Ways You Can Help Immigrants

 

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Call Congress, your mayor and local representatives. Contact your members of Congress and tell them that you want impending raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to be called off and detention conditions improved. The legal defense nonprofit Raices has provided a template and an online form that you can use to email your congressional representatives. You can also reach out to your local officials to ask that they initiate plans to help immigrant communities that are affected by the raids. This official government website has provided links to finding your city, county and town officials.

Local organizations providing legal aid include the New Sanctuary Coalition in New York, Las Americas in El Paso and Raices in Texas, Americans for Immigrant Justice in Florida and the Denver Immigrant Legal Services Fund in Colorado.

Hold political candidates accountable. While the presidential primaries are at least seven months away, you can prepare to cast your ballot for a more humane border policy by following what each candidate has shared about his or her plans for immigration reform.

Speak up. Protest marches and other civic actions to end detention camps and squalid conditions for children and families are expected across the country in the coming weeks. You can also take part in Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Detention Camps a nationwide vigil on July 12. Locations for the vigil include:

  • El Paso, where migrants are being housed “partially outdoors” near a bridge with no running water for months at a time;

  • Homestead, Fla., where a migrant children’s detention facility has been charged with rampant abuse and neglect;

  • San Diego, near the point-of-entry border crossing from Tijuana, Mexico;

  • New York City, where deportation rates increased by 150 percent between 2016 and 2018; and

  • Washington, D.C., in front of the Capitol building, to demand action from Congress.

Launch a Dignity Not Detention Campaign in your state. You can learn more about that on the Freedom for Immigrants website.

Write a letter to the editor to your local newspaper. These reach a broad audience and are often monitored by elected officials. You can find tips on the ACLU website.

 

If you can go to the border, you can join many others taking direct action there, from volunteer doctors and lawyers to those leaving water and supplies in the desert for immigrants.
You can also search for Know Your Rights trainings being held in your area, to better inform yourself on how to practice safe bystander intervention, or share the information with people you know who may need it.

DL

 

If you’re interested in donating to an organization, here are a few of the leading organizations and non-profits involved in immigration issues.
  • The American Civil Liberties Union(donation will not be tax-deductible)
  • United We Dream
  • Mijente
  • Immigrant Justice Corps
  • Border Angles – too small for a rating through Charity Navigator
  • The Florence Project – three-star rating from Charity Navigator
  • Freedom for Immigrants– too small to be rated by Charity Navigator
  • Kids in Need of DefenseCharity Navigator does not rate this organization because it receives more than 40% of its funding from paid services or government grants. But KIND did receive a gold rating from GuideStar.
  • Project Corazon’s travel fund is to send lawyers to detention centers to help protect the rights of immigrants and their families. Through this organization, which is run by the Lawyers for Good Government Foundation, you can donate your airline miles to help fly pro bono attorneys to where they’re needed. So far, the fund has sent 37 lawyers to detention centers and refugee camps. This organization is not rated by Charity Navigator because it does not have seven years of full IRS Forms 990, but GuideStar gives it a bronze rating.
  • ActBluehas set up a couple of donation portals to help kids at the border and families separated and detained. Your donation will be split between roughly a dozen organizations all at once.
  • The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Servicesis a nonprofit focused on “providing free and low-cost legal services to under-served immigrant children, families and refugees in Central and South Texas,” according to the organization’s website. The organization currently has a three-star rating from Charity Navigator (out of a possible four stars), but received a platinum seal of transparency from charity watchdog GuideStar.
  • El Refugio specifically works with the Stewart Detention Center in Georgia, coordinating volunteer visits to immigrants detained at the center and running a hospitality house that offers meals and lodging at no cost. The charity is too small to be rated by Charity Navigator, but it does receive a bronze rating from GuideStar.
  • Save the Children is working to deliver immediate humanitarian aid to migrant children and families. The organization is working with local partners to ensure that children and families have necessities such as hygiene kits, diapers and clothing. Save the Children is also running a “Child Friendly Spaces” and children’s play areas at transit shelters in New Mexico for children once they leave the detention facilities, a spokeswoman tells CNBC Make It. The organization has an A- grade from CharityWatch.
  • The Texas Civil Rights Projectis working to help get legal advice and translation services to families detained at the U.S. border. The organization also works to interview families to document what is happening to ensure they are reunited as quickly as possible. The organization has four stars, the highest possible rating from Charity Navigator.
  • Immigrant Families Together
  • National Bail Fund Network
  • American Immigration Council: This organization gets on the ground at detention centers helping families, documenting conditions of detention and bringing lawsuits to challenge them.
  • Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project: Provides “emergency legal aid to refugee families”.
  • Families Belong Together: Is a group effort that “includes nearly 250 organizations representing Americans from all backgrounds who have joined together to fight family separation and promote dignity, unity, and compassion for all children and families.
  • South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR): A joint project of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, ProBAR “is a national effort to provide pro bono legal services to asylum seekers detained in South Texas by the United States government. “
  • The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s RightsProvides independent Child Advocates to stand up for unaccompanied immigrant children and “champion the child’s best interests”.

