Dear Friends, as all of us know, it is easy to become so absorbed in our daily routines, life challenges, or personal pleasure that we lose sight of the suffering and hardship that other people in our own global neighborhood are having to endure. Much of the time, we may not feel inspired or motivated to consider anyone other than ourselves or our immediate family and friends. However, we must awaken the deep compassion within our hearts—we need to remember there are living beings in our world who are suffering, who are having to endure physical and psychological conditions that we could hardly imagine possible.

Friends, we must make a concerted and heartfelt effort to care for and cherish each living being in our global community—this is how peace will arise in our world. Each of us must make an effort to compassionately serve other beings in any way we are able—this is how our world will change for the better! If you will, please consider making a financial offering to one or more of the following organizations who are working diligently to end the suffering of living beings and create a healthy, peaceful world. This is an excellent way to Cherish Others!

Amnesty International / – Amnesty International is a worldwide campaigning movement that works to promote all the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international standards. In particular, Amnesty International campaigns to free all prisoners of conscience; ensure fair and prompt trials for political prisoners; abolish the death penalty, torture and other cruel treatment of prisoners; end political killings and “disappearances”; and oppose human rights abuses by opposition groups. Amnesty International has around a million members and supporters in 162 countries and territories. Activities range from public demonstrations to letter-writing, from human rights education to fundraising concerts, from individual appeals on a particular case to global campaigns on a particular issue. Amnesty International is impartial and independent of any government, political persuasion or religious creed.

The Buddhist Peace Fellowship (BPF) / – BPF is a member-driven organization for “socially engaged Buddhism” that supports an array of projects and affiliates. Internationally, the BPF promotes human rights in a number of countries, focusing on Bangladesh, Burma, Vietnam, and Tibet. Domestic projects include a volunteer service and activist training program, a prison project, and Turning Wheel, a quarterly journal.

The Christian Children’s Fund / – For over sixty years, The Christian Children’s Fund has been dedicated to providing assistance to needy children worldwide. Services are prodived to approximately 2.5 million children regardless of race, religion, or gender in 31 countries, including the United States. CCF meets the standards of all major charity watchdog (monitoring) groups such as the Charities Review Council. Full confidentiality of donors is carefully maintained and names of donors are never rented, sold or traded.

Circle of Life Foundation / – If you are living and breathing, you do make a difference in the world. It starts with your intention, your love for the earth and your inherent connection to all of the earth’s inhabitants. From this intention comes the choices you make every day. When you get out of bed in the morning, what temperature is your heat set to? Are you using 100% post consumer waste toilet paper? Is your shampoo tested on animals? Is the cup of coffee you are drinking from a fair trade source? Your choices extend out further to the groups and issues you associate with, and your actions to help the world reflect your deepest loving values. Today, the Circle of Life is a leader in the spiritual activation movement – of shifting consciousness and turning it to spiritually-based action. We believe that change is only possible when it starts at the individual level. It starts with you. Through our outreach efforts, tens of thousands of individuals have been inspired, educated and connected to opportunities for making a difference in their communities and in the world, and they are doing it, one recycling program, one tree sit, one shareholder resolution and one electric car at a time.

Global Children’s Organization (GCO) / – GCO helps heal children traumatized by war or community violence by providing programs that find creative ways to live in diverse, peaceful communities. While creating hope, the programs teach the children how to resolve conflict and prevent future violence. Since 1992, Global Children’s Organization has reached out to children caught in the cross-fire of war and helped them to develop friendships and build trust across cultural boundaries. Even in the face of violence, children’s spirits and hearts can be restored and they can again have hope.

Greenpeace / – Greenpeace is an organization that has grown from small beginnings into a global force with offices in 39 countries. With a unique ability to achieve changes by its use of direct, non-violent actions and lobbying at international conferences, Greenpeace has become the world’s pre-eminent environmental organization.

The Hunger Project / – The Hunger Project is committed to the end of hunger. This means that we are committed to empowering people to create permanent, society-wide solutions to the problem, and not content ourselves with charitable actions that only benefit a few. We are committed to identifying and utilizing an accurate framework of thinking, and pioneering strategies and actions that will enable humanity to create a new future – a future free from hunger.

