Skip to main content

Needs Abound, from Bangladesh to Paradise: #LightTheWorld

Photo: Five women sit around a quilt, tying it with yarn

Monday, Nancy of Wyoming Breezes wrote a guest post and shared with us about the Quilts of Valor Foundation. Yesterday, I focused on JustServe.org, and how that is one resource to finding organizations that need volunteer helpers. Today, I'd like to report on what I found when I used JustServe.org

The #LightTheWorld campaign is encouraging everyone to Light the World, Light Your Community, Light Your Family, and Light Your Faith. I had ideas for the latter three, but I wanted to do something for Light the World that was more than just donating money to a cause (though that can be helpful, too, of course.) I turned to JustServe.org to see if I could find ways to participate. A couple of projects stood out to me: tying quilts for the Paradise, CA fire victims, and gathering supplies for Rohingya refugees who are living in Bangladesh. Stitching Hearts Worldwide was organizing quilting bees, and also was working with Lifting Hands International to round up donations of goods to send to Bangladesh. 


I met with Krysti, the founder of Stitching Hearts Worldwide, and she gave me some bags to fill with items for the refugees. I noticed that one of the items they were accepting was scarves. My sister-in-law had just posted on Facebook about how she had crocheted many scarves over the past year (and had invited others to make scarves to send to her), but that she was having a hard time finding organizations to accept the donations. I quickly messaged my sister-in-law and soon a big box of scarves showed up on my doorstep. I was able to add her beautiful scarves to my small donation of some household items. 

Photo: Dozens of crocheted scarves in various colors fill a box

Krysti also invited me to come to a quilt-tying party, and I readily accepted. The quilts had been lovingly sewn by Stitching Hearts Worldwide volunteers, and were just waiting to be tied. When I arrived at the building, three quilts were on frames, and about 15-20 women were working together to get the quilts tied. As they worked, they talked about the news reports of the fire in Paradise, California. I hope that the recipients can feel not just the physical warmth the fabric provides, but also the thoughts of care that went into the making of the quilts. 

It is easy to be overwhelmed at news of natural disasters or other tragedies, but although we can't prevent bad things from happening, we each, in our individual circumstances, and with our individual talents and natural abilities, can do something to help others. 

The tendency is to poo-poo our own strengths, believing that because something is easy for us, it is easy for everyone, and to pit our weaknesses against others' talents. We are different for a reason, and our service to others does not have to require a Herculean effort to "count." 

If I were in charge of sewing the quilts, for example, the people in Paradise would be lucky to receive one quilt in a year. Though I have made quilts, it doesn't come easy to me. Sitting down with other women to tie a quilt, on the other hand, is not difficult for me. Both sewing and tying were required to finish the quilt; having people self-select which part of the project they would do made the task go smoother.

What I'm trying to say is, while we are discussing the #LightTheWorld campaign, I hope that these posts are not making anyone feel guilty for not doing "enough." While the posts will highlight several different ideas and organizations, that does not mean that we should all jump in and volunteer for them all. As we go through our days, we can listen to the lonely, smile at the shy, or help the hungry. In other words, we can do what we can in the circumstances in which we find ourselves. If you still find yourself overwhelmed, perhaps this video will help:


I hope you will take the time to answer this question: What is one strength you have? Whether or not your talents benefit people in Bangladesh or Paradise; they can help someone somewhere. As you go through this Christmas season, I hope you can see how you #LightTheWorld--because I believe you do shine!

Comments

  1. I'm enjoying your Light the World posts. I hope everyone who reads the posts finds an opportunity that appeals to them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, and thank you again for sharing about QOV.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Conversations are so much nicer when more than one person does the talking. :-) Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts; I'd love to hear from you!

Popular posts from this blog

Never Give Up Hope

Twenty-three years ago, a beautiful little girl was born. From the get-go, she was sweet, sensitive, and rather shy. She has grown into a young woman of whom I am so proud. She has worked hard to overcome challenges, and recently told me she is trying to face her fears, and asked me if I would write her story and share it here on the blog, in hopes she can inspire others through their own struggles. Although I offered to publish an auto-biographical piece for her, she wanted me to write her story from my perspective. At her request, and with her approval of this post, I share the following:
The phone rang, and the social worker on the other end informed me that a baby girl had been born 10 weeks early and drug-exposed. She wasn't ready to be released from the medical facility where she was currently staying, but would we be interested in being her foster-to-adopt parents? Of course! When John and I filled out our paperwork, we indicated that we were comfortable with a premature bab…

Six Sentence Story: Burst

The moment the church organist started playing the introduction to the hymn, the precocious toddler girl stood up on the pew. Music just moved her, and she was doubly excited when she realized she recognized the tune. Though everyone around her was opening a hymnal and finding the right page, that was unnecessary for her. 
First of all, she couldn't read, but second, even if she could read, she didn't need the words; they were etched into her memory. Finally, the organist finished the introduction and the chorister signaled the congregation to begin, but while the rest of the church-goers sang, "Lord, dismiss us with thy blessing," the sweet little girl belted out, "Go tell Aunt Rhody." By the time she got to the line about the old grey goose being dead, all decorum was lost as those around her burst out laughing. 




This has been another Six Sentence Story. The blog hop is hosted by Denise of Girlie on the Edge each week. The rules are simple: write a six sent…

Six Sentence Story: Release

Her small brow furrowed in concentration as she carefully placed the wriggling worm on the little hook. 

"Ready, Daddy!" she called, and Daddy came over and helped her cast the line into the lake. To the amazement of both of them, soon the bobber took a dip into the water. Daddy talked her through reeling the keeper-sized fish onto the shore.

"I'll name him Lucky, because he is lucky I caught him!" she proudly announced.

Lucky's luck ran out, though, when he realized this wasn't going to be a catch-and-release situation. 

**************************
I'm joining again with the Six Sentence Story link-up. Go read the other entries, and feel free to add your own. This week's prompt: release.