 

Keep in mind that it’s better to donate money than physical items such as soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes. In fact, the Texas Tribune reported this week that a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol facility near El Paso turned away donations of food, sanitary supplies, diapers and toys.
Reports out of Texas indicate that U.S. Customs and Border Patrol cannot accept donations of soap, diapers or other supplies for infants and children. If you have items like these that you would like to donate to children and families who need them, contact your local shelters, food banks or diaper banks.

 

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Universal Responsibility

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Thought of the Week

Whether others are beautiful or ugly, benevolent or cruel, they are all sentient beings like us. And like us, they want to be happy and not suffer, which is their right, just like us. Recognizing that all beings are equal in their aspirations and their right to happiness, we feel a sense of empathy that brings us closer to them. As we get accustomed to this impartial altruism, we finally experience a sense of universal responsibility.

Summarized and adapted from Les voies spirituelles du bonheur, Presses du Chatelet, Paris, 2002; Points Sagesse, Seuil, 2004. English version: The Compassionate Life, Shambhala 2003

FOURTEENTH DALAI LAMA, TENZIN GYATSO (B. 1936)

Meat Free Monday Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary with #MFMCountMeIn Campaign

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Meat Free Monday, launched by Sir Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney in 2009, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month. Meat Free Monday is a global Meatless Monday partner mutually aligned on our mission to raise awareness and action around the benefits of meat consumption reduction. Meat Free Monday partners with celebrities, schools, businesses, restaurants and country organizers to encourage people to help slow climate change, conserve precious natural resources and improve their health by having at least one meat free day each week.

This month, Meat Free Monday is celebrating a decade of action and advocacy with a new campaign encouraging people to join the global meat reduction movement. They are launching #MFMCountMeIn anniversary campaign which aims to bring celebrities, businesses, not-for-profit groups, educational institutions and individual supporters together, to celebrate what people are doing on the meat free front and inspire even more people to get on board.

Read our Q&A with Meat Free Monday.

September 11th Victim Compensation Fund

Subject: Congress needs to pass permanent authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund

Hi,

I signed a petition to The United States House of Representatives and The United States Senate, which says:

“The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund is running out of money and families are seeing up to a 70% cut in their payments. Congress must immediately vote to support the bipartisan bill “Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund” to authorize full, permanent funding for the victims and families of the 9/11 attacks.”

Will you sign this petition? Click here!

Thanks!

How we grocery shop vegetarian(ish) Mediterranean

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Our modifications to the above chart: 🚫 meats, poultry, or cheeses. Yogurts when we have them, which isn’t very often,  are non dairy based. 

Hubby and I both did a ton of research. On my end I was checking out vegetarian, fruitarian, vegan and flexible nutrition plans and Keith was checking out keto and intermittent fasting plans. I know in the past I blogged about the direction we were headed with nutrition and food and I thought I’d update on what we finally decided works best for us and is as “clean” as possible, and steps forward as far as going vegetarian and ultimately vegan healthily. 

