Friday, November 16, 2007

Helping in a Very Small Way,,,

When I was in High School, I was the president of my Amnesty International group for 3 years. I was really into it and felt like I was making a difference and helping fight for people who couldn't fight themselves. Kind of giving a voice to those who were mute or were not heard. In my Senior year, I went to an AI convention in Seattle or Olympia. I forget where, but that is not the important thing... We spent the day listening to speakers, hanging out with other like minded people and signing a million petitions.

Up until this point, I had not given much thought about AI's presence in the United States. All of the action items that I had been a part of were in foreign countries and in my blissful youth mind I was not aware of any injustices here on our own home front.

There was one petition that really made me think and ultimately ended with me parting ways with Amnesty International. That was a petition that was aimed at ending Capital Punishment here in the US of A. I couldn't sign that petition because I think the death penalty is a good thing.

My AI bubble had popped. I couldn't support and give money to a program that used it against something I believed in.

I finished out the year and handed over the mantle of presidency to an underclassmen and went out into the wide world.

Recently, I have discovered AI's website: They offer a way that I can choose the causes I am for and send emails to leaders and people of influence without contributing financially to AI as an organization. AI Action Center Home

I urge anyone who reads this to go to that link and also choose the causes that you are concerned with and support them by sending emails or letters to the people who can help. It's really easy to do and doesn't take much time.

Tonight I learned about another organization. I am learning more about it and trying to figure out exactly what they are about. Their goal is to fight extreme poverty. I signed their petition but I'm still not sure what level of commitment I am willing to give to them yet.

I will have to post more on that later when I know more.


kristina said...

awsome! I am so signing up! i am always feeling this need to help out in the world! thanks jessi!!

Thorey said...

If you are interested, you may like to get involved with Women for Women International. It is a program that is designed to help women in war-torn countries like Rwanda, Afghanistan, and a few others. The program pairs you up with a "sister," and you pay like $350 bucks a year (you can pay in monthly installments) for her to go to "school" to learn a trade that allows her to make a living. For many of these women, their husbands were killed in war or genocide, they have no marketable skills, and they turn to prostitution as a way to feed their children. Learning a skill gives them a great sense of independence and self esteem. You are supposed to send a letter once a month to your "sister," and she sends you a letter, too. You can learn about it on the Women for Women International website, It's a relatively low-time commitment way to help.

Jessica Stier said...

That's so cool, Thorey! Thanks for letting me know. I will look into that more.