swan_tower: (Default)
[personal profile] swan_tower

Fred Rogers, the uncanonized saint of American television, said it best: When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’

(via Making Light)

That is, in essence, what these tikkun olam posts are for: they’re a place to find helpers, to remind yourself that they’re out there, and even to motivate yourself to be one of them. So that when you’re like ickle Fred Rogers, the world might seem a little less scary.

So share your news of how you’re helping, be it big or small. Are you doing volunteer work, either through a formal organization or an ad hoc arrangement with someone you know? Are you changing your own life so that you’ll be a better citizen of your town, state, country, planet? Have you made a donation to some good cause? Don’t feel like everything you mention has to be new; continuing efforts are just as good as one-off or additional things. And remember that everything is fair game, even if it’s not very big. Sometimes the little gestures mean the most.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

Date: 2017-02-01 06:11 pm (UTC)
juliet: (Default)
From: [personal profile] juliet
Writing a letter for Amnesty once a week. Took the small child to the London emergency protest against the US Muslim ban. (He says he likes demos, because there are signs.) Contacted my MP to encourage him to vote against Article 50 (which he was already doing, but support is good). Contacted an airline who does charter deportation flights to ask them not to do that. Extra charity donation to the ACLU.

And I keep on writing...

Date: 2017-02-01 07:48 pm (UTC)
sharpest_asp: two lynxes butting heads, side shot (General: Lynx Love)
From: [personal profile] sharpest_asp
Riz Ahmed was promoting a drive to help Syrian victims of the chaos in their land. I donated there.

I am trying to live my life, unbowed, despite the fear, so that others who fear might take heart.

Date: 2017-02-01 08:18 pm (UTC)
bookblather: A picture of Yomiko Readman looking at books with the text "bookgasm." (Default)
From: [personal profile] bookblather
I'm calling my representatives, all of them, every week.

I'm reading aggressively-- women, POC, Muslim people especially.

At work I'm (possibly mis)using my display power to put up books by and focused on POC and women, and books focused on queer people. It's not just me, though; the whole group seems to be featuring them. Even our display on inaugurations and the presidency is focused on how it's supposed to work, and our ESL groups and section are getting more feature than ever. Librarian pushback.

I'm also making an effort to smile at POC and women, especially women in headscarves. I mean, I try to do it anyway, but if I do this maybe it'll help just a little. One more person who doesn't hate them.

Date: 2017-02-01 08:32 pm (UTC)
green_knight: (WhiteHouse2017)
From: [personal profile] green_knight
I'm supporting people on Patreon with small donations - they are deliberately small so I can keep them up even if I'm skint, because I figure we're all in this in the long run, and a dollar here and a dollar there add up after all. I continue working on getting my house in order so I can _have_ more resources to spend on supporting others and more spoons to spend for protesting.

Yesterday I attended a meeting with my MP about Article50 (triggering the exit from the EU) in which she explained why she would probably vote for the bill on second reading (so they could file amendments) and joined the chorus to urge her to vote against it in the important third reading. I don't know whether it did anything good, and I don't think that grassroots party activism is something I want to engage in, but it was dark and cold and rainy and I went to a godforsaken place on an industrial estate anyway. (Opposite a bus stop; the line is a couple of minutes from our house, so it wasn't *that* desolate, it just felt like it.)

I have mainly retweeted a lot of the shit that is going down because I struggled to keep up with it. My plan is to make a weekly post just listing stuff because we're so deeply mired in that gish gallop - the fascist are moving FAST - that it's difficult to keep up.

Oh, and I made an icon for posts related to the Trump White House which I'm showing off here; I needed to express my disgust and this seemed somewhat fitting.

Date: 2017-02-01 09:33 pm (UTC)
finch: (Default)
From: [personal profile] finch
I set up a recurring donation to the ACLU, figuring that small is better than nothing.

Date: 2017-02-01 10:48 pm (UTC)
longwhitecoats: Captain America in his 1940s costume reading aloud from the notes on the back of his shield (Steve reading)
From: [personal profile] longwhitecoats
I canceled some fripperies from my budget so I could become a member of the ACLU (which means recurring donations, not just a one-off donation). At work, I wear my safety pin all the time, which I modified by adding a little rainbow of beads, because my new mission is QUEER ALL THE THINGS. I'm going to be teaching explicitly about fascism and resistance. At the holidays, I bought "presents" for some of my friends that were actually donations to various charities, including CAIR.

