I had a meeting this afternoon with my copier vendor. We have worked together through various jobs for more about 20 years now, although it shocks me to realize it has been that long, through that many different jobs with different companies. He had an associate with him today, and while we were chatting about work and stuff the associate mentioned doing regular volunteer work with the Salvation Army in a nearby town. His specific volunteer expertise was preparing/serving the many homeless in our area. For me, this was a timely contact.
In our travels M and collect the single use soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and lotions at hotels. While others may disagree, we feel these complimentary items are included in the cost of our room and we collect and donate these items to local charities. The former shelter we used to give to is clear across town from us and requires a special and specific trip to the location. With today’s contact, I can give the items to my sales rep and he will deliver them directly to the SA closet. I had gallon sized ziplocks full of each item plus a bunch of brand new toothbrushes and small toothpastes given to us by our dentist. M and I use a sonicare, plus we are fussy about toothpaste, so into the donations bags these went.
Several of our neighbors have adopted a local national guard unit and are creating care packages for the men and women far from home this holiday season. This involves a shopping adventure for several items on their wish lists, so tomorrow night we will go forth and brave Costco. Hopefully our luck will hold and the weekday evening hordes will not be that bad.
Our local food bank and SPCA also get an extra donation this month – checks were written and mailed today. Even in my earlier funk I recognize that I have so much. Our family is nearby and safe. We have a home, plenty of food, water, heating, and money in the bank. I have good jobs that I actually enjoy most of the time. There are plenty of folks in the world with so much less, who are hungry and homeless, cold and scared. I am none of those things.
I have a collection of $1 bills in my wallet for each and every bell ringer I pass between now and Christmas. When I run out of dollar bills I will acquire more. It’s a small thing, but since I was a little girl I have always given money to the bell ringers. Unless they smell badly. I have crossed paths with a few who have needed a close encounter with a shower and a bar of soap, and I feel only a little guilty for being judgmental. I am mostly practical on this; it seems if bad BO puts off someone like me who is inclined to give anyway what does it do for those who are somewhat reluctant to open their wallets? Just my personal theory on why a bell ringer should bathe and use deodorant before volunteering.