Sahba Naderi | Philanthropy

Sahba Naderi is a committed philanthropist

Tag: philanthropy

Summer Spotlight: Striving for Marine Conservation

While everyone is enjoying summer weather, vacation, relaxing on the beach, or even shopping on the boardwalk, there’s a major crisis happening that many are unaware of. Despite sustainable efforts and marine conservation research, the ocean is in great danger. With plastics and other contaminates making their way, not only into the water but into marine life’s environment, it’s a clear sign that the world needs to do something about it. Here are some nonprofits around the globe striving to make an impact on the environment to conserve marine life and our oceans.

Pura Vida Bracelets

Spanish for “pure life”, Pura Vida is a Costa Rican saying to encourage the appreciation of life’s simple treasures. Celebrating the good and living a slow life is what Pura Vida strives to embody. This bracelet company was founded on the philosophy of a laid back lifestyle that makes a notable impact on society.

Each bracelet is hand-crafted by artisans in Costa Rica, providing the artisans with full-time jobs and a better life. Although Pura Vida partners with over 190 charities donating to great causes, Pura Vida has a strong connection with marine life and ocean conservation. From supporting environmental causes for saving dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, orcas and more, Pura Vida is a prime example of how one small thing can make a big difference.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Including animal care and exhibits, 61% of Monterey Bay Aquarium’s profit goes towards conservation and science education programs. The aquarium attracts not only guests from all over the world, but also volunteers and supporters too. Making ocean health, ocean wildlife, climate action for the ocean, sustainable fisheries and reducing ocean plastic a priority, Monterey Bay Aquarium is fighting the good fight to a more sustainable world for the sake of the ocean and all of it’s inhabitants.

Shark Savers

Through establishing and building awareness, education, and action, Shark Savers’ main goal is to save sharks and manta rays. Over recent years, the populations of sharks and manta rays have been dwindling due to a few reasons: overfishing, contaminated oceans and even shark fin soup which is considered a delicacy in foreign countries. The “I’m FINished with FINs” campaign, Shark Savers seeks to reduce the consumption of sharks, altogether reducing sharks used for soup and cosmetics.

This program of WildAid, an environmental organization, stresses the importance of spreading awareness and inspiring action. Shark Savers provides a great example of how campaigns can make a lasting impact. Would you want shark fins in your soup?

World Wildlife Fund

Being home to more than 2 million species, marine life depends on the ocean’s biodiversity and resilient ecosystems. The ocean plays a critical role in the planet remaining inhabitable for all forms of life. From the micro bacteria to human beings, the ocean provides ample oxygen, regulates climate and circulates global carbon. With the World Wildlife Fund, this organization has a keen focus on rejuvenating the ocean’s health through sustainable livelihoods.

Norton Point

Recently, I published a blog on the dangers of plastic in the ocean. One extremely cool brand dedicated to reducing ocean plastic is Norton Point. Sea Plastic Differently is an environmental initiative from this sunglass company. Creating sustainable eyewear, Norton Point takes plastic straight from the ocean and turns it into a wearable item. Taking sustainability one step further, Norton Point also collects plastic from landfills to reduce the amount of plastic that makes its way into the ocean.

Norton Point’s ultimate passion for ocean conservation shows that it’s possible to turn trash into treasure while saving the planet at the same time. Additionally, 5% of their net profit is donated to research and educational efforts.

Together, these nonprofits and organizations are showing the world how to step up. Supporting causes for marine conservation is as simple as one donation or even getting out there to volunteer. The world can make the ocean a thriving ecosystem once again, it just takes effort around the globe.

The Role of Animals in Therapy

Considered a form of alternative medicine, Animal Assisted Therapy is becoming much more widely accepted in today’s world. Animals as therapeutic tools can be greatly beneficial for patients suffering from all kinds of illnesses. Children with congenital diseases, senior citizens with poor sight, hearing, or mobility, and even those with special needs can all find relief in a certifiably trained animal.

It is no secret that our pets make us happy. The pure joy expressed by dogs, the love we receive from cats, and the general appreciation for life possessed by most animals is infectious. That boost in mood can actually have a bigger impact than you think. More and more research is being done connecting improved health with the introduction of animals.

There is a difference between Animal Assisted Therapy and Animal Assisted Activities, however. The therapy aspect deals with assisting those recovering from injuries or dealing with severe health problems, while those partaking in activities are typically for a much more general purpose i.e. keeping senior citizens company and providing enjoyment.

