I met with the Access program at Mississippi State University over the last two weeks to teach a "telling your story" writing workshop. In the first class we talked about why telling your story is so important:
- It gets you out of your head - telling your story, or writing it down, gives you some distance from it, and allows you to process events more clearly.
- Memory - if we don't share our oral stories or record them on paper, this part of our history will eventually die out. Sharing our family stories lets us know who we are and who we want to become.
- Helping others - telling our story helps other people know they are not alone. Letting people know we have been through similar circumstances is incredibly helpful.
- Changing the world - telling stories is one of the ways we change things for the better. Part of the institutional story of the univeristy where we were holding the class has, as one part of its story, exclusion of women, African-Americans, and people with disabilities. Telling these stories helps us change them.
The Access students proved how much the story is changing for students with disabilities. After learning how to use details to make stories more unique and interesting, we read "The Healing Touch."
Then, these amazing young people shared with me how they are using their Healing Touch to change things for the better. Here is what they had to say:
My name is Joseph Conner Bruce Silvera. I attend a universality where cowbells clang. I use my '"healing touch" by helping with luncheons at the Kappa Delta house. We do this by washing dishes.
My name is Machaela Tolleson. I attend a university where cowbells clang. I use my "helaing touch" by helping build houses through Habitat for Humanity. My sorority paints houses for people in need.
My name is Allan Burtt. I use my "healing touch" to inspire other people through unified sports with special needs kids. We are hosting a unified egg bowl in November.
My name is Rebecca. I use my "healing touch" to help raise money for St. Judes with a softball tournament. We hold an annual fundraiser called "Swinging for St. Judes."
We donated $10 to each of the students' projects! Let us know how your young person, child, or class is using their "Healing Touch" to make the world better and we will donate $10 to the nonprofit of their choice!