The First 20 Years

Several studies are pointing the way to achieving self-sufficiency in developing communities by attending to family behaviors and nutrition during early childhood. In most marginalized communities, even those in industrialized nations, parenting practices generally parallel economic level.  Kids in at-risk communities are far more likely to be neglected or treated with disdain or violence, whereas children in wealthier climes are generally treated with regard, included in family events on a near equal basis, and empowered to become their own agents beginning at an early age. Some of the differences between the two groups are due to educational backgrounds (e.g. illiterate…

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Hummingbirds Share Passion for Haiti’s Kids and Native American Communities

Long-time ASR contributor The Hummingbirds held their annual pre-Mother’s Day luncheon at the home of co-founder Jennifer Johnson. Mothers, daughters, aunts, and sisters were out in full force to enjoy mimosas and the delicious pasta bar provided by film kraft services company Mario’s Catering. This year’s event is the second to support Dig Deep, a non-profit  “working to ensure that every American has clean, running water forever”. Last year’s Hummingbirds’ brunch raised funds for a Navajo community in New Mexico.  This year’s brunch is focusing on water access for a Lakota Sioux community on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation, of particular…

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Aid Still Required Nutritional Partner OneEgg Receives Major Tyson Foods Grant

Great news from OneEgg CEO Chris Ordway!  The ASR partner has received  $341,490 from Arkansas poultry giant Tyson Foods and its subsidiary Cobb-Vantress to establish an egg-producing farm west of Haitian capital Port-au-Prince.  In addition to supplying much needed nutrition for local children, the farm will create jobs in the community and become self-sustaining over time. OneEgg began its work in Rwanda and has expanded to 8 countries, its mission to provide animal protein to undernourished children.  53% of all deaths of children under 5 are due to malnutrition. One egg provides 13 different essential vitamins and minerals needed for…

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Farewell, Fred Voodoo

Been reading Amy Wilentz’s ‘Farewell, Fred Voodoo’ on life in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake.  If you’d like to immerse yourself in Haitian communities and their legendary resilience, this is the avenue – and the agony and the ecstasy. There’s an openness to new ideas in our communities there that consistently inspires.  We’ve introduced a full plate of programs to some of Haiti’s most neglected communities – schooling, adult literacy, adult vocational training, orphan reunification, computer labs and training, English classes, dance, chorale, yoga, meditation – many of which were utterly foreign to our participants at the onset.  Nevertheless these programs have been met with…

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Discovery of Mythical Honduran City by ASR Supporters

Last Monday night we were privileged to meet the team behind the book Lost City of the Monkey God and the soon-to-be released documentary The Curse of the Monkey God, both chronicling the astounding discovery of the mythical Honduran ’“Ciudad Blanca” (White City).”  The film’s director, producers and ASR friends Bill and Laurie Benenson hosted the event at their home.  Steve Elkins, the environmentalist and filmmaker who was the driving force behind the journey, spoke of the twists and turns of his 20 year-plus obsession while he and Bill Benenson detailed the use of LIDAR (radar using laser technology) which enabled them to find the…

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Haiti Update

For decades Haiti has ranked among the poorest countries in the world. Now, according to the 2017 United Nations’ World Happiness Report, it’s also one of the unhappiest, joining the bottom ten most chronically depressed nations (Syria, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Togo, Guinea, Liberia, Yemen and Tanzania). Fortunately, our participants haven’t gotten the memo. Our programs are brimming with energy and hope for the future. Last September 2016 we began installing computer labs and reading libraries at two of our locations while also commencing with instruction in computers, English and French. It’s our experience that high school…

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12 YEARS AFTER- The 2004 Tsunami

Its been 12 years since the 2004 Tsunami that took 260,000 lives, affected 12 countries and over 5 million people.  That day, when Hunter and I heard the news, realized that friends of ours were on the ground in Phuket, Thailand, and might not be alive, we made the fateful decision which set us on the path of eventually creating Aid Still Required. Along the way, we’ve met remarkable people, including nurse and filmmaker Alison Thompson of  The Third Wave Volunteers.    Alison went to Sri Lanka for two weeks to offer aid and stayed for more than a year.…

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The Aftermath of Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew and Our Community           Dear Friends – In the aftermath of disastrous reports of 2010 earthquake charitable spending, we know many are apprehensive to contribute to nonprofits working in Haiti. At Aid Still Required, we know exactly where contributions are going and who they benefit. We know first-hand the world of difference your caring and compassion make. As Hunter and I were in Haiti when Hurricane Matthew made landfall and as one of ASR’s communities was directly in Matthew’s path, we’ve spent the last couple of weeks in emergency mode, working on how to…

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ASR Opens First Academy in Haiti

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”                                                                                                     –  Margaret Mead Today we proudly inaugurated the first Aid Still Required Academy in Deuxieme Plaine, Haiti, for 119 children, 30 of whom are orphans.  The original inspiration came from the local community itself, a few hundred farm families earning…

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Paul McCartney Supports ASR Haiti

This past Thursday I accompanied our two “Win the Ultimate Concert Experience with Paul McCartney” winners to Candlestick Park.  I doubt there could have been two people more moved by the experience:  Zenda cried during the entire first half an hour of soundcheck(!) and Leslie, who had been to 12 Paul concerts before last week, broke down uncontrollably after we met with Macca – despite being in the company of former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, California Governor Jerry Brown and other dignitaries. Paul took exquisite care with us, welcoming us very warmly and giving us ample time with…

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Farewell Letter, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (revised)

[Correction: The letter that is referenced at the bottom of this blog was attributed to Marquez, but not actually written by him. It is still a nice reminder of what to value in life though so we are keeping it up!] I received this today from a dear friend who often helps to “keep me in check” and I wanted to share it with you.  There are portions that I think many of us need to be careful of–“I would sleep little, I would dream more, because I know that for every minute that we close our eyes, we waste…

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A Note from ASR Supporter Jill Higgins

While Hunter and Andrea were in Haiti for the last two weeks, Jill Higgins and her daughter Ivy took time to fly in for 6 days to visit and get a look at several of the Aid Still Required programs around the country.  Below is Jill’s reflection on her time there.

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Indiegogo Here We Go : Haiti and the Jatropha Tree Program

Handful of Jatropha Seeds

Fund a Jatropha Seed Oil Press for Haiti, Change the Lives of Thousands For the past three years, 1,000 farmers have been growing hundreds of thousands of Jatropha trees in southern Haiti.  Why?  Because the seeds from these trees produce oil so rich it serves as a straight replacement for diesel fuel.  Yes, that means you can run your car, truck or farm machinery on it.  Right now, Haiti has to import all of it’s petroleum.  The jatropha program can reverse this trend.

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Haiti 4 Years After the Earthquake

4 years ago, Haiti experienced a devastating 7.0 earthquake that ravaged what is still the poorest country in the western hemisphere. While billions were pledged around the world to help the small island country left with hundreds of thousands in temporary shelters without access to food, water and medicine, what few realize is how little actually made it to the country.

