Release Your Tongue!

This past weekend Shirley Chambers lost her child, Ronnie, to gun violence in Chicago.  This was her last living child, her other three were also killed: Carlos, 18, in 1995, LaToya, 15, in 2000, and Jerome, 23, in 2000.  From the articles I read, Carlos, LaToya and Jerome had no affiliations with any gangs, Ronnie was previously affiliated, however, he had exited that life and sought to do better for himself.  You can read one article here.

Hadiya Pendleton, 15, was killed this week.  I just read that article today, you can read it here.  She had just performed at the inauguration in Washington D.C.  So far, there have been 42 homicides in January.  A great way to start 2013 right?

Everyone who reads my blog knows I go down to Humboldt Park.  The murders mentioned above didn’t happen in Humboldt Park, but it’s a neighborhood that isn’t a stranger to this violence, it is one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago.  I speak of it very fondly.  To be honest, I do think it is a beautiful neighborhood.  There is a beautiful park, a museum in the original Von Humboldt stables.  The food is great, the artwork and the Puerto Rican culture.  People who don’t go to these areas don’t see that they are beautiful and have wonderful things to offer!

However, these areas are plauged with violence that most of us will never understand.  Don’t ever mistake my fond and happy stories for the neighborhood being safe.  When I go down there, I go in the mornings and do what I can to remain unnoticed.  The violence and danger down there is overwhelming and I don’t say this to make it seem like I’m some brave person, faceing death!  I am nothing of the sort, but I say this to explain the violence to those who aren’t familiar with the area.  Humboldt Park has had one of the highest homicide rates in the entire city since 2008 and the people who live down there are the braves ones.

I’ve grown up in the suburbs all of my life, just about 45 minutes outside of the city if traffic is good.  I can never begin to imagine what its like to not be able to leave the house at night, to have children afraid to play in their own yard, even during the day, but that is what day-to-day life is like.  Gunshots are a sound people hear often, just imagine living near that.

Living in violence like this, growing up in violence, most of us have absolutely no idea what that is like.  Reading a story and saying oh that’s sad, oh another story about a gang shooting, that’s one thing, but this was someones daughter, someone son.  Imagine if you found your child, your parent, your sister, your brother in the street, having them die in your arms.  Imagine not being able to leave your home because of the risk of being shot just because you decided to step out on your front porch at the wrong time.

Some people may think that Ronnie knew his consequences of his previous affiliations, that being killed is a consequence of leaving and it was his fault, his choice.  There are consequences for your actions, but on one deserves to die.

These stories, this problem isn’t just and “oh that’s too bad”, this problem is so immense, so terrible there are no words to describe it.  We should be screaming in outrage, using our voices for the young children who have none or those who have been killed, the families trying to do right by their kids, trying to send them to a Chicago Public School which everyone knows is an awful.  The schools need so much reform, I’m not expert on that, my sister who is studying to be a teacher does, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know how awful the education is.

Do a news search and see what violence is going on in your nearest city, if you go on Google news and type in Chicago gang violence, over 15,000 news articles come up.  We finished 2012 with 506 homicides and our mayor is doing a lot of talk and not really doing anything.

I started crying after reading these articles.  We as people should get involved.  We are all united, connected so we must not remain silent!  We must act! Do something! Get involved!  Find a cause, maybe your calling is not with this violence but violence overseas, human trafficking, rescuing animals, get involved!  If you disagree with something, post a status, donate newspaper, clothing you no longer wear, $5, $1 million!  Don’t disagree with something and do nothing about it.  Just because awful things happen in this world, doesn’t mean we have to remain silent.

I saw this quote and fell in love with it.  It said “I speak my mind because it hurts to bite my tongue”.  If you are silent, stop biting your tongue and speak out against injustice, there will be less pain and more pride in what you do and a chain reaction will start.

