press release/human interest

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PRESS RELEASEFor Immediate DistributionFebruary 2004


Teresa [email protected] O Box 102Lititz, PA][]

Pick a Project-Make a Difference. That’s the slogan of the new Lititz-headquartered “” website, founded by resident Terry Lane. The Web site features short-term, measurable projects, allowing people to make a difference in small ways. Lane selects projects that are suited to the Do-gooder format: achievable goals that would appeal to average people who don’t have a lot of money to spare but want to do some good.

All of the projects ask for materials or services, instead of money. “Everyone out there is asking for money,” says Lane. “Most of these organizations’ needs are legitimate, but people don’t know who to trust, and they don’t want to send money to these less well-known organizations who really need help. I have found that when one asks for specific things, such as books or mittens, one tends to receive them.”

“These organizations often don’t have the time, money, or manpower to create a Web site and keep it updated. Do-gooder gives them an opportunity to get the word out-and it doesn’t cost them a penny,” says Lane.

Lane does not receive any compensation for posting the projects. “Nobody pays, nobody gets paid. Everything is entirely free. I maintain the Web site and do the updating and emailing or phone calls. It does not take up much of my time, but a lot of good can come of it.” The hosting has been donated by Ian Shannon of Lititz, PA ( Lane says that it would be helpful to receive copy paper, printer cartridges, envelopes, and stamps to help her get the word out about, and that she may add these donation requests to the Web site in the future. “I’ve noticed that once Do-gooder has been mentioned in a newspaper, there are many donations that and the following week, then the number of donations drop off again. I have to keep mailing out press releases and getting coverage to get the word out to as many people as I can. If I can’t get people to look at the Web site, I can’t meet the needs of the people I am trying to help.”

The purpose of the Web site is to give more exposure to people who are working to solve problems on a project-by-project basis. especially wants to feature projects that are focused on helping women and children, improving literacy and education, improving health, ending abuse of all kinds, helping developmental projects for indigenous populations and women and children in rural areas, and ending chronic poverty.

There are currently 8 projects posted at The first project is to collect and ship 700 pairs of mitten/winter gloves to orphans in Kazakhstan. As a member of ACORN (Abandoned Children and Orphans Resource Network), Lane is part of an international group trying to help sustain two orphanages in Ust-Kamenogorsk. The ACORN headquarters is based in Canada. Another ACORN member is collecting boots. As of February 25, 244 pairs have been collected.

Another project is to send 1,000 new or “gently used” books to the Tiospaye Topa School in Ridgeview, SD. Due to severe cuts in aid, the library is in need of books for their 200 students. Tiospaye Topa is Lakota for four communities. The Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation (located at the east end) is made up of four bands of the Lakota who were distinct groups before being forced to the reservation. More than 200 books have been sent so far. The school has posted a Wish List on under Joan Upell, the school librarian.

Across the ocean, in Zambia, there are hundreds of thousands of children orphaned by AIDS. An organization in Fawn Grove, PA is asking for summer-weight clothing which they will ship overseas. Do-gooder’s goal is to ship 100 boxes. None have been sent yet. Donators ship these boxes to Fawn Grove, PA, not to Zambia.

The City of Angels children’s home is located in Tijuana, Mexico. It opened a little over a year ago to serve some of the 6,000 destitute children on the streets of Tijuana: children without good homes perhaps because their mothers scrape out an existence through prostitution or begging. Or kids whose fathers abuse drugs or from households steeped in violence. Others do have a loving parent but are unable to provide for them. They are currently taking care of thirty children ages 2 to 15 years. Do-gooder’s goal is to ship 100 boxes of school supplies to their US office in California. To date, none have been shipped. Boxes should at least be as large as an adult’s shoe box. would like to send 40 boxes of toys, books, and small items to the Family Matters Center in Kansas. They received a Safe Haven grant through the US Dept. of Justice to help them establish a supervised visitation and exchange program for parents referred through the court system. The goal of the program is to provide a safe setting for supervised visitation and exchange of children to families who have a history of violence that would otherwise make such a visit dangerous or worsen conflict in the family. These rooms will provide safe, nurturing environments for families to meet, play, talk, and heal. So far, no boxes have been shipped. Boxes should at least be as large as an adult’s shoe box. wants to ship 1000 skeins of yarn to Navajo elders in the southwest and 1000 boxes of school supplies to their grandchildren. “The yarn drive is going well. Yarn is inexpensive to buy and to ship. We’ll reach our goal on that project soon,” says Lane, adding “but we have not had any boxes shipped to the children. The reservations get so little aid, they really depend on donations for many things right now as they work on their own self-sustaining programs. It is ridiculous that there are any children in the world who do not have enough paper and pencils to do their school work. You can fill a box with school and art supplies at the dollar store for practically nothing, and it makes a huge difference to the children.”