Vegetarian Mediterranean nutrition plans are vegetable heavy, so we experimented with recipes. Tried veggies in different ways, like cauliflower crust pizza. We eat kale or spinach salad with roasted sweet potato, eggs and peppers often for breakfast. And we have been working on making our three meals a day very balanced. I know we both used to eat barely anything in the morning and minimally at lunch, with dinner being our heavier meal. We are trying to balance that out and move towards breakfast being our heaviest meal and lunch being somewhat lighter and dinner being our lightest meal.

Think about it, we wake up after not eating for around 10 or more hours, shouldn’t our big meal be in the morning? We don’t need as much fuel when we sleep, do we? 

We’ve also been doing the intermittent fasting thing on the weekends. This where you eat your daily worth of food between certain hours and then “fast” the rest of the day/night.  On the weekends we finish your last meal at around 8pm and then don’t eat until 12 noon the next day, so we are technically fasting for 16 hours between meals. It is generally recommended that women only fast 14-15 hours, because they seem to do better with slightly shorter fasts, so I eat a small snack, like a handful of nuts, around 10am.

Taking it Vegan

Vegetarians who follow the Mediterranean diet “rarely need to worry about a deficit in protein if they eat a varied diet including nuts, beans, seeds, dairy, eggs, tofu, and high-protein whole grains such as quinoa.” ` Jennifer McDaniel, MS, RDN

And if you want to take a Mediterranean Diet Vegan, stay healthy with a Vegan Omega-3 supplements. Omega-3’s help with mood, eye and brain health, and can improve risk factors for heart attack. Omega-3’s are a great inflammation fighter and studies link higher omega-3 intake to decreased age-related mental decline and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease (737475). The list goes on and on, so this is not something our bodies should be deprived of, even as Vegans, Vegetarians or humans for that matter.

ps…I’m always in search of new vegan and vegetarian tried and true recipes so if you have any to share drop the recipe or link in comments!

🥬ORGANIC VEGETABLES

  • Green leafy veggies
  • Cucumbers
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Bell peppers
  • Cauliflower rice
  • Broccoli
  • Squashes (mostly winter, I think summer squashes are bitter and nasty)

🍠TUBERS

  • White potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Yams

🍓FRUITS

Fresh and frozen 

  • Watermelon
  • Cherries
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Peaches
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Plums
  • Lemons
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Frozen pitaya & acaii packets 
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Melons

🌿FRESH HERBS

  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme

🥚ANIMAL PROTEIN

Two or three times per week

  • Wild-caught shrimp
  • Wild-caught fish
  • Eggs

🌰NUTS & SEEDS

  • Nut butters
  • Tahini 
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds 
  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Macadamia nuts

🍞WHOLE GRAINS/NO GRAIN

  • Quinoa 
  • Rolled oats 
  • Whole grain pasta
  • Whole grain bread
  • Whole grain pizza crust

🧀NON DAIRY 

  • Cheese
  • Milks (coconut for me, almond for my hubby and Oat for random other things)

🥜LEGUMES

  • Chickpeas 
  • Black beans
  • Lentils
  • Peanuts

🥥OILS & HEALTHY FATS

  • Coconut oil 
  • Olive oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Walnut oil

🍯NATURAL SWEETENERS

  • Liquid Stevia
  • Organic coconut sugar 
  • Raw, local honey
  • 100-percent pure maple syrup

💧DRINKS

  • Water
  • Coconut water 
  • Teas
  • La Croix & Bubbly
  • Unsweetened almond & coconut milk 
  • Wine

🍵SUPERFOODS & SMOOTHIE EXTRAS

  • Maca powder 
  • Raw cacao powder 
  • Collagen peptides 
  • Protein powder 
  • Coconut flakes   

💁TIPS!

  • Eat locally and seasonally
  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables
  • Eat more beans
  • Lower meat consumption, and eat more plants
  • Reduce food waste

*”Scientists estimate that switching to a Mediterranean diet can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 72%, land use by up to 58%, energy consumption by up to 52%, and water consumption by up to 33%. Remember, we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children. Your children and your children’s children will thank you!”

*Excerpts from: SUSTAINABILITY TIPS FROM THE MEDITERRANEAN

Mercury Retrograde

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Mercury is ingressing into the sign that rules the moon, Cancer.
Mercury will then go into Leo, retrograde in Leo, and then come back into Cancer stopping at 23.27 degrees before moving forward again.
If you have any planets from 23.27 to 29.59 Cancer then they will get a triple dose of Mercury’s medicine.
While Mercury is in Cancer communication becomes more emotional.
It might be harder to control your emotions, but maybe that’s a good thing. 
Post by Amy Domres, Emerald City Astrology

Sisters

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I used to write, all the time.
Poems, journals, songs.
It used to ease my troubled mind.
Ease wounds of the past that spiraled out of control
with each family members passing, the spiral winding.
Pieces of a broken child,
frightened life never reconciled,
and a mother that never had the help she required
or the forgiveness from me that she probably desired.
Secrets that family spoke of in hushed tones,
and some denied out of very existence
in their world of truthful resistance.

I ran away
But not from family
Not from my sister or brother.
Not even from her, our mother
I ran away so someone would run after the broken child who’s wounds wouldn’t heal.
Who’s scars ripped and bled all over easily when that pain was revealed.
Growing up feeling unwanted,
with the screams of yesterdays echoing in my head,
and injuries inflicted hidden from public misled.
I ran because I wanted someone to care that I ran.
A few did, and the others made me out to be evil incarnate
for “leaving” family behind like I had a masterful plan.
Little did you know how little I knew
of what family really was supposed to do.
That hugs didn’t have to hurt.
And words weren’t supposed to belittle and bruise.
It was much later I realized family was a word I misused.

And then it became easy to run.
Others opened arms to be a family to the child with broken dreams.
Most them having been broken and also undone.
Searching for family to heal their wounds too.
As years passed it became harder to try to come home to all of you.
Everyone was family but yet strangers to me.
Little did you know that I’d have a hard time talking to you.
Painfully shy and lost for words, I swear it’s true.
I always hoped you’d fill in the void and seek me out and make me stay,
make hear what you had to say.
We were all broken in all our own little ways
and we all tried to pick our pieces up and mend our souls
to move forward forging our own paths but still un-whole.

What I’ve learned is that we have all grieved not having each other.
Or grieved the family torn apart.
I grieved in my own way missing my sister, my brother.
You in yours, and her in hers
we tried our best to live in some way.
Our parents passed from this life with their own wounds
still wide open and bleeding upon us.
Leaving us to heal and stitch and break wide open.
Time and time again always in motion.
From dust to dust
Now you both have left me,
brother years ago and sister you today.
And the floodgates have opened yet again with rivers of tears I hide away.
Because only we knew, only we were there.
All the years we let be lost to each other.
Of pride or ego or was it something more altogether?
Did we see the reflections of the past when we looked in each others eyes?
Even now the tears well up deep inside.

My brother, we took those wounds and bled all over what we touched.
A chosen few wiped the blood we spilled and stayed.
Giving only love, despite what we shed and let lay.
They healed our wounds and showed us what love was.
Many thought you were the fortunate son.
Because you were the strong of the three.
You ran but revisited often.
Healing what you could and leaving the rest be.
Then retreat back to your home when needed.
I wish more of you had rubbed off on me.
I just ran and ran never knowing how or what to be.
Our sister, she stayed behind wishing the same as I
That someone would call,
would visit, or notice us at all.
She and I never knew how to move on..

Sister, I ache for you, and your loving heart.
You never ran, instead you hid and stayed
but to the rest of the family you never really felt a part.
Your love for your children and their own knew no bounds.
It is there where your broken heart lived,
where you prayed for family healing to be found.
A generation of sadness, tears a common sound.
In the end your life was lived for them,
The children you bore,
the grandma you had become
Not for yourself, but to help them overcome.
My heart is glad we could finally see just each other in our gaze.
Took a long while for us to get past the sadness,
and angers haze.
There’s never enough time though, is there?
I guess post life we’ll have to finish all the repair.

So nephews, what have I learned in all of these years?
What wisdom can I impart to help through all of our tears?
Our Mom, your Grandma, had wounds too, huge ones that bled on us.
That broke us, molded us and shoved us out into the world.
And that blood fell from us and landed on you.
But she needed love and she needed healing too.
So did we and now so do you.
The generations before us need the wounds to close.
as do the generations that have and will follow.
Time to end the cycle that left us all mournful and hollow.

