Some Good Things

I want to do a bit of a feel good today, there are things I care deeply about and things others care deeply about and thus are giving of their time and energy to raise awareness and money for. Today I want to highlight a couple of them in the hope you will endorse them and if you are able, give.

My friend Kim Sisto-Robinson of My Inner Chick helps to organize every year a walk to fight domestic abuse in honor of her murdered sister Kay. Last year Red and I were there, despite the tsunami of my personal  life I am hoping to be there again this year. It is an important event, it is a meaningful action and despite last year being cold and wet, it left me feeling as if I took a stand and did something good, no matter how small.

Why is this important to me? As a Domestic Abuse survivor I know how hard it is to get out, how hard it is to find yourself and run. I also know if you don’t how if you don’t you can die and those who are left behind will never be the same, Kim’s writing is a testimony to the great love and great loss of her beautiful sister. Here are some of the pictures from last year, I hope I can add to this:

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Want to come walk the beautiful path in honor of Kay and all victims of domestic violence:  http://www.theduluthmodel.org/events.html

Want to learn more about DAIP or donate even if you can’t walk this year: http://www.theduluthmodel.org/about/index.html

If you are in a violent situation, please get help: http://www.thehotline.org/help/path-to-safety/


 

BeautifulNext up is my lovely niece who has decided to go to Jail for a cause, better this than the alternative! Angela has always been one of my favorites, wild child, adventurer, audacious and loving with a smile that brightens rooms and a laugh that is absolutely infectious. I have always secretly marveled at her daring and her ability to make the absolutely best lemonade out of lemons.

This isn’t the first time Angela has stepped outside of herself to do something for others, it is though the first time I can use my platform to help her. So if you have a few spare dollars, kick them her way for a good cause, here is what the Muscular Dystrophy Association does with your donations.

  • $1,480 Funds 20 minutes of research
  • $800 sends one child to MDA Summer Camp
  • $100 pays for a support group session
  • $74 funds one minute of research
  • $30 funds one Flu Shot

Help a girl out and help raise bail for my intrepid niece and MDA: Angela’s Bail Page

What I Learned

Well it is time to finish up with the Minnesota trip, it was fabulous; great fun, great people and really two truly wonderful causes to support and talk about. I don’t want to end this on a sad or terrible note; however, I think it is important to remind everyone why we went to Minnesota, why we walked in the cold and the rain.

Kay Marie Sisto

Kay Marie Sisto

We walked in memory of Kay, one victim of domestic violence who lost her life. Please visit her sister Kim at My Inner Chick to learn more.

Some terrible facts about domestic violence, why this is important to support solutions and an end:

  • One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
  • An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
  • 85% of domestic violence victims are women.
  • Historically, females have been most often victimized by someone they knew.
  • Females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence.
  • Nearly one-third of female homicide victims that are reported in police records are killed by an intimate partner.
  • Nearly 7.8 million women have been raped by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  • Sexual assault or forced sex occurs in approximately 40-45% of all battering relationships.
  • 1 in 12 women and 1 in 45 men have been stalked in their lifetime.
  • Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police. 1

These are just some of the cold facts of domestic violence, for more read the domestic violence fact sheet. If you are a victim of domestic violence, please seek help there are resources available. If you know someone who is at risk, please reach out to them, assistance is available.

We learned the power of life through organ donation over this weekend also. We met Ed Dean, who received Kay’s lungs, saving his life. He drove twelve hours with his family to meet Kay’s family, walk in memorial, pray at her grave in thanks. It was a powerful testimony. If you aren’t an organ donor, please consider it there is so much need.

Mr. Ed Dean praying at Kay's Grave

Mr. Ed Dean praying at Kay’s Grave

What else did we learn and see?

Here are the last of the pictures from our four-day extravaganza in the great state of Minnesota.

We learned people still live in little red and white trailers. Even in the cold, the young man we suspect lived in this one was under the shelter with his computer, guess he didn’t get good reception inside. Isn’t this adorable?

Not a little red corvette

Not a little red corvette

We learned shopkeepers in Duluth are funny, just go ahead and shoplift in this store why don’t you? Prosecute and advertise!

Bad Criminals!

Bad Criminals!

We learned Red likes Moose chairs, isn’t she adorable? Please pay a visit the esteemed Red and her blog about the trip here.

A Throne for Red

A Throne for Red

We learned even wet and cold we can still smile!

To the end, dammit

To the end, dammit

We learned dinner with friends, both old and new makes things nearly perfect.

