A Prayer For Children

Ina Hughs

 A Prayer For The Children

We pray for the children who sneak Popsicles before
supper, who erase holes in math workbooks, who can
never find their shoes. And we pray for those who stare
at photographers from behind barbed wire, who can’t
bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers, who
never “counted potatoes,” who never go to the circus,
who live in an X-rated world.

We pray for children who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions, who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money. And we pray for those who never get dessert, who have no safe blanket to drag behind them, who watch their parents watch them die, who can’t find any bread to steal, who don’t have any rooms to clean up, whose pictures aren’t on anybody’s dresser, whose monsters are real.

We pray for children who spend all their allowance before Tuesday, who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food, who like ghost stories, who shove dirty clothes under the bed, who never rinse out the tub, who get visits from the tooth fairy, who don’t like to be kissed in front of the carpool, who squirm in church and scream in the phone, whose tears we sometimes laugh at and whose smiles can make us cry.

And we pray for those whose nightmares come in the daytime, who will eat anything, who have never seen a dentist, who aren’t spoiled by anybody, who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep, who live and move, but have no being. We pray for children who want to be carried and for those who must, who we never give up on and for those who don’t get a second chance. For those we smother and…for those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it.

Someone sent this prayer to us many years ago in an email message. We recently learned it was written by Ina Hughs, a newspaper reporter for the Knoxville News. The prayer reached a worldwide audience when it was read aloud during UNICEF’s World Summit For Children.


empowering young girls

About the Foundation

Posted by  at 16 FEB 3:20 pm

Empower Nepali Girls, originally established as the Madhav Ghimire Foundation in 2001, was created to help provide educational opportunities for the most neglected children of Nepal, especially young girls from the lowest caste who would otherwise be unable to attend school and how may be at greatest risk to be sold into domestic or sex slavery. The guiding mission of the Empower Nepali Girls is to raise funds from individuals and organizations to assist and mentor girls with the greatest potential to transform their communities and country. Girls are selected based on financial need, as well as academic potential and performance.
It costs so little money to sponsor a child’s education, just $100 per year, which provides fees, school uniforms, books, and supplies for one year in primary or secondary school. It costs $2,500 per year or more to support a girl in higher education. Most of our girls wish to become doctors, nurses, engineers, teachers, and even enter politics. Since the founders and administrative staff volunteer their time and expertise, there are few administrative costs and little overhead–three-quarters of all money donated goes directly to the children’s education. We are currently supporting close to 200 children in 11 different villages and almost every region of the country.
Empower Nepali Girls is tax exempt charitable organization that is supported totally from contributions and volunteer efforts. It is registered in both Nepal and in the United States as a 501(c)(3).

We need to teach the young compassion…remind them of our shared humanity

Courage Euthanized

Posted by  on Jul 20, 2012

Courage Euthanized

This story is a bit different from my normal tributes. This is about a little baby bird who was tortured and beaten and who’s story will change the world. Today I was walking to my mail box out by the street. I saw these two boys kicking something back and forth to each other. At first I didn’t think much of it. Then I saw them pick it up and start smashing it with their fists. I then heard a noise I will never forget… it sounded just like a scream. I ran over and yelled “what is going on?” to the kids. As soon as they saw me they bolted down the street. When I came up on the bird he was not moving and had one wing broken almost completely off. I wanted to run after those kids but all I cared about was trying to save this poor baby bird. I picked him up in my hands. Put his brocken body back together and held him close to my chest. He looked straight up into my eyes and I knew he knew he was safe. At first his breathing was sporadic and fast. So I started rubbing my thumb on the top of his head and he calmed immediately. I rushed him inside. I named this bird Courage. As I walked Courage back to my house I saw two birds watching us and I knew it was his parents. They had seen the entire thing.

