Charity Logo

Charity Logo

Charity of the Month


In December I am riding for Heifer International. Founded in 1944, Heifer International works with communities around the world to end hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth. Its approach is more than a handout. Heifer provides animals (e.g., heifers, goats, water buffalos, chickens, rabbits, fish, and bees) and training to impoverished people in over 30 countries. The animals can give milk, meat, or eggs; provide draft power; or form the basis of a small business. Communities make their own decisions about what crops, animals, and market strategies make sense for their everyday conditions and experiences.

Heifer International is based on 12 Cornerstones, such as Sustainability; Genuine Need and Justice; and Gender and Family Focus. Perhaps the best known Cornerstone is Passing on the Gift, in which Heifer recipient families pass on the offspring of their animals to others in need. In this way, whole communities can raise their standard of living.

A donation to Heifer International also can make a wonderful alternative holiday gift. Instead of yet another sweater for Grandma that she really doesn’t need, why not donate a Heifer animal or a share of an animal in her honor? Does your child really need so many new toys? Instead of five new toys, give him/her three new toys and a Heifer flock of chicks. Heifer has honor cards to let your loved ones know of your gift on their behalf.

I have set up a Team Heifer page to support Heifer International through A Year of Centuries. My goal is to raise $500. Please make your donation through If you would like more information about Heifer’s work, please visit Whether you give to honor a loved one or make a regular donation, thank you for taking steps to transform the world for the better.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Focus on Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is not an easy topic to discuss.  Nevertheless, it’s a lot more widespread than most of us realize, affecting people of all socioeconomic levels, races, and religions.  We probably all know someone who has been a victim of domestic abuse, whether we know it or not.  The overwhelming majority of domestic abuse victims are women, but there are a few men, too.  Also, children often are involved; even if they are not physically harmed, they suffer from being in an abusive environment.

Personal stories are usually the best way to connect with something important, but on this sensitive topic, it’s often hard to share such stories publicly.  That’s not because the victims should be ashamed; they have done nothing to deserve abuse.  However, it’s understandable that victims might not speak openly, perhaps because they fear for their safety.  But the rest of us can speak out.  Here are some statistics from the website of the Partnership Against Domestic Violence:

·       Nearly 5.3 million intimate partner victimization occur each year among U.S. women ages 18 and older. This violence results in nearly 2 million injuries and nearly 1,300 deaths. – Centers for Disease Control, 2003
·       One in four women experience domestic violence in their lifetime. – Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, 2006.
·       On average, more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States. – Catalano, Shannan. 2007. Intimate Partner Violence in the United States. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.
·       In 2008, a 24-hour survey of domestic violence programs across the nation found that over 60,000 victims were served in one day. Unfortunately, due to a lack of resources, there were almost 9,000 unmet requests for services. – Domestic Violence Count 07 A 24- hour census of domestic violence shelters and services across the United States. The National Network to End Domestic Violence (Jan. 2008).

·       15.5 million children in the United States live in families in which partner violence occurred at least once in the past year. Seven million children live in families in which severe partner violence occurred. – Whitfield, CL, Anda RF, Dube SR, Felittle VJ. 2003. Violent Childhood Experiences and the Risk of Intimate Partner Violence in Adults: Assessment in a Large Health Maintenance Organization. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.
·       Boys who witness domestic violence in their own home are three times more likely to become batterers. – Straus, M.A., Gelles, R.J. & Steinmetz, S. Behind Closed Doors. Doubleday, Anchor, 1980.
·       In homes where partner abuse occurs, children are 1,500 times more likely to be abused. – Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, Family Violence: Interventions for the Justice System, 1993

Teen Dating Violence
·       One in three teenagers report knowing a friend or peer who has been hit, punched, kicked, slapped, choked or physically hurt by their partner. – Liz Claiborne Inc. study on teen dating abuse conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited, February 2005.
·       Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend had threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup. – Liz Claiborne Inc. study on teen dating abuse conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited, February 2005.
·       If trapped in an abusive relationship, 73 percent of teens said they would turn to a friend for help; but only 33 percent who have been in or known about an abusive relationship said they have told anyone about it. – Liz Claiborne Inc. study on teen dating abuse conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited, February 2005.
·       Nearly 80 percent of girls who have been physically abused in their intimate relationships continue to date their abuser. – City of New York, Teen Relationship Abuse Fact Sheet, March 1998

In The Workplace
·       Domestic violence causes American employees to miss 175,000 workdays per year.
·       Abusive husbands harass 74 percent of employed battered women at work, either in person or over the telephone.
·       The costs of intimate partner violence against women exceed an estimated $8.3 billion. These costs include nearly $4.1 billion in direct costs of medical and mental health care and nearly $1.8 billion in the indirect costs of lost productivity. – Centers for Disease Control, 2003

Domestic abuse victims may have needs ranging from a safe escape plan to medical treatment to employment training.  In A Year of Centuries, I am highlighting the need for dental treatment and facial surgery in victims of domestic abuse.  The Face to Face program of the Partnership Against Domestic Violence provides these services free of charge.  If you would like to make a donation, please mail a check to

New Image Dental Laboratory
1395 Southlake Parkway
Morrow, GA 30260

Please note on your check that it is for domestic violence patients.  Thank you for helping these women start regaining their self confidence and building better lives for themselves.

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