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In today's fast-paced world women are being pulled in so many directions. We are working, raising families, raising grandchildren, taking care of spouses, elderly parents, sick siblings, needy neighbors. For most of us, getting through a day is a daunting balancing act.


Simultaneously, we are bombarded 24/7 with issues that affect our daily lives, both in our communities and in the larger world. Social media reminds us every second that there are toxic products to stay away from, products that make us sick, environmental catastrophes that will ultimately and directly affect our health. We are bombarded with emails asking for money, signatures, and calls to action.

There was a time when many of us were free to join a protest march, make calls, contribute in some way to the causes that we found important to our lives, but our lives are so busy today it seems impossible to take those kinds of action. Ironically, I have found that social media has, in fact, made it easier to join the causes we believe in.


From work or at home, one of the most effective and efficient ways to participate in the discussions and issues that are important to you is to join on-line petitions. By signing your name to a petition, you instantaneously become part of a large movement that can lead to significant change. Take, for example, the issue of lack of female representation on the board at the time Facebook was going public. Ultraviolet, a community that galvanizes cross-generational grassroots action across issues, jumped to action collecting more than 50,000 signatures which they delivered to Facebook headquarters, forcing the company to add a woman to their board of directors.


Joining an online petition really does make a difference. Below are some of my favorite sites:

Ultra Violet,
Women's Voices for the Earth,
Breast Cancer Fund,
Care2 Make a Difference,
Move On,


Photo: HowardLake

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Sheila Hollender likes to blog about the environment and health issues.