My One Cent: Tina Hanson
“Advocacy is a great opportunity to get involved as a citizen.”
September 20, 2017
Tina Hanson, from Southern California, has been a CARE advocate for four years. She’s also an engineer and a mother and says that prior to her time with CARE, she wasn’t into politics. We asked her what changed and why she advocates with CARE. Here’s Tina’s story:
It all started when I learned about all the human rights violations that go into diamond mining. They call them “blood diamonds.” I felt like the diamonds I owned never really belonged to me and I was compelled to do something good with them. So, I sold them and donated all the money to the World Food Program. WFP thought I’d make a good advocate and they put me in contact with CARE. CARE asked me to join a meeting with my Congressman. While I’m really not into politics, I realized advocacy was a great opportunity to get involved as a citizen.
I was very nervous to meet my Congressman before that first advocacy meeting. Four years later, I realize how empowering that moment was. Now, I realize how many parts of my life are impacted by the advocacy of other people. For instance, I am an immigrant. I moved here when I was two from Hong Kong. My family lost everything in the move, so I can relate somewhat with the things other immigrants face. Of course, what we went through was nothing compared with what refugees face. My nights of not eating were just nights. I never thought about starvation.
I’m an optimist, even if it that seems unrealistic. Sometimes, I think you need unrealistic people to try and accomplish big things. Nothing I did entitled me to the luck I have now and I owe it to the rest of the world to be a good person. I mean, my goal is just that - to be a good person. That’s all I want.
I’m an engineer by trade and I don’t believe in politics. I believe in a finished product and doing the right thing and coming to solutions, not -roundabouts. But I’ve learned through CARE that politics can bring about great changes, that when put into practice, can accomplish bigger things.