Animal therapy has the capabilities of greatly reducing pain, depression, or anxiety for people dealing with all types of health complications. One of the most common animals to become a certified therapy animal are dogs, and they have been doing so since the early recordings of history. However, not until 1976 did a program come about recognizing this new form of therapy, when Elaine Smith founded Therapy Dogs International, providing those in need with canine assistance regardless of the health complication one might be dealing with.

Alongside a trained handler, therapy animals of all sorts visit hospitals, retirement communities, and more to offer relief in all forms. Cats, horses, rabbits, and even birds are common animals used for therapeutic reasons as well, all of which can be trained to comfort those in distress. Military veterans suffering from PTSD or physical disabilities are another demographic that benefit greatly from this form of alternative medicine, as it can greatly improve psychological treatments.

 
While many people argue that Animal Assisted Therapy is nothing more than a distraction from one’s pain or health issues, there is no denying that actual results have been recorded from several studies. For those with terminal illnesses, there may be no better way to boost their moods than to introduce an animal dedicated to spreading love.

How You Can Help Local Wildlife

There are a large number of species currently considered endangered at the moment, and a fair amount on the brink of extinction. From elephants, to gorillas, to the black rhinoceros, all of these animals need our help if they are to survive, and hopefully, reproduce enough to become self-sustaining once again.

While journeying to the country of origin of the animal that you wish to help can be a truly rewarding experience, it can be difficult, and expensive. Rather, there are a number of simple strategies you can implement to do your part right at home.

Educate yourself

Learn about any endangered species in your area, and promote that education throughout your community. The more friends and family members know about the dire situation these species face, the more likely they are to do their parts. Understand how this wildlife plays a part in your community rather than just the anesthetic reasons. Plants and animals alike often play great roles in their local areas including the control of other population sizes, clean air and water, and commercial benefits.

Modify your home

Many wild animals are attracted to houses in their communities due to easily controllable factors. To prevent them from developing a dependency on human resources and becoming comfortable around humans in general, properly secure any garbage cans you have, feed pets indoors, and avoid feeding any yourself. The reason being, wild animals that regularly visit residential neighborhoods looking for food can pose as dangerous, increase their chance of being hit by cars, and may also begin to starve without the help of human-produced food.

Another great way to help out your local wildlife (birds specifically) is to place decals on your windows. An astonishing 988 million birds die every year due to window collisions, simply by misjudging the distance or not seeing the glass at all. By placing decals or stickers on a window that clearly indicate its distance, you can prevent this number from rising.

Be eco-friendly

Regular maintenance on your home garden and yard can help it maintain its visual appeal, but using herbicides and pesticides are hazardous on many levels. Beginning at one of the smallest levels of the food chain, insects and rodents that may eat these poisoned plants can lead to poisoning their predators i.e. foxes, hawks, owls, etc. The effects are damaging and long lasting. Instead, try attracting native bees and butterflies to pollinate your plants and flowers. By doing so, local plants will flourish, and invasive species are not introduced, which cause increased levels of competition for resources, promoting the extinction of native wildlife.

Drive slowly

 
A simple but effective strategy; slowing down when driving in wooded areas or communities in general allows you prepare for any sudden animal running across the street. Many species live in developed areas that introduced roads and neighborhoods right in the middle of their homes. This forces them to navigate a hazardous terrain on a daily basis. By driving slowly, you allow both yourself and the local animals to go about their ways safely.

Sahba Naderi art and society

Art’s Influence on Society

A common feeling that many people struggle with is little sense of community, or being disconnected from the world around them. This is where art forms of all types can come in. Social movements allow people to come together for a common cause, and doing so through art can have a greatly beneficial impact on a person’s perspective. Today, social media allows these movements to reach far and wide, and combining these efforts with art can have a lasting positive outcome.

With their talents, artists of all kinds have the power to evoke emotion, challenge societal norms, and change individuals’ perspectives, addressing all kinds of issues. These can be anything like animal rights, immigration, sexism, or war. A common argument is that politicians or members of the government that attempt to tackles these issues are often peripheral to the case. Artists that are normal, everyday citizens are much more central, effectively reaching and engaging a wider audience that is more likely to contribute to their cause.

A great example of social movement through art is Mix’d Ingrdnts. This all-female dance group from Oakland, California was started by Jenay Anolin and Samara Atkins to defy the implications that dance groups are a predominantly male area of arts. Anolin stated, “I feel that women have a capability to express themselves through their movement, but it doesn’t have to be degrading.” Through the power of social media, this group has been able to attract and teach classes in the Bay Area of California, inspiring more and more women to join their movement.

Art has played a large role in political protest as well. In order for social activism to truly have an impact, creativity is key. One could argue that certain cave drawings dating back to the earliest instances of man could be considered graffiti, and therefore some form of protest. Artists attempt to bring attention to an issues in a new, and exciting way to inspire people who may have otherwise disregarded the topic altogether.

