Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Giving

It's October which means that Christmas merchandise should be in the stores...oh, wait. I've already seen it in the stores. Well, now that the holidays are upon us, so are the demands on our time and money from charities. I haven't been Catholic for long, but I am at least Catholic enough to feel guilt about how much I have been given in my life. I have a home that is in no threat of foreclosure, a car, a job, and a comfortable life. Then, there are the intangibles I have: love, education, emotional security. All of these things and non-things let me know that I am very, very lucky. My knee jerk reaction is to give 'till it hurts. My sense of self and place in this world revolves largely around the concept that I am a part of a collective. Despite the communist overtones of that sentence, I hope you see what I mean. I have been reminded recently that no matter how spread out we may be in the geographic sense, we are all a part of a world that is very, very small.

Your communities need you and your gifts, but I also think there is value in helping those that are far away. We're all in this together, even if we aren't really together. I feel very indebted to the blogging community. When I needed I little bit of understanding, they were there, and "there" was all over the world. Now that things have evened out a bit, I try to reach out and give as much as a can the way that others gave to me. If you are looking for a way to do that, as well, here are a few ideas:

Liz Goodman Logelin Memorial 5K Fund
The first annual LGL5K was held a few weeks ago and if you want to see the photos, go here. The money raised is going to help young widows/widowers. If you have never gone over and visited Matt's blog, please do. You can donate to the fund by clicking on the PayPal button on the upper right hand side of the page.

U.T.E.R.U.S. (Union To Expedite Relief Until Self Fulfillment) This was started by Mel and some others who use it to help those in need in the infertility community. This round, there are two very worthy causes. They are taking donations or you can donate to an e-bay auction that is also being created. For information, go here.

I think Mel put it into words better than I ever could:

U.T.E.R.U.S. is unique because it's a lot like stone soup. While a carrot and a stalk of celery and a potato all held separately can't make a pot of vegetable soup, when you dump them together, you get something delicious. And while a single person may not have the means to give all the vegetables necessary for soup, a single carrot, stalk of celery, or potato is rarely missed.

The point to this type of giving is not to dig deep into your pockets when you have so many needs yourself. The point is to donate what you won't miss--the books you would have sold at a garage sale, ad space on your blog, points you weren't using. And the magic is that all of these things come together to fulfill someone else's need.


Do what you can, when you can and where you can. There is no gesture too small.

5 comments:

Matthew M. F. Miller said...

Love it - you are good peeps. Thank you for sharing this information.

Kate said...

I agree. I like to give just a little bit, here and there; it's amazing how good it makes you feel. We have a thing at my work where they auto-deduct $$$ from your paycheck and give it wherever you want. So I started giving $10/month to the foodbank in my town. It's just a little bit, but it feels real tangible to me.

I also wanted give a shout-out to what you said about the blogging community. It is so cool! And y'know, just the 'net in general -- how did we ever live without it! I know when I was a young mom at home all day with the baby, it was my freakin' LIFELINE.

Cool stuff!

Go, Cubs! ;-)

Marissa said...

you are not only good peeps, you are good creep peeps too.

there is something oddly disturbing about halloween, thanksgiving & christmas merchandise all mingling in the same aisle at the same time, eh? it may just be THE sign that we ALL have too much "stuff" and we could all 'give' in so many other, more meaningful, ways vs. just giving "stuff".

great post! :D

Teal Marie Chimblo said...

Beautiful Kate. I think giving helps us to be present in every moment, and grateful in every moment. You are a wonderful giving friend to me, and so many.:-)xoxo

Sarah said...

So true! Just when I start to get cynical about things, something happens to make me realize that there really IS some good going on, a lot of it actually.