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Take action against modern day slavery with a phone call today!

I got this email today. Join me in taking action in standing against modern day slavery.


The House of Representatives has scheduled critical votes on the Trafficking Victims Protection Act today and tomorrow. Your member of Congress needs to hear from you today. We’ve been working with you for a year and a half to get this legislation reauthorized and we are finally near the finish line.

Please call the Capitol Switchboard right now at 202-224-3121 and ask for your Representative. When you are connected, here is a sample script:

“My name is Kathy and I believe in a world without slavery. I am your constituent and I am calling to ask you to support S. 47 – the Senate-passed Violence Against Women Act, which includes the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. Please vote NO today on the Substitute Amendment to S. 47, which is narrower and does not include the vital anti-human trafficking legislation. Then vote YES tomorrow on the final passage of S. 47. Thank you.”

You know the facts: the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act is the cornerstone of American anti-trafficking policy. It sets vital funding benchmarks and increases our ability to protect victims, assist survivors, and prosecute traffickers.

Please make sure your Congressperson knows you support the final passage of S. 47.

We can do this today. Please call 202-224-3121 and follow up with an email now.

Mary Ellison
Director of Policy
Polaris Project

PS: You can let your friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter know you support the final passage of the S. 47. Thank you.

P.O. Box 53315, Washington, DC 20009
Tel: 202-745-1001, Fax: 202-745-1119 |

Copyright 2013, Polaris Project | Having trouble reading this email? View it in your browser. No longer interested? Reply to this email with “REMOVE” as the subject line or unsubscribe instantly.


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Clean vs. Cleaner

A small thing can make a big difference for me. A kernel of wisdom, a different perspective or a new way of defining an old problem can drastically change my attitude and outlook. This time, its clean vs. cleaner.

I’ve never been one to need an immaculately clean house. I learned a long time ago there is a big difference between a clean house and a straightened house. Straight can happen with a quick stuffing of the closet, swooping up all the “stuff” into a basket that goes into hiding or a quick wipe down with a damp cloth. Straight but far from clean.

But now and then there’s no getting around the inevitable, we need to clean the house. Just that phrase alone sends me into a paralyzed state both mentally and physically. Where do I start? How long will this take?

But change that dreaded phrase to ” we need to make the house cleaner” and I can hear the birds chirping, smell the flowers blooming and feel the breeze on my face. It’s attainable. No matter how big the task, I can do it. I can make the house cleaner than it is now, by just doing one thing!

And this isn’t just the house getting clean. When I’ve applied this to other areas of my life that seem insurmountable, just move things a little closer to the goal – not only can I do it, I want to do it. The task doesn’t have to be complete, just begun.

Where will you begin today? I think I’ll start with the kitchen counter and then go read a book in the hammock. :)

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You voted – she won!

Thanks to all those who voted for Katherine Chon of the Polaris Project.  She won $50,000 for Polaris Project from the first DVF Awards People’s Voice.  And you helped!

Read the details here.

$50,000 towards fighting the good fight to combat human trafficking and modern-day slavery.   Who said we can’t do anything with just one vote.  It matters!

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Freedom Stones

I heard Dr. Yunus the Founder of Grameen Bank, Nobel Peace Prize winner and the man who first introduced the idea of Micro Lending to the world’s poor at Syracuse University this week.  His lecture was over an hour and he said many things that were compelling and thought provoking.  But the one thing that has been ringing in my ears all week was his reply to a question that was asked at the end of the evening.  A student asked, “what can I do to help the poor?”  And Dr. Yunus provided a realistic response…

Start small.  Right in your own neighborhood.  Help 5 people.  Just 5 people.

Dr. Yunus had been explaining his idea of Social Business.  A business that exists not to increase profit margins for the owners but instead to alleviate a social problem.   (poverty, health care, environmental issues, etc.)  You can read a more detailed explanation here.

On the drive home with two friends there were wheels turning and not just the wheels on the car I was driving.  What social business ideas come to your mind?  Who are your 5 people?  Where do I start in my neighborhood or community?  The windows were steaming up!  The next morning I already had an email from one of them detailing her late night conversation with her husband and an idea that just might come to fruition sooner than any of us would have imagined.

For me, I went to Freedom Stones.  It was a small step that I could take the very next morning.  Freedom Stones was founded by Leah Knippel a few years ago to combat human trafficking through income generation projects for women that have been trafficked.  Her online sales began less than 2 weeks ago and I’d been holding off on ordering something.

One of the major underlying causes of human trafficking is poverty.  Since 2005, Founder Leah Knippel has been fighting human trafficking through income generation projects aimed at not only providing financially for vulnerable women and their children, but also at empowering women through holistic training and skills development.  Freedom Stones (incorporated in 2009) continues Leah’s original vision that vulnerable families might have opportunity to earn individual incomes while also being given the tools to build stronger thriving communities in areas where poverty continues a cycle of slavery, oppression and injustice.      . . . read the rest of the story here.

I didn’t start a Social Business this week.  But I did place an order and support one.  You can too!  (still working on my list of 5 people)


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What a great word – perhaps.  It’s never really been apart of my vocabulary before.  Being from Oklahoma I tend to use alot of simple words. (there’s one right there, alot)  This past week I spent 2 days in strategic planning meetings and a new colleague (now that’s a biggie for me) joined us.  Several times he introduced his ideas or thoughts beginning with,  ‘Perhaps…..’.  This is my new word for the week, perhaps.

