Libraries in many big cities often serve as de facto homeless shelters – a place for people living on the streets to find quiet and warmth – and it can make others, there to just check out books or videos, uncomfortable.

KQED’s Scott Shafer reports that’s why the San Francisco Public Library has hired a full-time social worker. She spends her days roaming the library floors, keeping an eye out for regulars who look like they could use her help. And sometimes she hires the formerly homeless patrons she’s helped, like Joe Bank, to do outreach under her supervision.

What volunteering can do for YOU

A look on the benefits that volunteering can do for you


Helping others is a great way to help your community, but what exactly does volunteering do for you?

 We believe in order for change to occur society must make a difference, but the change must first start in you.

In order to make a difference in your community you must make an impact on your own actions.

“What actions exactly can we make ourselves in order to help influence our communities?” is the question people seem to ask.

The answer is Helping to Pay it Forward. Go out in the community and volunteer.

What exactly can volunteering do for you?

Here are 5 ways volunteering can impact your life:

1.   Volunteering can help make you more positive

  • Studies show that volunteering can help boost a person’s self-esteem.
  • Helps one to be more empathetic.
  • Gaining knowledge about world issues such as poverty and health issues one face.

2.   Volunteering is great for resumes, school applications, and future opportunities

  • What I’ve learned personally is that school is not only about what grades you get, but also about what you do for your community. Volunteering looks great for applications to schools.
  • Having volunteer work while submitting your resume allows businesses to get to know you better by what you’ve done to make a difference.

3.   Volunteering can make a domino effect in your community

  • Your community seeing you make a difference will make others want to help too.
  • Having a domino effect can help lead to big contributions within your community.

 4.   Volunteering connects you to others

  • Volunteering in locations you plan to obtain a position in for the future such as a hospital or school allows you to get connected to the staff there and experience the environment within the location.
  • Helps you to learn to network.
  • Making new friends while making a difference together brings strong relationships with common interests.

5.   Helps you find a passion

  • By volunteering in different organizations it allows you to experience the field whether it being psychology, writing, education, philanthropy, or health which could lead you to finding your true passion.
  • Exploring different environments can help broaden your horizons of what you can see yourself doing.

Volunteering is one of the best things you can do for your community. Volunteering can also help benefit you. If you volunteer you can be affected by these five benefits. As a twenty one year old student I can relate to the younger generations and to adults. Many parents tell their kids to volunteer or be active in the community, but I see that they don’t believe that there parents can relate to them since they aren’t close to their age. I as a student and a twenty one year old who did not have parents that knew about volunteer work and it’s benefits wish I could’ve had someone who could have helped guide me to opportunities such as volunteering. As a volunteer for the organization of Project Pay it Forward I’ve gained these five benefits. I’ve had the chance to write an article for a newspaper for my volunteer work, interview my Mayor, corporate attorneys, and Trustees. I’ve strengthened my passion of writing in different environments such as blogs and for newspapers and hope you can gain more knowledge on what volunteering can do for you in this article. People don’t tell you ways to succeed, but by Paying it Forward and volunteering in your community can help make a difference within yourself and to others.

By Celina Vega

You can find this article and more updates on how to pay it forward on http://projectpayitforward.org/blog/what-volunteering-can-do-you
Duffle Bag Medicine
While the self-styled medical missionaries are piling into the back of the truck, I spot a young man, at most 19, wearing a cowboy hat, smoking a cigarette, and leaning against the makeshift frame that converts the backs of pickups into the primary form of public transportation here in...

Finally, someone has said it. No matter how good intentioned medical missionary work may be, it needs to be conducted in an ethical and thoughtful manner with end goals in mind. 



Our team of National Aquarium animal experts, including aquarists, herpetologists, aviculturists, curators, veterinarians and marine mammal trainers, have dedicated themselves to providing our living collection the highest possible quality of care.

In addition to providing care and enrichment for the animals, our staff members are consistently involved in research projects as well as conservation and outreach work. We are incredibly proud of the collective impact they’ve made on the lives of our guests and our local community!

