Dear Annie: Did you know that an estimated 16 million youth participate in volunteer activities in the U.S. every year, and that by volunteering, these young people will perform better in school? These amazing kids do everything from collecting stuffed animals for children who are victims of tragedy to creating sustainable gardens in urban communities. All of these remarkable youth have a common goal: to raise awareness and solve the problems facing the world today.
To celebrate their ingenuity, idealism and passion, please remind your readers that the 25th Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) will take place April 26-28, 2013. Last year, young people around the world came together and participated in nearly 4,500 projects. Additionally, thousands of community partners in more than 106 countries brought together millions of young people to strengthen their communities through the power of youth service. For more information, your readers can visit www.GYSD.org. Sincerely
— Steven A. Culbertson President and CEO Youth Service America
Dear Steven Culbertson: Thanks so much for letting us once again mention Global Youth Service Day. Young people all over the world do such fantastic and helpful volunteer work, not only on this day, but every day of the year. Global Youth Service Day provides more opportunities for everyone to get involved. We hope all of our readers, young and old, teachers and students, will check out your website.
Dear Annie: My husband is 75 and seems fit and able. The problem is, he likes to fix the doors to our pool cage in the open position. The first time he did it, I went ballistic, pointing out the liability: There are children in this neighborhood who could wander in and easily drown in our pool. I said I would leave if he did it again. Yesterday, he did it again. So, I’m thinking he wants me to leave.
What recourse do I have when my husband seems mentally fit but begins to exhibit such terrible behaviors? I’m fairly sure he would pass a mental competency test, if I could get him to take one. Is this abuse? Should I find a lawyer? How do I do that?
— Sarasota, Fla.
Dear Sarasota: This doesn’t sound like abuse, but we agree that your husband may not be as mentally competent as he outwardly appears. Does your local police department or neighborhood association issue fines for leaving pool gates open? If so, report your husband and ask them to give him a citation. You also could purchase a new lock to which only you have the key. Then talk to your husband and ask what’s going on. If he wants you to leave, you can find a lawyer through your state or county bar association. But also, please suggest he get a complete checkup.
Dear Annie: “Disgusted” was annoyed with charities that send little gifts to guilt him into sending money. Here are my suggestions:
Check with Charity Navigator (charitynavigator.org) to find out how much of a charity’s money goes toward its purpose as compared to administrative costs.
If the charity includes a stamped envelope, fold up every piece of paper they sent, cram it in there and put the following message near your name: “Delete this address from your mailing list. Do not sell, trade, share or otherwise distribute this address with any other mailing list.”
We spent a lot of time and effort cleaning up my mother-in-law’s mail. For every worthwhile charity she donated to, there were about a dozen scummy ones. Good charities are out there, but be cautious.
— Mom’s Mail Clerk
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