Now is the time to make a difference. Here are four great ways to make the world a better place.
1. JOIN RAINFOREST ACTION NETWORK (www.ran.org)
Fact: Rain forests contain more than half of Earth's known plant and animal species. Yet at least 50 million acres are lost a year. At that rate, rain forests will be gone by 2030.
What you can do: You'll help slow global warming and help save plant and animal life.
Go out on a limb: You can also raise funds for RAN's "Protect-An-Acre" program. The money saves rain forests from loggers and developers.
Mail your name, address, age and a check for $6.95 to: Kid's Action Team, RAN, 221 Pine St. No. 500, San Francisco, Calif. 94104.
2. JOIN FREE THE CHILDREN USA (www.freethechildren.org)
Fact: Child labor is a huge problem worldwide, especially in Asia. Children are forced to work at very young ages, at slave wages and in intolerable conditions.
What you can do: You can continue a fight started in 1995, when 12-year-old Craig Kielburger formed the group. You'll learn how to organize and take action on child-labor issues.
We kid you not: Among Free the Children's accomplishments is raising money to construct schools for kids in developing nations.
To get info on how to join, call 905-760-9382 or request information through the Web site.
3. START A HABITAT FOR HUMANITY CHAPTER AT YOUR SCHOOL (www.habitat.org)
Fact: About 13 million Americans (including 5 million children) live in housing with severe problems (including no electricity or toilet).
What you can do: You'll help families build and rehabilitate houses.
Home sweet home: Habitat has built more than 80,000 houses worldwide, providing more than 400,000 people with safe, affordable shelter.
For more info, call 800-HABITAT, ext. 2550
4. JOIN AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL (www.amnesty-usa.org)
Fact: Amnesty International works on behalf of 5,000 people yearly. Many are prisoners of conscience, jailed because of their sex, color, religion, language or nationality.
What you can do: One cool thing you can do is write letters defending human rights -- whether protesting death penalties against children or encouraging prisoners of conscience.
Visit the Web site or write for information to: Amnesty International USA, Attention: Member Services Department, 322 8th Ave., 10th floor, New York, N.Y. 10001. Or call 800-AMNESTY.
c 1997 Chicago Tribune. Distributed by Knight-Ridder/Tribune, Inc.