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Friday, January 15, 2010

Something Small...

I'll bet after my pajama post yesterday, y'all were like, "what is with her? How can she laugh right now... on today, of all days?" And I get that. It's the story of my life: I always crack jokes and laugh at inappropriate moments. I don't know why, I just do. It's part of what makes me... well... ME. That doesn't mean I keep my head buried in the sand. And it doesn't mean I don't feel. Like y'all, the stories and images coming out of Haiti just break my heart.

Especially since I remember similar stories and images from Sichuan Province in 2008.

Yesterday I sat watching news coverage of the disaster relief efforts when the Tongginator walked into the room. I saw her expression change quickly to one of confusion and concern before I managed to switch channels. And then my heart broke even more knowing that there are children in Haiti, many even younger than my five-year-old, who can't just turn the channel to avoid looking at such devastation. That there are children who not only lost their homes, but their parents as well. That orphanages especially are scrambling to meet the needs of the many, many children in their care... orphanages much like the one responsible for my Tongginator during the first 12 months of her life.

As I said, heart-breaking.

The husband and I can't go to Haiti to help. We don't have any training. We'd only be in the way, using up the precious resources they DO still have. But what we CAN do is donate to an organization that's already on the ground in Haiti, helping those whose worlds came tumbling down all around them, both literally and figuratively. It's a tough time economically for many right now... this we know. I am a stay-at-home mom and the husband's salary is 70% commission. Believe me: we know.

That's why we are NOT guilting y'all into donating to Haitian disaster relief. We know that if you can donate, you will. But we are asking y'all to do SOMETHING. It's small... it may not seem like a lot... but it's something. We are asking y'all to leave a comment on this post. We will donate $1 to Compassion International for every person, up to 250, who leaves a comment on this post in the next 24 hours. And the comment MUST share about a time when someone helped you out in a huge way, at a time when you most needed help, but had little to offer in return.

I know we could simply donate the money quietly, that it seems especially silly to tie donations to comments, but there are people out there who truly WANT to give, but can't right now. This is something everyone can do. Everyone can share stories about times in their pasts when they receive help they desperately needed, just as the people of Haiti desperately need our help right now. The husband and I are doing this because we truly know how it feels to want to help, but be unable to do so.

We also know how it feels to be unwilling to help. We've been there, too.

And our hope is that this post (and most especially your comments) will spur some to open up their hearts and wallets to meet the needs of the people of Haiti. We aren't great people. And no, $250 doesn't seem like a lot of money in the grand scheme of things. And it seems a tad obnoxious to give money so publicly. I get that. I also get that we've ALL been there - in need of a helping hand, with little that we can give back. We also get that the people most effected by natural disasters are the impoverished, the marginalized and the forgotten. Haiti, the most impoverished country in the western world, is surely populated with people considered among "the least of these." They NEED our help. Please consider helping them.

And help us help them, too.


Buckeroomama said...

Bless you, TM.

This one incident sticks out in my mind: In my first job, I was sent on assignment to a remote part of the Philippines (at the height of all the kidnappings of Chinese). Because of some slip-ups by the travel agency when arranging for my flights, I was stranded in this small town, with not enough cash to book a hotel or a flight out AND the ATM was not on-line! The bank manager not only lent me money --without even asking for ID, --but took me to the local hotel, introduced me to the owners who fed me and even introduced me to some friends of theirs, who own a shop and they took me on a sightseeing tour around town. These friends then drove me to the airport the following day. Talk about the kindness of strangers. Of course, I wired money back to the bank manager as soon as I got to my next destination, but I will never forget her kindness and her friends' hospitality.

Tonggu Grammy said...

This story is about the Philippines too. I was the lead for a mission trip to Manila and responsible for all kinds of details for the entire team. The night before we were due to return to the U.S. I "discovered" a wad of pesos which we would be unable to use once we returned. We did what any normal people would do --- we went to the store and spent it. The next morning at 4AM we got up to load everything in the van to head to the airport. It was then that I remembered the exit fee which must be paid in pesos before we depart. UH-OH! No one had pesos left and I now knew the purpose for that hidden wad of pesos. I was frantic for I had 9 other people depending on me. Our driver, bless his heart, went to his personal ATM and got us the needed pesos. The anxiety left, smiles returned and we were ready to go. Manny, I love you! You saved us!

