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Category Archives: Generosity

Pieces of the Rainbow

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shawls

Sitting in her favourite chair
Her tiny dog on her lap
Persistent stitch and steady hands
She makes masterpieces
Together, they would stretch
Across skies of sadness
Oceans of tears
Mountains of despair
Beautiful colours of comfort
Filling empty hearts
Painful situations
Unquestioned

Because this is about
Unconditional love
This is about a lady whose compassion
Reaches for miles
To grateful smiles that
She may never see
Places she may never be
People she may never know
But they will know of her
As they wrap a piece of the rainbow
Around their tired shoulders
They will know her love

She Needs Your Help

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July 2013 001

Last week, I had to find a way to provide a family member with all the basic essentials of life. She had nothing but a bed, a couch and a few personal belongings. It is a very long story that I will not tell except to say that her situation is of no fault of her own and I would not wish it upon anyone. If I had to live like her, I probably wouldn’t choose to live on this earth. Helping her was a necessity. It reminded me of how blessed I am to have a roof over my head and food to eat. It reminded me of others who are in similar situations of desperation as my family member. It reminded me of Cheryl, a fellow blogger who just needs a job to turn things around. Sounds easy, but it isn’t.

I know I have stood on this soap box a few times already, but it’s my soap box. You can simply turn the page if you wish…

 We are not all given the same opportunities.

We are not all blessed with families that are willing or able to help us.

We are not all blessed with healthy bodies or healthy minds.

We are not all blessed with minimal disasters that fall upon us.

We are not all fortunate to succeed from our hard work. Some work harder than us and get half as far.

We are not all able to work.

Some of us struggle every day just to eat, pay a bill, keep our sanity or find even one small fragment of hope to carry on.

 I am asking that you really think about how you will be inconvenienced if you were to give a small amount to someone who is at risk of losing their home. If I can leave myself short to reach out to another, then believe me…so can you.

When you truly give, you look into your heart, not your bank book.

I hope you will look into your heart to help my fellow blogger and friend.

http://allbuthomeless.wordpress.com/

You can also check out her web design services at

http://deesebydesign.weebly.com/

Journey of Empathy

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March 21st 2011 weekend in Las Vegas 231

Not all passages are smooth

And some have traveled long

On winding, washed out trails

That led to nowhere

It takes so little

To pave their stony path

Tiny offerings of hope and comfort

Can burnish a bumpy road

http://allbuthomeless.wordpress.com/

Searching For Signs of Life

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I usually alternate between my “50 Things I’ve Learned” posts, some poetry, amateur photography and the occasional reblog.
Today is different.

Today I feel the need to simply vent about something that is bothering me and express what is on my mind. I can’t move forward until I do.
I stumbled upon a blogger named Jorge who is desperate for funding in order to keep himself and his seven year old daughter from being homeless. I know it is hard to believe that there is not a support system in place in the U.S.A.  that will make sure this doesn’t happen, but apparently there are voids in the system. He lives in a small town in Kansas. He has approached social services many times and has been told that he only qualifies for food assistance and medicare for his daughter. He qualifies for $225 per month to live on. From what I read on his blog, he has been on an extremely frustrating job search for months. As his savings have run dry, he faces the prospect of the streets with his daughter. For this reason, he has resorted to reaching out to total strangers for help for daily survival as he continues his search. He served in the military but was discharged because he did not have a sufficient family plan in place that would secure his daughter’s well being if something were to happen to him. He has knocked on many doors for help and he has been turned down.

This is the story. This is the story that I choose to believe based on the consistent information provided in his blog, his responses to questions that others have asked and on my OWN intuition that I have great trust in.
It is HIS story and there are so many other stories like his. We always have the choice to believe them or not. We always have the choice of acting on them or not. We are privileged to have the option to make a difference in someone’s life. There are some things that we will never be 100 percent sure of. Does this mean that we should turn the other way?
What I am struggling with is humanity in general, the lack of human spirit and the fear of taking risks on others. I am surprised by the overall distrust and lack of response to someone’s pleas for help when they are really not asking for much. It’s made me even question my own judgement when I feel like the extreme minority willing to help in a VERY small way. Then I remember who I am, who I’ve always striven to be and think…..NO, this is right. This is right for ME. Whether I am naive in giving or not, It just baffles me that there are not more people like me.  Where is everybody? Did I land on Planet “I Don’t Give a Shit!” If so, I’m looking for the next shuttle out.

