Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

A Subtle Way to Guard our Girls from Predators

by Michelle Brock on July 21st, 2014

I heard my mom’s laughter upstairs.  “Michelle, come take a look at this!”  I bolted up the steps and saw her pointing at the large stuffed animal mouse that stood in the corner of her bedroom.  Its face was covered in lipstick, the red marks concentrated primarily on the lips and eyes.  We considered the culprit – my little sister, who had just learned how to walk – and wondered how she’d managed to find a lipstick and create such a masterpiece during her short nap.

lipstickAfter some investigation, we figured that my sister had crawled over the guardrails on her bed, pushed aside obstacles that were supposed to keep her out of my mom’s drawer, picked out the lipstick and used it on the mouse, returned the lipstick in its rightful place in the drawer, and crawled back into bed as if nothing had happened.  My mom tried to her best to reprimand my sister without breaking into a smile, and we both thought her plan was ingenious and adorable.

I remember marvelling at the keen awareness of a two-year-old.  Whether she had seen my mom put on lipstick, me put on lip gloss, or a commercial advertising eye shadow, my sister understood the basic premise of make-up.  While at her age it came down to mere curiosity and wanting to imitate the women around her, in our appearance-obsessed society there is a point where, for many young girls, curiosity can switch to insecurity.

During our documentary film tour this spring, I met someone who told me of a tactic that some traffickers were using in their area.  They would go to a place where teenage girls were hanging out, like a mall or park, and strike up conversation.  They’d find ways to compliment each girl in some way, whether it was about her hair, her eyes, or her body, and strategically gauge their reaction.  Some girls would ignore them entirely.  Others would respond with “thank you.”  Some would immediately gush out “no I don’t” or “I’m so ugly,” and these were the girls that would be selected for the grooming process.  A little attention goes a long way for a girl starved of self worth, and traffickers would merely pose as boyfriends, showering them with gifts, compliments, and affection, while gradually grooming them into a life of prostitution.

Those of us who are adult women have a responsibility to set an example for young girls.  Are we masking our natural beauty because we are insecure?  Do we complain about our bodies in front of our children, our nieces, our sisters?  What are the possible repercussions of living out of fear?  Let’s examine our hearts and our minds, so we can empower the younger generation to live with contentment, gratitude, and courage.  It’s a subtle way to guard our children from predators seeking to exploit insecurity.

This video says it so beautifully:

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Indoor Toilets, Vulnerability, and Canada’s Prostitution Law

by Michelle Brock on June 9th, 2014

There was a story from India in the news a couple weeks ago that I still haven’t been able to shake.  Two cousins from the impoverished, “low-caste” Dalit community, aged 14 and 15, went outside in the evening to use the toilet.  Indoor plumbing is still considered a luxury in many parts of the country, and it is quite common for a family to use a field or outhouse to relieve themselves.  Tragically, these two girls were attacked by a group of men.   One of the girls was raped, both were strangled, and their bodies were strung up from a mango tree.

India

Photo Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2645231/Teen-Indian-girls-raped-murdered-left-hanging-mango-tree-pictured.html

 

The community was in an outrage.  Some men were caught and arrested.  In India, rape is common and rarely punished, but gruesome, high-profile cases have been making the news in recent years. This specific case may have even been an honour killing.  The state’s Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan dubbed rape as a “trivial incident” and said the crime should “not be blown out of proportions.”

Though it’s true that indoor plumbing would have prevented this particular incident on that particular night, it’s absurd to argue that the lack of an indoor bathroom is what killed these girls.  No – what killed them was men who have been brought up in a society where women (especially women from the Dalit “untouchable” caste) have little value, and rape is a man’s right.  If every family in that community had an indoor toilet, India would still be dealing with a rape crisis because men would simply get more creative.

In the last few days, Canada has been having a very heated discussion about our prostitution laws.  In a nutshell, bill C-36, the proposed prostitution legislation that was tabled by Justice Minister MacKay, makes it illegal to purchase sex, to benefit from someone’s exploitation (ie. pimping), and to advertise the sexual services of another person.  In an effort to address the vulnerability of many of those selling sex while also touching on community protection, the bill simultaneously makes it legal for a person to sell sex, as long as they are not doing it in an area where children could reasonably be expected to be present (read more about my thoughts here).  An advocate from a sex work group made a statement about the bill, saying that “sex workers will die because of these laws.”

