I did something yesterday that was thrilling. And also a little nerve-wracking. I am selling something on eBay for the very first time, and the proceeds are all directly going to charity (assuming it sells!). It felt really good to do this. I mean REALLY good. This is the eBay listing:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&amp;rd=1&item=120156286254&ssPageName=STRK:MESE:IT&ih=002 but if you want to just read the product description, I've cut and pasted it below.
If you want to take part in my new idea for Philanthropy Thursday, would you post a bit on your own blog and help spread the word? If you don't have a blog, would you let your friends know, anyway? Then just shoot me a comment or an e-mail and I'll link up to you right here at the bottom of the post. I'd be so honored if you did. I know that there is so much amazing energy in this blogosphere, and if I could be a part of something small to make the world a little better? Well, that would be amazing. Here's the product description as it reads on eBay:
I have wanted to do something, anything, for some time to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Sadly, I am like most people. I live far from the damage. I have a busy, fulfilling life as a mother and writer. I am privileged, with medical care, adequate insurance, and family earning potential that would shelter me from the tragic circumstances of those affected by Hurricane Katrina.
I'm not rich, however. And so I go about my life musing how "one day," when we make just a little bit more, I will do something fantastic to help those in need. How many of us think this way? That if we can't do something grand, then we will not do anything at all? We will wait for the perfect opportunity to arise. Let me tell you, that is probably never going to happen.
And so fate had me at home in the afternoon today. With four children causing me to put more miles on my car than a NYC Taxi cab, I am rarely home when Oprah airs. And when I am? I am doing fun(!) things like cleaning toilets, dodging pets, agonizing over homework, or moderating yet another bickerfest between my older children. But today I was tired. And feeling sorry for myself. I had had it *up to here* with the eye-rollings and door slammings that are par for the course with preteens in the house. Poor me, right?
Oprah aired a show today showcasing the fallout of Hurricane Katrina, two years later. I was floored. In some areas, it's as if nothing has been done. Thousands of families are living in FEMA trailers that were intended as temporary housing. These families are now sick, due to the formaldehyde seeping from the particle board walls. One family shown, with five beautiful children, had the mom talking about how her children endured severe nosebleeds, were on handfuls of pills, and how her 18 month old son (who looked a lot like my own 13 month old boy) had to use a breathing aid every day, he was so sick from his own home.
I learned that the crime rate is horrendous, rendering a certain section in New Orleans the worst in the nation. There is a fraction of the doctors and nurses there once was, few hospital beds, and an increased death rate.
This is America? This is how insurance companies pay back their clients? This is how we, as fellow human beings allow things to get? What if this were me? Or you? Or your best friend? What would you do differently?
So I've decided that the people in New Orleans are my new best friends. I have a wedding ring set that I was holding on to, either to have made into earrings or sell and fund a trip to Europe with my daughters. It's 1.3 total carats. We bought it at Fred Meyer Jewelers in 1993. The solitaire is just under .8 carats, and the ring wrap, which is sautered to the band, is four diamonds, totalling .5 carats. It's beautiful. Shortly after my husband and I renewed our wedding vows four and a half years ago, he surprised me with a different ring, which is why I have had this one, in its original box.
We paid $1,800 for the solitaire and $700 for the wrap in 1993. It's insured for $5,000. You can see no flaws with the naked eye, although with a loup I suppose you can, since it's graded as SI, with an H color. For all the years I wore it, I received so many compliments I lost count. It sparkles like crazy, and during our lean years as a young couple, I took a lot of pride in always having that one beautiful thing.
Whoever wins this bid will be required to send funds to the New Orleans Habitat for Humanity. I will not touch a check, since I would rather get the money to them as soon, and as simply, as possible.
My hope? That you all decide New Orleans is your new best friend, or daughter, or mom, and bid as much as you can and feel good when you send that check to a charity that will help rebuild part of America. Maybe a part of you will be rebuilt, too.
People who are making a difference today: