I guess you could call me naive. If my mama hadn't raised me telling me "not to talk to strangers" and instilling fear of the unknown in me for my own protection, I probably would be dead by now at the hands of someone or something I thought had pure intentions.
I hear stories about loss, tragedy, torture, cruelty...whether in other countries or in my own backyard. (that's a metaphor...don't go thinking I torture people in my yard now.) I believe them, sure, but I always find myself thinking...."It can't really be that bad can it?" I support TOMS, and have since I first caught wind of the company's mission. "One for One." Buy a pair of shoes, and another pair is given to an unfortunate child in a developing country. Of course, as we know, this company has swept the nation and TOMS are now a hot commodity. The message is now buried between customized Botas and a new line of TOMS eyewear. But the message still remains, and the movement is still making a huge yet simple difference in millions of lives. People may buy the shoes just to make a fashion statement, or just because they go with pretty much everything, but those who truly believe in the cause are the ones who really benefit from a pair of simple, cloth shoes.
A lesser known charity buried in a fashion commodity is Falling Whistles.
Those of you privileged enough to know me may (haha) may have seen me wear a long, rustic silver chain with a 4 inch whistle with the engraving "fw" on the front. Yes, it really works. But the purpose behind it is something much more significant.
Recently I have found myself wearing the whistle more, as it jazzes up any outfit, and initiates conversation, which is the whole purpose behind Falling Whistles...conversation. To get people talking about the horrific story behind this beautiful, simplistic little whistle. As more people have been asking, I decided to dig a little deeper into the Falling Whistles website so I had my facts straight the next time someone asked what it symbolized. I was asked not two days ago what the whistle was, and I chuckled as I explained, somewhat embarrassed, what it stood for. My embarrassment was only because I wasn't fully aware of what exactly I was wearing around my neck, and what exactly that whistle nestled right over my heart meant to children in a country far, far away from me.
I would explain more, but I don't think my words would do the story justice. I wept at my computer this morning as I read a man's first-hand encounter with these children, enslaved for reasons they can't begin to comprehend, and treated with less respect than a mangy animal. My blog requires very little participation...you read it or you don't. You like it, or you don't. (In which case, I again reiterate your freedom to leave at any point.) But I am pleading with you all to take 5 minutes and read this story. I have even pasted the link below for you, so it requires even less effort. I promise you, even if you don't find yourself buying a whistle after you're done, you will see the world a little differently today.