We at the Wish Dish would like to thank the END IT Movement for sharing their story. There is more than one type of slavery and this issue far from being a far off historical memory. Join the Movement and Shine a Light on Slavery day, February 25th. Learn more by contacting Trevor Bramblett: Trevorbramblett@uga.edu
What does it take to wake a sleeping giant?
No predators, no threats, total comfort.
He sleeps for fear of nothing and wakes only to satisfy his insatiable
O, how slumber numbs his prowess; how it seeps into his bones,
crippling him. To think of what he slumbers through!
And what shall wake him?
He rose to the sounds of gunshots firing from the hands of a divided nation. An entire continent at war with itself stirred him from his sleep. Japanese bombs upon his own skin caused burns he could not ignore.
An attack destroying the towers that stood for the very freedom he slept in ached his heart with a fire for justice. Today the world reeks of an ugly injustice – the source of the stench everywhere, even our own backyard.
Modern day slavery is not extinct…in fact, it is thriving now more than it ever has in history. Slavery today is clandestine and lucrative, boasting annual profits of $150 billion from victimizing some 27 million people. 27 million people…that makes slavery the 47th most populated country in the world; 47th out of 196.
The numbers bear plainly the truth and the statistics tell the story yet, he sleeps – the giant. And what shall wake him? His ears catch wind – stories shared as awareness is raised. His fingers twitch, life awakening in them, as they yearn for action. His toes, once cold and lifeless, feeling the rush of blood as hope wells up. Ever so slowly, he wakes, his parts ever so sensitive to the reality not of slumber but of slavery.
And what shall wake him? The finger being the finger and the ear being the ear – each part not yearning to leave the giant to become action, but to become action to lead the giant. Not lying dormant, paralyzed by uncertainty and hopelessness, but leveraging what they have and where they are. For it is not in numbers that he stirs, but in heart when he sees his parts coming to motion.
And what shall he wake? He stands, walks, leaving behind deep footprints in his wake. The ground shakes at his impact – he relentlessly pursues that foul wretched stench, strangely stepping that the wickedness is crushed yet the lowly remain– free at last.
We can’t all be on the ground fighting, rescuing people and convicting criminals, but we are here. We all have freedom and as a result, we all have a voice – a voice able to speak for those who cannot speak up for themselves. We can choose to believe that though we may not see it everyday, modern day slavery is the reality for millions of people.
We can do our part to raise awareness. We must, because the hope and freedom we are given is the hope and freedom for them. And it comes in small, steady steps. On February 25th everyone is raising their voice to “Shine a Light on Slavery.”
We are wearing shirts with a red X on it. We are initiating conversations with the people around us. Even now, we are donating to the 27X7 team – an online campaign that raises money to directly fund the efforts in the field to bring freedom to those who are trapped in slavery (https://give.enditmovement.com/team/UGA). The tide of freedom is rising. Free people free people, and oh are we free.
We are proud to partner with Wellspring Living and The Make It Zero campaign in the fight against child-sex trafficking. We would also like to thank MELT for spearheading this effort. From Atlanta to Africa, poverty is a reality for too many people. We are also proud to work with Fresh For All and Philabundance in helping to spread awareness that hunger is still a problem in our world today, but it does not have to be. Check out their website to see how you can help stop hunger, in Pennsylvania and around the world.
My name is Jess, and I work at the largest hunger relief organization in the Greater Philadelphia region, Philabundance. Philabundance was created in 1984 and its mission is to drive hunger from our communities today and ultimately ending hunger forever. There are three quarters of a million people in our 9-county service area within New Jersey and Pennsylvania who face hunger every day.
I moved to Philadelphia from the Poconos in 2005 to attend Temple University, where I majored in Urban and Environmental studies. In college, I interned for the Farmers Market Program at non-profit The Food Trust, where I realized I wanted to pursue a career in the nonprofit world, specifically related to food. Upon graduation I landed the Fresh For All Coordinator position at Philabundance and in 2010 was promoted to FFA manager!