Tonggu Grammy said...

Oh, forgot to say that we paid Manny in dollars at the time. Unfortunately, it is sometimes difficult for Filipino people to change dollars so I can only hope that he was able.

autumnesf said...

We've never had an extreme need so it feels funny to even relate one. We had our first child when we were very young and barely getting by. Someone gave us the crib and changing table and other things we needed. It was a blessing.

And when we got to China to adopt, our plane was delayed and the airport wouldn't give info to the guides. We arrived at 2 in the morning and no guide. My seatmate rounded up my husband and I and our travel mates and found a couple of taxis and delivered us to our hotel. We had no Chinese money as everything was closed so they took care of everything (we paid Helen American cash as she lives in the states). It was a HUGE help and blessing as we had been traveling so long and nothing was open. And it was a long way out of the way for Helen and her family. They were so awesome!

Anonymous said...

My heart has been aching for Haiti, too ... I told my husband last night that if I was still single, I'd be there, an extra pair of hands, just doing whatever I could. Of course, it's easy to say that, when I know I can't go! I keep thinking of the West Indies, where I visited, and how the people there had nothing - nothing - and yet opened their hearts and their homes so generously to a bunch of American kids, who likely, and unintentionally, offended culturally at every turn.

And that's my story of being given to in a time of need. Not a financial need, but an "I'm far away from home for the first time and scared to death of a new culture" need, met by the astounding warmth and generosity of people who sometimes didn't even have a single pair of shoes, or a safe place to lay their heads at night.

(Oh - and I get the humor thing. You know the line in the Barenaked Ladies' song that goes "I'm the kind of guy who laughs at a funeral"? Yeah, that could have been written for me.)

Dawn said...

When I went away to college - more than 500 miles away from home, before the days of the internet and cell phones - I was not the typical freshman who was high on freedom. I desperately missed my close-knit family. Within the first few weeks, an elderly lady befriended me. She had intentionally sat with me at the church I attended and she continued to pursue me each week. Turns out, she picked out a new out-of-town student each year and makes them her grandchild. (She never had children.) That led to dinner every Sunday at her small apartment (and boy, oh boy, could she cook!), birthday cakes and celebrations, a quiet place to study (with cookies and snacks) as well even a place to stay away from the dorm when I was ill on one occasion. She even attended my wedding when I married several years later. My heart broke when she died - just as if she'd been my real grandmother.

Thank you for going the extra mile and donating to Compassions efforts in Haiti.

Blessings, friend!

Aus said...

First of all - anything that generates or sparks another to give (which is what your post should do) is hardly obnoxious - no more obnoxious than having a telethon to generate donations! Just keep on keeping on!

There have been several times when we've been 'in need' - financially as well as spiritually - and sometimes God works through that to bring resolution in many ways....

If you read our blog you will see that this adoption 'happened' not on our schedule (I'm wanting to change jobs etc but waiting for that to develop - and it will) but on God's. That brought us to the place where we had to ask for help oursleves. And you'll know that there have been some family 'issues' that have cropped up again.

Enter God here - We recieved a gift from one of those family members to help pay expenses for our trip, and even more importantly, have broken down just the littlest part of that wall. OK - not everybody - but one - and a start.

And I don't know which gift has excited us more....but I'm thinking it's the 'wall' right now!

Thanks for caring - worth a buck?

hugs - and Blessings on you guys -

aus and co.

Andrea said...

When I was pregnant with our 2nd child, my hubby lost his job. I worked PT in an office, no health insurance. My boss made my position FT to give us health insurance - the position was one she created for me. We were blessed by my Dad and hubbys grandma to make our bill payments.

Thank you for donating!!

rosemary said...

My family was desperately poor when I was a little girl and we lived in a very poor town in Georgia. Our pediatrician was a wonderful man who saw all of us kids for every childhood illness, vaccines, etc for FREE. Never charged my mother a cent, which was amazing b/c she couldn't have paid him.

Years later my Grandmother told me that Dr. Tanner never charged any of the poorest families in the district and it was a wonder that he could even pay his overhead.

