This blog is about sticking your message. It was started a long time ago (seems like eons but I think it's only been 7 years) to share insight into how women shop online. I'm happy to say it's evolved into a blog that discusses marketing, women's issues, current events, fashion, and more. Almost all of our content is related to women, somehow.
This post is about pets and children. These are two topics near and dear to our hearts. Women the world over love pets. And, we love children. Even those of us who do not have pets, or children, understand the bonds that form between Moms and their kids, furry or otherwise.
Over on my other blog, BlogPaws, where we are all about pets, we try to support as many rescues and shelters as we can. The pet community is devoted to this cause. We are committed to saving neglected and abused pets. And, some of us see the opportunity to use our cause to save children, also.
Vicki Boatright, a talented artist, has created the most innovative program I've ever heard of to support both abused and neglected children, and pets. She's calling it Okey's Promise. I could never do it justice so I'll just tell you about it in Vicki's words:
"Although I specialize in painting animals, a subject that would seem to be somewhat separate from most social conscience types of art, I am amazed at how pet-themed artworks can have a healing affect on people. More and more, people have come to rely on their pets for balance and connection in their worlds, and artwork that symbolizes that connection can be very powerful.
As a mental health counselor in addition to being an artist, I have been a strong advocate for the needs of children for over 19 years. Over the past couple of years, I have also become more deeply connected with people who are doing great work with animal charities to deal with the inhumanity perpetrated on innocent creatures in our society.
It is one thing to care about animals and to have compassion for creatures who are lost in our human world. Yet there are those who would suggest that we should worry more about other social ills first. An editorial in my local paper went so far as to decry animal rescue volunteers who give of themselves, implying that childhood poverty was a more important concern to address.
But here is the reality. When animals are suffering in society, children are too. When there is violence to animals, there is likely violence to children and others who may be defenseless. Where there is poverty, there is an abundance of unwanted pets due to animals not being spayed and neutered.
Truth be told, child welfare programs grew out of the efforts of animal rescue organizations who were seeing children in deplorable conditions when they were rescuing endangered pets.
The issue of pet abuse and abandonment is deeply connected to the issue of child abuse and domestic violence. Both issues need to be addressed together, not one in isolation of each other. I have a whole contingent of advocates for women and children who will back me up on this.
I want to make my local community, as well as the broader global community with whom I connect, to realize that we must treat our animals well, in addition to addressing the needs of children and others in need in the community. Yet merely sharing the facts doesn't seem to get the point across.
Creating artwork that is highly visible to the community has a greater chance of connecting the dots for people. It is easy to ignore a fact sheet, but hard to dismiss a powerful public artwork that reaches out to you each day as you drive by it."
And so, you can see why I am writing about this, today. This project is more important than just paying lip-service to the ills of society - where neglect and abuse get daily mention in the news; where children disappear and animals are abandoned, on a daily basis.
Art for a cause exists because people feel art in their heart and soul. It speaks in a language that has no words, needs no words, is only the touch and sense of what you feel. When you are exposed to a painting or performance that vibrates through your whole being, introducing you to colors and sounds and thoughts that you did not know you were capable of thinking, you become one with the art. There is no other way to describe it. The colors are unique to the art. The understanding is unique to the person. The purpose is all encompassing. In this instance, it's save the childen and the pets, and we save ourselves.
Will you help? Will you visit Vicki's site, read about Okey's Promise, share it with everyone you know? That's all I'm asking - that you share this story and this promise with your Facebook friends and family. That you get on twitter and spread the word. That you find a moment to embrace the beauty of what can happen if we help Vicki succeed.
Greatness is in all of us. Okey's Promise can bring it out and spread it far and wide. Let's be great together, shall we?