I’m sorry:
To my Father who to this day I still don’t understand
or know for sure your part in the play that was our life.
To me you were a sad bystander who did little to change or take a stand.

To my Mother for learning too late that you were me and I was you.
That you were pregnant late in life at a time when post par-tum was new,
and still misunderstood.
And instead of helping,
others just hushed the incidents away
believed you would somehow be ok.

To my Brother for never telling him nearly enough how much he meant to me.
And that most of my anger and distancing
was just misplaced adolescent jealousy.

To my Sister for leaving her alone in her sadness for far too long.
And not being the sister she needed to stay strong.

To my family for needing to heal and grow
before being emotionally able to finally come home.
It wasn’t really ever any of you.
It was me not knowing how to heal or pick up a phone.
Or how about breathing, or how to forgive.
Or how to seek for you to forgive,
my part in perpetuating a generation
of sadness and pain, even forgetting at times to live.

I miss my family more than words can say.
I miss those who have passed and gone too far away.
My wish is for generations of hard feelings to be mended,
and distance between us all be transcended.
If for no other reason, then at least for the children who remain grieving,
upon the tear swept day of my sisters leaving.

Let’s not let the generations that follow,
become as empty, nor as hollow.
We’ve suffered silently apart to long
not letting the sorrows of the past be gone.
Let’s let her legacy
and that of our brother,
Be of healing and helping
one another.

Your Aunt, your cousin, your great aunt, your great cousin, and always your family…
With all my love,

Suzi

My Sister, Linda
R.I.P. 06/03/19

june and the new moon in gemini!

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GEMINI NEW MOON INTENTIONS

New Moon at 12 Gemini
Monday, June 3, 2019
3:01 am PDT / 6:01 am EDT

This new moon is a time for powerful breakthroughs. These breakthroughs may occur through communication since this a huge time for communication. This is the perfect time to make connections with people, especially people you may not talk to often. Set your intentions! During a new moon we may not be able to see our path towards our intentions clearly, yet so this is a time to trust the process of intention setting. 

This is a new moon of big dreams, big goal setting. But keep in mind when we envision big dreams we sometimes have to trim back the layers and that big dream may change and evolve as it comes into fruition. This new moon has us looking for tangible manifestations of our goals and we can be stubborn and abandon them if we aren’t seeing the proof. Don’t let that happen. Although we may ache to see the finish line there’s still work to be done to get where you need to be. Discernment is the key to this. Are you wanting to see things right now because it’s time, or just because you believe it should be time? Don’t allow impatience and pride to interfere. 

This is a big time for communication. Reach out to people, especially those you may have lost contact with but who you keeps talking about getting in touch with. Also look into that mirror and reflect on how you’ve been talking to yourself, or neglecting yourself. It’s time to reach out and speak kindly to yourself too. 

Be on the lookout for signs and messages that can come through walking in nature, conversations about mathematics/money, your intuitive gut feelings, and conversations you have with people, especially spiritual and metaphysical conversations. The exchange of information can lead you to new horizons. Ideas and plans can spark from these exchanges. Mercury ruler of Gemini is charging information and communication so solutions can be found more easily and seeing possibilities becomes more apparent to you. 

During this new moon we find ourselves seeking that which is deeper. Deeper relationships, deeper communication, deeper purpose. This is helping guide you towards your potential and your goals. You can get frustrated easily because of stubbornness and being stuck on a thought or desired outcome. Let it rest, let it be. You need to focus more on letting that stress dissolve. It’s a great time for meditation and freedom of flowing thought. That is where answers and solutions will be found. They won’t be found when you get stuck in your own head. That way will only cause headache and delay. 

On this new moon ask yourself “are my actions aligned with what I say I most desire? Am I living my truth? Am I living my towards my desired goal?

THE NEW MOON IN GEMINI COMES WITH AN INFORMATION OVERLOAD – Astrology For This New moon In Gemini

Sage Goddess New Moon Event – Foxy New Moon for Cleverness and Adaptability