Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Pay It Forward Project

Recently, I began in a small quiet way to give back. With all that has happened to me within the past year, I still manage to feel gratitude above all else. Things could be so much worse but really they are not. I think what I've gone through this year has done something to my brain but in a positive manner in that I am a bit more connected to what others go through and in some cases, this would be others that have a whole lot less than I do.

I feel that a lot of us are just getting by for the most part and I've become a lot more aware of that in the past year than ever before.  Sometimes it takes a major lifestyle change to make you see what is truly important and to figure out just what you truly need to be happy. For me, it was a lot less stuff. Right now, I have everything I need. Got my art stuff and my computer plus a roof over my head, a good car, a great job and a great diverse group of friends. I have the finances now that I need for the goals I have for my future. But having said all that, I am not wealthy in the least nor do I have stocks, 401K or anything else that denotes great wealth in this culture of consumption.

I decided to do something a bit different every time I get paid. Rather than blow money on things that don't matter such as buying lunch every day at work, I am brown-bagging it and I will keep more money in my pocket. But aside from that, I have made it a personal mission if you will to kick a spare $10 to someone that might need it very badly.

I am selective about where it ends up. The people that benefit from my small donation are the ones who are generally ignored by society in general. At this time of year especially, there are more child and family-centered charities than you can shake a stick at. Don't get me wrong, those are great. But what about the people who don't have kids who need a leg up? Or the guy living on the streets with only his dog for company? What about them? Or the single adult of any age who has no one? I'm all in.

So starting with my last check, I found an individual who really needed help and anonymously threw this person a spare $10. Today, I found someone else who also was in pretty dire straits and just donated another $10 to them. Yes, I know $10 is not a lot but to someone who is desperate, it can mean the world. It could mean groceries for the week, cat food for the week, another gallon of gas in their car or a bus pass to get to work. But most of all, it can mean hope to this person, family or whomever.

From here on out, whether it is Christmas or not, I plan to find someone who can use the spare money and make a donation. And when my finances change, I plan to give a bit more.