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Enlighten me about donations November 15, 2011

Posted by philangelus in pensive.
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On Twitter over the weekend, someone tweeted a statement opining that people who donate to Occupy Wall Street but have never donated to a food pantry, soup kitchen or homeless shelter are hypocrites.

Yes, Twitter is the place where people spout all sorts of opinions. I should have just ignored it, but I replied that I found it hard to believe anyone in the US might not have donated to a food pantry at some point in time.

The person replied that yes, there are people who have never donated to a food pantry, soup kitchen or homeless shelter, either money or goods.

Why do I not believe this? Food donation is dear to my heart, and if you read The Boys Upstairs, you saw it there as well, but it’s not just my skewed perspective. Food pantry donations are ingrained in our society right now. My children’s old school had a yearly Mitten Drive for the kindergarteners to bring mittens for children in homeless shelters. My children’s new school has food drives twice a year for the Angelborough Food Pantry.

Libraries in both Angelborough and Angeltown accepted food donations in lieu of library fines, and because they didn’t tally up the food donation amounts, you could in theory walk in the door with an armload of books overdue by eighteen months and hand them a can of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle. Even someone who didn’t believe in giving to charity would probably rummage in their closet for that.

You’ll note both those institutions are public: the libraries and the schools aren’t encouraging you to donate food because Jesus, Moses, Buddha and Muhammad said all the cool people are doing it. They’re encouraging it because it’s a practical need that every person has. But anyone affiliated with a religious institution is probably given opportunities to donate to the hungry and the homeless through them as well.

Call me naive if you want, but because it’s so pervasive, I can’t see anyone not having donated at least once to a shelter or a food pantry unless they made a conscious decision never to do so. But then again, those people also wouldn’t have donated to Occupy Wall Street.

So let’s here it: tell me I’m wrong, because you guys are good at pointing out when I’ve been boneheaded. Excluding people who are under eighteen, people whose finances don’t permit donations, and anyone with a developmental disability (although I know people in all three categories who do donate), do you know an actual person (but no names please) who has never donated to a food pantry, soup kitchen or homeless shelter?

“And that’s when it turned around.” September 21, 2011

Posted by philangelus in knitting, pensive.
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1 comment so far

Check it out:

It’s “Ela’s Favorite Hat” from the book One-Skein Wonders, done in Noro Silk Garden. I didn’t choose the color bands; Silk Garden is self-striping yarn, and it comes in all these crazy colors.

This one is for the donation pile, and I prayed for the recipient while knitting. I don’t know anything about the eventual recipient, but it might be someone homeless or someone in a shelter, and those are pretty awful places to be. I figure people in that situation ought to at least have a brightly-colored warm hat, and I pray for them. I pray that they can be one warm hat away from turning it around.

Originally I donated to a charity that sent all the scarves and hats to Mongolia; it wasn’t until I dropped off that beaded scarf at the Angeltown Food Pantry that I realized I might see the scarf again one day — I might meet the recipient. And that weirded me out because it feels like violating someone’s privacy. Angelborough is an even smaller town. The women’s shelter in the next town over doesn’t seem very far away.

While knitting this hat, I thought about it again. Standing in line at the supermarket, I look up and the woman in front of me is wearing the hat. What do I do? If she turns and sees me staring, I would never say “I made that,” but I might say, “I was looking at your hat. Is it hand-knit?”

And what if she says, “Yes, but I don’t know who made it. It was given to me at a very dark time in my life, and I know this seems silly, but right after I got this hat, everything turned around. I found the courage to apply for a job, and I got it. I was able to move to a safer place with my kids. And everything’s good now.”

That doesn’t happen in real life. It happens in my head during rows of knits and purls and while making whimsical iCords for the crown. She’d probably just say, “Yeah, I think it was,” and leave it at that.

I do like to think, though, that maybe a woman would receive a hand-made hat and think, “Someone must have cared to make this,” and maybe that can be enough to fight off the despair when it’s all gone wrong.

Since we’re all still here… May 22, 2011

Posted by philangelus in religion.
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Since we’re all still here, let’s get to work. There are still hungry people to feed, the sick and dying to pray for, and sad people to comfort. I’m praying in a special way today for everyone deceived by the rapture promises, that no one’s faith will be shattered because of this.

I do not intend to remain inactive in Heaven. I want to work for the Church and for souls. I have asked this of God and I am certain that He will grant my request.

I will spend my Heaven doing good upon earth. This is not impossible, since the angels though always enjoying the beatific vision, watch over us. No, I cannot be at rest until the end of the world. -St. Thérèse of Lisieux


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