The argument is that making any part of the prostitution transaction illegal pushes it into the shadows and makes it more dangerous for sex workers.  While isolated areas can in some cases be more dangerous than well-lit, public areas, there is a misconception that location is to blame for the violence.  Trisha Baptie, who used to be in the sex industry, puts it best:

“It was never the laws that beat, raped and killed me and my friends — it was men. It was never the location that was unsafe, it was the man we were in that location with that made it unsafe…”

 

Switzerland 300x229People selling sex experience violence and death at significantly higher rates than the average citizen.  This is the case regardless of what prostitution laws are in place.  The law isn’t what is killing and abusing women in prostitution, it’s men paying for sex who are killing and abusing women in prostitution.

While making a documentary on prostitution and sex trafficking, my husband and I met a woman who had worked in legal brothel in Switzerland.

She experienced horrific violence at the hands of johns despite being in a legal establishment.  In some legal regimes, sex workers have panic buttons in their rooms and train each other how to get away from violent clients.   While not every john is violent, it’s not unreasonable to say that violence is inherent to prostitution because it thrives on anonymity, preys on vulnerability, and seeks to fulfill a one-sided fantasy.  While harm reduction efforts are vital and should continue, we should stop kidding ourselves by thinking that the industry will no longer have violence if we decriminalize the purchase of sex.  Perhaps it’s time to stop asking if prostitution is violent and start asking why it is violent.

These are some comments from sex buyers:

“The relationship has to stay superficial because they are a person and you’re capable of getting to know them. But once you know them, it’s a problem, because you can’t objectify them anymore.”

“…it can be very satisfying at the moment, but inevitably leads to a lot of stress and anxiety… I am supporting an industry that is exploitive and unfair and potentially harmful to myself and all parties involved…they are getting paid for it, but you are being a patron to an industry that is very dangerous…”

“Being with a prostitute is like having a cup of coffee, when you‘re done, you throw it out.”

“I have to admit that at one time I did think of women merely as sexual objects. And I‘m not proud of it. I was a product of my environment, and that‘s what was going on in the society I grew up in. I think prostitution degrades women and it treats all sexual relationships as cheap sex and not as a respectable loving relationship with intimate feelings for one another.”

MenAndWomen 300x300We collectively have an opportunity to decide which direction we want our society to head.  Laws, if enforced adequately, don’t merely have penal effects but also normative ones.  India’s attitude toward women has had horrific manifestations, like rape culture, honour killings, and female infanticide. Do we honestly think that installing indoor toilets, lighting up isolated streets, and teaching women to travel in large groups gets at the root of the problem?  Of course not.  These efforts are vitally important and can save some lives, but the core issue is men’s entitlement.  India’s long-term strategy should include holding men to account and shifting cultural values, and until that happens, we will continue to hear heart-breaking, gruesome stories in the media.

While decriminalizing the purchase of sex in Canada may have an illusion of empowering women, in reality it leads to a deeper entitlement for men.  A couple years ago, a stripper from Montreal contacted me.  She explained that when the laws changed and Montreal strip clubs started going from a “no-touch” policy to a “full contact” model, she found that men were no longer satisfied with just watching.  In a sense, the law empowered men to go further than before.  She thanked me for advocating against legalizing prostitution, because “men will just want more.”

While some women would no doubt make plenty of money by running escort services or choosing a few well-paying clients, the majority of those in prostitution do not have that kind of relative bargaining power.  And considering that we share a border with the U.S., not only will decriminalization lead to increased demand from Canadian citizens, but also from our southern neighbours.

No law is perfect, and prostitution and sex trafficking are complex issues.  But now is the time to ask ourselves what we value as a country.  Bill C-36, if implemented properly, serves as a good start if we are serious about holding the purchasers of sex to account.  The other alternative is decriminalization, which sends a very different message.  Let us seriously consider what direction we want our society to head, and what is the best option for the common good.

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Are You a Good Sleeper? Here’s a Challenge.

by Michelle Brock on May 1st, 2014

Window1“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”

-Author unknown

 

 

A few nights ago as we got ready for bed, Jay mentioned what a luxury it was to fall asleep without fear.  There were no bombs going off outside or floods threatening to sweep away the building from under us.  We weren’t being held captive or wondering if our families were still alive.  We weren’t preoccupied with whether we would have food to eat the next day.  Night, for us, was a time of rest.  

