Today was the diversity lunch. There were six of us, and it was fun. It's always good to see Theda. I don't get to see enough of her. Rose came with Teresa and I hadn't seen her in ages so it was fun to visit with her. Carolyn is always fun and so is Lovella. All in all it was a good lunch.
This afternoon I had reason to see into the life of some folks I know who live way below the poverty line. It's interesting how I *know* this, but make it a point to not really be aware of it. Today was an eye opener and I left with the thought of "but by the Grace of God there go I" on my mind. It's something we don't think much about, but any of us could find ourselves in that situation. Most of us lead very precarious financial lives.
It made me think about lots of things - from minimum wage laws on up. That, of course, brings me to politics.
Joe Lieberman lost his primary in CT and it couldn't have happened to a better guy. When you're the sort of guy that President Bush wants to kiss, you're not representing democrats. Thank goodness the smart people of Conneticut sent him that message. ABC is saying that Rove has called Lieberman to offer the President's help. Lieberman's people say Rove called but no help was offered. You know what that says to me? Rove called Lieberman. That's not anything to be proud of - not if you're a democrat.
I can only hope this is just the first of many similar stories to come. And, for once, I'm proud of the democrats in congress who all came out today in support of Ned Lamont. Hillary summed it up by saying she has been saying since July that she would support whoever won the primary.
Of course, all Republicans can talk about is war and how we need more of it. I refuse to buy into this BS that to question war is unpatriotic and that we're all in danger if we don't make more war.
Uh, yeah, ask Joe Lieberman how well that worked. Americans have finally figured out that this war is very, very, very costly in lives, money, goodwill and tons of other things. A clear majority of Americans now see the war as a mistake.
Of course the Bush camp is trying to make it seem like moving away from the President's plan in Iraq is bringing on another 9-11. Uh, yeah, except you forgot the part where Iraq didn't have crap to do with 9-11 in the first place.
All you have to do is look at the middle east at the moment and see what we did by destabilizing the region in the first place by invading Iraq. There's more war everywhere.
Maybe people have finally awakened from their long sleep and are starting to realize fighting a war over oil is not very smart - particularly when we keep paying more for it all the time. Maybe they're finally getting tired of watching body bags come home. Goodness knows I'm tired of it. I was tired of it on day one.
Well, I need to go get some rest. I've got a grant to finish tomorrow. Grant writing is one of my least favorite parts of my job, but it has to be done. I'm not real optimistic about getting this one, so it's hard to motivate myself to put too much energy into it. Grant makers really like to support new projects and children's projects. Of course, that's their choice, but it is an odd system. Many people "chase the money," meaning that they see what the grant makers have decided to support this year, and then they write grants for projects geared toward that. I refuse to do that. It's unethical, and I will not lower myself or my organization to that level, but it's done all the time.
I'm not going to just toss out the people I was working with last year because grant-makers have decided to move on to other things. That's the situation and what happens - this year I can get money to serve children with parents in jail, so I create a program for that. Next year I can get money to serve fathers who are single parents, so I create a program for that and discontinue working with children with parents in jail because the money has dried up. I find that distasteful and unethical. If it's a program worth having, then it's worth having. If it's not, then we didn't need it in the first place. I'm not going to get into this "chasing the money" game.
I am so thankful for grant-makers who are supportive of long term programs. United Way is fabulous about this. So many organizations could not exist without the money United Way provides for the basics. An Exec I know from another organization likens it to walking into someone's office and turning off the phone, the computer, the fax and then saying, "OK, work..." - that's what is expected of social service organizations - to work without the basics taken care of. Our local Rotary Club is also fabulous about supporting projects that are not necessarily "new" but are providing a great service.
The Rotary Club of Hutchinson has supported our screenings the last two years and that really makes a difference. Those screenings have saved lives - more than once. And they've certainly improved a number of lives. The Rotary Club has been very generous in supporting that work and I'm thankful for it.
However, in general, people want to support NEW things. And things for children. Those are the big pushes for most grantmakers. And, of course, it's completely up to the people with the money what they want to do with it. It's just frustrating to try and find money to support things you're doing that are working well already. It seems like an odd system - to only want to support unproven ideas instead of things that are working already. But, hey, I don't run the world. If you've read here for any amount of time, you know things would be much different on many fronts if I ran the world.
Oh, gosh... there's something nice to dream about tonight... If I ran the world...
1. Teachers would be rich...