Here’s another 15-minute free write featuring the stuff in my head.
First, tomorrow is my 58th birthday. Wow, do I feel fortunate to have made it this far.
I’m not personally a fan of Facebook fundraisers (that said, if it’s your thing, go for it and if it’s a cause I support, I’ll probably donate!).
However, as I mentioned last week, I also feel compelled to solicit donations for my birthday. Maybe a bit hypocritical, but what can you do?
I’m a member of “100 Women Who Care Tallahassee.” Four times a year, we each give $100 which gets pooled to go to a worthy charity. There’s a process by which three charities get nominated, then the charities’ representatives make a presentation about why they should be chosen. This most recent round (my first), the “winning” charity was the International Rescue Committee of Tallahassee. They got around $27,500.
When we went to the IRC’s offices to present the check, we learned about the ever-growing needs of the refugees who are living here in Tallahassee.
I keep thinking of how I felt when I first moved here as a 17-year-old college freshman. Even though I knew the language, I had a car, I had a dormitory with a meal plan and my parents were supportive and just a few hours away, it was all a bit disorienting.
Take all that away — knowing the language, having a car/driver’s license, housing, food and a supportive network and that’s where these refugee families land. (I don’t want to put words in their mouths. I realize I’m making a lot of assumptions. I just know the hurdles must feel daunting sometimes. This is not a fantastic town for public transportation, and the job market is difficult for people with literacy/language issues and work credential complications.
Of those refugees, at least four newborns will be arriving in the next two months.
There’s one thing I can do for them, and that is ask people to pitch in.
I realize not everyone wants to give — that’s cool.
I realize not everyone CAN give. I’ve been in that position often. I’d still ask you, if you’re in that situation, to become aware of what the IRC is doing in Tallahassee. The name “International Rescue Committee” doesn’t convey the hands-on work being done here locally — furnishing homes, teaching languages, helping people find jobs and so much more.
If you can give, there’s an Amazon wish list to help with these new babies. It contains diapers, wipes and clothes. Here’s the link.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
I have a few minutes left in my 15, so here’s what else is on my mind.
Thanksgiving was so much fun, and so lovely this year. The nieces who I swear just yesterday were lining up their Barbies and having sleepovers have their own babies (and babies-on-the-way) this year. It’s hard not to get ridiculously sentimental about this. My favorite moment was when my great niece and great nephew crawled up on my nap and we “read” the Amazon wish book together. I know it’s not always easy for a toddler to trust someone they don’t see all the time, so it meant a lot to me that they shared that time with me.
Keeping with the holiday theme, when on earth am I going to decorate? We’re going out of town next weekend, which will be a wonderful trip (I’m going to see Michelle Obama speak. Wayne is along for the ride but not going to the speech), but that eats into the time for decorating. I’d love to get my lights up before we leave town as I’m sure it’ll feel like a downhill ski slope hurtling toward December 25 once we get home.
I finally saw “Black Panther” last night. I wanted to see it before seeing “Wakanda Forever.” I really should not have waited so long. What a powerful movie, and bittersweet seeing it now that I know of Chadwick Boseman’s death.
I ordered memorial music contributions and poinsettias for my church’s Christmas celebrations today. That was definitely a reminder of those who are no longer with us. I love being able to honor them in this way. I did music for Ann, Chuck and Pat (Wayne’s siblings — music always seems like the right choice where Pat is concerned) and poinsettias for our four parents.
Here’s to a lovely holiday season.
Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many. My pronouns are she/her/hers.