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December 15, 2008

My Wake Up Call

Handcircle_9 I have to confess I’ve always had hard time giving money to charities. Or, more accurately, deciding who in the world to give to. This time of year we are all barraged with phone calls, letters, and pleas for help. Most, from worthy causes and all of them tug at my heart. If funds were unlimited I’d take out my checkbook and start writing. Since they are not, for a lot of years I’ve taken the approach of not deciding and feeling guilty about it. I would struggle with the fact that any amount we could give wouldn’t be enough. Not enough to change a life, not enough to cure a disease, not enough to really make a difference. I knew deep down that my thinking was flawed, but it took an event that directly impacted me to snap me out of it.

This year, we decided that as a family we would try to help people locally. My husband picked up a tag off his tree at work to buy presents for a 7 year old little girl. Shopping for that was great fun, all the while explaining to the kids why we were buying gifts for someone we didn’t even know. Explaining, as they moaned “But we want that!” that this time of year is not just about getting, but giving. I felt good about this plan, and didn’t plan to delve into the realm of donating money to another charity.

My wakeup call was earlier this month when I received a notification via Facebook that one of my friends in Georgia had lost her battle with breast cancer. She was diagnosed shortly after I met her with Stage 4 cancer and she fought a hard battle. It never occurred to me back then that she would eventually lose her life.  She was only a few years older than me. People in their mid- thirties shouldn’t die. Yet they do, and this time it was close to home. I wrestled with the emotions that surfaced and finally came to the conclusion that I simply must give to the Susan G Komen organization. It’s not an earth shattering amount, but I am hoping added to all the other donations from others it will make a difference. As I remember my friend, my hope is that another young woman will win her fight.

An original Deep South Moms post.

Rebecca also blogs at Life With Boys.

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