(Berkeley CA) While visiting San Francisco, it became necessary to go to a bank branch that wasn't the one this columnist usually uses, and in the course of a conversation with the manager, he mentioned that if this customer intended to give the teller a tip, it would be better to donate to one of the charities that they suggested. Then he dealt out a list of about a dozen good causes. He caught us a bit unaware since we have never tipped a bank clerk. Maybe the rich folks tip them like they tip the croupier when they win a big pot at Monte Carlo?
The sheet of paper he provided was carefully tucked away so that the list could be accurately transcribed at this point in this column. One of the disadvantages of a rolling stone existence is that things get lost and so, despite a sincere effort, no list. The only one that comes to mind is the fog city SPCA.
A clothing store in San Franciso directed their customers to St. Jude's Hospital (www.stjude.org), which assures donors that the organization in Memphis will never stop looking for cures for the diseases which severely affect children.
Activists on Venice Beach, recently, were asserting that folks shouldn't shoot sea lions (www.oceananimals.net)
While staying at the hostel in the Fort Mason National Park (spectacular scenery with a supermarket a just across Laguna St.), we encountered Padma Dorje who was collecting signatures as part of her effort to eliminate torture in the world.
Across the bay from San Francisco, the Asian Community Mental Health Services is conducting the Tiny Tickets effort. Travelers are asked to send in their Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) tickets to help support that good cause. (http://www.acmhs.org/bart.htm)
Fellow columnist (and occasional war correspondent) Jane Stillwater is conducting an online petition urging the reform of campaign financing. For more about that click this link(http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/constitutional-amendment-to-stop-lobbyists)
While traveling in Australia (looks like the folks on Cottesloe beach will have to celibate Christmas without this columnist this year), activists for Greenpeace and Amnesty International seemed to be ubiquitous, but, upon reflection, they may not have been encountered in Kalgoorlie. We assured those eager young workers that since we couldn't afford to give money to their causes, we would urge the people who read our columns to support the altruistic efforts of both groups.