Music, dance, illustrations, and designs of all types can aim to produce knowledge within a group of protestors, or convey that knowledge to outside parties in an attempt to gain more followers. The more attractive the art form is, the bigger impact this form of protest may have on the issue at hand. The more well-known the platform from which it is coming from also plays a large role. Famous musicians for example, may do so through songs, or artists through paintings. Those with more power than others have a better chance of inspiring more in joining their cause.

 
For those who wish to start their own social movement through art, decide on an issue that you feel passionate about, and apply your artistic skills to that issue, utilizing social media along the way. All it takes is a little bit of time and effort to show others that you care enough about a certain cause to want to make a change, and they may be inspired to contribute as well.

Sahba Naderi recycling

The Greater Impact of Recycling

Recycling is an action that is encouraged on a daily basis, but little people understand the impact it has on the world around us. For a truly beneficial change to take place, knowledge of how recycling can better our environment should be spread far and wide, allowing individuals to understand how even the smallest actions can make big differences.

One of the most obvious advantages of recycling is reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills. Trash that is not biodegradable can end up staying in landfills for many years, emitting harmful gases that can damage the ozone. The more waste that begins to build over time, the more pollutants exposed to the environment, causing a great deal of air pollution. By choosing to recycle your empty water bottles, you can avoid adding to the already existing problem of overused landfills in the United States, and successfully decrease levels of pollution.

Another impact that might not be well known is that recycling can effectively reduce levels of energy consumption. Companies that use recycled materials, like Green Toys and The ReCycle for example, require much less energy in building their products. The process of cutting down trees for paper, then throwing that paper in a standard trash bin is a large waste of resources, as paper can easily be recycled and reused. This leads to more trees being harvested for their resources, thus requiring higher levels and use of energy.

A cutback on costs is yet another benefit that recycling can offer. As mentioned, cutting down more trees when there is already enough paper in a landfill to be recycled for hundreds of other products is a huge waste of time and money. People oftentimes find that they are able to save money recycling in many different ways. For example, rather than throwing out that glass plate that shattered on the kitchen floor, turn it into your next art project. Instead of burning a pile of leaves during Fall, turn them into compost for a flourishing flower bed or garden. The more money individuals are able to save, the more likely they are to continue recycling, leading to a much larger impact on the environment.

The act of recycling can build strong bonds in communities, groups, friends, and family as well. Groups of people who come together to pick up waste alongside a local road, or collect trash from the public to recycle themselves, a stronger sense of community can manifest. Not only can this lead to a larger effort in recycling in your local area, but it can teach children the importance of it, thus leading to the continuation for generations to come.

 
Recycling is known to be a great way to contribute to the betterment of our environment. Understanding how it can do so is important in order to encourage more and more people to take part in this action, and make a greater impact on the world. The more communities that actively begin to pay attention to their waste habits, the safer, and healthier we can make our environment.

Sahba Naderi small business

How to Support Local Businesses

Small Business Week was first introduced by President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Since then, every single president has given their signature recognizing the decree. Communities depend on their local businesses to thrive and build their reputations, and in turn, grow their economies. Because of this, choosing family-owned restaurants, small clothing stores, and independent workers of all kinds is key in not only helping your community, but supporting those driven enough to do what they love and give back.

Buy from local grocers

Having to buy groceries every week can be tedious and time consuming for many people, so why not support the local farmers and grocers who provide these goods directly? By putting your money towards these hardworking business owners, you are effectively putting that money back into the community. As an added bonus, the foods you purchase at local grocers may be surprisingly more delicious than you’d expect.

Dine locally

If you’re looking to enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner out on the town, consider your community’s family-owned restaurants rather than large chains. The quality of the food tends to be much better, the atmosphere is more accommodating, and the service is greatly improved due to a higher level of appreciation for patronage. Local restaurants depend almost solely on members of their community to stay afloat. Though tourists may come and go, the business of those who do not actually live within a reasonable distance cannot be relied upon for smaller restaurants. Do your part within your community and grab a bite at local restaurants.

Spread the word

There is perhaps no better way to support your local businesses than by telling anyone and everyone about them. Now with the powers of social media, this strategy has been made easier than ever. Visit the Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, Instagram accounts, and much more of any business that has such, and share it with your friends. The internet allows the possibility for these businesses’ names to reach far and wide, leading to a potential increase in traffic, or even sales.

Another, more important way of spreading the word is passing on the values of supporting local businesses to younger generations. This can continue to the success of your community’s small businesses, as well as spark a potential entrepreneur to start a small business of their own.