Inside, my rescue pup William was right at the baby bird’s side. I told William what had happend and he clearly understood because the next thing he did was nuzzle the bird up into his neck. The broken baby bird started to softly close his eyes under Williams warmth and slowly he drifted off to sleep. I called my vet who told me what I already knew. A bird this young and so tortured and broken would never make it. I lost it at this point. The idea that this morning this baby bird was happy and alive and now lay tortured in my house broke my heart. All because two kids thought it was fun to hurt this amazing animal. My vet told me to bring Courage in and make the decision to let him rest in peace.

Courage’s Parents

I laid down cradling William who was cradling the broken baby bird and we cried. I cried tears…William wined softly… we both knew it was time. Before I left I took Courage in my hands and walked him back to the tree where he had fallen out of. I sat down and wanted to give his parents a chance to say goodbye. The two birds, one red chested and the other brown chirped and flew down right in front of us in the grass. At that point they knew what I was doing and I know it sounds unbelievable but I know they were crying too. The sat at the edge of my knees just steering not making a single sound. I told the two parents it was time and they said their goodbyes and flew off back up into the tree. They watched us as we got into my car and left.

When I arrived at the vets office we walked straight to the back. I was able to cup the small brocken bird in my hands as he passed away. I lay my head down next to this small amazing bird and told him he had more courage then anything in the world. I told him I loved him and I apologized for what had happened to him. As he started to drift away, as his breathing slowed, I rubbed his head and through his broken small beak he let out a sigh of relief. No more pain, no more hurt… leaving only with love, peace and warmth. The room was quiet. No one said a word. There where 6 of us in there. The vet, 4 vet tecks and myself… all of us crying.

Courage’s grave.

I took Courage’s body home. When I got home his two parents where sitting on my balcony. This shows just how powerful, smart and intuitive animals are. They new their baby bird had passed. I bundled the lil guy in a towel and went on a hike. As I hiked to where I was going to burry Courage I held him in my hands and let the breeze ruffle his tiny feathers. I buried him up in the mountains behind my house in a quiet spot over looking the city. I will never forget Courage and what he went through. This small abused, tortured animal taught me so much in the time I was with him. Courage know that you left this world with love, peace and now your story will be shared to thousands! You will change this world Courage.

To the kids who did this to Courage the baby bird… I pray that one day you see the power these amazing animals have. I hope you change your ways and someone teaches you whats right. I hope you never harm an animal again. [The kids who did this where never found]

Courage Euthanized on 7/20/2012

it will be a great day….


Children’s Defense Fund

“The ultimate test of American democracy is whether we can protect our voteless, most vulnerable group – children – without whom there is no future.” Taylor Branch #CDFcon2012 http://bit.ly/A4AiL2


more voices of inspiration

When I see and feel the beauty of my own heart I see the beauty in the world around me. So a great big thank you to the following for listening to their hearts, speaking up and standing tall, for offering their compassion, kindness, inspiration to the world.-Jen


WomenVoices for Change.org. Freedomfrompornculture.wordpress.com, BestFriendsAnimalSociety.org-sanctuary, Honoringwomen’s rights.org,  the music of Michael Franti and Xavier Rudd, Emmylou Harris for opening a shelter on her estate, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Alice Walker,  PowerSistahs.wordpress.com, local Food Co-ops, Local farmers, Ajahn Thanasnati, Vinny Ferraro, Fair Trade, Pema Chodron, Tara Brach, Thestillspot.wordpress.com, lijiun.wordpress.com, local animal shelters & rescues…


and I know there are more voices of inspiration in this amazing & difficult life.


shared Dog Files‘s photo.

Flat Stanley visits Maine

The Human Experience- a great movie. It made me cry and gave me hope. These young men are healing and changing the idea of what makes a man a man.

Director Charles Kinnane follows adventurers Jeffrey Azize, Clifford Azize, Michael Campo, and Matthew Sanchez on a remarkable journey to answer some of life’s greatest questions in this soul-searching documentary. Somewhere between living with the homeless on the streets of New York City, forming an intimate bond with orphans in Peru, and experiencing life amongst the African lepers who have been exiled to the forests of Ghana, these four world travelers gain a profound appreciation for humankind’s unceasing will to endure and experience life, regardless of the seemingly insurmountable obstacles placed before them. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi