Changing the Present (ChangingthePresent.org) The gift: Training for two midwives in parts of the world where medical care is scarce, a month's worth of sanitary napkins for 10 Afghan girls ($35), interview-worthy suits for five job applicants—or any of a number of other ways to help women. Changing the Present is a clearinghouse for specific charitable requests, grouped by cause; if you'd rather clear land mines or feed the hungry, there's something here for you too.
Nothing but Nets (NothingbutNets.net) The gift: Malaria prevention—in the form of insecticide-treated bed nets—for five families in Africa, where the disease still kills nearly a million children each year. The nets, which are big enough to protect a family of four, remain effective for up to four years.
In Let the Great World Spin, novelist Colum McCann plays with the idea of balance, starting with Philippe Petit's 1974 glorious tightrope walk between the Twin Towers, and in stories of ordinary New Yorkers tied, however tangentially, to that event. Read
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