“What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world, remains and is immortal.” -Albert Pine

Type: Funds Request

Category: Disaster Relief

Organization: UN World Food Programme or Mercy Corps

I know I’ve already talked a lot about the flood in Pakistan and I don’t want to talk your ears off, but it’s really bad guys. I know Milwaukee got flooded earlier this summer and for those of you who thought that was bad, it is nothing compared to what is happening right now in Pakistan. And people aren’t giving the same way they did to other disasters (ie the earthquake in Haiti and so on). So World Food Programme is looking for funds to help feed displaced people. Please give if you can.

Update: You can also donate through Mercy Corps.

“Christians are supposed not merely to endure change, nor even to profit by it, but to cause it.” – Harry Emerson Fosdick

Type: Event (Volunteer)

Category: Children, Health

Organization: Children’s Cancer Association

Children’s Cancer Association will be holding their annual Celebration of Courage on September 12th in downtown Portland. They are currently looking for volunteers for this event, so if you live in the Portland area, please consider volunteering. If you would like to volunteer please contact Melissa at mowens at joyrx dot org.

“Those who take bold chances don’t think failure is the opposite of success. They believe complacency is.” – Unknown

Type: Action

Category: Pro-Life

Organization: Family Research Council

As you may or may not know, the FDA approved a drug called “Ella” for use as a “contraceptive.” However, what they’re not telling you is that this drug is not a contraceptive, but an abortifacient. They are asking that you sign their petition against this drug. The website also has a video so you can learn more about what women are not being told about this drug. You can watch the video and sign the petition here.

“Stand upright, speak thy thoughts, declare The truth thou hast, that all may share; Be bold, proclaim it everywhere: They only live who dare.” – Voltaire

Note: The majority of what I learned in this post I learned at the House of Sharing, just outside of Seoul in South Korea.

The euphemism “comfort women” sounds nice and almost friendly. But being a survivor of Japan’s Military Sexual Slavery System is nothing comforting or comfortable.

I want to write about this important issue, but sometimes there are no words you can say. It doesn’t stop me from trying though. One of the Halmoni’s (Grandmother in Korean) told me to never stop fighting for them and I intend to follow through with that. I intend to keep their stories alive.

To hear about their lives is overwhelming and saddening. These women, as young as twelve, were taken from their homes to countries all over Asia to be sexual slaves for the Japanese for up to four years. Of the 200,000 women experts estimate were taken, they know that 70 percent of those women were Koreans. The last woman was taken in 1944.

The lives of these women were awful. Each woman lived in a small room with just a bed, a washbasin, and a broom. Their days of servicing the soldiers began at six in the morning and they would see between twenty and forty men a day. They were beaten and tortured and raped. If they fell pregnant, they were blamed and consequently punished. They were often kicked until they aborted, raped with a hot iron, or if they were allowed to carry the pregnancy to term, the baby was often chopped into pieces or thrown into a field to die. They were also the ones to blame and punish if they happened to get an sexually transmitted disease.

One of the women tells the story of a girl who tried to escape and was caught. They took her outside and made all the women watch as they sliced her in half and let both halves fall to the ground. Many of these women eventually became unable to have children because of the damage done to their bodies. The amount of humiliation was extreme. Before every man, they had to wash their vagina (with a bowl of water) and wash the condom (they used the same one over and over again). Then when the man arrived, they had to wash his penis and then put the condom on him. When they were through with the women, they had to take it off of him, wash his penis again, and then wash themselves and the condom again. That is a sick form of humiliation. Twice a week they were examined by a doctor in front of all the soldiers – who would give them an injection of mercury if they were diseased or pregnant – and then rape them with everyone watching and laughing. There are many more awful things I could tell you, but I think I will let this line one of the Halmoni’s told us when answering the question “How do you find peace in yourself?” sum it up. She said, “I have no peace, that is why I am here.”

They were eventually liberated by the Allies, who our textbooks write as heroes, but for these women, they were not saviors or heroes. Not only did some of the Allies use these women when they came into these places, but overwhelmed by the sheer number of women they found, they just left them in the countries and cities they had found them in, even though some of them had been trafficked from Korea all the way down to countries like Malaysia and Papua New Guinea.