A few years ago, Dr. Tanner died and I sent flowers to his funeral with a note to his widow saying thank you for all he had done for us. My grandmother said she had never seen a funeral so widely attended.

Elizabeth said...

We experience miracles of giving over and over in our adoption process. At one point when a LARGE sum of money was due, we were $2500 short. We didn't tell anyone, we just planned on using a HELOC to cover it. A literal stranger from our church showed up at my door with a check for $2500. (We had a common friend so they knew where we were in our adoption process).

When we started sharing our referral information with friends and announced we would be going to S. Korea, one person contacted us and said she felt led to purchase our plane tickets! What a shocking blessing!

Not to mention the grant that Brittany's Hope had placed on our son which really helped bridge the gap with the required fees.

The way God revealed himself to us during that process was nothing short of amazing....and he did that through people like you who allowed themselves to be led.
Thanks, TM!

Mamatini said...

Our was not a financial need, but a dire need nonetheless. A few years back, the hubby had an accident during his early morning mountain bike ride.

What initially didn't seem to be more than a bad gash on his head that would need stitches, quickly spiralled into 9 paramedics in the living room and a sirens-and-all race to the trauma center.

We lived rurally at the time, and had no family nearby. As the EMTs wheeled him out of the living room, I was desperately trying to figure out how to manage my two girls - 4 and 1 at the time, and follow my husband to the hospital. I looked up and framed in the open front door, stood my neighbor. She had seen the emergency vehicles, and had been standing there quietly out of the way waiting for a moment to be of help.

She read my mind, and said, "I've got the girls, you go." She was quite literally an angel.

prechrswife said...

I can think of several times in my life when needs were met like this. The most amazing is when my husband and I decided to adopt and were trying to figure out how to fund our adoption process. We had planned on my working another year and using my salary. We had family members who told us to go on and start the process, and they would take care of the money. Wow! It was really a God thing. (And looking at things now, if they hadn't done that for us, we would still be waiting and wouldn't have our spunky little Tonggu girl home with us.)

Anonymous said...

Back during the war in 2003, my husband was already deployed when his carrier was diverted (and extended) to be the "tip of the spear" so to say. Home alone and far away from family, I spent hours watching the news, checking emails and praying. I had wonderful landlords next door that insisted on doing all the yard maintenance but I didn't know anyone else close by. One day while taking my trash to the curb, my neighbor who I'd never met before, walked up with a big bag of bread in his hands. He worked at the local bakery and this was ALL the leftovers from the day (good and yummy leftovers FYI). He said it wasn't much, but he wanted to do something to show thankfulness for my husband's service... and for me to be without him. It wasn't a huge act, but it made such an impact on me that I've never forgotten it.

Journeywoman said...

I was 20 and driving from DC to my home on Long Island. The car's idiot lights started blinking on and off and I pulled over, making it to a gas station by inches. Steam was coming out of the car.

I was pretty well hopeless when it came to cars. I knew that you turned the key and it goes, and you put gas in it. I didn't know about a radiator or fluid check.

I was crying,not knowing what to do when this lady came out of nowhere, took me in hand to see the mechanic. (across the street) and he helped put fluids in the car. She stayed with me going over the things I needed to check--and she paid for the fluids.

I don't know her name but I bless her every time I think of her.

Rachel@just another day in paradise said...

When I was in the 4th grade, we were in a pretty bad car wreck. None of us were seriously injured, thankfully. It was icy, which made it difficult for the police, ambulance, etc., to get to us. Some really nice people took us to their house just up the road from the wreck. The policeman who came was rude and mean to my mom, but an old classmate of hers (a higher ranking state trooper) showed up and put that man in his place. The formerly mean policeman gave us a ride to meet my dad, who took one look at us and made us all go to the hospital. (We had some serious bruising and scares, but overall, we were basically just banged up.) There were lots of people helping us that day, including God, who truly did keep us from serious injuries.

As for the inappropriate humor, I totally do that too. Sometimes, however, you have to laugh to get through the bad times. Sometimes you have to laugh or you'd cry OR you laugh because you just can't cry anymore. . .

