Saturday, December 03, 2005

Do unto others

Okay peeps, I'm giving you an assignment.

I want you to do something nice for someone else today (or tomorrow or Monday...) - a sort of random act of kindness.

I was just sitting here thinking about how fortunate I am for the life that I have - a roof over my head, clothes on my back, food on my table, a wonderful family, etc. I know we all take what we have for granted from time to time (or all the time).

I'm sure you all realize that I'm a sort of 'bleeding heart' liberal. But, a lot of it is talk without action. That is, I don't often act like a bleeding heart. I don't do enough charitable things - as nice a person as I am, simply being nice and believing that ALL people should be treated with compassion doesn't exactly feed a hungry child, does it?

Last week I bought a Christmas gift for one of the angel tree kids and it made me feel good. I know all too well what it's like to go without and now that I'm in a position (at least MORE of a position) to help, I figure that I should put my money where my mouth is. When I was a teenager, my family had it really rough. My grandma started to get sick (she had been our sole source of financial support since my mom was often too sick to hold down a job) and the money was scarce...beyond scarce. When I was 15, my mom got remarried and we were now a family of six. That year, my mother and step-father's combined income was around $16K. Yeah...$16K for a family of 6 doesn't go very far. We were on food stamps. It was embarrasing, but it was through no fault of my parents' - my mom was too sick and my step-dad was between jobs. My freshman year in college it was even worse...they made just over $12K that year. Mom had taken a job as a realtor and she ended up only making about $1K for the entire year after all of her costs were factored in. Step-dad was working as a contractor (all sorts of stuff) and it wasn't a good year. It was rough to say the least. I hope my small contribution will at least help make someone's Christmas a little brighter.

So, in the spirit of the holidays (not that we shouldn't do it all year long, of course) I'm asking all of you to do something nice for someone else.


Blogger arkie said...

Things are pretty tight for me this year, but I'm hoping to be able to get one of the angels and buy for them. If not that, then I will donate to one of the food banks.

It always makes me feel so much better, to know that I was able to help someone else, and let them know, that even though they don't know who I am, someone cares about them.

10:13 AM  
Blogger MTW said...

Karen, I'm going to take you up on your assignment, and I'll post a comment when I'm done (to have something to hold me accountable). It'll have to be during the week.

Our family struggled when I was growning up, and I struggled as an early adult, but lately, I have been blessed to never worry about food or where the mortgage money was coming from or how the gas bill will be paid.

9:03 PM  
Blogger ~Nutz said...

I donate gifts every year. It's just part of the season.

For Thanksgiving, we donated four bags of groceries that went to needy, local families in 5 food baskets. There was also about 10 turkeys donated overall.

We donate gift cards for Target or Walmart (our choice) to local families through Nutzboy's Scout Troop for Christmas. The great thing about this is they also sell food items there!

We donate to Toys for Tots. We have already made 2 donations of toys at our local KB toy store and have plans for at least a third one through Nutzboy's high school football team.

Nutzboy and Mr. Nutz give their time one whole Saturday in December through the Scout Troop to go and collect for the Salvation Army at the local mall.

At my college there is a "giving tree". We are given tags with the age and sex of a child and then wrap it up with the tag attached for giving. I usually do 2 of these gifts. In January, we'll have a coat drive in which I will put the kids coats that they've outgrown.

I suppose it's easier for us to remember to do these things because we are a scouting family, but the feeling you get in return is wonderful! Boy, it must sound like we do so much with all that I've typed, but even with all of that, I feel we could do so much more!

8:03 AM  
Blogger hooboosam said...

I too know what it's like to struggle, and this time of year is always very special to me. I have been very active with our local childrens' hospital and with Toys for Tots, but this year I have added Angel Tree to my list too.

Great Reminder, PM.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Zombs said...

Nice thoughts Karen. I am going to have my kids involved with whatever we decide to do. WE have a lot to be grateful this year since we had a very rough year finacially. Never in my life had I been in such financial woes and wondering where money is coming from for food and stuff.

It is not a feeling I would wish on anyone but in someways maybe it was good for us. We always had been comfortable and rather well off. Opened my eyes a little and I hate the thought of people living that way with even more anxiety than we had every day with no hope in sight.

7:38 AM  
Blogger jenbeauty said...

Giving tree at work, giving tree at Church, can food drive at both kids school. But I will take the time today to donate somewhere somehow for one of my peeps!!

8:09 AM  
Blogger Sonya said...

I try to do something each year, but not only at Christmas time, but throughtout the year. I served food one year at a food bank and that was a real eye opening experience. Thanks, PM for reminding us all.


9:53 AM  

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