This is Carolyn. She's awesome.
My friend Carolyn is the bee's knee's. Aside from being someone who shares an appreciation for things like ice cream, Greek food, colors, creative design, laughable life moments, big dreams, Starbucks, and breakfast options that involve the words "pie" or "cake," she is truly a wonderful person with a huge heart. Right now, her huge heart is in the process of raising $20,000 for an organization called Off the Mat, Into the World, which basically exists to give yoga teachers/practicers a reason to take what they've received from their yoga practice and make a difference with it. (And couldn't we all use an initiative like that?!)
Here are the specifics, straight from Carolyn:
OTM is committed to raising awareness of the global human trafficking industry and supports organizations who help rehabilitate former sex slaves in India. It's not the most fun topic, but it's one that we as a society desperately need to address. The human trafficking industry is second only to drugs and arms in terms of illegal trade, and is an estimated $32 billion industry.
The fact that slavery still exists in 2012, and on such an enormous scale, is outrageous to me, which is why I'm taking action to put an end to it. My goal is to raise $20K so that I can travel with OTM to India in February of 2013 to volunteer with local charities and make a direct impact. With only 94 days left to fund-raise, I'm calling on you to help.
GO CAROLYN!!! What an admirable goal! If you think Carolyn and her goal are pretty spectacular and want to help, here are four ways you can make a difference:
1. Donate directly on the OTM website. (Be sure to enter her name, Carolyn Levine, in the Seva Participant box.)
2. Talk about it! If you are of the tweeting variety, here's an easy tweet to get the conversation started:
My friend, Carolyn Levine, is raising $20,000 for Off the Mat, Into the World this year! Let's help her reach her goal. http://bit.ly/JAEhHt
or Option 2!:
Did you know that human trafficking is a $32 billion a year industry? If that fact boggles your mind, join my friend, Carolyn Levine, in her journey to raise $20K to end modern slavery! http://bit.ly/JAEhHt
4. Live in Denver? Like good food? Contact Carolyn to lend a hand with her Chili Cook-Off Fundraiser!
Carolyn's commitment to action is a necessary reminder that it's not enough to feel bad, pray for change, and move on. James is also really good at convicting us to do more:
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. [ james 1:27 ]
What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. [ James 2:14-17 ]
One way or another, let's find a way to care for people. Let's find a way to use our freedom effectively in ways that matter. By exercising our own freedom - to speak, to act, to stand up on behalf of others - we can help achieve freedom for those who are still enslaved.
(To learn more about Carolyn and to cheer her on (woo hoo!!!), you can (and should!) visit her website here.)