To our Friends
When Edsel and I joined the blogosphere in July of 2005, we thought that we were signing up to do something cute, kind of a hobby. What we didn’t realize was that we were becoming part of a community. I don’t know if that community was already in place then, or if it started to form later. What I do know, is that many of you have become our friends, almost like an extended family, as I hope we have become yours.
Many things have happened. There have been new members, lots of them. Some members have dropped out. There have been new poodins added to families, unfortunate deaths, moves to new homes, new jobs and illnesses. I know from experience how many of you came together to support me this past summer when I was faced with a very scary, life changing event.
There have also been job losses. Some have been in households where there is more stability because of two wage earners. One that has not is what I’d like to talk about today.
Many of you know Brandi and her Mom Carol from Catitude. After having a job for three years, Carol was laid off from work in May. Carol is single and didn’t have much cushion to fall back on because she was still recovering from being laid off five years ago and losing her savings. After being laid off, she was out of work for two years, including a six month period when she went back to school. In addition, her brother who was able to help her some the last time she was laid off was, due to a reorganization at work, laid off just days after Carol was. So her family is unable to help her this time. She has been diligently job hunting, however, she has a lot of challenges that make it difficult for her to find a job that will work for her. Carol does not have a car, so a job needs to be close enough to walk to, or needs to be on the bus route. Carol is diabetic and has other health problems, needing $600 worth of medication each month. A new job would have to offer her insurance that would cover preexisting conditions, from day 1, and that is rather rare in these times. She currently is receiving her meds thru a government program, and if she goes to work, that coverage will stop. So, besides the fact that there are many, many people out of work, vying for the same jobs, Carol is limited in the ones she can even apply for.
Some of you also know that there have been efforts to raise money to help Brandi and Carol (Oreo and his Mom; Sanjee, Boni, Mini, Pepi, Gree and their Mom Robyn) and many of you have generously contributed. Brandi and Carol are so appreciative of these efforts. It has meant the difference between having a roof over their heads, food and things that most of us take for granted like electricity and a phone or being evicted and hungry.
The contributions have slowed, as many of us think “I did that already.” Robyn and I were talking recently, too, about the fact that the Holidays are coming, and many people become so caught up in the festivities, shopping, baking, planning events, that we forget that there are people who still need our help.
Robyn and I came up with a plan that we are going to follow, and I thought I’d suggest it to all of you, as a way to continue to support one of us who needs our help.
Every year as the Holidays come around, I start making lists of all the people I need to buy gifts for. Some are important people that I will buy for this year. Others are the “token” gifts, the extended family members who have so much, the coworkers, the mailman, the manager of the bagel shop, etc. In most cases, I usually give something to them that they appreciate, but the gift certainly doesn’t make a “difference” in their lives. And, I know that I am going to receive things from these same people. Things I don’t need, often things I stick on a shelf and watch as they collect dust. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the thought, but this year, I feel strongly that the money could be used to help someone who truly needs it.
Robyn and I have decided that now, before these people complete their shopping, and before we shop, we are going to contact them and tell them this:
"As the Holidays approach, I want to be able to feel good about the fact
that I have “done the right thing”. To that end, this year, I am not going
to be giving you a gift. Instead, that money will be contributed to a family
who needs it in order to pay their rent and buy food and pay for medical expenses.
I hope you will regard this contribution as not only a gift from me, but a gift from you.
And, if you were going to give a gift to me, I ask you to consider, instead,
a gift to this same family. You can go to:
http://www.crystalsandjewelry.com/private/brandi.html to contribute
online with your credit card, PayPal account, or e-check, or you can give/send a
check to me (no amount is too small) made out to Carol Zunker and I will forward
it along. And, even if you weren’t going to give a gift to me, a small gift to Carol
would brighten her life and help to get her through the winter months.
I thank you for your understanding. And, if you choose to make a contribution,
I thank you for your compassion. "
And, independent of the coming Holidays, if any of you fellow bloggers would like to help Carol and Brandi out, it would be greatly appreciated. Robyn is letting us contribute through her business Paypal account and is absorbing all the processing fees. Just go to: http://www.crystalsandjewelry.com/private/brandi.html
Thanks to all our “Family” members. May we all have a happy holiday season – Edsel and Susan