Love in a Hopeless Place

AH!

When I set out to raise money for Beards BeCAUSE this year, I just wanted to help. My mom has always told me that when you’re sad and lonely and in a general state of blah, you should do something nice for someone else. My two primary coping mechanisms are avoidance and displacement. In this case, I applied both. I decided I’d avoid my own problems by directing my energy towards someone else’s. It seemed logical.

At the time, I didn’t think I had a strong tie to the cause but I knew it was a worthy one, and I also knew Scott and Jared personally and wanted to help them out with their mission. Plus, I love beards.

What I’ve learned over the last month and a half–and in the last week especially–is that this cause is so much bigger than that, so much bigger than me, and that (like it or not) I do have a strong tie to this cause. We all do.

One in four women will be a victim of domestic abuse. One in four. That is ridiculous. Unacceptable. Disheartening.

By participating in Beards BeCAUSE I’ve been exposed to the raw truth of real suffering. Though the outlet is lighthearted–beard growing, beer drinking, fundraising–the organization’s mission is heavy and their actions deliberate. In hearing from victims, caseworkers and policemen who deal with domestic violence, I now better understand the gravity of the problem, the breadth of its reach and the reality that it’s not going away any time soon–a fact that leaves me feeling frustrated and overwhelmed and, in all honesty, angry.

But what I’ve seen in the last six weeks–through the kindness of strangers–is that there is great power within each of us (and especially all of us collectively) to make a difference. To cultivate love where there is none. To create hope where there is none.

I cannot thank you all enough for your support (monetary and otherwise) of this cause. The way I see it, my role in all this was simple: draw attention, spread the word, be a voice. You all–the bakers and crafters and bidders in the auction; and the eaters and drinkers at the bar–are the ones who gave selflessly of your time and energy and skills and money. And for that I am very, very grateful.

Together, in just four days, we have raised $1,000 for Beards BeCAUSE to put an end to domestic violence. (The grand total from the auction was $801.50 and my tips from the bar brought in $186, which I filled in to $200 for a nice even $1000 total.) Way to go.

But we’re not done yet. Oh no… There are still three more weeks of fundraising left to go.

Still want to donate?

You can do so through my participant page here.

To the auction winners…

Thank you for your patience with the logistical problems. I’ve been at my other job all day, computerless and phoneless, and am emailing everyone right now with instructions on how to proceed with payment. Thank you all!

3 thoughts on “Love in a Hopeless Place

  1. Awesome job, Katie, and this is just so true: “through the kindness of strangers–is that there is great power within each of us (and especially all of us collectively) to make a difference. To cultivate love where there is none. To create hope where there is none.” You and Rihanna got it right. :)

  2. As part of my training yesterday, I went to an outreach centre, where they attempt to monitor the kiddies within the deprived area I am currently placed in who are between 0-5 years of age. In talking about what the major issues and problems they encounter are, a big one that came up was how much young children are affected by the domestic violence taking place in their homes- be it via the more traditional physical violence, or the just as damaging verbal abuse or neglect that is prevalent. It was pretty heartbreaking. I hadn’t quite made the full connection before- yes I was aware of violence being directed at women, or men within the confines of their supposedly ‘safe’ homes, but not at the young, naive bystanders. Apparently the children can be hugely traumatised, go on to have trouble with socialisation, emotional regulation and trusting others amongst many other problems. This is an especially huge problem in my area, as we have a preponderance of recent immigrants+ refugees, with many originating from Western Africa, South Asia+ the Middle East, often where it is the norm for the man of the house to be omnipotent and the way they act towards the women and children of the family is, for them, an acceptable social norm. (I mean this in absolutely no racially derogatory way!) My whole spiel was basically to say how great and far reaching your support and efforts will be for Beards ;) You should be truly proud of yourself and your work-fundraising-college work- more work juggling act!

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