2016 Top 5: Charities doing important work

Continuing my Top 5 recap of 2016, I will highlight 5 of my favorite charities doing awesome work. I donate to them, and hope you will too!

#1 – Affirmation – LGBT Mormons, Families, and Friends

Affirmation is literally a life saver. It has literally saved my life. In my darkest times as I have struggled with the complexities and disappointments of being a gay Mormon, Affirmation has been a shining star. Knowing that there are others like me who have come through the dark times has gone a long way towards keeping me moving forward.

Recently, Affirmation has been expanding its work in Central and South America, where the need is even greater than it is here in the USA. Donating to Affirmation will help move forward this important work.

#2 – Liahona Children’s Foundation

Liahona Children’s Foundation focuses on alleviating malnutrition in LDS families in third-world countries. Most recently, the foundation is serving in 17 countries around the world, helping ensure that the most vulnerable children and familes receive the nutrition and education that will enable them to thrive.

#3 – Oxfam

Oxfam is a global organization focusing on alleviating poverty and injustice.  Oxfam is often on the ground after natural disasters and has been fighting for refugees and other displaced persons. After the horrific images coming out of Syria and Turkey over the last few years, I have been motivated to do something to help. Oxfam has been my charity of choice for disaster relief and immediate relief of poverty on a global scale.

#4 – Growing Hope

On the opposite end of the scale from Oxfam, Growing Hope is a local charity focusing on food security in Ypsilanti and neighboring areas. They help food-insecure families learn about gardening by building out raised bed gardens and providing seedlings. They also run several farmers markets in the Ypsilanti area, making fresh vegetables and fruits more accessible to local residents.

#5 – Equality Michigan / Equality Wyoming

Again, I’m really bad at keeping to only five on my list.  I donate to local organizations fighting for equality for LGBT people. The Great Trans Bathroom Panic of 2016 only highlighted for me the need for more people on the ground advocating for compassion and equality on a local level.

 

Those are my top 5 charitable organizations. Looking over them for patterns, it seems I support organizations that focus on food security, poverty relief, and advocacy for marginalized and LGBT people.

What causes do you support?  I’ve got an extra $100 that I will split between the first 5 charities you mention here or on my Facebook page.

Final CSA Pick–up for the year

It was a sad day today when I realized that it was my last CSA pick up at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market. I’ve been pleased with my experience with the Our Family Farm, LLC Community Supported Agriculture program. I haven’t been able to eat all of the food in a timely fashion, but I like the fact that I know exactly how many people have handled my food.

I’ve been planning a big wrap-up post to summarize my experience and draw conclusions if it was good value for money. Watch for that post. I’m sure that you are all thrilled that I have to stop making lists of food and actually blog about something meaningful instead. 😉

Anyhow, here’s my last take.

1- 1 dozen eggs
2- 1 sweet lightning squash
3- 1 butternut squash
4- 2 decorative gourds
5- 1 head of lettuce
6- 1 baggie of arugula
7- 2 ears of decorative Indian corn
8- 10+ radishes
9- 4 carrots
10- 1 bunch of curly kale
11- 1 bok choi
12- 1 giant stalk of Brussels sprouts
13- 2 apples leftover from a Halloween party (not kidding here!)
14- 1 cabbage
15- 2 crowns of broccolli
16- 1 quart of potatoes
17- 1 bunch of turnips

I think that’s all of it. I’m not sure though. I did pass over an additional two decorative pumpkins.

Guess what I did today


Well, did you guess?

If you answered pretty much nothing, you’d not be far off. But I did do somethings. Like go pick up my latest CSA farm share. Which was delicious looking…

Here’s the take:

1- 1 dozen eggs
2- 2 more honey bears
3- 2 decorative gourds
4- 1 bunch of arugula
5- 1 acorn squash
6- 1 bok choi
7- 1 bunch of small turnips
8- 1 quart of potatoes
9- 1 sweet lightning squash
10- 1 onion
11- 3 carrots
12- 1 carving pumpkin

While at the farmer’s market, I also paid for a Thanksgiving turkey. Locally raised, none of that crazy breeding, and probably twice as delicious. I’m excited, although it will probably be on the smaller side. We’ll see.

I also ran 9.5 miles according to my iPod. I’m not sure if I believe it or not. I was supposed to run 8 miles, so I spent some time over at MapMyRun.com, trying to figure out how to stretch 8 miles out of my usual suspects. I finally settled on this run:

As you can see, the distance is clearly 7.65 miles. That didn’t phase me because there’s a delightful little back trail through the neighborhood that adds about half a mile to most of my runs anyhow. So I finally got myself ready to go (I had been putting off the run all morning, rationalizing that it was too cold still, and somehow decided that downloading Dr. Mario to the Wii was a good idea instead of running, even after I’m all dressed and stretched… It was a rough morning, I guess.)

It was a beautiful day for running! The roads that I chose were mostly dirt (I honestly didn’t know there was so much dirt road so close!), and they were lined with trees in color. I agree, Elizabeth, wonderful time of year! I did end up choosing a good temperature to run in.

However, my iPod announced that I had completed my 8 miles at a point in my run where I knew I still had over a mile to go. That was a little weird. I decided to keep going, since I’d been at it for over an hour at that point.

At the end of the run, my iPod showed this as my final score:

So which was it? 9.67 or 7.65. The world may never know. My iPod isn’t exactly accurate, but I don’t think that it would be off by a mile and a half either. The funny thing is that MapMyRun and my iPod agreed on the length of my other favorite runs. Who knows? Maybe Steve Jobs does.

Oh, and as a little challenge for my blog readers, I left something aside from the eggs out of the picture above. Can you figure it out?

Bi-weekly Veggie Fest #9

The season seems to be wrapping up. I’m guessing we’re in for a lot of winter squashes and pumpkins in the next few weeks, but not much else. The pickup this week was full of peppers, including one that I’d never heard of before, the Joe Pepper. Hmm.. no idea. The picture above is the board that hangs in the cow-print tent each week. It shows which items and how many are available for each share.

Here’s the take this week. I forgot to weigh it:

1- 2 honey bears from the farm beehives. (Mmm… fresh honey!)
2- 1 Sweet Lighting squash

3- 1 quart of potatoes
4- 1 squash (I chose Zucchini this time)
5- 1 eggplant
6- 1 onion
7- 4 banana peppers
8- 2 bell peppers
9- 1 Joe pepper
10- 6 jalepenos
11- 2 chili peppers
12- 1 dozen eggs

I spent way too much time at the market yesterday. In addition to my CSA box, I was looking for secret ingredients for the Hill Street Hoedown chili cook-off this weekend. Take note, Elder’s Quorum Presidency. You’ve been warned. 😉

Our Family Farm #8


A long time between posts! Ack!

Yesterday was another pick up for delicious food stuffs from Our Family Farm. Here’s the take and a beautiful picture. 🙂

1- 1 dozen eggs
2- 1 small “lightning squash”
3- 2 beets
4- 4 ears of corn
5- 4 tomatoes
6- 1 onion
7- 1 quart of potatoes
8- 2 eggplants
9- 3 banana peppers
10- 2 green peppers

The take was only about 10 pounds this week. I’m guessing with all of the rain we had over the last few weeks, harvesting was rather poor. I got some information on a winter CSA they are running, for eggs and chickens this winter. They also have a turkey option(!). I’ve been looking for a local Thanksgiving turkey, so this might be my lucky day.

While at the farmers market, I also got some cilantro (which was amazingly difficult to find), and some !!! Fresh Apple Cider!!! It’s apple time in Michigan!