Walk for Hope

On October 18th I’m walking with my best friend and my sister in Mutual Ground’s 7th annual Walk for Hope.  They are a local domestic abuse/sexual assault nonprofit that provides everything from shelter to counseling and everything in between.  We might have a few other ladies join our team as well!!

We are the Purple Ladies.  My best friend loves the move Grease (which I’ve never seen) and wanted us to be the Pink Ladies, but I changed it to Purple since that is the color for domestic violence awareness.  We fund raise until the 18th and then we participate in a 5 mile walk in Fabyan Forest Preserve.

I am so excited to do this, I love that I can do this event with other people and there is this massive community feel to the entire thing.  We are all working together to accomplish a common goal and then we can all enjoy a beautiful day together.

One of the teams is in remembrance of Kari, a 28-year-old woman who was killed by her boyfriend a few years ago.  Her mother is so active with Mutual Ground.  I don’t know how she does it.

I met another mother a while ago whose daughter was killed by her boyfriend.  She was 19.  I believe it happened about 6 years ago, but as she retold her story, talk about receiving that phone call that no parent want to get… she couldn’t help but start crying and it absolutely breaks your heart. I met her at a candle light vigil for domestic violence awareness.  After I went up to talk to her and I tried to say thank you for being strong, but I couldn’t even get out the words before I started to tear up.  I can’t imagine what she went through.  She smiled and gave me a hug.  I was supposed to be the one comforting her, not the other way around.

The fact that these two women can not only get up every morning but also speak out about what happened to their daughters is incredible.  They are some of the bravest people I’ve ever met.

That is why I walk.  I walk for all of the women and men who are still in these relationships, I walk for every child who is afraid, I walk for those who are terrified to leave, for those who think they’re alone, I walk for those who have lost their lives to people who are supposed to love and cherish them for all time.  I walk to empower and give hope to those who have lost it.

If you are interested in donating to support Mutual Ground, please click the link here.  This is the link to my team’s page.  We just started it today and so far we have $70 in donations, which I am so happy about.  Every bit helps no matter how large or small.

If not, remember there are always ways you can get involved. Educate yourself about the problem.  What is it like in the area you’re in?  Participate in campaigns like the #voiceshavepower by Verizon.  Write a message and the Verizon Hope Line will donate $3 per message.  It can’t get much easier than that.

Every day, if you are in a loving relationship and that can be partner, friend or family, remember how blessed you are, how lucky you are.  You have support, caring, love and respect in your life and never take that for granted.

Thank you to anyone who chooses to donate.

♥ Meggie

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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!