Charity Begins at Home (and with Demi)

I asked a WordPress friend to speak about charity. Here are her thoughts and answers.


Demi, known as The Lupie Momma on WordPress, is turning 27 this year. She is not disappointed about getting older, she’s planning a huge 30th birthday celebration. (Get it, girl!) But she is a little sentimental about her daughter growing up so fast. Demi has a sweet, little girl who is almost 4. Demi is a wife and mother by day, working gal by night.

She’s dabbled at blogging for a few years on a few sites, but recently she decided to finish her novel. While struggling with Lupus (autoimmune disorder), she’s been working hard on this memoir. Demi is right and brave when she says “…life is too short not to go after everything.”
What do you do to volunteer or donate?
I’ve always given my clothes that are in good shape, that I’ve outgrown, to people I think can use them. Now that I have a fast growing toddler, I have started giving her old clothes and toys to other families. We have been fortunate enough to be able to afford these things, but we realize that some people aren’t as lucky.


Demi told me more about her personal giving.
They have a friend, Brandon (name changed for privacy). He’s a single dad of triplets. The mother is not involved on a regular basis. Brandon has to provide for 3 children. On his own. Demi knows how expensive one growing child can be. So. She started helping in any way she could. Brandon’s children are just 6 months younger than Demi’s girl. 2 of the triplets are girls. So Brandon is fixed for “hand-me-downs”. Brandon is truly grateful for the regular supply of girl’s clothing that Demi gives every change of the season.
Right before Christmas, Demi was preparing for the incoming onslaught of new toys for baby girl. They found an unused toddler bed and chair. She messaged Brandon right away. A few days later, Brandon posted about bills and presents; how hard it would be to provide this year. Demi had thought about buying a few small gifts, but after the post, Demi’s husband went full-on Santa. Gender-neutral toys that all the kids would enjoy. Delivered to Brandon’s house just in time for Christmas Eve. They didn’t say a word, leave a note or want any attention for doing so. They did unto others as they would want for themselves. Unfortunately, Amazon shipping included the husband’s email and Brandon figured it out. Needless to say, he was very thankful.


Why do you volunteer or donate?

We donate to help those in need because we would hope someone would help us if the shoe was on the other foot. Whether it’s to Brandon and his kids or hurricane relief somewhere else. (The state of Florida thanks you, Demi!!)
How do you feel when you give?
It’s a good feeling. Sometimes I feel guilty that I couldn’t do more, but my husband reminds me that its better I do a little than nothing at all. (I agree with your husband! If we all do some, we can do it all. <—Has someone already said that? If not, it’s so true!)

If we all do some, we can do it all!


Are you Christian or other religious affiliation? Do you give for a specific reason?

We’re Christians, but not the “we think we’re holier than others” type. We aren’t going to spit out scriptures at you or chaste you for not going to church.
No specific reason we do–except for the Lupus Foundation as that is a close charity that I personally benefit from.
I don’t know if I was necessarily taught to donate or volunteer, I just think my mother instilled in us from a young age to help others when we can. I remember being out to eat as a kid and my mom giving me a few dollars to give to the homeless man sitting a few tables away. Since then, I’ve just always kind of done it. Giving money to a random homeless man, or buying them a meal, giving my clothes to someone who could benefit from them. And now that I’m a mother myself, I want to instill that in my daughter. That not everyone is as fortunate as we are, and that it’s good to help others when you can.
How do your kids feel about your helping?
I’m not really sure she fully grasps the concept yet. She’s only three. Occasionally when we’re packing up stuff she hasn’t played with for months, we get the “That’s my toy!” but we explain that you know you haven’t played with it in a while, and there is someone else who would enjoy it. After a few pouts, she usually just drops the subject, goes and plays with something else. Explaining the Santa to Seniors, and why we were getting gifts for “old people who weren’t grandma or grandpa” was a bit tricky. But she picked out the names of the women we got, ‘all E’s because her name starts with E’ and picked out the bags to put their stuff in, she even threw in some hot chocolate packets for them. I hope that as she gets older, she’ll admire us for it. And continue to do it as she grows up.


While Demi regularly donates old clothes and toys, she was moved to go above and beyond this holiday season. She said, “…it felt nice buying gifts for other people that probably actually deserve the gifts.” Every year, people feel burdened in buying gifts for extended family members as an act of obligation. Holiday gift exchange can feel like a pressure cooker of negativity and resentment, boiling over by Christmas. And at the end of it all you may, like Demi, wish you had helped someone who actually needed (not wanted) something.
Demi left me with this thought from John Bunyan:

You have not lived today
until you have done something for someone
who can never repay you.


Let us know how the book is coming, Demi. I can post a link in an update. Thanks for sharing!

