This weekend I was invited to a bake sale. A friend of mine decided that she was going to throw a bake sale for a neighbor who lost everything in a fire Mother’s day. Within a week or so, not only had she baked herself into a tizzy but got her friends and family to smoke up their kitchens too. She put up a couple of tents in her front yard, a few tables, and a host of willing teenagers, screaming ‘bake sale’, as cars rode by. The teenagers were enthusiastic and just happy to help however they could (food for thought; get those kids involved. They want to help). Despite the rain, they hung in there and made it happen. What an amazing and generous thing to do. My friend was able to make $1000 based on flour and sprinkles! Just fantastic!!! Again, she pulled this together in less than 2 weeks. I’m encouraged by people like my friend. Her willingness to not only get involved, but drag the rest of us to do our part too! Cyd and I are still recovering from the sugar comma. Those sweet treats were GOOD! LOL
All this good will got me to thinking (and chatting). I was speaking to one of my co-labors in the land of helping cancer patients. She also runs a great organization that assists cancer patients in their time of financial need. She informed me that her usual fundraiser didn’t raise as much as it usually does. We discussed that perhaps it was the current financial climate, people either being unemployed or underemployed, etc. She snapped me right back into reality and said, ‘No, Mell, people donate and do what they want to do.’ I thought about this for a minute and then reflected to all the traffic I’ve seen on Facebook within the last month alone. May is a heavy fundraising month for cancer charities. Lots of walks, runs and campaigns for great causes. I saw thousands of dollars raised, by people with generous hearts and even deeper pockets. Again, seeing this kind of outpour really warms the heart….but hold on a minute. Why aren’t I doing cartwheels about it? What the heck is wrong with me? Why am I a little miffed? (I can hear Cher from the movie Moonstruck saying, ‘snap out of it’ LOL).
Here’s my deeper thought. I’ve had many people call our office at HELPtouchHEAL, just as they have at other ‘smaller’ organizations asking for assistance. Part of our required questionnaire, is asking where they have gone, prior to HTH for assistance. Who did they call to get financial assistance to pay their light bill, mortgage, or have someone do their laundry? Yes, they’ve called Relay for Life, Susan G. Komen and others. However, they are not able to assist at this level. Listen, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t support these phenomenal organizations, of course we should. I’m not even dictating who and how you should be charitable too. What I am saying is that perhaps we can think of the small, trusted, proven, grass-root organizations that have a great track record of helping the community. If you read the statistics, you’ll see that many of these larger organizations spend quite a bit of their funding on administration and advertising. The smaller non-for-profits have far less overhead and therefore are able to get those Stop-n-shop gift cards for groceries and keep the lights on for those deserving. I saw one person on Facebook who had risen over $10,000 for Relay for life, in memoriam for a loved one. I knew this lovely person who had transition and their family very well. Our little company, HTH, had assisted them for many months for free (that’s what we do for everyone). Gosh, what an incredible privilege to be able to serve our community this way. However, honestly, I did feel a little slighted and disappointed that this same family didn’t think to make a small donation to HTH, so that other families could share in the blessings of help that they received. Clearly, this family has great heart and compassion otherwise they wouldn’t be able to raise such a great amount for a great cause. They’ve done a wonderful thing. Perhaps as we are doing all these wonderful things for cancer charities we can think of the smaller, grass root organizations that are doing great work for our local neighbors and families too. Spread the wealth! Keep fundraising, keep running, walking and having those delicious bake sales….just please consider helping out the little guys who serve you as well. Charity really does begin at home.
So, I’ll get over myself and stop worrying about missed opportunities. I’ve got to go follow up on a woman in Greenwich who needs a couple of rides to radiation treatment. No time to lick our wounds as someone else needs our focus and attention right now. They are battling for their lives.
Much love and blessings,
p.s. My statements are not about donating to HTH! I'm ranting and raving on behalf of small companies everywhere.