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day 80: help a mother out

April 22, 2011

In addition to my internet news addiction, I have a deep and abiding love for print magazines.  Our household subscribes to 5 or 6 fairly virtuous periodicals, but one of my guilty pleasures is snapping up a trashy gossip magazine to devour at the gym.  My gym typically has no shortage of celebrity weeklies, from which I glean such critical information as where Jessica Biel buys her lip gloss, how much Zac Efron paid for his new house, and who is secretly pregnant with some imaginary love child.  I’m not proud of the fact that I’m entertained by gossip magazines, but it is a wee part of who I am.

On Day 80, my gym was suffering a serious dearth of good garbage.  My options for reading material — Time, Golf Digest, Ladies Home Journal — were limited and uninspiring.  Undeterred, I chose the current issue of Ladies Home Journal.  Though I had never read the magazine before, I was, I confess, disappointed.  Flipping through its pages, I expected to find articles about carpet stain removal and caring for aging parents, perhaps with a two page “Redecorate on a Dime” feature thrown in for good measure.

I was pleasantly surprised.  In spite of its rather outmoded title, I found LHJ full of beauty and fashion advice, recipes, and even (yahoo!) a celebrity feature.  It was not, after all, my grandmother’s magazine.  On the very last page of the current issue, I found an article about  Help a Mother Out.  A grassroots organization started two years ago by two mothers, HAMO provides disposable diapers to families in need.

Did you know that diapers cannot be purchased with food stamps or WIC benefits, yet parents are required to supply disposable diapers to keep their children enrolled in free or subsidized childcare?  Talk about a conundrum.

My kids are still young.  We’ve abandoned diapers recently enough that I remember how expensive they are.  I’ve never had to choose between feeding my children and diapering them, so Day 80’s gift is a donation to Help a Mother Out.

It is in honor of my own mother, and in anticipation of Mother’s Day on May 8th, that I make this donation.  Many times over the last 80 days, I’ve wondered, “What can I possibly give to those who gave me everything?”  While I struggle to find words to thank my mother — she who waited out my illnesses, changed my diapers, fed my dreams, put up with more tantrums than anyone should — I hope this is a small start.  I can’t count the lessons I learned from my mother, but one rises, today, to the top:  Actions speak louder than words.  Because my mother’s life is an example of faith in action, I know she will appreciate this donation to help others in need.

Incidentally, it’s Day 80 of my 90 day project, folks.  I’m genuinely baffled by this — didn’t I just begin? — but in a week and a half I will have completed my experiment in giving.  Because I’ve fielded several questions about what’s to become of this blog after Day 90, I invite you to take a minute to respond to my very brief poll on the subject.  If you’re reading this on a mobile device, it may not show up — you may have to respond on the actual website — but I really appreciate your input.  Thanks in advance for helping me out.

I’ll write it again: thanks for helping me out.  For the past 80 days, I’ve been showing up at “a gift a day” for lots of reasons (not the least of which is that I made a promise to), but chief among them is knowing you are right here with me.

I hope your Good Friday gives you a chance to help a mother (or a father, or a sister, or a brother) out.  Thanks so much for showing up.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Barbara Culbertson permalink
    April 22, 2011 9:52 am

    Anne – write – if you love writing in this format – write – If not find one or many that you do love and write.

    You go girl.


  2. Kris McL. permalink
    April 22, 2011 11:19 am

    Please keep writing in a forum that is available to your fans. 🙂

  3. April 23, 2011 1:36 am

    i say keep it going… if it were my blog I’d have to have some sort of general topic to write about, and not just a random “here’s what’s on my mind today”;

    but in the end; it’s your blog & your site…do with it what feels best to you…we’ll be here if you continue on. if you lose some along the way, you’ll gain new readers somewhere else along the way.

  4. Anita Schimizzi permalink
    May 1, 2011 10:05 pm

    I’ve grown quite attached to your blog. I find that it is, without fail, a bright spot in each day. Even if you don’t have the steam to tend to it daily I would love to keep reading periodically about your experiences with giving. Besides, your writing is so incredibly entertaining!

    • May 2, 2011 5:37 am

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Anita. I can’t tell you how meaningful they are.

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