Monday, December 17, 2007

How to give and support sports

I am always leery of giving gifts that allegedly benefit an organization. So I try to look into what exactly is being promised to said organization and what the organization does with the money. For example, I don't buy anything that is for breast cancer because I think most of it is a waste of money and provides more money to the companies that actually produce carcinogens and, as Diane has pointed out, research organizations that test on animals.

But since this is supposed to be a positive seasonal post, I will move on to suggestions of how you can give this season and support women and girls in sport.

  • Donations. I received an email not too long ago from It Takes a Team! the branch of the Women's Sports Foundation (WSF) that addresses homophobia in sports. Dr. Pat Griffin and her staff do an amazing job bringing issues related to sexuality to one of the most difficult places to talk about them: college athletic departments. But the organization needs your help. Think about it while you're checking out all the free resources It Takes a Team! provides.

  • The Women's Sports Foundation also accepts donations, of course.

  • The Girls Gotta Run Foundation works to buy athletic shoes for girls in rural Ethiopia. You can donate to their cause. Or you can purchase products, the proceeds of which go to the organization's effort. Last year I bought the notecards, which can be personalized. Also available this year is apparel and a tote bag. And, if you're in the DC area this season check out the foundation's art exhibit at the Modern Times Coffeehouse.

  • The National Center for Lesbian Rights is the group that represented former Penn State basketball player Jennifer Harris in her discrimination suit against the university and former coach Rene Portland. They have a sports project that has done a lot of more behind the scenes work on discrimination in sport. I credit them (along with Harris, of course) with helping oust Portland and making Penn State look really bad for overlooking years of discrimination. You can donate to NCLR. You can also purchase NCLR gear here. (I have the red t-shirt that says JUSTICE on the front and I wear it to the gym all the time--this morning in fact. What I really liked about the shirts was that the "femme cut" shirts actually were true to size.)

  • If you want to help save Title IX head to the Title IX Store. I got an "I exercise my rights" t-shirt several years ago at a conference. (Note that unlike the shirts from NCLR, the baby doll ones are teeny tiny.) And last year my friend Amy bought a bunch of us the Save Title IX bracelets when we were in Cleveland for the Girls and Women Rock Conference. (I took a picture of mine on my wrist but it came out blurry so I am just using the photos provided by the website. Copyright violation for a good cause??)

Happy Holidays!

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