As I lay awake, I thought of people around the world for whom night was a very different reality.

Fathers who were wide awake, protecting their families from rogue militants.

Mothers who had everything packed in case of a sudden evacuation.

Families in refugee camps trying to find silence with 20 family members in one tent.

Trafficking captives forced to service men into the morning hours.

Child abuse victims wondering if tonight it would happen again.

Sweatshop workers enduring long nights of physical pain with no hope of seeing a doctor.

Homeless people looking for a place to sleep in -20C weather.

Those of us who have the luxury of fear-free rest have an opportunity to bring that gift to others. Whether it’s supporting fair labour initiatives so that people have a chance to build real livelihoods, researching best practices for peace-building in conflict zones, fostering or adopting a child who is at risk for being preyed upon or abused, offering pro-bono services to people who cannot afford a doctor, a dentist, or a lawyer, or making laws that protect the most vulnerable in our communities, the luxury of a good night’s sleep gives us the energy we need to look out for others.

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Syrian Refugees. Photo: UNHCR B. Sokol

 

Next time you fall asleep in a comfortable bed without fear filling your heart, think of a way you can invest into the safety and well-being of someone else.

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Gender Inequality: Real or Imagined?

by Michelle Brock on March 8th, 2014

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I grew up in a European family where my gender did not hold me back from dreaming.  I had the privilege of going to an English immersion school in Finland, an international school in Ethiopia, and a Christian academy for junior high – each providing me with an excellent education and with it, opportunities. My best friends in Africa were were Jesse and Jakke, two brothers who took me on all their adventures.  We were experts at spotting hyenas in the night and making it around their property without touching the ground once.  “Don’t touch the lava,” we would say as we climbed along window sills and fences, letting our imaginations fly.

I can honestly say that I never even considered gender inequality once as a kid.  Well, maybe a couple times, but only on the soccer field at recess when the guys would hog the ball.

Ethiopian Women 300x207But one day, when my dad I were visiting Blue Nile Falls with some family from Canada, we saw women working hard in a field, carrying huge loads, while the men sat under a shaded tree chewing khat.  Someone in the group made a comment, “oh how typical, the guys watch the women do all the work.”

Typical?

I didn’t get it.  My mom worked hard, and so did my dad.  I was sure the men were just taking a break. And perhaps they were.

It wasn’t until I visited Namibia as an 18 year old that I personally felt gender inequality.  My friend and I were walking on a sandy road in the desert heat, and a truck full of men drove by.  They began to hoot and holler as the truck slowed.  No one else was around.

My heart beat wildly.  We were terrified.  In that moment, my Canadian citizenship, my middle class upbringing, and my academic accomplishments meant nothing.  There was only one reality that remained, pounding in my mind: I am a female.  When the truck finally moved on, we breathed a sigh of relief.

My fear turned to rage.  For the first time I realized that because of my gender, I could not enjoy a peaceful walk alone in the desert, or forest, or mountains without the risk of getting raped, assaulted, or ogled.  How dare they take this joy from me?  Since then, I have always been slightly jealous of my male friends, whose chances of being assaulted on a morning jog are very unlikely.

running

My eyes have been opened to the plight of women around the world.

I recently read an enlightening piece by Molly Edmonds that highlights global gender inequality. According to the UN, women do two thirds of the world’s work, receive 10% of the world’s income, and own 1% of the means of production.  They often get penalized for taking time off work to care for sick children.  Women are at high risk of being physically or sexually abused, and in some areas, rape is used as a weapon of war.  There are about 1.5 billion people living on less the a dollar a day, and most of them are women.  In some countries, women are not allowed to drive a car, or leave the house without their husband’s permission.  Despite making up half the world’s population, women hold only 15.6% of elected representative seats globally.  Then there is female infanticide, child brides, and sex trafficking victims.  Women are overrepresented in prostitution, especially if they are from an ethnic background that is oppressed or marginalized.

I’ve met many women for which some of these experiences ring true.  So you can understand why I am offended when some people say that gender inequality is inconsequential.  For some, the concept of gender equality evokes images of aggressive women taking over a business meeting, trampling men under their stilettos.  Others get stuck in a conversation about how gender equality threatens to water down the family unit.  Those who refuse to explore the world outside of these boundaries clearly misunderstand gender equality altogether.  Equality does not threaten the unique differences between men and women, but rather allows us to celebrate them more fully.

