Thursday, June 15, 2006

Human Rights Issue: Human Trafficking

Every day, women and children are enslaved - trapped due to fear, coercion and exploitation- and sold into sex-trafficking rings. These women often face a dismal life of poor living conditions and daily rapes, beatings, and almost constant exposure to STDs, unwanted pregnancy, and communicable disease. Faced with threats of beatings or harm to their families, they stay out of fear and often remained enslaved until they can be rescued.

You can learn more about this human rights issue and what can be done here:
Movie: Human Trafficking

Victim testimonies can be found here:

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Indiana Amber Alert Ends in Tragedy

This is in regards to the Indiana Amber Alert issued Tuesday morning. The two missing children, Collin Walker, age 4 and Monte Walker, age 2 were found with the accused kidnapper, their father,  Katron Walker, late Tuesday evening in Blackhawk, a rural area near Terre Haute. All three had stab wounds issued by the father and tragically little Collin Walker was found dead at the scene. Reportedly, Katron Walker was under the influence of Methamphetamines and Marijuana at the time of the murder. The surviving son is recovering as is the father and the father may be charged with murder.
Could the child's needless death have been prevented? There's questioning if there was a delay in the Amber Alert response time by police and an investigation led by county and state police may be taking place in two to four weeks.

News Stories:
June 14, 2006:
WRTV6, Indianapolis
Amber Alert Issued For Two Boys
Police: Boys, Father 'Accounted For' After Amber Alert
Police: Man Killed Son, Injured Another After Divorce Threat
Alert Delay? Police Say Threat To Boys Wasn't Immediately Clear (editor's note: considering one child ended up dead, I'd say it was clear)

WISH TV 8, Indianapolis
Police Say Father 'Can't Believe He Killed His Children'
Abduction, boy's death highlight Amber Alert challenges
WXIN-TV (Fox 59), Indianapolis
Father who kidnapped his two children accused of killing one
Witnesses say police slow to search for father accused of murder
Terre Haute Tribune (newspaper)
Co-workers pray for family of slain child
Father may face murder charge in death of son
Boys, dad spent day together before he allegedly killed older son

More on the Amber Alert system can be found at:

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Do Pro-Lifers Care About the Born?

A popular question addressed to the pro-life individual/advocate is: Do you care about the welfare of born children and adults of this world? What about lessening the numbers of children brought up in poverty or suffering? Patricia Beninato recently challenged us pro-lifers with this on her blog.
Usually this is used as a red herring or an ad hominem attack to divert the issue at hand or to discredit pro-lifers. One might ask themselves how this has bearing on the humanity of the unborn, the personhood debate, or women's rights? But it's still a worthy concern. Actually many (not all) pro-life individuals are both involved in community improvement programs and working on an individual basis to help individuals with their basic needs. For example, the following are the community improvement programs and projects I've been involved in:

Harvest Soup Kitchen (1999-2003) and Christian Ministries Food Pantry (1999-2001)
I have volunteered, of my own free will, 2-4 hours a week a the local soup kitchen and food pantry, in order to fulfill the basic needs of the impoverished.

Mission Trip to Appalachia (June 2000)
Three young adults and two chaperones from St. Mary's Catholic Church went on a mission trip to Clintwood, Viriginia, a small town located in the Appalachian Mountains. Clintwood is a former mining and industrial town with a high poverty rate. There, St. Joseph Catholic Church assists families in need of various kinds of assistance. About 20 groups, from around the mid-west United States, visit each each summer to do volunteer work. Our group consisted of three young adults and two adults chaperones, one whom is a professional construction worker and instructor at a local vocational college. We were there for a week and during that time were granted stay in a small home owned by the church  Previous to our trip, we spent two days learning basic construction skills from a trained professional (who was also one of the adult chaperons). We were assigned to do some home repair on an elderly lady's shack. She had electricity and running water (which is unsafe to drink due to septic contamination) and no indoor bathroom (just a port-a-pot in her front yard). We repaired a large hole in the living room floor and kitchen and tore-down, rebuilt, and painted her front and side porch.  It was an eye-opening experience to see poverty at its worst. We received the reward of seeing the greatfulness from the elderly lady and her grown children.

Campus Christian Fellowship Service Team (fall 2002-January 2005)
A volunteer effort for college students to go out and make a difference in the community. Activities include: assisting in home repairs and yard work at The Children's Home (a privately owned foster home group located in South Eastern Illinois), assisting the local Salvation Army by bell ringing at Christmas, and more.

Heart to Heart Pregnancy Care Center (February 2003-Fall 2005)
I was volunteer receptionist and clothing room volunteer at Heart to Heart Pregnancy Care Center, an affiliate of Care Net International.

Relay For Life, American Cancer Society (June 23 and 24, 2006, June 22 and 23, 2007)
I participated in the local Relay for Life. Relay For Life is an overnight celebration of hope, progress and answers. In honor of the 8.5 million Americans who have survived cancer, teams of friends, families and co-workers raise funds to support the continued fight against the disease.

NAMI Walks for the Mind of America (June 2007 and  2008)
I've participated in this awareness/fundraising walkathon for mental illness. NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The common message of NAMI is support, education, advocacy, and research.

Employer: Residential Facility for Individuals with Developmental and Behavioral Challenges (October 2007-November 2009 and May 2011 - Present)
I prior worked 40+ hours/week  as direct care staff (actual title: Direct Service Technician) with children and young adults with severe autism and other developmental disabilities.

My best and closest friend is a single mom to a school-aged child. I was there for her through her pregnancy and was there when her daughter was born. We continue get together on a regular basis, also I've been there to provide emotional support, provide transportation to doctor's offices and Medicaid appointments, provided childcare for her daughter, but most of all continue to giver her support and encouragement.

Furthermore, I have an entry on child abuse awareness and prevention and I keep a public list of hotline numbers, mental health resources, and resources for those facing a poor prenatal diagnosis, as well as make use of local United Way community directories and internet search engines to help individuals find community services on request.

Pregnancy resource centers generally provide practical needs items for mothers and children up to age 3 regardless of race, sex, or religion. Here is one such clothing room of a pregnancy resource center in Indiana. The items may include: maternity clothes, children's clothings (premie up to 24T), children's hygiene items, baby food and formula, packs of diapers (on an emergency basis), and baby/children's furniture. Most PRCs have a limited supply of furniture, clothing, and other material items. All items have been generously donated or purchased with funds donated by individuals, local churches, and community organizations. The types and amount of supplies they have available varies from week to week and month to month. Some of it is new, some used. It is only the intentional of the PRC (volunteers and staff as a whole) to be of help in the early days of one's parenthood and assist the mother until she is able to support herself and for a number of practical reasons should not be expected to support her until her children are grown.

We usually don't go around anouncing or advertising our involvement and contributions. And why should we? We should be accountible of our good deeds only to ourselves and our higher power. And one should do acts of kindness from the heart and in humbility, not to make a political point nor looking for public praise or rewards. It's with hesistation I share my accomplishments, but I wanted to make a point. I am one of many pro-lifers who make positive contributions in our community, but often without recognition or reward. I realize that you may not trust that myself or any other pro-lifer is telling the truth, but that issue lies with you.

Original Comments Made for this Entry...

CatS. wrote:
well said!