Monday, December 19, 2011

Be Careful What You Wish For

Three weeks ago I had an idea that was prompted by our family's experience cooking dinner for the men at a local shelter: I was going to collect backpacks, toiletries, clothing, blankets, gloves and hats; and whatever else I could get my hands on to make some care packages for the 30 men. When I decided this I had no idea if it was going to be possible.

I had no idea what would become of this idea, because I have BIG IDEAS all the time that end up as nothing more than the thought that lingers in my head as I drift off to sleep or the "wouldn't it be cool if" I say to my partner while we drive to Target. I'm big on ideas and small on stick-to-it-ness, most of the time.  But then I get those ideas that nag and nag at me.  Ideas that must come from my soul and will not rest until they are reality. Like going to grad school.  Like having my babies.  Like moving back to Philly...

and then I started asking everyone I know on Facebook, Twitter, email, at work, at my boy's school, through the family grapevine, in public meetings, etc. I started an online sign-up in the naive hope that people would be clambering to help and I would need help organizing all the donations. Well, three weeks later the results are in:

This pile doesn't even count the donations being sent in from Maine and Georgia (bless my mother and my college pal, Elmer, for their enthusiasm and generosity). 

On Friday, my family will be delivering a chili dinner and 30 backpacks full of essentials to the guests. But the real gift receiver is me.  Through this experience I have learned a lot:

1. People want to help others, they just need help figuring out how to do it.
2. Anything is possible, you have to believe it and then do it.
3. The best way to teach your children a lesson or value is to live it, be it.
4. The act of giving is a gift of its own.
5. I have a community of loving and helpful souls all around me - in real life, online and throughout the country.
6. It is easy to do a good thing.The universe will always help the good thing to manifest.
7. You don't need religion or a belief in god/s to have faith. Faith is essential to a happy life.

So a great big THANK YOU to all the people who have helped make this project of mine a reality.  Thank you for the lessons above.  

Merry Christmas!

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