1 penny a day to "Guarantee Conflict Free"

We’re a pretty typical family. I got up this morning, urged my husband to please make coffee as quickly as possible, cuddled my little boy, sent the dog down to wake up the soccer playing biggie, and watered my hanging baskets on the front porch while wearing my bathrobe. I made pancakes for biggie boy who was heading out early for a soccer tournament, said “yes” to one daughter’s request to borrow the car for the morning, and directed another daughter’s efforts to find a sleeping bag for her upcoming travels. I checked my morning e-mail, ate a bowl of Puffins cereal, and filled the dishwasher. I think I probably tossed a load of laundry in the washing machine and I took the clothes off the line that had stayed there overnight. My husband did much of the same; he made the coffee, poured the coffee, repoured the coffee when I mentioned the mug he gave me had a cracked handle, took the dog out for a morning round of “catch the frisbee”, filled the bird feeders, and supervised the pouring of syrup on the little one’s pancake. He rinsed out a very dirty garbage can, helped our little boy put water in the wading pool, and I think he played a little soccer with our ‘up and at ’em’ tiniest son.

But we’re also a family who has made a commitment to care about the things we care about in the fullest ways we can. We’re a family fighting for social justice. We can’t act on all of our cares (believe me, we have many), but we do make it a point to dedicate ourselves fully to being the best stewards we can for those things we know and care about. Sometimes we do a better job than other times. Today was one of those days we did a pretty good job.

Last year Mr. SillyPants, Blueberry, and I met the fabulous Tami in Chicago and participated in Lisa Shannon’s Run for Congo Women. I wrote about the event here. Lisa Shannon has been an inspiration to families like mine all over the country— families who work for social justice and who work to be good global neighbors.

Today we answered Lisa’s call to action and visited our local APPLE store to deliver a letter to Steve Jobs asking him to support Conflict Minerals Trade Act HR.4128 AS WRITTEN (see letter). We felt like our support for Congolese women and Congolese families made this simple local action MAKE SENSE. It makes sense to end the deaths of an estimated 45,000 people per month in a country wrecked by civil war and a nation whose wealth of resources are being mined to fund death. Yeah, so we did it. We drove a mere 3 minutes to deliver what could be a lifetime to our sisters and brothers in Congo.

See it in pictures – and visit these sites to learn more:

FB friend Lisa Shannon



(that is NOT my middle finger! I’m holding a jar of pennies oh so awkwardly!)
Telling the story…..
ETA: Some folks asked me about the mood of the event: it was very polite. We didn’t enter the store yelling or chanting or with anger. We asked for the manager and he came right to us. We had a conversation. He listened. We left the letter for Steve Jobs with him. We asked him to assure us that he would make every effort to deliver our letter. He said he would do his best. We encouraged him to look up the legislation and we tipped him off that while folks now know about “Blood Diamonds” many don’t know about “Conflict Minerals.” We felt it was a very successful public action. Of course, we had rehearsed our “schtick” so that we all had something to say – and that’s what we did. We delivered 300 pennies in a jar with a message that this was our family contribution to change the lives of 300 people from the Congo and to offset the costs of 1cent per product for Apple.
We’ll be sending letters to our represenatives to support the Conflict Minerals Trade Act. We’ll also be following Lisa Shannon’s efforts to bring change to Congo families. We’ll act when we can. We’ll run again this fall  the Run For Congo Women .
You can e-mail your Representative here on the Amnesty International site or here at AmericanProgress site to urge their support of this legislation.
We’re just an average family. You can do it too. 

4 responses to “1 penny a day to "Guarantee Conflict Free"

  1. I will be doing some research soon. Thanks to your amazing family!

  2. I just came back from eastern Congo and saw the conflict mines first-hand. I'm really inspired by your actions, this is really cool!

  3. Are you sure that's not your middle finger?! 🙂 LOL!This was a great post- thanks for the heads up. I had no idea.

  4. Thanks for the great post, and the link back to my blog. I really appreciate it.What an amazing family you are! Keep up all your good work!Monica Johansson – Letters to Congo

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