April 2014

  

 

 
Theosophical Order of Service
 
 
Liaison News
 
 
 
              
April 2014
Warm greetings,
 
I hope you're enjoying some Spring blossoms where you live.  It's natural at this time of year to turn our attention to the earth, watching as renewed life begins to green, sprout and blossom.  Earth Day is April 22, and we've included an article on 12 easy ways to help heal the environment by reducing waste.
 
The Portland Lodge has already sprung into action, helping to ease hunger in Oregon.  In March 2014, the Portland Lodge gave its donations to the Oregon Food Bank, along with canned goods collected at the door.  The story below tells how much they collected.
 
The most recent recipients of the TOS' scholarship to the Oglala Lakota College's School of Nursing are introduced below.  Meet Amy and Nicole, two bright, strong Native American women working to becoming registered nurses so they can give back to their communities while creating a more secure future for their families.
 
Speaking of Spring and renewed life, catch up on the latest rescue of four sweet beagles from a Chicago-area laboratory. 
 
I invite you to contact me by phone or email and let me know what your group has been up to, projects small or large.  If any members of your group are individually engaged in service projects, I'd love to hear about that too.  This newsletter is your forum--use it to increase awareness of good causes and good works, as well as to inspire and be inspired. 
 
In service,
 
Kathy Gann
TOS Liaison Coordinator
720-987-6323
Portland Lodge Helps Ease Hunger in Oregon

About one in five Oregon households do not have enough to eat.  The Theosophical Society in Portland wanted to help, so in March 2014, the Lodge collected donations of food and cash to help fight hunger.  A total of $133 in cash and 35 pounds of food was collected and given to the Oregon Food Bank.  This is the fourth time the Portland Lodge has donated to the Oregon Food Bank!

The Portland Lodge's donations will be most welcome--in fiscal year 2012-2013, the Oregon Food Bank Network secured more than 86.3 million pounds of food and distributed over 1,109,000 emergency food boxes to individuals and families in need.

2014 Oglala Lakota Scholarship Recipients

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."         --Nelson Mandela

The Theosophical Order of Service is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2014 Oglala Lakota College scholarship, awarded to Native American nursing students who are passionate about using their education to give back to their communities.  This year's scholarship is shared by two recipients--meet Nicole and Amy below:

Nicole Griffin

A member of the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe, Nicole Griffin was raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Nicole moved to South Dakota six years ago to work toward her goal of becoming a Registered Nurse.

Currently in her second year of nursing school, Nicole plans to graduate with an Associate of Arts degree in Nursing in June 2014.  Her longer-term goals include working toward a Bachelor's degree in nursing. 

Nicole relates that life has not been easy for her, but says, "I have managed to make it this far and have no current plans on giving up."  The mother of five children ages 1-12, Nicole drives 200 miles per day from her home in Rapid City to attend classes in Pine Ridge, all the while working part time as a nursing assistant.  Nicole says that getting her nursing degree "is like a dream come true for me and my family."

Amy Wilson

Amy Wilson is a member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe and is a lifelong resident of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.  Her grandfather, Chief Oliver Red Cloud, founded the Red Cloud Indian School that has educated Lakota people for over 100 years.  Amy was raised with traditional Lakota values, including respect, generosity, courage, fortitude, and wisdom.  She finds that "the feeling of sharing and caring is immensely calming."

A single mother of three (ages 17-25), Amy's family has expanded to include two daughters-in-law and two grandsons.

Amy worked for the Lakota Housing Authority, then obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.  She found her true calling, however, while caring for severely injured and ill family members.  Amy sees a great deal of suffering on the reservation, and is determined to use her nursing skills to help her community.

TOS scholarships are funded by members' contributions.  Please consider a gift of any size so the TOS can continue to award scholarships to Native American nursing studentsClick here to donate (choose "Native American Support-USA" from the drop-down box).
TOS Supports Beagle Freedom Project

In previous issues, I introduced an organization whose work exemplifies theosophical principles, the Beagle Freedom Project (BFP).  This organization sends a letter to every animal research laboratory in the US, encouraging them to release animals they no longer need for experimentation, rather than euthanizing them as is common practice.  When a lab agrees to release animals, BFP volunteers are there to rescue them.  BFP then provides veterinarian care and eventually finds them permanent homes. 

BFP's work is theosophical in the truest sense:

1) they rescue animals (about 150 so far) that have endured cruel experimentation since birth, providing them with freedom and loving care;

2) they treat the labs and experimenters with respect, including maintaining the labs' anonymity (without which no animals would ever be released) even though BFP is openly opposed to animal experimentation; and

3) in the spirit of Henry Olcott, they work to pass legislation that will mandate that animals must be released rather than euthanized when the laboratory no longer needs or wants them.

Until the cruelty of animal research can be permanently stopped, at least a few animals have a chance at happiness and to have an entirely new experience with humans who only want to love and care for them.  Thanks to generous donors, the TOS has been able to issue a financial grant to help BFP with its work.

Latest rescue:  In addition to Cubs and Bears, Chicago now has a new team to love:  the "Chicago Beagles," a group of four dogs recently rescued from a Chicago lab.  As the dogs adapt to freedom and peace with their temporary foster families, BFP's Kevin Chase introduced the dogs: 

"Already we are learning about certain quirks, Sparky eats his kibble one at a time, taking each bite out of his dish and setting it on a separate rug for inspection before gobbling it down. Jack is still nervous about being on a leash but is doing great in the house and just let out his first bark. Casper is an adorable cuddle bug and is navigating a relationship with his new doggy brother who is deaf (and his family threw him a really sweet "freedom" party complete with a doggy cake!). Bandit has already started to figure out how to play, but mostly seems to relish a comfortable undisturbed sleep – the joy of being at peace!"

Meet the Chicago Beagles!  Below, from left to right: Sparky, Jack, Casper, and Bandit.

       

Actions you can take to help:

add your signature to BFP's letter to laboratories; or volunteer to help with rescues in your area;

*  California and Minnesota residents can help support the Research Animal Retirement Bill;

*   Support companies offering cruelty free products.

*  Please consider a donation to help the TOS continue granting support to organizations putting theosophy into action.

12 Tips for Reducing Waste

Earth Day is April 22, so we bring you some easy ways to help make the Earth healthier.  The Environmental Protection Agency's Consumer's Handbook for Reducing Solid Waste includes these 12 tips for reducing your household's solid waste:

REDUCE

  1. Reduce the amount of unnecessary packaging.
  2. Adopt practices that reduce waste toxicity.

REUSE

  1. Consider reusable products.
  2. Maintain and repair durable products.
  3. Reuse bags, containers, and other items.
  4. Borrow, rent, or share items used infrequently.
  5. Sell or donate goods instead of throwing them out.

RECYCLE

  1. Choose recyclable products and containers and recycle them.
  2. Select products made from recycled materials.
  3. Compost yard trimmings and some food scraps.

RESPOND

  1. Educate others on source reduction and recycling practices.
  2. Be creative - Find new ways to reduce waste quantity and toxicity.

 

"A union of those who love in the service of all that suffers."

www.TheoService.org