Posts filed under Social Good

Take Action for Human Rights - Amnesty International

Thank you Amnesty International USA for sponsoring this post.

Both my parents came to the USA from Peru (South America) in 1980, with a dream and desire to obtain the American Dream. Through their ups and downs, they have achieved their goal and in return gave my sister and I a better future.

Unfortunately, more and more people all over the world make the difficult decision to leave their homes not for a dream but to flee horrific violence. Others are escaping discrimination, persecution, or extreme poverty.

Right now, we’re in the middle of the largest global refugee crisis in generations. Tens of millions of people – many of them children – have been forced from their homes in Syria, Central America, Africa, and other parts of the world.

Amnesty International

Many refugees face violence and human rights abuses while trying to find safety, and then face discrimination and hostility when they finally begin to rebuild their lives in another country.

Every time I watch the news, it breaks my heart seeing people, especially young kids, suffering and going through inhumane conditions. No one should ever have to go through such a traumatic experience, no one! All of them deserve to have their human rights respected, and that’s what Amnesty International USA helps ensure.

Amnesty International USA is a global movement of millions of people demanding human rights for all people – no matter who they are or where they are. They are the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization.

Amnesty International

Decades ago, countries of the world agreed to a set of basic principles for how refugees would be treated when they go to another country seeking asylum, or emergency protection from violence or persecution. The United States and other countries agreed to treat people with compassion and respect their human rights while their claims are considered.

The United States has not been living up to this commitment. People seeking asylum are sometimes imprisoned and held for many months without access to attorneys or translators. Children are sometimes imprisoned and separated from their families. Some people seeking asylum are deported without having their claims heard – and they are forced to return to countries where they may be tortured, imprisoned, or even killed.

Amnesty International

There’s only one place in the U.S. that you can hold a child who’s never committed a violent action or crime for nearly 700 days and that place is Berks County Residential Center in Pennsylvania.

Berks is currently holding at least 60 parents and kids. Many of them are from Central America, where Amnesty International has documented horrific violence. Their only so-called crime is seeking safety for their families as they flee violence or persecution. Whether for two weeks or two years, no family should be jailed for seeking safety.

It’s time for the U.S. government to end the cruel practice of family detention at centers like Berks once and for all. They must immediately release detained families. Amnesty International USA is fighting to ensure that people with asylum claims are given a fair hearing and humane treatment.

Amnesty International

HOW YOU CAN HELP

In the face of this humanitarian crisis, governments around the world are not doing enough to help. Families have been forced to flee their homes because their lives are under threat and their human rights are being violated. 

We need take immediate action in favor of human rights and shed light on the #TheBerkKids. The issue of immigration and the violation of human rights is something we need to stand up for and get involved. Education and awareness is key for any change to be made. 

Amnesty International

We all share a responsibility to help people who have lost everything, and to give them a chance to rebuild their lives safely the same way all of us would need to if we were in this horrible situation.

Please donate and visit Amnesty International USA to learn more about this crisis and what you can do to help.

We are all part of one world.

Amnesty International

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Posted on December 4, 2017 and filed under Social Good.

Help Make HIV History

Thank you Johnson & Johnson for sponsoring this post. Help make HIV history by clicking here.

#MakeHIVHistory

Did you know every week 7,000 young women around the world contract HIV? That’s a new young woman impacted every two minutes. In fact, young women aged 10-24 are twice as likely to contract HIV as males the same ages.

Young people make up over 20% of HIV/AIDS cases in the U.S. According to the CDC, young people between the ages of 13 and 24 account for just over one in five HIV diagnoses.

These statistics are both alarming and frightening! This is why I'm teaming up with Johnson & Johnson to help make HIV History.

#MakeHIVHistory

Johnson & Johnson has vowed to become part of the solution. In 2015, the company became a major partner in the DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, Safe women) initiative, a partnership between the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other groups aimed at reducing HIV infections among teen girls and young women in 10 sub-Saharan African countries.

