giving back and paying it forward...

>> Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I received a message from a friend Carolynn, who battled NHL at the same time I did, after my recent post sharing my ups and downs (admittedly mostly downs). She mentioned a great thing about giving back and helping others. I totally agree with her and wanted to write a more upbeat post about "me" these days. One thing that I haven't started doing is volunteering. Mr. H and I have talked about the possibility of doing that. We talked about some of the many things I can do and some of the things I'd like to do but may not be physically up to. I'll share more about that in the future. Today I'll write about the things I'm doing now. It's my hope that this post will encourage all of you to "give back" and "pay it forward". Even on a small scale you can put a smile on someone's face, remind them that you care and help them out...all of these things make the world a better place!

In the past 3 years I have received so much from so many. I know I've mentioned that over and over. Please know that I'm not being boastful, well maybe I am. Looking up the definition of boast came up with this: "To speak of with excessive pride", and I do that. Not of my own actions but of the kindness of others. All these years later and I'm still so very thankful and amazed.

I have offered many thank you's, but they always feel short of the gratitude I feel. The only way that I have come up with to properly express my gratitude is by "giving back" and "paying it forward". I love to do this! I have a sort-of donation budget each month. I say sort-of because when things like the earthquake in Haiti happened, I was led to donate but didn't want to count that in my budget. Things like that happen randomly, so they are outside of my normal budget.

There really is no rule for who or where my donations go. Unfortunately, I've learned the hard way that there are people out there who will take advantage of a situation. That upsets me because that particular donation could have gone to a better cause. So usually I help people who are fighting lymphoma, mostly because those are the needs that I am aware of and I know that there really is a need. Also organizations related to blood cancers like The LLS, Team in Training and throughout the year various Relay For Life activities.

I do need to step up my help to other non-cancer organizations that are important to me. I can definitely do more for the ASPCA or even my local humane society. However, as a family we do a lot of "hands on help" like rescuing kittens. We don't stick with cats only, there's been a few trips to various animal rescue centers with a baby bird who's been abandoned and situations like that. And a few tortoises have been helped, even if it's just a lift across the street.

Then there is the gift closet, which at this point is empty. However, when I come across something while out shopping or online that makes me think of a friend, I'll get it. I guess in a way Amazon has become my go-to gift closet, it's so easy to send an item to someone else. Mr. H teases me about my shopping habit, his favorite quote to make fun of me is "click-it's mine!". He needs to rephrase that to "click-it's their's!"

One last thing I'll mention is something that is happening right now, Compassion's trip to Kenya. Compassion International is a great organization I've learned about helping children all around the world with housing, food, medical care, schooling, and ministry. Compassion encourages you to sponsor a child and from what I've learned you really do get to communicate with and get to know that child. Kelley and Bethany are very excited to sponsor a child, so that's something we'll be doing soon. Every so often Compassion will take a trip with several bloggers who then share their experiences. I love to follow along with them and right now they're in Kenya. You can follow along too, there's a button on my blog to keep up with the bloggers, which I'll also add to this post. And you can follow their twitter link here: http://twitter.com/theshaungroves/compassion-bloggers-kenya

Compassion Bloggers: Kenya 2010

2 comments:

Lysana March 4, 2010 at 1:12 PM  

I really love your "gift closet" idea. I've seen it somewhere before, and I think it was actually another time you mentioned it, although maybe not. I need to start doing that.

Sending you lots of hugs!

heather March 6, 2010 at 10:54 PM  

Lysana,

I have mentioned the gift closet here before. Some forum friends shared the idea and I love it, too!

http://paisley-place.blogspot.com/2009/10/gift-closet.html

Thanks!

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