THIS IS AN OLD VERSION OF THIS PAGE. Click here to go to the new version at my sheepdogsoftware.co.uk website.

This page is for miscellaneous 'ads' for sundry 'Good Causes' I think are worth promotion. It has a 'Table of Contents' at the top here, followed by entries for the good causes. New items join at the top, i.e. item 'z' is the oldest.

f) Is a charity worth supporting? A resource to help you decide.
g) Normal For Us: One family's achievements, and wish to help others
h) Accion: Helping people help themselves
i) AFSC: American Friends Service Committee
j) Distributed Processing Tackles Cancer... better than SETI!
k) Technoserve
l) National Children's Cancer Society
m) Chronic Breathing Difficulties Project
n) Frontier Nursing Service
o) 'Teaching Tolerance'... resources for teachers, and a good charity
p) [site discontinued]
q) Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) (British)
r) Charities Aid Foundation... useful to UK taxpayers
s) Pomfret School... a good website, a good school!
u) BAEF... A year at school in Britain before university
v) Nolan Bone Marrow transplant trust... you can help
w) Habitat for Humanity... Trying to house the homeless.. many countries
x) A great little photocopier for home use
y) Oral Rehydration Therapy... Cost effective help for the third world
z) Information about a book for paramedics and others
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F: Is a charity worth supporting?

F: A resource to help you decide.

There are, of course, many, many problems needing work in our world, and work is usually helped by donations.

The trouble is that some "charities" play on our best intentions, but don't use our donations well.

Charity Navigator tries to bring us information about how charities perform.

It can also help you find charities addressing the issues that concern you most.

It would seem that to be included in the site's database, a charity must do quite a bit of work supplying details. Not all good charities are in the database.... and maybe some not-good ones have charmed their way in. As ever, it is caveat emptor, I'm afraid.

A personal thought: If I give $50 to a charity feeding the homeless in the US, how far will that money go? How many regulations and restrictions will strangle the charity's effort to deliver its program? If I give $50 to an organization helping people in the less "developed" world, I am confident, other things being equal, that the money will do MUCH more good.

Why should the US, Britain, etc, help the third world? If the impoverished nations remain unhappy, it will eventually cost us. If we'd dropped rice on Viet Nam instead of napalm, spending the same money would have had a different result. I leave extrapolation to current events to more polemical writers!

Link to Charity Navigator

G: Normal For Us

G: Michelle and Moria Miller are twins, born in 1988. They have spinal muscular atrophy which means that without their motorized wheelchairs they would be trapped in a bed or a chair. However, their chairs go way beyond anything I've ever seen in giving the girls mobility.

Their chairs are a magnificent achievement, and the time has come to make the design more widely available. Their father and a friend created them for the girls, who live in Soldatna, Alaska... a wonderful place, but not wheelchair friendly! And those gentlemen have their hands full already. They're in no position to accomplish FDA approval, start manufacturing, etc.

Oregon Public Broadcasting did a moving and interesting documentary about the girls, their chairs, their lives. It is called "Normal for Us"

To quote (adapted) from the site below... "Power wheelchairs are considered to be "medical devices," so the chair will need FDA approval for others to benefit from the design innovations honed over the last ten years. The girls' father, co-inventor of the chair, says: "We know motors and machinery and circuitry. Grant-writing and fundraising -- we could use some help with that!"

If you can lay your hands on a copy of "Normal for Us", I think you will be amazed at how "normal" the children's lives could be, even from a young age, thanks to the chairs. I think also you'll feel your respect for the human spirit soar if you read between the lines and see the inspiring achievements of the Miller parents. The film doesn't highlight this... but watch it and judge for yourself.

I have one copy of the film in PAL format, as needed for UK VCRs. If you are in the UK and associated with some relevant body, or would consider contributing to the costs of the next stage, please contact me. (Email details below.) (Apologies for limiting the circulation of my copy. If you have some reason to want to see it beyond "It sounds interesting. I'd like to feel good, too", don't hesitate to email. The chair is NOT commercially available, yet, so I'm afraid that if you know someone who could benefit from one, it is still too soon to hope for one of these chairs.)

Click here to learn more

H: Accion: Helping people help themselves

H: Accion provides loans to people who otherwise might not be able to obtain them. Accion offers "micro-loans" to people trying to get started, and larger loans to them (or others) when the time comes. Note the word loan. The organization isn't about giving handouts. Accion was honored by Worth Magazine as one of America's 100 Best Charities. Three years of data compiled by Worth concluded that 78% of gifts to Accion was spent on the charity's program, 13% on admin, 8% on fundraising.

