30 March 2010
There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life -- happiness, freedom, and peace of mind -- are always attained by giving them to someone else.  Peyton C. March

The first time I remember doing something for someone I didn't know was helping to fill food baskets at church for Thanksgiving.  I remember not being able to grasp the concept that someone wouldn't have food as I loaded the items into the bushel baskets we were filling.  There were so many, all lined up for filling and delivery to families who couldn't afford to purchase a turkey of their own.  Each had a ticket attached saying the number of people in the family it was going to, there were "ones" for elderly members who didn't have anyone to celebrate with, there were "sevens" of large families with many children.  It is something that sticks like glue in my memory.

You know already about the birthday plans.  And if you have any ideas, I would love to hear them.

I have been planning.  And talking to my friends about it.  Noelle, she was the first person who said she would join me.  And I've been asking for help... very soon, I'll be asking you.  I hope you don't mind doing something kind, something great or small, to help me celebrate. 

And I've been shopping for items I'm going to be taking here.  They have a wish list.  It is pretty humbling to realize that there are people who need socks, or baby shampoo, or underwear, or even paper towels.  Things we don't even think about.  We get irritated if we run out and have to go to the store, we just assume they will be there.  But what if they weren't?  If you are local and you want to contribute something to the growing box, please let me know.  It was the first place I knew I wanted to help.

Today, the most lovely package arrived.  Yellow Jacket was made especially for me.  Becki is an amazing, intensely creative and lovely human being.  Flowers & Honey will be a part of the birthday plans.  She did that because she is awesome.  She was the first person who offered something wonderful for me to give to someone else.  If you have something you'd like to give that day, contact me.

And I received an email because my mother has been working hard.  You wonder where I learned the power of giving?  You have to look no further, why I was at the church filling baskets... all her.  The email that I received was from Derek, her co-worker, telling me that he & his wife took a child with muscular dystrophy to a hockey game for no other reason than they knew he would love it and wishing me happy birthday.  I am not sure how many people she has asked to participate, but Derek... you're the first.

What is your first memory of giving?  Who is the first person who pops into your mind that needs an act of kindness?  Will you leave your first comment here today and share it with us?


Kitty said...

When I worked at a coffee place in Montpelier, Vermont, we had a regular customer who would come in and buy a large coffee to go, but pay for two. Then she would ask me to buy a large coffee for the next person who came in, on her. Quite often, it made someone's day. More often they would smile, say thank you, but ask for me to save it for someone who truly needed it. They wanted to pay the kindness forward. It was the thought, they had shared in it and could pass it to someone else, another stranger, someone they would never meet. But, they got to keep the gift of being kind. That's something they could never give away.

Random acts of generosity, thoughtfulness and kindness, it's one thing that we humans do best of all.

Jennifer said...

Growing up, my family was always the family receiving the turkey/basket of food/box of wrapped toys/anonymous gift cards. I watched my mom, when she was well, turning around and doing the same for others. Like you, I learned to give from my mom.

I'll never forget this one time, my mom was particularly sick and unable to do much of anything at home. I came home from good old SPH to find a very well-to-do woman from church on her hands and knees scrubbing our floors. Taught me that you are never to rich/proud/good to get down and dirty to help someone else.

Thanks for this great idea. How can I help?

Ashley said...

I'll have to think on this. I know there had to be some giving in there before high school but the only and "first" thing that comes to mind was spearheading a drive for the Ronald McDonald House in Little Rock. We raised quite a bit of money and supplies for them. Even a few TV's for the rooms.

I've got to come up with something good to do in honor of your birthday since I won't be able to be there. I sooooo sorry!

Amanda said...

I have some items to give to you to donate to Aurora Project!
-hair gel
-and possibly some disposable razors

Meg said...

FIRST of all, I remember stuffing those baskets one year with your mom and going door to door with my brother to deliver them :) And second of all, stop by my Etsy shop and choose a pair of earrings you'd like to give to someone and I'll happily send them to you...the shop is brand new no one really knows about it except like one or two people b/c I haven't promoted it at (somehow I have two sales though-woot! :) all...

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