Earlier this year I had a post called The Kindness of Strangers. If you haven't read that far back, please feel free to pop on over there and them come back.
I have these little bouts of highs and lows when it come to my tote bag fundraising campaign. My highs being that I've raised $160 and some of those sales have been to people outside of my social circle (which I realize doesn't sound like a big deal but to me it is...I know I can count on family and friends but I feel like in order for it to make a difference I need to reach other people)
My lows would be that I feel like I'm not reaching enough people. I'm heading back to work in two days and while I know I'll have time to sew at night after the kids have gone to bed I know I'm not going to have time to sew as much as I'd like. This combined with getting discouraged when I got for a couple of days without selling a bag or getting a hit on the Papa's Pride blog. (yes, check my hits daily)
So I've got about 8 or 9 bags done and ready to be sold. I thought I'd sew a couple of more over the long weekend and then pack in the sewing supplies for a few weeks, get myself acclimated to working out of the house again and then slowly pick up the sewing again.
A few weeks ago I put an ad on Kijiji as well as on the freecycle networks looking for suitable fabrics for bags. I was looking for donations on freecycle (it's against the rules to sell items there and I was very honest about the reason for my request because it's also against the rules to sell items you receive from there) but on kijiji I said, I'd be willing to pay but was hoping for donations since it was for charity.
I got two responses from freecycle and was 'gifted' with a pretty good lot of fabrics. On Kijiji I had contacted someone about some fabric they were selling. This same person responded to my ad looking for material donations. Despite the fact that she was trying to sell her fabrics she very generously donated a large lot of material to me. I was incredibly grateful.
Fast forward to today. I received an email from this same woman. She said she'd found some more material that she wanted to donate. But wait, there's more. She also said she'd stopped into the Salvation Army store looking for some more material, her intention was to buy it and donate that to me as well. She found some and I guess got into a discussion with the manager of the store. She explained why she was buying the material. The manager of the store didn't charge the woman for the material, rather she gave it to her for free for her to donate. She was also willing to pass along info about the bags through her church.
AND...to top all this off, the woman who was going to buy the material wanted to buy one of the bags too.
Now I'll tell ya, by the time I got to the end of the email I was in tears. I don't know this woman from Adam and she me but obviously she sees the merits of the cause and wanted to do her part to help. And it's things just like that that not only renew my faith in the inherent good of people but it also makes me see that even if I don't raise a ton of money with sales from the bags I'm making a difference somehow. I've lit a fire in myself and in other to strive to make a difference in any small way we can.
So I went over to her house to collect the materials. I brought all the bags that were ready to be sold and had her pick which one she wanted (she chose the 'Jenny' - excellent choice!)
I told Sean when we went over that I was going to offer her the bag for free. Her extreme kindness should not go unrewarded, and thank you is just not enough to express my gratitude. And yet, she would have no part of it. She insisted I take the money for the bag. And when I was leaving she told me I was doing my Papa proud (which of course brought me to tears and I had to beat a hasty retreat so she wouldn't see me blubbering like a fool)
I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's funny how something as terrible as cancer can bring out the best in people. It creates bonds that otherwise may never have been. It creates unity, and charity and compassion. The worst can bring out the best.
So, to my very generous angel..... if by some small chance you've stumbled through the maze of links from the Papa's Pride blog to this one, I want to thank you again. I am a believer in karma and I truly believe that your kindness will come back to you two fold.