When I read the most recent “Janice’s Journal: The Big Picture” piece, it reminded me why so many of us have sought out websites like ACSOL, WAR, NARSOL and other advocacy group sites.
Each of us was looking for HOPE.
Hope that there were others like us somewhere out there that understood what we were going through. Hope that someone had answers, information or solutions to the mountain of questions and concerns we had. Hope that someone somewhere was trying to do something to change things. Hope that there was someone who would listen. Hope that someone could point us in the right direction, tell us what to do so we could help initiate change. Hope that there was a light at the end of the dark tunnel we were traveling through.
We were all searching for HOPE of one sort or another.
We found HOPE in ACSOL and in the other organizations that are out there working on behalf of all registrants and their families. No matter what state they are located in, the changes that come forth from the efforts of these various groups will eventually affect all of us.
HOPE: To desire with expectation of fulfillment.
We want the answers, the solutions, the knowledge of how to take down the registry. We want to know our rights and how we can best live in the world while the registry is in existence. We want to see giant steps and not baby steps taken in the fight to bring the registry down. We want it all and we want it now because so many of us have been fighting this fight for so long already, we’re tired, we just want to go home, to our real homes, not the tents under bridges or encampments in back alleys that we’ve been forced to call home.
We all dared to Hope for change.
But even HOPE has its price.
If we have HOPE and the expectation that ACSOL can lead us in the fight against the registry and the injustices that we are all suffering while we wait for its demise, then in order to fulfill that expectation ACSOL needs help from all of us.
The price of HOPE is whatever you can afford.
I’ll be honest, I thought voluntarily writing blogs for different advocacy organizations was enough of a contribution, I thought I was doing my part to make a difference. But after reading Janice’s article I realize I was wrong. It’s not enough. Janice and others like her are working on our behalf, they are the movers and shakers, the ones making waves, fighting in the courts, the people on the front lines fighting for us. The ACSOL website keeps us informed about what’s going on in court cases, what new challenges we are facing, what is happening throughout not just this country but the world regarding those accused of offenses that put them on a punishing and life altering registry. A registry that must be taken down.
Without contributions what right do any of us have in expecting advocacy groups to be able to continue? ACSOL is fighting for all of us, not just those living in California. Precedents set in one state set in motion precedents to be set in other states, the work done in California affects the rest of the country, change is happening.
I know that for a lot of us money is tight, there are prison costs, restitution payments, registry fees, attorney fees, polygraph fees, you name it, registrants are paying it. But if we want to put an end to the registry, the fees, the ongoing punishment we are all dealing with, then we need to contribute to organizations that are trying to get the weight of the registry off of our backs. If we hope to live our lives to the fullest and not settle for the measly crumbs that the states say is the only kind of life we can have, then we all need to help.
If you want to continue to HOPE and expect that desire to be fulfilled, then DONATE whatever amount you can. There are nearly one million registrants and those registrants have family and friends and they are all Hoping for change.
Imagine what the Hope we all have could become if ACSOL had a contribution, large or small, whatever you can afford, from each of those one million registrants, their family and their friends.
Money talks. If that’s what it’s going to take to keep our HOPE alive and kicking, then donate what you can. I thought donating my time was enough. It’s not. I can’t afford a lot, but I can donate something.
My check went in the mail today. I hope everyone reading this will follow suit.