Tuesday

If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do, if you haven't got a ha'penny then God Bless You!



Tis the season of extra hours dedicated to my non-profit organization that I volunteer for.

We provide outerwear (coats, snowpants, boots) to kids in need. 

We have served over 400 people in three weeks.

We are exhausted.  Inventory-wise, money-wise, and personally - emotional-wise.

It is overwhelming to see first-hand, the need, the poverty, the circumstances of so many--too many people.

I know wherever you go you are being bombarded with requests for donations.  You check out at a retail store they ask you "would you like to donate a  dollar to St. Jude?"  "kids with autism?" "Alzheimer's research?"  You name it - BOMBARDMENT.  We are put in a position to say no at every turn because most of us are just getting by as well.  Salvation Army bells are ringing at every corner, food pantries have bins at every grocery store, headlines constantly read Food banks need your help.  Every time you see this, hear this, read this, you feel this. Eventually, it takes its toll.

Everyone needs your help.  Hell, even you need your help.

We're becoming numb to needs.  We have to, otherwise, how will we get through the day?  There is so much need that we throw our hands in the air because we can't fix it all.  The news is wearing on us, too.  Stories of horrific tragedies, disasters, etc - all of which have a place to donate should you choose to. $1 here, $5 here, it adds up.  How can we do it all?  And that little voice in your head telling you how fortunate you are to have a roof over your head, healthy children, food on your table, that voice keeps chiming in, it's just a dollar.

I find myself saying DAILY - please just let me win Powerball so I can help everyone in need.  I can't help it.  I am a fixer by nature.  I know what it is like to struggle and I want to help anyone and everyone in my path.  But I simply cannot.  Admitting this is difficult.  But it's true.  I simply cannot do it.  So I volunteer.

As I handed a pair of Princess pink snowboots to a little 5 year old girl a few nights ago, she hugged them tightly in her arms and said, "I love these more than anything."  Her smile lit up the room and my heart. It brought me back to earth.  That's why we do what we do.  That little girl might remember that moment and pay it forward some day.  We can only hope.  Another little girl, slightly older, tried on her boots and they did not fit.  She said, "I think I can get one more winter out of the ones I already have so you can save these that don't fit me, maybe they will fit another girl somewhere.."   That right there is proof that there is hope for the future.  That little girl is wise beyond her years.  That little girl gave me the energy I needed to push through another volunteer night.

On Saturday, I sat down and made my grocery list of things I needed to make our Thankgsiving Dinner.  As I continued on with my to-do list, I could feel my shoulders tightening, my teeth gritting, my blood pressure rising.  How in the world am I going to get it all done? I have to work this week, volunteer, go to school programs, clean the house, get ready, blah blah blah.  I got in the car and drove to the grocery store.  It was so cold out.  I cranked up the heat, turned up the music and made my way to the store.  As I was driving, I noticed there was much more traffic than usual. Was there an accident?  Why were so many people lined up in the road? What were people doing standing out in the freezing cold weather with their little children?  As I inched closer through traffic, I realized it was the food pantry.  Today was the day to get your turkey dinner from the pantry.  Chills went up and down my spine as I saw babies' breath freezing in the air as their mothers held them in line for what I can only assume would be hours.  I am an asshole. I couldn't help but think that.  I know that seems harsh but that's the first thing I thought.  First world problems lady - yep  - that's me.  Here I am complaining and stressing in my head about having to go to the store to buy my Thanksgiving groceries, and having to balance work with cooking, and running my kids to their extra-curricular activities.  Perspective.  The great silencer.   I have invisible duct tape over my mouth now.  I have a pasta strainer in my brain now to drain out the insanity of the things I was thinking just before I left the house.  Remember to be grateful.  Ok.  I got it.   I'm grateful, I'm grateful.  Sometimes we just lose our way, don't we?  Aren't we all just doing the 'best we can?'


Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat
Please do put a penny in the old man’s hat
If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do
If you haven’t got a ha’penny then God bless you!

Our job as human beings is to live our lives to the fullest, make the most out of what we are given, maximize our happiness, health and brains, and hopefully somewhere along the line,  show kindness to each other.  We need to free ourselves from the burden of thinking we have to fix everything and everyone.  We need to start with ourselves and work on fixing us, and making us the best people we can be, and then pass it on.  Life is hard right now, but there is still beauty in every corner if you look with both eyes open, there is still hope in our hearts that things are getting better, there is still laughter and happiness if you allow there to be, there is still a bright side of things should you choose to find it.  Whether you are in a position to help others because you are in a good place, or you are in a position to get help because you are hurting, I hope you can reach out and touch someone's hand, and hold on tight, ask for help, give something to someone, make amends with family, visit a neighbor, donate some clothes you don't wear, invite someone to your Thanksgiving table who might not have anyone.  Something. Anything.  We determine the world we live in..every single one of us.  We might not be able to change the world completely, but we can make our little section  brighter.



Until next time, take care of yourselves, be kind to yourselves, find happiness, joy and love within yourselves, so that some day you  might pass it on...

Happy Thankgsiving to you and your family!

