"I came to the "I Live Here" event with a general curiosity to learn more about the organization, and to gain some insight into the stories that moved its founders like Mia into action. Little did I know the impact it would have on me after a few minutes of walking through the display halls, which were plastered with stories that the children wrote in their own handwriting, and the accompanying troubling images that gave us a small glimpse into the sheer solitude, confinement and abandonment that is their everyday experience.
Immediately, I thought of my family, particularly my parents, who were displaced from Vietnam after the war. I wondered if the lives of these children could have been a parallel fate for my brothers, sisters and I, if my parents had not sacrificed everything to give us a better life.
I realized then and there that I have lived a selfishly sheltered life, and that at 32 years old, I had not done anything of significance that equates to the veracity and courage that Mia and her partners poured into this grassroots effort: to improve the health/sanitation of the children imprisoned in Malawi, and to inform the world of the atrocities against the refugees in Ingushetia and Burma, and the ruthless trafficking of young girls in Ciudad Juarez.
Mia called me to thank me for the donation, and I thought how ironic it was that I was ready to send her an email to thank her for affirming for me that we all can help to change the world if we just start doing something - today. I believe the donation is a small start, but it won't be the end of my involvement in this organization. I have been moved into action for the first time in my adult life...I can't thank "I Live Here" enough."