Pause for Art

For the first time in weeks, I took a break to create. The volunteering threatens to be all-consuming, but I am determined to find balance. Weeks ago, when I started this venture, I was hoping to connect one displaced Ukrainian family with a host family in my area. Quickly, the requests poured in and soon […]

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Helping is Medicine.

As I type, twin blue captain’s beds are being delivered for boys that we will soon be hosting from Ukraine. On my messenger feed, another ambassador is typing about an emergency situation at an airport, where the documentation is being questioned. The family has no more money for alternate flights. Outside, the chickadee sings “yoo-hoo” […]

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Everyday Miracles

Can you help my friend, please? She is 32 weeks pregnant. The text came in mid-morning. I said I’d look into it. Mom, husband, 10-year-old, and baby on the way. Afraid of the encroaching war, they gambled their money on tickets to Canada. I thought of my own daughter-in-law, happily registering for an upcoming baby […]

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Wheels of Kindness

Today is the day to leave, the 2:30 am text read; I’m letting my son sleep in, last day in our home. The message came from Kyiv. I had connected with the mom the day before. Bombing around them had finally convinced her to flee. Stay safe and keep in touch when you can. I’m […]

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How To Start a Cult*

Find an issue people are able to get passionate about, say, child trafficking. 2. Share information and increase the outrage. Start with facts, but insert the occasional manufactured story to test the waters. Maybe try Pizza Gate. 3. Increase paranoia by suggesting that so much is hidden from the public. Again, use actual cases, for […]

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Don’t Take It Personally

Spurred on by my mother, I left home at the age of seventeen. It was the right thing for all involved, but when my parents replaced me with two cats, I couldn’t help but feel slighted: I’m deadly allergic to cats. When my mother-in-law spiked a meal with milk, hoping to prove that food allergies […]

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Keep Listening, Learning; Remain Open

February is Black History Month. A neighbour commented to me recently that racism is not a problem where we live. I might have believed that at one time, but these past few years have taught me otherwise. Eyes are opening, ears are listening, mind is set on learning.

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Take It In

Robert Stephens, 26, Kansas City, MO “It was the last day of school, and I was walking with my dad, preparing to leave. Suddenly, he paused, looked at me intently and said, “Son, you’re a black male, and that’s two strikes against you.” To the general public, anything that I did would be perceived as malicious and […]

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