Friday, November 6, 2009

Activism and Advocacy on a Friday

I decided to write a little bit of a political post today; a call to action if you will.

I am currently teaching a class on Social Policy in America--our reluctant welfare state--so I'm even more invigorated to advocate for change and ask others to do so as well...bear with me.

As I drove to work on this chilly morning I thought of all the people and animals who would soon be having to sleep outside in freezing weather. Not a real cheery thought, I know, but it comes to mind each fall when I start rejoicing about the cooler weather...I love it, but I also have a warm, safe home and bed to crawl into when the thermostat dips.

Then, as I drove down the street where my office is located, I saw for the 3rd time this week, a scrawny pit-bull mix tethered to the front porch of a house with no food or water in sight and no adequate shelter. Now, I drive down this street every day, so I have noticed other animals treated similarly and have even reported the possible neglect/maltreatment of a different dog at the same house before, but obviously the message was not received. As soon as I walked into the office, I called City of Columbia Animal Services and reported the scene; they said they would pay the home a visit to investigate. It felt good to be able to be proactive, even on such a surface level, rather than just feel bad for the dog but do nothing.

hen, I read this on Indigo Journal: "Regarding the Senate vote on unemployment insurance that went off a moment ago, it’s worth noting that the only opponent was Sen. Jim DeMint (R), who represents South Carolina, where the unemployment rate of 11.6 percent happens to be the fifth highest in the country," I was appalled, but sadly not surprised either. Really? Sen. Jim DeMint, what were you thinking?--or were you?

My point in all of this today, is find something to be passionate about and advocate...if you're an animal-lover, help with the Humane Society's "Pet Soup Project". The project distributes pet food to pet-owners who otherwise would not be able to afford the food. Here's their wish list, and they need volunteers as well, contact Kelly Graham at 803-783-1267 or
  • Pull-along Trailer
  • 1 Gallon Ziplock Freezer Bags
  • Large lawn/yard garbage bags
  • Plastic Grocery Store bags
  • Pet Food Scoopers
  • Pens
  • Copy Paper
  • Sharpies
  • Bottled Water
  • Paper Towel
  • Battery Powered Hand Vacuum
  • Canopy Tents
  • Gas Cards
  • Monetary Donations
If you're as fired up as I am about why Sen. DeMint wanted to refuse help to the close to 12% of the SC population that is unemployed right now, call him and ask why, here's his number: 803-771-6112.

If you want to do something to help the homeless population, volunteer at a local soup kitchen--and if you have kids, take them with you, it will be a valuable learning experience. Or, donate one of the personal hygiene items listed below for the United Way Hands for the Homeless drive:
Toothpaste - Toothbrush - New socks (men/women) - New washcloth - Plastic razor
TRAVEL SIZED: Shampoo - Soap - Lotion - Hand sanitizer

Drop off items at Trenholm Road United Methodist Church (3401 Trenholm Road) from Nov. 16-25 M-F 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Please, be an active participant in your community and think of those less fortunate. And let me know what this may have inspired you to do, or what you already do in your community to give back and advocate for those with no voice.

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