When I began my career as artist, it was strictly for personal pursuits. First, I needed a way to make living, I needed flexibility and freedom, and I needed to do it on my own terms. After I established my style of self expression, I needed to understand how was my art contributing to those around me and those that had my art. I learned that my art either filled a gap in people's understanding of themselves, or it resonated completely with a part of themselves that they loved. Finally, as I became established in my art career, I knew that my art needed to contribute to something more immediate and much bigger than myself.
One night I watched "Sex Trafficking in America" and I was horrified that I was not more aware of the slavery that still exists to this day. I have had no experience of this nature, and I don't relate to this these atrocities as a personal experience, but my imagination put me in such a place and the horror of it effected me deeply. I understood that this a cause that I wanted to support the best way I can.
I did a search and discovered No More Tears, USA , located in Miami, Florida, and founded by Somy Ali. Somy herself was abused in terrible ways as a teenager, and has made it her life mission to offer safety to those that are experiencing the same pain today. Since Somy founded No More Tears in 2007, NMT has provided housing, legal counsel, therapy and/or medical support to over 30,000 women. NMT is run completely by volunteers, and there isn't anyone that takes a salary. All money goes to immediate help for victims of trafficking and domestic violence.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, domestic violence has increased drastically as troubled families are locked away in their homes, and many not returning to work. Help is needed now more than ever.
In my efforts to help the best way I can, during the COVID-19 pandemic I will be donating 20% of my art sales to NMT. I feel fortunate that I have a choice to live my life the way I choose to live it, I get to take responsibility for the good and the bad parts of it, and I can't lay blame to anyone else. This is a great gift. If it were ever taken away from me I am not sure how I would survive.
There are so many victims that received help through NMT that are now strong, healthy, and giving back in any way they can to help other victims. I admire their strength and courage greatly, and want help in this continuous struggle.
Below are various links to more information about NO MORE TEARS, USA with greater detail to their mission and its founder. On YouTube there are powerful videos of those that have survived their own personal hells, and many links in which you can donate NMT.
Please be grateful for the freedom that you have, and capacity to take care of yourselves during this time, and help if you can to those that don't have that choice.
Thank you very much, and be safe. ❤️❤️❤️