Tag Archives: generosity

golden.

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feeling grateful

for a wonderful surprise

from two of my friends

who gave me their set of original golden books

something i have always wanted 

since i was a young child.

they knew i would treasure them.

“life is always bringing unexpected gifts.”

-mary sarton

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warm.

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each year

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.

immediately

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.” 

-marty rubin

participating partners: kiwanis club of ann arbor, washtenaw county, walmart, mlive, old national bank, ann arbor news

https://a2kiwanisfoundation.org/warmthechildren/

wisdom and kindness.

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what a lovely afternoon spent

with a family whose three daughters

 each of us have taught and loved in our turn over the years

as they gave thanks to all of their teachers

by cooking and serving us an amazing brunch

at a beautiful table

complete with many homemade delights

main courses, sweets, desserts, coffee, and fruit prosecos

dad and daughters prepare our meal

while mom finalizes the drinks and details in the dining room

such an amazing and generous gesture

as their last daughter leaves the familiar comfort

of our elementary school

and moves on to her next chapter

in the middle school division

along with her lovely family

who we will miss

and who have taught their daughters

the wisdom of gratitude and kindness.

“what wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?”

-jean-jacques rousseau

max.

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the kindhearted and quiet and hardworking kid

who comes and goes

without much of a pattern

asking if i’ll hire him

to shovel my snow and mow my lawn

now has a name – ‘max’

and his legend is growing and spreading

he came once when i wasn’t home

and my neighbor paid him to do my lawn

in return for the help i’d given her in the past

and the next time he was over mowing

max suddenly stopped his mower

because he found a baby squirrel

who had fallen from the nest in the tree

 and was sitting motionless and scared

we tried to pick the squirrel up

but he feebly ran away

into my neighbor’s yard

who then came out to help

and we all took him to my other neighbor’s house

who loves the squirrels

and said that he didn’t look good

 put him in his backyard and see if he would play

then brought him back

and laid him down below my tree

the squirrel soon passed away

and we buried him in the garden

and now, after meeting him

 my other neighbor has given max a job as well

and as more and more

of his generous and hard-working sprit is revealed

his business and his reputation as a decent human being

both continue to grow.

“as much as we need a prosperous economy,

we also need a prosperity of kindness and decency.”

-caroline kennedy

give what you have.

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found this sweet surprise

waiting for me in my mailbox

a very old tiny sleigh with a handwritten letter

from a neighbor i’ve never met

who’s lived nearby for over 50 years

she left it for me to add to my fairy garden

when the season is right

she took the trouble to repaint the sleigh

and write me this lovely note

wanting to visit the garden

but too shy to stop by to see it up close

it was such a kind and thoughtful gesture

i wanted to thank her and figured out where she lived

then wrote her a long letter back

to let her know

how much i enjoyed her special gift

and what it meant to me

i really hope that we meet in person in my garden one day.

“give what you have. to someone, it may be better than you dare to think.”
― henry wadsworth longfellow