Thursday, November 18, 2010

Giving Back

My family isn't rich, we aren't well off, we aren't even remotely as comfortable as we *should be* (whatever that means) ... don't get me wrong - we have more than we need, and we make ends meet - and on top of that, each year, at this time especially (though not specifically), we give back, as much as we can.

Not to refer back to my last thread - regarding being Thankful all year, as opposed to just in November - but let's refer back, where I make my opinion quite known on being Thankful only on Facebook, and only this time of year, I feel the same about donations and helping others.

Each year, at least a few times a year, we go through our closets, drawers, cabinets and whatever else we can - to get the things we've grown out of, don't use anymore, or have no place for in our house any more to donate to those who could get use of the things we couldn't.  During this time of year I also take part in the delivery of turkeys, and other "staples" for Thanksgiving, and will again in December for Christmas, we deliver them to soup kitchens, food pantries, and even the Welfare office in Manchester.  On that note, Emily's dance studio is having a canned food drive to benefit Gerry's Food Pantry.  While grocery shopping Tuesday night, I also purchased a "Gerry's Food Pantry Box" - at Hannaford, they have Thanksgiving staples in a pre-packaged box, for 10 dollars.  At Wal-Mart, we also buy the pre-packaged bags to benefit the Salvation Army - however many we can totaling 10 dollars (to match Gerry's donation) but it doesn't end there.  I'll get to that in a moment.

Back to the dance studio.

Now, you all know we've been going to the Studio, every Wednesday Night from 5-6pm, so Emily can dance with her friends - she loves it, and is doing completely amazing.   I've since joined a kick boxing class, and feel so much better about - well everything - than I have in a very long time, I can't even begin to describe the difference in me.  Next week, in recognition of Thanksgiving, the Studio is closed from Wednesday to Sunday, to normal classes - performance troupe may have extra classes and rehearsals, but we're not a part of that, so I don't know about them.  Also in recognition of Thanksgiving the Studio, and Paradise Fitness (who offer the Yoga, Zumba and Kick boxing classes at the Studio) have started pushing this non-perishable food drive for Gerry's.   We decided we'd help out, because really, what's a bag of canned/non-perishable foods when we can afford to go out and buy another bag for ourselves?

I added a few cans of vegetables, a can of cranberry sauce, some chicken stock, some canned pineapples, and some canned diced potatoes, some cans of the "single serve" Chef Boyardee Lasagna (Emi thought she liked them and ... doesn't!  LOL ... as I was rearranging the cabinets and getting the bag all ready to close up and set aside for our trip to the Studio the following night, Emi came up to me.  Here is the "gist" of our conversation, as I remember it:

Emily:        Hi Mom.  What are you doing?
Mommy:   Well, I'm getting together some canned goods for the food drive at your Dance Studio.  
E:              um.  Why?
M:            Because there are some people out there that don't have food, and we're helping.
E:             Oh.  Some kids don't have food momma?
M:            No Honey, some kids don't have food.
E:             Oh.

a few minutes later ... Emily comes back and says:
E:            Mommy, take 2 of my princess soups.  

M:           Are you sure honey?  you love your princess soup, and you don't have to share it.
E:            Yep, I sure, I have 4, I don't need all 4.  I haven't eated them, so let some other little kid have 2, and I'll have 2.  

I could not have been prouder ... and then we go to Dance Class.

Turning in the bag of food, Emily started to get concerned ... 
E:            Mom - what are you doing?!  That's Our Food!?
M:           Oh Emily, It's okay, remember?  There are other kids that don't have food.  
E:            But what will we eat?!
M:           It's okay, remember?
E:       (minutes from a meltdown)   BUT MOOOOOMMMMMM

M:           Deep breaths, you'll be okay.  remember the little kids that don't have soup?
E:            Okay Mommy.  Okay.

oh Emi.  LMAO.

For donations, we also pick 2 stars each on the "make a wish" Trees that are posted every where through out our area .. we don't pick the ones that are asking for video games that we don't have ourselves, or can't afford for ourselves - we pick the ones that are asking for clothes, or art supplies, or gift certificates to clothing stores.  Those ones particularly, break my heart.  I do the best I can to provide for Emily, I do the best I can to provide for my family - and for any other child I see needing the basic necessities for life.  clothing, art supplies, school supplies, food ... kids shouldn't go without those things.  It breaks my heart.  I also donate to Emi's daycare, local schools, and other after school programs that may be needing essential things to teach our children and give them the best education they can get.   It's what I do.  Sometimes, Mike gets beyond frustrated with me for spending money we should be spending on stuff for us on donations - but in the long run, he's just as generous as I am.


Jessi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessi said...


It reminds me of this story in the bible that always appealed to me when I was a kid. I don't remember the exact details so I may be messing it up a bit but, basically, the story is told of Christmastime. Kings come with gifts of gold, fabric and jewels to lay before the altar. Later, a poor woman, dressed in rags, comes to the altar to leave a few silver coins. The rich Kings complain that she isn't dressed to worship, laugh at her, and scoff at the meager gift. Then Jesus (or maybe it was a apostle? or priest, I don't rememeber) scolds them- "You Kings gave but a fraction of your fortune, what you left, while generous, doesn't decrease your wealth. This poor woman gave all that she had."

I always looked forward to that story and your blog reminds me of that. It's not how much we give, but how much we give of what we have :)