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day 79: follow his words–Chad Sanders, that is

Hey readers,

Exhausted, heart-sick, anxious and wretched? Me too. But we need to get over it. I got a surge of new energy–and humility–this morning from reading the powerful article in the New York Times Op-Ed section by Chad Sanders (author of the forthcoming book, Black Magic). The article is accompanied by the image above, by Hanna Barczyk, which says it all: hey white folks, stop drowning black people in your crocodile tears!

Basically, Sanders is here to chastise us–white people like me who’ve written to our black friends this week–and to explain why our messages are misguided and tiring. Black people are drowning in our smug letters and texts, he says. Moreover, he points out that us telling people, “Don’t feel the need to respond,” is wrong on all accounts: it is oppressive,  condescending and not appreciated by the recipient. (How would you like it if someone told you how to feel? or not to feel?)

Most usefully, he provides instructions on what we CAN do, if we want to do something meaningful.  As he writes, “please, stop sending #love. Stop sending positive vibes. Stop sending your thoughts. Here are three suggestions on more immediately impactful things to offer instead:

  1. Money: To funds that pay legal fees for black people who are unjustly arrested, imprisoned or killed or to black politicians running for office.
  2. Texts: To your relatives and loved ones telling them that you will not be visiting them or answering phone calls until they take significant action in supporting black lives either through protest or financial contributions.
  3. Protection: To fellow black protesters who are at greater risk of harm during demonstrations.”*

*Chad Sanders, “White Friends, Fight Anti-Blackness,” New York Times (6/6/20): A21.

Being a good student, I immediately got out my wallet and visited the link on Anti-Racist and Social Justice Resources of my favorite local public radio station, KEXP. After studying some options, I chose to donate $100 to National Bail Out. I like their slim organization–run by volunteers–and their clear mission: this is a “Black-led and Black-centered collective of abolitionist organizers, lawyers and activists building a community-based movement to support our folks and end systems of pretrial detention and ultimately mass incarceration. We are people who have been impacted by cages — either by being in them ourselves or witnessing our families and loved ones be encaged. We are queer, trans, young, elder, and immigrant.”  Learn more at

national bail out

In conclusion, please excuse me, black friends, if I annoyed you or wasted your time with my emails this week. And I thank you, Chad Sanders, for helping me understand how I can help with funding organizations like National Bail Out. On a lighter note, I’m thrilled to see one of my clients wearing one of my face masks to a local demonstration!  (Looking good, Shep!)

Shep at protest with HG face mask on June 5 2020

p.s. I’m still moving forward on plans for the “Respect” quilt project, and the special offer of a Honey Girl quilt for only $100 is still good for one more day!  See day 73 for details.

Respectfully yours,


fyi: no face masks made yesterday, but production resumes today…

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Remember last Christmas? thoughts on the Tranquility Pillow, six months later

It’s now been six months since the annual “Caring Professional Thank-you Week” sponsored by Honey Girl Books and Gifts, and the word is in: the Tranquility Pillows really do work!  Read on to see how last year’s winners use their special gifts at work and home, to soften some of life’s hard moments…

“The Tranquility pillow sits on a small chair in my office where students sit for a time to relax.  When I invite them to sit in the chair, the child instantly picks up the pillow and places the it on his/her lap.  As we begin to talk the child begins to calmly ‘pet’ the soft satin or velour.  Then I would allow the student to change the star to reflect the emotion being felt.  This worked really well.”

–Melissa, Title 1 Intervention Specialist, South Bend, IN

“I love to sit in my chair and hold it in my arms when I am talking to my daughter; it’s great to snuggle up to.”

–Erin, nurse from Seattle, WA

“This beautiful pillow has a prominent place in my office and has provided a perfect dose of tranquility to both adults and students. The ‘Moonrise’ design on satin and velour feels luxurious and the pocket on back is very convenient for holding the pieces. The deeper messages about coping and dreams were perfect for our students, and the children especially enjoyed expressing their feelings with the monster star.”

–Erin, fine arts teacher from South Bend, IN

Tranquility Pillow Xmas tree Dec 2018.jpg

Order your own Tranquility Pillow today!

Available only from Honey Girl Books and Gifts LLC