I once read the quote of an activist who was imprisoned in South America.  She said, “I do not seek women’s rights, but human rights for women.”  These words have resonated with me ever since. International Women’s Day is not about women being better than men, or about some secret agenda to take over the world.  It is about acknowledging us as human beings and respecting our worth, our contribution, and our legacy.

Today, take some time to celebrate women in your life, to learn about the plight of those around the world, and to invest in the lives of women who are working hard to survive. My husband and I love to make micro-credit loans through KIVA - which allows us to support the dreams of women in developing countries.

Happy International Women’s Day!

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Unexpected Dangers of the Sea

by Michelle Brock on February 19th, 2014

 waves

Last week I was on Europe’s Atlantic coast, watching massive waves roll in during a storm. The water crashed against the cliffs, promising to sweep away anyone whose curiosity led them too close.

I shuddered, as I always do when I see nature exert its raw fury.

I came across a video which was taken during that same storm. A man hopped over the “Danger” ropes that had been set up, wanting to take some photos of the raging sea. By the time he saw the wave come in from behind, it was too late. He did not survive.

This man’s fate has haunted me all week, as have the stories of others who were swept away in that very same storm.

I found myself thinking of the many prostitution survivors we’ve met whose stories have eerie similarities. Many of them got too close to a boy who turned out to be a pimp. Some were enticed by the money that could be made in the sex industry, only to discover that they could not get out. We’ve met a father whose daughter did not survive – she was murdered, along with a seven month old baby inside her. The police suspect a john had killed her, but he was never found. By the time each of these young women realized what was happening, they’d been swept into the dark underworld of violence and oppression.

Let’s make it our goal to set up systems that help us all, especially the most vulnerable in our communities, to stay on dry land.

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Watering My Lawn is My Right

by Michelle Brock on January 21st, 2014

drought

January is California’s rainy season.  I’ve spent the last 3 weeks in a town outside of San Francisco, expecting to see rain clouds and cool temperatures.  Instead, the governor just declared a drought emergency, with many regions not getting any precipitation at all for almost 50 days.

Wells have dried up.  Roaring rivers have shrivelled to a trickle, making bridges over them obsolete.  A lake where locals usually go to swim has become a destination for treasure hunts, with long lost artifacts sitting openly on the dry river bottom, no longer hidden by the deep blue waters.

Citizens in the area have been mandated by the municipality to reduce their water usage by 20-30%, and all outdoor lawn watering is prohibited.

It is in times like this that our cultural values are challenged by nature.  The Western world prides itself on self-sufficiency, independence, and individual rights.  Steeped in these beliefs, it is difficult for some to adjust to a community mindset when an emergency comes along.

sprinkler1This past week, I have taken several neighbourhood walks.  Not only have I seen people watering their lawns, but even their pavement.  One small yard had 6 sprinklers running at full blast, with wasted water pouring down the sidewalk and into the drain.  I considered being that guy and reporting them.  Instead, I chose to believe that they did not know about the drought declaration.

Chances are they did know, revealing a deep-rooted belief:  their individual right to a green lawn trumped the collective rights of an entire community to a life-sustaining resource.

In university I took a course on natural disaster vulnerability management, and learned that natural occurrences turn into natural disasters because humans make themselves vulnerable.  We build on fault lines and floodplains.  We over-consume natural resources, leaving little margin for emergencies. We poison our own rivers.

And, like the group here in California who decided to build a campfire during a severe drought last week, we assume we can be the exception.  This little campfire sparked a wildfire that burned down dozens of homes and further depleted the state’s much needed water reserve.

Photo credit Nick Ut Associated Press

Photo credit- Nick Ut : Associated Press

 

Individual rights certainly have their place, but I wonder if it’s time to revisit an old-fashioned concept that has been lost in our pursuit of personal success:

What is good for my community?

 

It is this question that drives people to sacrifice some of their personal rights for the well-being of others around them.  Our lives are interconnected, and the way we steward our individual rights can have an enormous effect on our communities as a whole.

Dealing with environmental scarcity is just the tip of the ice berg.  We must be willing to ask this same question when it comes to addressing other social ills – like poverty, or sex trafficking, or economic inequality.  What individual rights are we willing to put on hold to advocate for the good of society as whole?

