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Shopping Advice from a Black Friday Worker

This piece was written by Kelly D., a mom who supports her family as a retail worker.

I don't judge you if you shop on Thanksgiving. Some people rely on the "deals" and are able to rock the loss-leaders so that they are able to buy gifts for those they love that they wouldn't be able to afford otherwise.

But ....

*Don't assume that the retail associates you encounter volunteered to be there, or that they didn't have anywhere they would rather be. (The vast majority are there because they have to, either because they don't get paid holidays, or need the money desperately to afford their own holiday shopping, or because they were scheduled regardless of wanting the day off).

*Don't complain to said associates about how stores starting their sales on Thanksgiving ruins your holiday. (Really, it's just rude).

A Time for Prayer, Thanksgiving, Discernment and Strategic Nonviolent Action

In the wake of Ferguson and a series of young Black male deaths at the hands of official law enforcement personnel (and one self-appointed neighborhood watchman who cost Trayvon Martin his life), I hope we will use this November time of Thanksgiving and celebration of Native American Heritage month by some first Americans, as an opportunity for national and personal soul searching and discussion about what it means to be an American. I also hope we will recommit to doing what we can to serve, speak up, and work with others to build a nation where every child is safe, seen, heard, respected and hopeful, and every parents’ son – and daughter – is valued and justly treated.

Thanksgiving Feast and the Lunchroom Economy

Editor's note: This post, Thanksgiving Feast and the Lunchroom Economy, written by A Leanne originally appeared on Zomppa.

Last week I skipped out of work and joined my sons for their school cafeteria’s annual invite-your-adults-to-lunch event. The flyer that came home (squashed and half shredded by the grueling backpack ride) boasted this fine spread:

How could I say no to that?

I found myself waiting with a handful of other parents, all with looks of comingled confusion and eagerness, outside the cafeteria doors. As our second graders came trooping up the hallway in their very best wiggly-bodied facsimile of a line, we joined with them and headed into the lunch line.

It is important to note here that it did, indeed, smell delicious. My memories of the school cafeteria have a decidedly Pine-Sol aroma, but this one… well, it smelled like a Thanksgiving feast.

The EITC and Child Tax Credit has rescued these families!

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit are two of the best tools our nation has to combat poverty. Each year the EITC and the Child Tax Credit helps millions of families avoid falling below the poverty line. It gives them enough money to buy essentials and keep their heads above water.

Show you're thankful for CHIP. Send a Letter to the Editor!

Take Action!

Last week, MomsRising volunteers and staff made a real splash on Capitol Hill with our “Give our Kids a Winning Hand” campaign and delivery of family stories and over 25,000 signatures on our open letter to Congress. Thanks to help from our members, we made significant strides in educating Congress about the urgent need to fund the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Now is the perfect time to keep up the pressure!

This week, lawmakers will be at home for the Thanksgiving holiday, reading their local paper. You can help keep CHIP on the Congressional agenda by writing a Letter to the Editor to your local newspaper.

We’ll make it super easy for you! Click through to get all you need, including a sample letter you can submit as is or edit. Click here to get started: http://action.momsrising.org/lte/CHIP_LTE_thankful/

A Mother's Worry

I am the mother of two Black boys.  As any mother would, I worry about my children every day—that I might have to rush one of them to the hospital with a broken bone, that they might experience bullying, or that they might one day have to feel the sting of heartbreak.  I suspect Michael Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, worried about some of these things too.  But she should never have had to worry that a police officer—whose job it is to uphold the law—might have killed her unarmed son.

In case any of you have been living under a rock, last August Michael Brown was shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.  Michael had been staying with his grandmother all summer, and was walking back to her house with a friend when they encountered Officer Wilson.  Conflicting reports suggest that there was a scuffle between Michael and the officer, but we know for sure that Michael was unarmed when he was shot dead in the street. 

Last night, a grand jury decided not to indict Officer Wilson.  He will face no charges for killing Michael Brown just days before Michael’s parents were planning to drop him off at college.

Healthy German Apple Cake Recipe

Recipe

Kids crave sweets all the time especially in the winter. But in all honesty, in my house, the adults crave it just as much as the kids. As the days get shorter, and colder, our natural instincts kick in: eat more carbs and pack on more fat so you can survive the long cold winter (there are actually studies showing we crave more carbohydrates in the winter). Unfortunately, our genetic makeup has not yet caught up with the fact that the grocery store around the corner will have all the food we could possibly need and much more all winter long.

The sweet cravings do not get any better while watching TV or after listening to coworkers explain in great detail how wonderfully gooey their double fudge chocolate chip cookie tasted. And, having the kids beg for more marshmellows in their hot chocolate... well, that just increases the sweet cravings! 

What can you do when the sweet cravings come on?

Bake this delicious healthy German Apple Cake!

BREAKING - No indictment. Enough is enough.

Take Action!

It’s time to make our voices heard to end racial profiling and to advance police reform.Enough is enough.

*Sign our open letter here: http://action.momsrising.org/sign/justicemikebrownforward/?source=blog

Just last Thursday, days before a grand jury failed to indict the killer of 18-year-old Michael Brown and just 6 miles from my home, unarmed Akai Gurley was shot and killed without warning by the New York Police Department. The officer who shot Akai told police officials that he was “nervous." Akai’s 2-year-old daughter will never see her father again, and neither will his family.

How far would you go to protect your family?

I now understand the idea of parents being willing to do “anything” for their children. Sometimes you have to fight to protect your family--- at the voting booth, in a courtroom or even in your own community.
 
In February of 2013, I served as the Field Organizer in Winston Salem to defeat Amendment One in North Carolina. For 3 months, I worked 12-14 hours a day, 7 days a week. It felt like a personal attack on LGBT families. It felt like an attack on my family. After all, I had also tirelessly worked in my former home state of Florida to defeat a similar amendment in 2008. My wife and I moved to NC in 2011, happy to be migrating to a state known for more diversity and equality than most southern states. After both amendments passed I kept thinking---- the Constitution was supposed to PROTECT our rights, not take them away!
 
In March of 2013, I found out I was pregnant. We were elated, but also nervous because we knew having a baby in NC would not afford our family equal rights (even though we were legally married since June of 2008 in California.). Once again, we had to fight. I researched laws in the surrounding area.

President Obama Acts to Right Wrongs That Affront Our Ideals

I was at a rally in front of the White House on Friday organized by Casa de Maryland in which we chanted "We've got your back!" As a mom and grandma, I believe it's really important to support the President's actions to give temporary legal status to parents of citizen or legal resident children.  This action will keep parents and children together.  I hope you'll join in showing your support by sending emails to the President and your Rep and Senators, by clicking here:  http://org.salsalabs.com/o/125/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=1... We have to show how many people believe the President is doing the right thing, and that Congress should hurry up and do its job.  Here's something that ran in The Huffington Post blog  on November 21:

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