My husband's best friend was killed in a violent manner 3 years ago. He and his wife were and are the most giving people I've ever met. He used to go out to eat and pay for someone else's meal while out. His obituary included a reference to a local man whom D had anonymously helped just days before he was killed. (He was a mechanic and he helped these men get their truck going again, including driving them to the parts store.) Giving/receiving always makes me think of them and how I should strive to do more daily, like D & T. . .

Kristi said...

I was stuck on the side of a pretty remote road with a flat tire and while I knew how to change it, I wasn't strong enough to loosen the lug nuts. Of course my cell phone was dead. As I was standing there trying to figure out what to do a car pulled up behind me and fears filled my head. You know the stories of women being kidnapped and all. But this middle aged man simply smiled, said that he had a daughter my age, changed the tire in no time, and was back in his truck before I could really get the words thank you out.

Thank you for reaching out this way and collecting stories of the good left in humanity! I think we need reminders of it from time to time.

Patty O. said...

What a great idea!

I have had so many times when people have helped me, but what first came to mind was an experience that happened yesterday. Danny was diagnosed with autism last week and it has been really hard to deal with. I have so many emotions running through my head and I feel overwhelmed.

I finally got around to calling the number of some autism group in a town about 45 minutes away. I figured it would just be a support group, but I called anyway. The woman I spoke with was so kind, so caring. She spoke with me forever and filled me in on the wonderful services they offer: an orientation class that she provides in OUR home, a support group for parents, and best of all, a social skills group for Danny. This is something that I have been searching for for a while. It is structured with a specific curriculum and it is FREE, which is so helpful right now, because we are starting a new therapy with Danny that will set us back $600 this week.

Anyway, I know the woman was just doing her job, but that will help us so much. It will give Danny some much needed skills, and it will take a lot off my mind and plate. But most of all, she and her organization have given me hope. And that is something I desperately needed.

The Gypsy Mama said...

You are lovely. When we had no jobs and a first baby on the way my parents took us in For.A.Year. Yup, a whole year. Cost free, no strings attached. Thereby setting the bar real high for one day when we are the parents taking care of our grown up kids!

Wanda said...

Wow, bless you TM.

I have many stories I could share but the first one that popped into my head was this. I had to travel to China alone to get our first daughter. On the long airplane trip back home, I was alone with my squirming 20 month old Dahlia on my lap. I had given her some Benadryl and it, of course, hyped her up, not the desired opposite. (Yeah....I push dr*gs when I have to.)On the last leg of a very long journey (from Vancouver to Montreal- 5 hours) I was spent. I was seated beside a lady who suggested we could put the arm rest up between us to give me more room. Wow, thanks I said. Then a bit later, she noticed an empty seat in the middle of a 3 seated row. So she offered to take this seat, squished in between 2 strangers so I could have her seat for Dahlia. An angel in disguise.

We're praying with you for Haiti.

Sharie said...

I have so many stories of times people have reached out to help me. There are so many times in life when I have struggled.
The worst time in my life was the week my dad died. He had been sick for years, but died suddenly. My younger brother has struggled with addiction since he was 14 (often the cause of my pains and heartaches) and he was at a really low point. He had basically disappeared only reappearing to manipulate money from my parents.
When we knew the end was coming, my dad wanted more than anything for all 8 of us kids to be there with him. My brother flew in from out east, my other brother from a business trip out west and there were 7 of us there with my mom and dad (plus many of the grandkids).
No matter how hard we tried we could not find my little brother...I called a friend (narcotics investigator with the police dept) he was watching for him, we continually went to the house we thought he was staying at, but to no avail.
One of my best friends randomly appeared at the hospital over her lunch hour. Just to check on me and give me a hug. When she left she even went and checked the house...unfortunately she didn't find him and my dad died with 7 of his 8 kids a few hours later.
We tracked my brother down in time for the wake...he looked like a walking skeleton. It was much harder seeing him than dealing with my dad's death - so so much anger and hurt and sadness, I was holding Amelia and nearly colapsed. Thankfully a friend was standing near and grabbed her Amelia before I dropped her.
I'm not a hugger, but I needed a lot of them that night - just to keep me on my feet. The kindness our friends showed us, the understanding of what we were going through both in the loss of dad, and the hurt and sadness over the state of my brother is something I will never forget. From my friend coming to the hospital, to the friends at the wake, to another friend who drove me to the funeral and stayed with me all day - those are expressions of love like no other:)
My Dad was an awesome giving man...those expressions were such an honor to him - and to his memory.

