Daniel had only known me a week or so and he was giving me all the money I needed to pay for a (full course load) semesters tuition at Bakersfield Community College plus money for books. He saw that I wanted to go and he went to his parents for help so that I could. In the nearly eight years we have been together I have watched him hand over spare change all the way up to a twenty dollar bill (because that was all he had) to people who asked him. There was a time when this completely caught me off guard. Twenty dollars, to a stranger, who might end up using it for something silly. He has always treated the people he is handing the money over to with a dignity that I think they are not given often enough. He is always humble to their exclamations of "God bless you!" and "THANK YOU!"
My husbands generosity and kindness are two of the things that made me fall in love with him. His trust and faith in people are also high on that list. Once when I pointed out that the people in the Target parking lot who have "no money to get gas for their trip to see their sick aunt in L.A" were probably pulling a scam. His response was, regardless, they probably needed that ten bucks more than we did. He was right, I'm sure.
Daniel has taught me to be more trusting of people. We don't have a ton of money. We live paycheck to paycheck like most people. We have to budget and we get stressed every time we sit down to pay our bills, but we are in a much better situation than so many people, so we try to help when/where we can.
Since being pregnant with Zoe, I've made a specific effort to pay it forward to charities. Something about being blessed with a child when I never thought I'd be able to get pregnant at all has made me want to be even more charitable. It is very important to me that my children grow up wanting to help others so even at their young ages, I enlist their help in picking out toys for toys for tots,etc.
This year I was invited to take part in a friends goal to get 34** turkeys donated to local shelters by Nov. 16th.
"You could drive the bird down to your local shelter or donate the cost of a turkey ($12) to a shelter's website."
My family is donating 2 turkeys - one for each child.
I thought I'd extend this goal/invite to friends Jennifer and I don't necessarily share (and to whomever reads my blog) because I think it's important to make a commitment to help people in our communities. Also, I thought if I can't wish you a Happy Thanksgiving in person, this is something we can all still do "together".
If you'd like to participate in the turkey-a-thon, just comment below or on my wall (and I'll let my pen pal and new in person friend, Jennifer know) with what you plan to give and if you'd like, the community*** that you are giving to.
Thank you, friends and... Gobble GOBBLE! ;)
* - I have a lot of vegetarian friends who wanted to participate, but not by giving meat. What I suggested to them is that they give what they want/can: Other food items, clothing, coats, money, time, etc are all just as needed (if not more so) than a turkey.
** -Last I'd checked, my friend's tally was at 16.
*** - I've had people offer to send me money so that I can donate to my community. While I appreciate their help, the truth is - in every community there is someone in need.