The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Giving Back

Where to begin? So many things in my life to be thankful for. Aside from the obvious: health, roof over my head, food to eat, Bush as president, etc. This year, I am thankful for everything that has led up to today. I am in a good place with good people...who could ask for more than that? This year, unlike the past few, should turn out to be a great Thanksgiving. I decided that since I have been so blessed this year, I wanted to spend my day giving back! I cooked for a women's shelter and brought the food over last night. (Don't pat me on the back just yet. Not real hard to make a green bean casserole. Plus, I was in charge of the gravy - which I opened two jars from giant and poured them into a plastic container. I did add some Tony Chacherie's to make it my own recipe:-)

So, today, I blocked out my time to work with an organization in DC delivering Thanksgiving meals to the elderly. Emmaus works specifically with helping elder adults stay in their homes so they do not have to move into nursing homes. Having done my thesis on this and having gone through this with my grandmother, I know how much it means to an elder adult to remain in their home. It's that sense of familiarity and independence. Home is that place where you feel safe and comfortable...we all need that. If delivering meals and/or doing some grocery shopping is all it takes to allow this person the peace of mind of living in their own home, then it's the least I can do to help. They said to show up at noon. I showed up with NUMEROUS other volunteers, which I must say, warms the heart. Apparently, things went much smoother than they had anticipated and since the cooks finished up early, they went ahead and started to deliver the food around 10 am. Well, now they have plenty of volunteer drivers on hand, but not many deliveries to make. I was paired up with "Mr. Pat" and we were given our list. We had three apartments to deliver to in the same building, not to hard. We grabbed our dinners, and headed out. First apartment, no one there. Mr. Pat takes out his cell phone as I am trying to smell the door to see if there is an odor like on Law and Order. We call home base and they say just bring that dinner back and don't worry. Okay...next apartment, "no one by that name lives here". Hmmm, you sure? Last apartment - Mr. Remmie. Nice older man. He said "come in, have a seat." Mr. Pat said "we can't, we have more food to deliver, can you just sign saying you received your food?" Okay, bye! Back at home base, they say "okay, we are all done...thanks for your help."

WHAT? I got here 30 minutes ago. THIS is what I have been looking forward to all week? This is no sacrifice on my part. I got no warm fuzzy feeling for doing this. I didn't even make anyone's day. What the heck kind of volunteering is this? I feel cheated that they delivered all the food before I got here. I just wanted to FEEL like I "gave back" something. And yes, of course I realize the absurdity of all of the words I just typed. At least I tried. So, I guess I will head to the extended family's (Carlo is back from Pakistan) for an evening of wine and food and wine and I'm sure a few comments about how Bush did not deserve to win - fun times! I wonder what Italian's have for Thanksgiving anyway.

To anyone who is reading this...I am thankful for you!!!