I started collecting clothing for Women at Risk International.  I would encourage people to visit and drop of their dontations themselves because they should see what an amazing store it is, but I offered to pick up donations for those who lived far away from the store or were busy.  I ended up receiving 4 large garbage bags full of clothing, I mean packed full.  Then one of my friends decided to text 40 people and post a status on Facebook about it and now she is collecting clothing.  Then she told me that one of her friends who she messaged want to get involved in WAR (Women at Risk).  By telling one person and sharing posts on Facebook, other people are now getting involved.

One of my friends said I was an inspiration.  I am not an inspiration or anything close to that.  The women and men who survive trafficking are inspirations, children who survive the violence in the inner city, former gang members who turn their life around and change, former drug addicts or alcoholics who took the steps to end their addiction, the brave cats and dogs who are rescued and the people who adopts them, people like my boyfriend, who remain positive through every single hardship and injustice they have faced, doing everything to change their life for the better and never looking back.  THEY are the inspirations.  I just have made the choice to not keep my mouth shut, I’ve stopped biting my tongue and I have acted.  Most of the time it is reposting status on Facebook, keeping people aware of what is going on, making them think.

Release your tongue and speak your mind, be the voice for the voiceless.  Get involved.

As always, I would love to hear about what you are involved in!

National Compliment Day!

In my excitement and enthusiasm about my conversation yesterday, I completely forgot it was National Compliment Day!!  So today, I guess I’m going to write two blogs (you can click here for the first).

I know I’ve written this literally 1,000 times, but for those new visitors, I love compliments!  Of course I love getting them, who doesn’t, but what I love even more is giving them!  You don’t know what kind of day a person is having and by saying one nice thing, you could just make their day so much better.

All of us are connected, no matter where we live, what religion we believe, what color our skin is, what language we speak, everything we do affects the world around us.  Of course, people can see the backlash of large things, political things, war, people see that and know that.  Smaller things, not so much.  When you buy your groceries, do you think that the products you’re buying might have been partially produced by child or slave labor?  By purchasing your product, where is your money really going?  Who is it actually support?  Just because you don’t SEE the negative, doesn’t mean that it isn’t there.  (There are TONS of organizations that seek to increase consumer awareness and just leave a comment if you’d like to know some!)

So we do affect each other, and just one compliment can cause a beautiful string of event.  If you compliment someone, maybe they’ll be in a better mood and then pass that compliment on to someone else and so on.

Since we affect everyone, why not make a positive affect one someone’s life in such a simple way?  You don’t really understand how much you can affect someone, how happy you could make someone, until you’ve experienced it first hand.  I know I’ve had really bad days, when it just feels like my entire life was falling apart, especially when my mom was in the hospital.  When someone would say something nice to me, that had such an amazing effect on my entire day and made me just a bit happier.  These people had no idea the complications my mom had in the hospital or that she was even in the hospital, but they really helped me more than they could ever know.

To everyone reading this, I think you are all amazing.  Every single person in this big world we live in has something they are just incredible at, a talent that is their passion.  Follow your dreams, take that risk, that leap of faith and always be positive because I know you can do it!  Love your life, bad things happen, but without those moments, you wouldn’t know how to appreciate the amazing moments in your life. You are an amazing person who will impact the world, whether it is a billion people or just 2, it doesn’t matter, everything is part of the complex chain reaction of life.  Always be bold and be yourself because you’re awesome and if I met you in person, that would just confirm that statement.

Now my challenge to you, celebrate this beautiful day and first give yourself a compliment.  Yes, I’m tell you to compliment yourself!  Go right up to the nearest mirror, look yourself in the eye and give yourself a compliment.  We can only love the world after we love ourselves.  Always love who you are because if anyone says you need to change your true self, then they are blind at the amazing person you already are.  Everyone has things they need to work on, but never change your entire being.  Then go out at school, the grocery store, work, on the street and make someone happy.  Compliment their eyes, hair, clothing, accessories, accent, smile.  You can do it!

