Category Archives: giving
Yesterday I was really good.
I scrubbed our kitchen within an inch of its life, moving everything, wiping it all down, scrubbing the stove and running its parts through the dishwasher, scrubbing the dining table and its lazy susan, the go-out table, the buffet, etc. and finishing up by vacuuming the pantry, kitchen, dining area, hallway, utility room and two half baths.
Later on, I listed the office supplies we were donating to the Veterans Thrift Store and bagged them up to take to Fort Smith today. I also continued reading the articles on the Nutrisystem site in an effort to know all I can before we start.
I’ve made up for my efforts yesterday by basically being a slug today. I haven’t accomplished much at all and even took a nap after we ate a late lunch.
The sun is finally shining after several days of really dark days with some good rain, so I’m feeling my spirits raise, as well. I hope you’ve had a good day today.
I had a nice chat with our son this morning. He said he had spent most of the day today (It’s 1:00 in the morning tomorrow now) at a cafe he likes, doing computer work for a client.
All of a sudden a Chinese girl came into the cafe, distraught because she had left her purse in a red truck (taxi). Our son was able to talk to her in Mandarin, called the police and talked to them in Thai. They were able to find the particular red truck, the driver, and the purse. Our son said that would have never happened in China. I think it wouldn’t have happened in the United States, either. He said the Thai people are very nice.
I’m so pleased that he wanted to – and was able to – help, speaking in two languages. He has always thought it was important to try to learn the language wherever you are, showing respect for the country and its people. I’m happy that all his work on language classes actually helped someone in distress today.
(The picture above shows the Chinese people on the left, including the girl with her Cat’s Eye bag. The Thai red truck driver in the middle, and the Thai police on the right.) It makes me feel good that the driver was honest, the police were helpful, and the girl was helped. There is still good in the world!
My husband got an email two days ago about a man in Van Buren, Arkansas needing help taking down his ham radio tower. My husband said he’d be glad to help. This morning he’s on the way to Van Buren to do what he can to help. The Vette is packed with tools. He has cell phone, cap, kleenex, chapstick, bottles of water, more tools than you can imagine (just in case), and the GPS is programmed with the man’s address. The man has hired a guy with a crane for the heavy part of the job.
Even though many of these people don’t know each other well, and, in some cases, have never met each other, there is a bond between them because of their interest in ham radios. Some are really into it and have been for years. Others, like my husband, like the idea and want to be able to find out what is happening in case of emergency. No matter the degree of expertise or why they’re interested, they tend to help each other. I’m happy that my husband is trying to help his fellow hams; but, I have to admit, I’ll breathe a sigh of relief when he’s home again in one piece. He tends to act as if he’s still a young man, rather than a man who’s a bit long in the tooth these days, and pays for it later.
I got up to refresh my coffee a minute ago. My husband was asleep in his chair, probably not remembering we need to leave for the dentist in about 10 minutes. This is what I found on the divider between the dining area and the kitchen. He had taken the doggies out and cut these to bring in while they were out. He’s definitely a keeper, and this is only one of the many reasons why.
Sharing what you have makes you feel good.
Years ago my husband and I gave monthly donations to two organizations. Sadly, we discovered that WAAAAAY too much of the money being donated went to the top leadership and other administrative costs, rather than to the people who needed the donations. We became cynical.
Lately I’ve found some tools that allow you to check out charities, illuminating their worth either by grades, by accreditation, or by stars. You can find out what percentage of the money received goes to the actual people for which the charity was founded, as opposed to salary for the leader of the organization and other administrative costs. I found three of these services on the net: Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, and BBB Wise Giving Alliance. I personally found Charity Navigator the easiest to use, providing a list of 4 Star Charities. Charity Watch was second. It looked like you had to join the site at first, but after looking around, I found a list that provided ‘grades’ for many of the charities I was researching. BBB Wise Giving Alliance ranked third, as far as I’m concerned. I only found one of the charities I was interested in that was ‘accredited.’ Mostly, they said that the charity hadn’t filled out the paperwork to be listed.
If you try to choose charities by name, you’re likely to be disappointed, as we were years ago, by the money not being used wisely, or being used to line someone’s pocket, or even an actual scam. If the charity is considered good by two of the three services, you can be sure that your money is going to the people you’d like to help.
I spent some time researching this morning, coming up with 5 charities I thought deserved our money. I took the list and talked them over with my husband. He chose two, and I arranged for monthly donations to each of them. Locally we do what we can to help our local library and the Veterans Thrift Store – formally called Disabled Veterans Town. We love to choose a child each year from the Salvation Army Christmas Tree, taking their list and buying as many things from it as we can, imagining a sweet, delighted child on Christmas morning. :0) We contribute on a sporadic basis to political organizations and candidates, but mainly give them a piece of our minds….
We have had a wonderful Monday.
First thing this morning we filled up the back of the truck with another donation to Veteran’s Thrift Store. We stopped at our veterinary clinic when we got to Greenwood to replenish our dog food supply, putting the bags in the back seat. We dropped off the donation, then drove back to the co-op in Greenwood, filling up the back of the truck with all we needed to replenish our supply of the components of Mel’s Mix for the garden except for one more bag of mushroom compost, which the nice man at the counter is ordering for us. It amazes me that the man remembers my name! He’ll call us when he has the bag we need in stock. We grabbed lunch at the deli at CVs on the way to the house.
After lunch my husband backed the truck to the garden (not a chore for the faint of heart) and we unloaded the back of the truck, opening the bags and filling up the trash bins behind the shop, beside the garden.) When we got back to the garage, we unloaded the dog food from the back seat and stored the two bags in the bin we keep for that purpose.
We’re going to go bowling with friends tonight. Since Amber has been in the back seat of the truck, we needed to vacuum the seats, getting rid of all the dog hair we can. It was my husband’s turn, so I left him doing that while I gathered trash in the house. We put the bowling balls in the trunk of the truck and I just put the bags of trash into the back so that we can leave them at the bottom of the driveway when we leave tonight to pick up our friends.
Even the weather is wonderful – sunny and 68 degrees right now.
I’m probably going to do some other things this afternoon, like the elliptical and my yoga, but the biggest thing will be to spread out under a throw in my recliner and take a good nap after our morning’s work. :0)
My husband saw a piece in GUNS magazine about the various branches of the service needing basic things to make their service in Iraq and Afghanistan a bit more comfortable. Since we were heading to the grocery store this morning, we included a list of things listed by some Marines.
The pitch in the magazine was for Christmas, and we’ll probably do that, too, but we wanted to get a package in the mail tomorrow. The group handling this is called AnySoldier.com, with branches under it, such as AnyMarine.com. You can see a list of what they would appreciate most.
We shopped for
- electronic chargers
- small speakers
- hygiene needs, such as baby wipes
- clippers, plus
- sudoku, crosswords, wordsearches.
- we also included mechanical pencils, markers, tootbrushes and toothpaste, etc.
We personally decided to stay away from food or things that might leak, not knowing in what condition packages arrived. Maybe we can find out more for the next package, including how to pack liquids and snacks so they arrive in good condition.
My husband included an extremely short note in the package, telling them that his weapon when he was in the Marines was a stone axe, but that he appreciated their circumstances and hoped the things we sent would make their time there a bit easier.
We’re hoping that a lot of others are answering the call and that lots of service men and women will get things from the packages that will give them a bit of a boost.