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Thank you for 2013 and looking ahead to 2014

What a year 2013 has been! Aid Still Required has seen incredible growth and achieved major accomplishments: In Haiti, we began our support and guidance of OADENN, a children’s mentoring and support program in the northern city of Cap Haitien.  The program is working with over 100 kids weekly and provides everything from educational counseling, medical care, and team building, to safe places for play, yoga and meditation.  Heading into 2014, we aim to establish a physical center for expanded programming, to increase enrollment, and to support more kids going to school and receiving medical care.

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Pizza With An Icon – John Prendergast

More than 6 years ago, founder of The Community.com Mary Wald, put together a salon to host Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos-Horta.  At the time, Ramos-Horta was the president of East Timor and he was in Los Angeles to speak with several of Hollywood’s finest.  The host of the salon and board member of TheCommunity.com, Bonnie Abaunza, hosted the event and decided along with Hans Zimmer to have a “pre-salon” where the children of the attendees would also get a chance to sit down with Ramos-Horta around a few pizzas and have the opportunity to speak with him about…

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A Special Guest at ASR—Mukesh Kapila on the state of Darfur

Aid Still Required had the distinct honor of welcoming Mukesh Kapila to speak with Aid Still Required about the history of Sudan generally and, more specifically, the current state of Darfur and the people affected by the mass atrocities that continue there.  Given the demand for Mukesh’s time, it was amazing to have him join us for a few hours in such an intimate setting.  Mukesh also spoke about his book, Against a Tide of Evil that details the accounts of his role as the “whistleblower to the first mass murder of the 21st Century.”  Joining Mukesh was Naama Haviv…

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Help for ASR Supporter’s Family in the Philippines

As everyone has heard by now, the Philippines has been struck by a typhoon Haiyan, one of the largest storms ever recorded and it has caused indescribable destruction. We pray for those who have lost their lives and their families. Now we must turn to all those people whose lives were spared, but are now in life threatening situations without water, food, access to shelter or medicine. At this time, Aid Still Required is only helping to facilitate donations to the Philippines and cannot do direct service. It is our mission to go to countries after the first responders have…

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Spending my Birthday with Icon Gloria Steinem

“The most revolutionary of all qualities is kindness.” – Gloria Steinem Sometimes I just feel so dang lucky!!!!  This year my birthday coincided with The Ms. Foundation for Women celebration of Gloria Steinem‘s upcoming 80th birthday and I was able to be there.  For the under-30 crowd who may not have heard of Gloria, please, the second you finish reading this blog, google Gloria Steinem and send her a cosmic ‘Thank you’ for her tireless work to promote women’s equality, immigrant and labor rights, and affordable health care among dozens of other pursuits.  Her efforts to promote peace throughout the…

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Andrea at the Clinton Global Initiative!

Several months ago, ASR co-founder Andrea wrote a thank you note to Western Union for helping us through an issue trying to get money to our women’s trauma relief program in Haiti. Shortly thereafter, we received a message from Western Union thanking us for the note and letting us know that it is stories like ours that keep them motivated and positive about the work they are doing. Fast forward a few months and we are in Haiti working with our trainers and we took a picture of them in their ASR shirts in front of a Western Union to…

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Celebrities Bringing Attention to Haiti

As you may know, we have partnered with dozens of celebrities to bring attention to areas around the world that have been forgotten after a major disaster. Recently, we have asked many of these celebs to move above and beyond supporting ASR awareness campaigns. By working with Omaze, an online charity raffle site, our celebrity supporters can offer their fans a chance at winning the experience of a lifetime all while raising crucial funds for Aid Still Required programs. In the last few months, Seth Green, Sting, Adam Levine, and Bonnie Raitt have done just that. To add to that,…

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Dollies Making a Difference in Haiti

Before we left for Haiti, the ladies over at Dollies Making a Difference decided to continue their support of the children in Haiti by making dozens of dollies for the children with whom we work. Dollies Making a Difference (http://dolliesmakingadifference.com/)  began their work after the earthquake in Haiti over three years ago sending more than 600 dollies to children who had likely lost everything. Since then, the women based in west Los Angeles, have continued to bring joy to kids all over the world where disaster has brought pain. From Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Burkina Faso, to Israel, North Korea,…

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Haiti Update, 6/7: Port-au-Prince and Heading Home

The last several days have been a whirl-wind as we left Les Cayes for Port-au-Prince.  While we initially had planned a return to Wharf Jeremie to deliver 300 solar lights, problems at customs have delayed their delivery. As a result, we had to return to Wharf Jeremie with the news that our trainers would deliver the lights as soon as they arrived. Generally speaking, people seemed to understand that importing items to Haiti is oftentimes a problem. I think we were more upset about the situation than the program participants. The children who were in session when we arrived were…

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Haiti Update: 6/2 Leogane and CODEP

CODEP currently employs 600 people that support 3,000.  These 600 are divided into roughly 30 sub-groups that work on different sections of the mountains. This year, CODEP is going to be doubling its membership. These groups also manage tilapia ponds. These are fish are used both for consumption and for selling at the market.

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Haiti Update: 5/31, Cap Haitian and Pandiassou

A lot has happened since our last post, so I will give a quick summary here. From Port-au-Prince, we headed up highway 1 on the west side of the country. About 6 hours later we arrived in the northern city of Cap Haitian, the second largest city in Haiti behind Port-au-Prince. It is a beautiful place, right on the water with much cooler temperatures and a slower place. This is the home of our wonderful trainer, Lovely, and she rode with us back to Cap Haitian. We visited with two Art of Living trainers that are based in Cap and…

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Haiti Update 5/24: Wharf Jeremie

I had hoped to be able to update sooner, but we had very spotty internet in Port-au-Prince after the first day.  Over the next several days in the capital we spent most of our time in Wharf Jeremie with our incredible team of trainers, Samson, Estavela, Lovely, Faby, Daniel, and Jeff. Upon our arrival to Wharf Jeremie, the team took through the narrow pathways of the settlement with mega phones to announce the start of the program the next morning. Many women who had already completed the program over the previous year and a half came out of their homes…

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Haiti Update 5/21: We Have Arrived!

A lot to catch up on and I will do a bigger summary tonight but we have had some incredible meetings so far and will be getting together with our trauma relief team today to go over strategy for the upcoming course. If possible we will visit Wharf Jeremie today to make plans for the sessions starting in the morning. So far we have had good luck in terms of getting together with knowledgeable players in the nonprofit world and getting an update on progress in the country. Yesterday we had the chance to go and visit both the Patience…

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MTS Healthcare Supports Aid Still Required

Last year, MTS Healthcare was introduced to us when we were looking for a laptop to utilize at our trauma relief program in Wharf Jeremie outside of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. When MTS learned of the impact a new computer could make for our project coordinators, they were eager to help. After sending the computer to Haiti, Andrea wrote to MTS: “I think of you often as the new computer that MTS’ donation provided has made such a difference to the young people working there and to our ability to communicate a bit faster (when there is electricity and the Internet is…

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ASR Board Member Dorothy “The Organizer” Breininger is at it again!

