Thursday, December 1, 2016
December 1, 2016
It’s Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule, and time for the secular visit from Santa my friends! Which also means, in spite of everything else that’s happening around us right now, there’s a special something in the air. A something that makes it easy to want to give, to take care of each other, to help the less fortunate.
Now, if you aren’t giving, can’t give, or don’t want to, that’s your business and I truly do not judge (and not in that “I’m not judging” way that your aunt has which means she’s actually judging the shit out of you, but real and genuine not judging).
However, if you’re looking to give, may I suggest making your holiday giving just a little different than it has been in the past. Consider…
Planned Parenthood. 1530 Ellis Street, Bellingham, WA. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-center/washington/bellingham/98225/bellingham-health-center-2454-91780 Think they’re just for straight women? Think again. Right there on their site is the fact that they offer LGBT services and men’s health services. But at this point, let’s be honest – most of the straight women who access Planned Parenthood are as vulnerable as we are. Intersectionality is a thing, people. So the organization needs support, regardless.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The closest branch is in Seattle, and you can find more information here: http://cairseattle.org/ For many people, this one is a little scary. We’ve been taught to be afraid. Getting past that fear is important, though. Not sure where to start? The landing page of CAIR Seattle (at the time of this writing, anyway) has an article titled How to Be an Ally and a Friend. You don’t have to be perfect. You do have to care.
Want to keep it a little more in the family, so to speak? Muslims for Progressive Values out of California is openly and directly allied with the LGBTQ community. You can find them here: http://www.mpvusa.org/
NW Immigration Rights Project. https://www.nwirp.org/ Their core values are dignity, fairness, solidarity, self-determination, safety, and inclusion. If we in the LGBTQ community don’t understand the absolutely vital necessity of these principles, then no one does. Don’t let the fear mongers teach you anything else.
Here’s the thing, though – some people are over being political. Or aren’t at all. Or need a break. Or just want to make a kid smile on the holiday. You can do that, too.
The Whatcom County Food Bank at 1824 Ellis Street is happy to take donations. Just stop by Monday through Friday. Also, if you’re over people but want to help animals, they accept pet food donations on behalf of the Humane Society.
The Northwest Youth Services (http://www.nwys.org/always-needed-items/), Lydia’s Place (http://lydiaplace.org/support/), Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services (http://dvsas.org/get-involved/donate/)are three of the many organizations that need and take donations. If none of these work for you, call the local churches, temples, and senior centers. They will have options and resources for you.
It may seem very dark right now. It may stay very dark for a while. But the holidays are a time we can push back against the dark, bring in a little light. And trust me when I tell you that the people in need aren’t the only ones who will feel better if you give.
Whatever you celebrate, may it be joyous and blessed. And until next month – next year – take care of you.