Being A Woman

I was having my typical Wednesday lunch with a friend and we got into a discussion about Feminism and being a women in today’s day and age and what our beliefs are so I thought I’d share some of what we discussed.

I believe I’ve written about this point before, about how you can be a feminist and still look like a woman.  Some feminists believe that women shouldn’t wear make up or heels or things like that, I was even told once by one that women wear heels because they have low self-esteem.  That couldn’t be farther from the truth.  My friend and I are both young women who love skirts, dresses, makeup and heels, doing our hair and getting dressed up to go out.  Even at my office job, I wear 4 inch heels every single day.

Typically, when you see women in positions of power, those positions that were once considered a “man’s” position, they dress very masculine, in business suits.  There’s nothing wrong with a business suits, but some have the tendency to give women less of a figure and make them look more like a man.

Hillary Clinton was always seen in one of those suits, except when she was first lady and was supposed to take on that role of a woman.  Politics have been seen as a man’s job, so that’s what she did.  Women are starting to appear with more feminine traits in positions of power (politics, business, etc.) but not enough in my opinion. My questions to those feminists out there believing that women shouldn’t get dolled up because it makes us “sexual objects”, why do I have to dress like a man to compete with one?  I can look like a woman, embrace my femininity and do everything a man can do.  All in a day’s work and a pair of 4 inch heels.

We ended up going on so many tangents and ended up on the next frustrating topic.   I’d like to preface this with the fact that we both believe that you can’t be extreme in politics, you can only be democrat/republicans because democrats/republicans are always right and they have no flaws and are full of unicorns and sunshine!  Every side has flaws and if you can’t recognize those flaws, you can’t make your group better and you have to recognize good aspects of your opponent’s side to work together to get things done.

The one thing we absolutely don’t understand about politics is why are men telling us what to do with our bodies?  The entire debate on birth control is so frustrating!  I don’t believe in sex before marriage so I wouldn’t need birth control now to prevent a child since I’m not active because I’m not married.However, my menstrual cycles are awful and for a while they were so heavy I literally couldn’t do anything to manage them.  My friend had the same problem.  My sister, she gets migraines so bad that she is vomiting and has to stay in bed because she is so sensitive to light.  Mom, when she was my age, was getting hers twice a month because of an imbalance in her hormones.  Men don’t understand that birth control can also be used as a medication to fix these side effects of a woman’s period and the reason being is the last time I checked men don’t get periods. Don’t instruct me on things that you have absolutely NO idea what they are like.

Also, even if a woman has decided to have sex before marriage or a married couple wants birth control, that is their right and their choice!  The argument that I hear most often relates to religion.  If you are of a faith that doesn’t believe in birth control, that is great, stick to your values and believes, don’t let people change those, argue and don’t use birth control.  Just keep the religious argument out of my politics.  The last time I checked, we sought independence from England in 1776 in order to separate church and state.  If there is a political argument about birth control, throw it at me during a political debate, if it’s a religious one, keep it out of politics and argue religion when it doesn’t involve politics or during a personal argument.  If there is only a religious argument, then it should just be a personal choice not a governmental one.

Next is the entire idea that if a man sleeps with multiple women he’s a hero and if a woman sleeps with multiple men, she’s a slut and of course that is not fair at all.  I personally think one night stands are dangerous, you could be attacked by the person you leave with, they could have a disease and I think you should wait for marriage, but it is their choice not mine!  I will NEVER judge a person, man or woman, unless they treat the opposite gender poorly.

That topic was short lived and led us straight onto the topic of feminists and the porn industry.  I don’t like porn, I’ve never in my life watched porn and I’ve never had the desire too.  Personally, I don’t think there should be a porn industry, I do believe that at times, depending on who is watching it, their background and various other factors, it desensitized men (or women) to the opposite gender, but in most cases it is men.  I also think that is glamorize sex too much (as to too many things in our society currently).  HOWEVER, if a woman has some desire to enter this industry, then it is her choice.  As women, we fought for the right to make our own decisions and not be ordered around by other people.  What is the difference if a man is giving us an order or a woman is?  Just because I don’t agree with the entire industry doesn’t mean I’m going to try to control and take away another woman’s right to make a choice.

