Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Reclaiming the Holiday Spirit: It's About the Giving!

Enough with the maudlin morass I sank into Sunday. I've reached out and grasped a slender reed of grass on the edge of the swamp. On Sunday I started making something for the giftee in the family whose name I drew from the bowl on Thanksgiving Day and today Ed took me shopping for the other parts of what I had planned for them. Getting my mind focused on creating a really special package for this really special person took it off my own woes and the series of whams I blogged about Sunday night for my Monday post.

While we were out and about this afternoon I saw a homeless man with a a cardboard sign reading, "Any little bit hleps." I was reminded of the ten days we were homeless on the streets of the Silicon Valley in the Summer of 2001 with our two cats, remembering how grateful we were for little offerings of help--a small carton of catfood, a 5 dollar bill, a bus pass, even conversation. However difficult our ten days were that summer, it must be expoentially more so for this man in the freezing cold weather we've been having this month. And to be homeless the week of Christmas!!! I was suddenly awash with gratitude for what we are currently blessed with.

I was also moved to want to do something for this man but he was across several lanes of heavy traffic and to get to him would have entailed driving not just around the block but around an entire shopping complex or getting on the freeway and driving to the next exit into town and then driving back through the stop-and-go town traffic. So I sent up prayers for his wellbeing and while I was at it, all those in like position this winter; this holy day season associated in all our minds with the warmth and safety of home and the comfort of fellowship with family and friends.

When we got back home and I got logged onto Ed's laptop and started searching for something to post about for which I wouldn't need any of the materials still trapped on my laptop's hard drive, I shortly stumbled onto this post: The Dewey Tree

It is a challenge to give away books to any of a variety of chaities such as libraries, literacy programs, soldeirs serving overseas, schools etc. Here let me let OnlinePublisist explain:

As I write this, I think of a favorite blogger who passed away this time last
year. Her spirit lives on in the Dewey Read-a-Thon, Weekly Geeks, and The Bookworms Carnival. She loved reading. She loved books. She supported Banned Books Week and believed everyone had the right to reading m
aterial. In her honor, I'm calling this donation project The Dewey Tree. It's a little bit The Giving Tree, a little bit Dewey, a little bit charity. :-D

Here's what you do:

*Gather up the books you can live without. It can be 4 books, 10 books, or 20 books! *Find a worthy group you would like to donate your overflow books to. It can be your local library, a literacy campaign (mine will go to the literacy center I volunteer for), or overseas. There's a great list of book donation sites here on the ALA. Find a charity
that speaks to you!
*Then take a picture of your donation and email it to me (onlinepublicist [AT] gmail [DOT] com). It can be a pic of the mailing label on your package, one of your kids giving a box of books to a
librarian, or you handing books over to your literacy center. Be creative and have fun!

I will accept pics (and will post favorites) until January 4, 2010. At that time, I will enter the names of all who sent donation pics into and choose three. ***AMENDED: PLEASE GO HERE TO ENTER FOR THE GIVEAWAY*** Those three winners will receive custom made totes from me! I will email you pics of my available fabric and have you build one you like. The pic above is of two I made recently.

You'll have to go to the post at OnlinePublisist to see the picture of the cool cloth bags she has made. They can be book bags! Yay. Or green consciouness shopping bags. Or sewing, crochet, knitting or scrapbooking totes. But the point isn't really about getting a bag is it? This is an exercise in giving. And in honoring our Dewey!

Please, if you are moved to, pass the word along about this giving project. Email and Twitter. Use the graphic heading this post on your own blog or facebook but be sure and link it to the post at OnlinePublisist.

The act of giving in the spirit of generosity is a powerful mood booster.

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