We are proud to announce the publication of Dorothy Breininger’s new book Stuff Your Face or Face Your Stuff.  A percentage of each sale will benefit Aid Still Required programs around the world.  Once again, Dorothy has been able to simply and clearly outline the steps we can take to help simplify and organize our lives.  In so doing, she shows us how we can not only reduce stress, but live an overall more healthy lifestyle as well.  As the organizing expert on A&E’s hit show Hoarders, Dorothy definitely knows her craft. We are lucky to have Dorothy on our…

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Team Aid Still Required heads to The Big Easy

One of the people we met with in New Orleans said that her city is more like “the Little Difficult than the Big Easy” but we found in our jam-packed week there that there is a lot to be hopeful about in the Crescent City. We were all in New Orleans about 6 months ago and it just felt like a different city then. This time we met with 4 powerful  after-school and extra-curricular youth development programs at both the middle and high school levels. Charter schools now represent 85% of the city’s public education system and for the most…

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ASR Supporter Payton Taylor needs our support

Up and coming country music star and ASR supporter Payton Taylor is working on the release of her new EP and she is using Kickstarter to do it. Payton has talked about Aid Still Required programs at her concerts and even made a PSA to call attention to the work that still needs to be done in New Orleans. Last year, she even wrote a song about the great storm, Katrina, that left New Orleans battered over 8 years ago. And now, she needs your support. Go to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paytontaylor/payton-taylor-new-ep-release and chip in to help Payton put out her latest record.…

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In support of Mary Pat Christie and the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund

Mary Pat Christie, wife of New Jersey governor Chris Christie, put her job on hold when she started the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund. Since that time, the Fund has collected over $32 million which will be used to support long-term recovery rather than short-term relief. The Fund has been careful about having a proper vetting process in order to ensure that money is used wisely, effectively and efficiently. But, as a result of this prudent approach to recovery, Christie is being lambasted for not doling out the funds more quickly. We support Ms. Christie’s approach and encourage other…

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Andrea at UN Conference on Women

ASR founder Andrea is in NYC this week for the UN Womens Conference on Women connecting with female leaders from around the world as they seek to create a more just society for women.  One of the women Andrea met this week was Hania Moheeb, an accomplished Egyptian journalist who is speaking out to call attention to the plight of women in her home country.  Hania has related her personal experience of the sexual assaults on women in Tahrir Square.  According to an ABC News report last month, Tahrir Square has become a hotbed for violence against women with dozens…

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Another Way to Celebrate Valentines Day

Today, we celebrate love. Not love of money or sports or country, but love of each other. Throughout the world, many organizations are also focusing specifically on love of women. Part of love is protection against danger and in a world where women are often at risk of domestic abuse, we also see Valentines Day as an opportunity to think about working to end violence against women. V-Day, as it has come to be called, is meant to be a catalyst for increased awareness of the issues around violence against women and a call to action wherein communities rally around…

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Creative Approaches: Pop Up Libraries

From the Daily Good comes an article on a new kind of urban library. Pop Up Libraries are meant to utilize public space, provide access to books, and encourage people to read at times and in places they may not have read before. As you may have noticed, pay phones are becoming obsolete and even when pay phones exist, they rarely work!  Yet many times, the booth itself is still there taking up valuable public space in downtown areas. Architect John Locke from the Department of Urban Betterment has risen to the challenge of utilizing these spots.  Locke thought that…

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How You Helped the Community Tsunami Early Warning Center in Sri Lanka

We just received word that the funds Aid Still Required sent to the Community Tsunami Early Warning Center (CTEC) in Sri Lanka have been put to good use!  CTEC is an incredibly important facility for the people of Sri Lanka.  If the system had been in place before the 2005 tsunami, many of the 2500 lives lost that day may have been saved.  The Center is helping to protect the villages of Peraliya, Thelwatta, Seenigama and Dalwathamullah and the goal is to expand the warning system in order to protect the entire coastline.  In addition, there is an educational  component…

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8th Anniversary of the Southeast Asia Tsunami

It has been 8 years since the tsunami that hit Southeast Asia took an estimated 230,000 lives. It was one of worst natural disasters of our time and the region is still recovering from the devastation.  Even as the physical structures are rebuilt and the land is cleaned up, the impact on the hundreds of thousands affected by the tsunami will never go away. This week, the team here at Aid Still Required went and saw the film The Impossible, starring Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts.  It documents the true story of the Belon family’s experiences in Thailand on December 26,…

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Holidays Shopping for a Cause!

Everyone here at Aid Still Required is incredibly grateful for our wonderful Business Angels. This holiday season, please consider purchasing some of your gifts from these Aid Still Required supporters. Some of these businesses, including Lova Tea and Lakewood Candle Company, have designed specialty products to support ASR’s work in New Orlean while others are donating a percentage of all business from ASR supporters. Please visit our Business Angels page at http://www.aidstillrequired.org/business-angels for more information! Lova first developed The Big Teasy in preparation for our Big Easy Juke Joint (organized with the incredible commitment of Lova founder Stephanie Cence). The Big…

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A Great Project For Ghana by an ASR Supporter

Keith Goddard follows ASR on Twitter and hails from the beautiful city of Toronto. Keith reached out to us for some help with a project he is working on developing. The following is an explanation of his project that is focused on providing books to students in Ghana who otherwise do not have access to the materials they need. Many schools in Ghana have NO access to appropriate reading material for educational purposes. Keith is looking to change that for the kids at Bright Future School which is in Keta located in the Volta Region of Ghana. Check out the…

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“A Part of The World” – short documentary examining how volunteerism both helps and hurts in Haiti

“A Part of the World” premiered online today.  Executive produced by Keir Moreano, nephew of Aid Still Required supporter Mark Olmsted,  the film offers an intimate perspective of volunteering in Haiti by  medical worker Dr. Lisa Denny.  In just 13 minutes, the documentary team manages to provide key insight into the complexities involved in international aid relief.  Please click here to view: A Part of The World

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ASR hits 3,000 followers on Facebook!

Aid Still Required just reached 3,000 followers on Facebook–here’s to getting 10,000 before the end of the year! Can you help us get there by forwarding our Facebook page to all of your friends and family and consider adding our link to the signature of your e-mail? We need an army of ASR Angels out there spreading the word about what we do! Getting the word out about the real need that faces people who have experienced environmental disasters and human crises is half the battle and our Facebook and Twitter followers help us make that happen. With 3,000 (now…

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Jason Mraz Donates Tickets to Hollywood Bowl + Meet and Greet w/ Jason for Big Easy Juke Joint!

Thanks to Jason Mraz for joining with dozens of other celebrities to support the work that Aid Still Required is doing around the world. Today, Jason donated tickets to his upcoming concert at the Hollywood Bowl as well as a chance to meet up with Jason. The tickets & meet and greet will be auctioned off with other great items at The Big Easy Juke Joint on Aug 22 at Bugatta in Los Angeles to support Aid Still Required’s work in New Orleans. Please go to www.AidStillRequired.org/thebig easy for tickets and pass along the link to friends and family! Hailed…

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Returning from the Viva World Cup

Last week, Hunter and Andrea returned from Kurdistan Iraq after cheering on Darfur United in the Viva World Cup. It is hard to imagine getting on a plane to fly out of the country for the first time, staying in a hotel, walking through a buffet line for your meals, playing in uniforms with cleats and on grass ALL for the first time and being able to, at the same time, feel the pride of representing all of your family, friends and fellow refugees a half a world away. I can not wrap my mind around it and yet this…

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Rosemarie McCaffery Antiques Hosts Benefit for Aid Still Required

Thank you to all those who made it out to Rosemarie McCaffery Antiques last week to support ASR’s existing projects in Haiti, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, in Chad with the Darfuri refugees living there, and in New Orleans. It was a beautiful event thanks to Robert Ross who gave a moving talk on why ASR’s work is so important (maybe we will be able to post a copy of his talk on the ASR blog!), to Cathie Ross, Irene Mink and Rosemarie McCaffery for their tireless work in preparing the beautiful setting and to all the volunteers who made the evening so enjoyable. In…

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An Update from Hunter and Andrea from the Viva World Cup

Greetings All, Just got back from Game 2.  I’m afraid our boys were given another whipping, this time at the hands of Provence.  Our backs seemed always out of position and their front line had a field day.  At game’s end our lads were noticeably exhausted and deflated, but what a learning experience.  One poignant moment came in the elevator on the way up to our rooms when one of the DU players put his hand around his underdeveloped bicep and said to me, “We’re too weak.”  It’s true.  They are too physically weak from years of undernourishment.  Couple that with…

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Heading to the VIVA World Cup!

