Monday, August 4, 2008

Give, Give, Give

We all have a choice and an opportunity to give regardless of our circumstances or current financial standing.

Yesterday I watched a video of a 14 year old girl in Uganda. My oldest daughter is 14 so I gave close attention to the video. Hot tears streamed down my cheeks as I listened to her story of being orphaned as a baby, abused by her aunt and then forced into prostitution just to survive on the streets as a young teenager. She didn’t choose to be orphaned or to be forced to live on the streets and sell her body every day, and she didn’t know that she would one day have the opportunity to change her life. This was her entire world and her only means of survival. It was her daily existence - her only reallity.

We have all heard the horrific stories of starving, orphaned children in Africa. You can’t turn on late-night television without seeing fundraising programs sharing sad stories and heartbreaking photos while asking for your financial contributions. So why was this one different? Maybe it was guilt because I have seen so many heartbreaking stories and done nothing. Or maybe it is because I am a mother and shutter at the thought of my own children ever being forced into a similar situation.

These children are victims – victims of war, circumstances beyond their control, ignorance, hate, violence, hunger, disease…and worst of all, these children are the victims of apathy. For years we have seen and heard their stories and yet here in the United States, a world away from the pain, we have done little or nothing. After all, what can we do to make a difference? Any contribution I could make is just a microscopic droplet in the ocean of need that these children represent.

My 14 year old daughter keeps complaining that all of her friends have cell phones and she does not. Oh, the horror of it all! She doesn’t have a cell phone and nothing I can say has convinced her that this is not really an important or serious problem. No, this is not another “Shame on you America for your selfish greed” complaint. However, this is another “Wake up America” reminder. As you sit there in your air-conditioned houses watching cable TV while waiting for your pizza delivery, take a moment to consider and be thankful for what you have. Then take another moment to consider what you can do or give to change the life of just one child in Africa or anywhere else in the world. Don’t let today be the day you do nothing.

Below is a great website I just found where you can watch the video “Prossy’s Testimony”. This is the story of the 14 year old girl I mentioned above.

Please go to the following website for “Love the Unloved”
Click on “visuals” in the bottom, right corner
Select "videos"
Watch the video "Prossy's Testimony"
Get your heart broken, and GIVE

You may be wondering what I am going to do about this problem. First, I wrote this blog to get your attention. Second, I am currently working on a project to teach my children small, easy ways to raise money to give to children in need. We are saving and collecting aluminum soda cans to recycle for money. No, it’s not big but it is a start. I’m teaching them to take trash and turn it into a treasure for someone who just wants to be loved in Africa.

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