“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.”
– Herman Melville
The end of my year-long project to give time has arrived. It is only fitting that it concludes with perhaps the most important thing – community.
About a month ago, my family signed up to cook Christmas dinner for the Tigard Good Neighbor Center, a family shelter. It was just going to be us.
Yet, like most things, we can do more as a community so we put out an inquiry to see if anyone would like to contribute. And they did! There were pies baked, casseroles made, and cash donated. There was time given and food contributed. Kids and adults chipped in. It was about community.
One person even turned a $5 pay-it-forward gift into something special. She received it then asked on Facebook what she could do. I said I would happily take a food dish to the families. At the same time, another friend said she’d match. From there it mushroomed. Thanks to small donations, that $5 turned into over $200!
I want to thank everyone.
To my wife Melissa – Thanks for saying ‘yes’ to making dinner tonight. It wouldn’t have happened without your willingness to give. And thanks for supporting my project this year. It wouldn’t have happened without your support!
To Grandma Zona and my kids Tessa, Hayle, Zachary – Thanks for all the cooking, serving and cleaning tonight and over the last few days. You did so much!
To Tom and Jenna – Thanks for helping us cook and serve tonight. The corn casserole was fabulous!
To Anne-Louise – Thanks for taking a simple $5 gift and turning it into $200. That was amazing!
To Irene – Thanks for the pumpkin pie and thanks for making a second one when the first one ‘oopsed’.
To Dane – Thanks for introducing the group to pumpkin pie with cream cheese filling. Yummy!
To Joanna – Thanks for the pecan pie and a bit of extra. You turned a burnt pecan pie into something better!
To Wendi – Thanks for the bread. You’re right, making an extra for someone else is a good thing!
To Cathy – Thanks for the zucchini bread. It was great to get a chance to chat when I picked up the bread. Your advice is always helpful!
To all the many people who contributed a little money – Your gift was delivered, and with a little luck, the staff at the center will take that and deliver something special for the families.
To the staff at the Good Neighbor Center - Thanks for the support and everything you are doing. You guys are awesome!
To the families who dined with us this evening – Thank you for the compliments about our cooking. We’re glad it was appreciated. It was nice to meet everyone!
With that, my year of giving time has concluded. It doesn’t mean that I’m done giving. In fact, I may just be getting started. The habits are formed, people are being helped, there’s a little more kindness in the world, and instead of just talking about making a difference, I feel like I really am making it happen.
We *do* have time to make a difference, together.
I’ll be back tomorrow to start the next phase of this journey. I hope you’ll join me.
Finished a year of giving time by serving dinner with a community of my family, friends, staff and guests at the Tigard Good Neighbor Center.