If you have not been following our updates on Darfur United, check out our latest blog posts here and here. Over the next two weeks, we will be posting a series of updates as Darfur United competes in the Viva World Cup in Erbil, Iraq. Last week, Gabriel Stauring over at iAct headed to Djabal, Chad to meet with the 16 players that make up Darfur United. After a great send off by the community in Djabal, the team left for N’Djamena, Chad this morning. Aren’t these pictures incredible? The community has been watching the team practice for weeks and…

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An Update on Darfur United

If you did not get a chance to see our first blog post on Darfur United, please check it out here.  Briefly, iAct is putting together an all star soccer team comprised of the best players in the Darfuri refugee camps in eastern Chad.  From roughly 280,000 refugees spread out over 12 camps across Chad, the top 5 players from each camp were invited to try out for Darfur United, the team that will represent Darfur in the Viva World Cup in Iraq in May of this year.  Darfur United is coming together!  Over the last several days, the Darfur…

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Aid Still Required and World Water Day – Send a Tsunami of Love to Indonesia

-from the desktop of Maureen Charles, ASR Board Secretary Today is World Water Day, and in Aceh, Indonesia, where an estimated 160,000 people perished and over a million were displaced in the wake of the 2004 Tsunami, thousands of people have been without safe, clean, accessible water for over 7 years.  Imagine all that ocean water rushing over your land, taking the leaves of your loved ones, and leaving you with no livelihood, and ironically, without water. Imagine going 7 years without a shower, unable to pour yourself or your child a glass of water without first hauling it for miles in heavy jugs or buckets……

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Haiti Social Media Campaign Follow Up

First, we wanted to thank EVERYONE who was involved in our Haiti Social Media Campaign on January 12th to mark the 2nd anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. There was an incredible outpouring of energy that worked to refocus the public’s attention on the work that still needs to be done there. As a result of so many’s concern and effort, we got great feedback and an incredible amount of attention on the projects that Aid Still Required is spearheading. We gathered a team of volunteers at the Coffee Connection in the Venice/Mar Vista area of Los Angeles for a…

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Aid Still Required Collaborator Alison Thompson Featured in Guideposts Magazine

In January’s Guidepost inspirational magazine, ASR collaborator and friend Alison Thompson shares the story of how she found her new vocation of passionate volunteer and shines the light on five areas around the world that she feels need our help the most. Hunter and Andrea met Alison in 2007 as they got more deeply involved in the work that became AId Still Required. Utlizing her nurse’s training as a first responder in the months following 9/11 changed Alison’s life and when the 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami hit, her two week trip to offer aid turned into a 14 month Sri…

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2nd Anniversary Mega Social Media Campaign: Maroon 5, LA Kings, you and SNOBALL

Please join us in cyberspace today from your comfy armchair at home, laptop in hand…or maybe during your lunch hour or tonight after the kids are in bed and you’re enjoying Jon Stewart.  Watch our new Maroon 5 PSA and the LA Kings PSA- Haiti is Not Forgotten. and…….. make a SNOBALL for Haiti!  Read on….. Aid Still Required has galvanized 43 celebrities with 155 million FaceBook and Twitter followers to FB post, Tweet, make challenges to raise awareness and funds starting today, January 12th, the 2nd anniversary of the devastating Haiti earthquake. Hundreds of thousands are still living in…

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Steal to Your Heart’s Content: The Incredible Edible Project

  We just heard about a town in West Yorkshire, England where you can steal to your hearts content without being arrested!!!!! Steal fresh fruits and vegetables, that is. The town of Todmorden has created Incredible Edible, a program to make their town completely food self-sufficient by 2018. Citizens plant fruits and vegetables in approximately 70 large fruit and vegetable beds planted around the town. Broccoli is planted by the railroad station in honor of a much-beloved recently deceased ticket master, raspberries, apricots and apples grown next to the canal towpath, beans and peas are planted by the area college,…

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Aid Still Required Honorary Coach for iAct’s Darfur United Soccer Team

As we begin 2012, Aid Still Required is proud to be a part of Darfur United, a project created by our NGO colleague Gabriel Stauring at iAct, and which Aid Still Required is supporting as Honorary Coach. People the world over are united in their love for soccer — or “football’ as it is called everywhere except in the US — and the Darfuri refugees are no exception. Life in the camps is difficult.  There is little food and limited water.  There may or may not be a school for the children.  Firewood is scarce and unless they have a…

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7th Anniversary of the Southeast Asia Tsunami- We Remember

Today we remember all the lives that were lost seven years ago…and Aid Still Required is proud to stand beside survivors as they move forward in their lives. In Aceh, we are working with local NGO partner Yayasan Lamjabat to develop self-sufficency and ecological awareness through reforestation, small business training for women, and clean water. In YL’s work with village farmers, the tree planting not only provide fruit and spices for nourishment and sale, it also improves water tables, stops soil erosion, and assists in halting climate change. ASR also supports local women’s empowerment through handicrafts and small business training.…

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Mount Hebron Congregation invites ASR and Sister Marjorie Shelvy for Thanksgiving Service Program

Founders Andrea and Hunter spoke at Mt. Hebron’s annual Thanksgiving Sunday Service to give the congregation an update on ASR activities, in particular the recent Haiti trip (link to Haiti page). Over three years ago, during the 2008 Darfur campaign, Mt. Hebron Congregation in South Central Los Angeles found Aid Still Required online and contacted us about being part of their service program. The congregation believes strongly in the importance of providing service both at home and abroad. We were so honored that the congregation selected Aid Still Required to be the recipient of its international service grants. As one…

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Jody Williams Event at UCLA

On November 16, Hunter, Andrea and their new assistant Dan Parziale attended a lecture by 1997 Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams at UCLA’s Burkle Center for International Relations, presented by the International Human Rights Program at UCLA Law School. Her lecture, entitled “Rape as a Crime Against Humanity & War Crime: Accountability & the International Criminal Court,” was a powerful expose on the prominence of rape in war zones and areas of low government oversight. Williams received the Nobel Peace Prize for her work to ban landmines. Since then, she has taken on countless projects, most recently chairing the…

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Return from Haiti: Trauma Relief and Healing in Wharf Jeremie, Cite Soleil