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The Responsibilities of a Storyteller

by Michelle Brock on January 15th, 2014

Jay and I love meeting fellow storytellers.  Once of our favourites is Roxanne Krystalli, who has some wise words about stewarding the stories of those who have experienced violence and trauma. Based on her experience in conflict and post-conflict zones around the world, Roxanne shares some insights that we can all learn from.

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An Open Letter to Justin Bieber

by Michelle Brock on November 7th, 2013

Bieber brothel1
Photo by AGM-GSI

Dear Justin,

I recently met a Brazilian woman who used to sell sex to dignitaries and celebrities and wealthy businessmen.  Some would call her a “high class prostitute.” As one of the brothel favourites, she made great money, but she didn’t see much of it- “third parties” always found a way to leave her with nothing.  She initially entered the trade in a desperate attempt to feed her children.  Eventually she was promised a better life in Switzerland, but upon arriving she was forced into a legal brothel, suffering horrific conditions that nearly killed her.  She wept as she told me her story.

Yesterday, I read about your recent visit to a Brazilian brothel.  It broke my heart.

As a fellow Canadian, I believe that one is innocent until proven guilty- I realize that the media is not always correct, and that where there’s smoke there isn’t necessarily fire.  But if, indeed, you have been spending your time and money on commercial sex, I beg you, Justin, to reconsider.

A few years ago, I watched an interview where your mom talked about her childhood.  She opened up about the sexual abuse in her past, and the lack of worth she felt as a result. In her teen years, she caught herself thinking that prostitution would be an easy way to make money.  She didn’t go down that road, but she came close.  Your mom explained in the interview that she totally understood how young women in vulnerable situations consider prostitution as a viable option to survive.  A disproportionate number of people in prostitution are there because of lack of choice, not because of choice.

My husband and I just released a new documentary on trafficking and prostitution, and we actually considered reaching out to your mom – she’s been an amazing example of someone who overcame amazing odds to create a good life for you – and we thought she’d be a great advocate for the film and our mission.

Now take a moment to imagine if your own mother had entered the life of prostitution.  Can you even imagine it?  Chances are you would not be where you are today.   Really, really, think about it.  Homelessness, drugs, constant danger, an abused mother, maybe an abusive pimp, who knows.  You could have ended up, dare I say, exploiting women yourself.  Why would you want to do that to someone else’s mother?  Or daughter, or sister, or friend?  You’re bigger than that, aren’t you?

I once heard a talk by Andy Stanley to a group of influential leaders in Atlanta, and a question he asked has stuck with me for years:

What do you do when you realize you are the most powerful person in the room?

 

Justin, my hope for you is that you will begin to steward your power on behalf of those who don’t have any – maybe you were given this position for such a time as this.

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Unity in the Community – One “Weird” Thing We Can Learn From Finns on Skis

by Michelle Brock on October 17th, 2013

I’d like to describe two groups of individuals.

The first group is made up of people from various different nationalities, some working within their own country and others working on foreign soil.  They have a goal toward which they are striving, and are using all their skills and resources to provide for that vision.

The second group is made up of people from various different nationalities, some working within their own country and others working on foreign soil.  They have a goal toward which they are striving, and are using all their skills and resources to provide for that vision.

Sound similar?  Here’s where they diverge.

The first group is willing to work together as long as the job gets done.  They are masters of networking, they are organized, they are connected.  Each member knows their unique role and sticks to it.

teamwork

The second group is sometimes willing to work together, though there is often a power struggle for credit and funding.  Many members are confused about their role, and burn out because they try to do everything instead of mastering something.

Who are they?

 

The first group consists of human traffickers.  The second group consists of abolitionists.

Obviously I am generalizing.  Traffickers are not always organized and don’t always get along.  Those trying to abolish human trafficking are often willing to work together.  But traffickers have something going for them that abolitionists do not have.  It is something that smooths over personality clashes and dissolves cultural differences.  It motivates people to stay united and work together.  It yields power unlike anything else.

The love of money.

 

Those trying to end human trafficking, however, do not have this powerful weapon on their side.  This often leads to organizations fighting amongst themselves for the same funding.  Many abolitionists are working day jobs or side jobs, hoping that donor funding comes in so they can provide just one more survivor with food and a place to sleep.  Donors themselves are feeling fatigued by requests for cash, and organizations are having to convince everyone why they deserve funding more than anyone else. As a result, the abolitionist community has in many ways become fragmented and disorganized.