Throughout the week, we’ll be introducing you to just a few of our amazing animal care staff members! They’ll be sharing favorite aquarium memories, how they got started in their respective fields and more!

This is really great, thanks for sharing your comments and helping me learn! So what I got is pretty much:

Tavros’s advice is good for Jake, because they can partly sympathize with each other’s situation (especially in terms of interpersonal relationships). Different characters react to different methods of outreach, so what might work for Rose (Vriska personality wise) would fall so very poorly for Jake. 

It might certainly not be the best advice for Tav to give, since a lot of it is based on flattery, and since Tav still feels p much indebted to Vriska. But overall, Tavros really tried to help, and it did do a little good for Jake’s self-esteem, no matter how shaky the foundation was. And Vriska…was being Vriska.

Jake just needs the right balance of ‘you’re so amazing and look how much more amazing you can be!’ and ‘you’re still not that great so you better get to work as hard as you can!’.

Once again, we 100% rely on the best friendleader John Egbert. :^)

Thanks so much for the feedback! I truly appreciate it ^U^

I’m going to Ghana tomorrow to teach in schools, do building work and do outreach work in the poorer villages



Jordin Tootoo nominated for NHL Foundation Player Award

The New Jersey Devils have nominated winger Jordin Tootoo for the 2015 NHL Foundation Player Award, for the outreach work he’s done in his hometown of Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.

The annual award is given to a player who uses the core values of hockey “commitment, perseverance and teamwork — to enrich the lives of people in his community,” according to the NHL. The winner of the award is given a grant of $25,000 US to help causes of their choice.

Last year, the award was given to Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks for his work with charitable organizations focused on the families of members of the military. 

In 2002, Tootoo — the only Inuit player in the NHL — was deeply affected by the suicide of his older brother, Terence. That experience motivated him to start the Team Tootoo Fund in 2011.

“We started the whole project after my brother passed away and we wanted to raise awareness for suicide prevention and youth at risk,” Tootoo said in a press release.

“With suicide, you’ll never know the answers. We educate youth about it and give them the opportunity to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

The Team Tootoo Fund supports suicide awareness and anti-bullying initiatives and programs that coach and tutor kids.

Tootoo still makes an effort to maintain ties with his community, returning to Rankin Inlet during the off-season to connect with youth. He also keeps in touch with organizations like the National Inuit Youth Organization, sending inspirational messages to young people via social media.

“Having dealt with mental illness and suicide, I thought I’d be the perfect example,” he said.

Tootoo has been sober for five years and often shares his personal story to inspire others who are struggling with substance abuse issues.

He’ll continue his outreach work this summer, focusing on domestic violence both locally and nationally.

What TV Can Learn From ‘The 100’ Mess
Spoiler warning: Do not read if you haven’t seen “The 100” season 3, episode 7, titled “Thirteen.” If you wanted to come up with a playbook for how to handle TV promot…
By Maureen Ryan

Aided by the enthusiasm of the show’s many LGBTQ viewers, the outreach campaign worked. “Until last week, you had numerous marginalized teens and young adults who were feeling engaged, feeling represented, and feeling (dare I say it?) hopeful,” a writer named Kylie noted in an eloquent deconstruction of tropes and how they operate on TV. “Which inherently put you in a position of power over them.”

So tomorrow is the day that I fly out to Ghana

Il be living in the really poor areas of the country, teaching in the schools, helping to build the schools and doing outreach work in the villages


Meet Janessa another Chilean Rose. In fact I suspect Roxanne is actually a different species within this genus (a whole other post). I was originally going to name her Natalie but my marine biologist friend, Josh, oddly kept insisting her name was the random name Janessa so I’ve changed it. His insistence of such a random name eventually won me over. I got Janessa because I’ve recently been trying to do more outreach work with children at various schools around CA. And as docile as Roxanne is, her hair makes most people itch and gives me severe blisters. Which is one reason (besides she looks very different than Janessa here) that makes me think she may have been misidentified. I wanted a spider that children could safely hold (supervised of course!).

