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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Every Life Matters

At times it seems Angels come to the Earth and make a statement that propels rippling change throughout humanity.  Tim Wilson may well be one of those Angels.  On December 10, 2010 Tim died tragically underneath a bridge in the affluent Buckhead Community where the Georgia Governor calls home.  During the night the temperatures dipped into the 20's and Tim froze to death.

Laura's quilt honoring
Tim Wilson
Laura Martin, a local artist & business woman who founded Ties That Matter, felt the magnitude of Tim's death.  A woman of action, Laura created a memorial quilt for Tim while she dealt with the complexity of emotions surrounding his death.  From the quilt and her community connections, Every Life Matters was launched in October, 2011. Listen to Laura's voice of ELM's foundation via her blog post, Homelessness - a call to action.

The immediate ELM focus is collection of blankets to keep tragedy at bay and a base level of comfort for those unable to secure one of the limited available spots in area shelters.  

First Call to ACTION: scour your home for unused (or rarely used) blankets, clean and donate them to one of the many receiving facilities around the city.  For drop-off locations, visit the ELM Donate a Blanket page.

Blankets are the beginning.  In Laura's words:  This campaign has no end. We’ll just keep at it until a bridge is no longer “home” for anyone and until every man, woman and child in our city has enough of a support system to weather the bad times, no matter how bad they get. And, when we’re done in Atlanta, we’ll move on to other communities.

Second Call to Action:  Sign the ELM pledge - a book with the signatures will be presented to Atlanta Mayor Reed.  The pledge is simple and powerful:

I pledge to see the men, women and children whoare homeless in my city as fellow citizens, worthyof kindness and consideration.
I promise to support those who offer care,
resources and real change that help our neighborsfind food, shelter, employment and a return tostability.
I add my name to others who believe that every life matters.

To sign the pledge, go the ELM Pledge page.

On the ELM website sidebar is a Mother Teresa quote that brings home the magnitude of poverty and how it extends will beyond physical survival into emotional realms.  From Mother Teresa:
"We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty."

This post is a foundation for future blog posts on matters close to my heart.  For those who follow the ZWZ Blog and IMPACT Blog, I rarely write in first person.  Many of these posts will be written in first person as they are from the canyons of my heart where I understand the monumental importance of immediate action for our impoverished brothers and sisters.

As Laura, I live in Buckhead and know many beautiful individuals who live within the streets by their first names.  One of my missions is to bring Dignity back into their lives along with survival needs.  There are so many simple, caring acts we may do - an easy one is eye contact with a friendly "Hello"  More to come in future posts.

See the IMPACT Blog post, Ties That Matter, for details on Laura's organization that trains refugees to make gorgeous products from donated ties.

Please join me in congratulating Laura for her fortitude and taking ACTION with practical, immediate results.  It is the power of individuals like Laura that will crest humanity into a dimension where love, dignity and abundance are the foundation.  We may only arrive by actions of the Heart driven by Love.

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