Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Basic Care Bags for the Homeless

I was inspired by a suggestion Keep Calm and Carry On made of creating basic care bags to distribute to the indigent homeless individuals you come across at street corners and traffic lights. Well I'd like to follow her example and take it one step further, and start a non-profit organization for this purpose. We will be filling gently used backpacks with items and distributing them to the indigent homeless of greater Indiana. The basic care bags will contain travel/sample-size hygiene items, seasonal care items (i.e. sunscreen, hats, and gloves), clothing items, simple non-perishable food items, as well as a small card with the phone numbers and addresses of local social service organizations.

We need your help and your donations! We are in need of unopened travel-size and sample-size hygiene items: shampoo/conditioners, body soap, lotion, toothpaste, toothbrush, sunscreen, hair brushes and combs, antiperspirant/deodorant (solid only), wet wipes, tissues, as well as simple non-perishable food items (i.e. trail mixes, dried fruit, Carnation Instant Breakfast packets, etc), old backpacks, and seasonal items and clothing such as: solid water bottles, socks, hats, scarves, mittens, light-jackets, and umbrellas. We CANNOT accept hygiene items containing alcohol, alcoholic beverages, medications, razors, cigarettes, lighters, knives, guns, or any other weapons for liability reasons.

If you'd be interested in helping out with this program or donating items, please leave a comment below with your e-mail address and I will contact you.

UPDATE: We now have a group on Facebook: Helping Hands for the Homeless

Friday, May 1, 2009

Sexting: What You Need to Know Before Hitting 'Send'

Sexting, or sex texting, is a new trend among teens and young adults in which individuals sends sexually explicit, usually nude or semi-nude pictures of themselves to other teens and young adults. However fun or cool this practice sounds, it isn't without risks or consequencies. Be smart and consider the following before taking that picture or hitting "send":
  • Keep in mind that you loose control over who sees it once you hit 'send' and it goes to another person's phone. Regardless of what a person tells you they intend to do with the picture, once it's on their phone, they could save or distribute copies without your knowledge or permission.
  • Once you hit 'send' and it's in cyberspace, you can't take it back. Much like wildfire and rumors, sexually explicit pictures tend to spread quickly. Once you hit 'send' and it goes to another person's phone, the image could be saved and/or distrubuted through a variety of means, including on the internet. Once it's reached the internet, it's all but almost impossible to track down and remove all the copies of such images and they may circulate around the internet for years.
  • Your pictures may get into the wrong hands and go from cool and sexy to embarasssing. The images could be received by and used in a malicious or otherwise a threatening way by someone with a grudge or who otherwise dislikes you.
  • If you're under 18, it could land you in serious legal hot water. Possesion of sexually explicit images of any person under 18 is illegal and could result in charges ranging from misdemeanor to felony and probation, heavy fines, or even jail time, depending on how the images were used and the jurisdiction. Also, if you were caught during school hours, you could lose your scholarship, the ability to participate in extra-circicular activities, or even face suspension.