Several of you asked yesterday if I was still going to donate my Ishbel to the charity function. The answer is that I am, indeed, going to do so. I’m reasonably confident that the finished shawl will be appealing and may actually surprise a few people, and if it brings in some funds for the cause, it will have accomplished what I mean it to.
This brings me to a related topic. Ms. Joan, in noting the worst in people yesterday, also made a plug for the importance of charitable giving. I will chime in, because I coincidentally have some thoughts on the matter. I’ve been doing a little fundraising for the same event to which I’m donating the shawl. Let me first say that the organizers of this very large event deserve a platinum medal for their efforts. Getting people to get off their … chairs … these days to do anything is a Herculean effort. Getting people to open their checkbooks? Wow. Until I was the one doing the asking, I had no idea how difficult it is. I absolutely appreciate that times are tight and people can’t give to every cause. I pick and choose carefully like anyone else. But there are certain situations that just make you go “wow.”
Persuading people to give time is nearly as challenging. I’ve written before about my pro bono legal work, part of which involves recruiting colleagues to get involved. Most people know they should take part – it is, after all, part of our ethical obligation and spelled out in black and white by our state supreme court. But getting people to commit? Pfft.
I recently joined our local bar association’s Legal Services to the Indigent committee. I also serve on the board of one of the local poverty law agencies. These experiences have brought me face to face with the overwhelming need in our community – and the need does not stop at legal services. I’ve been smacked in the face with literacy issues, domestic violence, rank poverty, hunger, the effect of crime on families, you name it. These people need so much, and others in the community have so much to offer. Yes, it’s depressing. Yes, it’s overwhelming. Yes, it’s even scary sometimes.
There are ways to give that can keep you in your comfort zone, if you really can’t hack it. Like, for example, donating a knitted item to a silent auction… (ahem).
That’s all I’ll say. I suspect I’m preaching to the choir, anyway. Thanks for listening!