a chance to go beyond the safety pin!

here’s something i just wrote on my facebook wall for tomorrow’s give to the max day here in MN:

hi friends! tomorrow’s give to the max day, and i’m at a conference tomorrow so i’m going to post about this now in case i can’t get to it. now is a great time to throw some weight behind that safety pin! donate to organizations that support and help the vulnerable and disadvantaged populations, since 1) they always need it and 2) funding cuts are most likely on the way. for instance, you can donate to my mom’s org, PossAbilities, that helps people with disabilities. or your area food shelf, women’s shelter, or united way are always great places to give. i give to the land stewardship project every year to promote land conservation because the environment is my #1 priority (really, without a habitable earth to live on, nothing else much matters). and at the risk of of inciting a large debate that i will try to ignore, giving to planned parenthood is a great idea; they help low-income women and men with their reproductive health and STD tests, do cancer screenings, and provide low-cost birth control. what are you waiting for? if you’ve been low income at some point in your life, and i definitely have, then you know the importance of these programs. let’s make a difference!

i donated to my mom’s org, to the landstewardship project, and i set up monthly donations to planned parenthood. 

i’ve been poor! not just as a kid when my parents were down and out, but as a new college grad making $7 and hour and scraping by. for about five years before i got health insurance like a grownup at a real employer that offered health insurance, i went to planned parenthood for my yearly checkups and for birth control (for my monogamous, responsible relationship! and even if it wasn’t, NBD!). i paid on a sliding scale, which was much cheaper than if i’d had to pay at a clinic and pharmacy with no insurance. this is a real service to women who can’t afford to go to a family practitioner once a year or get birth control at the obscene amounts the companies charged. before obamacare made BC covered, i paid $400 out of pocket AFTER INSURANCE for my mirena. i was paying about $30/month for a pack of BC pills in the early 2000s, and that was a CHEAP pack. i had my mirena replaced a few months ago, and there was absolutely no cost to me. and if that part of obamacare is repealed (god forbid), we’re going to have to pony up the dollars again. 

let me tell you my planned parenthood story. i was going in for my yearly exam, and i encountered a single older gentleman in front of the door praying the rosary. this is not uncommon in st cloud, where they don’t even perform abortions (only one in the state is in st. paul). it was raining, so i hurried in, had my exam, and was ready to go out and chat with this guy. i planned on thanking him for praying for a good result from my yearly exam, making sure i flashed my wedding ring in the process. unfortunately, he was gone by the time i left, but i was ready to talk to this guy, to maybe plant a seed of thought that perhaps women who used planned parenthood aren’t all there to have their daily abortions, that maybe it does provide some services beyond that.

so, that’s my story, and here’s my plug for donating during give to the max day. it’s a feel good day when you can go on one site to find an organization worth giving to, something you feel really passionate about. there’s even a place you can donate where all the money goes to help CATS!! and it’s one GREAT way to show your support for the people who are going to need your help during the next four years. beyond the safety pin!!


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