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Sorry, I haven't gotten around to finishing this yet.  It's just some scattered notes at this point.  Please try back later.  :)

I'm a big believer in doing your civic duty.   I've been doing volunteer work since I knew the meaning - at churches, environmental stuff - water testing, trash collecting, recycling promotion, working at nursing homes, working at animal shelters, for the ACLU, libraries, etc.  I try to give 10% of my salary and 10 hours a week to charities/volunteer organizations.

5 steps in emergency - Darley and Latane's Stage Model of Helping
* Darley and Latane developed a five-stage model for helping in emergency situations:
  • Noticing the emergency
  • Labeling the situation as an emergency
  • Assuming responsibility to help
  • Deciding what to do
  • Implementing the decision to help

Well, as always, it's important for us all to do what we can. Donate blood. Be an organ donor, it costs you nothing. Support disaster relief charities, reputable ones where you know the money is going where you want. Give some of yourself and your time. Don't lose faith in humanity.

In the United States alone, there are over 87,000 men, women and children awaiting a life-saving organ transplant. Worldwide, that number exceeds 200,000. And when each day, 13 people are added to the list of people waiting and another 17 are deleted because they died waiting, it's not hard to see that this is a growing public health problem.

Fact: It's estimated one person donating their organs can save 8 lives. (heart, 2 lungs, liver, 2 kidneys, pancreas and intestines) I actually think it can be more than 8, because often a liver is donated to 2 people, since you don't need to transplant an entire liver. Plus, your skin can be used to keep burn victims from dying of an infection. And then there are the general tissue donations - bones to fix a disability, corneas to treat blindness, etc.

Fact: The doctor(s) in charge of your care have nothing to do w/ the transplant/organ recovery team(s). They will NOT just "let you die" for your organs if you are a donor. In fact, no one connected to organ donation is even contacted, nor is organ donation even considered, until all efforts have been made to save your life and you are declared brain dead.

Fact: The rich/famous DO NOT get moved to the top of the list. It sometimes seems that way because of the publicity surrounding their cases. A close friend of mine refuses to be a donor because his secretary died waiting for a kidney but some governor got one before her. That's just proof more people need to be donors. Kidneys and other organs go to who needs them most AND to who is the best match. If she needed one as much as whatever governor did, and he got it, then he was the better match for the organ available. UNOS is very strict on this, and in fact audits every celebrity who receives an organ to make sure it was absolutely fair.

Fact: All major religions, including Catholicism and all four branches of Judaism, support and encourage organ donation.

Fact: Your family is not charged any money for the cost of your organ removal. Nor does it delay burial or prevent an open casket.

Fact: Over 6000 people die a year because they didn't receive an organ transplant. Many others are on dialysis or suffer in other miserable ways because of shortage or organs and tissue.

Fact: Age and health should not prevent you from registering as an organ donor. Your organs and tissues will be evaluated when you die for their suitability in a transplant. I'm in crappy health*. I'm still an organ donor, though. Skin for burn patients, bone, anything useful left on me, I want to be used.

prisoner's delima - we play dozens of times a day and most of the time we lose

pick your priorities
don't be overwhelmed (there is so much wrong, I can't do anything)
don't let your own life suffer, you have to be your first priority, and your family and those you have a direct responsibility for
if your life isn't worth living, you aren't any good to anyone else
you have to take care of yourself
if everyone does some, it'll be good

everyone with a reasonably comfortable life can donate a few bucks here and there. 
everyone can donate some time.  no one is too busy!  It really doesn't take much.  Shut-ins can donate crafts.  You can stuff envelopes while you watch TV. 

i get asked for money by dozens of worthy causes, but I can't give money to every cause I believe in.  I donate to the ACLU and to Planned Parenthood, and that's it.  I used to donate to environmental organizations but i'm tired of being lied to

I donate stuff to a nearby hospital - they accept donations of crap, sell the stuff to raise money for the hospital.  It's easy and painless to do this sort of thing.  What I do is keep a small crate around, and when I find something I don't want anymore, I toss it in the crate.  When it gets full, I take it to the hospital.  There are places like the salvation army, goodwill, etc.. all  over that will accept your donations - it's easy, painless, and takes no time.  Many of these places will even come pick up your stuff

I donate time to our local library and to two animal shelters. One directly - feeding animals, cleaning cages, etc.  and the other by interviewing potential adopters over the phone.  This is great for someone with limited time - you can do it for 5 minutes, here and there, whenever you can fit it in.   I still work a very demand job (averaging 60+ hours a week) and have time for my boyfriends, friends, my pet, hobbies, reading, etc.  You have to work at scheduling and prioritizing but you can do it and it's worth it!

I've really wanted to give more back to the Linux/FOSS community lately, so I've become more active, released more, and joined more communities. I'm contribute to several linux or f/oss projects, including The Ubuntu Team Wiki, Ubuntu Women,, the Pennsylvania Ubuntu LoCo Team, and (though, of course, Ubuntu is the OS that has my heart). I also write some of my own projects, and I write articles for geek-friendly websites, including those for newbies and those for more experienced users. - "virtual" opportunies to volunteer, all you need is a computer.  you can squeeze in a bit here and there

*I was asked once if the reason I care so much is because I need an organ. I was talking about the 6000 people who die a year and I teared up. But no, I am not on an organ recipient list. I do not need an organ donation. I've worked for organ donation for over 10 years and will continue to do so. And it's NOT personal interest that makes me passionate about this.