Jill is hosting again this week, part two of a two-parter on Random Acts of kindness. For this week, we are supposed to have commited a RAK and write about what we did, what prompted it and how it made us feel.
I'm just a random act of kindness-kind of person. I don't really think twice about holding the door for someone, about picking up a little something extra at the store because I know my husband or my boy would like it. I tend to think of those little everyday kindnesses as being politeor showing love. It's how I was raised. So to me, random acts of kindness require more than that. It's seeing a need and being willing to step in and fill it to the best of your ability.
A week and a half ago, one of my co-workers (in the sense that we work in the same place, not that we do the same kind of job) underwent heart bypass surgery. He's a key employee in his department. While we all miss him, things continued on though stretched a bit thin. Then a few days later, another person from that department went to the hospital with chest pains. Now that department was hurting. Students are good for filling in gaps, but they can't really take point on a production when it requires a professional. Once upon a time, I was a TV production person. I could edit, run graphics, run camera, floor direct, light, and run an audio board. About the only thing I didn't do was direct. It's been many years since I did all that, and television is an always-evolving technology. However, even after all this time, floor directing and running a camera are pretty much the same. So I went to the boss' office and offered to fill in as needed in those two positions. I haven't been tapped yet, but I'm here, waiting and ready to fill that need should it arise.
Some of you may know of Ari. She lives in Minnesota with her beautiful dog Buddha. At one time, she was a marketing and communications professional. Not now. Not for a while. See, Ari was laid off from her job over a year ago. She'd done everything right, built a nest egg, owned a home, prepared for eventualities. Except the realities of being laid off, of a terrible job market, of the expense of just living can never really be prepared for unless you're independently wealthy. Eventually, the money runs out. Ari has been proactive in searching for a job. She's even done day labor (with bad health effects) to make her mortgage, pay her bills and feed her dog. But there came a point where keeping up just wasn't possible anymore. She still has her home, but the bills keep stacking up. She combs furniture, pockets and her car for loose change so she can buy dogfood. I'm pretty sure her own diet has been lousy in favor of keeping Buddha fed.
Last December, a fellow reader hit upon the idea of sending her a food box from Angel Food Ministries. They have a regular box with meat and grain and eggs and such, and a fruit and vegetable box with fresh produce. She bought those for Ari and it turned out to be a pretty good deal. The food was good, it was delivered to a church close by so that Ari could retrieve it (the lovely lady in question lives in Florida). The main thing is that it's good food, not junk. After the success of that box, she emailed some of Ari's regular readers and asked if we'd be interested in participating in sending the food box. I said yes and sent her a check. Last I heard, we'd amassed enough to get through April.
It's a good start. But there's more to life than food. There's gas to put in the car, electricity, keeping her phone active so she can make calls and receive calls about work - numerous items. Those are necessities. But as well as Ari's been doing at keeping on keeping on, it's getting pretty depressing. Not much special happens.
I was thinking about her the other day and went into the garage where I have stuff piled up to be given away or sold at a garage sale. There in front of me was a pile of books, a bunch of DVDs. So I hit on the idea of a care package. I selected a few books, some DVDs and thought some more about what she might WANT as opposed to what she needs. I went to the store and picked up a few little items to put in the box as well.
Now, a little challenge, if you will. Ari blogs. At the top of her blog is a gorgeous picture of her best friend Buddha. Go visit her. Take a little time to read some of her posts. Some will make you weep. Some will make you laugh. Some will make you angry that this situation could happen to someone who really didn't deserve it. And when you're done reading, if the spirit moves you, there is a donate button on her side bar... Use it. It was suggested to her by a reader and she resisted putting it there. But it's there now. I've used it myself a few times. You never know when an extra five or ten dollars can make a huge difference.
Now go visit Jill and see who else did what else this past week! Oh, and FunMonday's host for next week is going to be WENDY!