From our ASR Newletter…. We returned from 12 days in Haiti last month and it has taken these past weeks to distill our experience there. Our focus in Haiti was to implement a stress-reduction program for the women of Cite Soleil, Port au Prince’s notorius slum and to vet child services and reforestation projects.  While we were there, Haiti got under our skin. Wharf Jeremie- Our project neighborhood Haiti feels overwhelming. It has something to break everybody’s heart: utter poverty, alarming rates of unemployment, illiteracy, rape, orphaned and abandoned children; and a once-lush countryside which has been almost entirely deforested.…

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On Our Way to Haiti

Tomorrow we leave for Haiti to implement our pilot program for Trauma Relief in the Wharf Jeremie neighbohood of Cite Soleil, the worst slum of Port au Prince. We’re filled with both hope and apprehension; hope and excitement that we can make a difference in this community, apprehension as we received yet another Travel Advsiory from the US State Department, declaring Haiti a Red Alert due to unrest. On  Monday, August 8th Aid Still Required, in conjunction with our local partners, the nouvelle vie branch of The International Association of Human Values and WeAdvance Women’s Clinic with special contributions from…

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Family Fun Day Event Benefiting Aid Still Required and The Garden of Eatin’

Hello Pismo Beach!  Playful Planet Co-founder Karen Duggan called ASR a couple of months ago and asked us to be the beneficiary of a wonderful event she is co-hosting in Pismo Beach July 30th with Harmony House Yoga and Honeymoon Cafe.  Why, yes, of course, Karen, THANK YOU, we’d love to participate! There will be something for everyone:   Whole Family Cookbook author, Scholastic 2010 Parent Blogger Award winner, mom, and former high-school teacher Michelle Stern will be signing copies of her new cookbook.  Clark Valley Organic Farms is providing healthy snacks, Storyland Yoga is presenting a yoga class,  Kids Entertainer Jody…

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Amazon #1 Bestseller Get Your Woman On with chapter by Aid Still Required co-founder

  A year and a half ago, ASR co-founder Andrea was approached by transformational business coach Kimber Lim to participate in a project with 38 other visonary women.  The result is Get Your Woman On: Embracing Beauty, Grace, and The Power of Women, an anthology of 39 women sharing their heartfelt personal stories of transformation.  Andrea’s chapter” Be Bold on Behalf of Others ” chronicles the actual and metaphorical journey which led to the founding of Aid Still Required. Other featured authors include peace activist and Jungian psychiatrist Jean Shinoda Bolen, eWomen Network founder Sandra Yancey, actress Barbara Niven, and…

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ASR meets up with Mark Mustian

On May 1st at the LA Festival of Books at USC, Andrea and Hunter were happy to meet up with celebrated author and childhood friend Mark Mustian. Mark’s most recent award-winning novel Gendarme is a powerful exploration of prejudice, love, transformation, loss, and memory set against the background of the Armenian genocide and deportations of 1915. Gendarme moves back and forth through time between an elderly gentleman facing mortality and his younger self, a Turkish officer “doing his job” . The novel captures the officer’s amazement as he falls in love with an Armenian deportee, challenging all his previously held…

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An Evening with Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Mu Sochua

Hunter and Andrea had the opportunity to meet Mu Suchoa, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Cambodian parliamentarian and human rights activist at an  Artists for Human Rights event co-hosted by Anne Archer and Donna Isham last night. What an incredible evening and what an amazing woman. If you are not familiar with Mu Sochua’s work, she is considered the most prominent woman in Cambodia’s leading political opposition, the Sam Rainsy Party (SRP). SRP is leading the fight for access to equal economic opportunities for the people of Cambodia and for the implementation of effective social programs and political participation. For more…

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Haiti Aid Still Required Launches; #HealingHaiti Campaign on First Anniversary

On the first anniversary of the Haiti 2010 Earthquake, Aid Still Required is launching our Haiti initiative with #HealingHaiti, a Twitter campaign involving top musicians, athletes, and celebrities in Twitter outreach to their followers, numbering in the millions. Campaign participants  include Paul Pierce, Blake Griffith, Kevin Love, Kevin Durant, Lamar Odom, Jason Kidd, Tyson Chandler, Greg Oden, Pau Gasol, Sting, Bonnie Raitt, Maroon 5, Tom Morello, Erykah Badu, Mia Farrow, Lauren Conrad, Maria Bello, Ed Begley, Jr, Stephen Collins, Madeleine Stowe, Paul Haggis, Spike Lee, Hans Zimmer One year later estimates place rubble removal between 2 to 5 %.  A…

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Send A Tsunami of Love Around the World with Aid Still Required

Today marks the 6th anniversary of the December 2004 tsunami, 230,000 people across 12 countries killed in minutes, whole villages lost, millions displaced. Sitting in our kitchen in Santa Monica, CA, the day after Christmas, waiting to hear if friends in Thailand were alive,  Hunter and I asked the question “What can we do to help?”, the question which turned into the creation of The Aid Still Required All-Star CD compilation, and the question that set us on the adventure to ultimately founding Aid Still Required as a 501c3 nonprofit. Our mission: championing forgotten people and issues and keeping the…

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“Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus” speaks to the essence of the Holiday Season

An eight year old girl in 1897 New York City begins to wonder about the existence of Santa Claus.  What does an adult say?  Here is a reprint of New York Sun editor Francis P. Church’s eloquent response, which never fails to move us…and happens to be the most reprinted editorial ever! Merry Christmas  Happy Hannukah Happy Kwanzaa…Peace and Blessings to All. “DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?” VIRGINIA…

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All-Star Volunteers Provide Fuel for the Aid Still Required Mailing

As December and Aid Still Required’s year-end mailing approached, we were faced with the task of writing personal notes, stuffing, and addressing 900 letters to donors, colleagues and friends.  Santa sent three of his elves early, in the form of two wonderful volunteers, Vasuda Bhutani and Michele Williams, and Michele’s son, Jovan aka Ray of Sunshine. Vasudha is an optometrist, multi-lingual, and a budding realtor; Hunter met her in an emergency eye doctor visit and when she heard we needed help she said “What time shall I come”?  Vasuda knocked our socks off with her efficiency and willingness to leap in.…

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Aid Still Required Celebrates Early Thanks-Giving with First Tuesday LA

Last night, at First Tuesday LA’s inaugural Thanks-Giving event, ASR chairman and co-founder Andrea Herz-Payne was invited to share the podium with five other charities to speak about their mission and projects.  The event took place at Venice’s G2 Gallery, a beautiful and eco-friendly art gallery run by Susan and Dan Gottlieb, which donates 100% of proceeds to environmental causes and provides a meeting space for like-minded groups. Fellow speakers included Zebiba Shekhia of Healing Bridges, building the first school for girls in a Sudanese refugee camp; Terry Mason of The Peace Alliance, working to create a US Cabinet Department…

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FOUR YEARS. GO. – ASR joins the Alliance!

The last day of the Bioneers Conference began with plenary speaker Lynne Twist. Lynne is a passionate and compassionate advocate for the planet! She has revolutioned the world of money and philanthropy with her book The Soul of Money. She co-founded The Pachamama Alliance which is leading a crusade to constitutionalize the Rights of Nature ( see last year’s Bioneers Blog with Margi Margil and Ecuador)

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The Four Seasons, Poker, and….the UN?

