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I’ve started to look for more of a full-time job and one of the many cool companies I came across during this search was the Coalition for the Homeless.

Their mission statement off www.coalitionforthehomeless.org reads, “Coalition for the Homeless is the nation’s oldest advocacy and direct service organization helping homeless men, women, and children. We are dedicated to the principle that decent shelter, sufficient food, affordable housing, and the chance to work for a living wage are fundamental rights in a civilized society. Since our inception in 1981, the Coalition has worked through litigation, public education, and direct services to ensure that these goals are realized.

That seems like good work.

-Cara

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It has been a few weeks since I’ve done a new mix, so I put together some songs for your listening pleasure.  It is cathartic for sure.  Hope you enjoy.

Sing out loud.

-Cara

Cara Logo

OK, so you know I could not resist writing about an organization with such a fantastical name as, The Cara Program. Not only is their name awesome, but so is their mission, “to assist the homeless and at-risk populations in their efforts to achieve real and lasting success by providing comprehensive training, permanent job placement and critical support services.”

The Cara Program was founded in Chicago, by Tom Owens in 1991. They provide services and tools to motivated people committed to getting out of a rut and achieving success. The program and runs for twelve weeks and includes life skills classes, job training and specialized skills training. They focus on topics such as self-esteem building, ethics, conflict management, diversity training and daily motivations.

For at least one year, client support staff works closely with participants on issues such as job retention, career advancement and goal setting. Additionally, they provide financial literacy training, a matched savings program, housing referrals and rental assistance, homeowner education and support and dental assistance to its employed participants.

All in all, they teach people how to grow and attain the necessary skills to go out there and kick some ass. Just like another Cara I know! That’s right, I said it!!!

:)

-Cara

What is a better time then the dawn of Spring to buy a new scarf? I don’t think there is a better time really. It is sale time in scarfland. We are not at the point quite yet for the super scarf sales, but close enough to start thinking of the perfect one.

Here are some super, fresh choices I found. Three of the scarves were discovered on BranchHome.com, and the last two I found were on OriginalGood.com. I can not review, nor endorse their quality and/or usefulness as I have yet to try any of them, but I like the look, how they were made, and from what. :)

Pieces of Scarf

Navy Modular Scarf

design:
Galya Rosenfeld

manufacture:
Handmade by Galya Rosenfeld, San Francisco, CA

materials:
Reclaimed ultrasuede (scraps from the upholstery industry)

dimensions:
59″ long x 3.75″ wide

about:
Galya Rosenfeld’s work sits on the lines between fashion, design, craft, and art. Ruled by mathematic formulas as much as creativity, her designs emerge from the place where whimsy meets pragmatic thought. Her pieces are individually crafted, often without the use of thread, patterns or other tools found in traditional tailoring.

Galya’s pieces have been accepted into the permanent collection of The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

price:
$224.00

Brick HouseOther One

“Flow” Scarf

design:

Hiroko Kurihara

manufacture:

Handmade by Hiroko Kurihara Designs, Oakland and Berkeley, CA

materials:

100% virgin wool from Italy. Material is EU ecologically certified.

dimensions:

62″ long x 8″ – 10″ wide

about:

With each scarf that Hiroko Kurihara Designs sells, they donate a scarf made of recycled polar fleece to a local organization that serves those who are homeless or in transition. This act of giving requires no additional purchase: it’s simply responsible, ethical consumerism.
Hiroko Kurihara Designs’ creations are high quality, uniquely designed and handcrafted in their Oakland and Berkeley California studios from the finest European virgin wool that is EU ecologically certified. They guarantee their crafts(wo)manship and believe in local non-sweatshop manufacturing.
Enjoy the warmth and the style of this scarf and know you are tangibly giving much needed comfort to someone else.

price:

$128.00

scarfred one

Warm and Fuzzy Scarf

design:
Tibetan refugee artisans

manufacture:
Original Good Store

materials:
Recycled Silk and Wool

dimensions:
55 x 6 (in.)

about:

Helping Tibetan refugee artisans by providing new markets for their crafts, these wonderfully happy hand-knotted wool creations are sure to keep you warm. Not only are they handcrafted in Nepal, but they are Fair Trade certified. They are also dry clean only. :)

price:
$29.95

Stay warm!

-Cara

    ——————————-

    In the mid-1970s, chicken processors argued that in order to keep up with skyrocketing demand they should be allowed to merely rinse off fecal matter from bird carcasses rather than cut away affected parts. The government gave in to the processors’ request, and the rule stands to this day. A number of studies have since proved that rinsing carcasses, even up to 40 times, is ineffective at dislodging the filth. It’s something to know since the violent motion of factory de-feathering rubber fingers not only works to squirt feces out from the carcasses, it can push filth deep into the crevices of the birds’ skin.

