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Advocacy That Matters

Yesterday, I attended an all day long event where a group of church leaders discussed change, vision, and how to thrive and serve in a down economy.

I watched a group of invigorated community leaders gather to discuss purposeful projects, plans and ways to make our communities stronger.

I witnessed people I care deeply about light up when discussing plans for something they believe will make lives better.

Last week, I met families with small children, who are currently without a home, laugh, and enjoy a home cooked meal.

A friend emailed me an article on a local National Park campground that is in danger of being eliminated.

I witnessed an outpouring of love and support for a neighbor’s family that suffered great loss.

Our local paper featured two senior pets who tragically lost their owner.

Although my job is literally that of advocate (ie lawyer) I find the formality of it sometimes gets in the way of the message. Perhaps the large protests currently going on across the country, have the same problem. The size, the force and numbers consume media focus and any message gets lost in the fray.

But serving others, being kind, listening, taking silent stands for those who cannot stand for themselves, is real advocacy.

In two months, Christmas will be over. Mostly likely, we will feel exhausted, tired, and embarassed by the way we focused our time and energy during the season.

So I have a suggestion. Let each of us commit to the following:

Listening and watching for ways we can be advocates.

Walk dogs at the SPCA.

Volunteer to make Thanksgiving pies for your local homeless shelter.

Take a child with no resources out to buy a gift for their siblings.

Volunteer at a food bank.

Offer hot coffee to the homeless lady downtown wrapped in blankets.

Send a neighbor a tin of cookies.

Be grateful. Give thanks. Send $5 to meals on wheels. Anything. Something. Meaningful.

The two people in our downtown park with signs about jobs and the economy, standing quitely, seem to me, more effective than hundreds of protesters. It seems to me, like advocacy that matters.




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