Wednesday, November 22, 2017

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving amid the people who love you most!

Because it is the season of thankfulness as well as the kick-off of the traditionally recognized annual big-gift-giving event, it's time to think about others, and this week here on the blog we're sharing our favorite charities. Here are mine, and why: 

1.)  Veterans of Foreign Wars
I used to be a barmaid at my local VFW. I'm also a lifetime member. Many nights, I've kept the beers flowing while these men who served our country regale the crowd with their tales. Fewer nights, I've served a glass of something harder while someone stared into their glass trying to force some awful image that seemed stuck in their mind's eye. I've seen a vet of the Iraq War who turned to heroine. I've seen men who served and came home safe seemingly unscathed...then lost their whole family to random stateside tragedies, yet they have found a way to carry on despite an ache that will never abate. I've helped vets get their ties and medals just right before a parade, and I've seen a Korean War vet (1950-3) sing karaoke.

Also, the VFW has a variety of community outreach programs and scholarships. Supporting the VFW is supporting good people in your own community.

2.)  Any Animal Rescue / No Kill Shelter
A friend of mine who passed away years ago had a cat shelter. She actively trapped feral cats, got them spayed or neutered and re-released them if they were not tamable. She also took other housecats and worked to find them good homes. I had one such cat come into my life for a while. He was a gray tabby with six toes, a mitten-paw. He'd been a feral cat trapped and tamed and I loved him enough to deal with my cat allergy.  Also, my dog Bela came from a no-kill shelter. For eleven years now, she's been a wonderful addition to our family (i.e. being the floor pillow when the boys watched cartoons, protecting our yard from evil squirrels, keeping us warm on cold winter nights, and the source of much laughter).

I say all that because I know the hard work that goes into a rescue, and the benefits to the animal and the family that adopts.

3.)  The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
From the internet: For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and the laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.

Whether it’s achieving full equality for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people; establishing new privacy protections for our digital age of widespread government surveillance; ending mass incarceration; or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion; the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach.

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