Its been a rough couple weeks around the world. Tension and war, followed by verbal attacks here at home, followed by a natural crisis with devastation the world hasn’t seen in a long time. It makes you step back and analyze, eh?

So, i’m here to share two projects I think are worth supporting if you are looking for creative ways to help.

The earthquake in Japan hits especially hard for us for several reasons. Growing up in the Pacific NW, I have been told time and time again that our region is overdue for a quake of the Japan magnitude, if not larger. Its always been scary to imagine what that would look like, and its even scarier to see it come to life. I can’t imagine what it would be like for me and my family so its hard to fathom the hundreds of thousands of families going through it right now. Also, my boyfriend works in nuclear power so he and his colleagues have been following the power plant situations there and its scary to think about the workers having to control those situations.

The Working Proof is an artist collaboration that produces limited edition prints to support various organizations with different levels of contribution. They put up a print today (available through 3/31) by Susan Schwake. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the print will be going to Doctors without Borders to help in their relief efforts in Japan. Plus, the print is a beautiful reminder of how a community of people can come together to help those far far away from them, which would be a powerful message to have on your wall. Supporting this project helps keep the Working Proof moving forward to help in not just this disaster but for future causes as well.

The second project is a new tumblr blog started by a friend of mine from highschool. She is part of an involved and wonderful Muslim family in our community. Recently, in wake of the Peter King hearings and increased US islamaphobia, she has started a new project intended as a positive way for people to come together in an online community to share stories about friends and community members that they know that are muslim and how this faith enriches our American community.

Normally, we don’t get too political on this blog, but I think this is a really creative way to bring people together by sharing simple stories and to keep the focus positive. Some terrible things were said and assumed during the hearings on Capitol Hill last week, and I think its awesome to see a group of people together in peace and support instead of anger and defense. If you have a story to share at MBFIM, I encourage you to do so. I am excited to see this grow into a network of support. My office has been designing a Muslim Community Center and Mosque for the last year, and while I’m not working on the project directly, I’ve seen how this community has welcomed the designers from our office as parts of their community, even though we are all from differing backgrounds and faiths. They have been nothing but excited to work with us to create a community center that will benefit their community and ours.

Take a few minutes to step back this week and recognize your gratitude for safety, love, and those who support you. Our gratitude certainly includes all of you who support us through this online outlet we have here. Thank you!

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