I love this concept.
My mom and I have this thing about finding change in the street (like George Kastanza can spot dimes). Some days I collect a small handful. No amount is too small to pass up (although I ignore the pennies on tails... I always wonder if it still counts as bad luck if you see it put don't pick it up). We actually get excited about finding the change, "Oooohh, look what I found here!" And then we give each other the change in order to spread the wealth.
I've known people who actually give away their change because they don't want to be bothered carrying it. I had a boss who would always give me the pennies in his pocket as he thought them to be useless.
Yet all this small change can add up to a huge amount.
I think it's a great thing to remember this time of year. If you have ten minutes, c'mon, you can find it, take the jar of pennies you've been collecting, roll them up, deposit them in your account and write a check for a few dollars to your favorite charity. Or walk to the nearest homeless shelter and bring in the money with a can of soup and that old coat you've been meaning to get rid of. Even if it's five bux you're donating, that's five more dollars that someone didn't have before. You'll feel good once you do it; it's very cathartic.
I recently joined a foundation called Step Up For Women (www.suwn.org). Its purpose is to provide underprivileged girls and women with the proper tools they need to create a better future for themselves. There are wonderful mentor programs, health education and advocacy and much more. I was particularly interested in the healthcare aspect. Girls and women are taught the importance of and given the tools for maintaining good healthy eating habits, exercise, disease prevention, funding for research initiatives and "wellness bags" for women undergoing cancer treatment.
No, I'm not going to hit you up for any money. I already did that this year. I'm just putting out the reminder that a little goes a very long way. And if you don't have money to give, your time is just as important.
My treatments are going very well. I'm experiencing zero side effects thus far. I've got my routine down and take advantage of having to head downtown every day (Trader Joe's being a huge plus). The thing though that really makes this so easy, is the way I am treated from the moment I walk in to the waiting area. The therapists have a very hard job to do. Although it may appear rote, there is no room for error. But every single person there says hello, asks how I'm doing, smiles, and treats me with respect. I remember thinking I was going to miss out on the terrific (cushy) care I might've received at MSK. I thought I'd be really miserable going to BI but how can I not pass up the chance to have insurance cover everything? Well, I'm glad I stuck with my decision. I never leave that place feeling down. I actually leave feeling somewhat empowered, optimistic and protected. Again, thanks to the kind treatment I receive.
As the year comes to a close, I just wanted to thank everyone again for your outreach and support. Believe me when I say, just knowing you read this blog goes a very long way. (You don't know how much until you learn of those who will/don't not read it). Your cards, emails, phone calls, speak volumes. Taking five minutes out of your busy day to do this, is worth just as much if not more than a sea full of pennies to me.
To quote a Christmas card I received yesterday, "Give generously, receive abundantly."
Wishing you all a year full of health, peace and love.
Best in 2008,