Good Deeds

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Create a Masterpiece, Give the Gift of Art

Posted By on Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 8:43 AM

GIFTED CUSTOM ART
  • Gifted Custom Art
Creative Juice Art Bar (6530 E. Tanque Verde Road) and Gifted Custom Art will team up on Saturday, Oct. 1 to raise money for the local Boys and Girls Clubs in Tucson. You don't have to be a modern Monet to attend this painting philanthropy event.

The concept is simple: Gifted provides a photo for you and your friends to convert into a painted masterpiece and Creative Juice gives you a place to do it. Registration to the Gifted Giving event is $55 per person and every registration gives one painting experience to a child at the Boys and Girls Club of Tucson - Frank and Edith Morton Clubhouse.    

For more information on how to register, click here

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Monday, July 11, 2016

Arizona Theatre Company Feels the Love—But Needs a Lot More

Posted By on Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 9:00 AM

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Last we heard, Arizona Theatre Company had two weeks to come up with two million dollars, otherwise the theatre would be forced to close its doors for its next season. The announcement came last week in a press release, saying the company needed the cash or an entire year of reorganizing in the hopes they could raise the curtain the year after.

On July 8, ATC sent out another press release to announce that nearly 360 donors from Tucson and Phoenix have pledged a quarter million ($220,000 to be exact) in a fundraising effort to save the 2016-17 season. In addition to the 213 Tucson donors and 145 from Phoenix, an anonymous donor pledged a separate $100,000 donation to have the deadline for closure extended to July 15. Mike Kasser, board member at ATC, has also agreed to match the funds if one million can be raised before the deadline.

Members of ATC's governing bodies said in the release that the support from the Tucson and Phoenix communities is cause for hope, but they are reaching a critical timeframe that needs to be met otherwise "options are very limited," according to  ATC Managing Director Billy Russo. 

"Either we go on temporary hiatus to restructure the business model or close our doors," he said. "We are hopeful that the people of Arizona won’t let that happen.”

To donate to the cause or for more information, visit www.arizonatheatre.org.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Staying Engaged on World Refugee Day

Posted By on Mon, Jun 20, 2016 at 3:15 PM

A group of Syrian children at an informal settlement in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. - JENNIFER HIJAZI
  • Jennifer Hijazi
  • A group of Syrian children at an informal settlement in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.

Although the forced migration crisis seems a world away on Mediterranean shores, our borderland home is just as crucial an area for refugee and migrant rights. Having seen just a piece of the international crisis in the Middle East this past month, it is apparent that the scope of this problem is constantly evolving and has many faces, many of which are slowly losing the eye of global concern. According to a representative from UNICEF in Beirut, 44,000 Syrian women give birth every year, steadily increasing the population of vulnerable youth that wander the streets and valleys of Lebanon, just a fraction of the 12.5 million Syrians now displaced from their homes.

On our own border, according to the Pew Research Center, apprehensions of unaccompanied minors and families shot up to 78 percent this year. Mirroring our own surge, the number of unaccompanied minors crossing into Europe reached 96,000 in 2015, a number that accounts for almost half of the total number of minors crossing since 2008.

Although arguably everyday should be a reminder of the many displaced lives in our international community, today, June 20, is World Refugee Day. As such, it is particularly important to remember our shared responsibility to remain committed to the struggles of forced migrants on our own border and beyond.

Today, pay a visit to Iskashitaa and learn about their volunteer opportunities, drop off clothes to the Islamic Center of Tucson, or call WorldCare about sustained donations. If anything, read a few more stories about the plights of refugees today. If enough concerned news consumers continue to keep the conversation going on the epidemic of displacement, then we might not need an international refugee day to remind us of the crises at our own backdoors.

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Honoring the Stars and Stripes on Flag Day

Posted By on Mon, Jun 13, 2016 at 12:30 PM

HARRIS.NEWS/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • HARRIS.news/via Wikimedia Commons

Flag Day is June 14. The occasion reminds me of an anecdote that goes back a number of years, but still comes to mind every now and then, touching my heart.

My friend Jason and I were walking along a sidewalk by a marina in the Mission Bay area north of San Diego. We were up from the boats in an area of trees and lawns. We were coming up on a building with a tall flagpole next to it. It was approaching dusk. I noticed a man wearing a work uniform and what appeared to be industrial safety glasses. He had lowered the flag that was flying on the pole, but it was rather large, and with the last few wind gusts of the day still blowing he was having trouble gathering it while keeping it off the ground. I signaled Jason and we ran over to help.

As soon as we arrived, the man explained that it was too much to handle, almost apologetic in his tone. I said, “I know, I know, it’s a two-man job.” Jason asked if we could take over for him and he agreed, seeming relieved.

Jason noticed an accent in the man’s voice and asked him if he spoke Spanish. He said he did, which delighted Jason who had just completed a class in Spanish and saw an opportunity to practice. While we gathered the flag and detached it from its halyard, Jason engaged the man in a casual conversation in Spanish, mostly discussing their jobs. Jason told him of working in San Diego in a high-end bicycle shop. The man asked how much high-end bikes cost. Jason told him he sold one for “ocho mil dolares.” The man’s eyes widened and his jaw dropped in disbelief. I added, “por uno.” We all had a laugh.

