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Foundation Fridays

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: Choir of millions

on Fri, 09/14/2012 - 09:32
Bill McKibben, advisor to Good Earth Singers

This December 21st, about 15 million people will join in singing “Ise Oluwa” or “One Song”. This lovely African song is a call to leaders around the world to end violence against the earth.  Organized by the Good Earth Singers, we learned of this project through our friends at Intertribal COUP.

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: Oldie, but Goodie

on Fri, 09/07/2012 - 11:07
Untours Foundation founder Hal Taussig supported Greensgrow Farms, a Philadelphia urban garden

I recently stumbled upon Greensgrow: a lush and bustling urban garden that lives in a large city block in Philadelphia. It jumps out of its block. It’s somehow four-dimensional. The normal strips of grass by the curbs are instead planted with herbs, flowers, and more. I do believe that even non-gardeners would have to stop and catch the view and scent of this unexpected paradise.

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: Vote of confidence

on Fri, 08/31/2012 - 09:52
Untours founder Hal Taussig with Brenda Davis of Ironman, Inc., an Untours Foundation loan recipient

The foundation receives many accolades, both public and private. One accolade this week caught us by surprise. In with her regular loan repayment check, Brenda Davis, the “Iron Woman” of Ironman, Inc., included a donation to the foundation.

Of course, I called her to ask the story behind the gift.

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: So Proud!

on Fri, 08/24/2012 - 10:12
Untours Foundation loan recipient Wash Cycle Laundry just won “Best Laundry Service 2012” in the readers’ choice awards through the Philadelphia Magazine

One of the foundation's newest loan recipients, Wash Cycle Laundry, just won “Best Laundry Service 2012” in the readers’ choice awards through the Philadelphia Magazine. We couldn’t be more proud of this dynamic, start-up company!

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: Shaky Voices

on Fri, 08/17/2012 - 09:51
The venerable Maggie Kuhn, founder of Gray Panthers - photo courtesy of Gray Panthers of San Francisco

One of my personal heroes is Maggie Kuhn, the feisty founder of the Gray Panthers. I had the delight of befriending Maggie when she was in her 80’s. We went together several times a year to do something that is not in my basic nature: clothes shopping!  

Maggie was not a child protégé and probably not the first person you would have noticed in a room. If you had told her when she was 64 that she’d be receiving $5,000 speaking honoraria when she was in her ‘80’s, she would have laughed.

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Foundation Fridays: A Contemporary Abolitionist

on Fri, 08/10/2012 - 09:33
Facing the Monster: How One Person Can Fight Child Slavery, by Carol Hart Metzker

When writer Carol Metzker met an 11-year-old girl rescued from slavery, she realized she had two options: to bury the shocking information so it couldn’t cause her greater pain, or to face the monster of child slavery and work to make change. She chose the latter, sending her on a journey into the dark world of human trafficking as far as remote villages in India and a survivor’s shelter just miles from her Pennsylvania home. The story is in the newly-released book, Facing the Monster: How One Person Can Fight Child Slavery (Open Book Editions, 2012).

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: TLC

on Fri, 08/03/2012 - 10:55
Andrew Britton of Media, PA, consults with Lucy Lau Bigham of Tosheka Designs, an Untours Foundation loan recipient

If they can handle it, the Untours Foundation loan recipients receive as much technical assistance and TLC as we can muster.  Frequently, we call on experts for additional help. Today, Media, PA, retailer, Andrew Britton, offered several hours of time to Lucy Lau Bigham, co-owner of Tosheka Designs, producer of beautiful bags and purses made out of recycled plastic bags.

For decades now, Andrew has incorporated fair trade practices into his business, Kuta. He worked with Lucy as she prepares to expand her sales to the US.

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Foundation Fridays: Dogs Allowed

on Fri, 07/27/2012 - 15:06
Bruce Crowther, brainchild of the Fairtrade town concept, with Untours Foundation manager Elizabeth Killough in Media, PA

Garstang, UK, the World’s First Fairtrade Town, is one of Media, PA’s sister cities. The fairtrade town concept is the brainchild of Quaker and veterinarian, Bruce Crowther, a Garstang resident. Bruce has now inspired over 1,000 towns and cities in 22 nations on 5 continents to go Fair Trade.

Bruce tries every which way to encourage people of the North to visit Fair Trade towns of the South. He’d like to see all of us visit New Koforidua, Ghana, which is the 1,000th Fair Trade town as well as Garstang’s and Media’s other sister city.

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Foundation Fridays: The Big Cheese

on Fri, 07/20/2012 - 09:19
Hal is taste testing Fair Trade coffee along with food manager, Lisa Taddei, at Penncrest High School, the first Fair Trade public high school in the US.

In profiling the Untours Foundation Board, there is of course the big cheese, Hal Taussig. The fact that Hal is co-founder and president of this almost 20-year old foundation is a bit odd in that Hal doesn’t believe in non-profits as a serious tool for addressing real change in the world. But Hal had business profits to offer as capital to vulnerable populations around the world, and the foundation was a tool that could achieve that. Hal didn’t tell anyone about the foundation until I came along 8 years ago when I slowly persuaded him to share his story.

Here’s a little more on Hal:

Pet peeve: cars that cut in front of bikes

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: The Power of One

on Fri, 07/13/2012 - 09:21
Dal LaMagna, founder of Tweezerman and CEO of Untours Foundation loan recipient IceStone

Dal LaMagna, CEO of our loan recipient, IceStone, traveled to Iraq and Jordan in 2006 to try to negotiate a cease-fire between Iraqi insurgents and the Coalition Forces – alone! I wrote about IceStone in the last Untours Eurozine, and my colleague, Ellen Peters, spotted Dal’s name and told me she heard his amazing diplomacy story on “This American Life”.