Kids make a difference

We've been blessed through some special authentic connections.  We had the privilege of meeting Lauren Ghio, age 7, and Riley Ghio, age 10, of Bellingham, WA.  Their parents, Karen and Kirk, who we recently met, told them about our journey.  Karen, who owns Lauril's Loft, a business that offers dove releases for special occasions, offered us the gift of a full dove release (10 doves) should the Supreme Sourt of Washington rule in favor of same gender marriage.   We are flying back to Washington when that happens to be married (yes, again!). 

After hearing about Gay Into Straight America, Lauren & Riley said they wanted to meet us and deliver a letter.  How ironic that our "Rylee" got to meet Karen's and Kirk's "Riley", but when you add to the mix that we discovered they also have a black Standard Poodle named Phi Phi, who is 2 years old (our Rylee turned 4 years old on November 7, 2005), and that our vet was the one who suggested they get a standard poodle, the syncronicity of the situation becomes obvious. There are no coincidences.

Front of card given to us by Lauren & Riely

Inside of card

In his letter, Riley says, "I know you that you will change a lot of lives!  I think you might even change history.  I wear your braclet with Pride."  Lauren is as supportive as her her brother,writing, "Gay people should be honored!" 

And kids need to "grow up?"  Why do kids so easily get the authentic connections created from reaching out to understand others?  Perhaps it is adults that need to grow up, and understand what kids often instinctively know. 

When Lauren & Riley delivered our card, we told them, "The power of one can occur through your daily actions, and together, we can change our world."

When asked how he became so accepting of all people, Riley answered, "I decided I wanted to think for myself, and not have others think for me." 

We encourage each of you to have a Rosa Parks moment, a Helen Keller moment, and an Audre Lorde moment.  We all know that Rosa Parks often took a seat, in order to stand up, many times in her life.  Helen Keller's quote in our website banner reminds us that, like Rosa Parks, as "one," we each can make a difference.  And Audre Lorde's quote about  being less afraid when we use our strength in the service of our vision, reminds us to seize this moment, seize this day, and create authentic connections.  Be bold...take the Stand UP Speak OUT Challenge.  Honor all these women in the best way possible... Take action! 


Purchase a bag of 25 Rainbow wristbands, and like Riley, wear them with pride. A great idea is to pass them out for whatever holidays you celebrate.  The Ghio family purchased a bag of 25 to give Karen's sister, who was in Seattle visiting.  She is with the Peace Corps in Nicaragua, and is taking them back for people in the village to wear. 

We hope these rainbow wristbands, a never ending circle of colors, help lead to engaging others in more meaningful conversations, creating a tipping point for awareness about the value of diversity of people in our world, and how we are all interconnected. Isn't it time? 


Lauren gave us one of her most treasured items...her bunny that she made out of scraps from her mother's old sweater.  Recycling at a young that's a good sign for our environment and future!  We named the bunny, "LoLo,"  Lauren's nickname. 



We honored Laren & Riley as  recipients of the first Stand UP Speak OUT Wind Changers award.  Their willingness to claim the power of their voice, and doing so with love and compassion, earned them this acknowledgement. You too, can take the Stand UP Speak OUT Challenge, and become a Stand UP Speak OUT Wind Changer.  People wanting to nominate someone for one of our Stand UP Speak OUT Wind Changer Awards can contact us.



 Riley Ghio, Karen Ghio (holding Rylee),
 Dotti, Roby, and Lauren Ghio