A Holiday Idea that Could Change Lives, Maybe Yours

Your Most Meaningful Gift to Our Future: You and Your Personal Story of Why You Care

You’d have to be blind to not realize that our nation and world are a drift. With our very future at stake, we quibble in committees about piecemeal solutions that are wholly inadequate; we have people at our border and in refugee camps throughout the world who are so desperate they’d walk 2000 miles across Mexico knowing a locked fortress awaits them; we’ve got countries like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen locked into endless ideologically-driven wars that consume children as if they were mere fodder. Children as fodder.

Here in the US, there are millions of students with entirely unsupportable student debt that, without relief, will burden them quite literally for decades-for the crime of going to college, something many of us did virtually for free.

We have black mothers afraid for their sons, their 11 year old sons, when they go to the playground and worry still more about their future as black men.

We have seniors who are living from SSI payment to SSI payment with no savings, mounting medical bills and a future that keeps growing dimmer. This was not their dream forty or fifty years ago.

Here in NM, we have gotten used to our 50th ranking in damn near everything good. But while it may be easy rhetorically to skip over “50th in damned near everything” it is far harder to skip over the realities of what that means for the tens of thousands of NM children who go to sleep hungry every night and whose parents can be so desperate they will accept a $500 loan that requires your only means of transportation as collateral, while charging you 175% interest. Imagine that level of desperation. The pain in that parent’s heart.

All of us have our challenges, but very few Retake readers face those kinds of challenges. And as a result of being faithful readers, you understand that the conditions above do not occur naturally. They are the result of 1% puppeteers fashioning our policies and regulations to ensure a robust life for them and theirs while constraining the lives of the rest of us. You get this. And so, I am going to suggest that by knowing this and by having some relative level of comfort, you also have at least the opportunity, even possibly the responsibility to give more of your time and of your resources.

And given the trajectory of our teetering world, I’d suggest that whatever you already do, you find a way to do more. At the bottom of this plea is a list of organizations staffed with heroes who fight our battles every day and who encounter the faces of the very human men, women and children who suffer from being 50th. And while I am asking you to make a donation today, more than that I am asking that you make small donations to a few of these organizations and use them as stocking stuffers, gifts for hosts of holiday parties, or inserts in cards or emails to friends and family afar.

But, beyond that I am also asking that you make your gift of a donation into a teachable moment, an opportunity for you to tell your friend, your niece, your grandfather or granddaughter, your party host and perhaps their guests, your personal story about why this organization and its work are important to you. You may not have ever experienced personally the kind of life challenges faced by any of the people served by the organizations below, but something about their work touched you personally for you to have selected them. It may be a news story you saw or an experience of someone you know. But we each have our stories for why we care and those personal stories when combined with a few words about how your donation will be used to meet the needs of others, that story, could be the most authentic and meaningful and memorable gift you give this holiday season. You will have caused, even if for a moment, people to reflect on their situation and the situations of others. And you will have stood up and said, I care. And implicitly you will have said, without shaming, perhaps you could too.

Making this kind of small gesture a part of your life routine going forward could have ripple effects that you can’t anticipate. So, instead of bringing a bottle of chardonnay to your neighbors’ home when they invite you for dinner or to a small party, bring an envelop with a note indicating that you have made a contribution to Somos, Chainbreaker, Earth Care or any of the valiant organizations below, with some words about what they do and a link to their website. If you hand the note to your hosts with a comment of, “Instead of a bottle of wine, I made a donation to Somos in your name. Do you know their work?” You not only make a contribution, you open a door to conversation about something more valuable and real than that bottle of wine.

That’s it from me today. I want to very sincerely wish you the best possible holiday. Enjoy some football, turkey, tamales, hikes, movies, skiing, or whatever you do this time of year. But do also make this a time of reflection as to what more you can do or give in 2019 and what you may be able to do to subtly jostle those sitting comfortably on the sidelines, voicing concerns over dinner, but perhaps still only concerned, not engaged. Perhaps bring them to one of our meetings in January or send them a link to our blog.

We have a mountain of challenges ahead, but they are paired with opportunities. In NM, we have a Roundhouse primed to do much good for the planet and our most vulnerable New Mexicans. And on a national scale, we have a cadre of young leaders who will not give up easily and have a vision that unites them and us.  Let’s do this.

In solidarity and gratitude,

Paul & Roxanne

Please send a donation today. This is a particularly important action for those of you who have not, as yet, become fully active.

  • Click here to contribute to TEWA Women’s United, was formed to end all forms of violence against Native Women and girls, Mother Earth and to promote peace in New Mexico. Most recently, TEWA Women’s United collaborated with Communities for Clear Water to organize opposition to LANL’s handling of the chromium plume threatening our water. .
  • Click here, to contribute to Somos Un Pueblo Unido. Somos works to build a community that does not discriminate against people based on their national origin, that institutes humane migration policies, and that protects the human rights of everyone irrespective of where they are born or what documents they carry
  • Click here to contribute to the Santa Fe Dreamers Project. SF Dreamers provides free legal services to immigrants to promote economic empowerment, community development, family unity, and liberation from detention.  Their work is centered around the belief that supporting immigrants makes our whole community stronger.
  • Click here to contribute to Chainbreaker Collective.  Chainbreaker works to expand access to affordable housing and affordable transportation and to support economically and environmentally sustainable communities for low-income people in Northern New Mexico.
  • Click here to contribute to Earth Care. Earth Care is a youth empowerment and community development organization that educates, empowers and supports the positive development of young people.  They cultivate the natural innovation and creativity of youth to create health, just and sustainable communities and they place youth at the center of all they do.
  • Click here to contribute to New Energy Economy. NEE is a climate change hero and the dogged opposition to PNM. They seek to build a renewable energy future for the  health of our community and our environment.
  • Click here to contribute to KSFR, your publicly supported radio station, the voice of Santa Fe and the home of Retake Our Democracy’s weekly radio show that airs at 8:30am every Saturday.
  • Click here to contribute to the Joan Duffy Santa Fe Chapter of Veterans for Peace. Veterans for Peace advocates with its allies to ensure that the perspective, needs and priorities of veterans are respected and to advocate for peace.

Categories: Personal & Collective Action

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1 reply

  1. It is better to avoid these topics, they make people uncomfortable. I have seen how these types not only remain in denial, but have a patronizing, and ill informed view on these topics. if they are incapable of seeing this on the level of their own community, the bigger picture most certainly is out of reach. Those of us who spoke up years ago, where not only patronized, but retaliated against. A lot of us no longer attend these holiday parties, it is excruciating to hear some of the obnoxious comments or topics of conversation. it is too much work to attempt to educate people who believe they already know it all. Been there done that. I used to project human empathy and some sort of cognitive abilities on these people, and I was terrifyingly wrong. Let’s all paste a big grimaces on our faces and get through this season of End Times Capitalism!

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