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Be the Change

Updated on February 18, 2015

What can You do to be an Agent of Change?

I received an email this morning from my daughter about this little five year old girl who became the catalyst for changing the hunger and homelessness situation in the San Francisco Bay area. It inspired me to create a lens on her efforts.

This little girl's name is Phoebe. She is five years old and when she saw a homeless person holding up a sign begging for food, she wondered why this man looked so sad. Her mother explained to her that there are people who are hungry and homeless because they lost their jobs, or something bad has happened to them. So Phoebe told her mom that they should collect cans, cash them in, and start feeding these people so they won't be so sad anymore. You will have to watch the video to hear the rest of the story.

Some of my lenses get thousands of people visiting them each week. I was thinking that this should be one of them. If everyone who visits this lens donated the minimum of $2.00, then think of how many people we could collectively feed as a Squid Nation.

There is absolutely no reason for anyone to be hungry or homeless in the United States or anywhere in the world. I challenge each and every reader to import Phoebe's psyche and do what you can to be the change.

5-year-old Phoebe's Food Bank - If a five year old can do it, so can you!

After watching this video, I donated $5.00 to Phoebe's cause. Not much, because I don't have much. But it was the first thing I did today after reading the email my daughter sent me with this video. If everyone donated the minimum of just $2.00, another person could eat for another day.

After seeing a person holding a cardboard sign begging for food, Phoebe wondered, "Why does that man look so sad, and why is he holding a sign in the street?" That question to her parents, during her daily ride to daycare, sparked an idea that has helped feed nearly 18,000 hungry San Franciscans. Oh, and Phoebe is five years old!

The Face of Hunger

What is Hunger? - In case you didn't know...

Hunger is a feeling experienced when one has a desire to eat. Although an average nourished individual can survive weeks without food intake,the sensation of hunger typically begins after a couple of hours without eating and is generally considered quite uncomfortable. The sensation of hunger can often be alleviated and even mitigated entirely with the consumption of food. Hunger is also the most commonly used term to describe the social condition of people who frequently experience, or live with the threat of experiencing, the physical sensation of hunger.

There are three main effects of hunger:

* Malnutrition is a general term for a condition caused by improper diet or nutrition.

* Famine is a widespread scarcity of food that may apply to any faunal species, which phenomenon is usually accompanied by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased mortality.

* Starvation describes a "state of exhaustion of the body caused by lack of food." This state may precede death.

Photo is of a Child victim of the Holodomor. 1933 archive photo made in Ukraine, public domain.


On the average, a person dies every second as a result of hunger - 4000 every hour - 100 000 each day - 36 million each year - 58 % of all deaths (2001-2004 estimates).

On the average, a child dies every 5 seconds as a result of hunger - 700 every hour - 16 000 each day - 6 million each year - 60% of all child deaths (2002-2008 estimates).

Planet Voodoo's Haiti Response Fundraiser at MercyCorps

Help Change Lives

Planet Voodoo's  Haiti Response Fundraiser
Planet Voodoo's Haiti Response Fundraiser

As the owner of Planet Voodoo, I decided to launch a fundraising campaign for our brothers and sisters in Haiti. I wanted to have a place where you can find information and updates about our efforts. As you know, we have partnered with Mercy Corps to raise as much money as we can with the help of our patrons to act as agents of change in response to such a devastating crisis. Together, I know we can make a difference.

Why Mercy Corps? Well, I am in no position to handle the funds raised for our humanitarian efforts, but Mercy Corps is. They have a proven track record consisting of three decades of experience helping disaster-struck communities transition from receiving aid to carrying out their own recovery, and are ready to respond immediately to all kinds of crises. They are transparent, which means they are accountable for all of the money received and anyone can see their financial statements. Certainly, this is always a concern when human crises occur and donations are being made. We want to make sure that the money that is being donated is going where it is supposed to go.

Planet Voodoo has partnered with MercyCorps to help raise funds and rebuild lives. Please visit Planet Voodoo's Haiti Response Fundraiser at MercyCorps to make your donation today. There is power in numbers; find your power today and be the change.

Be the Change

Karma Tube

How did I not know about this site?

I don't know how I managed to miss this site, but as usual, my daughter found it first and sent it to me via the Phoebe story. KarmaTube is a collection of short, "do something" videos coupled with simple actions that every viewer can take.

"Our mission is to spread the good. Thank you for your partnership in service."

We Can Do It!

We Can Do It!
We Can Do It!

Agents of Change

Eve Ensler

Eve Ensler has devoted her life to stopping violence, envisioning a planet in which women and girls will be free to thrive, rather than merely survive. THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES is based on Ensler's interviews with more than 200 women. With humor and grace the piece celebrates women's' sexuality and strength.

Today, V-Day is a global movement that supports anti-violence organizations throughout the world, helping them to continue and expand their core work on the ground, while drawing public attention to the larger fight to stop worldwide violence (including rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM), sexual slavery) against women and girls. V-Day exists for no other reason than to stop violence against women. In ten years, the V-Day movement has raised over $60 million. V-Day was named one of Worth magazine's "100 Best Charities" in 2001 and Marie Claire's "Top Ten Charities" in 2006.


The Angela Shelton Foundation

The Angela Shelton Foundation was born out of the amazing response from the documentary Searching for Angela Shelton. With the intent of surveying women in America, Filmmaker Angela Shelton drove around the country and met other Angela Sheltons. She found that 70% of the 40 Angelas she spoke to had been victims of rape, childhood sexual abuse or domestic violence, herself included.

After receiving countless emails from survivors all over the world and speaking at organizations and universities in over twenty-seven states, Angela Shelton has met thousands of survivors who want to heal and don't know how.

Our Mission

The purpose of the Angela Shelton Foundation is to inspire and empower all survivors of abuse to heal and lead joyful lives.

We have many projects that we are working on from The Survivor Manual, to workshops, to providing assistance to worldwide organizations and projects in the arts and media that share our mission of inspiring, empowering and aiding all survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence.


Other Agents of Change

There are so many and I will continue to add to this list as time allows. Hey, maybe you can put yourself on this list!

Change Begins with You

© 2009 Denise M Alvarado

Reader Feedback

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    • DeniseAlvarado profile image

      Denise M Alvarado 5 years ago from Southwest

      For some reason this lens has been invisible and that just doesn't seem right. If I have to bless it myself then that's what I'll do to get the message out there!

    • DeniseAlvarado profile image

      Denise M Alvarado 5 years ago from Southwest

      For some reason this lens has been invisible and that just doesn't seem right. If I have to bless it myself then that's what I'll do to get the message out there!

    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 6 years ago

      Cool lens! Thanks for posting about this great event!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 8 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Very special lens. Thank for doing this. Great idea!

    • TrinaSonnenberg profile image

      Trina Sonenberg 8 years ago from Nucla, Colorado

      This is an awesome lens. I love it! I'll be lensrolling it too.