Friends, new and old

Friends, new and old

Thank you Kim, for the opportunity to participate and contribute; you welcomed us with open arms and made us feel part of a wonderful group of family and friends. Your warmth and hospitality made the trip so much grander than it already was just because we were supporting a cause close to both our hearts.

What I learned? Sometimes it is better to get outside of myself, outside of my comfort zone, let my walls down and reach out beyond the security of my electronic home (blog, internet) to the real people who make up my world. They are worth it, they are fabulous.

1 http://www.ncadv.org/files/DomesticViolenceFactSheet(National).pdf

http://www.nnedv.org/resources/stats.html

http://donatelife.net/understanding-donation/statistics/

http://www.ncadv.org/

Walking in the Rain

According to my sister in spirit, Red of the M3 fame, we might have discovered the secret of eternal youth. Yes, it is true good works and a good drenching seems to be the two key ingredients necessary! Of course, perhaps it was the cold the really truly unbelievable nearly 40 degree below my norm cold that added to my youthful enthusiasm to walk 5K for a good cause.

This weekend Red and I made our way from our respective Southern climes (think warm) to the great northlands of Minnesota, Duluth to be precise. What the hell? You would be right to ask, good question. It was all for a good cause. Duluth has certainly failed to make the transition to summer I will tell you, however even had it been colder than it was at 47⁰ I would have still bundled my happy ass up and shown up.

I met Kim Robinson of My Inner Chick via blogging; she is a spectacular woman with a loud and wonderful voice. On May 26, 2010 her sister Kay was murdered by her then estranged husband, since that time Kim has been an postcard picture2activist voice against Domestic Violence in Duluth. Every year to raise money and awareness the Kay Marie Sisto Memorial Walk / Run / Roll to End Domestic Violence is held. This year we showed up and the man who received Kay’s lungs, with his family did as well. I suspect for Kim and her family this was far more meaningful, Mr. Dean lives on, reached out to Kim and the rest of the family to say thank you for his life and now is walking to honor Kay (you can see some of the interviews in the links below).

The walk was held on June 1, 2013, the first day of summer. The temperature in Dallas that day was 89⁰, my kind of day. On the other hand, the temperature in Duluth did not rise above 51⁰; you would have a hard time convincing me it got that warm. We arrived, without much difficulty at the park and collected our wonderful goody bags, hugged Kim and prepared for our walk. I had my camera with me knowing I would be walking slowly, might as well take advantage of the nature trail. Kim told us last year it was raining, with a glance at the sky and the hanging cloud cover I thought, “hmmm, wonder if it won’t start again this year.” I kept this thought to myself, no need to curse the walk and walkers before we get started.

Runners up first, after speeches and the bell ringing off they go. Next up are the walkers, we were the last to leave; no sense holding people up with our slow selves. The trail was a real nature trail, beautiful but uneven and for me a bit of a challenge. Never mind, it was a good walk for a great cause, I continued to say this to myself with each uneven step. We made it to the comfort station and they had Reese’s Peanut butter Cups! This was the halfway point, I was I admit proud of myself. We took a quick comfort break then continued on.

What do you think was next on our walk? Nearly to the end, we could see it truly, people were turning the corner at this point. Oh yeah, the dreaded first drops of rain. I wasn’t wrong those clouds had been full of rain and were just waiting for us to be all the way at the end before opening up. The return walk was miserably cold and wet, uneven footing, drenching cold rain and just a bit of a wind to insure that cold went through to your skin and bones.

Never mind, it was for a good cause! I am so glad I did this. Below are some of the pictures I took during the Duluth trip hope you enjoy!

Bridge view from hotel morning of walk.

Bridge view from hotel morning of walk.

Sunk in bay, note the fog

Sunk in bay, note the fog

Mr. Dean, having rung the bell for Kay

Mr. Dean, having rung the bell for Kay

Anyone guess how hard this was for me?

Anyone guess how hard this was for me?

Red before the rain

Red before the rain

A burst of Spring

A burst of Spring

View of the River

View of the River

My reward from Kim

My reward from Kim

The fabulous Kim of My Inner Chick fame

The fabulous Kim of My Inner Chick fame

I will post a couple of more on this trip, there is more to tell. It was a great trip.

http://www.northlandsnewscenter.com/news/local/Michigan-Man-Walks-in-Honor-of-Woman-who-Saved-h-209798561.html

http://fox21online.com/news/video/kay-sistos-memory-lives-many-ways

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/52070890#.UatCqUC-2uI

http://www.northlandrunner.com/run?page=Race&raceId=285

http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/198945/group/scrapbook/

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