The Liberia Pure Honey Project

March 5, 2015 - Make Gallery, Vancouver

All artworks will be for sale online and in person for $100 CAD at http://liberiapurehoney.org/

Honoured to be a part of this benefit exhibition and fundraiser for Liberia. This is a rare opportunity to buy beautiful affordable art by great photographers in small editions, with proceeds going towards helping others in need. If you are in Vancouver, be sure to check out The Liberia Pure Honey Project exhibition at Make on March 5th.

About the Benefit

The Liberia Pure Honey Project is a benefit exhibition in support of Universal Outreach Foundation’s ongoing work in Liberia, West Africa. In cooperation with the Liberia Beekeepers Association, UOF has organized the country’s first beekeeper training program and helped create Liberia Pure Honey, a social enterprise that buys, packages, and sells Liberian honey in local grocery stores. In the wake of the ebola crisis, UOF and Liberia Pure Honey are well positioned to make a lasting and meaningful contribution to the nation’s economic recovery. All proceeds from the sale of limited edition prints will be donated directly to UOF and earmarked for the support and expansion of their beekeeper training program. Following the exhibition’s opening on March 5th in Vancouver, all works will be available for purchase from this website. Organized by Andrew Querner and Nich McElroy.

Kamil Bialous
Ali Bosworth
Tristan Casey
Lindsay D’Addato
Andy Grellmann
Brian W. Ferry
Sarah Fuller
Grant Harder
Alexi Hobbs
Amanda Jasnowski
Jennifer Latour
Michael Love
Jennilee Marigomen
Nich McElroy
Kari Medig
Alex Matzke
Alana Paterson
Birthe Piontek
Andrew Querner
Karen Zalamea

Support sex workers!

Why we need more organizations like STROLL, doing community outreach programs:

What Works for Sex Workers

We need to support more effective HIV interventions in the U.S., similar to the strategies used in some other countries. Efforts to fight HIV among sex workers have been successful in Bangladesh, the Philippines, India, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Thailand, South Africa, Cote d'Ivoire, Benin, and Ukraine. These programs offer substantial evidence that targeted, comprehensive HIV prevention programs are effective in reducing HIV transmission and in making sex work safer. They make testing and treatment services readily available, provide condoms and promote their use, and utilize interventions that include outreach, peer education, and community empowerment.

Some HIV prevention efforts have focused on labor empowerment, such as the development of workers’ cooperatives. These cooperatives support the connection between positive labor conditions and positive health outcomes for sex workers. Research supports interventions that use a community empowerment model. But the criminalized nature of sex work in the U.S. keeps many from supporting these strategies among sex workers, for fear of being denied funding and considered supportive of prostitution.

Using sex workers’ input in decisions regarding their health care is a recurring theme in successful HIV interventions globally. Research also suggests that peer education works best for sex workers when it is paired with direct services (to address needs beyond prevention) and community empowerment (to make programming sustainable and relevant). Peer-led programs can adapt health messages to fit the community’s needs and build relationships with hard-to-reach groups. They have been linked to increases in knowledge about HIV, as well as reduction of risk behaviors.

For sex workers in the U.S., the notion of being sought for HIV testing may be frightening, especially considering that sex workers have long been forced into medical and social programs, rather than being willing participants. In U.S. prisons, sex workers have faced mandatory testing, and those who test positive can face extreme isolation from other inmates. Within public health settings, there exist deep historical misconceptions of sex workers as vectors of disease and vice. The historical association of disease and deviance with sex work has stigmatized sex workers as inherently “dirty” and in need of social correction.

- See more at: http://www.thebody.com/content/72647/turning-the-tide-sex-workers-in-the-us.html#sthash.GO4vyR4q.dpuf

At-home testing kits enable sex workers to test themselves outside of the stressful and often frightening institutional environment, empowering them to learn their status without fear of judgment or legal repercussions.
Workers who test positive are able to return to STROLL for referrals, getting connected to the larger health and social services community by people who understand what it’s like to navigate these hoops from a stigmatised and criminalised position.

