Love Letter to Nonprofits

first_imgI love nonprofits. I must. Why else would I voluntarily spend most of my career working 12-14 hour days for less money than the for-profit sector pays? And vacations or retirement? Those are for other people. Because working for a nonprofit isn’t a traditional job. It’s a vocation. A calling. A personal mission.Nonprofits uplift communities, aid and protect us in hard times, create social change, and inspire action. Whether stemming from religious beliefs, cultural traditions, justice, or simple human decency, nonprofits are what make our world a better place.“The Third Sector”Since America’s earliest days, charitable organizations have been the bridge between what the government can provide and what people need. From churches and schools to libraries and community centers, nonprofits have always brought people together. Working alongside the public and private sectors, philanthropic organizations—”the third sector”—create the backbone of America.As early as 1894, the U.S. government was making tax exemptions for certain organizations. Then came prohibition on private inurement, which ensured that no individual associated with tax-exempt organizations financially benefitted from its existence. To help fund America’s participation in WWI and encourage individual philanthropy, The Revenue Act of 1917 allowed individuals to deduct charitable giving. Corporations eventually followed suit in 1935. In the early 20th century, prominent Americans such as Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and John Ford sought ways to use their wealth for good and created foundations that still stand today.How Nonprofits Shaped AmericaFrom the Native American tradition of giving as a sign of honor to early settlers seeking refuge from persecution to Cotton Mather’s Essays to Do Good and abolitionists who took great risks to help others, we have a long tradition of philanthropy in this country. It has evolved over the decades, but it is uniquely American.1940sDuring World War II, Americans rationed supplies to support the war effort and soldiers. The YMCA, Salvation Army, National Jewish Welfare Board, and several other organizations united under Franklin D. Roosevelt to create the USO. Following the war, Americans sent supplies to Europeans in need and the U.S. government launched the Marshall Plan to help rebuild Europe.1960s and 1970sActivism of the 1960s and 1970s reverberates today in the Me Too and Black Lives Matter movements. From the March on Washington to Title IX, the Civil Rights Movement and Women’s Rights Movement were a tectonic shift in society that inspired individuals and foundations to contribute time, money, and passion—and set the bar for modern activism and philanthropy.TodayWith the advent of the internet as well as online and mobile giving, we have seen an unprecedented increase in American involvement in global philanthropic relief following natural disasters such as the Indian Ocean tsunami, Japanese tsunami, and Haitian earthquake. Support and connectivity were cemented closer to home following the devastation of September 11, Hurricane Katrina, and Hurricane Maria. In 2012, that connectivity earned a Global Day of Giving with the launch of #GivingTuesday.PhilanthropiaSounds almost like utopia, doesn’t it? A place of ideal perfection. The word philanthropy, from the Greek philanthropia, means “love of mankind.” I can’t think of anything more ideal or perfect. That ideal is what donors support. That pursuit of perfection is what nonprofits provide. And that’s why I love them.Read more on The Nonprofit Bloglast_img read more

Spending time barefoot may boost kids’ balancing, jumping skills

first_imgBerlin, Jul 11 (PTI) Children and adolescents who spend most of their time barefoot tend to develop motor skills differently and are better at jumping and balancing, scientists say. The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Pediatrics, is the first study to assess the relevance of growing up shod vs barefoot on jumping, balancing and sprinting motor performance during different stages of childhood and adolescence. The study shows that habitually barefoot children are noticeably better at jumping and balancing compared to habitually shod children, particularly from 6-10 years of age. While these beneficial barefoot effects diminished in older adolescents, the research nevertheless highlights the importance of barefoot exercise for motor development as children grow and mature.”Walking barefoot is widely thought to be more natural, and the use of footwear has long been discussed as an influencing factor on foot health and movement pattern development,” said Astrid Zech, a professor at University of Jena in Germany.”A few studies report that barefoot situations change biomechanics in children and adults during running and jumping – but only limited knowledge exists for the clinical relevance of this finding,” said Zech. “We wanted to investigate, for the first time, whether changes in foot biomechanics due to barefoot activities are actually relevant for the development of basic motor skills during childhood and adolescence,” she said.Researchers assessed three motor skills – balance, standing long jump and a-20 metre sprint – in 810 children and adolescents from 22 schools across rural Western Cape South Africa and urban areas of northern Germany.advertisement The two groups were selected to represent different footwear lifestyles: children from South Africa are habitually barefoot, while children from Germany wear shoes most of the time.The habitually barefoot participants scored significantly higher in the balance and jumping tests compared to the habitually shod participants. This difference was observed in both test conditions (barefoot and shod) and across all age groups (6-10, 11-14 and 15-18 years), but particularly evident in 6-10 year-old children. The habitually barefoot children also performed better when barefoot than when shod.”Most of the primary school children in our study (South Africa) go to school and perform sport and leisure activities barefoot,” said Ranel Venter from Stellenbosch University, who led the South African research team. “Our finding that these children performed better in balancing and jumping supports the hypothesis that the development of basic motor skills during childhood and adolescence at least partly depends on regular barefoot activities,” said Venter.Overall, the researchers’ work emphasises the benefits of barefoot physical activities for motor development.”Physical education classes, exercise and sport programs, and reactional activities that aim to improve basic motor skills could benefit from including barefoot activities,” said Zech. “Parents could also encourage regular barefoot time at home,” she said. PTI MHN MHNMHNlast_img read more