Stacy's Place on Earth
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Saturday, July 07, 2007:
Is it being lucky, or being blessed?
Today is an unusual day, one we won't see again. The number "7" has always been associated with luck, must like a 4-leaf clover or a rabbit's foot (which is really too gruesome to contemplate). So for me, thoughts turned to what it means to be lucky, and at first I was going to post about hard work vs. the art of being lucky, but then I was blog-hopping and came across a post that struck a bit of a nerve. Though the post had nothing to do with being lucky, there was a comment made that got me thinking.
In yesterday's post over at the Pink Ladies' blog, author Patricia Sargeant is talking about her five favorite books, and why they are such favorites of hers. She mentions a favorite author of mine, the incomparable Suz Brockmann, and Suz's book "Letters to Kelly" and how it inspired Patricia to start donating to Amnesty International, an organization that works to "protect human rights worldwide". (Most recently UK journalist Alan Johnson, who had been held in captivity for 114 days, was given an award by Amnesty International UK).
Many of us live an existence where we are free to do so many things, such as get an education, work for a living, socialize, go to concerts, zip through a drive-through, see our family members, walk on our own two feet, eat until our bellies are full. Some may say that we are lucky, but I believe we are blessed.
Being blessed does not mean we don't have moments of suffering, or heartache and sadness. Sometimes those that suffer the worst are the ones that recognize their blessings more easily than those who live a relatively easy life. Those individuals who go through tragedy understand that what they do have in their lives is precious, worth fighting for. And a lot of times those are the people that give back.
Over the years, I've donated to numerous charities involving children. I lost an aunt to Multiple Sclerosis and have collected money and walked for MS. I've sent care packages to the troops. All safe, easy tasks that haven't really taken up a lot of my time or money. Then there are those who donate not only money, but their time, their passion to a cause that means a lot to them. It becomes their calling, their purpose. These are the people that give hope, help find answers and cures. Not just the doctors and nurses and caregivers, but the nameless volunteers who live and breathe in the cause(s) they believe in.
In addition to AI, Suz is also a strong advocate for the troops and for gay rights. Author Brenda Novak holds an annual auction in her fight against Juvenile Diabetes. Blogger Mailyn is a passionate supporter against cruelty to animals. These are just a few shining examples of people who count their blessings and do their part to educate and inform others about the injustices in the world and violence against the innocent, or shed light on extraordinary, everyday heroes. They do it for no other reason than that they truly believe and wish to make a difference.
I could go on and on because if you're a reader of my blog, you know I love to "read" myself talk, but this post isn't about me, so I will now turn it over to you and your thoughts:
What cause, charity, or organization do you believe in?
Why are you passionate about it/them?
What are the blessings in your life?

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  1. Hi Stacy girl. Today is my niece's 27 birthday so 7/7 is always special to me.

    I donate when I can to the free store food bank in town, they help those unable to feed themselves or their families. I started out doing it when they had the duck race and you could win money. Then I started to donate during the year.

    I am like you with the troops and ms. My friend Ann walks and I sponser her.

    I need to actually start doing more.

    Thanks for getting me thinking.

  2. OMG I am so touched you included me in your post I actually cried. ^__^

    Oh and I'll be posting another animal story...with a happy ending. ^__^

  3. I donate to the American Stroke Association because my dad passed away from a series of strokes that were untreatable.

    I also walk every year on my birthday in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life (it just seems to fall on my birthday every year).

    I donate to the battered women's shelter in my area - my clothes, the kids clothes, and their books, toys, puzzles and movies, etc.

    And I've taken to feeding the homeless once a month with my kids. It started out as a way to show my kids that there are people less fortunate than them, and that they should be grateful for everything that they have, but now (at least for me) it's a way to give back to the community and to show how grateful I am for all that I have.

  4. What a fabulous post, Stacy!

    As you can imagine, I'm pretty involved with the Komen Foundation for breast cancer research. Once I'm up and around again I want to get even more involved in Relay for Life. Cancer is cancer and it's all bad.

    As a family we sponsor a beautiful little girl in Ethiopia. My kids give part of their allowance for the monthly support and they pick up little trinkets - coloring books, puzzles, bracelets, etc. - to send to her.

    My problem - and I know I'm not alone in this - is there are so many, many, many worthy charities and I want to help them all. I want to go to the Children's Hospital and make them all better and I want to adopt every homeless child and make their lives better.

    As for my blessings - oh my goodness. I can't even begin to name them all. I'll just list the biggies. A husband who loves me as much as any romance hero loves the heroine. Two kids who may get on my very last nerve with alarming frequency but are good, healthy, happy and caring kids. A comfy bed, a roof over my head, clean, running water, much more food than I need (as evidenced by the size of my butt), and an unwavering faith in a God who has seen me through more stuff with inexplicable joy.

    Really great post, Stacy. Thanks for making me think. And like Judy said. I need to start doing more!

  5. Not that I am surprised, but you guys all brought tears to my eyes for all the wonderful things you do. I am blessed to know such special people, even if I've never met a lot of you face-to-face.

    Judy, I already know what a generous heart you have. It's always the people who do things like this that keep wanting to do more.

    Mailyn, I've been inspired by your passion in the fight against cruelty to animals. I adore animals, and any story involving them being mistreated makes me cry. I'll be sure to check out your post and reading the happy ending :) We need more of those.

    Lori, you've got me thinking about the ways I should be grateful within my own community, and giving back to the place where I live. That's equally important.

    Jen, I read your blog at least once a week and keep up to date on your progress, even if I don't always comment, and I am amazed by your constant courage. I think we all feel like there's so much more we wish we could do. Your beautiful words have made me feel so fortunate for all I have in my own life.

    Thank you all for opening up your hearts and sharing your experiences. It means a lot.

  6. Oh Lord :) I used to be a member of Amnesty International, years ago. I let it slip when I was writing up my PhD and my brain exploded.

    I am involved with Environmental charities. Cancer (lost my granny), heart (DH's family have history of heart problems and my cousin died needing a heart transplant 15 years ago, MS (s-i-l died three years ago). I don't give much money (being poor :), but I give support and publicity and help where I can. Then there's Africa.

    Not enough hours in the day, or money, to do all the good we need to do.

    Great post Stacy--as always :)

  7. Hi Stace - Well, as you know, I work for the environment. So, I end up donating a lot of my money/time/efforts to environmentally conscious efforts, although both UNICEF and Heifer International get donations from me at Christmas time, since in my family, we give the gift of a cow or flock of chicks or something for Christmas presents.

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