That one time we painted a wall in HongKong hanging by 200 feet of rope. Look closely, bottom left , you can see Spider-Man at work 💪😎

Youth Outreach in Sai Wan Ho, Hong Kong 11.5.2013 @laurenallegra @abovesecond (at Hong Kong)

Made with Instagram

Kevin Olliff Johnson

Kevin is a 25 year-old activist from Brentwood, California. A vegan since age 15, Kevin has been involved in numerous animal rights campaigns since the mid-2000s, including vegan outreach, anti-vivisection work, and a tour with the Sea Shepherd.

Kevin Olliff was arrested and sentenced to 30 months in prison when police say they found him in possession of tools used to break into a fox farm.

Please send Kevin a letter or a book!

He needs $5000 for legal funds. If you are able, please: buy a tee, share this, or donate!

Read more about Kevin and Tyler.

Treat energy
Like it’s
In your hand
—  A reader Frances Monk sent us this poem. She writes, “At present, I am working in outreach ministering to women who live in their cars in a pilot program called Safe Parking. We offer sanctuary for their suffering, struggling lives, peace at our gatherings and respect for each and every one. No questions asked!”

Tonight at 7pmat The NYPL’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building we will have the special free program HOW TO ACT UP. Learn the nuts and bolts of grassroots political activism from current and former members of the historic AIDS advocacy group ACT UP. Veteran activists will share their experience with outreach, planning demonstrations, working with media, and civil disobedience. To attend you can register online or e-mail Jason Baumann at JasonBaumann@nypl.org

This program is in conjunction with the fantastic exhibition WHY WE FIGHT: REMEMBERING AIDS ACTIVISM currently on display through April 6 at the Schwarzman Building. 

So finally after about 20 hours of travelling i’m finally back in England, and I don’t really know if i’m happy or sad about it. Despite the fact that I was exhausted, hungry, probably smelt, been bitten alive by things that are not just mosquitoes, got arrested, the bus breaking down, cried a fair few times and threw up a lot I actually had a really great time. The teaching was brilliant, the building work was tiring but really worthwhile and all the art work that we did looked fab!! The outreach work was the most emotional, as for the past couple of years i’ve struggled with Self Harm, Depression and completely hating myself and the world, and the fact that these people in the villages were so happy that you visited them and gave them clothes and food made me really start to appreciate everything that I have and I feel like I have come back from this trip as a much better person and even though i was only out there for a short period of time i still made an impact on the lives of some of the people living in Ghana. Just roll on next year when i’m planning to go to Malawi or India and do it all again. but now back to normality I guess :’)

We aren’t commodities any more than any other laborer is.

What exactly is it about us that makes you reduce our humanity, flatten into commodities in a way that even most of our clients do not?

Is it our active description of our lives and troubles on social media?

Is it the international network of people of all genders and colours battling for recognition and rights?

Is it the way the police are actually the biggest sources of violence against us–no matter what age range or country you study?

Tell me! I cannot wake up to one more article dismissing my humanity, calling my lived experience, my decade + in sales and survival and strategizing, “a commodity”. I need to know what, if any, reasoning is behind this or if it is what I think it is–a sloppy and easy way to denigrate and dismiss us without engaging with our critiques of capitalism, of the rescue industry, of the housing crisis, of poverty, of our advocacy work and our outreach work and our defense of the vulnerable, of anything we have said, in a shoddy and ethically lazy attempt to cling to your old world view.

A couple of weeks ago I ran into a student in the cafeteria (it’s where I get some of my best outreach work on). She thanked me for coming to guest lecture for the Sign Language Interpretation program. What she said next really struck me.

“I remember your shoes, they made you seem trustworthy. I mean, sure I am always impressed by people who know their stuff and bring genius levels of knowledge - but the next thing I consider is always the shoes. I just don’t trust people with shoes I cannot relate to.”

The shoes in question? My trusty gray and sparkly-pink Chuck Taylors. Same ones that used to be in my LW Admin profile photo (seen here). 

Remember that you don’t always need to wear beat up sparkly shoes - but you should wear shoes that are a reflection of your own authentic self.

Allie Flanary, Faculty Librarian: User Experience Specialist
Portland Community College