    I am just going to cruise over this topic in this entry and supply you with links to learn more if you so choose. Freegans [According to Wikipedia, “Freeganism is an anti-consumerism lifestyle whereby people employ alternative living strategies based on “limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources…“] the new Vegans [According to Wikipedia, “Veganism is a philosophy and lifestyle that seeks to exclude the use of animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose.“] are coming up again in conversation. I remember 10 years ago watching Geraldo or one of those shows about kids dumpster diving for meals, instead of giving into consumerism. They were all white and dressed as fashionable disasters. I am curious what happen to the original Freegans. Where are they now?

    I remember in Chicago, again 10 or 11 years ago, some of my friends who moved from Chicago to Cali were all into it. I myself think it’s crazy to associate freegans with vegans because as a vegan I wanted to eat healthy and not mess with animals…I certainly did not want to eat bacteria infested garbage, seeping with dog crap, heroin needles and a plethora of other nastiness that dwells in the bowels of the dumpsters of New York City.

    dump

    Besides not liking the association with vegans I am glad freegans exist. I don’t have the courage I guess…well not the courage, because if I had to dumpster dive for someone else, for some important reason or because I had no money, I would not be afraid to. I just REALLY prefer not too. I AM glad some people are willing to pick up the slack and kick ass for me and others who are not willing to go that extra mile. I think it’s awesome actually.

    One thing if I may I suggest to freegans is, you may not need to dumpster dive. When I was a kid my friends and I developed relationships with pizza places and such where at the end of the night [behind the place…by a dumpster. :)] they would give us the food they were going to throw out, or Ann Sathers in Chicago after 9pm, gave away their soup of the day to anyone who wanted it for free. If not, they would have just thrown it out [It is like what City Harvest does here in NYC. They develop relationships with all types of businesses and send trucks to pick up the excess food that would have been thrown out and wasted. They then use that food to feed our homeless. I guess that is why freeganism hasn’t seemed to really have caught on here…so far. Also, I bet California garbage looks better than some New York City fruit stand’s goods. ]. We did a whole bunch of stuff like that to get by back in the day, but I like fresh food and siting down at a table these days. I guess I’m getting old. :)

    I’m out.

    -Cara

    ——————————-

    Early in 2007, Consumer Reports tested 525 supermarket chickens from all across the U.S. and found only 17 percent free of both salmonella and campylobacter. Premium brands labeled “organic” or “raised free of antibiotics” actually harbored more salmonella than conventional ones. Most of the bacteria were resistant to at least one type of antibiotic, making food poisoning from eating poultry that much harder to treat. Some samples showed resistance to multiple classes of antibiotics.

    In New York City something we have a lot of is homeless. You see them everywhere, on the stairs of churches, in the subways, reading the paper in the park, having lengthy discourse with each other about current events I know nothing of… I was reading an article about ways to help out homeless people on Charity.org yesterday and one idea was simple, give them restaurant gift certificates so they have a meal in their pocket whenever they want it.

    I don’t really agree with the places they suggested you buy the gift certificates from, as all of them were fast, junk food spots. I am a real believer that garbage in, equals garbage out. If you give people food that makes them more tired and depressed, how is that really helpful? I decided to see if I could find national chain restaurants you can buy gift cards from that have higher nutritional value food. It would be a way for the homeless to get food that not only feeds their body, but uplifts their mind and spirit as well. It is important for us to help others to achieve true happiness, as all energy is infinitely connected.

    A site I found to purchase restaurant gift certificates at is Restaurant.com. The service they offer is to purchase restaurant gift cards online, using a local restaurant search engine [via zip codes]. They are BBBOnLine members which means they will always resolve any complaints by consumers. They offer a $10 gift card for $3 or a $25 gift card for $10. That’s cool.

    Yummy

    I also discovered that at most grocery stores you can buy gift cards at the store [or order them online]. I did some research and created a list of gift card links to grocery stores around the country. I like this idea as it gives someone back the freedom to choose what they want.

    Here’s the list:

    1. Publix [This store is mostly in the Southeast I think. It was my store growing up in Miami.]
    2. Winn-Dixie [Which used to only be in the Southeast when I was growing up too, but now they are everywhere…I think.]
    3. Food Lion [I know nothing about these guys! :) ]
    4. Jewel-Osco [My old grocery store in Chicago. I think I still have a Jewel-Osco shirt. :P]
    5. Shaws [This store has everything!!!]
    6. Stop & Shop [This guys are all over the Northeast.]

    That’s all I have for now. If you know other grocery stores that offer gift cards let me know and I’ll add them.

    Food For Free!!!

    -Cara

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