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Man does not live by bread alone, so add PB&J...


Wendy-Ann

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This, to me, is one way to raise money for those in need.

You know, you put on your finest, you drink champagne, you “network†with others and you have one heck of a good time on the dance floor with your closest friends. And truthfully, there isn’t a damn thing wrong with it as this is how many, many people get what they need to make it through life.

I’ve always had a thing about charities; it just made sense to me. As long as you are raising money legally (and it’s going to the right people), write a check, show up at an organized event, participate---somehow.

However.

I have been fortunate to see another side of “charity.†Where you are actually walking amongst those who are less fortunate than you.

Ok, let me back up a bit.

One night 4 years ago, on one very chilly January evening in Sacramento, CA, I walked out of an Italian restaurant with my best friend, Tammi. With leftovers in hand, we preceded to start to walk back to our hotel when we were stopped by a young man dressed in tattered clothes. He simply asked if he could have my leftovers. So...I gave them to him.

As Tammi and I continued to walk, we saw an elderly lady pushing a shopping cart. I looked at Tammi, she handed me her food and we approached the woman. I asked her if she needed something to eat and she thanked us by handing us each a flower that she must have picked from the church garden just inches away from her.

Feeding those who are hungry.

It’s a great feeling.

This is something Tammi and I (and many of us around the world) never hesitate to do when given a chance. And for us, it all stems from a time in our lives, years ago, when we, along with friends, would travel by Greyhound bus to see the band “RAIN – A tribute to the Beatles†in Lake Tahoe, NV. Gosh, I had such a crush on Bobby Taylor their drummer and we soooooooo loved the Beatles!

Thing is, slowly but surely, no matter how much we ate 99 cent hotdogs or bologna sandwiches, at times we’d run out of food money. *Yikes!* Any extra money had to go for hotel, drinks and shows. I mean, we were 18 and 19 years old. We had to act 21 or we’d never gain entry to the showroom! (Heavens to Betsy maybe we should have budgeted better?)

Perhaps you know the old saying: “God watches over fools and little childrenâ€, oh and young girls in love lust. Well, He sure watched over us! More than once, people would hear about our story to see this band (people can’t resist stupid youngsters) and would give us their food coupons. I’ll never forget those acts of kindness.

With all that had happen to Tammi and me when we had no money and refused to ask “the parents†(they would have told us to keep our behinds home, thankyouverrahmuch), how could we not “pay it forward†and help others who didn’t have a nickel to their name?

It’s not a “Christian†thing or a “Liberal†thing, nope it’s a “compassion†thing...it’s a “human†thing...it's a “love thy neighbor†thing. And it’s certainly not the time nor the place to cast judgment on how someone got so "down and out." In fact, here’s a perfect quote by Mother Teresa that I read just today---it makes one really think: “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.†Wasn’t she the epitome of beauty?!

So, fast forward to Sacramento.

Here we were once again, during the last week of January, at a convention where Tammi’s company runs the event registration. And we did what we love to do after work when it’s not raining, feed as many homeless as we can find on the streets of SAC with whatever money we can afford for that week. Though, this year was even more special, as we decided to include clothing/blankets/soap/toothpaste, etc... into the mix.

And ya wanna hear a really cool thing? One of my temps, upon hearing what Tammi and I did at night, donated some of her jackets. Another one of our contract workers, went with us for 2 nights to help us find people in need, another contract worker donated $20.00, another found $5.00 on the floor and gave it to us, other co-workers of Tammi’s would donate any extra food they had left over from their lunches.

*GRIN*

Honestly, we did the “happy dance†inside of our hearts. How super-duper that others were joining in on our little journey. I can’t describe the delight we felt to think others cared as much as we did, even though some did not go out on the streets with us, but nevertheless, participated in their own way. Kudos to all of them!

Here are some photos.

Gosh, we are so pleased that every year, our little “PB&J plus water,†2 woman charity has expanded to better food and other necessities. Who knows what will happen next year? Only time will tell. And look at the facebook message I received from my temp who donated jackets.

Dee Brakke January 31 at 4:44pm

Would you please let me know exactly what street you and Tammy were feeding the homeless? Dick and I want to continue your journey everyday..... Hugs!!!!!

Dee Brakke February 2 at 5:50pm

We just got back feeding the homeless at the church you told me to go!!! What a feeling... Also we will be feeding them in the church every third and forth Sunday every month to get to know the homeless. The church invited us to go and help out!!!! Thank you so much...

Dee Brakke February 8 at 8:20am

Just wanted to let you know we are still keeping the journey that you started. We went out yesterday and gave out 10 bags of sandwiches and made us very happy.

HOW BRILLIANT, huh? God bless Dee. What a super gal! Tammi and I are so, so, so, so overjoyed! How humbling this experience always is. How grateful we are that we can do this and that others support us in this venture.

One never knows how many lives they will touch by just one simple act of kindness. And every little bit helps. You may be the one to change the world...think about it.

What’s your calling?

PS: This I HAVE to share this too!

You know what; I reconnected with Bobby Taylor from “Rain†through Facebook. He wrote me the most beautiful email and I was ever so touched. And we met up after a long, long, time...

But the crème de le crème is – Bobby is now making another girl’s heart pound! Why it’s our very own Anna R. They met on my facebook while commenting on me---eating a cupcake! WORD!

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Wendy, I am so glad to have read the entire post. When I read "one way to make money" and looked at the photo below it. I was stunned (in spite of my being a life member of the Bad Girls Club). In reading the post in it's entirety, your sweet spirit shone throughout!! It was a great read about generosity, the human spirit and consideration for ones fellow man. pray

You and your friends are very special people and there should be more like you in this world! pray

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Wendy, I was really touched by your post!

