A Christmas Story

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​My Christmas story is a couple of days late because my keyboard ran out of juice. It has a weird battery. It will go for months without needing a recharge, but then right when I absolutely, positively need to use it, right now is when it doesn’t work, and with Christmas being Christmas we had other family goings-on, and cooking and present things to do instead, and I let this wait until now.

A few days ago I was scrolling through Twitter. My Twitter is mostly fandom and politics, and so far, I’ve been pretty lucky about staying off the troll radar for my politics (and believe it or not, my fandom also), so it’s not a terribly awful place to be for me, and I get my punditry and news headlines to look into more closely on other sites and I get to make comments somewhere other than talking to myself, although Twitter often feels like that too.

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Giving Tuesday

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In this time of holiday joy and generosity, please do what you can to support those organizations who help throughout the year.

ACLU

Planned Parenthood

RAICES

Random Acts

Where I Give My Support (list not inclusive)

Scroll down to the Stands links for a collection of worthy charities, all of whom do good works.

Add your own recommendations in the comments with how to reach them with donations and what their organization does. 

TODAY IS THE DAY! VOTE!

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On Instagram, I’ve spent every day posting a political pin, and today is the final one. Scroll through and see what I chose to share in the last days towards this Election Day. When you’re finished looking and thinking about and commenting, head over to your polling place and VOTE. This is the most consequential and important election of our lifetimes. I just heard Dan Pfeiffer say on The Axe Files that young people felt secure and comfortable under President Obama, they thought they were safe and things were going to be okay – the President has this. Well, I’m 51, and I felt the same way. I was comfortable not paying attention to the minutiae of politics and political discourse for the first time in my life, and now I’m terrified. For my children, yes, but for myself as well. What have we allowed to happen in the last two years?!

VOTE

I Will Vote 11.6.18 from Penzeys Spices. (c)2018

From Star Wars: A Woman’s Place is in the Resistance. In honor of Carrie Fisher.(c)2018

The Liberty Bell. Philadelphia, PA. Remember our history. (c)2018

Equality Includes Everyone. Everyone Equals Everyone. (c)2018

Nevertheless, She Persisted. In honor of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Shethority, Me Too, Times Up. (c)2018

3 pins from Penzeys Spices. Kind heart, Soul (of America), Embrace Hope. (c)2018

A riff on Cyndi Lauper’s hit song, Girls Just Want to Have Fun. (c)2018

Created Equal pin that my son picked up for me on his school trip to Gettysburg. He knows me. (c)2018

NoRA, March for Our Lives. (c)2018

I couldn’t get a pussy hat, so I got a pink pussy cat pin instead. (c)2018

The truth. (c)2018

Looking back on someone who was thought to be a not so good president, but he really wasn’t that bad. He got a bad wrap. The current president won’t have that benefit – he’s the worst. But…Ulysses S. Grant won the Civil War, and wasn’t a bad president, and was actually a good person. Read Ron Chernow’s biography. (c)2018

Science Matters. (c)2018

Be Peace from the Dominican Sisters of Peace. (c)2018

Children First. Education by Educators.(c)2018

Facts Matter. From the Newseum in Washington, DC.(c)2018

Votes for Women. A gift from my friend from the Molly Brown House and Museum in Denver, CO. Suffragettes – votes for women and voting for women. (c)2018

LGBT+ Equality. (c)2018

I can’t even. I don’t remember what the news of the day was that made me post this, but it was probably awful and immigration or free press related. (c)2018

Education by Educators. Odyssey of the Mind in NY. (c)2018

Embrace Hope from Penzeys Spices. Always a good message. (c)2018

So simple, and yet so much meaning. Women’s rights, women’s equality, reproductive rights, ERA. Women’s rights are human rights. (c)2018

I VOTED! Now you. (c)2018

If I Could Tell You…

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Strength and beauty are virtues of the vulnerable.

– Katherine Ramdeen, If I  Could Tell You Supernatural Calendar, 2018

Katherine Ramdeen as photographed by Illya Swan. Their copyright. (c)2018


[No copyright infringement intended and no money made.]

Fandom Friday – Shoshannah Stern and Off The Grid

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Credit to Stands. (c)2018

Shoshannah Stern is an actress, in theatre, television, and film. She played hunter, Eileen Leahy on the hit show on The CW, Supernatural. The Supernatural cast and fans are known for their various charities, especially for actor/activist, Misha Collins’ Random Acts.

The All You Need is Love campaign will run for the next seven days. Items will begin shipping the third week in May. Proceeds from this campaign will go to Off The Grid, a non-profit that provides access to survival tools in high risk and remote areas all across the world. One of those survival tools is for the deaf and hard of hearing who are often forgotten about during emergency communications.

Shoshannah herself is deaf; her first language is American Sign Language. She is currently co-starring (and co-writing as well as having created) This Close, a series currently appearing on the Sundance Now streaming service. This Close is a modern day drama showing the universal story of friendship, love, and life where the two main characters (and others) just happen to be deaf.

New York Times article on This Close

Here’s their official trailer:

50/52 – Do Good for Others

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I’ve had a page this last year of where I send my support. I reached out to some friends for their most important charities, and wanted to share them here with you.

If you have spare money throughout the year or time for some of the local volunteer organizations, please use it to do good.

I have listed them alphabetically, and the religious organizations included have as their primary focus helping others. Check their status here

ACLU*

Catholic Charities

CNEWA

Committee to Protect Journalists*

Doctors Without Borders

Heifer International
The Hispanic Federation*

Lydia Place*

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Stroke Association*

The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation*

Planned Parenthood*

Random Acts*

Save a Warrior (SAW)

Southern Poverty Law Center

St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital*

The Trevor Project*

World Vision

Inclusion is not endorsement. However, the ones with an asterisk are where I have personally contributed over the years.

Giving Back

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In my reflection of November on Thursday, I talked a bit about gratitude. Today, while many are going to enjoy fall activities of seeing families, playing or watching football, catching up on reading, applepicking, and other fall favorites, and getting ready for Thanksgiving, I will be at my church, and have been since about seven-thirty in the morning for our second annual morning of service.

At last count, we have over three hundred volunteers who will be helping out at nursing homes, Habitat for Humanity, the local city mission, day cares, and creating projects at the church to be given out to a variety of places like Ronald McDonald House, Operation Christmas Child, and other local charities.

There are many ways that we all give back for what we are lucky enough to have. We donate clothes, food, money, and time in all kinds of ways.

One organization that has helped my family and many, many others is the St. Vincent de Paul Society with the Catholic Church. If you want to donate money, time, or items, contact your local  Catholic Church, and ask them how.

A second organization that comes highly recommended to me is Catholic Charities.

In many cases, you do not have to be Catholic to utilize their services, and you most definitely do not need to be Catholic to donate to them.

My favorite group to help and support is Random Acts. They are the epitome of teaching that each of us can do a little, and it all adds up. Small gestures mean big things to many.

This year, in particular, I would recommend Hispanic Federation. They take care of all kinds of needs, but especially this year, they are doing important work for Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Help them if you can.

And if you can’t help these groups directly, please share their names and contact information on your social media accounts so that others may help if they are able.

Thank you for all that you do.