My neighbor and friend was nominated for Southwest Florida's Mom of the Year. It is an honor that she greatly deserves. There are many great moms in the running, that all equally deserve the title, but, of course, knowing Megan, I am rooting for her. But someone figured out a way to cheat the system, and has been racking up an absurd amount of votes. So many votes, that it got people investigating. And sure enough, if you went in and cleared your cookie history, you could vote non-stop. Not only does it break my heart that its not possible for my friend or the other moms to have a fighting chance to get this award now, as the voting ends today, but once again the human race fails me. Does the cheating mom (or whoever cheated for her) not understand that by doing this that it takes away the honor of the award?
I am constantly in awe of how selfish our world is. As I stood in the check out line at the grocery store the other day, I listened to one after the next turn down the offer to donate one dollar to March of Dimes. ONE dollar. A few stated that they donated already, but most just said no thank you, grabbed their bag of groceries and went along with their day. We are not the richest of families. We are your typical, hard working family that makes ends meet somehow. But no matter how tight we are on money, I can always find a dollar. Some of the causes are especially close to my heart because they are foundations that have helped us. But whether it be the Special Olympics or the Food Bank, I can always find a dollar. It really effected me that people said no. And it wasn't the dollar that bothered me, but just the fact that they don't care.
Its a harsh reality, but most people simply don't care. They don't care if my daughter ever gets a job or finishes high school. They don't care if people go hungry on thanksgiving. They don't care if there isn't enough funding to complete research to better and save lives. Until it personally effects them. Because before it effects their lives... their coffee, or iPhone, or fill-in-the-blank is more important.
I have been guilty of being that person before. I didn't understand the value of one dollar given a million times can make. And I wish I could say that it wasn't Fiona who made me more aware of the bigger picture. She opened my eyes to this other world where generosity makes or breaks your future. Special needs, illnesses, cancer, starvation, orphans... the list of people that need help is long and overwhelming. So overwhelming I think people get lost and think, what would their small donation do?. But you see, if all those 10 people that turned down giving one dollar, had given, that's ten dollars. Ten more people, that's twenty. And before you know it, the cause has thousands of funding.
We hit our goal for Project 3.21, which was amazing. That 1,000+ dollars will greatly help NDSS. ( READ about the recent Annual Spring Luncheon, and key-note speaker Sharon Stone, who raised over $100,000 for the foundation!) But I was a little surprised when I got the statistics back from the fundraiser. 880 people viewed the Project 3.21 fundraiser, $1,115.25 was raised. We had asked for small $5 donations, but the people who gave, gave generously, ranging from $5 to $230... from a grand number of 26 people. 880 people viewed the fundraiser, and 26 people gave. My hope for the fundraiser was to have hundreds give a little, not a little give hundreds. It was an eye-opener.
Thank you to everyone who felt lead to give. And thank you to everyone that helps spread the word of different fundraisers I host occasionally. My intention is not to guilt anyone into giving- this is not me judging, just observing. When it comes to fundraisers such as the ones at the grocery store or the ones I do here, its not about the money. Its about caring for something bigger then yourself. Stepping back and seeing that collectively, we have the ability to make major differences in peoples lives. And remember, that everything is appreciated. If you can't do a dollar, they would be thrilled with 50 cents. And my goodness, never cheat on award- Megan, the fact that people admired you enough to nominate you, makes you Mother of the Year in our books.
To my children- I pray that if you learn only one thing from your father and I that it be this. I pray that you care more for others then yourself, because God is doing that part for you.
I recently posted about +15. If you can't give 15, please at least spread the word. Research for better cognitive development for people with Down syndrome has an unbelievable impact on those living with DS. A.K.A, my daughter.