Susan said...

We've been blessed so many times it is hard to count but the most recent need I had was actually met by you TM. I can't express how much your e-mails and blog have helped and encouraged me over the past few weeks since Anthony started his SPD testing. I can only hope that one day I'll be able to pay it forward.

American Family said...

When I was 19, I lost my best friend to suicide. I can't describe the feeling of aloneness and devastation of that loss. As soon as I found out, I decided to drive to his parents' house to gather the few momentos I could. A friend of mine was about 2000 miles away in college, but she hopped on a plane that night and flew home on a redeye to make that three hour drive with me. I will remember that gesture for the rest of my life. One person's willingness to come and just be with me reminded me that I wasn't completely alone.

The Hickels said...

Thank you for giving on our behalf!

There have been numerous times others have helped me, but the most memorable one was in November 2005. Things at my husband's job were not as affluent financially as they had been in previous years, our oldest child has just started kindergarten at a small Christian school (with its attached tuition), and I was in the midst of a high-risk pregnancy with a 2-year-old at home, too. As Christmas was approaching, I was fretting about how we were going to be able to pay tuition and medical bills while still giving ours kids some semblance of a decent Christmas. After sending in our November tuition payment to school, I received a phone call from the principal informing me that an anonymous donation had been made to pay my daughter's tuition and that he would be returning our tuition check to us. Suddenly I had that money to use for Christmas gifts! We never have found out who generously paid our daughter's tuition for us, when no one knew of our dire financial situation, but I am thankful to this day for that person's generosity. While our financial situation is still not the best, I would love one day to be able to give another family a similar blessing.

Colleen said...

It was January 17, 1994 when the Northridge earthquake hit. What a scary day for all involved. We ended up suffering 80,000. worth of damage to our home.
We lost our main water line to our house. We had 4 little boys and having no water was difficult..we had no power but no one did. The main concern after the earthquake hit was that all four of my children were safe (two of them were spending the night at my parents).
I could not believe my eyes...when I looked out our window and saw a line of men from our neighborhood digging up our front lawn.They had heard that we were without water and they all came to the rescue...they dug and dug...and then fixed our water line. They wanted nothing in return from us...they just wanted to help : ) it brings tears to my eyes even today when I think back and remember their compassion and friendship

Lisa said...

What a wonderful thing you are doing ~ thank you for letting us have a small part in it!

The first one that came to mind happened at the airport in Kaz.; its routine for passengers to be "stopped" and some excuse created to extract some monies from them. Its illegal to do so there, but does happen......

We were the hapless pair selected and scared out of our wits. Our first overseas trip....hoping to bring home our blessing....in a remote country most have never heard of, let alone traveled to.....and they were trying to separate us AND refusing to let us pass on to meet with our agency coordinators.

Oh, it was 3 a.m. local time and we had been traveling and awake for nearly 2 days.

So there we stood.....panic stricken....not understanding....while everyone else streamed by.....we refused to be separated and knew if we gave any money it could destory our hopes of adopting.....it was grim.

One American who had been delayed with his luggage was the last to pass by us....we must have loos desperate ( and we were); he stopped and using broken Russian/Kaz. announced he would promply call the U.S. embassy if we were not allowed through.

It was 30 tense minutes before they finally agreed. He stayed with us the entire time AND phoned our guides who almost left presuming we had missed our flight and told them to wait.

If it weren't for him, I still to this day don't know what might have happened.

We never saw him again, but he's a big part of our family story....always will be.

We learned on that trip that strangers can often become friends in the most least likely of circumstances and places.

God bless those affected by this devastation in Haiti.

Natalie said...

