I describe myself as a social justice wannabe. Basically, that means that I have awakened to God’s mandate for justice, and I’m trying to live that out in my daily, walking-around life. I’m not very good at it, but I’m learning. I’m also aware that our helping can often hurt, so I look for organizations that hold that tension well and have proven themselves faithful. These are a few people with whom I practice social justice.
Help One Now – Haiti
Help One Now is a collective group of churches, businesses, communities and individuals from around the world. These people are dedicated to using their gifts, talents and resources to help end extreme poverty, care for orphans, rescue slaves and see communities transformed by serving our international partners through Help One Now. They sponsor kids, host garage sales, donate funds, take trips, advocate on their behalf, and much more. I traveled to Haiti with this organization, and it has changed my life. You can read about it here, but my favourite posts from that trip are In which God doesn’t look the same anymore and In which I came too close to God.
As a result, we participated as a community in the Legacy Project. We raised $100,000 to fund a community school. The ground breaking happened on the third anniversary of the earthquake.
I’m headed back to Haiti during Holy Week 2013.
Heartline Ministries is based in Port au Prince, Haiti. Formerly an orphanage and international adoption facilitater, Heartline now boasts a family centered vision to keep families in Haiti together. In addition to a woman’s program with sewing, beading, and cooking classes, they also run an incredible maternity centre with fully trained midwives, pre and post-natal education classes, vitamins, and lactation consultancy. I love Heartline’s deep respect and honour for Haitians. Few things capture my heart like mothers being empowered to give birth to their babies, nurse them, and raise them. In talking with one of their midwives, Tara (who is now a dear friend), I learned that out of 300 women who have been delivered at their maternity centre, only one has chosen to relinquish her child for adoption. Only one. Women want to raise their babies, and I love that Heartline is making sure they can do so if they choose. There are a lot of ways to support Heartline from straight-up donations to fund their programs to buying a purse like I did from Haitian Creations, their shop to volunteering on site.
Mercy Ministries of Canada
Mercy Ministries of Canada is a non-profit residential home for young women, ages 19-28, from diverse socio-economic situations, struggling with life-controlling issues such as drug & alcohol abuse, physical & sexual abuse, human trafficking, eating disorders, self-harm, depression, and unplanned pregnancy. I volunteer and advocate for Mercy Ministries of Canada now, but I worked there for a few years, too, and was part of the inaugural staff. You can read my posts about Mercy here. My personal favourite: I believe in miracles.