Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Be part of the Human Race. Help prevent domestic violence.

For you are fearfully and wonderfully made…

Psalms 139

That’s one of the first things you read in the uplifting children’s book On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman, which is currently in our Bea reading rotation.

I think about that day a lot and the months and years leading up to the birth of Beatrice.

The other morning I held my daughter close while we looked out into the backyard together. A hummingbird flitted then floated above our blooming flowers. We both watched in wonder while the sun cast light on spring’s life renewal. The Japanese maple that Amy had bought for me after we met almost 12 years ago grows strong and vibrant, a tribute to our family’s love.

I’m one of the good guys, I whispered in her ear. You and Mama are too.

Later, after returning to work, my Google Alerts “child abuse” and “domestic violence” stopped me cold.

Everyday they come in – one vile example after another of broken people doing horrible things.

Why don’t I stop them? Because it’s my growing cause TO stop them. Literally. I’ve never been motivated to help on such a specific cause, even though I’ve lived it, but now that I’m a father, everything’s changed.

And keeps changing. Now that I’m a father. We’re the good guys, Bea.

There are examples of hope in those news alerts – various organizations that educate and help make a difference.

One of those is local Santa Cruz County non-profit, Women's Crisis Support ~ Defensa de Mujeres, whose mission is to end domestic violence and sexual assault by providing intervention and prevention services in a culturally-sensitive way.

On May 9, 2009 I will be participating in the 2009 Human Race in Santa Cruz, CA, supporting this organization.

The Human Race is a nationwide community fundraising event for nonprofit organizations, schools, and faith based organizations. This race is the Central Coast's largest collaborative community fundraiser, and features a fun run and walk beginning at Natural Bridges State Park and winding along one of our most beautiful natural resources West Cliff Drive. Organizations and businesses recruit walkers/runners/pledge-gatherers to raise funds. Participating nonprofit organizations receive at least 75% of monies collected and the Volunteer Center receives the remaining percentage to coordinate and stage the event.

To make this fundraising event a success I am asking others to partner with me in raising $1,000 to benefit Women's Crisis Support (in honor of my mother, a survivor of domestic violence).

I’ve only raised $210 to date, of which I thank my friends and family. And that’s okay, because I’m raising awareness as well and will not stop talking about the issues of domestic violence and child abuse.

Whether you help me directly and Follow This Link to visit my personal Human Race web page, or donate/volunteer in your own communities, I commend you – especially you fathers out there taking responsibility for yourselves and your families. It’s even National Volunteer Week this week.

If you know of anyone who’s in an abusive relationship – physically and/or psychologically – adult and/or child – please get them help.

Be part of the Human Race. Help prevent domestic violence.

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