A new report by Disability Rights International on abuse within institutions for the disabled in Mexico was horrifying. It's unbelievable that this kind of monstrosity is still occurring today. Right now.
So too, are reports regarding the situation of children with Down syndrome/disabilities in Russia, like this one from NPR and these from Human Rights Watch. If you hit those links just now, you are probably, like I was, bawling and feeling really frickin' depressed. If you are not, there's probably something wrong with you, but we won't get into that now. Let's just roll with you and me both being really depressed about this.
When I get depressed about people doing this to other people – and children, babies! no less – I tend to want to just tune off, put my head in the sand. Pretend nothing is happening. Because I just can't deal. I don't have enough time, money, energy; who am I anyway? Just one person. What good can I do? Dig that hole a little deeper there, Meriah!
But sometimes I'm brave enough to actually look squarely at it all. Pull together resources, contribute to places that are actually doing something.
One such organization is Reece's Rainbow. It's mom-founded and their mission is to help children in some of those orphanages in Russia and other Eastern European countries get adopted before they get permanently sent to institutions when they are 4 ("Once You Enter, You Never Leave") . They help with funding. It's definitely a worthy organization to give to and support in any way. Even if we can't give more than a dollar, that dollar – by each of us – adds up. The kids' funds grow, and help give them a 'forever home'.
Another organization is Human Rights Watch – give to help them sustain their work, keep pressure on governments to make a change. Handicap International also does fantastic work. And of course, the World Institute on Disability. These are just a few places. Let's give so that we can keep our heads out of the sand, feel a shred of hope.
Especially in this here season of giving.
And here is Olga. Patti, Mom of 10 (yeah!!!! 10!!!) has been crusading to keep Olga out of the institution, where she'll be sent very soon, unless her fund allows someone to adopt her soon. A shout-out to Patti is well-deserved – she's showing how one person (with 10 kids!!!!!!!) can make a difference. Patti raised over $10,000 for Olga's fund. We can all pitch in for her – and for others (lots and lots of kids there….), help them stand a chance.
let us give
to let others live
…for their life
Here's Moxie. Giving a little in the way of inspiration herself.
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.