OPEN YOUR HEARTS FOR OTHERS
PLEASE OPEN YOUR HEART, AND HELP THOSE WHO WILL FREEZE WITHOUT YOUR LOVE
Last December, before the official start of winter, I was traveling from Austin back to the San Francisco Bay Area. There was snow on the ground just before we crossed into New Mexico. At that divergent spot where many say you can see from one side of the border to the other, the largesse of this country as opposed to the Mexican side of the fence, I took pause. I did so because while we think hard about the significant difference in how we live just over an imaginary line, we do not see what is right here within these lines we have drawn. I have seen pictures and heard stories of the ramshackle, cardboard ‘homes’ that are lived in on the reservations in the Dakotas, which is the home to some of the most brutal and bone-chilling winters Turtle Island knows. “As my train passed Ciudad Juarez, it occurred to me that the home on which I saw several teens perched at least had solid walls and a roof. The dusting of snow on the ground was rare there and the gathered young people were wearing jeans and t-shirts while they waved at the train rolling by.
It saddens me to no end that the circumstances under which those on the reservations live not only appears much worse than that directly across that line, but more to the point, it seems to me that they are the most invisible. We make such a distinction between what is on one side of that concocted line and the other that we do not see what is right here. Elders, young ones, people of all ages with no heat in winters that can bring temperatures down to 60 below zero with the wind chill factor.
These reasons are enough for me to support the efforts of Freddy and Little Massi Calling Corp and the ERC (Emergency Relief Centers). They actively engage in bringing homes to places where there is nothing but a cardboard structure to call home. This is one of many areas where we attempt to alleviate human suffering. When the winter arrives and homes cannot be brought in (which is a costly venture) the focus then shifts to providing adequate heat to those who cannot afford to do so. Funding for the energy assistance program (LEAP) has been severely cut this year meaning those meager funds will be even harder to come by than they were last winter.
People can and do freeze to death in these conditions every year. very often we ask for just a dollar, that’s it. Most think “what can that accomplish?” If each person who has become my friend on Facebook gave that one dollar, it would be one more home that could be transported to the reservation, one more family that would have a roof over their head that is not made of cardboard. THE ODDS ARE THIS WINTER YOU ARE NOT GOING TO FREEZE. IT IS CERTAIN THAT PEOPLE WILL DIE THIS WINTER FOR LACK OF A ROOF AND/OR HEAT.
HERE IS YOUR CHALLENGE! JUST DO IT! ONE DOLLAR, THAT’S IT… IF YOU HAVE THE CAPACITY TO GIVE MORE THAT IS BEAUTIFUL, BUT A SIMPLE BUCK WILL SHOW YOU CARE.
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