Delivering Hope is a locally founded and run Charity created by Jaime Glandon and Drew Willison. The purpose of this foundation is to bring money, supplies, and help in the form of giving ones time to the orphanages of Ethiopia. These places are in dire need of our help and rather than send your donations through a vast corporate machine here is a chance to help local people bring local charity to the children of Ethiopia. Delivering Hope is in the process of creating different ways for the local community to give to this cause. One of the newest ones is the sale of Delivering Hope T-Shirts, every penny of profit will go to benefit a child or children living in poverty and starvation in Ethiopia. These donations are hand delivered at the expense of the founders of Delivering Hope.
Please go now to the Delivering Hope Website And make a donation or purchase a T-shirt or some Wristbands. Do so knowing that these local good Samaritans will ensure that every dollar goes directly to aid children living in substandard conditions in these Ethiopian orphanages.
From Rhonda’s Page:
Rhonda is a full-time romance author and a freelance editor. She enjoys writing contemporary, paranormal, suspense, and erotica. Her specialty is bad-ass heroes (charcoal hair, copper eyes, and heart of gold) and smart and sassy heroines. And her favorite subject is…men in military uniform. They make the perfect hero.
Reading her first romance novel at age thirteen, Rhonda was hooked. Her talent of bringing interesting characters to print and shaping happy endings are not only a passion of hers, but a dream career. She thinks the love between hero and heroine should be so steamy that it melts the ink off the pages.”
Go support this local artist by checking out her new ebook “Second Chance Cowboy”
That is not the point of this blog though but rather this, my 4 year olds were in bed and my eldest, six year old Gabriel, sat with me and watched it. I did not deliberate long nor had I planned this to be the time to tell him about that part of our history. And I know that he is still very young, but I made a snap personal decision to expose him to this event and attempt to frame it for him in a way that would not glaze over the horror of what happened but also not scare him unduly or prematurely about the great and plentiful evils in the world.
So as the event of September 11th 2001 played out on the TV my son sat with me and watched and I answered question after question as best I could to try and help him have some understanding of what happened, why, and why it was an important lesson on many things.
He asked me “Why did the jets crash into the skyscrapers?” And I said to him “Because Bad Guys took over the planes and crashed them on purpose.” He quickly followed with a string of compounding “Why did they do that” statements. And I said “Because they were misguided, misinformed, ignorant, and above all filled with hatred.” The “Why’s” continued and I tried to explain further “You see they believed that we were evil, and that God wanted them to hurt our country. They believed that God hated this country and they were deceived and manipulated into believing that what they were doing was the right thing.” And in the purity of a Child’s mind he said simply and matter-of-factly “But God wants us to be nice to other people Daddy.”
My voice cracked slightly and I smiled at my tender hearted little man. After a moment to compose I affirmed his statement. “You are absolutely right son, God wants us to treat everyone with kindness, understanding, tolerance, and above all Love. God wants us to treat other people, even the ones who hate us, the way we would want to be treated. God has told us that even when people hate us enough to hurt us that we should not let ourselves be filled with hatred for them.” He mulled these words around, blinked hard and continued watching.
There were many other questions, and I tried my best to answer them, to give him the comfort of security a six year old requires while trying to make this viewing a lesson in the evil that men do, not skipping the part about the evil they do in God’s name. He asked more about God, more about Bad Guys. I tried to explain to him that the God he believes in is one of love. There is a lot of gray area in this event; a lot of things that are morally up for discussion in the analysis of it on both sides of what became the war on terror. I have no desire to politicize my children and less of a desire to fundamentalize them (yes I made that word up). I simply wanted him to understand what the men who did this did not, that God would never ever want him to ever hate anyone, ever do harm to an innocent person, ever call upon him to feel resentment and animosity towards any of his fellow human beings. He asked why they believed what they did and I told him because people lied to them about God, people lied and told them that God was full of hate, that God was vengeful and petty and ignorant. I assured him that these things were not true and admonished him that should anyone, anywhere, anytime try to tell him that God advocated hate, encouraged intolerance, or accepted bigotry and inequality that he should tell them loudly and with his father’s blessing that they are liars and that God would be ashamed of them, no matter who they were.
We finished the viewing, watching a couple cartoons, and I sent him to bed. All in all he seemed to have handled it ok. And I was encouraged that every question he asked, every statement he made, was tempered with a kind hearted spirit, empathy, and a quiet respect for what he was watching. His questions, his thoughts, and his reaction, we’re more mature than I had expected and all-in-all I feel I made the right decision in choosing this year to expose him. I didn’t make it a history lesson; I didn’t hammer the date and the names. I didn’t wave a flag for him. I simply tried to help him understand that this was a horrible event that happened before he was born, and that it was an act of hatred, and to warn him against one of the world’s more prevalent evils, religious hatred.
And I considered how fine a line we must walk as parents in shielding our children from the evils in the world while also preparing them to combat them. Gabriel is at an age where he is very impressionable and very interested in God, and while I am happy for him to have the ethical teachings of certain parts of the Bible and to have him embrace the belief of a loving and righteous God, I am also watchful and concerned to be sure that he is not indoctrinated and polluted with the American Fundamentalist view of God and Christianity, that he is not taught the God of vengeance, hate, and intolerance that is so sadly prevalent.
And as I sit and consider this viewing and the path the lays before him, I wonder how well I will walk this tight-rope, how well I can balance protection and preparation, and where the line is drawn. And the magnitude of this task bears down on me and I pray I am up to it.
When is the right time to tell them, when is it proper to show them that some wolves look like sheep, that some teachers are false, that some preacher’s are liars, that they are beset on all side by the bubbling, ever present evil of mankind. I wish I could bottle their unwavering faith in goodness and preserve it, I want too, and I will never do anything to shatter their faith prematurely, to naysay their utopian version of the world. If we could all have the faith and the love of a child in our hearts this world would be a better place. But I have seen enough in my 30 years to know that it is not a better place, and it is not filled with virtue, honor, rectitude, or justice.
I know my children are young and I hope that there are still many years of innocence for them. But even now I wonder how best to arm them and prepare them to stand against the hatred in the world in their every day lives once they are grown. To teach them that goodness is not something we embrace because a man in the sky will punish us if we don’t, that goodness is to be embraced because it is its own reward and not because they are afraid of the consequences. Goodness that is motivated by a fear of punishment is not even goodness, its just directed cowardice. So how do I help them to understand that they have to be strong of mind, strong of spirit, and strong of body and that when they achieve these things that they understand that the reason they have been allowed to have strength is to help the people around them who do not, even if it is only in small everyday way’s. And how can I teach them the great and necessary principals of Rectitude, Courage, Benevolence, Respect, Honesty, Honor, and Loyalty when I myself fail so miserably and so often in their application. How can so flawed a teacher raise pupils better than himself?
This question and this responsibility weigh heavy on my mind as I know it weighs on the minds of other parents and I wonder if I will know the way, if I will strike the iron when it needs shaped, fold it when it needs strengthened, and cool it when it is weary. The three children I have are likely the only mark I will leave on this world when I leave it. I hope and pray that I send them out as honorable, strong, courageous and above all loving people. And even though I feel inadequate to this task, I will never abandon it. For the sake of the tender heart of my son whose wisdom in the words “But God wants us to be nice to other people” surpasses the kindness and wisdom of many of those who claim to know the mind of God, I can never abandon this task.
And so September 11th comes to an end. And I find I have reflected more tonight than any of the anniversaries past. And still I wonder and ponder, how do we tell them, how do we help our children understand, and when do we have the right?