The Simon Wiesenthal Center

Week 34: The Simon Wiesenthal Center


Hello beautiful GIVE52’ers. I hope you do not mind this early email. I simply couldn't wait until Monday. I want to send my love. 

I research and write each week’s message the week before, but now, as I am trying to process the events in Charlottesville… well, I feel I have to say something and that we can do something together.

Watching these events, it is hard to believe that this is 2017 in America. I grew up at Jewish day school hearing from survivors of the Holocaust about the horrors they went through and their insistent proclamations of “never again”. I’ve listened as they told us as young children to stand up for what is right, to fight for those who are persecuted, and to never let hate fester in your heart. I was just a little girl when I heard from these heroes, people who survived against all odds, but those talks stay with me and I keep replaying them in my mind now. Now, as I watch actual Nazis and white supremacists in our streets. 

I am reminded of two great quotes from two great men:

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
— Nelson Mandela
For the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth - that Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.
— Viktor Frankl

It is my great hope that we can find our way through this together, to stand up for what is right, to condemn the hatred we have seen, and to do it all with love. 

Love for each other, love for our fellow human beings, and clear-eyed focus on the good we want to see in the world.

So, this week, please join me in giving to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

You can learn more about their mission in fighting hatred here. 

This project has been a huge source of joy for me every week. I have loved every minute of connecting with you, of hearing your stories, and learning what lights you up and sparks your passion.

You give me hope. You make me believe that, even in dark times, we can aspire to “the ultimate and highest goal which man can aspire”. 

Through love and in love,

Jodi Spangler

Fred Hollows Foundation

Week 33: Fred Hollow Foundation

This week, we are giving to the Fred Hollows Foundation. The Fred Hollows Foundation is working towards a world where no person is unnecessarily blind. They believe that everyone, rich or poor, has the right to high quality and affordable eye care.

I believe that the basic attribute of mankind is to look after each other.
— Fred Hollows

The Fred Hollows Foundation began in Australia when Hollows began working with Aboriginal patients, instituting community health clinics and focusing on eye health, specifically blinding trachoma. They now work in more than 25 countries and have restored sight to over two million people worldwide.

They trains doctors, nurses and healthcare workers, distribute antibiotics, raise money for equipment and medical facilities and perform eye operations.

When I’ve seen an opportunity I haven’t sat down and called a committee meeting, We’ve gone and done it.
— Fred Hollows

Fred Hollows is an inspiration to me. He was a man who saw a problem, and worked like hell to solve it. According to the foundation, “Fred’s work continues very much in the way it started: by just getting on with it.”

Just $25 can completely restore someone’s sight.
Here’s to getting on with it,


Week 32: BlinkNow

This week, I want to introduce you to Maggie Doyne and BlinkNow. I first heard about Maggie from the Do Lectures and her story left my jaw on the floor. BlinkNow blossomed “from a teenager with a backpack to a successful foundation and beacon of hope for the children and women of Kopila Valley”. At 29 years old, Maggie was already the mother of 51 children in Nepal.

Watch her tell her story here, I promise it is worth your while.

The BlinkNow Foundation’s mission is to provide an education and a loving, caring home for orphaned, impoverished and at-risk children. They also provide community outreach to reduce poverty, empower women, improve health, and encourage sustainability and social justice.

If we all had the attitude that we can do anything, that we can be anything, if we follow our dreams and our hearts…we can change the world.
— Maggie Doyne

They place a huge emphasis on working together with our local community, conducting programs and providing scholarships for girls and socially vulnerable young women. BlinkNow offers vocational training skills to develop self-sufficiency including sewing, cooking, gardening, husbandry, computer skills, business and entrepreneurial skills.

I am looking forward to the documentary about Maggie and BlinkNow, called Love Letters for My Children.

Whenever I think of Maggie, I am inspired to work harder, to love harder, and to give more of my soul to the important work of this world. I hug Ollie a little tighter, and I write more love letters. I hope this story touches you as it has me. I am honored to support BlinkNow this week.

Here’s to more love letters,