Giving Back

I've not posted in a while - couldn't figure out anything that was half-interesting to write about. Today is Friday, there are only 3 of us in my section at work and it's poured rain twice, one of those times included thunder. One of my co-worker's father had a mild stroke yesterday afternoon so we're all feeling a little gloomy today.
I ran to the Fresh Market to get a few ingredients to make a quick lunch for myself in the office (this way I can leave early!). While I was there I picked up a dozen delicious sugar cookies to share with the other 2 ladies in my section. I thought it could help lift our spirits since we're doing double-duty on the phones and it's raining. It's nice when your co-workers think of the group and bring back a little snack or a "thanks for your hard work" treat, so I like to do it myself from time to time.
My microscopic "charitable donation" to my co-workers reminded me of a couple of events from this past week and I was inspired to post. This may sound cheesy, but it's not if you keep reading. This week's episodes of American Idol were special episodes for the show. I guess it was sort of the "prime-time debuting" of their campaign for "Idol Gives Back" and it featured lots of footage from Africa, poor US communities, and the work being done across the world to combat poverty and hunger.
As we watched American Idol this week (the Wednesday night show provided a number you could call to donate money), I think Seth and I both were moved to donate. I think it's really hard to connect to others' living conditions and situations when you literally can not imagine what it would be like to live somewhere other than America. What was great, was that the show made a point to remind the viewer, that extreme poverty exists in America just footsteps from some of the nations richest areas (Atlanta, Hollywood, etc).
Each feature story brought tears to my eyes. There was one story of a brother and sister living in Africa - both their parents had died (I think from AIDS) and the 2 of them were living in a tiny, one room "house" and fending for themselves. The brother was older and he just started crying and put his head down when he started talking about his parents. It was so sad. They showed a woman with AIDS in a room so hot no one could barely standing to be in the room. She was seriously ill, laying on a bed in an intollerably hot room, someone came to take her to the hospital, but she died 2 days later. It's just hard to believe there are people living this way on our planet.
Seth asked me if we should donate $50. I said yes, but I always feel that I need to donate much more than that. Not so much "should" or "need" but really I think I want to, but can't necessarily afford to send $500 in one big lump. I think it's important to remember that you can donate small increments over time and that can do a lot of good. They made a point to let you know how much things cost and what it could provide for a certain number of kids or families. It was good to see a show that mostly just provides America with entertainment really SHOW you what your donations could help relieve!

Some of my favorite groups are partners and have contributed greatly:

I don't think about giving to charity enough. Seth and I both want to "give back" I think - we're just not sure what's best. I've always wanted to work with Habitat for Humanity and had hoped our church had a group, but from what we can tell there's not one. We could join the county I suppose. We also should give money to our church. As much as it's fun to hold onto your money and think of the things we could buy if we save it, when I really stop to think about giving money to charity or church and the things that we could do for others it really makes your heart feel good. Not that donating to charity should be about making ME feel better, but it is rewarding and provides a high like nothing else can. It only makes you want to do it more and eventually I think the reason will turn to bettering the lives of others versus patting yourself on the back for donating.

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