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Girl Scouts Dedicate Mobile Library at Jacinto Park

Posted By on Mon, May 16, 2016 at 11:00 AM

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Family, friends and community members gathered at Jacinto Park when Girl Scout Troop 108 and Miracle Manor Neighborhood Association leaders to dedicated the new Mobile Library at Jacinto Park on 2626 N. 15th Ave. on Sunday, May 15.

“The [troop] selected our neighborhood because of the number of kids that live so close to an elementary school,” said Henry Johnson, the vice president of the Miracle Manor Neighborhood Association. This helps us promote reading between family members and their children and it serves “to help increase literacy among the community.”

Nine members of Girl Scout Troop 108 conducted a book drive, collecting books from friends and classmates.

“We wanted to promote reading as well as a feeling of community,” said Ryan G, age 10, one of the nine girl scouts from the troop. “We like to read and we wanted to make books available to people.”

Using money raised from cookie sales, the troop bought supplies, including an old cabinet from the Habitat for Humanity store and customizing it with a roof, using tarpaper and shingles. “I like being a Girl Scout because we get to do a lot of things together,” said Abigail, age 10, one of the nine Girl Scouts who built the mobile library and goes to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School north of Tucson.

“It’s really fun when you get to do stuff with your friends.”The library will remain at Jacinto Park where community members can come and get a book to read as the summer months begin. 

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Donate to Victims of Earthquakes in Ecuador and Japan at Yume Japanese Garden Vigil and Concert

Posted By on Tue, Apr 19, 2016 at 12:41 PM

Yume Garden is hosting a vigil for Ecuador and Japan. - YUME / FACEBOOK
  • Yume / Facebook
  • Yume Garden is hosting a vigil for Ecuador and Japan.
The devastating 7-plus magnitude earthquakes in Ecuador and Japan in the last week have left thousands upon thousands missing, injured and displaced and hundreds more dead.

According to AP, more than 400 people are estimated to be dead following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the country on Saturday, April 16. The Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa is estimating $3 billion in damage—3 percent of the country's GPD. Rebuilding after this massive natural disaster could take years and crews are still searching for survivors in the wreckage, while humanitarian aid groups are working on getting clean water, food, temporary housing and mosquito nets (which are needed especially now due to the Zika infection risk in the area) to those who need them.

Over in Japan, twin earthquakes have left over 100,000 still in temporary housing and thousands injured days after the final earthquake stuck on Saturday. The streets of the Japanese city Fukuoka were coated in a mysterious foam following the event.

Here in Tucson, Yume Japanese Garden (2130 North Alvernon Way) is hosting a candlelight vigil in remembrance of the victims of the earthquakes that will also serve as a fundraiser to help those who have survived the devastation. 

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Take Back the Night (and More) for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Posted By on Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 2:00 PM

It's April 12, which means Sexual Assault Awareness Month is almost half way over. There are still plenty of opportunities, though, for you to celebrate the month throughout the Tucson community. 

Here's one. To commemorate Sexual Assault Awareness Month, raise awareness and advocate for survivors of sexual assault, the UA's Students Promoting Empowerment and Consent and the Women's Resource Center will put on their one of their largest annual activism endeavors, Take Back the Night, this evening.
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The event kicks off with a survivor solidarity march at 5:30 p.m. in the Women's Plaza of Honor and continues after the march with guest speakers, special performances and a "speak out" where survivors will anonymously and publicly share their sexual assault experiences. 

SPEAC and the WRC invite anyone and everyone to march, speak and generally "reclaim the night." Check out Take Back the Night's Facebook page for more TBTN-specific info, and check out the interactive map below for information regarding the rest of SPEAC's Sexual Assault Awareness Month affairs. 

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Into the Mild: Rednecks For a Better World

Posted By on Mon, Mar 21, 2016 at 10:30 AM

Houston, Texas – December 2015

Could first impressions be worse?

There they were, the four of them talking so loudly to each other that they were almost yelling. Their Cajun accents were so strong that they would have better fit in a cartoon. Their voices drowned out the conversations in the seats next to them. Two of them had the lower lip and gum decay that only a lifetime of chewing tobacco can inflict on someone, and they all wore amazingly greasy hair. Despite the frigid December weather, they boarded the plane in sleeveless shirts and ripped jeans. Did I mention that they were loud?

My mind was set.

I fortunately sat far enough away that their voices faded out after 30 minutes and I slept deeply. I was awakened to an intercom announcement: “We are now making our final descent into Istanbul, please turn off all electronics and return your seat to the upright position.”

“Idunmind if they speak Turkush here, suhlonguz everone understanz English too!” cackled my Cajun friend. It had to have been a joke. Nobody who willingly leaves their own country really thinks like that. But nobody else was laughing. Not even the others in his group.

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A Cactus Christmas

Come see this revival of a Tucson original. Can 2 families work out their difference on Christmas… More

@ The Comedy Playhouse Fridays, Saturdays, 7:30-9:30 p.m. and Sundays, 3-5 p.m. Continues through Jan. 7 3620 N. 1st Ave. Suite 154

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