Back around Thanksgiving I posted about the gratitude I had for strangers helping our large family this holiday season and how we've asked for help to give the children a good holiday. Monday I had an appointment to pick up our toys from Toys for Tots. It was "storming" out here and I was a little nervous about being late and missing my time so I left very early to get there in time- I made it in 1/2 the time I'd allotted, driving really wasn't that bad. I was excited and humble when I reached the "toy shop". Grateful for the safe fast drive, and being able to use this program in a year where we really needed it. And for a bit of time outside the house by myself.
I went in a few minutes early to use the bathroom (being 8 months pregnant I can't be away from a toilet for more than an hour without peeing my pants! lol) and on the way in over heard something I can't get out of my mind, has completely put me into a place of shock and just shows were things (at least in my neck of the woods) in the world are going. Why I keep thinking about this and can't let it go is out of my thought process- it's just one of those boggling things.
As I approached the doors 3 women came out and were talking loudly. One of the 3 started to complain. You could tell it was going to be one of those complaints that just look bad, by her tone of voice and volume. "That's a waste of time", she said. "You get to pick 2 small things or one large thing. And it's all stupid stuff! I could've bought that stuff at the store!" "Yeah" is all I heard from the other women's' replies, as I walked past into the doors. Wow! I thought then why are you here?
I get into the toy shop and wait very little time, to meet with my personal helper (a teen girl, of about 14 or 15, who tells you what you can do, takes you to the age sections, and carries around the big red bag you fill up). Sweet girl she was- smiled the whole time and looked happy to be helping. So the woman was right- you can choose one large toy or two small toys. For my kids I choose the one large toy for C and P (neither will mind only one thing) and for B and O the 2 small toys. Really there wasn't a lot of difference in what was small or large- it was more the price of things that made them fit their category. The selection was good- I was easily able to find things the fit my children well- their interests and likes/dislikes. I was still very grateful for what was there- no let down at all. When we reached the teen section, my helper quietly threw in my bag two extra gifts off the large table - I hadn't even mentioned I had 2 older teens that didn't qualify for the age of the program- she just did it out of kindness.
We have something for the kids for under the tree from Santa- something we would've had to choose to do knowing we were putting ourselves into a riskier place financially or not done at all. I am so grateful that programs are out there like this and we could use it when we need it. Not everyone has this or even knows about it and some choose not to out of pride. Charity, when you're on the receiving end, is a bad word. For me it reminds me I'm human and have choices and I can let myself get in the way or find help where I can. It gives me extra gratitude for those out there that help and when I am able being able to help those in need. I makes me humble to the nature that can be the human spirit.
Women like the ones I overheard on my way in, are putting energy out there that I think more and more are picking up on and putting out there. No Gratitude for what others are doing for them or those in the world as a whole. (A little rant here now:) If you can go get those things from the store then why don't you! Why the hell are you using a program meant for those who really need it! You people make me sick- really you do. We that need for real and use it- are grateful, it's our only option! What are you expecting?! Wiis, bikes, robots, cell phones?! Get real! Get a new attitude or just go away! (Alright judgemental rant over....I know judgement is bad but it's human and sometimes if you don't speak up when someone is in the wrong you are letting them get away with hurting others. Sometimes people need to speak up.)
From a recipient of a charity program this year: Thank you for helping. If you've donated a toy- thank you. If you've dropped spare change into the little red kettle- Thank you. If you're made a food donation to a local food bank- Thank you. These are usually little things that don't get much thanks but the gratitude this recipient feels for people like you is huge. It's these little things that really count to the everyday people out there. And it helps to remind us that when we are in a better place to make sure to give it back. If I can't do it financially soon then I'll do it in deeds or donations of our unneeded/out-grown things. Just Pay It Forward.
Thank you, just thank you. <3