EdgyAmelia takes its name from a nineteenth century novel, and in the spirt of the genre, I am beginning this post by talking to you, reader. As Edgy Amelia’s third day draws to a close, I want to thank you for joining me on this adventure–your hits on this blog and likes on my store mean a great deal to me. In this post, I want to elaborate on why-why I am raising funds for German, why the name “EdgyAmelia” has resonance to me.
Why is raising funds so that German Choc can open a store and have access to medical care so important to me? I have never met this man, and even struggle to pronounce his name correctly. To put it simply, raising funds for German is so important to me because I can.
When I heard Maria Choc speak back in November about the land rights struggles in her community, I was so struck by her steadfast strength and humility as she carried the stories of so many who could not speak for themselves that night, whether her brother Ramiro Choc, a political prisoner, or a woman whose name I remember as Veronica, whom she described as “a midwife, a friend, she taught me much about life,” and then showed us a photograph of her murdered body shrouded in a garbage bag.
When the audience asked her, “what can we do to help you,” one of the few things she mentioned was to raise funds for German’s medical care and store, such a small and attainable task. Yet as I dug deeper, researching micro-loans and grants, and found the task of finding $7,500 a relatively small sum, ever more challenging, the more determined I became to raise the money, because this amount is so attainable and what it will do is far from flashy–it will just improve the life of one person by enabling him to participate in life more fully by earning a living and attaining much needed medical care.
Yet not everyone sees it this way. As I was conversing with someone on Sunday about German’s needs, this person stated her reluctance for this project because she “has trouble distinguishing [German] from all the innocent wounded people in the world and in the USA that need employment assistance.”
My ideal response to this comment would have been, “yes, so what?” Yes, there are countless people in the world who need medical care and employment assistance, and if I had the time, energy, and resources, I would try to help them all. But I am dedicating my energy and art to help fulfill the attainable ask of one person whose story I know in the best way that I know how.
In William Thackeray’s novel “Vanity Fair,” the character Amelia Sedley has many of my faults, she is naive, clueless, and lets other people’s opinons have too much power over her. Yet she believes in the innate goodness of humanity. When my friend Casey compared me to an “edgy version of Amelia Sedley” she meant that I was sweet yet sarcastic. But for me, “Amelia” speaks to my idealistic goal to help German Choc attain the resources he needs to live more independently and comfortably, and “edgy” is my drive and determination to make it happen.