 
Local businesses should be greatly appreciated by those within their communities as means of keeping them thriving, relevant, and unique. For people who wish to contribute, this year’s Small Business Week begins April 30th, and lasts until May 6th.

Sahba Naderi poverty

The Best Non-Profits for Poverty

Poverty alleviation is among the most popular causes in charity today. As of 2015, 43.1 million people were in poverty, 24.4 million of which were between the ages of 18 and 64. Even worse, an astounding 14.5 million members of that grim statistic were children under the age of 18. Now in the year 2017, poverty is still a serious issue. However, there are an enormous number of organizations doing their part to end it altogether. Below are just a few non-profits that have made an impact not in just in the United States, but around the world as well.

Mercy Corps

This organization strives to alleviate poverty, suffering, and oppression in countries around the world by helping people build communities rather than simply handing them food or clothing. Mercy Corps does their part amid natural disasters, extreme poverty, and communities that may suffer from instability in order to motivate those who have the capability of overcoming these hardships. Working in more than 35 countries, Mercy Corps has raised $1.5 billion for 106 nations since 1979.

Feeding America

As the United States’ largest hunger-relief charity, Feeding America is responsible for providing food for more than 25 million Americans every year. They have over 200 food banks serving all 50 states, in addition to providing both the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Kiva

Taking a different approach to charity, Kiva attempts to connect people through lending in order to end poverty in areas affected. This is the first person-to-person microlending site, and as such, have paved the way for innovation in philanthropy by empowering people to donate directly to individual entrepreneurs in developing countries.

The Hunger Project

Committed to ending world hunger, The Hunger Project is based in Africa, Asia, and Latin America where programs are taught (primarily to women) on how to empower yourself as well as others. The ultimate goal is to establish self-reliance. People who are able to meet their own basic needs, teach their children how to do the same, and improve upon this foundation are much more likely to end poverty in their country of origin than large sums of food being sent over from other nations.

Meals on Wheels Association of America

One of the more popular food-based non-profits in the United States, the Meals on Wheels Association of America is dedicated to serving senior citizens and people with disabilities who may be unable to obtain food themselves, while also building relationships between their clients and volunteers. With each meal costing roughly $6, the organization relies heavily on donations.

With that said, to do your part in any of these great non-profits fighting poverty, visit the links below, and give what you can.

Mercy Corps

Feeding America

Kiva

The Hunger Project

Meals on Wheels

How to Start Your Own Charity

Sahba Naderi starting a charity

It’s become an increasingly popular trend for people previously involved in larger companies to begin their own businesses, especially since the recession. While lots of these start-ups are for-profit organizations, there are also plenty of new non-profits out there as well. People feel passionate about many different causes, and want to do something that really makes a difference. Maybe you’re wondering how you can start a charity for a cause you care about and what is the best way to go about doing so. Here’s a short guide with some highlights of important information to know before starting your own charity.

Pick your passion

The first step you’ll need to take is deciding what cause you want to focus on with your charity. Make a list of what you’re passionate about and then decide which one you’ll feel the best donating lots of time, money, and effort to in the upcoming months and years. Pick a cause that you believe you can make an actual difference in and pursue that as the focus of your charity.

Plan what you’ll need

Once you’ve chosen a cause, figure out what you’ll need for your charity to succeed. A lot goes into starting a charity, so you should figure out what materials you’ll need, how you plan to utilize social media and get the word out, who’s going to help run it, and where it’ll be located. When you’ve figured out all these details, you can start making your charity a reality.

Figure out legal issues

There are a lot of small legal details to take care of when you start running your own charity. You should make sure you’re properly registered as a charity and have an official status. Also know if volunteers or employees of your organization need to have background checks or certain clearances before they become involved with your cause.

Figure out financial issues

One of the most important issues when starting a charity is understanding the intricacies of taxes and other financial reporting so you don’t have any legal problems down the road. Here’s a guide that best explains how to properly handle taxes. It’s also vital that you know how you’ll be funding your charity, so decide how much of your personal funds will be going into it, whether you’ll have donors, and if fundraising is a good option for your organization.

Sahba Naderi Environment

Why You Should Contribute to Environmental Conservation

Caring for the environment does not require you to be an avid protester or activist. Small everyday things that you choose to do throughout the day can have a positive impact on our world. Some examples are choosing to recycle, cleaning up litter, and conserving water or electricity. These simple tasks could pave the way for future eco-conscious decisions made by those around you on a daily basis, leading to strides in the conservation of our world.

