the wonderful legend of one of my very favorite plants.
kindness, compassion, and gratitude at play.
image credit: purple almond
one grandpa, one art, one village
“life is short, art is long.”
— john ringling
video credit: bbc news
i happily take part
in a wonderful program
to help warm the children.
through the generosity of the local community
money and time are donated
to provide new warm clothing for children in need.
children are referred
by school counselors and social workers.
these families meet with volunteer shoppers
to help with the process.
all of the money raised
goes directly to purchasing clothing,
with no administrative costs
subtracted from the donations.
i am one of the volunteers who take the families shopping
and never fail to be amazed by the people i meet.
on my shopping trip this year
i met a single mother whose husband had died
raising sons, 12 and 16
supporting them by working at mcdonald’s,
her oldest son works at taco bell
she’s had a rough time of things lately
extra money has been harder to come by
both sons are in school, play football, and do chores at home.
when i asked how she was able to do it all
she told me, “life goes up and down. you just do what you have to do.”
after we shopped for her sons’ winter clothing
we made our way to the register.
just ahead of us in line
another family was checking out
who were also program recipients.
after being rung up, it was discovered
that they had gone just a bit over their allotted budget
and were going to have to put something back.
the mother i had shopped with
reached into her purse
and gave them the $1.89 they needed.
what an incredibly generous act of compassion
from someone who had so little herself
as she helped someone else to warm their children
when we checked out and went to leave
she hugged me and said,
“thank you so much, i always pay it forward.”
“to keep a warm heart in winter is the real victory.”
participating partners: kiwanis club of ann arbor, washtenaw county, walmart, mlive, old national bank, ann arbor news
This image took my breath away, in it I’m sure we all recognize a hundred faces of our own nieces, daughters and little friends. How refugee children sleep in Europe in 2018…. I wish for her a warm bed with the softest blankets and a princess netting just because it’s pretty, not to keep out hundreds of mosquitoes, and a nightlight in the shape of the moon. All of these things inside a safe and happy home. A garden and toys to play with, a school to go to. Just the normal and most basic rights for any child. – m. graeve
‘compassion brings us to a stop, and for a moment we rise above ourselves.’
image credit: muhammed muheisen,
story credits: open homes open hearts, merel graeve – stories from the ground