Friday, March 13, 2009

Thoughts on charity

The other day, a guy knocked on my door. He had a big box of stuffed Easter rabbits with him, and explained that he was exchanging them for donations; an eleven-year-old friend of his had been hit by a car while playing and was recovering in the hospital with several broken bones. He asked for ten bucks, but I only had four. I gave it to him without even thinking twice about it.

I've always given to charity. I don't do it for accolades from others, it isn't driven by religion; it's a human thing. I believe that in an ideal world, we would all help each other.

When I was a kid, I was a recipient of Christmas baskets from charitable organizations on several occasions. It felt so good to think that someone who didn't even know anything about me would go out and buy me food, a toy, crazy socks, or whatever. For me, it was a big deal to get a new pair of slippers for Christmas. Most of the time, I felt that most adults in my orbit never let me forget that that my designated role in life was to be the poster child for orphans or the charity case du jour. Those Christmas baskets were special, though. No one had to think of anything to say, or try to save face. It's simple: someone gives, someone receives. Because I knew what receiving could mean, I grew up and learned how good it felt to go out and buy things for people that needed them. Sometimes I have only had the time to write a check, or hand a guy at my door four bucks, but having a list of sizes, ages, and wishes and going shopping for someone specific always gives me the most joy.

Life has shown me repeatedly that sometimes an understanding word is just the lifeline someone needs to keep hanging on; you never know what something you have done or said is going to mean to someone else. Many people have been kinder to me than they had to be, and at times it has meant the world.

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Seattle, WA, United States
This blog focuses largely on a personal journey to and through weight-loss surgery. It's also about reading, writing, animals, photography, love, humor, music, thinking out loud, and memes. In other
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