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this is what happens...

Monday, January 9, 2017
...when you volunteer to do a good deed. It is invariably true that you receive a bigger blessing than you give. Thinking you might help someone who is less fortunate, or in some sort of bind, be it a financial, emotional, life-style issue, you will see so many reasons to be thankful for the mundane, pedestrian blessings of life. Walking out the door, believing you are the one being useful, only to find that it was really an opportunity to receive rather than give.

I've been doing this volunteer thing for a couple of years, occasionally helping patients who need transportation get to their appointments for treatment at the local cancer center. Starting off: most definitely thankful for good health, as I meet people in various stages of their struggle and the ongoing fight against an invasive non-discriminatory disease. Those patients I drive for are people who do not readily have transportation at their convenience. Which gives cause to be thankful for what I drive, and the ability to buy gas, tires, oil changes as needed.

The woman I picked up on Friday afternoon is someone I have driven to treatment appointments a couple of times in recent weeks. Always very polite,appreciative and saying thank you. On Friday she asked if I would mind taking her downtown before we went to the cancer center. She wanted to go to a church food bank, hoping she could get enough groceries to tide her over until she receives monthly food stamps. I assume she is either on social security or disability, but not providing enough income to live on.

I heard her say she had four other people in her household, so I hope some of them are helping with expenses - they looked grown and capable the day I got a glimpse through the open door. I went in the building with her, when I got cold sitting in my car. And waited about half an hour until her number came up and she got four big bags of staple items.  Went on to the treatment appointment and then took her home.

I had to tell that story when I found someone who would listen, and say: doesn't that give you so many reasons to be thankful? Especially if you are a person who can routinely buy things at the grocery store, pull out the credit card to pay, and do not ever have to stop and think: 'can I afford this?' Or have to decide at the checkout line what to put back when over the limit like people on limited income or food stamps must regularly do.

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