Saturday, July 8, 2017

Who is Responsible for Short Creek Outreach?

Note that I formatted this to be Facebook friendly so that people can copy and paste and preserve the links.

In several previous posts, I've described why I feel so moved to help with the Fundamentalist Mormons who have been evicted from their homes in Short Creek.  (http://bit.ly/2uCBRUS) 

Today I'd like to clarify the details about who is administrating the project. Right now, I hope to help motivate people to take advantage of Back to School Clearance deals and shoes that the children and young people desperately need. More details about items that would be helpful for care packages for children can be read here (http://bit.ly/2tXO093), and the greater, more comprehensive needs at LifeInTheCrick.com (http://lifeinthecrick.com/flds-needs-form/) and on the Short Creek Outreach page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Short-Creek-Outreach-299468327155599/).

When you're out shopping, think about what might be nice to have and easy for children to use on a camping trip when picking up back to school bargains. Take a look at the care package suggestions to get an idea of what would be helpful. As always, remember that the folks choose not to use fantasy themed items like Disney or Marvel superheros, but more pleasant, generic items are fine.

For the simple ease of cutting and pasting, here's the address:

Operation Short Creek
P.O. Box 840848
Hildale, Utah 84784

How do we know that things get to where they're supposed to go?
When Suzanne mentioned the needs on No Longer Quivering at Patheos a number of weeks ago, people asked reasonable questions about who was distributing items and who would be allocating funds. I was really honored by the kind and productive feedback from those who commented. Moms in the Quiverfull Movement face many of the same kinds of challenges if they seek to leave their husbands, and their communities often seek to “intervene” to control what happens to them which isn't always in the best interest of the mother or her children.


Our Pioneers on the Ground


Christine Marie Katas and her husband are basically coordinating most everything on the ground in Hildale, UT (the twin city on the Utah side that forms Short Creek. In one of his videos on facebook, the professional photographer Tolga Katas basically said that his lovely wife set up what he called a refugee camp for those who can't find housing. The couple relocated to Hildale, UT to be closer to help the community.

Christine Marie is a quite dynamic person who has a long list of notable accomplishments and interests who started out as a school teacher, authoring books on education. She is now involved in many innovate media ventures while she works to complete her PhD in Media Psychology. You can find her profile on Linked In here (https://www.linkedin.com/in/christinemarie/) and on just one of her websites here (http://christinemarie.brandyourself.com). I finally had the opportunity to meet her in person last July and have corresponded and spoken with her since then regarding this relief effort to help in Short Creek.

If you hunt around online, you can find different versions of her religious saga, and as a result of some media exploitation, she became involved in media psychology. She now seeks to help people present their own personal accounts with dignity by wisely using media to own their histories and how they communicate that to others.

Items that are received are organized into care packages by Christine Marie and women, young and old, from the Short Creek Community. There are some videos here and there that show this band of do-gooders distributing bags of much needed items. She also uses needs forms that can be found at the above link at the LifeInTheCrick.com website to keep track of the needs of individual families. I've seen some pictures of rooms full of care boxes, and I asked for some photos of some of the things that I bought over Mother's Day weekend through unbelievable online deals discussed in previous blog posts.


Remote Assistants

On Facebook at the Operation Short Creek site (
https://www.facebook.com/Short-Creek-Outreach-299468327155599/), you will find Tamara who lives in the Great Lakes Area or the Prairie or someplace like that. Her religious background is much like mine, though she made her exodus from her sect with children in tow. Like so many who leave what some call Christian or Bible based sects, as I wrote in the previous post, we know what it's like to suffer some of these things personally or have witnessed those close to us go through a similar situation. And we want to do what we can to help change things for the better. Sometimes on the bad days, the smallest considerations can make a world of difference.

Also assisting and helping Christine Marie and Tamara is Sgt Linda Kellie Brown (US Army, Retired) with fundraising at the You Caring fund that she established. (https://www.youcaring.com/fldsfamilies-840966) A bit earlier she also established a Go Fund Me account, too. (https://www.gofundme.com/operationshortcreek) Linda is also a Protestant Christian who, like me, just can't stand the idea of so many children and their mothers who suddenly have no homes. She also lives on the other side of the US from Utah, but she's worked to help from afar. All three of these women have helped me understand so much more about the broader landscape and the obstacles that these displaced persons face on so many levels.

(I seem to be tagging along, trying to find resources, interested journalists, and legal help. I assess needs, give out information, and make referrals like I always do. I'd rather ask people for help than not make any effort at all.)


Honorable Mention

(She's not affiliated with any of this, but I'm very proud of her and wanted to plug her recent feature in the Washington Post.)

I'm very grateful to Attorney Sarah Hunt who is quite familiar with the types of situations faced by women and children in need. Sarah's saga can be read in various places like the Homeschool Apostates article that Kathryn Joyce wrote a few years ago. (http://prospect.org/article/homeschool-apostates) And Sarah's new NGO, The Center for Home Education Policy, seeks to assist those who are homeschooled or have exited tightly controlled religious settings make transitions into mainstream life. It's also a bit like the Home School Legal Defense Association, but instead of focusing on preserving the rights of parents, the needs of children are first and foremost. Read more in the Washington Post article about the effort. (http://wapo.st/2tsZdhf) Visit the Center for Home Education Policy here: https://homeschoolgrads.org


I think at this point, all I've done is commiserate with Sarah about the situation as she's helped me with information, some brainstorming, some networking. She's astoundingly busy, so I am grateful for her time and kind ear.





The next post: A plan of attack to get school supply bargains.


Someone else who has kids needs to help me figure out how to get shoes. 

All I keep thinking about is an old episode of Johnny Carson from the 1980s when Imelda Marcos lost all of her shoes or had them taken. Johnny went out into the audience with a big cardboard box and asked people to donate their shoes to her.