Care Bags is a small, non-profit organization. They send about 100 Care Bags per month to children who are displaced, abused, and/or disadvantaged worldwide. They have no paid staff. All donations are tax-deductible and go directly to helping needy kids (baby to 18 years). This is the only ongoing project on the site.

Lane has recently added a section on the web site that deals with animal-related donations. Right now, the only project of this kid on Do-gooder focuses on helping an organization that works to save whales and marine life based in Seattle. “I’ll add more as I do more research. It’s very important to me that I represent the smaller groups who have difficulty getting aid and exposure. There are hundreds of thousands of initiatives in place around the world that are led by “unofficial” groups or individuals, people who don’t have non-profit status, their just too small or too new. These groups especially need support.”

The site is updated weekly. As Do-gooder’s around the world ship materials, they fill out an online form, alerting of what has been shipped. Do-gooders ship directly to the project recipient and pay their own shipping and handling. The site includes all of the shipping instructions, contact information, links, and updates. There is also a “Hall of Fame” page which lists all of the people who have “made a difference” and a page for letters and comments.

“I think that people would help more if the people represented on the site were more real to them. It’s a problem of out of sight/out of mind. If one of these children were brought to your home, and could explain what it was like for them to go to school without gloves in below-zero temperatures, or to go to school without a single pencil, you would be heartbroken. I think most people are good, you just need to get them to see that they don’t have to make a huge commitment or spend a lot of money to do something good. When people have nothing, a little goes a long way. A little means a lot,” says Lane. “Also, I think that people say to themselves, ‘someone else will send that, I don’t need to send it,’ not realizing that the more people think that way, the less likely our goals will be achieved. We need everyone to send something, even if it is only a pack of pencils. Their donation will be used. Anything they can do is useful and important.”

Lane adds that there are already excellent organizations in place working on “big issues” and that instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, she decided to support their projects with the abilities she can offer. “There are too many organizations trying to do the same thing,” says Lane, “and it becomes confusing trying to decide which organization to help, which organization to become involved with. You have to narrow it down. These organizations should combine their resources instead of acting as separate entities. I’ve selected primary organizations for various issues and have listed them on my web site under “social issues.”

“Do-gooder is a small dog, but I like working at a personal level with people, without bureaucracy and red-tape, without politics, without barriers, just people helping people without divisions. It’s more like building friendships,” says Lane. “The site has only been up for a couple of months,” says Lane, “and I haven’t started to publicize it until now. I am hoping that it gets a lot of exposure, that we can make a difference by doing a little here and a little there.” At the top of every Web page is a quote by Edmund Burke: “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing, because he could do only a little.” “That about says it all,” explains Lane.________________________________________________________________About the Founder/Current Initiatives:

Terry Lane has lived in Lancaster County since 1992. In addition to managing, she is currently serving on a volunteer basis as the International Director of Education Development and International Director of Communications and Public Relations for To Love Children Educational Foundation International, Inc., a non-profit international organization focusing on improving education for girls in developing countries. She is a member and committee lead for ACORN, based in Canada. She has been involved with Amnesty International for more than twenty years and is a previous leader of the Lititz group, co-leader of the Lancaster group, and former Central Africa Regional Action Network Coordinator. She was involved with the Pennsylvania Asylum Resource Center, an organization of immigration attorneys from all over the United States who help asylum seekers who are held at the York County Prison awaiting processing to gain asylum.

Lane’s focus is the promotion of education and literacy in poor/rural areas, or repressed and third world country populations, especially among indigenous peoples. She is also interested in helping to provide access to information technology and resources for women in developing countries; to provide the opportunity for women and children to express their thoughts, beliefs, dreams, traditions, and experiences through various art media including the Internet, live performance, art, film, music, dance, and publishing; to contribute to women-to-women networking; to fight against sexual exploitation of children, sexual abuse, and pedophilia; and to work toward an end to violence against women including domestic violence and trafficking; and to promote tolerance and fair treatment of all people.

Lane’s current projects include 1) obtaining computers for poor schools in rural India; 2) developing a traveling puppet show to teach multicultural and human rights issues; 3) helping to develop the TreeHouse Community through ACORN, a place for orphans to live once they must leave the orphanages in Kazakhstan at the age of 16 (there is currently no place for 16-year-old orphans to go once they must leave, and many end up living on the street or commit suicide), and 3) raising funds to spend a month in Peru teaching orphans and children living in prisons with their incarcerated mothers. This trip will be organized through Cross Cultural Solutions and Lane must raise at least $4000 in funds to make the trip. While in South America, Lane hopes to visit her sponsored child in the Altiplano region of Bolivia.

Lane is currently self-employed providing web and writing services to companies and individuals throughout the country. She is writing and illustrating several children’s books and is researching and writing a book about prostitution. Her web site is at