Tonight I sent money to two organizations that I think are important to everyone, whether they realize it or not.
One is the Seed Savers Exchange, which started its life thirty-five years ago as a few people getting together to exchange open-pollinated and heirloom seeds. They have made at least two deposits that I know of in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, in Norway. For the year 2010, they have 704 listed members, which means they are members actively offering saved seed for exchange. I'm a member, but not a listed member, and I will probably never become a listed member, but I think the work that the Seed Savers Exchange does is important, very important, so I think they're worth supporting.
The other organization is Bat Conservation International. Now- I have to admit that I'm just silly about bats. I seriously dig them. Nothing makes me happier than to watch bat acrobatics at dusk. Thanks to Hollywood, bats have been badly maligned, and a lot of people fear them or dislike them. It's true that there is a vampire bat, but it lives in South America and it tends to feed on livestock left out all night. Most bats are insect eaters, and they're e*x*t*r*e*m*e*l*y important to farmers and gardeners because they keep insect populations down. If we didn't have bats, we would not have crops- they don't pollinate, like bees, but they allow crops to grow by eating the billions of insects that would strip fields bare. Bats have been having a tough time lately, by losing habitat, but now a new malady threatens their existence. White Nose Syndrome is a fungus that attacks bat populations by the colony and is killing them by the caveful. Experts are very worried because they don't know what to do for them yet, but they are working on it. White Nose Syndrome is to bats what Colony Collapse Disorder is to bees. Putting WNS and CCD together in the same sentence is really, really scary.
I can keep bees in my backyard, but I can't do anything more than hang a bat house up and hope for the best. Oh wait, yes I can. I can give Bat Conservation International some money. I sure hope they figure out how to fight WNS.
I also hope that you'll consider checking these organizations out, and maybe contributing something as well. I may not have money for public broadcasting, but I found it for the Seed Savers Exchange and Bat Conservation International. The way I look at it is, we all gotta eat.