A Clean Environment means Clean Living

With little attention paid to making eco-friendly decisions, things like smoking, driving cars that run on fossil fuels, and engaging in agricultural activities can all contribute to air pollution. This can cause respiratory diseases, and even cancer in human beings. Sewage, littering, and waste in general can all cause water pollution as well, which is responsible for 1 out of every 5 deaths among children under the age of 5 worldwide. Some ways you can help in lowering levels of air and water pollution include conserving energy, carpooling, avoiding throwing trash anywhere other than trash cans, and participating in local clean-up groups.

Protect our Wildlife

Pollution of all kinds can poison soils, waterways, and air, killing all kinds of plants and animals. One of the most common causes of pollution-related death in animals is the consumption of plastic. Each year, over 1 million birds and mammals are killed from ingesting plastic, most of which ends up in our oceans. This stresses the importance of recycling, and never littering, as definitive evidence has proven that doing so directly affects wildlife in an extremely negative way. Oil spills from ships and mining facilities also greatly harm the environment and surrounding animals.

Much like us as human beings, air pollution and the exposure to contaminants harms animals all over the world. By poisoning their food and water sources, things like acid rain, carbon dioxide, and fluctuations in air quality can all lead to the deaths of animals. Even insects directly affect the natural course of the food chain. With either increased or decreased levels of air pressure, insects are forced to relocate, eliminating a source of food for those that feed on them, and affecting plants that rely on their maintenance.

Conserve our Trees

Excess carbon dioxide produced by factories increases the global climate, affecting countless environments. Trees are Mother Nature’s solution to that problem, as they absorb CO2, filtering and releasing clean oxygen back into the air. As natural sources of shade, trees can also reduce temperatures in cities, streets, and neighborhoods by up to 10 degrees fahrenheit, conserving energy by eliminating the high demand for air conditioning. The benefits of trees go on and on, showing their importance among our ecosystem.

Moral Obligation

Lastly, it is our moral obligation as human beings to protect and conserve the environment that we were given. We owe our existence to the living world that we share with plants and animals, and to treat it negatively would be foolish. To turn the other cheek on environmental conservation is to deny the life-creating processes of the world. For more ideas on how you can help, visit IdeasForUs.org.

Animal Charities that Truly Give Back

With countless organizations devoting their efforts to the betterment of animals, it’s difficult to find a charity that makes the best use of your donations. While you may intend for your money to go to a good cause, certain percentages may be going elsewhere, like the pocket of a corporate mogul, for example. However, thanks to CharityWatch compiling a list of the most effective animal charities, you can now contribute to the causes of those who truly mean well.

Animal Welfare Institute

With 96% of their financial expenditure going directly to the programs they take part in, the Animal Welfare Institute has rightfully been given an A+ by CharityWatch. This charity’s initiative involves everything from the prevention of animal cruelty, to taking part in the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species, as well as abolishing factory farms and animal experimentation.

Friends of Animals

This non-profit organization has facilitated more than 2.5 million procedures with their spay/neuter program as a contribution to nationwide breeding prevention. 87% of their earnings go into their efforts, earning them an A on CharityWatch, which include the Chimpanzee Refuge Project, Wildlife Law Program, and ending forms of entertainment involving animal abuse like circuses, bull-riding, and rodeos.

The Marine Mammal Center

Teaching communities about the relationship between humans and marine animals, this charity reaches approximately 30,000 people through their educational programs per year. In the past 40 years, they have rescued over 18,000 marine mammals, most of which being threatened by possible endangerment. 78% of their donations are put to good use through the conservation of elephant seals, whales, sea lions, dolphins, and much more.

Humane Farming Association

With over 250,000 members dedicating their time to the abolishment of factory farming, this organization is currently the only charity able to put forth legislation against animal cruelty through the Human Farming Action Fund. Protecting farm animals from abuse, 82% of their earnings go toward their programs and activities. They are also the operators or Suwanna Ranch; the world’s largest farm animal refuge.

D.E.L.T.A. Rescue

Leo Grillo led the charge for this admirable organization starting in 1979, as he personally rescued every single one of the dogs and cats lucky enough to cross paths with him. An acronym for the Dedication and Everlasting Love To Animals, this charity has two veterinary hospitals and a full-time staff on the premises, and is a “No-Kill, Care-For-Life” sanctuary.

To donate to all of these truly beneficial organizations, see here:

http://bit.ly/2fMUuBV – D.E.L.T.A. Rescue

http://bit.ly/1pESzwa – Humane Farming Association

http://bit.ly/2egnzEW – The Marine Mammal Center

http://bit.ly/2egqiOv – Friends of Animals

http://bit.ly/18z8CVK – Animal Welfare Institute

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