Click here to visit Accion's website

I: American Friends Service Committee

I: The AFSC has, in my view, responded very sensibly to the issues highlighted, and arising from, the atrocities of 9-11. We need more sense, and more good works in these areas.

Click here to visit the American Friends Service Committee website

J: Distributed Processing Tackles Cancer and other Challenges


The first well known distributed processing project was, perhaps the SETI project.

As interesting as that research is, perhaps there are more important things to tackle?

Next there was the United Devices (UD) initiative. And then that was replaced... I now maintain up to date links to distributed processing projects on one of my other pages.

Visit this site for the links

K: Technoserve

K: The charity has been working since 1968 to help people in 21 countries in Africa, Latin America and Central Europe. It has been honored as one of Worth Magazine's 100 Best Charities in America.

Click here to learn more about Technoserve

L: National Children's Cancer Society

L: The following charity was nominated by an acquaintance dying at 12 of leukemia. The website is concise, well put together, and tells you of many ways you can help. It is not just a 'give us money please' appeal.

Click here to visit NCCS

M: Chronic Breathing Difficulties Project

M: The project aims to develop participant (patient) driven groups that meet weekly with support staff. In October 98, there were workshops being held in several towns in southern England: Chichester, Selsey, Horsham, Littlehampton and Haywards Heath. Participants learn exercises and other techniques which are intended to help them with the day to day management of their breathing difficulties. The programme of 'Breathing Workshops' is designed with a six week cycle so that new participants can join easily.

For further details, write:
Chronic Breathing Difficulties Project
Community Health Council
4 The Chambers, 28 Chapel St.
Chichester, West Sussex
PO19 1DL
England, or...

Colin Walford, 9 The Fieldway
Ditchling, Hassocks, West Sussex

N: Frontier Nursing Service

N: Based in Kentucky, the service provides healthcare to rural people who might not otherwise get it. It also offers people who want to learn more about 'life' the chance of contributing their time and labor... valuable experiences for young people heading into a career in healthcare. I 'inherited' the opportunity of providing modest support to the service from my father, who inherited the same from his mother. A relative worked as a horseback courier for them over 50 years ago. Horses were... and in some cases still are... the best way to get to the remote people needing help.

Click here to visit FNS

O: 'Teaching Tolerance'

O: I like the following bumper sticker: 'Racism is a disease. It is not our fault our society has it... but it is our responsibility to seek a cure.'

The Southern Poverty Law Center has a number of valuable programs. One, "Teaching Tolerance" provides practical classroom resources for promoting interracial and inter cultural understanding. The Educational Press Association of America awarded Teaching Tolerance their Golden Lamp award, their highest honor for excellence in educational publishing.

Click here to visit Southern Poverty Law Center/ Teaching Tolerance

Q: The Federation against Software theft (FAST)

Q: Founded in 1984, FAST is a not- for- profit organization supported by the software industry. The aim of FAST is to promote the legal use of software. This is achieved through education and promotion of the legalization message and enforcement of the copyright laws thorough criminal prosecutions.

Click here to visit FAST's site.. beware: lots of graphics

R: Charities Aid Foundation (for UK taxpayers)

R: If you pay tax in the UK, the Charities Aid Foundation is worthy of consideration. You send them money by direct debit, say 100 pounds per year. They reclaim the tax you paid on that money, say 28 pounds. They do take a small charge to cover their operating costs. They give you a 'credit card' type thingie with which you can contribute most of the 128 pounds to charities of your choice... without all the hassle of deeds of covenant. CAF also offer a range of other services to givers and charities.

Click here to visit CAF's site

S: Pomfret School

S: I was at Pomfret years ago, and have kept in touch. It is a good co-ed prep (US usage... age 14-18) school in a beautiful part of northeastern CT. However, I mention it here primarily because they've got a well designed website which may interest more that just those looking for a school.

Click here to visit Pomfret's site


U: The British American Educational Foundation offers Americans a year in British independent boarding schools, usually after graduating from high school. For the American, the experience offers: an academic year involving areas you are most interested in; a year in a new culture; a year of good sports played more for pleasure than just for winning; a year of activities in music, drama, and more; a chance to explore England and Europe over holidays. The BAEF, founded in 1966, offers academic advisors and a "home base" in London. Some financial aid may be available. Inquiries: PO Box 33, Larchmont, NY, 10538;

Click here to visit BAEF site

Click here to email a BAEF representative

The preceding paragraph was drafted by BAEF for this spot. I offered them the chance because I spent a great year at Charterhouse in 70/71 though their help. (Keywords for search engines: public school (British usage, i.e. private), gap year, education abroad, secondary education))

V: Anthony Nolan Trust

V: Ever wanted to be a hero and save a life? Ever thought it would be good if someone found a way to stop some people with leukemia from dying? You can! Someone has! It isn't even expensive or very painful. You register with the Nolan Trust. You send a blood sample (trivial, 'ordinary' blood test). They run tests on it. They put your details in their computer. As people needing help are diagnosed, the Nolan organization uses their database to find suitable marrow donors. Marrow donation is less trivial, but not too awful. A small price to pay for saving someone's life. (And three cheers to the University of Kent at Cambridge for giving the Nolan people space on it's server.)