Mercy Corps / – With headquarters in the United States and Scotland, Mercy Corps is an international family of humanitarian agencies that reaches more five million people each year. Mercy Corps exists to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities. Since 1979, Mercy Corps has provided more than $640 million in aid to 74 nations. More than 91 percent of the Mercy Corps’ resources are allocated to programs that help those in need. Mercy Corps is known nationally and internationally for its quick-response, high-impact programs.

Natural Resources Defense Council / – NRDC uses law, science, and the support of more than 500,000 members nationwide to protect the planet’s wildlife and wild places and to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all living things. The Natural Resources Defense Council’s purpose is to safeguard the Earth: its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends.

Oxfam International (OI) / – Oxfam International is a confederation of twelve non-governmental organizations working together in more than 80 countries to find lasting solutions to poverty, suffering and injustice. The Oxfams are strategic funders of development projects; provide emergency relief in times of crisis; and campaign for social and economic justice.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) / – With more than seven hundred thousand members, is the largest animal rights organization in the world. Founded in 1980, PETA is dedicated to establishing and protecting the rights of all animals. PETA focuses its attention on the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer the most intensely for the longest periods of time: on factory farms, in laboratories, in the fur trade, and in the entertainment industry. PETA works through public education, cruelty investigations, research, animal rescue, legislation, special events, celebrity involvement, and direct action.

Prison Dharma Network (PDN) / – PDN is a network of prisoners, volunteers, and correctional workers that supports prisoners in the practice and study of Buddhism and other contemplative disciplines. It offers workshops throughout the the U.S., and distributes donated dharma books to prisoners and prison-chapel libraries.

The Tibet Fund / – The Tibet Fund is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and strengthening the Tibetan communities, both inside Tibet and in exile, through programs in health, education, and economic and community development. The Tibet Fund was founded in 1981 with the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Since that time, the Tibet Fund has grown into the principle fund raising organization for the Tibetan people.

Tibetan Sponsorship Project / – The purpose of the Tibetan Sponsorship Project is to be of service to the Tibetan government-in-exile of His Holiness the Dalai Lama by finding sponsors for Tibetan nuns, monks, and children in need of financial support. One hundred percent of the contributions collected for sponsorship go directly to the support of the individuals. The vision of TSP is to see the Tibetan religion and culture remain alive and flourish. They believe that one day His Holiness the Dalai Lama will return to a free Tibet. They hope that His example of compassion and non-violence will be the cornerstones of all governments of the world. This project is under the auspices of The Tibet Fund in New York.

UNICEF / – Created by the United Nations General Assembly in 1946 to help children after World War II in Europe, UNICEF was first known as the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. In 1953, UNICEF became a permanent part of the United Nations system, its task being to help children living in poverty in developing countries. UNICEF helps children get the care and stimulation they need in the early years of life and encourages families to educate girls as well as boys. It strives to reduce childhood death and illness and to protect children in the midst of war and natural disaster. UNICEF supports young people, wherever they are, in making informed decisions about their own lives, and strives to build a world in which all children live in dignity and security. Working with national governments, NGOs (non-governmental organizations), other United Nations agencies and private-sector partners, UNICEF protects children and their rights by providing services and supplies and by helping shape policy agendas and budgets in the best interests of children.

For your information: Since the invasion of Tibet in 1949 by the Communist Chinese, over one million Tibetans have died as a direct result of the occupation. More than six thousand monasteries—centers of Tibetan culture and learning have been looted and razed to the ground. This ongoing brutal occupation and cultural genocide in Tibet by the Communist Chinese continues to force many Tibetans to escape into exile by making a perilous journey across the Himalayas to Nepal and India. Many arrive malnourished, frostbitten, traumatized and destitute. Among these new arrivals are large numbers of children, nuns, and monks. The Tibetan government-in-exile immediately goes to work to find placement for the new arrivals in such settings as a monastery, a nunnery, the Children’s Village, or with relatives, friends, or foster parents. This constant influx of refugees is a tremendous strain on the resources of the Tibetan government. To learn more about this or to offer assistance please contact either The Tibet Fund or the Tibetan Sponsorship Project (which is under the auspices of The Tibet Fund).