Sunday, January 24, 2010

Help Needed

For all the silliness and light-hearted chatter I like to put on here about day-to-day things, sometimes, I do knuckle down and talk about some serious things. Today is one of those days.

It's no secret what has been happening in international news...Haiti has been decimated. Hundreds of thousands have died and so many have been trapped beneath the rubble. There are some stories of a blessed few being pulled-alive-from the rubble, but for the one story with a happy ending-there are thousands more without.

Now, what does a stay-at-home-mom living in beautiful Suburbia, PA possibly have to say about this international crisis? Well, since you asked...

I had to stop watching the coverage after day # 2 because I am an obsessive personality. I take things with me. I dwell on them and think constantly about them and then dream about them. You may call it burying my head in the sand, but I call it retaining my sanity. I have 4 little ones right here in front of me who need me to be pulled together--not a ball of emotion about something that's happened thousands of miles away where I can do nothing to help...or can I?

I have seen an amazing outpouring of love and community within our country for those in Haiti. Just the other night several television stations aired a celebrity-filled benefit for Haiti. Blogs everywhere are exploding with stories about local people who need help or are affected in some way. There is a heart-warming story HERE about a family who cannot find one of the beautiful children they are trying to adopt from Haiti. (This is a great story-please click the link and take a read!) The military is deploying our soldiers to help with the recovery mission.

It really shows the amazing spirit of giving we possess in this country, doesn't it? For all the bad, there is so much more good that we try to do. comes my reason for this rant...I would like to challenge everyone who is so beautifully and generously giving to those in other countries to look around in your own communities as well and see who could benefit from your generosity.

I know TOO MANY families right here in my neighborhood who work so hard every day, pay their taxes, and still can't afford health coverage, to pay their mortgage or groceries to feed their families.

My neighbors just lost the home they lived in for 25 years. They raised 2 kids there. Because the husband lost his job, the bank forced them into a short sale before foreclosure proceedings were enacted. There was no help from the MHA (Making housing Affordable) Act or any other government program that was supposed to help people who lost jobs or fell victim to predatory banks (which both apply in their case) and couldn't afford their current mortgage payment.

I know of families who had to go to the food pantry to feed their children or do without necessary medical treatment because they couldn't afford the ridiculous fees. These are families who work hard-sometimes at more than one job, and still can't make ends meet.

My point in all this...and yes, I do have to remember those locally who need our help while we are showing this terrific outreach to other nations. I fear that may make me sound unAmerican to some, but I think I am actually being ProAmerican by trying to help our country so we are ALL in a better position to help others.

If you don't personally know of a family who could use generosity (and many times it isn't apparent), maybe there is a church nearby or a local charity who does. You may be surprised by who needs help, because by all outward appearances they seem like they've got it all together...

Maybe even just babysitting for a harried mom so she can run some errands or bringing over a meal so she has one less meal to worry about, both financially and time-wise. I know I have been the recipient of these things and it was an immense relief. I could go on and on...

My sister told me about an amazing outreach she just learned about (and put into practice) to "pay it forward." If you come across any extra money (I know, I know...who has that, right?) buy some gift cards and have them ready for times when you encounter someone who needs it. We just received one in the mail! $25 to Wal Mart is as good as $1,000,000 right now! I can't say how incredibly blessed we feel!

I don't believe in "karma" per se as I believe that God is in control, but I do believe that we are blessed for the things we do. The Bible teaches in Deuteronomy 24 about taking care of the poor.

James 1:27 says, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

I love the spirit of giving...I hope it continues...both locally and abroad.

1 comment:

  1. Mandy,
    All I can say is wow. Well written. My heart aches for the families that are struggling and don't want anyone to know. Their houses may not be in a heap, crumbled by natural disaster, but they are being crushed under the enormous mortgage payments that are sucking the life's blood out of the family. May God have mercy on those, in this country and elsewhere, whose need is great! Bless you for putting into words what so many may be experiencing, but cannot express.
    I love you!


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