No Ordinary Princess

...anything but ordinary...

Sunday, May 28, 2006

I Have a Dream

I take surveys. I've always loved them. I enjoy standardized tests, too. Is this odd? I like neatly filling in little ovals and circles. I like having a system for test-taking and performing well under pressure. I like precision. Why do you think Emergency nursing appealed to me? That's why I think venturing into nursing informatics would be a good match for me, too. Precision. I enjoy surveys so much I even subscribe to MySurvey.com. (I feel like I just let out a dirty secret. Oh no, that was an earlier post.) I get to feel as if I've contributed to society...admittedly, in a totally inconsequential, superficial way...and I get paid for it. Sort of. Once I save up 140,000 reward points I can get a GE Advantium oven! I anticipate delivery around 2024.

I went to MySurvey last night and completed a survey. Afterward I toodled around the site a bit. I checked out the rewards I might someday earn. That's where I found the oven. I'm sure this is the next "microwave." Convection? Pah! Give me halogen bulbs! That way, when the FDA eventually bans them because of the horrible carcinogenicity of foods cooked with halogen bulbs, I'll be able to retire comfortably on the settlement from the class action suit.

Hey, I didin't say it was a good retirement plan.

I fed my soul by checking out the charities to which I could make a contribution with my reward points. My conscience tells me to donate them to some worthy cause. My heart tells me I want to retire in Barbados. Last time I had checked, there weren't any charities which really appealed to my bleeding heart liberal sentiments. Not so tonight. I wandered over to the I Have a Dream Foundation. Established 20 years ago, this foundation offers tangible social and emotional support, motivation and financial assistance to groups of underprivileged children. Basically, a class of students or a group of children from an area (a "housing project" is cited) is "adopted" for the 12 to 16-year term of the 'project.'

::timeline...several hours later::

I went off on a tangent trying to find out more about the I Have a Dream Foundation. I like the concept. I remember hearing of similar programs sponsored by wealthy individuals or groups. A major sponsor of this charity is the H. N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation. Trying to find out more about the foundation or the executives of I Have a Dream on the internet has been like pulling teeth. I guess that's one of the privileges money can afford...keeping your identity private despite great wealth.

The Berger Foundation is a tough nut to crack. Their stated purpose is as follows:
The basis Mr. and Mrs. Berger used in establishing their foundation was to provide people with the opportunity to improve their own situations.
That's certainly laudable. I agree with helping others to learn to help themselves. I agree with giving people, starting from early in their lives, the tools they'll need to 'succeed,' to find fulfilment and happiness in their lives and to make a contribution to the greater good. I checked out a couple of other charities the foundation supports, including the Appalachian College Association and Alice Lloyd College. Alice Lloyd College was founded by Alice Spencer Geddes Lloyd. She has an interesting history:

The College is named for its founder, Alice Spencer Geddes Lloyd, who came to the Eastern Kentucky mountains from her native Boston. Early in her career, she was a writer for local newspapers and periodicals. In 1902, Miss Geddes was publisher and editor of The Cambridge Press, the first publication in America with an all-female staff.

Her first efforts at the Ivis Community Center in Knott County, Kentucky, were to provide health care, educational services, and agricultural improvements to the region. One year later, Mrs. Lloyd, with her mother, moved to Caney Creek at the behest of local resident Abisha Johnson, who offered her land on which to build a school.

Alice Lloyd's dictum, "The leaders are here," became the inspirational impetus for what is now Alice Lloyd College. She was joined three years later by June Buchanan, a native of Syracuse, New York. Miss Buchanan served the ccollege until her death in 1988 at the age of 100. The college was chartered in 1923 as Caney Junior College and became a four-year institution in 1980. Since then, hundreds of students have earned baccalaureate degrees and scores more have continued to complete graduate and professional programs at little or no personal cost. Many those graduates have returned to the mountains as teachers, physicians, attorneys, and community leaders.

The above information was shamelessly pilfered from PND, or Philanthropy News Digest, which is a part of The Foundation Center. I used to date a development person, a woman who was a fundraiser by profession. It's fascinating stuff, really, this world of worthy, non-profit organizations hitting up the wealthiest corporations and members of society for a helping hand. Ideally, individual, family and corporate foundations would (should?) be the backbone of non-profit funding. In my perfect world, people who had more would naturally gravitate toward sharing their abundance with the less fortunate. It's a damn shame it doesn't seem to happen that way more.

Ah, I sense myself stumbling down the path toward a class rant and will stop myself here.

It's interesting to note the following about Miss Lloyd...
She was joined three years later by June Buchanan, a native of Syracuse, New York. Miss Buchanan served the ccollege until her death in 1988 at the age of 100.
Can we say "Boston marriage?" I sometimes wish I lived in the days when relationships like Boston marriages (that's a great article from MS Magazine on platonic "housemate" relationships) were tolerated, not quite accepted but tolerated. Today, there is more acceptance of same-sex relationships but much less tolerance. I'd rather be more ignored than abhored, thanks.

Back to the Berger Foundation and I Have a Dream. I still don't know what to make of them. Much of what I've found associated with these organizations and the people at the helm smacks of either moderate Republican or "New Democrat," neither of which thrills me. I really would like to lend a hand to those in need but I'm just so damned picky!

Technorati tags: feminism / humor / "isms" / lesbian / life / sexuality / US politics / women

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