Do you want to know something even more shocking? The first woman to come out as being a sex slave for the Japanese came out in 1991. They have spent all of these years in silence. Because of the nature of sex in relation to Korean society, they could not speak out  – it just wasn’t something to be talked about.

Every Wednesday, former Japanese sexual slaves and their supporters protest at the Japanese Embassy, asking that the Japanese Government apologize to them. They’ve been doing so for 18 years. Even though the evidence is overwhelming with evidence such as records in the military archives before they were all burned, the same Japanese writing and rules at all the locations, pictures of Japanese soldiers standing guard, they refuse to admit their part of the horrible brutalization of these women. Well, that’s not entirely true – they did apologize and compensate one woman – a white woman from the Netherlands. However, they still refuse to apologize to any of the other 199,999 women. Last February was the first time two of them were allowed to enter and give them a letter of their demands.

I want you to know what you can do to help. You can learn about this issue. You can tell others about this issue. You can donate to the House of Sharing. You can continue to pressure Japan (and other countries to pressure Japan) to make them apologize to these women.

These women have been kept down and oppressed for a long time and their stories need to be told. I’m going to end on this note, on the words of Halmoni Kim Sak Soon

“We must record these things that were forced upon us.”

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”  -Anne Frank

Welcome to Thursday’s Talk where I will bring you a round up of other blog articles, news articles, or anything else I found interesting that I think you should read.

ANIMALS

From ASPCA: Dogs from Commercial Breeder Die on an Airline Flight

From American Humane Association: What are your state’s pound seizure laws?

CHILDREN

From TreeHugger: Gardening Has Great Benefits

From TreeHugger: The Real Price of Obesity

ENVIRONMENT

From TreeHugger: Is Your Hotel Green?

From Planet Green: The Use of Alternative Energy (Body Heat)

From TreeHugger: Activists Paint in Pedestrian Crossing Lines

From How Stuff Works: Can Seed Banks Save Us?

From TreeHugger: Lake Mead at Low Levels

From Silver City Sun News: University to Offer Free Solar Power Classes

From ChicoER: Grant Will Help Make Homes More Energy Efficient

From The JHU Gazette: Baltimore Non-Profits Get Help Going Green

From Between the Columns: How Small Things Make a Difference

From Gimundo: More Land Opens for Fishing After Oil Spill

From Gimundo: Japan to Label Products with their Carbon Footprint

From Gimundo: Six (Cheap) Ways to Live Greener

HEALTH

From TreeHugger: How Being “Healthy” Is Hurting Us

HOMELESSNESS

From Gimundo: Could You Do This?

HUMAN TRAFFICKING

From Gimundo: Helping Victims Help Themselves

MARRIAGE

From One News Now: Gay Marriages in California on Hold

MILITARY

From Operation Home Front: Non-profits Work Together for Soldiers

PRO-LIFE

From Operation Rescue: Another “Safe” Abortion Provider

From Operation Rescue: More Planned Parenthood Lies

From Mail Online: Abortion as a Job Perk

From One News Now: Pro-Life T-Shirt Student Given Settlement Money

From One News Now: African Countries Pressured Into Abortion Decisions

“Let us be bold. Let us be brave. Let us be together.”- Brad Henry

Type: Action OR Funds Request

Category: Disaster Relief

Organization: Music for Relief

Music for Relief is asking for your support to help more than half a million people displaced by flooding in Pakistan.

Monsoon rains have caused the worst flooding in Pakistan in 80 years, submerging roads and bridges and cutting off survivors from critical supplies of medicine, food and clean water.  20 million people have been affected more than the number of people affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and the 2010 Haiti earthquake combined.

890,000 homes destroyed, and 2.6 million acres of crop lands are under water.  With their homes and livestock destroyed, millions of families have had their lives turned upside down.  Displaced families are camping on roadsides.  Many lack shelter, food, and clean water.

MFR is partnering with the UN Refugee Agency to help provide shelter and life-saving aid to millions of people in need.

Their goal is to reach and serve 560,000 survivors, but we need your ongoing support.

As you may or may not know, Pakistan has a special place in my heart. Since learning about them for Model UN when I was a freshman, I have come to truly realize how unique and special they are. It would really mean a lot to me if you could help them out.

