The Images Tug At Your Heartstrings, But What Can You Do To Help?

The Images Tug At Your Heartstrings, But What Can You Do To Help?

10 ways that you can help victims of Hurricane Florence

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Early on September 14th, Hurricane Florence made landfall south of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina and moved inland from there, leaving a path of destruction. Florence downed trees, caused flooding, and set off tornadoes. At this point, damages are estimated to be at least 17 million dollars. It is also estimated that at least 36 people have died due to Hurricane Florence. More than one million people have had to evacuate their homes, and it is unknown as to when and if they will be unable to go home.

The statistics are sobering, but what can you do to help? Lots actually! Here are xx ways that you can help victims of Hurricane Florence:

1. Donate to the Red Cross.

Even though Red Cross is already working hard to help victims of Hurricane Florence, they can still use your help! Donate here.

2. Donate blood.

Whenever there's a crisis, hospitals will almost always find themselves short on blood. Find out how you can give a life-saving gift here.

3. Donate to the Humane Society.

Thousands of animals have been harmed by Hurricane Florence. The Humane Society is working hard to help save them. Find out what you can do to help out too here.

4. Donate or join Habitat for Humanity.

Whether you donate money or help rebuild homes destroyed by the hurricane, Habitat for Humanity will appreciate your help. Find out more here.

5. Donate to the United Way Hurricane Florence Relief Fund.

United Way has dedicated a specific fund just for hurricane relief. Donate here.

6. Donate to the Diaper Bank of North Carolina.

This organization is dedicated to supplying families with young children diapers and other needed supplies. Donate here.

7. Add one dollar or more to your order at 7-Eleven.

7-Eleven is partnering with the American Red Cross to raise funds to help victims of Hurricane Florence. Find out more about their fundraiser here.

8. Donate to Save the Children.

Save the Children is dedicated to providing for children around the world who are impoverished or who have been affected by national disaster. Find out more about their Hurricane Florence relief fund here.

9. Donate through Sprint's Text-To-Donate program.

If you're a Sprint customer, you can text a variety of different codes to donate. Find out more here.

10. Volunteer to help storm victims.

Help clear waste, rebuild homes, even deliver food or medicine. Find out more about how you can volunteer to help storm victims here.

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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He May Be Part Of The 1% Now, But Bernie Isn't A Hypocrite

Having wealth doesn't expose your morals, how you handle it does.

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Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders released his tax returns three months after joining the 2020 presidential race as a Democrat. The self-labeled Democratic Socialist has built his platform by advocating for a smaller wealth gap, and fighting against tax cuts for the rich.

With a gross adjusted income of $561,293 in 2018, Sanders and his wife, Jane O'Meara Sanders, are now squarely in America's top wealth bracket. And for this, some are calling him hypocritical. He is now part of the group that he so heavily criticizes. While Sanders' books have generated a good deal of wealth for himself, he isn't the part of the 1% that are contributing to the income gap problems of today.

Sanders didn't inherit his money. In fact, he has spoken about the fact that he grew up in a family that "lived paycheck to paycheck." Unlike most wealthy people of today, Sanders had to make his wealth through hard work, despite the adversity of growing up in economic insecurity.

In 2014, Sanders and his wife's income was just $205,271, less than half of what they make today. It was the 2016 presidential bid that so intensely raised his income. Since then, Sanders has published three books, "Our Revolution," "Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution," and "Where We Go From Here." Sanders has stated that he made an average of about $848,000 in both 2016 and 2017 as a result of book sales. O'Meara Sanders took in around $106,000 in 2017 from a book that she wrote.

Due to his family's financial struggles, while growing up, Sanders has said that he "know[s] the stress of economic insecurity." He recognizes that in his adult life he has "been fortunate" and he has said that he is "very grateful for that."

It's not morally wrong to be rich and self-made. It is wrong to be rich and use your wealth to continue to gain more wealth. But, Sanders is helping the less fortunate. First, he has been one of the most influential forces to advocate for the lower class in the modern era. Second, Sanders and O'Meara Sanders gave $18,950 to charity in 2018 (which is certainly more than can be said for most of the 1% status Americans).

Here is the thing, Sanders came from a low-income household, has worked as an activist all his life, ran for president, published three books, and is now running for president again. He is the epitome of the American Dream. He is what Americans should strive to be. Now, Sanders is fighting so that others can have the resources and abilities to do the same.

Bernie Sanders is not a hypocrite. If anything, the news that Sanders is a member of the 1% should increase America's trust in him. The fact that Sanders has not strayed from his platform and promises, even after joining the millionaire ranks, proves that he is prepared to practice exactly what he preaches. If he raises taxes on the wealthy, he will lose money. His wealth has not corrupted him, he is fighting against himself. He is proving that the wealthy are able to, can, and should use their wealth for good, and fight for the less fortunate.

He proves that the Socialist party doesn't consist of just a bunch of poor, lazy millennials. He proves that the Socialist party is for everyone who wants a more income equitable America. He proves that even 1% can be a Socialist.

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