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How can I, a twelve-year-old girl, help out women? Give me a few suggestions. - Ashley

Thanks for your note. I would love to help you help women--and I'm flattered that you asked me to do so.

As with almost anything we do, it's important that we do it because we believe it, we care about it, or we have a close connection to it. So I'm not sure if there is one issue that is more important to you than others, but that is the best place to start.

For instance, what about helping illiterate people to read? Your local library might know of programs. Also, what about older people who are in retirement/nursing homes--most of them love company and, therefore, you could go and read to them. Also, at local shelters for women and children who are escaping abusive relationships, they are often looking for people to either come in and spend time and/or take kids away for a few hours. If you look in your yellow pages under "shelters" you can find some in your community.

Also, I learned about an 11-year-old who is collecting used cellular phones through her parent's workplaces and through her synagogue. This is part of a program called "CALL To PROTECT", which will then reprogram these phones with numbers to battered women's shelters and police departments and give the phones to women who are in danger of being abused.

Those are a few suggestions, and are meant to get you thinking of others. If you want to talk about any of these ideas or others further, please contact me. Thanks again for writing--and good luck.



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