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Accepting “blog of the year award 2012” means nominating other blogs, so prepare for a week of nominations.

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Some aren’t on WordPress; some are unlikely to accept because they’re not personal blogs.

But they’re strong voices in the oft-overcrowded blogosphere, because they make a difference.

Take the blogs at Mercy Corps, for instance.  Wherever we’ve gone as journalists to report on refugees, war, and humanitarian crises, Mercy Corps has been there. They’re among the most selfless workers and volunteers we’ve met, doing the most difficult and dangerous work in conflict zones all over the world.

When other aid agencies duck for cover or leave, Mercy Corps stays, and for that, we are always grateful.

The Portland-based agency works in almost four dozen countries, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, sharing the wealth of little donors like us with the big needs of the world.

Mercy Corps is doing the important work that we all want done, in an ideal world, but we’re not willing/able to do it ourselves: Emergency food aid. Economic development. Getting children and youth involved in peace work and other ways of improving their countries. Helping developing nations and new states, such as Somaliland, learn good governance and create jobs that provide stability, nutritious food and better health. Environmental stewardship. Women’s empowerment.

Help a woman, you help a village, and an entire society. Farhiya’s blog from Somalia gives me hope.

She writes about the difference water makes for an impoverished village, and about the strength of women who support families and a proud culture, with the minimum of resources. She shows how the seeds of microfinance can grow a healthy, thriving community.

In a nation ripped apart by war and violence — and shunned by much of the world because of ancient stereotypes — Farhiya writes positively about the future of children in need.

She doesn’t write about fear. She writes about the good.

That’s a real blog of the year. Any year.

With gratitude to Christine at Our Souls Purpose for the Blog of the Year Award, and to Alyson and David Shaldrake at The Thought Palette for creating the award. Thanks to all of them for their inspiring blogs!