Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Giving to others

Curt and I met a guy on BART yesterday who is blind. He ended up sitting next to me and we had a great conversation.
He told me that he was about to get a guide dog. He will be heading to LA soon for a month-long training. I asked if he had been on a waiting list. He said he had been on one for about a year.
He was looking forward to getting the dog so he wouldn't have to rely on others and he could feel "normal," like he was before he was blind. He said he just wants to be able to walk down the street and feel like he did before.
Curt and I have donated to the Guide Dogs for the Blind before. But just once. After meeting that guy on BART I am ready to donate again.
As a human being I feel that it is my duty to donate money to others who are less fortunate than me. Curt and I don't have a house or children so we get hit pretty hard when it comes to taxes. Regardless, we want to help others.
Some of the regular charities we donate to are: Food Bank, Humane Society; women's shelters; Planned Parenthood; alma maters; charity gift cards; Brighter Beginnings; toy drives; Jr. Giants; food drives; KQED; most organizations our friends walk, run, bike or work to raise money for; etc. (If you look closely at the picture on the Jr. Giants linked I posted you can find Curt. He is on the left near a guy with a light green shirt and a dude whose head is turned.)
I also have recently started focusing my knitting on charity. Whether hats for the troops; scarves for college students who grew up in the foster system; tiny hats for preemies in the NICU (pictured above--I gave these to my mom who volunteers in the NICU); I knitted a hat for a high school friend's husband who was in Afghanistan and I am about to make another one for another husband; my friend Monica did the 3-day Susan G. Komen walk a couple of weeks ago, she asked me to knit her a scarf, I had enough time to knit two ...
I also run the food drive and toy drive at work around the holidays. I enjoy doing and encouraging others to donate as well.
I realize not everyone can afford to give monetarily. But there are so many ways to donate: your time, your talents. For me, it is hard right now to donate time. I really wish I could. But my monetary donations and knitting skills will have to do for now.
My mom is retired and probably volunteers close to 20 hours a week. She works in the NICU; food bank; soup kitchen; shelter (I believe for men to eat and shower and get some time off the street). I am probably missing something. I think she also does some sort of meal delivery as well.
It feels good to give to others. I am thankful I was raised by someone who feels that it is an important part of life. (Making sack lunches on Sundays after church for the soup kitchen really stuck.)