Check out this Christian Science Monitor story about Ricky Jackson, a Cleveland man who was unjustly imprisoned for 39 years — 39 years — and recently was released to a brand new life.
If you’re flagging on your ability to come up with a good deed to do each day for the season of Lent, here are some suggestions.
Stephanie sent me this, from Facebook, with this explanation:
Hundreds of hats and scarves have been spotted in cities that are experiencing freezing temps this winter. The message attached to one scarf says: “I am not lost! If you are stuck out in the cold, please take this to keep warm!” Who thinks we should start something like this across VA, WV and NC?! You’re loved, Michael and Erica
Funny thing is, I just did this at my local Stop & Shop. I had a really nice coat that I never wore, a warm black coat that has been hanging in my closet for three seasons. I couldn’t find one of those clothes bins where you can donate, and I carried it around in my car for a week or so until I decided to leave it at my local grocery store with a note that it needed a good time. As luck would have it, I left it in the morning, and then had to make a trip back to the store later that day. The coat was gone. Maybe someone just put it in the trash, but I hope someone gave it a good time.
I love this idea.
New socks would work, too.
Hands On Hartford, Journey Home, and Center Church of Hartford are looking to open a pop-up store on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the capital city to distribute goods that help keep our neighbors warm.
But they’re going to need your help.
Think you may be able to contribute? Contact Sarah Simonelli at
email@example.com or at 860-808-0336.
(Oddly, I’ve had this beautiful long black coat I’ve been carting around in my car for a while now, waiting to stumble across a place to donate it. It’s very fancy, but I’ve worn it precisely twice, both times to funerals. Maybe if I give it away, I won’t have to go to any more funerals. I bet I can add some new socks to that and make a donation, myself.)
Mike the Heathen sends this, an addictive interactive map from the Chronicle of Philanthropy that shows how much people give — right down to the zip code.
My own zip code gives a paltry $2.9 percent of its median income. That’s just tacky and I hope your neighborhood does better.
This from Lois (the music, too):
Random Acts of Kindness: Do it. I try to every now and then, but don’t do it nearly enough.
Yesterday, a stranger walked up to me and did something very nice for me out of the blue. I was checking out a large order at Bed, Bath & Beyond in preparation for my daughter’s departure to college, and an elderly gentleman walked over to me and asked if I had a coupon. I didn’t, so he handed me a 20%-off total order coupon. I thanked him and then he came up to me again and asked if I had enough, and handed me a $5 off coupon. He said the cashier should be able to take it, too.
He smiled, I thanked him and again, he left. She took it and that man saved me $20 all together. I had enough money, but he did more than save me money. I’m in a rough patch at the moment, having a hard time with several big life changes, and it had been a difficult, emotional day.
As we were loading our trunk with the bags, he drove up and asked if she took the second coupon, then smiled, and drove away.
That random act of kindness meant more to me than he knew and it wasn’t about the money he saved me. If you get the chance to do something nice for someone you don’t know, do it. I plan to. You never know what it might mean to that person on that day.
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said that he is reluctant to release more of his tax returns because he doesn’t want others to know how much he gives to his Mormon church.
There’s actually a scriptural reference for that.