In 2002 I was working as a direct care aid for children with disabilities. I was living in a town where the only people I knew were my husband (fiance at the time) and his college friends he was living with at the time. While leaving one of my clients homes I backed out of their driveway and I heard a loud pop and my steering wheel stopped turning. I looked in my rearview mirror and saw what looked like marbles scattering all over the road. My front axle on my VERY old car had snapped and ball bearings went everywhere. Besides needing a vehicle to get home, not having the money for repairs, and trying to pay for a wedding on my own with my fiance an unemployed college student, it happened to be spring break and my fiance and all of his housemates were out of town on a fishing trip in Texas (no cell phones to call and ask what I should do)! A reliable vehicle was also essential to my job because I traveled from house to house everyday to my clients houses and I desperately needed to not lose any money due to being off work. The father of the client who's house I was at when the axel snapped came out of the house to see what the problem was and graciously gave me their wheelchair van to drive home and use until the following weekend. He also called up his personal mechanic (another thing I had no idea how to set up and know that I wasn't being swindled) and had him right out to asses the problem and tow the car to his shop. He made sure I went to a reputable place to get my repairs and wouldn't get ripped off and let me use the van so I wouldn't miss work until the car was fixed. He even tried to pay me back for the money I used to fill up the van before I returned it. I was in a panic because I was alone and din't know what to do, but that family took me under their wing and made sure everything came out ok. When I left my job after getting married to move with my husband they even sent a VERY large wedding present and wonderful card thanking me (me of all people when I was just doing my job) for all the help I had been with their daughter when really it was them that had gone beyond the call of duty with their loan of a vehicle a few months before.

The Source said...

TM...you are wonderful, I love your sense of humor and you could never be onoxious! Well, maybe you could, but you definitely AREN'T being so now! I think you've found just the right way to help. But...umm...do I really have to share? I have so many I could mention, but I'll tell you one that really stands out...

I was a fairly rotten teenager. (I know, hard to believe, right??) When I was 14 my parents went through a very messy divorce and my mom took my sister and left town. By the time I was 16 my dad had dated half the town and then promptly married again...to a woman who was 23 and had a 3 yr old child! Do I need to tell you I was a bitter, angry, moody, rebellious young lady? I was very mean to my new "step-mom" and wouldn't have spit on her if she were on fire. No matter how she tried. I hated her, my dad, and my step-sister. Then...suddenly I found myself in big trouble! At 18 I found myself halfway through sophomore year in college, with a part-time job, a wild boyfriend and guess what? I was pregnant!

My step-mom...the one I hated...showed so much compassion to my mean little self. She took me to the doctor, she set up my care, she bought things for my child, she held my hand while I delivered! She brought her mom to our house and they took care of me and my baby boy together for two weeks after he was born. She cooked for me, showed me how to bathe him and care for him, and mended my heart in the process! She ministered to me in a way no one ever had. She LOVED me when I didn't deserve it at all. And she didn't have to. I was nothing to her.

Twenty years later, she loves all four of my kids, even though she's now divorced from my dad...she still treats them as though they're important to her. I'll never be able to thank her enough for showing kindness to me when I deserved nothing. She showed me what Christian love is all about.

Carla said...

One time of being helped while I (or we) was/were in need? Just one?

After we were newly-wed, we moved across the country (35+ hours by car) from all family. We were broke. Really broke...as in maxed out credit cards, no cash, no savings...BROKE. I was so homesick for my family, and I could not even afford to make a long distance phone call. It was our first year there, and first holidays away from all the traditions of our family. A family in our church invited us to Sunday dinner and "adopted" us as her other children. We ate Thanksgiving dinner, Easter dinners, etc. with them while we lived there. She became my 2nd mother...she was in the delivery room (and would have been there when clone1 was born if not for that c-section).

Then, there was the time when Dh's work gifted him with days of vacation while he was so sick. The church stepped up and helped us get the house ready to put on the market.

In China, I had a newly met friend give me a hug when I was at one of the lowest points in my life.

I am still in shock over the images coming out of Haiti. My heart is breaking for them.

Ashers Grandma said...