Fresh For All (FFA), one of Philabundance’s programs, is similar to a traveling farmers market which is set up at the same location every week at the same time so local residents can rely on the availability of food, specifically fresh produce, vegetables and fruit. In 2015, FFA distributed over 1.2 million pounds of food and served more than 6,000 households in PA and NJ.
Volunteers are integral in the success of our day to day operations and their hard work cannot be praised enough. One volunteer in particular, Genevieve, has always stuck with me. Genevieve is 63 years old and was laid off from her retail job. To help make ends meet, she volunteered every week (rain or shine, year-round!) and also received a portion of her weekly fruits and vegetables from us.
It inspires me that folks in the community who may not be able to give financially are willing to give so much in other ways. Because of FFA, Genevieve was able to receive food from the program as well as enrich her community through her volunteer work. She eventually discontinued her service to Philabundance to attend a culinary training program and is now employed as a cook at one of our member agencies.
The first time I went out to one of the eight Fresh For All locations, I was taken aback by the number of people in need of our services. It is one thing to try to understand the income disparity and need in our region on a conceptual level, but to see it in action was an eye-opener. It makes coming to work a lot easier each day knowing that the work we do is helping to relieve the burden of food insecurity in our area.
We have begun to serve a large number of immigrant populations including Asian and South Asian communities. We are currently working on providing our materials in additional languages to be able to serve all clients with dignity and respect.
FFA offers volunteer opportunities allowing a hands-on and interactive experience with communities benefiting from the program. Volunteers are needed to help set up and distribute produce, among other tasks.
If you are interested in volunteering for Fresh For All or are bi-lingual and speak Cantonese, Mandarin or Spanish, and would like to use your skills translating for clients at our Fresh For All distribution sites, email email@example.com for more information on how to get involved. Or if you’re in need of food, visit our website at www.philabundance.org for more information about FFA sites, or for the food hotline.
We are proud in our partnership with Wellspring Living and The Make It Zero campaign in the fight against child-sex trafficking. We would also like to thank MELT for spearheading this effort. From Atlanta to Africa, poverty is a reality for too many people. Make It Zero encourages and offers realistic examples of how to make a difference in our own communities. If you are interested in learning more about the movement, please visit Amazon for the release of the new book this week.
Imagine getting up tomorrow and going to the kitchen sink for a glass of water…only nothing comes out. You shuffle to the bathroom sink thinking, “There must be something wrong with the faucet,” but no water is flowing there either. After trying all of the taps in your home, you realize YOU DON’T HAVE WATER!
What would you do? Call the water company? You don’t have a water company. Go to the store? Stores don’t carry clean water.
By 5pm your toilet is backed up and creating a health hazard for your family, no one has showered, you have dirty dishes in the sink that are attracting bugs and 5 loads of laundry are waiting to be done. Oh and you haven’t gone to work yet because you’ve had to walk to the local lake for water.
You’ve boiled it but still aren’t sure it’s safe to use. What would you do? Would you drink it? You would if that’s all you had…and that’s exactly the situation many Rwandans are in, and that’s why Ten for 10 is committed to help bring clean water to thousands in need.
Study after study shows that access to clean water increases health, provides better sanitation & allows kids to go to school instead of spending 1/2 their day collecting water. In fact, it even increases economic prosperity. ($1 investment in water = $8 of economic growth.) Water is such a primary need that everything you do depends on it.
But that’s exactly what 1 in 6 people face EVERY day. On average, women and children in Rwanda spend 4 hours a day collecting water to clean, bathe, drink, cook and grow food. Many times from contaminated streams and water sources.
With YOUR help we’re changing that! Due to your generosity, clean water, better restroom facilities and education as to why hand washing can prevent the spread of disease is happening in communities throughout Rwanda. Thank you for helping us give the gift that truly keeps on giving: WATER.