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You can hear the frustration in Jorge’s posts. He has been faulted often for the way he presents his dilemma and others do have the right to their opinion seeing that he has opened himself up to be scrutinized. Yes, maybe Jorge’s strength is not in how he writes.  Maybe he sounds ungrateful as he talks about the lack of donations he has received. I am sure there is more to Jorge than we can surmise from his blog. I am sure there is more that is just none of our business. He has already forfeited his dignity and many details of his circumstances. It is my belief, however, that when we truly give from the heart, we may never know all the details. We may not know for sure. Knowing would be easy. Giving when you know for sure you have nothing to lose , is easy. The biggest gift you can give is one that leaves you without something. Maybe that “something” is certainty. Maybe we are not to know for sure when we truly give.

Can the homeless man on the street prove to you that he is there based on a string of bad luck or lack of assistance for a mental disorder? We can walk away because we assume he is there based on his own demise or we can simply give him a few dollars we’d probably not even miss to get him through another day. Yes, maybe he’s an alcoholic. Some live in houses and some live on the street. The only difference is that the ones in houses have the means to stay there……for now.
There is a point where someone BECOMES homeless. Their resources become depleted. They may have additional stresses that catapult the downward spiral. They may have family that cannot or will not help. They may not have any family at all. They may be inflicted by a mental illness. One of three of us will experience this in our lifetime. Take a good look at what is available for help in this area. It is a crime.

I ask of you to look within your heart, not your mind. Free yourself of doubt and greed….and simply give. You don’t have to donate to Jorge. You don’t have to help out Sherry in Florida, who is also struggling . You can help the next person you see on the street, the one you are not sure of. It is your own risk to take. Think of what you could lose.
Then think about what you could gain.
http://jorgeoyola716.wordpress.com/
http://allbuthomeless.wordpress.com/

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years…..#14

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#14.  “I’d rather be taken advantage of once in awhile than have a closed heart.”

Random thoughts…

~When you give to another and they deceive you, it can hurt beyond words. The only thing worse is the nothingness you feel when you don’t give at all.

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~I honestly believe that to truly give, it has to leave you without something, at least for awhile. Something may be returned to you or it may not. It shouldn’t matter, if you gave for the right reasons.

~I was never a risk taker in my younger years. No way. I used my shyness as a wall. It protected me from disappointment, failure and rejection. Unfortunately, it also isolated me from life. It prevented me from finding out what COULD happen and what I could MAKE happen.  I eventually chipped away at the wall, taking the last of it out with some good swift kicks, finally breaking free ! On the other side of the wall, I was vulnerable. You have to be vulnerable in order to grow.

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~Opening your heart is really a personal choice. All I can say is that the odd times I have been taken advantage of  are small price to pay for the friendship, gratitude and personal reward I have received from reaching out.

~If I based my willingness to be open and generous on some of my past experiences, I could easily decide to hold everything I have and everything I am very close to my heart. That would be a burden. I would rather liberate myself from  bitterness, suspicion and doubt. It feels good to lighten the load

…and simply give.

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Wanted: Ten Nice People

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September 2011 739

I was thinking about a fellow blogger’s dilemma. Actually I think about her a lot. I think about how she has sacrificed everything, hanging on to her dignity to reach out to total strangers.  What absolutely amazes me is the reluctance of others to help, even with a few dollars.

We see homeless people on the street.  They weren’t born there. They started from a place where the bottom finally let loose, there was nothing else to hold on to, no one else to approach for help, nowhere else to GO. It is a turning point that most of us can only imagine. Lucky us.

So, when you have the opportunity to do such a SIMPLE and SELFLESS thing for someone that could be the difference between security in their home and being on the street, why do we hesitate to do it?

Is it because we would really miss that ten dollars?

Is it because we think they will ask for more?

Is it because we question their story?

Is it because we think it is wrong for them to ask?

Is it because we think our small contribution wouldn’t make a difference?

Is it because we have no time?

Is it because we think they don’t work hard enough?

These are questions we may never have the all the answers to. However, we throw a dollar into a hat and hope for the best ( or maybe assume the worst). We donate money to charities without always researching their administrative costs.

In this case, one human being has bared her soul, shared the personal financial details of her mortgage, her bills and her urgent situation. Most of all, she has shared her heart.

Her heart is GIVING.  Her heart is STRONG. Her heart is GRATEFUL.

I have never met her. As much as I’d like to, I don’t need to in order to know that she deserves any help that she is given. I don’t need to research her. All of the facts are on her blog. I will not miss the very small offering I have given her. I KNOW that it made a difference. She has not asked for more. I do not question her story. I don’t think it’s wrong of her to ask for help because that is ALL she has left right now. I believe she IS working hard to change her situation. Some situations cannot be resolved without a helping hand. This is one of them.

Her most urgent need at the moment is to keep her power on in her mobile home. She needs 145 dollars to do this. YES, she has many other needs! That is what happens when you spiral into  poverty. It doesn’t mean that things won’t change. It just means that RIGHT NOW, assistance is needed.