Please consider donating to the Lupus Foundation or to Demi’s personal fundraising goal.
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Thanks!

It’s been almost 2 years since I started my blog. January 15, 2016. Dead, Bloated Deer Carcass was my first article.

I have 480 posts (this article makes 481, and very few repeats). Over 13,000 views. And 332 followers. I’ve also lost ~172 lbs since I started! ๐Ÿ˜€

Thanks!

It hasn’t all been sunshine and rainbows. It hasn’t all been publishable prose or poetry. But it’s straight from the heart. It’s my life. It’s straight-through-the-teeth truth.

Thanks for following. Thanks for reading. Thanks for your support. I don’t do this for money. I do it because I can’t stop.


Also! I would like to keep interviewing people.

If you help people, anyone, even one person, in your community on a regular basis, I would love to interview you for a series on charity. It could be anything. As simple as always giving the homeless guy on the corner your extra change. Or always donating to an organization. Cooking meals for patients. How do you help people every day or at the holidays? I would love to hear your stories and share those with my followers.

Leave a comment or message me. You can also email me at: martha.maggio@sbcglobal.net.

Kathryn, Rachel, Irma & Torrence

This will be the third in a series of 5 short articles.
Irma blew through on September 10, 2017.
This was my first experience in a hurricane.

Here’s the first article, if you missed it. Kathryn
Here’s the second article, if you missed it. Rachel

They all relate by the final article, I promise.


The photo above is from just before the hurricane hit. You wouldn’t have known anything was happening. We were in a well-protected school, rated to withstand a Category 5 hurricane. We chose that shelter by luck. Maybe more than luck.

Written just a few days after the storm.


We had our power restoredย  by the first day after Irma hit. We were lucky, so very lucky.

First, let me say, thank you, Florida Power and Light! You are working hard to restore everyone and you had us back up the next day. Thank you so much!

Second, everyone we encountered during Irma was safe and as kind as people in a crisis can be.

Third, when we got back to our place, everything was just as we left it. The only damage–two eaves were blown out and the attic/under-roof was exposed. No big deal. The condo association will repair. We were so very lucky. Luckiest McLucks-a-lot. Unbelievable.

Had Irma not swerved at the last minute from the coast and taken a hard right, we would have lost everything, undoubtedly. I can’t express how thankful I am.

I am troubled by the undeniable climate change. I am troubled at our growing dependence on things and phones and computers. I am troubled by the chaotic world around us. But at the same time, I am deeply humbled. I am appreciative of those people in a dark world who carry light with them. The people who try to make the world a better place. The people who try to make sense of the world around them. The people who rush to the trouble, and carry out the survivors.

We met a Red Cross volunteer. He seemed to be our personal angel. He would check on our family, update us with news, and even brought us cookies. ๐Ÿ™‚ He was truly the embodiment of Christ. So thankful for him. Donate to Red Cross if you are inclined. (More about our angel in the next article!)

Our daughter had to spend her birthday in a storm shelter/elementary school. On the cold, hard cafeteria tile. Surrounded by strangers. No one even realizing someone had a birthday. (I thought about finding a treat and lighting a candle, but decided not to embarrass my 14 yo, LOL) Everyone just hoping to live through Irma. We tried to make it as good/fun as possible for her, staring down the threat of a potential Category 4 hurricane. But it was tough.

But we are here. We are alive. No injuries, no damage, in the scheme of things–no problems.

Irma hit at around 8-9 pm Sunday night.
We left the shelter around 7 am Monday morning.
Got home around 9 am Monday morning.
Had water to shower. (Had gone without shower since Friday morning, gross!)
Got power back on around 7-8 pm Monday night.
Got internet back today at around noon!
We are whole again. Still praying for anyone who is still out of something.

Tonight, we make up for cafeteria tile and storm sheltering. We’re going rollerskating! Her favorite. Happy birthday, Lil. You made it to 14! and then some. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I couldn’t be prouder or more thankful than I am for such a wonderful young lady. โค


You are either moving out of a storm or headed into one. No one is without weather. It’s about who you have in your boat when the waves hit. Right?

had it up to *here* haikus

Progress in Congress?
Endless regress to nonsense.
Tax cut transgression.


White-collar version
Of looting and coercion–
Congressional bill


Congressmen make laws
For those who can foot the bill
With boots on our necks


Middle class kidnapped
Held ransom by Congress thugs
Don’t be/get taken

Wide, Wide World

In this whole wide world, why is it necessary to redeem an artist who has betrayed the public trust? Rape or molest or assault a woman, there should be consequences. For all time. If that means revoking your right to contribute to this world artistically? Then so be it.

There are many talented people who produce art who do not produce hatred, fear or mistrust. If someone has violated another person, why should their work have any meaning?