This blog has gotten a lot longer than I expected!  We just had such a great discussion and agreed on so many topics, I had to write about it!  Obviously these statements and frustrations are generalizations, not all feminists think you should look like a man and not all men are ordering women around about birth control.  Maybe one day I’ll elaborate on some of these with more details.

I’d love to hear your feedback, if you’re a hard-core feminist, a woman or a man, tell me what your opinions are or if there are other topics that frustrate you.

Real Heros

Today, Recycled2New attended the Frosty Claws event for Feral Fixers.  For those of you who don’t know or have just started following my blog, Recycled2New is my Aunt’s business and everything she makes is completely recycled.  She is a mailwoman and has many corporations on her route that just throw away: paper, color samples, thread, just about anything you can think of.  She makes notebooks and earrings and envelopes and scrapers and cat scratchers and more, out of all that!!  You can visit our Facebook at facebook.com/recycled2new.

Next Feral Fixers!  Feral Fixers is a nonprofit that my aunt and I work closely with. They trap, neuter and release (TNR) feral cats.  The friendly cats and kittens are kept and prepare for adoption.  This is a reasonable alternative for the massive feral cat problem.  Cats can have multiple litters in a year so their populations grow so rapidly that for a while  the county’s solution was to put them all down, which is awful.  You can visit Feral Fixers at www.feralfixers.org to learn more and see how you can get involved if you like.

Now that’s out-of-the-way, the turnout was AMAZING!  Feral Fixers had over 100 pre-ordered tickets, which was a massive increase from last year and Recycled2New made three times the amount of money for Feral Fixers than we did last year! There were so many people I met/  I just love meeting people who are really active on the Facebook page, to be able to put a face to the person.  We also met so many new people who were just amazing.

One woman, my aunt knew because she was on her mail route.  This woman was 72 years old and had more pep in her than most people my age (22)!  She was tiny and looked so frail but was the COMPLETE opposite.  She was helping us move things and sell!  She was so friendly and when it came time to tear down everything, she helped us with EVERYTHING!  My aunt told her that I was collecting clothing for WAR (Women at Risk) International and this lovely woman said she might have some things to donate.  After the tear down was complete, she came up to me and we just talked. She said this past year, in the few months before Christmas, she lost her husband, son and her sister.  It sounded like her sister was sick for a long time and this amazing women said she didn’t know what to do with all of her sisters clothes and that this would be something nice to do with them.

I told her she was such an amazing person, going through so much and being so strong. I gave her a hug and she just laughed. Do you know what she said to me then?  She said “Well, some people are so much less fortunate than us and it’s nice to give to them”.  A women who had just lost her husband, son and sister in just a few months and right before Christmas told me that.  She is an amazing woman!  When my aunt came back up to us, she looked at my aunt and said “Your niece want to adopt me!”, grinning madly.

She also took the balloons left over from the event and was going to write notes to the family she lost and send them into the sky.  Then use the rest to decorate their urns in her house.  She told us this with a massive smile, saying that she was so excited she didn’t have to blow up her own balloons and how happy she was.

She never stopped smiling, you could see that she was sad and she missed her family so much.  You could see in her eyes she was hurting and sad, there was no way to miss that, but she was just so strong and positive.  It honestly shocked me when she said that some people we less fortunate than us, just what an amazing woman, I don’t have any other word to use!  She is an honest to God hero, an unspoken inspiration, motivator and a wonderfully positive person.

