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Well, I did not ask her permission, and I hope she does not mind.

 I am writing this diary to thank Aji on her birthday for all she has done for the dKos community. I would also like to honor her day and the memory of her sister Butterfly Woman by raising awareness and much needed funds in the fight against hunger in America.

Desert rainbow
Join me below the sweet orange cronut for more....

I have created a Virtual Food Drive in honor of Aji's birthday and in memory of her sister Kaye (Butterfly Woman) at Feeding America with a goal of raising $250 which will help food banks provide 2,000 meals to Americans facing hunger.

Feeding America is the leading domestic hunger relief organization, with network food banks serving every state. Feeding America’s nationwide network of over 200 food banks provides food and groceries to 33,500 food pantries, 4,500 soup kitchens and 3,600 emergency shelters. This extensive network helps feed 37 million Americans each year -- delivering over 3 billion pounds of food. Each week nearly 5.7 million people receive emergency food assistance from an agency served by Feeding America.
If you are not familiar with Aji, you should know that she is a generous and kind person and a fierce advocate for and defender of those who face discrimination, exploitation and hardship.

 She has written diaries to inform, educate (and entertain!) the dKos community on Native American, environmental and women's issues and has helped raise funds for the Okiciyap (We Help) food pantry and youth program on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, in addition to aiding dKos community members facing serious medical and financial hardships. I have been the beneficiary of her kindness and generosity and I am deeply grateful to Aji and her husband Wings for their kindness.

 Aji and Wings' family also includes at least five horses, five dogs and four chickens. Lucky animals all, if you ask me!

Monarch butterflies, California

 I hope this dairy can serve as an open thread all day on October 20th so well-wishers can publicly share their greetings. If you have a virtual birthday cake with some candles, please post it here. I'd love to see the comments below ablaze with good wishes for our friend Aji.

Ancient bristlecone pine and Milky Way - White Mountains, California
Please, if you can not afford to donate to the Feeding America Virtual Food Drive at this time, I do not want you to give money unless you can easily afford it.

I would greatly appreciate your tips and recs so more people will see this diary. Thank you.

Happy Birthday, Aji !!!

2:19 am PDT - UPDATE: We're on our way to the $250.00 goal - Thank you for donating to Feeding America. I will be back to rec comments later this morning.

9:47 am PDT - UPDATE X2: Thank you for your donations and for all the birthday wishes for Aji. We are very close to the $$$ goal set for the Food Drive. Please keep the rec's for the diary and the donations coming! I will be back again later today. Thank you.

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