancer.org/involved/participate/relayforlife/second-life); the RFL 2012 season is concluded, but you can visit the websites to donate, sign up to participate next year or just navigate around and learn. You can also visit the ACS sim in SL to learn about what will be coming up in 2013; information will be available soon as plans take shape for the spring. We at Ce Soir were pleased to support the effort by working with SL Music Races for a Cure, a team comprised of venue owners, musicians and music lovers from all around the grid in 2012; this team is known for its cohesiveness and energy (thanks to people like Still Braveheart, Liz Harley, Precious Rallier, and others). Aeon and I were true “noobs” at the beginning of the season, but we learnt a lot and are looking forward to 2013.
Other charities with a presence in SL include the Michael J. Fox Foundation, focused on finding a cure for Parkinson’s Disease. Diagnosed with the illness himself several years ago, Michael is deeply involved with the organisation, and they have raised both awareness and funds for research and support for those with the illness and their families. There is an entire sim dedicated to this organisation and you can go there and shop ’til you drop at some of SL‘s finest shoppes including Pulse/Avatar Art Skins, MEB, Gizza, and other fine purveyors of clothing, jewelry, beauty items and much, much more. Don’t miss this great shopping experience at Creations for Parkinson’s – and an opportunity to make a difference; check it out at http://www2.michaeljfox.org/site/TR/TeamFox/TeamFox?px=1006572&pg=personal&fr_id=1053. Team Fox also has an office at the Nonprofit Commons that is very much worth a look – and whilst you are there, do check out the other wonderful charities and projects based there; the place is open so pop on over. Check it out at http://www.nonprofitcommons.org/.
The Four Bridges Project is another activist group that has some excellent projects going. Hosting speakers on a range of important topics including the environment, health care and poverty, this group is founded on four principles: human rights, social and economic justice, respect for nature and a culture of peace. They readily share space, media, technology, knowledge and skills in the community. This group focuses on the virtual world and its environment and is led by millay Freschi, Founder and Virtual World Coordinator of Amnesty International USA. Forward thinking is the hallmark of this organisation and their sim is an excellent place to visit and learn. Visit their blog for links to informational websites and the in-world sim at: http://www.fourbridgesproject.org/four-bridges-blog.html
We’ll be doing some special events for various charities in 2013, focusing on information sharing, learning and fundraising. It’s something we’ve been wanting to do, and now is the time! In addition to some of those listed above, look for events for such organisations as the Wounded Warrior Project (visit their website at http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/ or pop on over to the sim at http://slurl.com/secondlife/PatriotIsland/159/125/29), Feed A Smile (Brique Topaz‘s excellent project to feed and educate children through Live and Learn in Kenya – http://feed-a-smile.blogspot.com), and perhaps others as well. Join us by coming along to one or more of our hosted events or those hosted by other fine venues and groups – or just by exploring on the web or in SL to learn more about what charitable organisations are doing in SL and RL. Knowledge is truly the only power we have, so avail yourself of it and enjoy the process, knowing that just by your presence and interest you make a difference. If you’ve some $L to spare, don’t hesitate to offer it to these reputable charities in-world – or to another of your own choice. It’s relatively easy to check the validity of such organisations and their practices; be safe and check before donating, but do look around! You might be surprised by all the GOOD that’s going on across the grid! We send out a big and heartfelt THANK YOU to all who work in the service of others. May 2013 bring you more success in your efforts to reach as many people as possible with information and support.