She is someone who people can learn from, a woman who has gone through so much hardship and sadness and she is still so positive and always thinking of others.  Every time you think you have gone through someone difficult, just remember, there is someone out there who is going through someone just as bad or worse and keeping their chin up, being as positive as they possibly can.  Just be positive and view every obstacle and hardship in your life as a stepping stone that really does make you stronger and with the right attitude and friends  and family, you can accomplish anything in the world.  She proved to me that it was true, she is my real hero.

Positive Responses

I’m so happy!

This month, like I’ve explained so many times it is National Human Trafficking month. So I’m sharing things on Facebook, telling people about an organization that they probably don’t know about, WAR (Women at Risk) International.  It is literally a 5 minutes walk from the main campus and not many have heard of it.  I didn’t even know about it until the last term of my third year of college and I passed it every week on my way to Noodles & Co. or Subway!

Before I continue, you can click this link here if you want to know more about National Human Trafficking Month or just want links to various organizations for more information.  I have links there for Shared Hope International, WAR International along with their stores, Free2Work and more.

While I was in Goshen, Indiana staying with a friend at her college, I saw on Facebook that the WAR Chest Boutique (the store for WAR International) was collecting clothes to give to women who have been rescued and have nothing.  They will either be donated to the safe house in Michigan or Chicago. She and one of her other friends just happened to be giving away close to The Depot, a nonprofit thrift store, but I asked if I could keep them to give to WAR and they both said yes. I was so excited!!  My first set of donations!  I couldn’t wait to get home to go through my own closet.

And that is exactly what I did. Unfortunately, only found a few things. I had gone through my closet in April and had pulled out bags and bags of clothes which I gave some to my family in various parts of the country and the rest we gave to AmVets (check them out if you’re interested), and organization that supports our amazingly brave veterans and we always try to donate to as often as we can.

Back to WAR, I posted a status about the donations, where they could go and I offered to pick up donations if they couldn’t make it. Then I sent out a bunch of personal emails to close friends and family. 

The response was so positive.  One friend commented on my status saying she would and was excited. She knits hats and slippers for kids in under developed countries.  I also received several emails!  So far, with my clothes, the items from Goshen and from one other friend, I had two full garbage bags and one small bag. This weekend im picking up clothes from 2 more people and expecting 2 more.  Not only that, my piano professor said she just went through her closet and has things to donate and some of my co-workers might have items for me to drop off!

It makes me so happy, how excited people get about donating.  I know it’s hard sometimes to drive all the way to a location to drop clothes or toys off and it is easier when someone offers to pick up your donations.  Places like AmVets though, they will come to your house!  There is always something you can do for someone else, even if it’s giving them a compliment.  Remember, everything you do will always affect someone else, so affect them in a positive way.  Even if you can’t donate, spread the word.  Organizations like WAR aren’t only in the United States, they are world-wide, located in 31 different countries and could use anyones support.  Problems like trafficking affect every single person, even if WAR isn’t in your country, your country is still affected by trafficking.  Check out some of the products, from jewelry made with real stones or beautiful scarves or purses, skirts, they have so many beautiful things and you are making a difference.

Always remember, just because you don’t see something happening, doesn’t mean it’s not happening where you live.  Naperville, Illinois, for example, a 6 figure neighborhood, beautiful, college town with restaurants and bars, high-end clothes, that neighborhood has human trafficking victims.   It’s not just a problem of women from less affluent countries being brought to more affluent countries, it happens here, in the U.S. and stays here too.

We are only half way through January, so I challenge you to do something.  Go to WAR International’s Facebook Page (Click here), like it and share it with friends.  Do you like animals?  Share information about a no kill rescue shelter in your area.  Maybe you think you should help children in underdeveloped countries, share information, spread the word and make a difference.  Do you know a cancer survivor, remind everyone how brave that person is and that cancer affects people more than just in the month we raise awareness for it. 

Always do your research as to how the organization accomplishes its goals, whether it is sustainable if they leave a country and make sure you know about them, the more information you have, the more power you have to make a difference.