Meanwhile, high demand for commercial sex is filling the pockets of organized crime.

So how do we mitigate this?

Finland WarI am from Finland, a small northern country that is sandwiched between Sweden and Russia.  About a century ago, Russia attacked Finland in what became known as the Russo-Finnish Winter War.  Despite Russia having significantly more troops, tanks, and guns, Finland had something Russians did not expect: skis.  The Finns were excellent sportsmen that fought on skis, giving them a unique advantage.  They successfully resised the attack.

It’s time the abolitionist community got some skis.  Figuratively speaking, of course.  Organized crime is driven to unity by money.  The abolitionist community should be driven to unity by love.  Here is how we can work toward this:

Build relationships.  If you are curious about the work of another organization, even if it doing the same thing as you, make a personal connection.  It is hard to ignore or dislike someone who becomes a friend.  When my husband and I were in Europe, we met with the head of the Swedish Anti-trafficking Taskforce as well as the head of Amsterdam Vice Prostitution and Human Trafficking Unit.  Despite having drastically different approaches and worldviews, these two men were willing to work together and learn from each other.

Give each other space.  If you attend an event for another organization, don’t use it as a platform to promote yours, unless this has been discussed ahead of time.  This demonstrates respect and builds trust.

Practice humility.  Don’t assume that you know everything.  Make it your goal to ask questions from others in the field.

Avoid slander.  This kills unity more than anything else.  Resist the urge to put other organizations down to make yours look better.  Let your hard work speak for itself instead of playing the comparison game.  If something in another organization concerns you, address it with them directly before advertising it to the world.

Know your niche.  Develop a razor sharp focus on what your particular piece of the abolitionist movement is, and stick to it.  This allows an opportunity for different organizations to lend each other a hand so that everyone does not have to learn everything, and can lead to a more efficient anti-trafficking movement.  It took us about 4 years to figure out ours focus.  The process was not passive, but a conscious ongoing discussion.  Here’s where we’ve landed:

Far-upstream, systemic, end-demand prevention of sexual exploitation via writing (articles, books, speaking, and film).

 

Let’s put on our skis, work together, and build a competitive advantage!

 

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12 Things I’m Thankful For (How About You?)

by Michelle Brock on October 2nd, 2013

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“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”  

― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

October always feels like a New Year, doesn’t it?  Exactly one year ago, we were packing up our gear and booking flights to go film our documentary.  Twelve months have flown by.  And once again, the colours are changing.

Wrapping up the editing process and preparing for a film tour has made for an intense and exciting end of summer.  In these seasons of busyness, I want to take a moment to pause. As William Wadsworth says so succinctly:

“Rest and be thankful.”

 

1.  I am thankful for Dave, a dear friend and the editor of our film, who has endured many (very) late nights in the last couple of weeks to get this documentary to where it needs to be.

2.  I am thankful for the generosity and encouragement of Hope for the Sold donors, as well as every host that has opened their home to us during our travels.

3.  I am thankful for my co-workers at Well.ca, who spoiled me on my last day of work and sent me off with a heart full of encouragement and hands full of fair trade chocolate.

4.  I am thankful for our interns and friends, who are doing an excellent job setting up connections all over the country.

5.  I am thankful for design geniuses like Pete, amazing photographers like Jess and Karyn, and event-planning masterminds like Niki.

6.  I am thankful for a husband who keeps my chin up, keeps me organized, and always pushes for the impossible.

7.  I am thankful for our parents, Ari, Lea, Gord & Karen – as well as our third set of parents in this season, Gary and Leslie – who have given us counsel and resources along the way.

8.  I am thankful that we live in a trailer, so that we can keep our living costs low and have margin to pursue things that matter.

9.  I am thankful that we get to take our film on tour, so we can rally up support for preventative initiatives all across Canada and the U.S.

10.  I am thankful for Eric Fuslier, Dan Leytham, Tony Anderson, and Amy Nodwell, whose music sets the mood of our film.

11.  I am thankful for each interviewee that gave us their time.

12.  I am thankful for YOU, dear Hope for the Sold reader, for supporting us for all these years.

I am thankful for the beautiful colours of changing seasons.

 

fall colours1 680x1024

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