‘”As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others.” -Audrey Hepburn

Empower Yourself to Change the News.
April 8th, 2016 Edition

Give ‘Em a High Fiver.

If Plan A didn’t work…the alphabet has 25 more letters!

It’s the first week of the month, which means our awareness roar! This month is Autism Awareness Month, and frankly we found some pretty bad ass organizations for you to be a part of. Isn’t it amazeballs to actually get to DO something to change the world???? We think so too :). So if you know any peeps with autism (likelihood is high – 1 in 68 children are diagnosed), give em a high five and tell them we’re in this together.

INSANE WEEK.
No time for partying.

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Alright. We all know that autism is an international issue, right? We love the idea of holding hands across oceans, so we found Autism India – a group that’s changing the autism landscape in their country. Founded in the 80s by parents concerned about their kiddos being sent to schools for retarded (their words) children that didn’t help them learn, just kept them out of people’s hair, this group has grown into a HUGE national advocacy center, publishing newsletters, organizing outings, and providing special programs and services to the autistic children in India. Their financials are AMAZING, too. Drop them some dimes here.

THROW IT MY WAY.
I’m ready to do this.

make an art kit to help autistic entrepreneursSo guess what. 1% of the world population – that’s 70MILLION people – are on the spectrum. There’s this org in California that is helping not only peeps with Autism, but they’re helping the whole family in providing services and support. Whenever anyone contacts them they talk with the fam to learn everything they can about the specific strengths and needs of the person seeking services, and then work together to develop a meaningful, individualized program including goals, supports, and strategies. So guess what’s super awesome? One of their programs supports specifically autistic entrepreneurs. LOVE IT. Now you can too.

One Year On.

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

One year ago this month was the death of Freddie Gray and the consequent riots in Baltimore. In honor of this event and all of the huge ramifications that came from it, we found some insanely phenomenal organizations in Baltimore that are addressing issues of disadvantaged youth – a HUGE issue that has led to a lot of unrest in Baltimore and, frankly, across the whole world. These focus just on Baltimore, so spread some serious Aina to this one hotspot and let’s see what we can do.

THROW IT MY WAY.
I’m ready to do this.

help children with parents in prisonSo another side affect of violence and instability? Kiddos with incarcerated parents. Having an incarcerated parent often means serious barriers to success, including: Often living in moderate or severe poverty, high risk of academic and behavioral problems in school, higher risk for drug use and abuse, increased likelihood of teen pregnancy and gang affiliation, increased likelihood of becoming incarcerated themselves. This is seriously bad, mmmkay? Studies have found that mentorship programs can have a HUGE impact in reducing the likelihood of all of these issues. This program specifically targets these kiddos for mentoring, giving them some stability and a helping hand. Now you can help them out too – without leaving your city. Rad.

INSANE WEEK.
No time for partying.

photo-1443381301867-5a36ffaafc42Ok. There’s been a lot of talk about how communities need to help themselves, how strong male figures need to reach out and help the younger men grow into leaders. So THIS AMAZING ORG IS DOING JUST THAT. Sorry for the all caps, but for reals. For. Reals. You must read their website – it’s 100 Black Men, and they’re providing three main services that pair strong male leaders with the younger generation. They have mentorship – and we’re talking teaching passion, literacy, grit, and learning to speak of yourself with love kind of amazing mentorship – to kids as well as college students. They also have apprenticeship – teaching entrepreneurship (think: business plan writing) and then apprenticing with a business leader in the community. Give these amazing men some money, people.


Follow the Second Star on the Left until Morn…or maybe not.

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful, and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.” -Jack Layton

This week saw the beginning of the turning back of Syrian refugees. That is, turning back from the EU. They’re currently being deported back to Turkey, to join the current 1.7M others. People. 1.7 MILLION. So one of the side effects of this is that Turkey’s economy is just so not able to handle this, and many of the refugees are living in serious poverty and unable to provide for themselves (many of the host countries also have rules agains refugees working in-country). Check out these orgs that are addressing this issue, and find some insanely awesome ways you can help both refugees there and those arriving in the United States.

THROW IT MY WAY.
I’m ready to do this.

make a welcome kit for a syrian refugeeWhile the European refugees are being returned to Turkey, the United States is actually taking in new Syrian families every week. It is small, but it’s happening. And they’re possibly the bravest people around – read this story here, or think about how you’d feel after being bombed for 2 years, moving around the world for 2 years, then being shucked into the U.S. – where you don’t speak the language – after being told that everyone here thinks you’re a terrorist. Sooooo, here’s the deal. Help make American awesomeness a reality for them. How can you do this? We’ve got all of the deets.

INSANE WEEK.
No time for partying.

photo-1459200486184-972dac90bfc3Ok, so lots of people have left Syria. But did you know that there are also a ton of refugees INSIDE Syria? Estimates are at 9M total refugees, with 6.5M of those still within the borders of Syria. In.Sane. And these people are living in bombed-out, war-torn areas. Not a whole lot of economic opportunity. Enter the Karam Foundation – an org based in Chicago, founded on the principles of generosity and giving (that’s what Karam means in arabic). They seek to restore the dignity and quality of life for people affected by conflict by eliminating barriers to success through innovative education, entrepreneurial development, and community-driven aid. Give ’em a fiver. They’re Aina-approved.

SWAG CONTEST!! 

Don’t forget our swag contest! Every time you forward this email, share on Facebook, Tweet it out, post on Pinterest, or share on Google Plus, your name gets entered into the contest to win all three of these Noonday beauties! So click on all of those buttons below and win some awesome accessories for your fave summer dress. Because there’s never enough sparkle in the world :).

Roar Back! Join our Aina Peeps Wall and tell us what you want us to tackle next week!

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Mamas Aina

Carmen & Kristin

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