Nov 222011

Dear Freethinkers,

I was approached by the daughter of a friend of a friend who finds herself in a dire situation and needs help. I come to you today not as a skeptic, not as an atheist, but as a human. I ask for you to take off your skeptical/freethinkers hats and put on your humanitarian ones. A young mother and her 2-year-old child need your help and I hope you’ll answer their call.

As skeptics, we’re always viewed as curmudgeons; as heartless, robotic humans who like nothing better than ruin other people’s fun, without doing anything to actually help anyone. We are thought of as heartless; well, to hell with that I say. We are every ounce as humanitarian as other people. Yet, actions speak louder than words; we don’t need to just say we’re something, we have to be that something.

I ask you to be that something today. Read the short story below and if you find it in your hearts, please donate whatever you can to help this young mother and her child get through a tough time in their lives.

Lana’s Story

**The real names and location have been changed for safety concerns.**

Lana grew up in a developing country where the hopes for the future are bleak and options are scarce. When she met her soon to be husband a few years ago, a dream shared by many of her peers seemed to come true.  Her husband lived in America, and he was going to take her there. And so he did.

Yet soon her dream turned into a nightmare. Lana has suffered abuse both mental and physical at the hands of her husband and his family, whom she shared a house with. A brief separation was followed by a short reconciliation period. Then that ended too. A couple of weeks ago she found herself, and her 2-year-old daughter, kicked out the house, literally kicked out.

She’s only lived in this country for a little over a year. She has no family and no friends to take her in. She suddenly finds herself in the streets, with only the clothes on her backs and $100 in her pocket, in a country that she has barely started to know, among people whose language she has barely learned to speak in the short time. The police told her that she doesn’t have enough evidence; welfare told her that she hasn’t lived long enough in the country to qualify for help. Housing and food stamps take a long time to process, but she and her daughter need to be able to survive now.

Yet she’s not given up. She’s found herself a shelter to stay in and has even managed to get herself a part-time job which she will start soon. But she and her daughter cannot live in a shelter forever, the conditions as you may imagine are less than optimal. They need a roof over their head, her daughter needs clothes and food and daycare services so the mother can work. Right now they’re fighting furiously, but they need a cushion to help them get back on their feet.

I am doing whatever I can to help her out, yet the burden is too big for one person to shoulder. But together, with minimal sacrifice on your part we can make a huge difference. We can change how these two futures are written.

I have set up this ChipIn widget to gather funds to deliver to Lana and her daughter. My goal is not small, but not too big if hundreeds or thousands of you find it in your heart to help. In my mind, I have set a total goal of $5,000 by 12/02/11, with the hopes that we can get at least $2,000 by Thanksgiving.

I am banking every last ounce of credibility I may have garnered through my pro-health work over the years on this humanitarian effort. Please help me help this mother and her daughter. This is supposed to be a time of holidays, of happiness and joy, not of this kind of suffering.

I ask you all, skeptical or not, pro-vaccine or anti-vaccine, to put all our differences aside for a few minutes and let us make a difference in Lana’s life right now.

They say that all it takes for evil to succeed is for good people to stand by and do nothing. Let us not be those people. Let us be humane and bring some hope in Lana’s, and her daughter’s life. God knows they need it right now.

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