Easy comment for me because it just happened last week. My grandson was diagnosed with a malignant braintumor in October. he went thru brainsurgery etc and the doc was looking at Proton radiation in hopes that the tumor will not come back. We finally got him into the Proton center in Indiana, we made a trip there right after christmas and he was scheduled to start his treatments on jan 19th and be there for 6 weeks. Then last wednesday we were called and asked if we can have him up there by Jan 12th. Angelflights require 5 businessday notice and we were told it was too short of notice for them to fly him from OK to IN. I was desperately trying from having to drive my daughter and grandson back to IN. It's a 12 hour drive, with the baby it takes us about 16 hours and it's hard on him. Friday i reached out to the only person i knew might be able to help. My EX employer, i had left his company a year ago to work for my current company, for better benefits, basically. I explained to him what we had gone thru, that i needed my daughter and grandson in IN by monday and if he could help us. He provided us with his personal jet and his 2 pilots. We flew out sunday at noon, landed , got in a rental SUV (supplied by my EX employer) and took my daughter and g'son to their new home for 6 weeks. Got back on the plane later and was back home by 7:20pm. I will be forever grateful to this man..to come thru for me..an EX employee of his.

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

I have a couple of stories I could tell, but this is the one that immediately came to mind.....

In 1999 while going through my chemotherapy, I was on Long Term Disability from my job. I had worked at the same company for almost 7 years at the time and was quite friendly with everyone. Anyway, one day in early December, my Mom and I were pulling back into my driveway. We had just come from the lab because I had to get my bloodwork done. Nick was 22 months old.....my Mom came over to my house everyday to take care of me and Nick, because my husband at had to keep working. So, as my mom turned the corner onto our street, I saw cars in our driveway and people on my front porch. As we pulled in, I realized that it was some of my friends from work and they were all wearing Santa hats and they had a huge red cooler and a very large bag of gifts. I had no ideas what was going on, and was completely overwhelmed. They came runnign to the car singing We Wish You a Merry Christmas ......

I really had no idea what was going on and was so overwhelmed to see everyon there. Eventually they all came into my house where they presented me with a very large envelope filled with cards, cash, and checks that added up to a dollar amount I could not imagine. Not only did employees donate, but so did their family members. I was blown away with the generosity of people I did not even know and wept as I read through all the cards and heartfelt comments and well wishes. In addition many people bought and wrapped presents for Nick, so he could have a Christmas like no other. In the cooler..... enough meals to last me a month so I wouldn't have to cook when I was weak and tired.

I have never been more blown away in my life and it was something that I will never forget.

Still makes me cry thinking about it......

Michelle said...

I'm not sure this qualifies, but the thing that comes to mind is how supportive my mom and dad's friends were after my father's death two years ago. Even the weeks leading up to it, their mailbox was flooded with thoughtful cards. After he passed away, we were overwhelmed by the distances people drove to bring food, entertainment for the kids and just offer a shoulder to cry on. During my dad's visiting hours, the line was out the door for hours - some of them Amish that rode to town on horse and buggy and friends I hadn't seen since high school. I will never forget that.

Holly said...

When we were making our plan reservations to go to China to adopt Josiah we were shopping around. Within 24 hours the prices went up $200 per ticket which totaled $800. We used EVERYTHING we had in savings and from our income tax return and even grants and needed every penny to complete the adoption. We were super bummed thinking we might have to leave our big kids at home (our only 2 kids at the time!) and make last minute alternative plans. The SAME day, a friend heard about our dilemma and said they wanted to come over and pray with us. They did. And they gave us a check for $800. These people were struggling to pay for medical bills and had just THAT day gotten a check in the mail and they shared out of it with us. In their own time of need.
AMAZING. They would NOT take no for an answer and said we would be robbing them of a blessing if we didn't accept.

happygeek said...

When Spud was three days old he developed a cough. A very disturbing there-is-no-reason-for-it-that-we-can-diagnose-in-this-little-town cough.
He would literally be gasping for air at the end of a coughing jag. And when he wasn't coughing he was crying. CONSTANTLY.
We had so many friends stand in the gap and go with us to the city (2.5 hours away), take Spud so I could get some sleep or just hold him so I didn't have to listen to the crying Every.Single.Minute. They helped with meals, prayed for us and bought us gift cards for meals in the city.

Tracey said...

Such a nice idea, and it reminds us all to be grateful for our many blessings, including the kindness of others. Like others, I have several exmples. I landed on two to share here.

When I was preparing for college, a family friend promised to buy my books every year I was in college. I was raised by a single parent who struggled financially, and I was working very hard to secure scholarships to fund my education. This generous friend had raised a large family, but he said he didn't want me to ever be without a book I wanted or needed during my studies. He believed in me, and I didn't want to let him down. Ultimately, I earned a doctoral degree and am now a professor. His support, emotional as well as monetary, no doubt contributed to my academic success.

