Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Habit of Helping- CHECK!

Have you ever seen the movie Seven Pounds? It’s a little weird, and I could not stand the jellyfish in that movie, but I loved how he did these MAJOR things for other people. Things like giving an abused woman a house so she could escape her abuser, donating a kidney, a lobe of his lung, a part of his liver, and ultimately his eyes and heart. Most of the people he helps are strangers.

When I made my 30 Before 30 List and put “Help a Stranger” on there, I kind of had this huge type of help in mind. Or saving someone’s life, or even helping someone change a tire (not likely since I can’t even change my own tire!)

But I think I have started something better. I think I have started the practice of helping people everyday so that if I am ever called upon to help in some major way, I will be ready.

I started out volunteering for the SPCA a few years ago. I would go one night each week and take all the dogs out for the last time before bed, clean their rooms, make their beds and give each one a kong with peanut butter as I put them in their crates. I supplemented it by volunteering a few weekends doing such things as giving the dogs play time, teaching them manners and tricks like sit/down, and helping families find a dog to adopt or volunteering for such things as their K9 3K fundraising event. This was before I had Cam and I loved it. Once I got a dog of my own, I didn’t have the time to commit to it, but I did that for over 2 years.

Now I volunteer at church at our first time guest table every Sunday and I just signed on to be on a Marketing Advisory Board for a non-profit.

For some reason I still didn’t feel like I could mark “help a stranger” off my list.

So I tried doing things like paying for the person behind me in the drive-thru. It made me feel good for a few minutes, but didn’t give me that “Man, I did something really good and changed someone’s life” kind of feeling. I just kept feeling like it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t giving up part of my body or making anyone’s dreams come true.

A few weeks ago my Bible Study group adopted a little girl for Christmas from our leader’s school that she teaches at. We all went shopping together for her and we had so much fun. We went a little crazy and got her SO many things! We got her a few outfits, a few pairs of shoes, an easy bake oven and some food to make in it, a jewelry making kit, craft supplies, and even more things I can’t even remember! In all we spent about $200 on her and our cart was over-flowing! Check it out:

Last night I asked the girls if they thought I could use this to mark off “Help a Stranger” on my list and they all said of course! I thought and thought about this for days/weeks and I have decided to mark this off my list. Not because of this one event, but because I can see that I have developed the HABIT of helping others. I try to do whatever I can to give back and if someone ever does need something huge from me one day, I know I’ll be ready.


Jen the Beachbum said...

what an amazing story. I love doing the adopt a family/child every Christmas, I've been doing it for years and shopping for the kids is the best. I only wish I could see their faces!

You know, you could be helping people and not even know it. It's a great habit to form.

Congrats on checking something else off your list!

Maureen said...

I think this definitely counts! Good job!

Erica said...

Definitely mark it off your list! You've done much more than most even THINK about doing. I absolutely LOVE helping out other people, especially when they don't know who helped because they don't feel like they owe anyone anything. Great job!

habecker said...

my feelings on that movie differ. i do not think his committing suicide to 'right a wrong' is something to be praised or to emulate.

that movie disturbed me greatly.

Erin Kathleen said...

What a great story! Isn't the adopt-a-family program so much fun? We've done it two years in a row and looks on the family's faces when we deliver the gifts is the greatest! So glad you had a great experience.

Carly said...

How fun it must have been to shop for her! I'm sure she was thrilled with all your kindness :)

Congrats on crossing another item off your list!

AuntBT said...

What a wonderful way to check off your list. You are definitely someone to be admired for all that you think of others!!