The lovely and even more lovely-spirited Jen over at Get In The Car has made a suggestion I'd like to adopt here.
On her blog yesterday she suggested the last Thursday of each month as "Philanthropy Thursday", and asked everyone who stopped by her blog to take a second and think, "How can I make a small difference today? What can I do, however small, to make the world just a little bit better?" I'm a day late (Thursdays are generally a crazy day around the ole island) but this is definitely a case of better late than never.
Yesterday, I gave a bag of toys to my cleaner, who is a lay preacher and leader among the foreign worker community here in Israel, a group of primarily illegal workers (though he isn't himself) with almost no access to community resources or support. I've had some involvement with this community professionally (by providing pro bono breastfeeding teaching and support). Each time I walk away impressed by their spirit, will and willingness to work incredibly hard picking up the leavings of those luckier than they, all while refusing to give in to the atmosphere of fear and intimidation my so-called government is creating for them.
I've given them many items in the past, clothing, an old oven, books, and my son's old bicycle... It broke my heart when this man leapt at the chance to take an old pair of Jay's shoes, then accidentally threw them away with my household trash. It cracked my heart wide open when that mattered enough to him to take the bus 45 minutes back to my house to search through the building's garbage for them. I hadn't really thought to give them toys though. I'd mainly been giving necessities, not the things that can put a smile on a small child's face.
K was here the other day, cleaning up my mess, when I saw a bag of toys I'd set aside, rejects from a recent toy swap. I'd been meaning to "do something" with it for weeks, when I remembered that the creche run by the foreign workers' church has very few toys. My own children are lucky beyond all reason when it comes to toys. They are quite honestly drowning in them. They can no longer value what they have because of the excess.
I made a resolution on the spot. I am going to have a monthly toy purge. Instead of saving the toys for a future toy swap, or passing them on to friends' children or local preschools, I will be giving them to K. This way they I know they will be going straight to children who truly wouldn't have them otherwise. I hope that they will put a smile on someone's face.
So there you have it. My small attempt to make a the world a little bit better for someone this month.
Who's with me?