I came home from work tonight and did the usual stop at the mailbox. Before I get out of the car I make a small wish for fun mail and no bills. Tonight there was a card in there with no return address. I ripped it open and saw that it was a thank you card. I was impressed that the bride from the wedding a few weeks ago had already sent out thank you cards. No, it was a thank you card from the Planned Parenthood chapter I’ve been working with in California. There was a note from the director I have been working with, and another dozen or so handwritten sentences thanking me for the package I had sent to them. I am very tenderhearted, that’s no secret and I sat in the car giggling as my eyes filled up with tears.
I have been sending them little hand sewn gift bags stuffed with baby rattles, books anything baby related and I either cross stitch a t-shirt or knit matching hats and booties that match the bag. I’ve sent them 10 of them I think, and the last order had a quilt that I hand tied. They use these as a reward for their prenatal mothers for taking care of themselves and their babies. They are nice gifts, I believe that just because something is for charity doesn’t mean it shouldn’t use the best supplies and be special.
I tend to gravitate toward charities that I feel a connection with. I see my donations to Planned Parenthood as a way of paying back what I received from them a lifetime ago. If 16 can be considered a lifetime. I can remember the day my mother dropped me off at the clinic to get birth control. Don’t be a harsh judge of her, I see her as a realist and ahead of her time. She had one daughter that got pregnant and married at 16 who ultimately ruined her own life, and made the life of her three sons not the best environment to grow up in. She clearly didn’t want a repeat of this with her next daughter–and honestly I needed birth control. It was the cornfields, that’s what teenagers do growing up in small towns. My friends and I talked about it, quite a few of them were having sex and I thought it must be ok. I was one of the lucky ones, quite a few of them either walked down the graduation aisle pregnant or with small children. I saw that pattern repeated in my daughters when they counted up one night between their two classes and the class in between them over 25 girls with babies.
I don’t tell you this to raise your eyebrows about my past, or to receive pats on the back for my giving endeavors–anyone who truly knows me knows that this is a part of who I am. For me giving is like a drug…when I am down, depressed, nothing will pick me up and make me feel good again like giving. See, I am really selfish.
One of my goals posted on my vision board, right smack in the middle as one of my important things to do is to help someone catch the giving spirit. It really is amazing how just a few small things by just a few people can start to make a difference. It doesn’t take a large contribution. I’m always making donations here and there as friends have charity events that need sponsors. I’m also a big fan of http://www.volunteermatch.org/. No time? You would be amazed at the virtual opportunities that you can do at your own convenience from any place in the world.
Both of my daughters have done things lately to show me that they have watched what I’ve been doing all my life, and they too have done a few things for charity. I think we are put on this earth to leave it a better place than we found it. My happiest thought is that my daughters..and their kids..and so on will catch the giving spirit and find a way to make the ripples continue on.
There is no better exercise for your heart,
Than reaching down and helping to lift someone up.– Bernard Meltzer
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. –Aesop
Kindness is an inner desire that makes us want to do good things,
event if we do not get anything in return.
It is the joy of our life to do them.
When we do good things from this inner desire,
there is a kindness in everything we think, say, want, and do.–Emanuel Swedenborg