Homelessness and poverty are issues that I’d venture to say most people who don’t experience them firsthand only consider in passing–maybe around Thanksgiving, when the local food pantries ramp up their requests for donations. After all, it’s not a comfortable situation to imagine yourself in, and particularly not in a world that often feels increasingly unstable, where the worries of food security, affordable housing, and finding employment that provides a living wage mean that many of us don’t feel so far removed from that outcome.
But for those who are struggling with poverty and homelessness, these issues aren’t abstract; they’re … Continue reading
Our family has always been one of creative pursuits. Between the five of us, we’ve tried scrapbooking, painting, knitting, crocheting, drawing, embroidery, photography, sewing, quilling, wood-working, felting, collages, jewelry-making, and probably more that I’m forgetting. Growing up, my mother and sisters always enjoyed crafts the most, but I had little patience for many of them. When it comes to creative pursuits, my favorite has always–unequivocally–been writing.
I wrote stories, poetry, essays, novellas, and eventually novels; I kept journals faithfully for many years; and over the course of my pre-teen and teenage years, I also created several blogs. Writing … Continue reading
When we think of communities struggling with access to and the availability of clean water, our thoughts typically go to far-off places. Digging wells in African nations is a familiar concept to many, but for those of us living in the United States, it often hasn’t occurred to us that water security could be an issue in our own country, too. The Navajo Water Project is a nonprofit that urges us to change that mindset.
It’s an offshoot of DigDeep, an organization which identifies not as a charity, but as “a human rights non-profit working to ensure that every … Continue reading
If you’ve been keeping tabs on my monthly features of charities and nonprofits, you may have noticed a common theme: I like grassroots. I like community engagement. I like the feeling of doing something hands-on and tangible to help others and make the world a warmer, kinder place. This month’s spotlight on Knit-a-square is very much in keeping with that ideal, and offers another simple yet wonderful way to make a difference–all you need is some yarn, a pair of knitting needles or a crochet hook, and a whole lot of heart.
Keeping the Cold at Bay
Knit-a-square (KAS) was … Continue reading
Every month, a significant part of the world’s population has to contend with a biological cycle that is entirely natural and yet, more often than not, extremely taboo. In the western world, getting your period isn’t exactly considered polite dinner table conversation, but we’ve managed to reach the point where it doesn’t interfere too much with our daily lives: disposable feminine hygiene products are, for most individuals, easily obtainable and very effective, and women aren’t shunned during menstruation. Western girls and women wear a pad or use a tampon, maybe take an ibuprofen for the cramps, and then we’re able … Continue reading
I have always believed in the importance of two things: acts of kindness, and the written word. I value kindness in all its forms; there’s something so priceless contained in a caring word, a thoughtful gesture, a moment of going out of your way–even just a little–to make someone else feel seen or appreciated. And as for the written word, well. Haven’t you ever read a book that spoke directly to your heart, or a poem that seemed to be made of the same stuff as your soul? Or received a letter, or an email, or a comment on social … Continue reading
I spent my childhood with my nose in a book. Ask anyone who knows me; at this point, it’s kind of the defining feature of my personal history. If you were ever looking for me, you could often find me settled in the oddest of places—sometimes on the couch or my bed, but just as likely under the kitchen table, tucked between a cupboard and the wall, or on top of the slide on our swing set—lost in the world of whatever work of fiction had currently found its way into my hands. I devoured everything from Nancy Drew and … Continue reading