When I was in my 20’s I worked on the front lines of poverty at a place called Food and Shelter for Friends. In those trenches I built relationships with many people doing the best they could to navigate life and utterly failing to make ends meet. My biggest take away from my time in that service was the amazingly wide range of causes for homelessness and poverty. There are so many curve balls that get thrown into human lives. We never know when we may be stricken with an expensive illness that forces us to sell everything to get treatment, or when we may be laid off because someone else will do a job more cheaply or in worse conditions. After a lifetime of work, we could end up staring at a Social Security check that’s enough to pay the gas bill or buy groceries, but not both. We could even have been born into a household where getting enough food to nourish our growing brain was a daily struggle. We all make choices but so much of life is in the cards we are dealt by an invisible hand. Call it luck or divine providence but it plays a part in human lives that I could never have imagined until I saw it.
Today I am here with you, reflecting on what it means for me to be so fortunate to have enough resources to donate to others during this freezing cold season of giving and contemplation. We have ended up together with the ability to imagine a better world and take steps together to get there. You and I are on this path and we cannot take it for granted. As we go into the holidays ahead, let’s remember what we have that others don’t, and put our whole hearts into what we are doing, sharing, and giving.
Put some of these events on your calendar if you are ready to join these teams working to make the world a better place:
December 20th, Together Norman Holiday Cards to Legislators
December 27th, Together Norman New Years Cards to Legislators We’ll be writing New Years Cards to our Legislators to introduce ourselves, let them know what we care about, thank them for their service and look to find common ground as we move towards a better 2017 for Oklahoma!
Both events – December 20th and 27th will be from 4-6 pm at Grey Owl Lounge. Come to one or both!
Not sure who your legislators are? Nervous about writing this kind of card? Have no fear! TogetherOK team members will be on hand to help you find out just who and where to mail your cards and to help you craft your message! We’ll also have plenty of cards if you aren’t able to bring your own, and we’ll do our best to provide a few stamps as well.
December 29th– Deadline to apply for Oklahoma Policy Institute Economic Security Policy Analyst job as well as spring internships.
January 3rd– OKC-Women Lead Network Event
January 5th– End of Early-bird registration for the OK Policy State Budget Summit
January 10th– Tulsa-Women Lead Networking Event
January 14th-Save the date for Together Norman: How to influence legislators
January 16th–Marching with Together Oklahoma City in the MLK day parade.
January 16th– Marching with Together Tulsa in the MLK day parade.
January 17th– Norman Women Lead Networking Event
January 26th– Oklahoma Policy Institute State Budget Summit
buy your tickets or request a scholarship here. (Scholarship applications end January 5th.)
January 28th– Together Tulsa: Legislative 101
rsvp and request childcare here.
January 28th– Pipeline to Politics
January 29th– Together OKC: Legislative 101 (save the date, details coming soon.)
February 6th– State of the State and the Start of Session
In the years to come may our future selves look back with fondness at these times when coming together means so much. Know you are making a difference and have a joyful holiday season!