For those of you who wish to join the fight in Human Trafficking, you can post this on your Facebook page or use it as your profile picture, that’s what I did.

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If you accept my challenge, tell me what you do, whether it is posting a status or tweet about WAR, donating clothing to your local church, fostering a dog or cat, whatever you do, whatever your interests let me know!  I’d love to hear about new organizations and see what everyone loves to do!

Funny Moments

I just started school again and I’m just running around non-stop and this weekend it is off to Indiana, so hopefully I’ll have some good stories!

I was thinking of this the other day and it made me laugh.  My mom, sister and I went shopping for dresses and shoes for my cousin’s wedding so we went to Carson’s.  I found a dress with little problem and I love it!  The shoes are a different story.  I’m not sure if this is every Carson’s but the only Carson’s close to my house has a shoe department that can only be classified as a hot mess.  There is no way to get any service because they employee to few people and the poor employees who do work there have to run around looking for shoes for 7 different people on busy days!  I just feel awful for them because you know there are those customers who get angry with them when they are doing the best they can do.  I saw a pair of suede dark blue shoes, only 4 inches with a 2 inch platform that I feel in love with so we decided to wait.

We sat for 20 minutes and still no sign of our sales person, but we didn’t mind.  We all had chairs and have fun talking together.  We were sitting right next to the register so we could see all of the shoes everyone was buying, and being typical women, discuss their purchase! 

I saw a blonde woman step up to the counter to check out and then this little boy ran up behind her with one of those stocking footies (the ones they have in stores for trying on heels or sandels) on his head, pulled down to just below his nose!  He runs up to this blonde woman who I assume was his mother, sticks his finger into her back and says “Give me all your money!” and laughs hysterically!  I furiously tap on my mom and sister shoulder and they look over and we all start laughing.  This little boy with the stocking on his head turns around, making us laugh even harder seeing his distorted feature.  He looks at someone behind us and says “Dad!  I made everyone laugh!” and runs over to his father, completely pleased with himself!

It was so funny and a great moment to share with my mom and sister.  Hopefully it wasn’t just one fo those be there moments!  Only a little boy would run around with a stocking pulled over his face! lol

I would like get into my social awareness mode now to say again that January is National Human Trafficking month.  This problem affects adults and children, men and women alike.  Not only are women shipped across border from less affluent countries to places like the U.S. but there are so many children and adults in places like the U.S. who are being used for sex slavery in the U.S, parents who use their own children, infants, some only 18 months old, young women kidnapped on a date and men.  I’m currently writing several newspapers in my town of Chicago, urging them to put this problem much more in the spotlight than it is now.  I have a friend in California doing the same. 

Like I said before, we wear pink for Breast Cancer, see puzzle pieces for Autism and so many more and we’ve made such wonderfully positive impacts on the world we live in and have done so many beautiful things to help those dealing with these illnesses or situations, we should come together for the month of January and every month after that for human trafficking.  No place is safe from this, even affluent areas, like Naperville, IL.  It may not be the richest city in the U.S., but it is extremely affluent and they have victims too, one who had acid thrown on her face during her time in the sex trade.  She was taken from Naperville, where you expect to be completely and totally safe. 

If you are interested, you can check out my other blog by clicking here.  I have listed various website and organizations where you can get more information and one, WAR (Women at Risk) International, sells beautiful jewelry and items that are made by at risk and rescued women.  All you have to do is buy a necklace or scarf or earrings, trust me, there are so many beautiful items there is no way you can’t choose something! 😀  You don’t even have to read the entire thing, all of the links are located at the end of the blog and they are right there, waiting for you to click!

Human Trafficking Month

This month, for those who don’t know, is National Human Trafficking month.  This is something so important because it affects everyone and there are so many different aspects that people don’t think about.

