You say the word “wedding” and I have some expectations: The flowing white dress. The flowers. The church. Yes, I’ve been to probably four or five weddings and they were pretty much the same. The doors open, the crying father walks his daughter down the aisle, while the groom is white as a sheet. “Dearly beloved…”
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d share with you a different kind of wedding happening today. I saw it on the news last night and I just had to do a post. So all I’ll say is that the couple in question exudes love, and isn’t that what February 14th about?
Today is “Giving Tuesday.” In our culture of me, me, me, isn’t that refreshing? I bought a wheelchair, making a donation to Free Wheelchair Mission. I think it was $80. Not much money. And providing, someone with “new wheels” changes that person’s life, yes, but it changes their family’s life as well. It’s like a trickle down.
What’s neat about charity is any amount makes a difference. You can donate a million dollars to a hospital or play Free Rice, where for every answer you get right on games, ten grains of rice is donated to The World Food Programme. Ten grains of rice doesn’t seem like much but depending on how much you play, people in developing countries will get bowls of food!
See what I mean about any amount making a difference?
So, did I inspire you to participate in Giving Tuesday? I hope so!
As you know, I volunteer for Free Wheelchair Mission, a Christian charity based in Orange County. They provide wheelchairs at no cost to the recipient to the disabled in developing countries. I “speak” for them. Actually, Dad does the speaking—I write what I want him to say. Together we have been to churches, Rotary Club meetings, and city counsel meetings.
Sometimes I feel guilty. Charity isn’t supposed to be about you. Free Wheelchair Mission has given me confidence, friends, brought Dad and I closer, and has given me a new perspective on things.
I’m not going to tell you exactly how I came to volunteer for Free Wheelchair Mission because (1) it’s a very long story and (2) I think my doing so would take away from the work this wonderful organization does.
So I’ll just say this: I believe I was literally called by God.
I guess He knew what He was doing when He interrupted my sleep in 2013.
I thought I had two (!!) more months before I had to think about Christmas. But thanks to the people at WordPress with today’s prompt, I am forced to think about the dreaded holiday today, September 7th.
Isn’t it sad to dread such a nice holiday? I was like everyone, racking my brain, trying to think of the perfect gift for everyone. Instead of enjoying the season, it was more a burden than “the most wonderful time of the year.” But last year our family did something I would recommend for any family with older children who are sick of the Christmas rush and materialism.
We exchanged gifts on Christmas Eve night, which was a welcome relief from the mayhem of Christmas morning. But we all had a deal: The gifts to each other couldn’t be material gifts; rather, donations to charities of causes the recipient was passionate about.
We didn’t get things, but I would say it was the best Christmas I can remember.
People say we need to put Jesus back in Christmas, and I think that’s what the Tharp family did on December 24, 2015.
I have always been fascinated by how people in other countries live. What do they eat? How do they dress? What are their homes like?
How does someone like me—someone who is disabled—live in, say, Africa? I Googled it. What I found could bring me to tears. The disabled in developing countries literally have to crawl on the ground. Those are the “lucky” ones. Others face a life in bed.
You could say knowing that ignited a passion.
With all of my searches of how to help, one charity kept popping up: Free Wheelchair Mission.
They provide low-cost wheelchairs to people in developing countries at no cost to them. Wheelchair recipients have been able to go to school, open businesses, and just provide for their families.
It’s unfathomable, but something I don’t think twice about is so out of reach to 100 million people around the globe.
Haven’t shopped for Mother’s Day yet? Consider making a donation in Mom’s name.
I am going to do all I can do to help. I hope you click on this link to learn more.