I always say to my kids "our worst day is someone else's best day."
From the time I was a small child growing up with my three brothers in the city of Boston, money was tight, rents continued to rise, and my dad was working three jobs. Without fail we had food in our bellies and we knew we were loved. There were lots of hand-me-downs and worn clothes, shared toys and four siblings to a room. What was never missing was laughter, family, friendship, and love.
There was a yearly ritual my mother insisted upon us at a young age. We were to go through our clothes and toys donate what didn't fit or what wasn't played with along with a turkey dinner my mom lovingly cooked and delivered with us in tow. This happened between Thanksgiving and Christmas to the local orphanage, and gave my brothers and me a glimpse of another world and a sense of just how lucky we were.
Since then, I have believed community and charitable works and everyday kindnesses are what helps make the world a better place. From fund raisers and walks for hunger; donations to Alzheimer’s, breast cancer and heart research to charity events for elders in need and local food pantries; donations to Good Will and Cradles-to-Crayons; St. Jude's in lieu of flowers along with the giving trees at our local church and at the office—and, dare I say it, spare change in the hands/cups of the down and out—every little bit helps. Every little bit matters.
This year, during the holidays, my husband, my son Mikey, some friends, and I rallied together for my best friend, who had lost her mom at 12 from a brain aneurysm, was now facing the same sadness as her brother battles an inoperable brain tumor which caused a stroke and loss of the use on his left side. The prognosis being poor at best, he had one wish: to get home to his family. This would be impossible without wheel chair accessibility, a chair lift, and adapting the bathroom to accommodate for his new immobility. So with the help and generosity of community members, local businesses, family, friends, and the kindness of strangers, we raised the funds to make his homecoming possible. The construction is near completion and Jimmy will be able to enter his home within a few weeks.
I tell you this not to brag but rather in hope that as you read this you pause to take a look around your surroundings and help someone who truly needs it. I promise you it will make a difference. It will touch a life and it just may change yours.