Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Today I registered to be a potential bone marrow donor. (Honey, I hope that's okay. Sorry that I didn't ask you first. I'm headstrong like that. :P)

But I was reading last week in an old Readers' Digest magazine that my mom had passed onto us ... and there was an address for Do1NiceThing (www.doonenicething.com).

And, well ... to put it bluntly, I can feel guilt for having nice things. I mean, I really have a LOT to be thankful for. Things that I really do take for granted: a wonderful husband, great (usually) kids, a healthy family, I don't have to work outside the home, we have a house, we have two vehicles, we have running water and electricity, we have a working computer (just the one for right now, but STILL!) ... I mean, compared to, what, 90% of the world's population, even though I can't just go out and buy a new wardrobe at the drop of a hat (or a debit card), I'm sitting really pretty.

I have a family that is healthy. My kids don't have cancer. I have not outlived any of my children.

That's a huge blessing.

And ... well, like nearly any American woman who grew up during the 90s, I've read Lurlene McDaniel books. I KNOW that not every child is healthy. Heck, there are adults with cancer or other diseases ... And I'm healthy.

Even though sometimes I feel a bit guilty because, compared to lots and lots of other people, I have things ... easier.

And, because I really am grateful for the things that I DO have, I feel ... not OBLIGATED, per se ... but that I SHOULD and DO need to help out in what little ways that I can.

If we had more money, I'd definitely be doing some of those kiva.org loans. I'd give a larger fast offering. I'd donate to the Perpetual Education Fund. I'd love to buy some families a cow or something awesome from Heifer International. ...

But, since I do not have all those funds at my disposal, I do try to do some cool things. And, over at Do1NiceThing, they have a list of some that I really like. TheHungerSite allows you to click daily, and for each click, the sponsors donate money or food to those in need. (There are also the sister sites for breast cancer (donating mammograms), literacy (books), animal rescue (food for animals), child health (to cover costs for kids' healthcare), and rainforest (to help conserve that resource).) FreeRice will donate 10 grains of rice for each question (in the subjects of art, geography, languages, chemistry, and math ... you choose your subject) you get right. Xerox has jumped on the wagon of doing cool things with their site, LetsSayThanks, where you can select a postcard and message to send to U.S. Military personnel who are serving overseas.

I know that these are small things. Little things. And most of them only take a minute (though I have, at times, spent about an hour at FreeRice). But ... it makes me feel a little bit better. I like knowing that even though these things barely cost me any time or effort ... they will help someone to feel better or get well.

Speaking of, I need to donate blood the next time the blood drive's around. Yes, it does take more time (and planning ... now that I have my munchkins. I don't know that they'll be quite ready to sit with me as I lose about a pound. Though, come to think about it, when they CAN sit for that long, I should just bring them with me. ^_^) ... but it isn't hard (unless I almost pass out again. I hate it when I do that. *sigh*). And one pint of blood can help up to three people. I mean, that's pretty cool, right?

(Besides, I have some kinda funny donating-blood stories! If you really want me to relate them, just let me know, okay? I'm willing. Some are slightly more ... not quite embarrassing ... but they are kinda funny.)

I mean, it'd be pretty awesome if I WERE a superhero and could totally change the world so that everyone had clean water and enough money to ... I don't know ... keep a roof over his/her family's heads. And take a family vacation or something. And never have to worry about how to pay for their food or bills.

(Or heck, if I could just be all, "Okay, you evil-doers! You are going down! And all your resources are belong to us!" And then I could redistribute everything more fairly. But that's not how it works. Because, face it, I might use part of my portion to buy shoes and books before paying off the credit cards or something like that. ... Okay, I'm not quite giving myself the credit I deserve ... but people shouldn't be FORCED to do good things. They should do it because they WANT to. I'm just sayin'.)

Yeah ... that's most of what's going on around here. Some good things with a large serving of guilt on the side. Hey, that's how I roll. :P


preciosamama said...

That is wonderful! I just registered with Be the Match, which is also for bone marrow donation, last week and sent in my swabs yesterday. It's amazing how much you can give.

Kari said...

Good for you! My guilt isn't quite so strong b/c I feel like a mother to all 140 of my students. Still, I should do more.

Counting ...

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