Lord knows, I hope I am never destitute enough to require the charity of others to provide my food or shelter, but if I am, I can only hope there are "everyday heroes", like yourself, who care enough to help without being judgmental, as to how I personally ended up in such an unfortunate situation.

I'm sure on the nights after you and your friends shared your food packs and supplies with the homeless, you were all the more thankful for being able to cuddle up and sleep in a nice, warm bed.

Maybe instead of "everyday heroes", we should call you and your friends "everyday angels"!

Speaking of "everyday heroes and angels", your post kept reminding me of one of my favorite videos, and of how those "everyday heroes and angels" might appear, and in turn, "pay it forward" to an unsuspecting individual, in some very unlikely places:

Moments - Emerson Drive

Thanks so much Wendy, the world (and ec.com) is a better place with people like you and your friends in it!

BTW...I love PB&J!!!

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Wendy, you are a selfless human being and God will surely reward you for all of your hard work and generosity. Great job and you have my respect and admiration. Rob.

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What I really wanted stress in my post was that it may take one person to start something, but look how many want to help or keep that "something" going. People really do care about others in need.

It’s remarkable how people's lives intertwine for whatever reason. I had no idea when I walked outside of the restaurant that, 4 years later Tammi and I would be on our own mission. But it is just for that one week. Others do this all of the time, some everyday. Whether it is feeding someone or raising money for a new cancer ward or taking an elderly person to church or being a Big Brother/Sister to a kid, etc...

Oh and, if you look closely at that halo over my head you will see that it is very tarnish and kinda lopsided. This really has more to do with the goodness in other people then getting my wings one day. wink

I do have to add though, that when we were getting all bags together that first night, I said to Tammi – “I think God’s smiling at us right now. But we have to stop getting this “suck†jelly. Homeless people need REAL jelly too.†(That was in-between the often pondered question of --- Robert Downey Jr, OR Johnny Depp?!) So anyway, the very last night we bought Chinese food to go with fruit and pudding and potato chips and granola...

I think it will always amaze me that I never know where my life will take me. For that one week, I can honestly say I feel that I have a purpose in my life. None of these people ask anything from me, but what they give back to me is indescribable.

PS: Steve, I do believe that my “leaving ec.com†post is longer than the above post. I think I fell asleep halfway through it when writing it. haha

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Wendy,

You never cease to amaze me with your kindness, generosity and above all, LOVE for others!

YOU are truly the amazing soul here.

Your post has made me want to give more to others. So, the past few days when I walk downtown with my sister and we pass the 20 or so homeless people on our route, I have been taking dollar bills to give away while we walk. That is not much, but the gratitude I receive from each and every one of them, makes me wish that I could give them a hundred dollar bill!

If I had the money, I surely would.

Thanks so much for such an inspiring post.

And I really want to thank you for eating that cupcake back in November that led to me meeting the most wonderful man on this earth...Bobby! He is truly a gift that I am grateful for every day. Here is a picture that one of his friends took this past weekend. You can just see how in love we both are...THANK YOU!!!!!

[url=][

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Thanks Elle.

I truly feel blessed and YES! Just in time for Valentines' Day!

I am getting ready to go up and see him today, in fact. I am making him and his friend dinner tonight... a Roast, rosemary roasted potatoes, garlic green beans, and a salad.

Oh...the best part? Dark chocolate brownies for dessert.... heartpump

It is kinda funny...Wendy and I have yet to meet one another.

But I am really looking forward to that day. She is a really special person. I OWE HER BIG TIME!! wink

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Wendy,

You never cease to amaze me with your kindness, generosity and above all, LOVE for others!

YOU are truly the amazing soul here.

Your post has made me want to give more to others. So, the past few days when I walk downtown with my sister and we pass the 20 or so homeless people on our route, I have been taking dollar bills to give away while we walk. That is not much, but the gratitude I receive from each and every one of them, makes me wish that I could give them a hundred dollar bill!

If I had the money, I surely would.

Thanks so much for such an inspiring post.

And I really want to thank you for eating that cupcake back in November that led to me meeting the most wonderful man on this earth...Bobby! He is truly a gift that I am grateful for every day. Here is a picture that one of his friends took this past weekend. You can just see how in love we both are...THANK YOU!!!!!

[url=][

Congratulations...That is Awesome, I hope you two are very Happy for a very long time smile

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Anna,

I can't wait to meet you too. And your post got me all teary-eyed!

Little did I know when my friends and I went to Disneyland that June day in 1980 and saw a band called RAIN playing at the "Coke Terrace," that 2 things would come out of it.

1. A beautiful nephew, because my sister ended up marrying one of the guys in Rain.

2. Bobby Taylor. Who would end up 30 years later, not with me, but a girl named Anna who I would meet on a thing called the internet. What a trip...

Of all the fun BT and I had, of all the times we debated, and even the one late night Taylor sat up with me and taught me the game of poker, the most memorable moment with Bobby was this...

I talked to him about a guy I "thought" I loved---Eric Rollins. I was 21 by then and Eric was 28. I explained to Bobby that Eric was pushing me to sleep with him but that's not what I wanted. BT looked at me and said:

"Even a bum can get laid, Wendy. Never go against your morals and values for anyone."

I didn't - I never second guessed myself on that subject again. And I thank Bobby for listening to me that night...that is what an awesome guy Bobby was and is.

I'm so happy for the both of you, Anna! I mean, I know Bobby is a great guy...I'm glad you know that too. How cool to wake up in the morning now, with your heart so incredibly happy...because you've not only found each other, but you can be with each other.

Happy Valentine's Day - Anna and Bobby! heartpump

PS: When you have your first "tiff," I'm not taking sides. wink

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