Love and Hugs - and lots of gratitude for reading,
~DG



27 comments:

  1. I needed this today! Thank you for putting into words what I have been feeling these past few weeks. Bless you.
    Christal

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  2. I love you, girl! I needed to hear this today. I am letting myself get too caught up in how "busy" I am and I'm not taking any time to be thankful and to realize my problems are nothing compared to so many. I also volunteer a lot during this season and last year I said I would try and do it more throughout the year since it's needed all year long. I didn't get that done, but I'll try again this year. I'm thankful for you!!

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  3. GAH!!! You had me bawling!! I do give the $1, $5, $3, food bank kits, etc at the grocery stores. I donate to the bell ringers (not on cell phones though), but I still feel like I need to do more. I would totally eat a stupid PB&J sandwich for Thanksgiving and GIVE my entire meal to a needy family. Great post, DG, just...yes. Love! Devan

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  4. We all do what we can do from the smallest gesture to the biggest and the end result is the same. An act of kindness made someone else's life better this day.No matter who it was, Just the fact that you were there at that moment. You get to walk away with the satisfaction that in some way you helped.It's a beautiful thing to give from your heart what you can where ever you can .DG your a beautiful soul, The people whose lives you've touched will remember you from that big smile and how nice you are for sure. Hoping you have a great thanksgiving!!

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  6. My goodness I love you. Your heart is amazing and I am so proud to call you my friend. Excellent post. xoxoxo

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  7. What a beautiful post. I am glad that I found this today as well.

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  8. It's too early for me to be so teary. Wait...no, it's not. Not about THIS. You are such a beautiful soul. Thank you for this.

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  9. Thank you for the "snap out of it moment". Really needed to hear this. Will share with my daughters tonight.

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  10. This is perfect! We all try so hard to do the right thing and be giving but you can only give so much. Thank you for your wisdom. Today there will be perspective.

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  11. Thank you for this, DG...perspective. You are so right on. I had some of these same feelings this weekend as I was battling my way through the grocery store to get our supplies for thursday and it occurred to me, I'm lucky that i get to be here in this so called battle. I'm lucky. Very. And I'm grateful. Love you, DG. :-)

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  12. There was a family in need at my kids' school. My son's kindergarten class decided to make it a class project. Their goal - 50cans of food, chapstick, soap, toothpaste, shampoo, dish and laundry detergent and toilet paper. Those 18 little angels collected 150 cans of food and enough staples to last for months. :) They are being rewarded today with pajama/movie/popcorn day. :) I know they are too young to fully understand. They just see the reward for them, but the reward for those they helped is so much more. I will strive to continue to teach my children to give even if they don't have much. I also took their old coats that no longer fit and some crocheted hats...just a little time can also mean so much. Thank you for making my Thanksgiving thankful again. :)

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  13. I bawled my eyes out!! It's like you read my mind, felt my pain, and put it all into words that I couldn't seem to put a finger on! God bless you and your family! ~Tina

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  14. When I was a kid my school councilor brought us christmas gifts from a donation center. That Christmas morning has stuck with me my whole life. I will never forget the feeling I had. I thought it was Santa at the time being a little girl but the important part isn't who did it but that it was appriciated so much that I never forgot it.

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  15. Beautiful. Exactly why I waited until the kids were all home to take donations to the food bank here. I need reminding, and I want them to learn. I love this.

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  16. Great post, DG! Hope your Thanksgiving is blessed.

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  17. Recently we received help from friends, family and even people we had never met. I know for a fact that every little gesture makes a difference. Yet, I find myself struggling with the same feelings. Why can't I help everyone who needs it so much more than I do? But you are right. We do what we can and it does make a difference. Thanks for the beautiful reminder.

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  18. This is lovely. What a beautiful reminder that everyone has issues, but there's always some way for each of us to pay it forward.

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  19. Awesome reminder. Thank you! My wishes for a warm and welcome holiday season to you...and to each and every person you reach with your help. I know you've inspired me to do just a little more for someone else.

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  20. Big wet smooches!! You are so awesome spreading your love. I will remember this. And not bitch about the god awful turkey my mother in law will roast. Hugs.

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  21. Great BIG GRATEFUL huggins. I love you! :) Cyn

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  22. Jeepers Peepers, I just friggin' love you.
    Give. That's all. Give and think outside yourself. Our problems are always petty. There's always someone more in need.
    Spread the word, babydoll.

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  23. As a mother who sat in her car, in a line, waiting for a free dinner... and the mother of a special needs child, who hasn't had much of a Christmas for 3 years now.... I thank you for finding your way and writing about it. We never thought that life would be like this for us, but it is. One day at a time... and pay it forward when we can. Thank you.

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  24. As a mother that sat in line this year for a free turkey dinner... and the mother of a special needs child that hasn't had much of a Christmas for the past 3 years... I thank you. We take things a day at a time... and pay it forward whenever we can. Thank you :0)

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  25. Oh that little girl with the boots, doesn't that just break your heart? That a new pair of boots our kids take for granted can light up another little one. Love the work that you are doing and the message of this post.

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Support random acts of kindness and leave me a nice comment..it totally counts as a good deed.