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Friday, October 17, 2008

Mitzvah Moments - Suggestions for Good Deeds

Tish Levee has made it her personal mission to encourgae and inspire good deeds that spread a bit of positive energy in our world to help make it a better place for all of us to live.

Do a bunch of mitzvahs at once––remember to vote! If you can’t get to the polls, request a vote-by-mail ballot (formerly an absentee ballot) by October 28th. Call the Registrar of Voters at 707-565-6800 or 1-800-750-VOTE or go to

The rains are here, but…It’s no time to let up on water saving practices. Actually, we need to keep them up indefinitely. Two consecutive record dry winters throughout California have resulted in the greatest threat to our water supplies in nearly 20 years, prompting the governor to declare a statewide drought. The 20th century, when most of the growth and development here in the West took place, was the wettest century in a millennium. Now, even without global warming, we don’t have enough water, so we all need to change how we use it. Bay Area water agencies have a new website Check it out for conservation tips and information about rebate programs.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One way to help raise awareness is by taking part in the 6th Annual Pink Ribbon Challenge at Every click at the site during October will be doubled. When enough people click to fund 500 mammograms for low-income women, the site’s premier sponsor–– bare necessities®––will fund another 200 mammograms. While you’re there click on the other sites on the same page, such as the hungersite. In less than a minute a day, you can contribute to several important causes. Shopping at these sites, especially buying their Gifts that Give More™ for clutter free gifts, is another mitzvah.

Do two mitzvahs in one. With winter coming, you can make your home or business climate neutral by signing up for PG&E’s ClimateSmart program. You offset the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) produced by your use of electricity and natural gas with a tax deductible contribution (average $5/month for a family) that fund’s projects to sequester forests and collect methane from livestock manure and landfills––methane has 21 times amore greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) than CO2. ClimateSmart has energy saving tips and a “carbon footprint” calculator. During October, PG&E will donate up to $25,000 to your choice of three environmental groups––the California State Parks Foundation, Save the Bay, or Golden Gate Audubon Society, when you sign up at

Here’s another double mitzvah. Reduce landfill and help empower an unemployed man by taking part in the first National Suit Drive at Men’s Wearhouse. Providing unemployed men with professional work attire builds their self-esteem and makes a good first impression during job interviews. Until October 31st, you can donate gently used suits, sport coats, slacks, dress shirts, ties and belts at your local Men’s Wearhouse––1001 Steele Lane, across from Coddington Mall––and help other men re-enter the workforce and take back control of their lives. With your tax-deductible donation you’ll receive a discount coupon for your next Men’s Wearhouse purchase as a special thank you.  Also, the company will contribute a new dress shirt for every suit donated.

For the last decade Men’s Wearhouse has worked with non-profit groups and corporations to collect and distribute professional clothing. More than 65,00 suits, sport coats, slacks, and accessories have been donated by consumers through regional and state drives in the last 9 years. “This year, we wanted to extend these efforts on a national level…[to] help even more men across the country and make a difference for disadvantaged men…taking steps toward self-sufficiency,” said George Zimmer, chairman of Men’s Wearhouse. Go to for more information.

Have less formal clothes? Banana Repbulic® and Goodwill Industries® have teamed up to help customers make room in their closets and in their hearts at the same time. When you donate gently worn sweaters or coats at any Banana Republic through October 26th, you’ll receive a 30% discount on regularly priced merchandise. There are a few exclusions; check with your local store––at 2009 Santa Rosa Plaza. Selling these donated items in Goodwill® stores will help fund training programs and support services for job seekers, including those with disabilities or who lack education or job experience. Every 53 seconds of each business day, someone gets a job–– coming closer to achieving personal and financial independence––through Goodwill’s programs. In 2007 Goodwill helped over one million people.