Just like the Michael Jackson song, “Man in the Mirror” says… “I’m gonna make a change…for once in my life…it’s gonna feel real good, gonna make a difference…” You know the rest. And you’re welcome for getting that awesome song stuck in your head…But there is a point to my random MJ shout out. (Just be glad you can’t hear me singing out loud right now.)

After I was prompted on Facebook to sign a petition for something, I discovered a website, Like I’ve said before, we all don’t have big fat checkbooks to write grandiose checks to, but we all have a name, and a name that can be attached to a petition can go a long way. Whatever your passion is, there’s a petition for it. Whatever cause you want to help, there’s a petition that could use your name on it. You can sign your name to a petition to help animals, to help the people of Japan, to get a law changed, make the world safer for children, or start your own petition. From there, it spreads like wildfire, and things can actually get done. Another positive note: Your signature can be anonymous.
So head on over to and let your signature count for something. Chances are practicing it on your old high school notebook didn’t change lives. Only perfected that little heart you now have above the “i” in your name.

Here’s a letter I received from someone active on explaining how they use it:

Almost all of my family lives in Japan. So when the earthquake hit, I tried to help in every way I could, including by donating via text message to relief efforts.

But then I learned that text donations like mine could take up to 90 days to get there. I waited for days to learn that my family was safe, now others were waiting months for my donation!

So I launched a petition on calling on the phone companies to immediately deliver donations to Japan, the same way they did after the earthquake in Haiti.

It worked! Hundreds, then thousands added their voices. My senator, Barbara Boxer, took up the cause. I was interviewed by the major news programs in San Francisco, where I go to law school.

More than 66,000 of us spoke out and now AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon have finally agreed to expedite text-message donations to Japan.

Northern Japan has an incredibly difficult path to recovery — the earthquake and tsunami both physically and financially devastated the affected areas — and there’s a lot more that each of us can do. But the immediate transfer of donations is going to be of enormous assistance, and my hope is that this victory sets a pattern for how cell phone companies act during future disasters.

This all happened because, at the encouragement of a few friends, I started a petition. If there’s something you want to change, click here to start your own, and I’ll do my best to stand with you the way that you stood with me:

Thank you again. And please continue to keep the people of Japan in your thoughts and prayers.

– Masaya Uchino, fellow member

And now for your listening pleasure… MJ.




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