Last night, ASR moseyed on down to The Fours Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills to help raise monies for the Second Annual United Nations Global Creative Forum. Spirits were high as the crowd played Texas Hold’em and munched on corn dogs, french fries, and pizza.  ASR is now registered with event sponsor www.buy4.com, an internet shopping site, which allows shoppers to donate a portion of purchases to charity. Earlier this year, we attended the first United Nations Global Creative Forum brought together The United Nations and the nonprofit and entertainment communities.  We were inspired by UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon,  Anti-Slavery and Anti-Human…

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Update: Haiti!

Today, more than 6 months after the earthquake in Haiti, there are 2 million people still displaced. That really isn’t all that surprising when we think about places like Darfur where millions have been displaced for more than 7 years. But, there are huge differences between these situations that have to be taken into account. Namely, the collective sum (as of July) of 1.3 billion dollars that has been donated to the Haitian people. The story we’re now hearing is that the money people have given is not reaching the people of Haiti the way that we expect it to when we donate.

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Maroon 5 PSA for ASR!

We would like to say a special thanks to Jesse, James, and Maroon 5 for their time, attention and many gifts over the years! This is their latest contribution! Congratulations on the new album, Hands All Over, which you all can pre-order here!

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Ladies! Wake up, Grab Your Wallet, and Cast Your Ballots!

Today, when we go to the market or Target or even the convenience store we are asked 9 times out of 10 if we would like to add a donation to our purchase to save the whales or feed the children or save little Timmy’s music education program. That’s pretty new. (There have been donation boxes for as long as I can remember, but this is still pretty new). It is an easy, near effortless way to make a contribution to an organization that is working to make someone, somewhere’s life a little better while buying our (toxic) laundry detergent or tonight’s (gentically modified) dinner. NGOs have learned how…

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Green Ways to Cleap-up an Oil Spill

We’ve all been inundated with the news, more news, live feeds, and contentious debates surrounding the oil spill (gush?) in the Gulf of Mexico. Since we can’t all sell our belongings and relocate to help clean up the mess there are some things we can do (alongside Kevin Costner’s nifty little invention, of course)! And, some interesting things to know when having those pesky debates about whether or not those (toxic?) dispersants are necessary…. Alternative #1 Donate your hair, your pet’s hair, or go on hair collecting missions around your city! Yep, it’s true, our hair collects and retains oil…

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Father’s Day Pledge

At Aid Still Required, part of our mission is that fathers everywhere have the resources to provide for their families. Would you help? Honor your dad and Be an Angel – pledge $10 monthly minimum – and receive our All-Star CD as a gift. Purchase the Deluxe Eco–Edition CD for $15 plus tax and shipping. Download the CD June 22nd from iTunes/Amazon and other digital retailers.

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Ways You Can SkyRocket Our CD Launch!

Hello, World! The CD release is only 9 days away!!! Can you help us make a difference? We cannot underestimate the passion of people making a difference, to feel empowered that they can transform lives by buying a CD, by sharing their excitement with everyone on their list and encouraging them to download, buy a CD, and contribute. WAYS YOU CAN ASSIST: Engage email  databases – your own or someone elses’s who is willing to do a personal appeal on behalf of the forgotten people ASR represents. Ask people to download/purchase the CD and spread Ask people to Be an…

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The CD is On Its Way!!!!

We are in the throes of preparing for our CD launch June 22nd.  It is such an exciting moment, the opportunity to bring Aid Still Required onto the national/international scene so that we may have the privilege of truly fulfilling upon our mission…making a real difference for those no longer the latest media headline….and in particular with this CD, lending a hand to the tsunami survivors of SouthEast Asia. For those of you who are new to us……this project is five and a half years in the making – from a thought which bubbled up from hearts opened by tremendous tragedy…

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Save an Angel – ASR Teams with Hans Zimmer and Rosey Grier for Mother’s Day!

Composer and philanthropist Hans Zimmer’s Remote Control Foundation has selected Aid Still Required as one of seven beneficiary organizations to participate in the Save An Angel Mother’s Day fundraising campaign. Former football Pro, humanitarian, and minister Rosey Grier steps forward as Save an Angel spokesperson for ASR. Save An Angel was composed by rising songstress, humanitarian- and Los Angeles -area high-school student!- Rachel Eskanazi-Gold to bring awareness  to  the suffering of women and children around the globe. ASR’s proceeds from the campaign will go towards funding our projects in Southeast Asia in honor of the women and children who were either victims or…

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Milken Institute – Global Conference 2010

Aid Still Required was thrilled to be a guest at the Milken Institute’s Global Conference – Shaping the Future. We attended the third day of the conference which hosted over 3,000 attendees and represented 60 nations. There were 140 panels in just 3 days! The conference was focused on “jump-starting progress” to find tangible, sustainable solutions for modern social problems, as well as broadening of opportunities through providing greater access to capital, healthcare, & knowledge. The panel on Philanthropy in Early Childhood Education featured Mark Shriver, Vice President and Managing Director of U.S. Programs for Save the Children whom we met at the Britweek gala dinner honoring sir…

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Britweek: Fundraiser for Save the Children & Virgin Unite

Britweek is dedicated to celebrating the very special relationship between the UK and Southern California. One of the highlights of week is the gala dinner which we were able to attend as the guest of Martha DeLaurentiis, board member of Save the Children. This years guest of honor was Virgin mogul, environmentalist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Sir Richard Branson. All proceeds of the event are going to support Save the Children and Virgin Unite. We were shocked to learn from Save the Children US program chair, Mark Shriver, that California’s Central Valley could comprise the 12th largest state in the US, but it would also rank as the poorest…

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Dirt! Featured on PBS Independent Lens

In honor of Earth Day, April 22, PBS Independent Lens will be featuring Dirt! a film produced and directed by ASR friends and supporters Bill and Laurie Benenson and Gene Rosow! Jamie Lee Curtis narrates. A few of the featured environmental rockstar interview subjects: Andy Lipkis of LA’s TreePeople, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Wangari Maatthai, Bioneers Paul Stamets aka Mushroom Guy, ecological designer John Todd who makes waste-managment the most fascinating topic in town, South Bronx advocate Majora Cater, and biomimicrist Janine Benynus. Wine guy Gary Vaynerchuk and Alice Waters of Chez Panisse fame represent the foodies. Congratulations, Laurie, Bill,…

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Physicians Commitee for Responsible Medicine

On April 10, 2010 the ASR founders attended the Physicians Commitee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) Gala Dinner. ASR is committed to learning about ways in which we can all make changes in our personal lives to promote larger, social change. PCRM is focused on, among other things, finding techniques to replace animals labs in teaching hospitals and working to end use of animals in pharmaceutical and skin care testing. Thorough the leadership of Dr. Neal Bernard, PCRM has reduced the number of animals used in teaching hospitals 95% by proving their techniques (which include using simulators) are often more efficient…

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Afternoon Tea with CodePink

We recently attended Afternoon Tea with CodePink and Phyllis Bennis at CodePink founder Jodie Evans’ home. Jodie always provides a thoughtful forum for insight and discussion which is much appreciated. Phyllis, fellow at The Institute of Policy Studies discussed her book Ending the U.S. War in Afghanistan: A Primer. Also a fellow at the Transnational Institute, Phyllis has been an advisor to many senior-level officials at The United Nations. We were excited to hear her take on a situation that is far more complicated than we could have imagined. We were also privileged to meet up again with Daniel Ellsberg…

