#TalkJustice Together October Edition




This past Thursday, The Office of Social Justice had a launch party for the Immigrants are a Blessing not a Burden Campaign at the Holland Museum. Your family can join in too. Visit the website to Sign, Share and Wear! My family shared below, as you can see immigrants are very dear to us. Open up conversation with your kids. Immigrants are all around us deepening our lives and contributing to our communities.


Holiday Kindness Camp

What?! How is it mid-October already? The leave are beginning to change colors here, which is beautiful and also a little bit of a bittersweet feeling to me, because I know winter is lurking. If you look at a calendar you know holiday preparations and fun will be filling our weeks soon. Join the sequel to Kindness Summer Camp, Holiday Kindness Camp. We’ll be giving out great ideas to incorporate kindness for five weeks in November and December.

Fall #TalkJustice Playgroups

If you are local, don’t forget our upcoming fall #TalkJustice playgroups, a veterans playgroup in partnership with Herrick District Library and Hope College’s Big Read, and a playgroup benefitting Kids Food Basket in partnership with Grace Episcopal Church. Join the Facebook Event Page to get updates!

Creation Care

Sit down together and look through the images in the article What Humans are Really Doing to the Environment. Ask about their thoughts on the photographs.


Get ready for #GivingTuesday, this year on December 1, 2015. Talk about what organization or family you might like to support. Make plans ahead of time to be able to make it a reality on Dec. 1.

Global Education

Watch the movie trailer He Named Me Malala, the story of Malala Yousafzai shot by the Taliban for attending school, and later winning the Nobel Peace Prize for her activism. If you have read the book, you will also see reflected in the movie the strength of Malala’s Father. He broke conventional beliefs to make education for Malala and other girls a priority. As adults we make a difference when we talk about justice with young people.



My Teen Daughter Asked for 17,000 Pairs of Shoes: Why I said Yes about the foster care system and the basic needs of children. When we pause long enough to take statistics in; we realize how much we have, and how much we have to give.

Trick or Treat

Consider trick or treating for UNICEF! Or maybe matching the number of treats your kids collect to a family donation. $15 provides safe drinking water for a year to a child. $30 provides Measles protection to 100 kids. Just $5 provides five meals to a hungry child. I’m going to have Ant Man and Scarlet Witch this year!

October is Fair Trade Month 

Check out the Buy Fair Trade Fair website. See if you can substitute a product you use in your life with a fair trade equivalent.


The busiest times for food banks is around the holidays. Before you take a hands-on shopping trip to donate, try calling first and asking about high need items. When we did a justice playgroup for our local food pantry this summer, they really needed personal hygiene items. We were able to gather and meet their greatest need at that time. Here is a list of high-quality items that can benefit most food pantries.

What are you all up to this month?

36 Hope Expands: Balancing Giving and Consumerism

36hopeexpands(36 Hope Expands. A series of 36 ways to expand compassion in our daily lives.)

Some people photobomb, my daughter Ellie desk bombs.

ellie bomb

You know this.

We do know this.

How can we go deeper? How can we expand hope in our own lives and the lives of others? We do what we know to be true, love one another, and we seek to never stop learning how to do it better.

Christmas is coming… we’ve had two snow days already!


I love giving presents. It is one of my favorite things. This Christmas season I want to learn more about responsible giving. Inevitably we will all be consumers in some form, I want to do my consumerism with love and in ways that make a difference. I want my buying to be balanced with giving.

  • Remember #GivingTuesday? There is Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and #GivingTuesday. They have some sweet toolkits. Mostly, just consider giving on Tuesday. Join the movement to make the holidays unselfie.



  • Made in a Free World has a slavery footprint calculator. You take a short quiz and in turn have the opportunity to send companies you buy from a letter of your support of fair labor practices. This is a worthwhile exercise and you make a difference.
  • I also signed up at igive.com here you can shop on-line and different companies will give a percentage to the charity of your choice. I choose Community Action House a local food bank in my hometown.
  • About Proximity is planning a little Christmas giveaway with fun surprises from three of my favorite cause companies Sevenly, Pure Vida, Delicate Fortress Creations.

We know this…

Let’s keep growing and learning together to love with every action.

How do you balance consumerism with giving? What are your favorite cause companies to buy from? What will you give to on #GivingTuesday? 


# Giving Tuesday

tues#GivingTuesday opens up conversation about giving back, giving smarter, and giving deeper, not just during the holiday season, but EVERY DAY!

Visit the #GivingTuesday website to catch up on news and see the stats from last year! Giving Tuesday made a difference in its first year, we hope for it to continue to deepen our call to give.


Want to be inspired~ read How We Give a feature of the website, sharing stories of partner organizations.

In the midst of a busy holiday season how do you give back? 

giving tues