Thank you for doing this post series and for everything you're doing to turn this fucking boat around.
Edited Date: 2017-02-01 10:48 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-02-01 06:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] swan-tower.livejournal.com
I'm continuing to call my elected officials about various issues. It gets easier the more I do it, in terms of it not seeming like this big intimidating thing. I've also tried to reach beyond my own officials a bit; I know they take feedback from non-constituents much less seriously, but I called to encourage the governor of North Dakota to support the protestors at Standing Rock, and I asked my mother (who lives in Texas) to call her representatives about the ACA. And I'm signing lots of petitions, on the theory that it can't hurt.

I missed the training for literacy tutoring due to a scheduling conflict, but I went to an "open mosque" event nearby, a thing they do on the second Friday of every month where someone delivers a talk on a particular subject and then there's a Q&A on anything Islam-related people want to ask about. (The questions ranged from things like "how do you handle the five daily prayers if your job isn't one that allows you to pause as needed, e.g. on an assembly line" to "why don't Muslims condemn terror attacks when they happen" -- glad to see that not only the speaker but also the audience leapt to deal with that.) The subject for January was about being a good neighbor; apparently there's a line somewhere in the scripture to the effect that if you pray all the prayers and you fast and you do all the religious things but you're a bad neighbor, you're being a bad Muslim. That idea has been a bit topical for me lately because I've also had several friends who went through surgery in January, so I've been doing much more of the neighborly thing of helping out by running errands for them and so forth.

I've also been to two different protests -- the first I can recall ever attending. One was the ANSWER Coalition's march on Inauguration Day; the other was the protest at SFO airport against this Muslim ban. It's really encouraging, being there and seeing hundreds of other people going to the effort of rallying for these causes.

Date: 2017-02-01 09:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] between4walls.livejournal.com
I remember reading a bunch of bad things about ANSWER, like that they supported the North Korean govt (?). However, one usually can't help who's organizing a march.

I went to a CAIR rally against the ban and also to the JFK airport protest w a friend. And I'm in the final weeks of training to be a rape crisis counselor.

Date: 2017-02-03 07:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] swan-tower.livejournal.com
I hadn't heard anything like that about ANSWER. I don't know much about them; I just know they were the one protest on Inauguration Day I could get to.

The rape crisis counselor thing sounds very hard; good on you for stepping up.

Date: 2017-02-01 09:42 pm (UTC)
sovay: (Rotwang)
From: [personal profile] sovay
So share your news of how you’re helping, be it big or small.

Er . . . since the first of last month, I've attended the Boston satellite of the Women's March for America and the CAIR Boston protest against the Muslim ban and anti-immigration orders, I've taken a BARCC workshop on active bystanding (which I kept meaning to write up, because I found it actually very useful), I've attended a meeting of Jewish Voice for Peace and gotten myself into a breakout group with specific focus on anti-Islamophobia, and I've lost track of the phone calls I've placed to various politicians, including to thank them for doing the right things. People I meet have been asking me where my Black Lives Matter pin comes from and I have been telling them. Also I requested and published new poetry by Tlotlo Tsamaase because she was being treated shabbily by the SFPA—I am especially pleased that the timing worked out because the whole thing happened over Arisia weekend. It doesn't feel like much and yet, especially this past week, I've been exhausted.
Edited Date: 2017-02-01 09:43 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-02-03 07:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] swan-tower.livejournal.com
Please do write up the active bystanding thing! I would very much like to read it.

Date: 2017-02-02 02:21 am (UTC)
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)
From: [personal profile] rosefox
I've been sending lots and lots of postcards! http://tinyurl.com/angrypostcards is my folder of templates for Avery printable postcards. Get a pack, print them on your home printer, and send. I bought a roll of 100 postcard stamps and expect to use them all within a couple of months.

Also, my brother works for CAIR and tonight I copy edited a document for him and reminded him to get some rest. He took that job a couple of months before the election and had NO IDEA that he was going to be doing nonstop protest, advocacy, and legal work, but he's totally stepping up, and I want to support him while he does.

Date: 2017-02-02 04:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alessandriana.livejournal.com
Tell your brother keep up the good work! :)

Date: 2017-02-02 04:59 am (UTC)
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)
From: [personal profile] rosefox
I will! I'm really proud of him. :)

Date: 2017-02-02 04:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alessandriana.livejournal.com
Lots of phone calls. One protest against the travel ban; planning to attend another this Friday.

