I JUST KEEP EDITING THIS POST! Here’s an announcement! We just hit the $500!!! Thank you so much to all who donated! Can you tell how excited I am right now? I KEEP USING EXCLAMATION POINTS AND ALL CAPS!!!
I’ve been helping to arrange a holiday gift drive at the girls’ school. Every student was asked to bring in an item (favorite game, pair of socks, grocery store gift card, etc.) and depending on how many items come in, we will assemble baskets for some of our more needy families in the district. This morning I went through all of the items that have been donated so far. We have lots of hot chocolate, candy, a few fuzzy blankets, a few games, some bath lotion shower gel thinger dingers, a few books, some toys, and a few kitchen odds and ends. (The oddest contribution? A Larry the Cable Guy Christmas CD.)
Anyway, on Friday a few of us will be getting together to assemble the baskets and make them “specific” to certain families. Do you ever get the feeling that you’re doing exactly what you need to be doing? That’s where I am when I’m thinking about these families.
Last week I went to Walgreens. (I go to Walgreens at least three times each week. It’s a two minute drive from my house, and I’m always out of tape.) My favorite checker in the afternoon is one of those people who could be either 60 or 20. It’s impossible to guess her age. Anyway, when I asked her if she’s ready for the holidays, she told me that sometimes she wishes she wouldn’t have had kids so early because she’s only 26 (not 60!) and although she puts in a ton of hours (she does!), it’s becoming really difficult to give them the Christmas they deserve. She went on to say that if she could do it all over again, she would have gone to college and waited to have the kids.
Last night I went to the store to buy food for the dogs. The woman who checked me out mentioned that she is one paycheck away from being able to buy her dad some funny boxer shorts for Christmas. (She has been giving him funny boxer shorts every year since she was a kid.) One paycheck away. Those words are still ringing in my head.
If I had an extra few thousand dollars, I swear I would spend December handing hundred dollar bills to anyone who expressed a need or a frustration. And I know that money doesn’t really make anything better, but I also know that sometimes it helps.
I’ve been pretty good about the whole Paying It Forward thing, but I need to be better. Perhaps I’ll devote 2013 to kindness. And preparing the house for a move. And figuring out how to knit continentally. I’ll complain less. I’ll write letters instead of e-mails. I’ll figure out how to run without breaking my legs. Less time thinking, more time doing.
EDITED TO ADD: A few people have made comments and sent e-mails offering to help the people I mentioned above. Please know that setting up a donation system was not my intention when I posted at Fluid Pudding today. With that said, sometimes you put something out there and someone offers to help and how can you turn down the offer if it means that something great might happen? After thinking about this for the past few hours, I’ve decided to make a difference for the woman who wants her kids to have a better Christmas. My PayPal address is the same as my e-mail address: angela at fluidpudding dot com. If you would like to donate, please mark it as “Gift.” (It’s my understanding that fees are waived when it’s a gift. I could be wrong.) I’ve decided to cap it at $500, and will let you know if/when we start getting close. My plan is to stop taking donations this Sunday (December 16th), and I’ll deliver a money order early next week.
Wait a second.
Did you feel that?
I think it’s the Christmas Spirit!
(Thank you guys so much. SO much.)
ANOTHER EDIT! As of 4:00 CST on 12/12/12, we’re up to $445! You guys are amazing. AMAZING!
AND ANOTHER! $470 at 4:23 CST!!!