July 14, 2010

Beyond Pollution

If you’re looking for ways to help alleviate the decimation visited upon the Gulf Coast’s residents, wildlife and habitats by the cataclysmic BP oil spill, you’ll find below a short list of ways you can help in the rescue and relief efforts.

Even if they do succeed in capping it, the impact of the spill will be felt for years to come, so now’s the time to step up.

(And before we get to the do-gooding, consider the lunacy that has to prevail when someone is allowed to drill a hole that they have no idea how to plug up. It’s the ultimate triumph of greed over common sense – think of that when you vote for more or less government in November).

Save a Pet

Animal Rescue New Orleans (
www.arno.org) is seeking donations for their Pet Retention Program ($25 per month) so that families who have lost their jobs since the oil spill don’t have to lose their pets as well. Your money will sponsor a family’s pet by paying for food, medical care, transportation to and from the vet, dog beds/houses/crates – and even pet carriers to make sure the families have provisions to evacuate, if necessary, with their pet.

Saving Wildlife

Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary – the largest wild bird hospital and bird sanctuary in the United States – needs kennels, towels, gas gift cards, paper towels, and bottled water to help staff and volunteers rescue, repair, rehabilitate and release injured birds back into the wild
. You can mail or drop off items to 18328 Gulf Blvd., Indian Shores, Florida, 33785. If you’re in the area and would like to become a volunteer (on an emergency call basis), please e-mail jessicag@seabirdsanctuary.com or call 727-392-4291. I’m sure they would also welcome any cash donations.

You can also support the
National Wildlife Federation by texting “WILDLIFE” to 20222 to automatically donate $10 to help wildlife affected by the oil spill. You can also make a donation via their Web site or by calling 1-800-822-9919.

Help a Fisherman, Oysterman or Shrimper

Gulf Relief Foundation provides relief to the fishing community of the Gulf Coast and helps with long-term efforts to restore and protect America’s coastal wetlands. If you‘re the texting type, you can make a $10 donation by texting “GULFAID 10” to 27138. If you’d rather donate a different amount just replace the “10” with the number of U.S. dollars (no $ sign) you’d like to pledge. If texting’s not your thing, click here to make a donation via their Web site or call 504-841-2380.

Buy a shirt

Threadless – an awesome online T-shirt seller with a history of doing good (for 10 years) – is donating 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of its “PeliCAN” T-shirt to the Gulf Restoration Network, a 15-year-old environmental organization that’s actively working to provide independent monitoring of the BP oil spill. Get yours here for just $10.

If pelicans aren’t your thing (you know what I mean), you can design your own shirt
here for a great cause at Kenneth Cole’s Facebook page. Mix and match 12 slogans, 14 colors and various graphic designs to create your very own custom tee for just $35, with all net profits going to aWEARness, The Kenneth Cole Foundation, which supports clean-up efforts in the Gulf.

New Dawn

Dawn dishwashing detergent is widely considered the safest, most effective way to clean oil off animals’ feather and fur without irritating their skin. The company has donated millions of the bottles of the stuff over the past 30 years to help save wildlife. Now, when you buy a bottle of their “wonder liquid” and enter the activation code online at www.dawnsaveswildlife.com, they’ll donate $1 to the International Bird Rescue Research Center and the Marine Mammal Center.

And, finally, click here for a great list of charities that are helping out with the Gulf spill courtesy of the ever-wonderful Charity Navigator.

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