On Wednesday February 1st I had the pleasure of going to Olympia for “Have a heart for kids day”. On this great trip I was joined by Foxy, Jason, Salome (Nurse at SCCA), Joe, Annette, Judah and Zion.
It was my first time visiting the capital and it was an inspiring experience. The day was set up by The Seattle Children Alliance and it was great to see some many people spending their time at this event in an effort to help others.
The day started with snacks and coffee to help get us energized after our early morning drive, we proceeded afterwards we heard many speakers talk about what this day meant to them. Foxy was called to the stage first and did a wonderful job thanking our host and detailing goals and the reason for our visit. We all participated in cheer for kids that we would later repeat on our march.
The Children’s Alliance then offered several workshops that detailed the need for support on different issues facing the community. Some of the workshop included; a great start for Washington’s children, fighting childhood hunger, health and dental access for kids and families, youth speaking up and more.
I attended the fighting childhood hunger workshop; Nadiya and Christina spoke about the need to solve the hunger crisis here in Washington State. The budget for food assistance has recently been cut in half and disproportionately affects minorities including some of our people in the Sickle Cell community. Afterwards I spoke to Christina and got information to pass along to anyone dealing with this issue.
Foxy, Jason and Joe attended the workshop about health and dental care access for kids and families. They also report receiving great information regarding The “Dental Access Bill”.
After lunch we joined the gathering group of supporters for the march on the capital. I saw people of all ages chanting, waving colorful signs and dancing their way up to the capital building. Once we got to the capital steps the organizer of the event lead us in cheers, chants and some dancing. We had to cut our time short at the rally to make our meeting with Rep. Eric Pettigrew and it was well worth it.
We introduced ourselves and then Foxy began to talk to Mr. Pettigrew about the goals and needs of our organization. Joe gave a moving and detailed account of his battles dealing with Sickle Cell and I could tell that Mr. Pettigrew was moved. The representative asked if there were any other needs we had. Foxy spoke more about the need for funding and help getting the word out about this disease. Mr. Pettigrew was very supportive and I’m sure will continue to be an important ally for us.
We ended the day off with a few pictures provided by CB Wells and then started our trip home.
I’m glad I was able to attend and see that we are all dealing with issues and all need support. I suggest anyone interested join us next year and take an active step towards helping our organization and others!!
Published in February 2013 newsletter. Written by Karsten Weathersby