Pay It Forward Day: Nevada Big Give and more

Today is Pay It Forward Day and all I can think about is how we’re going to make the world a better place. Actually, we are making it a better place. You show me that all the time. Whether it’s the success of the hate crimes event last week, your generous spirit in turning the #FierceFlores campaign viral to stand with Assemblywoman Lucy Flores and stand up to anti-choice bullies, or your desire to make the UFC take responsibility for their actions and enact a code of conduct — you show me again and again the kind of heart and spirit Sirens have. And that’s just in the past year!

Sirens, you inspire me every day!

So that’s why I know you are participating in some of the good charity going on in recent weeks. Today is the Nevada Big Give, a day when the local non-profit world can reap the benefits of much-needed help from the community it serves (as well as matching grants, in some cases). I donated to the Rape Crisis Center, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (which is the parent agency for Planned Parenthood of Southern Nevada), and Nevada Public Radio. I tell you that not to brag, but to show you that I put my money where my mouth is. Most of the time, when you see me post something about a community organization in need, I’ve already made a donation of money, time, or resources. That’s the difference between my old life as a “traditional” journalist and my current life as an activist/journalist. I’m not going to hide my agenda or the fact that I participate in the community that I am encouraging you to engage in as well. (Of course, most journalists I know donate to non-profits, too. It’s the big “secret” of traditional journalism that they actually do care about the community.) There are hundreds of organizations listed on Nevada Big Give. Pick one, two, dozens, and commit to help those who are making our community stronger.

And in this cyber age we don’t have to be limited to just what is in our neighborhood. The National Network of Abortion Funds is holding their annual Bowlathon. I’ve participated every year since its inception — and thanks to you, have made a difference. I’m actually feeling a little bad that because I was so busy with NOH8 in Las Vegas I didn’t organize a team this year. There are more roadblocks to access abortion than ever — from waiting periods, requirements for additional procedures, and the cost of childcare, travel, and more. I donate because, sadly, access isn’t free. This organization helps connect women in need with the money and services they need. What if $25 could change your life? This year I donated to the Eastern Massachusetts Abortion Fund, which STAYED OPEN after the Boston Marathon bombing because women need access, even in times of crisis. Fuck yeah! If you are so inclined, may I suggest supporting the Pussy Riot team, raising money for the brand new Mississippi Abortion Fund — and let’s face it, Mississippi can really use an abortion fund.

Looking at all the organizations on the Nevada Big Give page, I am struck by not only how much work is being done but how much work still needs to be done. We’re a part of the solution, Sirens. I’m in the planning stages of my next project, and I hope you will support it, as you do so much of my activism. (This time, I’m thinking about kids and books. Stay tuned.)

I do what I do for my kid. I want her hometown to be a great place to grow up. I want all the kids of my community — and yours — to want for nothing. That’s why we rail against a damaged system that relies on tools of oppression to maintain a broken status quo rather than look for tools of change to do better. Sometimes we have to kick the door down. And sometimes, we have to pull all the change out of our pockets and help pay the bills.

Together we do great things.

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