I believe in writing.
When we express ourselves through the creative process of putting words on paper--or on a screen--it is possible to uplift ourselves, to inspire and move others, and sometimes to work through the things that haunt and challenge us.
I've exorcised some pretty nasty demons with my writing. While I am appreciative of the idea that any of you bother with reading this nonsense I spew, and may sometimes even get a smile or a little "aha" moment out of it, I am really doing this for myself (self-centered old harpy that I am). I have other good friends who have made progress in their own lives and helped themselves to deal with events like divorce, 9/11, combat-related PTSD, sexual abuse and long-term unemployment though their creative writing.
If you agree with this general idea, maybe you can help out a friend of mine who works with the Missouri Humanities Council. They are involved in a partnership with the Missouri Writers Guild and the Veterans Administration to support a creative writing project for veterans undergoing in-patient care at a VA facility near St. Louis. This particular facility has had a great creative writing program through their occupational therapy unit for a number of years, but right now they could use a little bit of help.
The participants in the program currently do their writing with pencils on paper tablets. They could really use some laptops. My friend is working on getting some used and/or refurbished machines donated for the program, but he probably won't mind if I try to help too, since I really think this is important and useful. Not only does the writing generated by these men and women have a positive impact from a therapeutic standpoint--everyone needs to tell their story--but it also is generating documentation of a unique period in American history and the first-hand perspectives of the individuals who are living through it.
So here's the deal: if you have any ideas on sources for good, serviceable laptops that could be donated for the program, please send a message with your thoughts to:
They don't have to be fancy, just something with a decent-sized screen that can be used for basic word processing.
Keep on writing, y'all.