Thursday, June 19, 2008

Outlaw charities

I have been donating to Amnesty International for many years. Even as a teenager I was impressed by their fights for the rights of political prisoners worldwide. It wasn't until recently that I realized how much work they do here in the US; they are one of the outlaw charities which fought for the rights of the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay to have due process in their cases. Laws are for everyone, and the US is no exception. Imagine being arrested without a warrant or trial for SIX years solely based on your name or appearance. Over 200 prisoners at Guantanamo endured that experience in the years after 9/11. What if you, your family, or friends were one of those harassed and arrested? Wouldn't you want to have someone fighting for your rights to know what you were charged with? Wouldn't you want a trial? Amnesty International was the outlaw organization that fought for those basic rights (and does it still). No one wants anything to do with a lawyer until they need one, hopefully you will never need one, but supporting Amnesty International is supporting human rights worldwide, even when that world is right here in the U.S.

The Hole in the Wall Gang was the name of the outlaw gang that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were part of in the wild west, but it is more famous today as the charity started by Paul Newman for kids who have cancer and serious blood diseases. It is a camp like all camps for kids, except this one has facilities and doctors on hand that make it possible for the kids with challenges to come play like kids. The best reason to live is to experience growth and joy; the kids at the Hole in the Wall Gang get to have fun and grow as they play with each other and the counselors. Uncle Paul shows up regularly to play with them, sharing his time and joy. There is no fee for the kids, so the program lives on donations. If you have time and want to share your energy, they need volunteers 19+ years old, so give money, time or both, to this Hole in the Wall Gang; they are joy and healing outlaws.

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