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2. — I just heard on the radio that this year the Bay Area Rescue Missions’s donations dropped 40% and they’re severely short on food and funds to accommodate hundreds of homeless for Thanksgiving. This is a large homeless shelter in Richmond where my high school youth group used to volunteer. They have an if any of you Bay Area folks (especially East Bayers) would like to help those in need in your neighborhood. If you’re within driving distance they’re also taking donated turkeys and any kind of food. They believe that this year there is a sharp drop in donations because a lot of aid went to San Diego wild fire relief.
3. — my friend just told me about this buy one give one event at and he bought one. This allows you to get the specially designed laptop for $399 and another laptop will be sent to a child in need somewhere in the world. $200 of the $399 you give would be a tax-deductible donation. To bloggers out there, I have confirmed that you can blog on these laptops and T-mobile is offering 1 year of wireless HotSpot service for free so you can take these cute little gadgets to Starbucks and blog. Additionally you may be helping a child somewhere learn about the world. This event ends November 26th.
As always, I still donate to because they make having homes possible for families in need. As I write this I am reminded of Acts 1.8 which says “you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.” This is because I have listed the charities in order of their relative distance to me. Since I do believe that my money is from God I hope that the little I give would go from here to the end of the earth. Even if you don’t believe in God I still encourage you to help those closest to you first this holiday season. By helping those in your neighborhood you will improve the part of the world that is most important to you, and it is a win-win situation.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!
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Regardless of my opinions on the war and military spending I have a tremendous amount of respect for the veterans of America. A lot of the extremely injured soldiers I saw at the hospital are probably younger than me. One particular soldier that left an impression on me was a very young man who had a bruised face and staples in his skull. I saw him a few months ago during memorial day, and today on the radio I heard an interview with a soldier at the same VA hospital. He said that he lost half of his skull and his brain is severely injured. I wonder if that’s the same man? Another veteran that I remember very clearly is a tiny old woman who was shorter than me and slightly hunched over. She was still quite energetic and she said that she used to be a marine who handled artillery. It is humbling to meet these veterans because on the surface they are such ordinary people, but they were presented with extraordinary circumstances, and I think that makes them extraordinary, too.
I believe all of these veterans young and old deserve our respect. I don’t pity the young Iraq War veterans’ wounds because I don’t think they want anyone’s sympathy. What the wars have done to the veterans is irreversible and now what would help them is support in going back to some kind of normal life. I think it’s ridiculous that some VA hospitals are horribly mismanaged and a lot of young soldiers with families are paid very little for their work. I think a lot of veterans do want some recognition that they are still there after the wars and the military and they don’t want to be used and then discarded. I find it unsettling that a large proportion of the homeless are veterans, and I wonder if there are programs that can help veterans reintegrate into civilian life.
Finally, I feel like that volunteering a couple weekends out of a year is so insignificant, and I really want to do more volunteering.
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