I am a child of summer, I believe freedom has been in my bones from birth, and it’s lovingly woven into my prose you read on my blog. My freedom is a beautiful gift though, something precious that the estimated 27,000,000 slaves in the world don’t have the joys of possessing. This summer, it is my wish to celebrate freedom, and fight for the freedom of the enslaved, by raising $10,000 for International Justice Mission (IJM) by my 22nd birthday, on August 27th, through my fundraising campaign.
In our evolving world, generosity has decreased, philanthropy has declined. If we can love freely, and live freely, then let us give freely. Let us be a revolution of radical generosity, a generation to be remembered, good and kindred spirits banded together against those who treat humans like unfeeling objects, who rape and abuse and bully, and sell people like a commodity. We must show them that we will not tolerate this, and if we do nothing, we let them win.
Do not think of those enslaved as strangers in a far away land. Slavery is in effect all around the world, and these are our brothers and sisters in humanity, people who desire and deserve the human right to be free like us, people who could be us. Sacrificing the equivalent of a cup of coffee, could help keep a little girl from being repeatedly raped as a slave. Donating what it costs to buy a magazine from the newsstands, could help free an entire family from abuse and endless labor in a brick kiln. Envision a new generosity, not of a practical nature, but of radical compassion. Never of guilt or persuasion, but of overflowing love, a reflex of our hearts, freed from selfish excuses.
I’m calling this the Summer of Freedom. It will see me through travels and adventures in India, Nepal, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam, and it is my hope that it will see further justice for the enslaved. You can donate to my fundraising campaign here, as well as, read more about IJM and watch a video. And if you all could please spare a bit of your blog space, dedicate a Facebook status, a Twitter update, etc, to spread the word that would be wonderful, as well. I can't do this without you. In the well-spoken words of Margaret Mead, "Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has." Let victory be ours!
P.S. Feel free to comment if you donate or spread the word, I would love to thank you with every fiber of my being, and if I could, I’d give you a good old bear hug to express my appreciation. May you be blessed.
Photos by Elliot Michael Fairhurst and Sundry Sullen