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The internet has made it possible for you and I to get involved with organizations that were designed to improve the lives of the people around us. There are a number of social sites that help; many are not-for-profit though there are some that are for profit.

There are social sites for everything from helping to make you smarter to educating people on the truth about alcohol and marijuana to ending world hunger and poverty. Our purpose here is to introduce you to those sites, and show you how to get involved from the comfort of your home.

Marijuana Policy Project. The first site that we would like to introduce to you is the Marijuana Policy Project ( Founded in 1995, MPP has 38 staffers, 29,000 members, and 100,000 e-mail subscribers. This social site is dedicated to educating people on marijuana. It is important that if you are going to take a stance on a topic that you become as informed as possible about it. MPP offers a quiz that will test your alcohol and marijuana knowledge. Do you really know what the dangers of those two substances are? You can take the quiz by clicking here. You may be surprised on what you thought you knew and the truth of the matter. The Marijuana Policy Project also offers news stories, blog posts and a number of ways that you can get involved with their cause.

NonProfit Organizations - GUIDE STAR.   (

If you are looking for a reputable site that offers reliable information on not-for-profit organizations then GuideStar is the social site you want to look into, founded in September 1994. Their mission is “To revolutionize philanthropy and nonprofit practice by providing information that advances transparency, enables users to make better decisions, and encourages charitable giving.” Unfortunately in this day and age, there are many people out there that are running scams under the guise of not-for-profits. GuideStar was designed to give you the information you need before getting committed to a not-for-profit. They encourage you to donate and get involved but they want to make sure that the organizations representing themselves as charities are doing what they claim.

Human Rights - Breakthrough-Bring Human Rights Home. An Indian social site “Working to make violence and discrimination against women and girls unacceptable.” Breakthrough is an innovative, international human rights organization using the power of popular culture, media, and community mobilization to transform public attitudes and advance equality, justice, and dignity in India, the United States and other parts of the world.

ESPERANZA COMMUNITY - Helping Children with Developmental Disabilities -

Esperanza Community has a mission to provide instruction and services to people with disabilities to reach their fullest potential toward a productive and independent life in the community. Their vision is to be a premier agency that provides a full range of quality services for people with disabilities and to advocate on their behalf to enhance their quality of life and to increase community awareness and acceptance.  Hard work, perseverance and hope inspired a group of Mexican-American parents from Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood to create Esperanza School on April 25, 1969. These parents could not find schools with appropriate educational programs for children with developmental disabilities. One of the parents and a professor from Chicago State University, combined their efforts to create this special school called Esperanza which means "hope" in Spanish.

Paws for Hope Animal Foundation - ( is a Vancouver-based charity committed to more sustainable companion animal protection in British Columbia. It was established in 2011 after Founder & Executive Director, Kathy Powelson, recognized the Province’s animal support system was broken and in a state of crisis.  Today, Paws for Hope is the only charity to directly help B.C. dogs, cats, and other small animals and to also assist pre-qualified community-based animal rescue and support groups with their different areas of need – from vet care and capacity building funding to holding helpful workshops on important topics like “compassion fatigue.” By stepping up and filling the gaps with our own direct animal assistance and educational programs while simultaneously strengthening and empowering the existing animal support network, we’re one step closer to realizing our vision of a Province providing the utmost care and protection for its companion animals today and over the long term

Cats and Dogs!  Best Friend Animal Society (  This organization is devoted to educating people on proper pet care. The organization was established in the late 1980’s. Back then there were about 17 million cats and dogs that were euthanized in shelters on a yearly basis because then the belief was that there was little that could be done to help control the number of cats and dogs. Best Friends has a program that helps place pets that were considered unadoptable in safe homes where they will be loved and cared for.  This initiative alone has brought the number of euthanized animals down to 5 million a year, and their most worthy goal is to get it down to zero. They also have a pet sanctuary and they work all around the country to help find homes for every currently unwanted, lost or unclaimed pet. The site offers links for ways for you to get involved on a national level and in your own hometown through volunteerism or employment.

Stop Sex-Trafficking!  -  - Men, women, and children are sold into a $150 billion annual market for sex and labor. This is happening globally, and domestically; in urban and suburban areas; in hotels, restaurants, and on street corners. Slavery is wrapped up in almost every industry’s supply chain, tainting the food we eat, the clothes we buy, and the electronics we love. After the international drug trade, trafficking of humans is tied with arms dealing as the second- largest criminal industry in the world. Human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.

Alcohol Addiction. If you or someone that you love is struggling with addiction, then you may be interested in the social site Phoenix House (  This foundation was started by people who understood what addiction was, and they had the same desire to conquer their addictions and help others conquer theirs. The Phoenix House really started in 1967 by 6 heroin addicts who came together in a detoxification program in Manhattan. This site offers you ways to get involved, and what is more important, ways for you to understand what a person who is suffering from an addiction is going through. They offer assessments and family education and support groups as well as educational information on illicit drugs, and what the addiction process is. Their goal is to help take people who are living disrupted lives to leading stable, healthy and productive lives.

Peace for Humanity - The Global Human Rights Organization ( - Human rights are not rights that are limited to those that live in the United States. Each and every human being is entitled to respect, care, fair treatment and equal opportunities for education and advancement. The Global Human Rights Organization is a social site whose mission. . .  “Securing basic dignity and freedom for people worldwide requires that front-line organizations challenge abuse wherever it occurs. The Fund finds and funds local human rights heroes who often work at great personal risk to strengthen and bring global attention to their struggles.”  They offer ways for you to get involved through donation and activism. Protecting the human rights of the people in the world and around us helps protect our own rights as well.

Image: UNSPLASH (HaitI) Madi Robson


Social Sites That Help

There are social sites for everything from helping to make you smarter to educating people on the truth about alcohol and marijuana to ending world hunger and poverty.

MARCH 11, 2013

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