Here are two ways you can help:

Funds Request: Make a donation to help victims of the Pakistan Floods today. Go to www.musicforrelief.org/donate to make a contribution.  100% of your donations will help survivors in Pakistan; MFR is matching individual donations up to $10,000 for this recovery effort.

Action: Or support MFR’s Pakistan Flood Relief on Socialvibe.com. Go to http://www.socialvibe.com/musicforrelief and complete the activities.  Even if you are unable to make a financial donation, you can help those affected by the Floods on Socialvibe.com.  To start earning donations for the victims, support Music for Relief on SocialVibe.

Note: Not all of this post was written by me, some of it was written by Grace, a marketing intern for Music for Relief. But like I said, it’s not about who writes it, but about helping people.

“Our solutions must be beyond anything we have ever considered, … We should not be afraid to try bold new approaches.”  -Mary Landrieu

Type: Action (Petition)

Category: Health

Organization: Alzheimer’s Association

The Alzheimer’s Association is asking that you sign a petition calling upon Congress to make Alzheimer’s disease a national priority and to help eventually find a cure for such a deadly disease. Please sign onto their petition here.

“Be bold, be bold, and everywhere be bold.” – Herbert Spencer

So, you may be asking yourself, what is a love bomb. Well a love bomb is where once a week a bunch of awesome people from around the web get together to encourage one person by sending lots of love to their blog in the form of comments of encouragement. Pretty easy right? It sounds simple, but it makes a huge difference.

So here is today’s love bomb mission for a woman named Katie.

Katie was suggested by Amy, one of our own team members. In Amy’s own words:

“This sweet, creative girl has lost her brother and brother-in-law, and now just found out her dad likely haspancreatic cancer (and it’s serious) and is beyond devastated. He had a procedure and they are awaiting test results (due on Wed.). She can use all the support she can get.”

This woman has already been through so much, and she is very close to her father. On her blog she talks a little bit about who he is to her:

I do not know what I would do without my Dad.  What he adds to my life is not replaceable. He is always the voice of reason, the giver of wise advice and the preventer of near disasters.  Really.  For a lot of people, he is their rock.”

I can’t imagine how hard her struggles must be and having had a nightmare where I lost my dad before I would never wish it upon anyone in real life. Especially not at such a time as this.

You can comment on her blog post here: http://katiebeecreative.com/?p=2571

Time to drop a Love Bomb.

This week’s partners: PhilanthropyInk.com, MrsMuffins.com, BelleChantelle.blogspot.com, LoveChelseaLauren.blogspot.com, PaigeBaker.blogspot.com, TheBeesKneesBaby.blogspot.com, PostWithTheMost.blogspot.com, Collection-Of-Things.com, InspiredMess.com, StarbucksBreak.com, Talk2TheTrees.blogspot.com, UnfoldingYourPathToJoy.wordpress.com, AmySoto.blogspot.com, DoGoodMore.wordpress.com and BuckOwensGuitar.blogspot.com

Also, parts of this post were written by Lauren Lankford, so I can not take complete credit. But it’s about the mission people and helping Katie, not who writes it.

“We need to be visionary; we have to be bold.” – Angela Hunt

Type: Action (Fundraiser)

Category: Animals

Organization: ASPCA

Do you have a pet? Great, you can do a little something to help out the ASPCA. Currently, if you get a quote on pet insurance (don’t even have to buy it, just have to get a quote), the company will donate $1 up to $10,000 dollars. It’s an easy way to give money to a great cause. I know a lot of times it’s hard to have money to personally give, that’s why opportunities like this are so great. Get your quote here.

“Be bold when others are scared.” – Thomas J. Powell

Type: Event (Fundraiser)

Category: Family

Organization: I found out about it through the National Fatherhood Initiative

Acumen Solutions is having a Race for the Cause 8k and 1 Mile Fun Run in Arlington, Virginia on Sunday, October 17th. The fees start at $25 for the 8k and $20 for the Fun Run depending on how soon you register. There will be prizes and you get to pick which organization out of 12 organizations gets your entrance fee. The organization I think you should support is the National Fatherhood Initiative, but there are other great organizations involved as well. Sign up and find additional information here.