Donated to Karam Foundation, International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps, Collateral Repair Project, (not including standing donation to ACLU). Subscribed officially to Slate Plus, since I enjoy their reporting.

Attended a Welcome Dayton orientation today, which is a local gov't program that helps make our city more welcome to immigrants and refugees, although it sounds like a lot of their activities are one off events rather than standing things I can help with.

I've kind of had to take the last two days off though, since I over-exerted myself this weekend and haven't been sleeping.

Date: 2017-02-03 07:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] swan-tower.livejournal.com
I've backed off the last day or two myself. It's important to take breaks.

Date: 2017-02-02 06:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cgbookcat1.livejournal.com
Last weekend I donated to the International Rescue Committee. I looked up my congressperson in hopes of attending a town hall, but he has none on his calendar, so I will call or write instead.

I've also listened to several worried college students who dropped by my office for hw help and wanted an ear for their politics worries. I want to support them in every way I can.

Date: 2017-02-03 07:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] swan-tower.livejournal.com
Yeah, I feel especially bad for the younger generations. We need to leave them a better future than the one Trump promises.

Date: 2017-02-02 07:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tiger-spot.livejournal.com
I've started volunteering to pick backyard fruit for assorted local organizations with Village Harvest, in addition to delivering the oranges from our tree straight to the Day Worker Center near our house. (This week the good orange tree is all done, but the marmalade oranges aren't quite ripe yet. They tell me they can use those too, so once they're ready they'll be going over too.)

I'll be helping my friend sort at the food bank nearer her house again this month.

I've got a couple of upcoming local political events on my calendar (coffee with the mayor, a Community Building Forum, a meeting of my county's Democratic Party). I may not be able to make all of them but I'm hoping to get more familiar with how the local level works beyond voting funding measures up or down.

Once all these cabinet nominees are sorted out one way or another I may be able to actually get through to my senators' offices on the phone again, but in the meantime I've been sending emails and occasional letters.

Oh, and Morgan and I filled out "Warm Wishes" flags at the library -- messages of inclusiveness and love for our community that they're stringing up around the building. Much like the Women's March, the sheer numbers are heartening.

Date: 2017-02-03 07:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] swan-tower.livejournal.com
I'm trying to find my entry point into local level politics, but haven't yet figured out how to do that.

Date: 2017-02-04 10:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tiger-spot.livejournal.com
Today I had coffee with the mayor at a local shop. There were three other people there, which is apparently pretty standard. It sounds like the useful level for a lot of these things is county level (for sanctuary city issues especially -- "Because that's where the jails are"). I found the coffee a surprisingly good way to get the lay of the land and find a few avenues to investigate further! (There's a series of Civility Round Tables I might find interesting, and I should look into the Community Emergency Response Team program.)

Date: 2017-02-05 08:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] swan-tower.livejournal.com
But how did you even find out about the coffee shop event?

Date: 2017-02-05 11:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tiger-spot.livejournal.com
It was mentioned on the City of Mountain View G+ account.

Does your city have a city hall website? They're often badly designed, but I'd expect it to have a community calendar, or schedule of city council meetings, or something along those lines. The other place you might check to get started would be the public library -- the information desk might have flyers for upcoming events, or there could be a community bulletin board.

Around here they're very good about publicizing meetings about traffic or park planning or stuff like that, which is a less obvious in but if you show up early or hang around afterwards you can ask whoever's presenting where the more relevant resources are.

Date: 2017-02-03 11:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pathseeker42.livejournal.com
I was invited to teach a self-defense class to women at a local mosque, and I began volunteering to teach Tae Kwon Do to kids at the local city park. The idea was that they would learn to defend themselves and others if need be, and also that kids who take martial arts tend to be more confident and less likely to grow up into the thin-skinned bully currently in the oval office.

I'm also calling my senators.

Thanks everyone for your work! Little candles will light the world.

Date: 2017-02-05 08:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] swan-tower.livejournal.com
That self-confidence really matters.

Date: 2017-02-14 08:47 pm (UTC)
lokifan: black Converse against a black background (Default)
From: [personal profile] lokifan
I went to the London Women's March, and I'm researching finding a possible volunteer gig teaching refugees - I teach English as a foreign language which seems like a transferable skill.

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