I love the way that sounds and what it implies, respect.  You’re not telling me what to do or what to think, you’re asking me to ponder, to open myself up to a new idea, consider a new possibility.  It’s a gentle way of asking me to listen to another point of view or new information with an open mind and put aside the preconceived judgement I might have already made.  It’s asking me to consider again before I make a decision.

I’d never been in a meeting with this new colleague before this past week.  But if I’d had any defensive guards up, his ‘perhaps’ disarmed them. At the end of the day I may not have changed my position on the topic at hand even though his argument or point was prefaced with ‘perhaps’.  But it might be a better decision or position now because it’s been reexamined, discussed anew and challenged.  And he demonstrated how to be gentle, respectful and yet challenge others thinking at the same time.

Perhaps you might want to try my new word this week too.

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Lessons from the Nursery

Every time I find myself pulled into the infant nursery at our church I learn something.  I may not always want to be in there initially, but I never regret it.

A little background.  I’ve been on staff at my church for 9 years now moving from K-5th grade director to now the Family Ministry Director.  In those 9 years I’ve done just about every job there is to do in children’s ministry and in a few other places as well.  I usually spend my time on Sunday mornings with a MBwA (manage by walking around) to see what’s going on in the various departments, speaking with volunteers, meeting parents, etc.  But I rarely if ever “fill a spot” anymore.  Except in the nursery.  When we have an overflow of babies and more than the usual number are unhappy, I’ll step in.  And like I said, I never regret it.  I always learn something and today was no exception.

When I opened the nursery door the 2 volunteers were happy to see me and quickly pointed me in the direction of Susie Q.  Yes, I’m changing the name to protect the innocent.  She was in the arms of a volunteer crying.  He was eager to pass her off to me.  Susie Q has a reputation of being a “volunteer hog”.  They told me she “requires”  someone for the entire hour, her own private one on one.  Susie Q’s about 18 months old, curly hair, scoots around on her bottom to get to where she needs to be and had 2 words to say today, “momma bye bye”.  Repeatedly.

With Susie Q in arms I began to wander around the room looking for something to distract her from the fact that momma went bye bye.  I suggested a book, “no”.  How about a baby, “No”.  Ok, maybe a music making toy, “NO”.  Ok, well I’m going to sit down near the toy shelf and see what I like since you don’t seem interested in anything.  By this time I’d stopped listening to Susie Q’s answers to my questions and was really just talking out loud to myself.  I sat down with her in my lap and began to look through the toys and play with them.  After a few minutes she began to find interest in the animals from the Noah’s ark set.  We talked about the animal sounds, put the animals in the boat, out of the boat and in the midst of all this she would momentarily forget about her sorrow.  But when it did come to mind, she would put the back of her hand on her forehead, close her eyes and wail.  Picture Scarlet from Gone with the Wind in all her melodramatic glory and you’re there.  As the swooning wails grew further and further apart I began to move Susie Q from my lap, to the floor in front of me and eventually I got up and sat in the rocker next to her.  With that move, she let me know in no uncertain terms, I had crossed the line.  I had taken it too far and she didn’t like it.  And there it was – the swoon, the wail and then – the peak to see if I was going to give in.

I had just come from the service where I had heard a talk on life Transformation.  I’d just heard how our thoughts, influence our behaviors, which influence our attitudes, which influence our actions, which ultimately influence our life.  And now I was seeing it played out.  Here was Susie Q who definitely thought that she was the queen of her universe.  This thought influenced her behavior.  Each time I moved away from her, even when she was occupied and content, she would throw her hand to her head, close her eyes and wail.  This behavior also included an attitude.  Yes, at 18 months, she had an attitude.  That peak to see if I was going to give in was the first indication.  And then when someone made a remark about her behavior she gave “the dreaded look” that I usually see reserved for the likes of tweens and teens .  That attitude influenced her actions keeping her from enjoying the toys, the books, the music, the rocking horse and even snack time.  She was too busy trying to maintain her position as the queen of her domain.

Susie Q had some definite thoughts about her world and who was in charge.  And those thoughts influenced her behavior, attitude, actions and her life.  I enjoyed my time with Susie Q.  She helped me take a look at myself.  How often do I throw my hand to my forehead, close my eyes and wail in objection to my surroundings and circumstances.  Seems like I did that just last week, maybe not quite so dramatically, but I was unhappy, the world was not revolving around me and my plans, and I let those around me know it.  And yes, I was peaking to see if someone would give in and fix it and line up with my expectations, wants and desires.  And if not someone within ear shot, then God should line up.   Thoughts.   Thoughts can steer us in very powerful ways. Keeping them grounded in truth, not my self-centered perception of reality, will have an impact on my behavior, attitude, actions and ultimately my life.

Like I said, I never regret my time in the nursery.  There’s always a lesson there.

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The time is now

It sold!  The hunt begins for the replacement.

Any suggestions?

Russ saw a 1962 Rambler that he thought was sweet.

Any more suggestions?

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