As I’ve explained before, I’m going to start my internship with WAR (Women at Risk) International in the Spring (click here for that blog).  They work with rescuing women from trafficking and slavery situations.  They are located throughout the world (31 countries) and in the United States.  I’ll be working in their retail store where they sell items that the women have made, anything from scarves to necklaces to bracelets made with real stones!  They also have an online store for those who are interested! You can check out that if you click here.  I highly recommend it, there are amazingly beautiful pieces made of pearls and precious stones, gold and silver.  Absolutely amazing pieces.  Some are prevention products that are made by women who are at risk and others are made by women in the safe houses who have been pulled from this life of being a sex slave.

I think when most people think of human trafficking or sexual slavery, they think of women being sold overseas, women being promised jobs in places such as the U.S. but they are lied to and thrown into the world of a sex slave.  That is a massive part of it, but women and children don’t even have to be shipped anywhere, they can be subject to this even in their own home.

There is a story I was told when Becky visited my college class.  She told us about 2 young sisters, 7 and 9, their mother would bring men up to their bedroom to use her own daughters to support her crack habit.  That was in the United States, no women were shipped anywhere.  WAR has rescued babies as young as 15 months old, there was an 18th month old used in a rape video in the U.S.  That is something hard to hear and so disgusting, it’s hard to even imagine someone ever doing something like that because there are no words to express what type of crime that is or the vile person who committed it.  All of those are examples of human trafficking and the world of being a sex slave.

What WAR will do, especially in countries where prostitution is legal, they will go to these clubs or strip clubs and sit and buy the girls coke or water.  The bar tenders don’t tell the pimps that WAR is there because coke and water is so much more expensive, the bars make a lot of money and all the members of WAR do is talk to the girls, let them know they have an option and a safe place to go and when the girls want to leave, WAR helps them exit their life.

One thing I mentioned before is that even though WAR is a Christian organization, they don’t discriminate against homosexuals or transgenders.  They help whoever needs help.  They are really a wonderful organization that is just so amazing.  The founder, Becky, is so amazing and just so captivating you feel every word she says just move you so deeply.  If she told you to buy peanut butter for the rest of your life, you would!

Here are some website that can help you learn more and see how you can get involved.  If you don’t have hundreds of dollars to donate or time to volunteer, order something online, visit their stores, buy a special gift for yourself and in the process help a woman who has been through so much, words can’t express.

Click HERE for the WAR International Website

Click HERE for their Facebook

Click HERE for the Shared Hope International Website

Click HERE Shared Hope International Facebook

These last two websites are very cool.  This first link is to a quiz to see how many possible slaves you could be exploiting depending on the clothes you have or food you buy or electronics you have.  This website was shared by WAR.  I took it and my number of slaves was 47, which is more than I expected and not from the products I expected either.  Click HERE for the quiz link.  Also if you’re interested in slavery check out the Enough Project and a great thing to read about is the Coltan mining.  Coltan is a mineral which is in every single piece of electronic technology, cell phones, iPods, T.V.s and more (their Facebook is here and website is here).

This final link is especially important to those living in the United States.  This link takes you to each U.S. states’ report cards created by the Shared Hope Foundation (the links are above).  They give a grade for how the states criminal provisions, protections for victims, justice tools and things like that.  Then there is another document stating their analysis and recommendations.  My friend in California decided to take action so this issue get more media time.  She is writing 5 different newspapers.  At least Illinois has a B and California has and F.  Read through this and see what your states can do and what they are doing.  Click HERE to see your report card.

I know I’ve listed tons of links and posted tons of information but this is something important that we all should know about.  We all sport Pink for Breast Cancer and scream loudly in protest of bullying, puzzle pieces appear for Autism and there are so many more causes that we all join together for, let’s let everyone know about Human Trafficking because it affects everyone, babies, children, adults, women and men.  This is just one more problem we have to fix in this world so don’t stand by and let this happen.  Fill your Facebook and Twitter and Blogs with messages urging action and providing information. Let’s work together in solving this problem, join together in our love for each other and do something to make a difference.