As part of its commitment, Johnson & Johnson is providing up to $15 million in funding to help empower girls and young women by supporting such services as offering access to HIV testing and condoms.

WHAT IS HIV?

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus.

It is the virus that causes AIDS.  When a person is infected with HIV, the virus enters the body and then lives and multiplies primarily in the white blood cells—the immune cells that normally protect us from disease.

There are now roughly 36.7 million people living with HIV or AIDS worldwide. Most of them do not know they are infected and may be spreading the virus to others.

In the U.S., more than 1.2 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, and approximately 44,000 Americans become newly infected with HIV each year. It is estimated that one-eighth of all people with HIV in the U.S. do not know they are infected.

For more information about HIV please click here.

 

HELP MAKE HIV HISTORY

In order to help prevent this disease from spreading, we need to get educated and tested. The survival and long-term health of people with HIV are significantly improved by beginning HIV treatment earlier. Getting tested and entering treatment sooner rather than later means that you can begin to protect your health when it matters most.

Help spread awareness about HIV by creating and sharing a video at www.MakeHIVHistory.com. Record and share a custom 15 second video, like the one I created below and tell your story, share the facts about HIV, or show your support. Johnson & Johnson will compile the most compelling submissions into a short video that will be revealed on World AIDS Day on December 1, 2017.

Share the facts, show your support and help save lives

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Posted on November 8, 2017 and filed under Social Good.

Protecting Paradise in St. Petersburg

The boat is going just the right speed; cooling the skin from the burning Florida sun. As the vessel meets a wave, the drink I was holding flies out of my hand and into the water. The day passes with laughter and remarkable views of paradise. It is a life many only ever dream of.

As a resident of St. Petersburg, I do not take for granted the minutes it takes for me to pick up reading material and head to the beach. Or that the close proximity allows me to do it even if for only a half hour. I do not neglect the opportunities to regale over wine with my neighbors as we watch the dolphins backdropped by perfect sunsets over the Intercostal.

It is these moments in paradise that bring unmatched serenity to an alternate life of deadlines and harsh realities. But, for those moments worthy of a St. Pete postcard, I am living the dream.

So what happens to the dream life so many work their entire lives to experience if their little piece of paradise is irrevocably lost? Gone forever. That is what we face if we don’t take measures to protect our waters now.

While we may understand when it’s ok to eat the catch of the day, many of us don’t understand the pivotal role we play in protecting our waters. In truth, a floating beer can is more than an eye soar. Pollution is detrimental to wildlife.

“Plastic strapping and six-pack holders can strangle or entangle wildlife. Many birds are indiscriminate eaters, and ingesting small pieces of plastic or debris can kill them. Scientists estimate that more than one million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die each year as a result of this."

Still, mindless littering isn’t the only culprit. Have you ever wondered why it’s so hard to get fertilizer between June and September? City ordinances restrict the sale of certain fertilizers during those months to prevent things like Red Tide; an algal bloom caused by the large amounts of nitrogen and phosphorous in fertilizer run off which deprives our waters of life-supporting oxygen and light.

Would you want to bring home your catch that day? The Ocean Conservancy explains that “as rainwater flows off roofs, the ground, sidewalks, and streets to storm drains, it picks up pollutants such as street litter, pet waste, automotive oil, antifreeze, and lawn and garden chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides.” This run-off transforms our waterways and beaches from pristine playgrounds to unsafe wastelands.

It isn’t all doom and gloom though, this is the Sunshine State after all. The good news is that small actions make a big difference. Clean up after your pets. Pick up litter you may come across. Use less toxic alternatives to household cleaners or when washing your car or boat and encourage friends to do the same.

Want to go the extra mile? Do it literally!

Organize a beach clean up with neighbors. Better still, contact your homeowner’s association and request more eco-conscious alternatives and awareness campaigns. Campaigns can be anything from an informational piece in the monthly newsletter to the placement of ‘Drains to the Bay’ stickers atop storm drains (like I had my neighborhood display).

Regardless of what you do, do something.


Posted on April 4, 2017 and filed under Social Good.