Click here to learn more about Nolan Trust

W: Habitat for Humanity

W: Habitat for Humanity (HFH) is an organization which seems to realize that a charity has an obligation to its supporters to see that the funds contributes are used as well as possible. HFH tries to provide housing for the homeless... but HFH is no starry-eyed innocent... they don't 'give' the housing away. They have a website where you can learn more. They have operations in many countries, not just the US. They have experience in Central America, for instance, if you want to help the hurricane victims. They have a UK branch, so if you want to help with a hammer, that's possible in the UK as well as in the US and elsewhere. This is the charity that President Carter has worked for. It was also chosen for support (presumably after a rigorous selection process) by either Virgin Atlantic or Northwest Airlines. (The airlines do a nice 'All about....' spot during international flights, and invite deplaning passengers to shed their loose wrong-country's-currency change into a collecting jar for the charity.

Click her to go to Habitat's site

X: Great little photocopier

X: All right, maybe this isn't in the league of the other good causes here, but Credit Where Credit Is Due!!!......

I wanted a fairly basic photocopier for home office use. More by luck than design, I ended up with the Canon PC-11. It is GREAT! It does everything I want, no annoyances. Reasonable warm up cycle. Enlarges/ reduces. Automatic or manual exposure. Controls all clear and intuitive. In a world of disappointments, it is so agreeable to find a product which actually is what you had hoped it would be.

Y: Oral Rehydration Therapy... cost effective help for the third world

I received the following information from 'Care', a British registered charity. Tel (UK) 0171-379-5247. I have heard of the therapy from other sources, and believe it to be one of the great 'good causes' which could help make the world a better place. For US readers, I am sure that almost any third world aid charity would be able to direct contributions towards this effort. Well known charities are welcome to email me with a request for their contact details to be added to this.

In 24 hours, over 10,000 children under five die. Many die due to dehydration from diarrhea caused by otherwise non-life-threatening diseases.

The 'cure' is not expensive.... Boiled water with the RIGHT AMOUNT of sugar and salt in it will often see these children through their sickness. No needle or anything else unobtainable is needed. Charities such as Care need the money to put educators into the countries where the knowledge is missing.... once the information is in the minds of the parents, the horrible loss of life and waste of resources can be cut significantly. Please help.

Z: Here's a GREAT BOOK, now released in THIRD EDITION

Mike Smith, "Tricks of the Trade" columnist for Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS), named only three books that every EMS professional should read. Dernocoeur's 'STREETSENSE: Communication, Safety and Control' is one of them.....

Every EMS professional needs to know much more than clinical medicine. This expanded third edition of 'Streetsense' provides key information about important non-clinical elements of emergency medical care such as:

    Interpersonal Communications Strategies
    Self Awareness
    Driving Hazards
    Lifting & Back Safety
    Safety Issues on the Streets
    Death & Dying
    Stress & Wellness
    Gangs, the Elderly and Other Special Populations
    Legal Risk Management
    Balancing EMS with Daily Life

These topics and many more covered in 'Streetsense' concern EVERY emergency medical services provider, educator and manager, veteran or not.

"Streetsense starts where your textbooks stop... You're never too smart for Streetsense" ---Dr. Norm Dinerman, MD

"The goal of every medic and EMT should be to become a seasoned provider. 'Streetsense' is the salt. 'Streetsense' should be mandatory reading. Kate Dernocoeur knows her stuff." ---John M Becknell, EMT-P

"I own nearly every EMS text in print, yet 'Streetsense' is the only text I have read cover to cover, both editions. I recommend it to all my students-- in fact to everyone in EMS." ---Dwayne Clayden, Paramedic EMS Coordinator, Airdrie, Alberta Canada


Title: STREETSENSE: Communication, Safety and Control, 3rd edition
Author: Kate Boyd Dernocoeur, B.S., EMT-P
Publisher: Laing Communications
ISBN: 0-938106-21-X
To order: Jems Lifeline Bookstore (1-800-240-0703)
        OR Emergency Training Associates (1-800-367-0382)

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