The whole reason we produce art is to escape the brutality of the world. Anyone who offers truth, beauty or wisdom in the form of art and then molests the very people who consume their brand? They should be held accountable and exiled from the creative community. Meaning: go crawl in a hole, be quiet, make amends. And/or go to jail.

Can they be redeemed? Yes.
Will their work survive? It shouldn’t.

Because it was a lie.


Can you love the artist who rapes or offends after their sin? Yes. Can they be forgiven? With true, sincere remorse and understanding. But I don’t have to save their work or participate in the appreciation of their contribution. Let’s all just move forward without paying these selfish creatives to show us lies. Let’s support positive, moral artists who show us their true inner life and make the wide world a better place.


Louis CK was one of my favorite comedians. I even let my daughter watch some of his specials. Never again. I won’t support an artist who would take advantage of someone like my daughter. It’s heartbreaking, but so is life.

Shoewelry

I get to go on a fancy date with my husband for his new job’s Christmas party. We don’t have much money for entertainment or dining out, so to have a night on the town for free? Priceless!

Dinner, dancing and valet parking downtown. FANCY! lol We could never afford this on our own. And what better way to socialize and get to know the people he works with.

So I recently found the dress I wanted to wear. It’s an old dress, but I never got to wear it. Just after I bought it, I found out I was pregnant. It was tight to begin with, so when I started immediately gaining weight with my pregnancy, I knew I would never squeeze into it. Who wants to wear tight while preggers??!

I always wanted to lose the weight after I gave birth, but my weight just spiraled out of control for an entire decade. Depression, heart trouble, thyroid cancer, gallbladder failure and all sorts of problems just packed on the pounds.

Well. I am finally into that dress and it’s loose! ๐Ÿ˜€ So I’m wearing it. Out of fashion or not. My husband doesn’t seem to care if it’s fashionable or not. He likes me in it, so I’m wearing it.

It’s! Loose! OMG! I never thought this day would come. We are going to have a blast.

So, I needed some shoes to go with my outfit. I don’t wear fancy shoes and I haven’t bought a pair of heels for over a decade. I knew I had to find some, so I went to the local discount shoe store.

I found some sandals for not too much. No heels that didn’t scream old lady chunky town. So, when in Florida, why not sandals. Plus, I don’t want to tower over my husband in some uncomfortable skyscrapers.

I found a pair of cute boots, but they didn’t quite fit. BUT! My calf fit and my foot fit. My ankle resisted. BUT! I can buy lady footwear again. I fit into a pair of 12’s. I haven’t worn Ladies 12’s in a looong minute.

I found some necklace elements at the local craft store for cheap (1/2 price) and sewed them on my new sandals. Not quite finished, but nearly there. What do you think?

shoewelry.jpg

My husband called it shoewelry. LOL Love it. Total cost=$30

I will post pics of my outfit soon! Looking forward to a great night out. I love sandals (makes me feel barefoot) and I love dancing! Do they look cheap or store-bought? Do they look like a bad school project or expensive shoewelry? lol

Merry Xmas!

Preppers

People. Wealthy people spend millions of dollars to convert underground missile silos into disaster bunkers.

If you spend your money on protection instead of giving back to the world, you’re definitely going to need that bunker. But what are you living for? What will be left?

If you only have hope in this world, you will try to protect this world and your things at any cost. Thank God I have hope in the next. I am prepped for heaven.

Our job is to help prepare others. At the very least, love them.

Matthew 6:19-21 NRSV

Concerning Treasures

19ย โ€œDo not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; 20ย but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21ย For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Enough!

I wish the MEDIA would stop saying things like “Trump just ruined another Obama legacy.”

NO! He didn’t. He’s ruining our legacy! The American people’s legacy! If he’s ruining anything, it is our collective history, achievement and future. If Obama did anything, he did it for the American people.

It’s not a matter of politics, partisanship or petty presidential problems. This is OUR country. And we are the only ones to save it.

Thank you, Obama, for whatever you did. For protecting things that needed protecting. But it is up to us, our House, our Senate, our nation to do the things we need to do to make the planet a better place. Climate, energy, conservation, kindness, patience, reason, rationale. And that’s not happening.

I believe the Senate will slowly be replaced with Democrats over the next 4-year period because of the damage Trump is doing to the Republican party. But it won’t be soon enough to stop these insane rollbacks, setbacks and f-ups.

This isn’t a Trump/Obama thing. This is a real people in the USA thing. Anything that’s happening is our collective responsibility.

We still hold the German people of the 1940s somewhat responsible for what happened in their country because, “What did they do to stop it?”

What have we done to stop this guy??

We are distracted by the cock while the fox is in the hen house!

The media IMO, overall, is doing a poor job at reporting the facts on both sides. Less opinion, please. It doesn’t help.