I usually read The Bloggess because she's funny, but today she inspired me.
It shouldn't have been The Bloggess who inspired me, but it was. I should have remembered about the Christmas soup and the kindness of strangers and taken care of "giving back" earlier, but I was so busy trying to wrap my head around my own problems that I didn't think about anyone else's.
Today, that changes.
We've been really lucky this year, all things considered. My husband was out of work for almost a year and a half, but he started a new job in September. Some people we know were laid off at the same time he was, or even before, and are still looking. Even while he wasn't working, we were fine. Maybe not as comfortable as we would have liked to be, but he was able to collect unemployment and we were careful about his severance and very good about saving our tax refund, plus I still have my job, so we were fine. We made do without a lot of stuff we probably didn't need anyway, but all of our basic needs and even most of our wants were satisfied.
We have our house, we have our cars, we have our iPhones and HD TV and World of Warcraft and Chinese take-out a couple of times a month. We have our health, we still a little bit left in the bank, and we have each other. We've got more going for us than probably 99.99% of the world, and probably more than 90% of the people we know.
I know that we are among the lucky ones. Boy, do I know it.
So as of right now -- and like I said, I really should have done this earlier, but what's done is done -- I've decided that I'm spending part of this weekend giving back. I still have some shopping to do, and while I am shopping for the people in my life who will be receiving treats on Christmas, I will also be setting aside something for those people who might not have anything at all otherwise.
On Monday morning, I will be making a $50 donation to Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley & Northeast Pennsylvania. And you can help increase that amount: for every person who comments on this post between now and Sunday 12/19/10 at midnight ET, I will be making an additional donation of $2, up to an additional $50, for a maximum contribution of up to $100. So tell your friends to drop by, leave their names, tell me I'm a talentless hack, whatever -- as long as they leave a comment.
Every dollar buys 7 meals for people who need them. Together we can provide breakfast and lunch for almost a full year to someone in need. Let's do it. Let's pay it forward.
(Disclaimers: SHFBLV did not solicit this contribution in any way. The base donation and any additional donations per comment are purely voluntary on my part. Commenters do not need to leave full name, rank, and serial number, but entirely anonymous comments will not be accepted, and spam will not be counted. Calling me a bleeding-heart liberal or a hysterical liberal moonbat is entirely unnecessary because I already know that. If you have any questions, please contact me at the email address in the sidebar.)