Friday, 27 August 2010
Angels on the street...for Pink Saturday
But what about scrapbook the imprint we leave on the world? Have you ever considered creating a scrapbook of the things you do that make a difference in someone's life? In the earth?
I know, some people will say that those things should be kept secret. According to the ancient Rabbis, doing good things is best if the donor never knows of the recipient, the recipient never knows from whom the help came, and no one else knows about the event at all.
But there was an interesting study I read about recently that I'm sure the Rabbis never considered. It seems that if people are told to count the number of good deeds they do, even if they are not told to do any or to do any more, they do in fact perform more acts of charity and kindness in a given time period than either the control group which was not told anything (they were asked to describe acts of kindness at the end of the test week), or the group that was told to do kind and charitable things, but not asked to keep count. (I'm trying to find the study so I can add a link.)
Scrapbooking the good we do might be a very good way to encourage people to do more, to pay attention to the deeds more. It is a visual and tangible way to count. It reminds us why we are here, and how each person's efforts matter.
The pictures in my collage are from a group I belong to called Project Downtown, a group started a few years back by a handful of Muslim students from the University of Miami.. My daughter calls the people we work with the Angels on the Street -- these homeless people who will rush to put their last quarter in my parking meter because they want a way to pay us back for being there for them. And they don't understand that we are the ones who are benefiting most....
Where once when we came in old jeans because we had been at a work project, a new Angel who thought we were homeless offered my girls and I his room at the shelter, because it would be just wrong for a mom and kids to be on the street. (Did I mention it was one of the coldest days in S. Florida history -- around 35 degrees, when he made that offer?)
Where we met the man who would not accept a dollar from me at a street corner, after asking me if I was a single mom. He had to sleep at night, he said, and better to be a little hungry than feel guilty. We cried as we drove away.
The streets of Fort Lauderdale are where we met and came to know a homeless man named David Martin. A man in a wheelchair, who spent his days and nights trying to make things better for other people on the street, and yet never complained about his own misfortune. The result was a project that came into being right after his death earlier this year -- a coalition of area churches working together to address homelessness in a tangible way. Hope South Florida is all that David dreamed it could be.
So these precious moments, these times when we, along with the other volunteers, get a chance to make a difference, belong in my scrapbooks. So do the days my children clean up a city park, or the times one of us helps an elderly neighbor with home repairs. And those moments belong on my blog -- and on your blogs. So in honor of David Martin, and his inspiration, I dedicate my Pink Saturday Post. There may not be much pink in it, but there's a lot of heart in it, and that has to count.
Today's Pink Saturday giveaway -- also inspired by The Katillac Shack inspired home make-over miracle video...
To encourage more people to remember their acts of kindness, I am giving away a scrapbook kit, including a 12x12 acid free Pioneer album, photo stickers, some acid-free paper and a set of scrapbook scissors. To win, just comment on this post, and promise me that you will spend one hour in the month of September volunteering. I don't need to know what -- I just want to get the ball rolling. And if you can, give a donation to Habitat for Humanity or Project Downtown -- if we all pull together, maybe someday, no one will be homeless.