"In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women's rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us." -- An excerpt of the Women's March on Washington mission.

Read more about the Women's March on Washington here.
Heartwood Refuge is joining the Women's March to Washington Jan. 20-21.
Here is a letter from Heartwood's spiritual director, Venerable Pannavati:

Dear engaged friends, I'm old, I'm tired and I don't want to go...but when I think about what not simply showing up might mean for my grandchildren and their children, compassion arises and I know I can do this! History has shown us how quickly liberties gained can be lost if we fall asleep, get complacent, or become too tired to care. It really matters -- just showing up! I'm hoping you will help me get the word out.

Heartwood Refuge, as an organization in Hendersonville (designated as a Compassionate City of the Charter for Compassion network in August 2015) has temporarily reserved a very comfortable motorcoach with bathroom to transport 50 of us from Hendersonville and the surrounding area to Washington, DC. I am willing to take the lead on logistics for the bus and hotel, sign for the bus, etc. if someone else is willing to co-serve as the hostess ("come to" person during the excursion) for connecting and organizing the movement of participants. I have a small staff that can help you!

While organizers of the march do not have all permits in hand and route established, they have been given permission to assemble and a starting point identified at 3rd and Independence AV, so that community organizers around the country could begin their efforts.

To make this happen, here, in Hendo, we need 50 registrations -- that's just 25 of us committing and bringing a buddy. When you go to fellowship with like-minded friends this week, make the "ask"!

This is what I have tentatively put together:

Depart Hendersonville Jan 20, 9pm - sleep! (stretch stop along the way)
Stop for breakfast around Fredericksburg VA, 6:30am
Arrive DC 9am, march starts at 10am

Depart DC 6pm, stop for dinner, hotel for the night (double occupancy) and breakfast around Fredericksburg, VA; and lunch stop around Durham NC
Arrive Hendersonville 7pm.

Ticket includes quality motorcoach transportation from Hendersonville, any metro fee if bus is prohibited from approaching gathering area for drop-off, 4 meals, snacks/drinks on bus and during march, hotel, driver's gratuity. We estimate the food and lodgings at $5,200 and the bus quote is $4,200.)

Cost: $195.00+3% processing fee if ticket is purchased on-line. (No fee if check is dropped off or mailed.)

If tentative interest: Please email pannavati@HeartwoodRefuge.org directly by Sunday night, the 18th. Put Women's March in the subject line. If we get at least 25 reservations by then, we will feel comfortable enough to put the deposit on the bus and hotel, and a formal event page will be activated. Funds would be due by January 5th.

We are contributing $500 and hoping a couple of organizational sponsors with match our gift. If we are successful, we will reduce the cost of the trip accordingly or offer partial scholarships for women with financial challenges, college students and mothers who wish to take their daughters. If you can't go but would like to sponsor a woman, let us know....Oh, this trip is gender friendly, FYI! We welcome all supporters embracing dignity and appreciation for the females in their lives. Thanks!