Kindness and charity one gift at a time.

Archive for the tag “charity”

Feed the Meter

We cannot live only for ourselves.  A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.  ~ Herman Melville

Your pocket change helps the homeless, because the street is no place to live.

Gifts from your pockets.


Keeping Up With the Mushroom Factor

Volunteering has been a wonderful experience and I won’t ever stop, I’d miss the people too much. My gardens and home would like to have a robot come take up residence. The weeds think they’ve found heaven and the dust bunnies are multiplying almost as fast as those in nature. The many hours needed for the garden and the house have been used in hospice work and some art museum projects. No objections from me, just the house and garden.

Today is the first day of Spring (!) and the sun is warm, the breeze calming and the pollen is falling. The yellow green pollen dust on the outside furniture was enough to write your name and leave ridges around the letters. It was time to clean the porch, wash the furniture and be ready to sit outside without dying the clothes a putrid shade of yellow.

Warm temperatures and sunshine. No other excuse needed to get out the hose and get busy washing top to bottom. Initially, the pollen washing off the walls was as yellow as the house but soon it was obvious, there was a healthy layer of dust underneath. The hose sprayer needed a new gasket to keep me semi-dry. Ah yes, the mushroom factor. One project leads to another, to another and yet another until you are trying to figure out how to get them all done.

The mushroom factor exploded when I went to look for a gasket in the garage. Yep, you guessed it, the garage is calling for a cleaning. That will be another day since there are two porches in disarray, porch chairs grimy with yellow pollen and dust and the houseplants that need hosing off. The garage can wait for the next rainy day. Since that’s what I’ve said throughout the last two months of milder weather, I guess it might come due before long.

So, what to do in the face of the mushroom factor? Get the gasket, spray the hose and get drenched. When all is wet and dripping (including yourself), decide you need soap and a bucket. Scrub down the furniture, set in the sun. Keep your eyes averted from the garden overrun with weeds. Get the porches clean. Grab a chair that is now clean and dry and contemplate how lovely it would be to visit your patient and volunteer. Staying home is too much work.


If we would see others as they see themselves, our shyness would soon become compassion.  ~ Robert Brault


Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.  ~ Mark Twain

Restoring Hope

When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other. ~ Chinese Proverb

The iris will have to stand in for the lily, however, both are delicate flowers with strong scents, strong stems with vibrant colors. When there is no money, the soul must still be fed with beauty and the reminder of the constancy of nature. The seasons change, the cold gives way to the warmth and the hope of renewal and rebirth is restored.

Today, give hope to another. Smile at a stranger, let somebody move ahead in the checkout line, slow down for the biker along the road. Give the gift of yourself, your spirit, to others. Cost is no longer a factor and your soul will feel the restoration of hope, just as you lift the spirit of the other.

Gifts of ourselves are the ultimate kindness. Give today and restore hope.

It all comes back around.

People helping other people made me realize the depths of kindness that exists in the US. We make a difference everyday with small, simple acts. Volunteers across America feed the hungry, care for the elderly, raise money for new homes, help out with disaster relief, all out of desire to return kindnesses brought to them.

Thousands of dollars have been raised for large and small organizations in change jars in local stores, animals, national charities and local families in need all benefit from the small change collected. Together our change adds up to many dollars of relief. And when we need help, it is always there. The little acts of charity circle around and return tenfold to the giver.

Garage Sale Giveaways

The anticipation built as closets were cleaned, basements swept clear and the gathering of long lost clutter began last week. Saturday was the town’s annual garage sale. Hundreds of residents hauled out old deck furniture, outgrown old toys, and kitchen items nobody remembers how to use. The curbside tables were loaded with potential. The sale began on Saturday at 9 although the early birds were out before 8, checking the route for later stops. People continued to bring items to their sale tables all morning. By 2 PM, the fervor had quieted and the stragglers picked over the forlorn remainders of the few remaining tables. The sale ended at 3 and clean up began with the first few raindrops of the summer shower.

Brilliantly, our little town had scheduled a Clean Up Day for Monday following the sale. What hadn’t sold for a few dollars was moved to the curb, ready for the next wave of pickers. No longer were the trucks unloading items for sale, now they were cruising the streets of the town searching for their pile of gold. SCRAP. Any and all metal items were loaded into the pickup beds, perched precariously in the back of vans and the search went on.

