A Fond Farewell

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Racer's Favorite Causes

This is a list of non-profit organizations who are doing work that we think is especially important. We have no direct affiliation with any of these folks, although we have donated tiny amounts of money to them as we pledged to do in our first newsletter.

Any errors are Racer's sole responsibility, and we apologize in advance for any incorrect or outdated information.

If you would like to nominate a good cause for inclusion in this list, please send us mail at causes@racerrecords.com. Be sure to let us know where to reach you, so we can confirm the information.

I actually feel very weird about making this list available. I'm really, really not trying to show off about giving money away. (Trust me, the amounts I've given are really small.)

I do genuinely think it's important, though, to let people know about these organizations and their extraordinary accomplishments. Also, we promised to contribute something to good causes as a part of the way Racer is run, and I'd like people to know that that pledge is not an empty one.

So, here's the list:

Amnesty International, USA

If I could only support one good cause in my life, this would be the one. Amnesty International's goal is to stop torture and protect human rights around the world.

One of the main ways they do this is by publicizing the cases of political prisoners and people who are in danger of being tortured; then, individuals write to government officials and prison wardens and ask them politely to set the prisoners free or make sure they're protected from torture. It's an amazing concept that seems naive and laughably simple - but it's been incredibly effective.

Amnesty International, USA
PO Box 96756
Washington, DC  20077-7131

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Surely everyone is familiar with the ACLU's defense of our civil rights. I particularly admire them for taking on unpopular causes, including a few that I personally disagreed with. One of the biggest reasons for my support (particularly through Racer) is their strong and consistent defense of the right to freedom of expression.

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
132 W 43rd Street
New York, NY 10109-0592

American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR)

According to a letter I got from them:
AmFAR is the nation's leading not-for-profit organization dedicted to the support of AIDS research, lifesaving prevention-education programs, and sound AIDS-related policy. To date, we have provided over $71 million to efforts to combat the AIDS epidemic.

AmFAR supports research that seeks promising new treatments -- aiming at a protective vaccine and ultimately a cure for HIV/AIDS.

Most of us are now painfully aware of the devastation the AIDS epidepic has wrought. I lost my best friend to AIDS, and I wish I could do more to speed the day when we have a cure.
American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR)
PO Box 96635
Washington, DC 20077-7095

American Friends Service Committee

According to a letter I got from them, they have:
... over 150 programs around the globe -- humanitarian aid and economic development projects, work for justice, human rights, and a more reconciled world.

... AFSC is religiously rooted but not sectarian. Our staff and program participants around the world -- and our contributors as well -- include people of many different religious outlooks and ethnic backgrounds.

To celebrate diversity and individuality is an expression of human hope. For we seek to discover the extraordinary potential for good in ordinary people ... "that of God in each person."

I'm usually wary of supporting religious-based charities; I don't like people trying to change my religious beliefs, and I don't think people in need should be pressured, however subtly, into giving up their own spiritual traditions. I feel I can wholeheartedly support the AFSC (the Friends are Quakers), based on the paragraph I quoted, and I think their work exemplefies the very best spirit of Christian charity - working in the concrete world to build a compassionate community.
American Friends Service Committee
1501 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA  19102-1403

Habitat for Humanity International

According to a letter I got from them:
Since 1976 ... Habitat has ...

* Built or renovated more than 35,000 low-cost homes with the help and involvement of families in need. ...

* Offered not handouts, but the gift of hope to poor people, through nonprofit home loans they pay back into revolving loan funds. As a result, other families in need ... can be helped.

This is, of course, the organization that President Carter has dedicated so much of his time to. I'm always encouraged by programs that help people help themselves, and I think this is a pragmatic, effective way to help those who need better housing (and those who need any housing at all).
Habitat for Humanity International
121 Habitat Street
PO Box 1167
Americus, GA  31709-9951

Haight Ashbury Free Clinics, Inc.

According to a pamphlet I got from them:
The clients of the Haight Ashbury Free Clinics reflect the cultural diversity of the Bay Area. No one is turned away. Our programs provide free health care, health education, and drug and alcohol treatment services to tens of thousands of people in need every year.
In addition to providing free medical care for nearly 20 years, I'm pretty sure the HAFC have been involved in HEAR, an organization that works to prevent hearing loss among performers and fans of extra-loud music.
Haight Ashbury Free Clinics, Inc.
3330 Geary Blvd, Second Floor
San Francisco, CA  94118

The Hunger Project

According to a brochure I got from them:
The Hunger Project is a global, strategic organization committed to the sustainable end of hunger. It confronts the root causes of hunger, producing breakthroughs required to create a world free from hunger.
The Hunger Project
15 East 26th Street
New York, NY  10160-1757

The Nature Conservancy

According to a letter I got from them:
Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy has been protecting wetlands, rain forests, prairies and beaches. To date, we've helped protect more than 8.0 million acres in the U.S. and millions more through our Latin American, Caribbean and Pacific programs. Our work has already rescued numerous species from extinction.
The Nature Conservancy
PO Box 17056
Baltimore, MD 21298-9704

Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc.

I think every child should be a wanted child, and I think a family's well-being is greatly dependent on their ability to choose the number of children they wish to have. I've long appreciated Planned Parenthood's efforts to educate people about reproductive choices and their health in general.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc.
810 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY  10102-0103

Rock the Vote

According to a letter I got from them:
I believe that there is a very powerful sense of freedom in the music we listen to. Whether you are a musician or a fan, there is a shared feeling that no outside authority can stop.
I couldn't have put it better myself.

Rock the Vote's most notable efforts have been the passage of the Motor Voter Bill and the more general issue of urging young adults to get involved in the political process.

Rock the Vote
Dept. 3431
PO Box 30897
Los Angeles, CA  90099-4449

San Francisco Food Bank

According to a letter I got from them:
The San Francisco Food Bank rescues and distributes more than 4 million pounds of edible, but non-marketable food to 300 human service agencies in San Francisco. Each week, agencies visit the warehouse to select fresh, packaged, and frozen items for their meal or pantry programs. The Food Bank also distributes food through several direct service programs: Brown Bag for low-income seniors; C.A.R.E. for people living with HIV; Emergency Food Box for families in crisis; A Full Plate for families in transition; and Partners in Need for low-income volunteers.
San Francisco Food Bank
333 Illinois Street
San Francisco, CA  94107-2217

San Francisco School Volunteers

I spent a semester volunteering one afternoon a week at a local junior high as a teacher's aide. I thought the kids were great, and I loved it when they asked "You're not getting paid for this? Why are you here?!"

This page was last updated on March 3, 2004 by Kristi Wachter.