Monday, July 11, 2011

A Challenge

There comes a time in each of our lives where we have to reach out to others.  For some, those times may be fleeting.  For others, those times may be long and much more difficult.  I was reminded recently by an acquaintance who had reached out to us that he, too, not long ago had been in a place where he had a dream and people reached out to help him fulfill it.  The people who helped him had nothing to gain by doing so.  What they saw was simply a human being who had a desire to do something good; a human being who had a passion and needed help.  They were compelled to provide support.  He succeeded, by the way.  In a world where people have become so private, so hell-bent on doing everything themselves and not accepting help from anyone else, it becomes much more difficult to ask and accept it when it's needed and/or offered.  Still, when a person has a dream, a passion, a desire so deep that they cannot let anything stand in their way, pride must be set aside. 

I got gas today, paid, filled up a giant fountain Diet Coke and wandered back out to my air conditioned van.  Suddenly, it struck me like a ton of bricks.  Every single day I live in absolute luxury.  Driving a car, period, much less one with AC, picking up an ice cold Diet Coke whenever my heart desires, running through the drive-through when the day has gotten too busy and the kids are hungry, calling up the doctor on Sunday morning and getting Marissa seen and treated within hours, coming home to my air conditioned home, sleeping on a bed, with clean sheets, taking a shower in the morning, putting on clean clothes, I could go on for days..........My kids, my sweet, lonely kids, know nothing of luxury.  They know nothing of comfort or air conditioning, of having their own toys or clothes, of having food whenever they want it.

We are at a critical point in our adoption process and I've been trying to come up with novel fundraising ideas.  I've been wishing that I had fabulous things to give away or sell or heck, if I could just win the lottery (of course I would have to actually buy a ticket).  Then, I thought, how about a challenge instead.  Why does everyone have to GET something to GIVE something?  Why do we not just do nice things anymore because it's the right thing to do?   Call it a Random Act of Kindness, Paying it Forward, Philanthropy, Goodwill, Karma, Mitzvah, whatever you wish; I want to know if people are willing to do it.

So, here it is:

1.  Pick a luxury that you can give up for 1 day - that's it - 1 day.  Do you stop at Starbucks, indulge in a nice glass of wine after work, stop at the bakery for a favorite pastry?  Can you give it up for 1 day?

2.  Ask some friends, coworkers, your hairstylist, butcher, postman, and anyone else who'll listen to do the same.

3.  Collect the funds from the 1-day "loss of luxury" for yourself and your "team."

4.  Donate it!!  You can donate to our kids - that's my preference, of course! ;)  We have several means of doing so, even a tax-deductible means that is managed by a non-profit 3rd party.  If you don't want to donate to our kids, that's okay; you can pick an organization that means a lot to you and donate to that as well.

5.  Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know how many people (including yourself) you convinced to do it.

There is no catch, there are no hidden rules.  Any amount counts - if you're addicted to Burger King's 49 cent ice cream cones, then 49 cents it is.  What I really want to know is if there are still good, unselfish people out there who, when presented with the opportunity, want to help total strangers just because it's the right thing to do.

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