The searchers were quiet and orderly, cruising through the streets for their treasure. Saturday night the streets were abuzz with the trucks coasting along, making short stops by piles towering over the edge. Sunday saw more hauling from sheds and basements, attics and bedrooms, out to the curb, out for the pickers. Any scrap metal was treasure to pile on the balanced load already selected.

The scrap yard will be busy today along with the town’s workers. No metal was left by the side of the road, even old leaf covered lawnmowers went to the pickers. The piles were smaller, orderly and neat, ready for the dumpster or plastic recycling bin.

Thank you pickers, for helping our town, for cleaning up metal and old metal benches. The garage sale was the prelude to a ballet of balance, items no longer wanted were sold or discarded to be found again by the pickers. True is the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Thanks for the fun.

Remember ALL who serve.

Focussing on kindness and charity to others causes the inner critic to see the world from a different perspective. Asking our egos to look out for others is a challenge for most of us. During this holiday weekend, let us remember the folks at home while we recognize the commitment our service men and women are making on our behalf.  “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”  JFK’s words should be remembered this weekend and everyday. We live in the greatest nation with the greatest freedom available. We enjoy our “rights” because there are those who serve our country to ensure those rights are available to all.

"Thy banners make tyrannies tremble, when born by the red, white and blue."

For every person serving in the Armed Forces, there are many “support personnel” located within our borders who sacrifice on our behalf.  Please remember the families, the parents, the sisters, brothers, Aunts and Uncles of our servicemen. Remember the children waiting patiently for their Dad or Mom to be their leader in Scouts or coach their sports team.  We no longer have the draft, we have volunteers who choose their service to country and countrymen. We remember those who sacrificed their lives, remembering their goal was to preserve our freedom and provide freedom for other nations around the world.  Please remember all who serve, both here and abroad, both active and retired, and all the families who support their efforts and pray for their safety.  Memorial Day is a day to honor all our citizens who serve for our greater good and a day for pride in our country.

Giving When You’re Broke

The old adage, you either have time or money, appears to be true for many of us these days. A true comment on our economic times, we seem to give more when we have less money. We give our time, attention, hugs, advice and most definitely our love. Improbable though it seems, we are more charitable when we are closer to needing the charity of others. Although we most often think of charities during the cold winter months, we need to remember there are folks needing your charity everyday.

Giving when you're broke!

During the growing months, plant a row for the food banks. One charity, America’s Grow-A-Row, began like this a few years ago and now produces hundreds of pounds of food for others. All started by one man’s desire to plant a row in his garden to give a way. If you only garden in containers, plant a garden container for an elderly neighbor and give it to your kids to harvest and deliver. The neighbor will get to know your child and both benefit from the harvest.

Giving when we’re broke can be as easy as putting away our road rage and being kind at random moments. Thanking a sales clerk, helping a stranger with their grocery selections or stepping aside to let a rushing shopper through the line ahead of you are all ways to give without spending a dime.

The next time you are searching online, consider Goodsearch- Web Search, like Google, you can search for anything on the web, however, this grants you the ability to donate to your favorite charity or their own charity of the day. Adding up your searches throughout a week and you can help your favorite organization without spending a nickel.

There are so many deserving charities throughout our country. Remember you can give when you’re broke, it only takes your time and kindness.

Kindness and Charity

Today I received more bad news and wondered how to move on with living. As I tried to make sense of the chaos of thoughts swirling through my mind, I came across the poem, “Kindness” by Naomi Nye. It was the perfect message for the moment of confusion. Please enjoy it and remember, the darkest hour is just before the dawn.


Before you know what kindness really is

you must lose things,

feel the future dissolve in a moment

like salt in a weakened broth.

What you held in your hand,

what you counted and carefully saved,

all this must go so you know

how desolate the landscape can be

between the regions of kindness.

How you ride and ride

thinking the bus will never stop,

the passengers eating maize and chicken

will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,

you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho

lies dead by the side of the road.

You must see how this could be you,

how he too was someone

who journeyed through the night with plans

and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,

you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.

You must wake up with sorrow.

You must speak to it till your voice

catches the thread of all sorrows

and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,

only kindness that ties your shoes

and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,

only kindness that raises its head

from the crowd of the world to say

It is I you have been looking for,

and then goes with you everywhere

like a shadow or a friend.

~~~ Naomi Shihab Nye

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