The items people don’t always think of that food banks desperately need

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Adobe Stock: by Arrow

Being able to donate is an opportunity lots of people take pride in having.
I’ve always loved being able to give back. My Nana tells me I got it from my mom every chance she gets.

My mom was one of those people that wouldn’t hesitate to give the shirt off of her back if someone needed it. She was chronically ill and in a lot of pain throughout her whole life. However, she was always donating her time, skills, and resources. …

Breaking all the rules

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Adobe Stock: by GeoffGoldSwain

A pencil-mustached man with slicked-back hair weaseled himself in between me and my sweetheart Minnie. “Is this cat bothering you?”

“Uh — ,” Minnie started, but he cut her off.

His voice raised just a hair; my ears picked it up. “Don’t worry, darlin’,” he said. “Name’s Aaron.”

My head cocked to the side. I gripped the steel in my pants pocket.

He stuck out his hand for her to shake. She looked to me. I gave her the signal, a slight nod she’s learned to look for. She stepped back. Without taking my eyes from his, I yanked him close to me by his elbow. …

My body is louder than ever, but now I listen.

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Adobe Stock: bt picsfive

I go to the dialysis clinic 3 times a week for 3.5 hour sessions. I get 2 one-day breaks and 1 two-day break in between. However, my life pretty much revolves around being a dialysis patient. Doctors appointments, blood draws, prescription runs, grocery hauls, adult chores, and rest fill up my days. There’s also my cuddly pup Ginger to take care of, my girlfriend, and three kids.

I’ve been a dialysis patient for over a year and a half now. Here are some of the things getting hooked up to a blood — cleaning machine taught me.

Energy is precious.
There was a time where I was so drained that I needed a cane or a walker to help me get around. The first time I walked into Walmart with my cane, I was so ashamed. I was only 22, and I looked so ill even the preacher was scared I was dying right then and there. Apparently, I was extremely pale and frail. Every time I ate, I got terribly sick. So I stopped eating. …

Why are we bragging about wasting our lives working the day away?

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Adobe Stock: by xartproduction

I used to fall asleep wishing for snow so I wouldn’t have to go to school.
I lived in Alabama so hoping it would snow is like throwing a hail mary downfield. Some people wake up hoping they get into a car accident just so they don’t have to clock in at work. Some even go as far as to wish for death.

Long shifts combined with low pay make millions feel like their wasting their life clocking in and clocking out.

Why do people work 40 hours or more week after week and still struggle to make ends meet? Why do some have to pick between the light bill or the gas bill and pick which bill is going to either be partially paid or paid late? …

Who are you to judge what goes on an EBT card?

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Adobe Stock: by Sergii

Have you ever been in line behind someone at the grocery store and spotted an odd-looking debit card? Each state has its own Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) card. Some of them are easy to spot while others look just like a regular debit card.

As of 2019, 38 million Americans relied on SNAP benefits to consistently put food on the table.
With the pandemic forcing more people into poverty, the applications for unemployment and food stamps skyrocketed. Recently, there was a viral tweet going around with a cashier pointing out some of the things she’s seen people purchase with their food stamp card. …

Doctors made her beg for proper care

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Dr. Susan Moore from her GoFundMe

Dr. Susan Moore earned her medical degree from the University of Michigan.
She had an active medical license in Indiana. She worked tirelessly in a field that often neglects people whose skin resembled hers. She cared for patients and saved lives. How many would her colleagues turn around and save hers? Countless nurses and doctors would have bent over backward to give Dr. Moore the best care. Unfortunately, they’re not the ones that were assigned to her.

Dr. Moore was admitted to IU Health North Hospital in Carmel, Indiana while battling COVID-19. …

A fictional poem

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Adobe Stock: by dglimages

He watches
As she plays with the jukebox
Noticing her hips
And how they sway

That was his last nickel
He was gonna walk ‘cross town
As long as she
Got back to her Papa safe
He’d live another day

His leather jacket
Suddenly became heavy
His throat dry
She hit him with a soft smile
And all he wanted to do
Was stay a while
Freeze time
Find a way to always
Keep her in his life

She laughed
Such a warm laugh
She left like coming home
After a brutal war
When not even
Mama’s stew
Could warm the depths
She managed to reach
“What’s wrong with me?”

A public service announcement from Prism & Pen

The spirit of giving is in the air

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Photo by KoolShooters from Pexels

This year the holidays look different.
A lot of us played it safe during Thanksgiving and opted to stay home and only celebrate with the ones in our household. With Covid cases rising, it looks like we’ll need to isolate for Christmas as well.

However, for lots of LGBTQ people, being isolated during the holidays is routine. Unsupportive and abusive family members force us to choose isolation and peace over a dangerous, hostile environment.

Indya Moore, most known for playing Angel on Pose, launched TranSanta to help trans kids know they’re loved and lift their spirits during the holidays.
TranSanta is kind of like a humongous, virtual angel tree except they’re trans instead of children with incarcerated parents. Each participant has a personal, Target registry. You can buy them something on their wish list and it’ll get sent straight to them. …

Navigating a dangerous world

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Adobe Stock: Nito

39 trans people have been killed this year as far as we know.
Black trans women are being hunted like deer during hunting season. This the worst year; violence against trans people has skyrocketed. It’s no secret that this has been at least partly fueled by the Trump administration.

Laverne Cox, Emmy nominated actress and activist, was with a friend when they were targeted in a L.A. park. The man asked for the time, then asked if Laverne was a “guy or a girl.” When her friend told him to fuck off, the man started swinging. …

Redemption, Chapter 3

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Adobe Stock: Nomad_Soul

Julian strained to open the loft’s humongous window. He jabbed a screwdriver into the slender opening between the wall and the window’s edge to keep it open.

With some natural light and a cool breeze making its way inside, he grabbed the new dog bed and dragged it into a patch of sunlight. “Here ya go, Remy.”

Remy’s nose led him all over the small studio space. Julian watched for a moment, then turned away to set up his easel. He gathered everything he thought he might need and dragged a chair to the middle of the open space. The chemical smell of paint eased his mind. …



"My pen isn't afraid to speak the truth" - Marsha Ambrosius | Wanna buy me a coffee?

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