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Los Angeles Business Journal Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony

On March 9, 2010, the women of ASR attended the Los Angeles Business Journal’s annual awards luncheon. We had the privilege of meeting personally 2010 Business Person of the Year and LABJ Hall of Fame inductee Patrick Soon-Shiong. Surgeon, researcher, inventor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, he is a remarkable, humble man with an equally remarkable story. Born and raised in South Africa at a time when apartheid was still epidemic, Soon-Shiong began his medical career at a very young age in South Africa. Receiving half the pay of his Caucasian counterparts, he shone in his endeavors, overcame the oppressions of apartheid,…

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United Nations Global Creative Forum

We were so pleased and excited to be able to attend and contribute to the United Nations 2010 Global Creative Forum in Los Angeles. Held March 1, 2010, at The Armand Hammer Museum in Westwood, The Forum was chaired by Chicken Soup for the Soul CEO Bill Rouhana, and was created to bring together Hollywood, The United Nations, and a variety of world organizations. The morning began with an intimate, thought-provoking conversation between United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and actor Michael Douglas, who also serves as a United Nations Messenger of Peace. The UN Secretary -General made a special request…

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Ben Skinner at Youth for Human Rights International Event

On February 28, 2010, ASR attended an event for Youth for Human Rights International where we were honored to meet Ben Skinner, author of A Crime so Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern Day Slavery.   A Carr Center for Human Rights Policy fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School and winner of the 2009 Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Skinner is both academic and activist. Skinner’s own first-hand experience with slavery began in 2003 while in Sudan on an assignment for Newsweek.  He met a young man, Muong Nyong, a former slave who was Skinner’s own age but who had spent half his life…

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Loyola Marymount presents Greg Mortensen

Last night, ASR Special Projects Manager Lindsay Huff took ASR Founders Hunter and Andrea and ASR Friend Laurie Benenson to her alma mater Loyola Marymount to hear author and humanitarian Greg Mortensen speak about his latest book “Stones Into Schools.”. Mortenson, author of  the bestseller “Three Cups of Tea”, has been working in Pakistan and Afghanistan since 1993 after recovering from a hike up K2 – the world’s second highest mountain.  In the weeks he spent recovering in the far reaches of a Himalayan village, Mortenson noted that the village children had no school and had to study on exposed…

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Aid Still Required Board member Dorothy Breininger honored at NAPO Awards

Saturday, January 30, 2010, we joined ASR Board member Dorothy Breininger, organizing guru, at the National Association of Professional Organizers Awards dinner. Dorothy, producer and consultant for A& E’s hit show “Hoarders” was honored as Most Innovative Organizer of the Year. Actress Kim Coles, of “In Living Color” fame, hosted the event and kept everyone in chuckles. We were pleased & excited to meet Dorothy’s business partners at Delphi Digital, Debbie and Ken Bitticks.

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VRAI’s Rebirth – An Evening about Darfur

VRAI for Darfur – Peace Through Prosperity- The Village Reforestation and Advancement Initiative – Aid Still Required and Christie Communications – 11/7/09 Two months ago, we spent a weekend with a former UNHCR Chair on Darfur and two of her colleagues, experts in reforestation, agriculture, and humanitarian activities in Western Sudan. We spent Saturday brainstorming about how to create the most effective project to make a difference in this complex and beautiful region. On Sunday, we invited 20 friends of ASR to share our thoughts and learn from their questions. In the following blog, ASR volunteer Eileen Kim speaks eloquently…

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5th Anniversary of the Dec. 26th Tsunami

Today, we create space… …to remember those lost 5 years ago this day due to the tsunami. ASR’s heart, thoughts, and prayers go out to those who are, for any and all reasons, grieving the memory of that day. We want to take this moment now to grieve with you, to remember, and to rededicate our commitment to the undeniable truth that…aid IS still required.

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Invictus Screening Honoring the Work of NGO’s – 12/9/09

As a part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Campaign, Clint Eastwood graciously donated his new film, Invictus, for an advance screening at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, two days prior to opening. The gala evening, co-sponsored by the City of West Hollywood in addition to thecommunity.com, recognized various NGOs, honoring the work that they do in light of Human Rights Day [December 10th]. About 400 guests were in attendance – over 1,200 were on the waiting list! Aid Still Required was asked to participate with other NGOs that included the One Campaign, Artists for Human Rights,…

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UDHR Campaign Continues – Lakers Photo Shoot

As part of its continuing participation in the UDHR Nobel Peace Laureate Campaign, ASR organized a photo shoot with Lakers Andrew Bynum, Luke Walton, and Jordan Farmar at the Lakers’ practicing facility. The three athletes held up signs representing the various articles numbers from the UN document, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as signs that say, “Join Us!”, written and signed by each of them in their own handwriting. Luke’s dad, basketball hall of famer Bill Walton is also participating in the campaign. ASR had the pleasure of seeing photographer Zoe Zimmer again, whom we had met at…

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Universal Declaration of Human Rights Campaign – Sunset Gower Photo Shoot

Thecommunity.com had invited ASR to participate in its Universal Declaration of Human Rights Campaign featuring Nobel Peace Laureates including the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was created by Eleanor Roosevelt and adopted by the UN in 1948.  Its 30 articles spell out the fundamental facets of human rights for all people.  UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon said, “The Declaration was the first global statement of what we now take for granted – the inherent dignity and equality of all human beings.”  ASR is honored to join a campaign that speaks so true of…

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The Most Famous Woman in Afghanistan

Andrea is seen here with Malalai Joya, also known as “the most famous woman in Afghanistan.”  In 2003, at the age of 25, Joya stood up at a constitutional assembly and denounced the NATO-backed warlords.  She was elected to parliament in 2005 at age 27, and in 2007, she was suspended for her persistent criticism of the warlords and the government. Currently on tour of the US to promote her new book, A Woman Among Warlords, Hunter and Andrea met Joya at the home of CODEPINK Co-Founder Jodie Evans.  Joya is petite and soft-spoken until she starts speaking about the…

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Dirt The Movie – Getting Dirty at the Dirt The Movie screening @ the 2009 Bioneers Conference

After seeing Dirt! The Movie, you will never think of the ground beneath you in quite the same way. Sometimes red, sometimes chocolaty brown, sometimes black, sometimes beige, we usually think of dirt as something we want to clean up and get rid of.  However, Dirt! The Movie was an eye-opener for the Paynes.  ASR thanks producers Bill and Laurie Benenson and Gene Rusow for getting the word out…and for making the film a lot of fun as well as informative and inspiring. Dirt! The Movie has been chosen as PBS’s 2010 Earth Day special.  The DVD is now available…

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Clippers vs. Maccabi Event – Oct. 20th, 2009

“For the children” – Aid Still Required Joins the Clippers and Maccabi Tel-Aviv for Migdal Ohr Benefit In 2007, the New York Knicks and Maccabi Tel Aviv sold out Madison Square Garden in the first basketball benefit game for Migdal Ohr, the world’s largest orphanage located in Northern Israel. As the benefit was such a success, Migdal Ohr created two pre-season exhibition games for 2009, one rematch in NYC and the other at the Los Angeles Staples Center with the LA Clippers facing the Maccabis. Migdal Ohr Executive Director Robert Katz had heard about ASR’s work with the NBA players…

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Bioneers Conference 2009

This year’s Bioneers Conference, held in Marin County from October 16-18th, was Aid Still Required’s fourth year in attendance, in conjunction with Andrea and Hunter’s wedding anniversary.  The Paynes were fortunate enough to be joined by Board member Maureen Charles, who found the conference equally inspiring, a gathering of amazing people focusing on visionary solutions to preserve and revitalize the planet in addition to restoring social justice to a broken world. One of their favorite workshop presenters was Dr. John Todd of Todd Ecological Design and Engineering – the 2008 winner of the Buckminster Fuller Challenge.  He spoke about his…

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Daniel Ellsberg is the Most Dangerous Man in America.

