Greg Hardy and domestic violence

2908-custom-ribbon-magnet-sticker-stopdomesticviolenceThe ability of Cowboy’s defensive lineman Greg Hardy to say really stupid things about women got me to thinking … Why does the NFL care if women get breast cancer, but not care if they get abused by their intimate partner?

Considering the recent track record of the NFL’s employees (players), you would think the league might be concerned about both issues. But I have to assume they don’t care much about domestic violence, because I saw a sea of pink this weekend but no extra purple.

Pink is the color for Breast Cancer Awareness Month while purple is for Domestic Violence Awareness Month — both of which are observed in October.

This post isn’t anti Breast Cancer Awareness. Breast cancer is an insidious disease with 300,000 new cases each year, according to BreastCancer.org. If women are more likely to take part in early detection and prevention programs because of pink campaigns like the NFL’s — and statistics suggest they are — then that is awesome and the NFL should continue to wear pink in October.

But there is also room for purple.

Consider the staggering numbers for domestic violence. According to the Centers for Disease Control: “On average, 20 people per minute are victims of physical violence by an intimate partner in the United States. Over the course of a year, that equals more than 10 million women and men. Those numbers only tell part of the story—nearly 2 million women are raped in a year and over 7 million women and men are victims of stalking in a year.”

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence says that one-third of all women in the United States is a victim of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner during their lifetime.

Why is the NFL not rallying to the Domestic Violence Awareness banner?

One of the main messages during Breast Cancer Awareness Month is that early detection and lifestyle changes to lessen risk are important and can save lives.

The same can be said for domestic violence; early detection and lifestyle changes can save lives. Plus, domestic violence is theoretically 100 percent preventable.

But first we have to get people to care as much about purple as the do pink.

Like the people who run the NFL.

I signed this petition to get the NFL to support Domestic Violence Awareness by wearing purple.

Today’s is World Food Day

Today is World Food Day, a day to “join the global movement to end hunger.” 

So why do we need days like this? So we can share statistics like “(a)n estimated 26 percent of the world’s children are stunted due to malnutrition and 2 billion people suffer from one or more micronutrient deficiencies.”

According to Feeding America, 20 percent of the people in Henderson County are “food insecure,” and are not sure where their next meal is coming from.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the kind of hunger you see on Sally Struthers commercials. Which is why people like Bill O’Reilly feel free to say that the idea of hungry kids in America is a “total lie.”

Shame on Bill O’Reilly. Because there are children in our county going to bed at night unsure if there will be breakfast in the morning. Or lunch.

I know, because I have friends who pack bags of food every week for children to eat through the weekend. But they can’t do that kind of work alone.

According to Feeding America, “Food insecure households are not necessarily food insecure all the time. Food insecurity may reflect a household’s need to make trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing or medical bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods.”

So no, maybe we are not talking about the same kind of hunger as in Third World countries … but can’t we do better all the same?

Please consider making a donation today to one of the food pantries in Henderson County. These are the ones I know about:

– Athens Food Pantry, 715 East Corsicana Street, Athens, 75751, 903-677-1600

– Faith in Action Outreach, 103 South Terry Street, Malakoff, 75148, 903-880-2906

– Christian Life Center, 2611 West Main Street, Gun Barrel City, 75156, 903-887-5429

Go Blue month 8

go-blue2I had a bit of an anxiety attack when I woke up this morning. I wasn’t sure I had a shirt ready.

Today I started Month 8 of the #GoBlue365 project. Since May 1, I have worn a blue shirt every day in the effort to raise money and awareness of the child abuse and neglect problem in Henderson County.

I began the project wearing only Go Blue t-shirts, but after a few months I learned that I needed to expand my wardrobe a little. Put on the same six shirts day after day for months and they start to show the wear. If not for my wife’s labor, those shirts would be unusable.

I now have a closet full of blue, but today is a special day and I wanted to start the month wearing a “Go Blue 2014” shirt. But I wasn’t sure if I had one clean.

Continue reading “Go Blue month 8”

Can’t wear green for the Eagles this year

go-blue2

The NFL draft is approaching and that means I’m starting to get antsy.

Why? Because I’m an NFL guy and for 43 years the Philadelphia Eagles have been my team. When I talk about the Birds I use the word “us” regardless of what anyone else says, and if you cut me I swear I bleed green.

And this year there is another reason. I started something today that means I have to go a year without wearing any of my Eagles shirts … without my personalized jersey … without my beloved, worn, gray “division champs” t-shirts.

A year without green.

Because I am going to spend a whole year in blue.

Today — with an assist from the good folks at the District Attorney’s Office, the support of my wife, and help from my partner in crime Jeff Weinstein — I started the Go Blue 365 project. For the next year, I am going to wear a Go Blue t-shirt everyday to raise awareness of the child abuse problem in Henderson County.

And since the folks who deal with the aftermath of child abuse really need more than just our “awareness,” I’m going to ask at least 365 people in Henderson County to donate $100 for child abuse prevention. I am hoping to be able to present one of those big checks with a big number on it on Go Blue Day 2015.

By this time next week GoBlue365.com will be up and running and we should have something set up for the donations. I will be posting photos of me in blue on the site and I hope some of you will send me photos of you in your Go Blue shirts as well.

It’s going to be a long year during which a lot will happen. Unfortunately, among everything that happened in 2013 there were 252 confirmed cases of child abuse or neglect in Henderson County.

I think we can do better than 252 and I’m willing to Go Blue to try.