Our beloved sisters and brothers in Louisiana have been operating with stunning courage and grace and ferocity and hope under harrowing circumstances. We have been watching how you have handled this flooding and each other and we stand in awe of you. To thank you for your example, Together Rising has connected with an incredible group called the Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana (A+PEL). A+PEL told us that around 40 of Louisiana’s schools were devastated by last month’s flooding, and they have set up a Disaster Relief Fund to assist teachers who lost classroom supplies in the floods. 100% of the donations that A+PEL receives go directly to teachers, and so far 934 teachers have contacted them to request assistance. Together Rising has provided A+PEL with $10,000 to support these teachers and to help these flooded schools recover. Louisiana teachers and back-to-schoolers: We see you, we believe in you, and our help is already on its way. Friends, this is just some of what your giving is making possible. AND ALSO—STAY TUNED. Next month we are going to have another story to share with you about how your gifts are pouring down love on a flooded-out high […]
This spring, the author Corban Addison traveled to Europe, following the route taken by hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Greek island of Lesvos to the cities of northern Germany. Along his way, Corban met volunteers from a dozen nations who saved lives using the funds you have given—making meals, distributing clothes, and surviving months with little sleep. He also met people we’ve helped—people who have crossed thousands of miles and endured innumerable perils only to find themselves trapped behind closed borders, living in tents, and wondering if their purgatory will ever end. Together Rising and The Compassion Collective asked Corban to share some of his journey with us. We want you to hear more about the work you are supporting and the lives that are being saved through your giving. Let’s join him on his journey. *************** Part 1 – I landed on Lesvos on a brilliant morning. The plane came in low over the sparkling Aegean and landed in the shadow of hills bronzed by the Greek sun. After renting a car, I drove across the island to Molyvos on the north shore—the rugged stretch of coastline that saw more than 400,000 refugees land in less […]
Denise’s hero is her warrior daughter, Jennifer. Several years ago, Jennifer developed psoriatic arthritis, a painful and debilitating auto-immune disease. She has lived with constant pain ever since. Denise told us that Jennifer unexpectedly became pregnant with twins. “She was an extremely high risk case and had to go on disability. She was on bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy, which ended with emergency c-section 2-months premature. Her girls had to stay in the neo-natal intensive care unit for 31 days. From day 3 her daughter, Emma, was diagnosed with PVL, but later on it was determined that she suffered a stroke in utero. All the while, Jennifer was suffering from severe high blood pressure and could have suffered a stroke herself.” Each of those days, Denise drove her daughter to the hospital, so she could take care of her own daughters. Meanwhile, the company Jennifer worked for closed and left her without a job. Her insurance was terminated. Things with Emma have continued to be challenging. She has cerebral palsy. Denise said, “Jennifer never takes no for an answer when it comes her girls, she truly is a hero giving these girls her all so […]
Nominated by her friends, Kathy became another one of our shining Sheroes. What the entire friend group told us was that Kathy lights up the room. But not just any room; there are lots of people who can do that. Kathy lights up a damp, cold, cinder-block room in a local prison. From that dismal room, Kathy creates light that spreads out to warm the prisoners, their families and friends, and all who encounter this project. Twice a week, Kathy, often after a shift as a hospice nurse, where she’s already exhausted from bringing light where little exists, leads a team into the Northwest Arkansas Community Correction Center to provide a storytelling workshop. It’s called the Prison Story Project. The concept is simple: Kathy and her team, plus as many as 12 incarcerated women, meet for twice weekly workshops for 4 months and create a script from those writings. They hire actors and produce a staged performance that gives voices to the voiceless women behind bars. Most of the inmates have suffered sexual or physical abuse as children and as adults, all suffered severe emotional trauma, most dropped out of high school before graduating, most only ever had low-paying jobs, and all […]
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