When CODEPINK Co-Founder Jodie Evans told the Paynes about an upcoming screening of The Most Dangerous Man in America, they changed their schedule and showed up for the Thursday night screening and Q&A session with film subject Daniel Ellsberg and his wife, Patricia. For those of you who might not know this important piece of history, the film documents Ellsberg’s transformation from Defense Department analyst to whistleblower concerning the government cover-ups about the Vietnam War and finally to anti-war and anti-nuclear activist.  Ellsberg is specifically known for releasing what became known as the Pentagon Papers, detailing the United States’ involvement…

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The Third Wave – Volunteering in Sri Lanka after the Tsunami

September 22nd marked the LA premiere and Academy Awards qualifying screening of the documentary, The Third Wave.  Made by ASR friend, Alison Thompson and her producing partner Oscar Gubernati, The Third Wave chronicles their experiences volunteering in Sri Lanka after the tsunami. It is a spectacular cinema-verite film, depicting the human reality of what it was like in the days, weeks, and months following the disaster.  In 2008, after seeing an early cut of the film, Sean Penn asked for a special screening at Cannes when he was head of jury there.  The film is scheduled to open nationally in…

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ASR’s FIRST MAJOR FUNDRAISING EVENT – “A Night of Culture for a Cause”

“June 20th” quickly became an ASR household buzzword with weeks of tireless preparation, culminating into A Night of Culture for a Cause.  Actress and ASR friend Barbara Bosson hosted the fete at her stunning Pacific Palisades home.  Thanks to Marble Arch Fine Afts and the Cracking Art Group, guests were greeted by eco-friendly, larger-than-life animal sculptures made out of recycled plastic, highlighting ASR’s commitment to environmental issues.  Animals included giant bulldogs and terriers, oversized sneaker-wearing chihuahuas, goats, giraffes, and alligators. ASR’s various projects in the tsunami region in Southeast Asia, Sudan, and New Orleans were featured on displays in the…

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Cocktails and Karaoke for a Cause – June 3rd, 2009

On June 3rd, in conjunction with hiving.net, philanthropist Sarah Nicole Dolgen hosted a Cocktails for a Cause Karaoke Night in honor of Aid Still Required at her lovely apartment off of Sunset Strip.  It was a night of great Thai food from Sarah’s favorite neighborhood Thai joint, great drinks, and vivid discussion, with many young socialites in attendance, engaging Andrea and Hunter with incisive questions.  We hear the singing went on until the wee hours.  Thank you to Sarah and all the attendees!

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Poker Night with Hope Artist – May 7th, 2009

ASR was invited to participate in HOPE Artist’s Vice for Nice Poker Invitational at Fred Segal Conveyor in Santa Monica, CA.  The store was transformed after hours into a mini-Las Vegas with players crowded around gambling tables, gambling for good!  Hope Artist Founder, Andi Scull Steidle is shown below with Hunter. Andi’s husband, Marine Capt. Brian Steidle, was one of the key influences who inspired Andrea and Hunter’s work on behalf of the people of Darfur.  They met Brian at a 2006 traveling art exhibit, “Darfur, Darfur,” where Brian shared some of his experiences working as a photojournalist in Southern…

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Thank You, Jay Leno!

Andrea and Hunter attended the ceremony for the Feminist Majority Foundation Global Women’s Rights Award at the Beverly Hills Hotel on April 29th. They had the pleasure of seeing Jay and his wife Mavis there. They first met Jay and Mavis in a parking lot a couple of years ago to talk about what happening in Darfur. Two days later, Jay had George Clooney on the Tonight Show and and they discussed the history of the conflict, giving Darfur its due air time. Also at the April 29th event, Andrea and Hunter had a run-in with Christiane Amanpour, who  was…

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CNN

Christiane Amanpour’s documentary on genocide featuring Kobe’s Aid Still Required PSA aired tonight.

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Village Life

Just visited our project village for The Village Reforestation & Advancement Initiative and saw why 40% of the villagers have had to leave.  The center of the village is now one large sand drift.  Some of the houses have been crushed by the sheer weight of the sand.  Other houses have added a second story which now serves as the ground floor. There is one area of the village which looks normal.  It’s the area on the north end where a break of trees has been planted. The solution is so simple! http://www.aidstillrequired.org/media.html

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How Do They Do It?

We drove through the desert today in Sudan – and I mean “drove through the desert!”  Seven hours ago we left Khartoum and have been traveling over flat, hot, relentless desert ever since.  Just sand, sand, sand – forever.  How the people  survive here is beyond me.  There’s barely a bush in sight, and no shade from the blasting sun. Just a few minutes ago, one of our hosts told us that much of this desert was forest just a decade or so ago.  The 40-year drought has really taken a toll.

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From New Orleans

We have left these people behind.  New Orleans is a very depressed city today and has a vacant feeling to it.  I haven’t been here in years, but this town used to be flowing with life. The Lower Ninth Ward, once a fully populated neighborhood, is now a large field of weeds mixed with rubble from old foundations.  There’s barely a building standing and only a few new homes started or completed.  90% of its population has stayed away.  Frankly, we’ve given them little or no reason to come back.

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LeBron James Speaks for Darfur

This morning ESPN’s Outside The Lines aired an news segment on athletes and activism. LeBron James, who last spring (2007) had declined to sign former Cavalier teammate Ira Newble’s letter from NBA players to the government of China about their policies in Sudan, has come out voicing strong support for human rights and an intention to mobilize the NBA Olympic team to speak out regarding Darfur and other issues.

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ESPN

Kobe Bryant’s and Steve Nash’s ASR public service announcements for Darfur are featured along with an ESPN interview with Grant Hill. The Darfur story is becoming a household issue.

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ESPN + NBA Players + Darfur

We’ve finally launched our Darfur outreach campaign!  And what a launch it was! Today ESPN featured public service announcements we shot with Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash about Darfur, and also interviewed Grant Hill on the subject. These past few months NBA stars have been speaking out about the Darfur conflict.  Along with Kobe and Steve, ASR shot PSAs with Derek Fisher, Andrew Bynum, Trevor Ariza, Luke Walton, Baron Davis, Emeka Okafor, Ira Newble, Eric Snow and Matt Barnes. These guys are surprisingly focused on Darfur.  Steve Nash said after his shoot, “I’ll do anything I can to help that…

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