Today after work, husband and I went to Target with a long wish list from a local womens shelter.
We got a minimum of one (and as many as 6) of each and every thing on the list. They’ll be able to make multiple gift bags for multiple women from our $100 shopping.
Here is the list we were given as a wish list:
Gift or phone cards ($5 or $10)
Night eye masks and ear plugs to make shelter living easier
Fun pieces of jewelry
Toiletry items (deodorant, disposable razor, hair products (African American hair products always requested) tissues, chapstick)
Puzzle books with a pen or pencil(crossword puzzles, Sudoku)
Daily planners or pocket calendars, inspirational books or quotes
Hot tea, cider, or hot chocolate packets
Microwaveable popcorn, granola bars, or small bags of snacks
So many of these items are $1 at places like Target. It made it exceptionally easy.
Those of us who are lucky enough to have gifts to give and receive should all consider giving the equivalent of one extra gift (in cash or goods) to someone in need. Youth shelters need MASSIVE help right now. So do food banks. Don’t forget pet food for the animal shelters too. And if you have no money, give an hour of your time to help sort others’ donations. I promise you will be glad you did.
The ultimate gift to me would be for my whole family to spend a few hours together, helping to make someone else’s day a bit better. I think I’ll suggest it! Who’s joining me?
Grief is an odd process.
The concept of “stages of grief” was introduced by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.
What is interesting is the anger. It’s not just the obvious anger at the loss, the world, etc.
I’ve been experiencing a totally different anger. It comes out when well-meaning friends say things like, “I totally know how you feel because my <parent/friend/relation/favorite barista/whatever> had chemo for <insert type of cancer here that’s got a near-100% cure rate>.” I find myself shutting down, because my first inclination is to scream in their faces, “NO, YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!”
Pancreatic Cancer is such a different animal from most other cancers. Unlike most cancers, there’s really not much hope of beating it. There is about a 99% chance that it will kill my dad. It’s just a matter of how long we have left with him. If I try to talk about how it feels to be on limited time, people say, “think positive, don’t say that!” It feels like they’re encouraging me to be in denial for THEIR comfort. It feels like most people don’t want to understand. It’s too scary to think of our mortality.
I know people mean well. I know they don’t really know what to say. Sometimes, the best thing to say is “how are you doing?” But only if you mean it, and are willing to hear the answer. Just STFU and just listen. No need to say you’re sorry, or try to comfort. Just asking is enough.
EDIT: This has been postponed until next week due to the ice on the roads. Please come next Sunday.
Holiday potluck and benefit for Seattle kids tomorrow!
3 pm Sunday 12/14 at Big Al’s Brewing in White Center Event will be upstairs, so all ages are welcome.
Bring a dessert or appetizer, homemade or store-bought, to share. Or just bring a gift and come enjoy the company of other Seattleites. We will be collecting for three great causes:
1. Foster Kids: As many know, the State of Washington has had its budget slashed this year, and as a result cannot provide Christmas for children in foster care or in low-income homes as they have in previous years. They are depending on the community to come through with some help. We are hoping to raise gifts for the kids(all ages up to 18), and gift cards (target, grocery, etc) for the parents and foster parents. These are local families who are part of our community and need a helping hand.
2. West Seattle and White Center Food Banks — Bring donations of food.
3. Seattle Education Access – supplies for homeless kids who are going to college. Mission statement: “Seattle Education Access provides higher education advocacy and opportunity to people struggling to overcome poverty and adversity.”
Listed below are some of the commonly requested items that our young people want and need. All gifts should be $30 or less.
– Gift cards
– Large-sized hooded sweatshirts (dark colors preferred)
– Sleeping bags
– Disposable hand warmers
– Travel-sized sewing kits
– Battery-operated travel alarm clocks and flashlights
– Bus tokens
– Pre-paid phone cards
– Gloves, hats and scarves
– New underwear
– White tube socks
– Dry dog food
– Travel-sized toiletries
– African American hair products
– Playing cards and Silly Putty
– Journals, notebooks, or art supplies
If you’re not in Seattle or cannot attend but would like to help, please click the paypal button below, and put “benefit” in the donation description. I will ensure the money is donated to the organizations above. If you’d like to specify one of the three, please do that as well.