If TEN nice people gave TEN dollars, it would help her more than we can ever know. It eliminates one of the burdens on her shoulders, giving her more time and strength to deal with the others.

Her name is Cheryl and her story is at allbuthomeless.wordpress.com

You can donate many ways but to help with her immediate power bill, all the necessary information to do this is on one of her posts at:

http://allbuthomeless.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/reprieves-are-great-but-help-please/

You can email her at allbuthomeless@gmail.com if you have any questions.

I will leave you with a quote from one of her recent posts because I admire her writing skills and her philosophical thoughts.

“ If you have to overthink the deed , analyze, speculate or procrastinate or even doubt despite your ability to make a difference , you probably shouldn’t do it. Because, certainly if it causes you angst, you will find no satisfaction in your generosity .”

 

 ~Cheryl~ (“Hot Southern Mess”)

 

Ten from ten.

Are you in??

Reach In and Reach Out

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Hand me a soap box

I’ve something to say

If you don’t want to help me

Push a button today

Like, share or follow

It is easy to do

There’s no obligation

Wrapped around you

But if you can find

The light in your heart

A voice without judgement

That says, “Do your part”

Act solely on kindness

Release any doubt

Place hope in another

Reach in and reach out

This is not my usual style of poetry, but at this point I would tap dance (terribly) on a soap box if it would generate any response. Actually, I am sure I would fall off and land on my patootie. Maybe not the response I was looking for.

Seriously….

I am moved each day by the financial struggle of a fellow blogger, a very nice lady named Cheryl (“Hot Southern Mess”) Yes I know, my last post was dedicated to her as well but I am one stubborn Canadian gal on a mission.

Please take the time to read her story at  http://allbuthomeless.wordpress.com/

She holds nothing back, beginning with her “Intro” page.  She is not asking for a miracle but one could happen right here.

Please share her story if you are unable or willing to assist her in any other way.

Thank you for listening.

Bless you for caring.

~Mish~

Helping Hot Southern Mess

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After reading about the desperate needs of one of my favourite bloggers, Hot Southern Mess regarding her financial situation, I have not been able to ignore her story.

As I carry on with my own life, my mind wanders back to her with concern and questions, the biggest one being “How can I help?” or better yet “How can MORE people help?” because she needs a lot more help than I can give her.

You can read more about her circumstances at http://allbuthomeless.wordpress.com/

You can email her at allbuthomeless@gmail.com

Her regular blog is http://hotsouthernmess.wordpress.com/

When you’re in a financial bind, it is optimistic to think somehow everything will work out. The reality is that in many cases, things only get worse for various reasons out of our control.  Sometimes, no matter what you try to do, there is no way you can stay afloat without the help of others. I can totally understand how this can happen. It happens every day.

Can you imagine going from what you have now, a roof over your head (no matter how fancy), to having to sell anything of value because you need to pay your bills?  It helps but still is not enough to keep you from losing your home. It seems so hopeless. Family can only help to a point or perhaps do not fully understand what you are going through.

You make a radical, brave move that was totally unthinkable until you were looking at the street and wondering where you would sleep. You reach out to total strangers for the smallest gesture and hope that all of these small wonders will add up to the difference between staying in your home or being a homeless family.

If I hadn’t already connected to such a sincere , warm soul and already had my opinion of who I sincerely believe her to be, I would not be writing this post. I believe she is a good person who happens to be in a bad situation. It is my opinion.

Recently, I responded to a post entitled “Past, Present and Future Reside, a poem.” by Jennifer at  http://writingsofamrs.wordpress.com/ , a blog I happily follow.  The subject was about how we as individuals can use our passion to take action and contribute to meaningful change.  We can do this by being a part of addressing social issues, protecting our children, reducing stigmas, or just by reaching out to a single person in need.  The ways we can help are limitless. Small miracles can happen when many people pool their resources together. This could be the case for Hot Southern Mess.

SO…I need to practice what I preach. After mulling over different options to help, I decided to send her a gift card.

I am not in a great financial place in my life considering my age, but I have a home, I never go hungry, I manage to pay my bills and I sleep in a warm bed every night counting my blessings. To think of losing that is terrifying, so I can only imagine the stress that Hot Southern Mess and her husband face daily. At the same time, she still manages to find a kind word or inspiring thought to share with her readers. I find that amazing.

This isn’t about moving mountains. This is about giving a nice lady a small gesture from your heart. It might equal to what you paid for Starbucks this week or it might be more. It all adds up. It could add up to keeping a roof over her head. Imagine that!

Am I taking a risk on a lady I have never met?

Maybe.

Do I care?

No, because I’d rather lose a little than see her lose so much.

“There should be no scrutiny in generosity. It should only involve our hands and our heart.”

~Mishunderstood~