More recently, while I was enduring the longer than anticipated wait to adopt my daughter, a colleague at my office asked what he could do to help the orphans of China. I told him how I really wanted to sponsor a child, but could not afford a monthly sponsorhip during the adoption. He decided he would subsidize a significant portion of the sponsorship if we could do it as a pair, and that he'd commit to do so for at least a year. It was such a supportive gesture. We helped a boy move into a foster home so he could get the education and love he needed. As a bonus, we received pictures and updates about our sponsored child, and it helped me to feel like I was doing something useful while I waited for my daughter to come home.

Cavatica said...

First of all, I think cracking jokes is good. Pajama disasters are good; they are tragic in their own way and it's okay to recognize their small tragedies.

Second, it isn't really a single time because it was a long period of time and it was my parents. It was a bad time in my life and my parents stood by me in many many ways. In ways that helped me eventually stand, although they couldn't have known it then - no one would have. And they didn't need to. I wouldn't doubt they were encouraged not to, but it made a difference. It did. And they would simply say, "this is what families do" and I know they learned this from their own families who did it for them. And now if I try to help them, they forget and I need to remind them "that's what families do."

Janet said...

YES! Every penny counts. We all have so much. Let us give to those who now have nothing but heartbreak and sorrow. But also pray for the healing of a broken and desperate nation. ANd let us never think that this can't happen to us.

Myrnie said...

I've put off commenting all day, thinking about ridiculously and miraculously blessed I am. Every day is a gift.

I think what I'll say is that I am so grateful for my husband. When I think about the years before I met him, I think of panic attacks, depression, eating disorders, and so many other things that never were huge issues...but it adds up, you know? Even one day or one week or one year of any of those is crushing. He fell in love with me, and accepts and loves me for everything that I am, and that has changed my life.

Praying for Haiti.

luna said...

coming in at just under the 24 hr mark. we just made our small donation. wish it could have been more.

I'll just say that many women in the blogosphere virtually held me up when I had no legs to stand on. sending thoughtful emails, comments, even books and ideas for new hobbies. it made me feel connected at a very alienating and lonely time.

Sharie said...

I just have to say thank you for doing this. I have read every comment with tears. Random acts of kindness are amazing...

lllooorrriii said...

So, too much information about me.... long long ago, when I was 18, and had long since known that my parents would never help me.. I had no money. I had taken time off from school, I was living on my own, they did not approve and I was not surprised. And I had nothing but a few clothes, a promise of a job but it wasn't to start for a few weeks. And a friend of mine insisted that I take $100, which at that time was the difference between groceries and a place to live, or neither. He forced me to take it almost. I paid him back when my job began, but the feeling of help arriving is forever.

Carissa said...

I was just out of law school and had zero money and when I say zero I mean zero -- there were people in my life at that time who not only helped by "donating" time and energy but by providing a roof over my head, clothes on my back and food in my mouth. It was no one single person but many who worked together...I miss each and every one of those people now that I have moved (and so have some of them). Just knowing that when everyone worked together it saved me from the streets made it for me. I paid some of them back and paid some of it forward...

Adventures In Babywearing said...

I'm not sure I made it in time, but this is very generous of you. It's all so frightening. I'm praying.


Mei Ling said...

This might not seem like such a big deal, but a few years ago, my dad had a horrible accident which involved breaking his left hip and right shoulder.

I was in such an emotional mess that day I couldn't think straight. So my mom told me to phone up a friend so I wouldn't become a puddle of distress on the floor, and my friend - upon hearing about the accident - came right over.

He didn't even care that he hadn't eaten. I was on the phone with him, about to cry, and he just said "I don't care, I'll be right over."

It was a profound moment in our relationship, and in such a desperate circumstance. I'll never forget that.

Aunt LoLo said...

I know I'm nearly a full DAY beyond the deadline...but I wanted to say GOOD FOR YOU for doing SOMETHING. If we all do a little, it will add up to a LOT.

CC said...

sorry I missed this. Could you throw in another dollar later??