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Archive for : Valentine’s Day

This Valentine’s Day: Show Your Love with Service

Valentine’s Day is no doubt a sappy (and sometimes stressful!) Hallmark holiday. But we think it’s pretty great to have a day entirely devoted to spreading the love. Whether you happen to be head over heels this Valentine’s Day, or fixin’ to head out on the town (or stay in and watch a romcom) with friends – rock Valentine’s Day by showing your love…with service! Here are some easy, last-minute ideas:

  • Volunteer in someone’s honor. Let your loved one know that you spent an afternoon volunteering with them in mind. Better yet, invite them along and have even more fun while you do good.
  • Donate to your sweetheart’s favorite cause. Be it saving the rainforest, education reform, or food justice, make a donation to an organization (or two!) they respect. Not only will you help the world, but you will score extra points for knowing them and their passions.
  • Send your love to a teacher. Let your teacher (or mentor or parent) know you care and appreciate everything they do. Donate your unwanted books to an organization that will recycle or redistribute them, or resell them to raise money for important causes like American Book Drive or Housingworks bookstore.
  • Buy eco-friendly flowers. If you want to go the traditional route of sending roses or a colorful bouquet, make sure they are fair trade certified, or that some of the money goes to support good causes.
  • Take someone out to a green and ethical dinner. Have that romantic dinner for two (or fun night out with friends) at a restaurant that has been certified by the Green Restaurant Association, or has Uri L’Tzedek’s Tav Ha’Yosher seal, which means the restaurant treats its workers with dignity.

How are you letting your loved ones know you care this Valentine’s Day? Let us know in the comments below, or by tweeting us at @repairtheworld.

In Memory of Whitney Houston, Volunteer to Help People Facing Domestic Abuse

This past week, the entertainment industry said goodbye to one of it’s legends: Whitney Houston. The pop icon and many-time Grammy Awards winner was known for her phenomenal singing, as well as for starring in movies like The Bodyguard and Waiting to Exhale. She was only 48.

The cause of Houston’s death is still unknown. What is known is that Houston struggled for many years with substance abuse and alcohol addiction. It is also known that her relationship with husband Bobby Brown was, as her New York Times obituary put it, “marred by drug use and by his professional jealousy, psychological abuse and physical confrontations.”

While Houston’s talent was a rarity, domestic violence is unfortunately all too common. Physical, mental and sexual abuse within a domestic context are societal problems that impact both the famous and not, adults and children, men – and primarily women. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, “an estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.” Meanwhile, the Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse reports that, “abuse occurs in Jewish families at about the same rate as in the general community – about 15% – and the abuse takes place among all branches of Judaism and at all socio-economic levels.”

In honor of Houston’s legacy – and especially today on Valentine’s Day, when thoughts of love and partnership are in the air – make a commitment to helping people facing domestic abuse and domestic violence. Here are some organizations that are doing great work:

  • Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance: Check out JOFA’s comprehensive list of domestic violence-related resources, books and websites.
  • Jewish Coalition Against Domestic Abuse: This organization supports and empowers victims of domestic abuse. Sign up to be a part of their Volunteer Corps.
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: Volunteer to answer calls and provide support to abuse victims through this national hotline.
  • Safe Horizon: Volunteer as a childcare assistant, tutor, program assistant – or in many other ways – for this organization, which is dedicated to providing services and support to victims of abuse and violence.