I have been noticing many acts of kindness lately. My mom is a
widow who lives all alone in the three-bedroom house she once
shared with my father. All the chores fall to her now, including
the ones my dad once helped her with, such as taking out the
garbage/recycling/yard waste cans.
I have been noticing many acts of kindness lately. My mom is a widow who lives all alone in the three-bedroom house she once shared with my father. All the chores fall to her now, including the ones my dad once helped her with, such as taking out the garbage/recycling/yard waste cans.
She has to tread very carefully, as her depth perception has become compromised by cataracts. She gets home from work after dark and bringing the cans back up is a real chore. Recently, we came home and noticed that someone had anonymously brought all my mom’s cans back up to her house after they had been emptied. She was thrilled.
Just before Christmas, a small group of young people went out caroling to the homes of those who are housebound. Local school children such as Jen and Michele Kubik, Emily and Alyssa Castro, and Katelyn and Sarah Warner not only brought Christmas cheer to senior citizens like Leona Kolbly and Doris Kallas, but they also spent time filling Christmas stockings to give to those they visited. When young Heather Broderson was inspired to run up and give Doris a spontaneous hug, Doris lit up like a Christmas tree herself.
Local physical therapist Debbie Waller has begun a movement to knit neck scarves to raise money to benefit the Tsunami victims. The fuzzy one she was knitting on Sunday was made of a beautiful deep mauve yarn; whenever she has a free moment now, her hands are busy knitting on behalf of others.
Long-time Gilroy philanthropist Quincy Adams says his employer Macrovision has pledged a matching funds donation of $30,000 in order to help the Tsunami victims. I am hearing story after story of such generosity, and these are what I have to focus on because the magnitude of this tragedy is just too overwhelming to contemplate.
As I write this, I am shocked to see the city of Salinas just south of Gilroy appearing on a map on CNN to illustrate the death toll so far: the number of people counted as dead now tops 155,000, which is the entire population of the city I grew up in.
New York-based supermodel Petra Nemcova was the only person found alive on a Thai beach of 300 people; she survived by clinging to a tree for eight hours, in spite of suffering a broken pelvis. When she heard paparazzi had staked out the hospital where she was staying and were offering as much as $200,000 for a single photo showing that she was alive, she allowed one photographer to take a picture of her in her hospital bed, and now the thousands of dollars being raised from that photo are going to aid the storm victims.
From medicine to clothing to cash, private U.S. citizens have donated more than $200 million to relief efforts. From Gilroy to the rest of the nation and all across the world, charitable contributions are said to be coming in at more than $100,000 an hour. With millions left homeless and hungry, help will be needed for a long time to come. From local acts of kindness to ones that stretch around the world, may we continue to reach out to each other.