Pens & Panties

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Every September I make a perennial pilgrimmage to purchase pens and panties. There’s something about this time of year that beckons renewal, perhaps it’s the start of the school year or it’s the faint waft of cool air. Whatever it may be, I have an urge to restart my life anew with the purchase of pens and panties.

Upon my pilgrimmage to explore this years goods, I had an uncomfortable feeling arise. I sat in my car trying to sort out this uneasiness when it struck me, I have plenty of pens and panties today. People in Houston, Florida and the Carribean Islands who were affected by the recent hurricanes don’t have anything. That’s when I decided to donate money to those in need, but where do I send the money ?

After a quick glance on facebook, it didn’t take me long to decide where to donate. My cousin Cynthia in Houston whose home fortunately wasn’t directly affected is the Director of Development and Communication at Kids Meals ( is a great organization that provides healthy meals for underserved kids. Houston has the 2nd highest rate of child food insecurity in the nation where 1 out of 4 preschoolers don’t know where their next meal is coming from. A mere $2 feeds 1 child a day. When she filled in as a delivery driver, she provided meals for kids who hadn’t eaten in days !

All Hands Volunteers ( is another organization that directly serves people in need. It is is a terrific, selfless organization that goes all over the world to clean up and rebuild after natural disasters. They typically stay for the long haul to help rebuild critical community infrastructure like medical clinics, schools, etc. They are 100% backed by FEMA and have established themselves in Houston with feet on the ground with work underway. My big hearted sister Karen reached out to All Hands in efforts to organize a group of volunteers from Denver to help with clean up in October.

In terms of Florida, here is a list of trustworthy organizations where to send money:
Feeding South Florida; Miami Diaper Bank; Florida Keys Children’s Shelter; St. John Rescue; St. John Community Foundation; United Way of Miami-Dade; Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies; SPCA Disaster Relief Fund; United Global Outreach; CN Central Florida; International Relief Teams; Florida Disaster Fund

The Carribean Islands were hit the hardest resulting in numerous deaths, destroyed homes, no electricity, no water, high risk of disease and lack of resources. Due to proximity and economic power, there has been more media attention placed on Houston and Florida. We cannot ignore or deny the islanders so they too can rebuild their lives with hope and dignity. Despite the current administrations lack of response nor assistance to Puerto Rico and the other islands , we can empower other humans through goodness and generosity.

It is vital that we give what we can, no amount is too small.
May suffering lessen so all can recover and renew their lives with ease, joy and love.

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