As we touched on in an earlier post, a big part of our last adventure to the other side of the country was about having the chance to visit Mercy Corps’ Action Center while in New York City. As part of our newfangled life and the “giving back” arm of our virtual business, we enjoy lending a hand to those in need, and we like to partner with humanitarian organizations that believe in empowering people to lead fulfilling lives. That’s where Mercy Corps, a Portland, OR based charity, comes in. For starters, feel free to check out their website to learn a bit more about what they do as a charity. They describe the Action Center this way...
A first of its kind interactive public space that educates and empowers visitors to tackle the global challenges posed by hunger and poverty.
We were very impressed by our visit. The experience at the Center starts out with a short video, led by Tina Fey, that details humanity’s ongoing struggle with hunger and poverty. Sounds depressing, I know. After this (actually helpful) introduction, you set out to enjoy the “space” - as they call it - in whatever way you choose. It’s very cool because you can explore what interests you at your own pace - for as long or as little as you please.
There’s a huge interactive map that clues you in to what’s going on all over the world. You can get a feel for the front lines of poverty by taking part in interactive, web-based tutorials. They even have a little marketplace where you can purchase fair trade goods that support families in need.
The capstone experience, though, comes at the end. When you’re feeling all inspired / disturbed / goose-bumpy, you have the chance to check out hundreds of options for making a difference in your own personal way. We took a peek at a lot of the options and, believe me, there’s something for everyone.
There’s too much suffering in the world. Those of us that can be part of the solution need to do something. No excuses. Incredibly inspired by the school age girls that were sitting around us, we each committed to an action. We headed back out to the streets of NYC invigorated and hopeful about the difference that people can make in the world.
As Mercy Corps says: Learn. Train. Take Action. Make a Difference.