[EDITORIAL NOTE: I've posted a new story at BlogHer.org this morning.]
This post is slugged “health” not for medical reasons, but for your general well-being because doing good things makes anyone feel better.
You Can Change the Present
Recently, I was made aware of changingthepresent.org, a website that is “changing the world one gift at a time.” There are many online services that make it easy to give to causes and charities of your choice, but this one lists “aging” as a category of gifts.
As applies to all their causes, possible gifts range from as low as US$10 to hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Some possibilities:
- One senior action alert from the National Council on Aging: $25
- One week in the lab for the American Federation For Aging Research: $1,200, or one hour: $30
- One literacy kit for intergenerational tutoring by elders with children at risk from the OASIS Institute: $50
- One month of health and wellness classes such as tai chi, speech therapy and adjusting-to-hearing-loss classes for an entire, low-income, senior community: $400
These are excellent choices that make a real difference in people’s everyday lives and there are many others to choose from whether in the aging category or one of the nearly three dozen other category choices. Each organization is thoroughly documented on the changethepresent website along with bios of specialist-advisors for each category of gifts.
The organization and website are run by ImportantGifts, Inc., a 501(c)(3) group which
“…deducts only a small transaction fee of three percent and thirty cents per donation item, primarily to cover its merchant expenses in processing the Website donation and certain other processing, overhead and administrative costs.”
This is a terrific choice for personal giving and for gifts in the names of others - worth a permanent bookmark in your browser.
I Want My RLTV
It’s no secret that I don’t think much of current television and online media targeting elders. But there is one place I recommend without reservation: Retirement Living TV. Yes, they invited me to appear on a couple of their programs, but that’s not why I like the channel.
RLTV is doing an excellent job of covering issues of aging without treating elders like we’re mildly retarded or teenagers with gray hair. The people who work there share my belief that life doesn’t end at age 60 or 65, that elders are as fascinating as younger people and the channel does a terrific job of both informing elders on issues of importance and presenting them - celebrities and "real people" - in a positive light.
So far, RLTV produces three-and-a-half hours of programming a day that can be seen on DirecTV and on Comcast in the northeast and mid-Atlantic states. But if, like me, you don’t subscribe to DirecTV, or Comcast is not available in your town, the only way to see RLTV is on the tiny screen at their website.
To continue producing new and better shows and increase their lineup, RLTV must expand its cable television reach - and you can help.
It is difficult for small, independent startups like RLTV to convince cable operators to carry their network if they are not affiliated with one of the big boys like Viacom or Fox. But viewer demand can make a difference.
So do yourself and all elders a favor while helping out a fledgling channel that is as good for you and me as Nickelodeon is for kids: stop by this page at rl.tv and fill in the “I Want My RLTV” form. All that’s required is your Zip Code and your current type of TV provider, but it’s good leave a message in the Comment box too. Your email address is optional and will not be sold to third-party advertisers.
If RLTV is successful, others will create programming by and about elders too and we will have even more elder-friendly news, information and entertainment to choose from.