Teaching Compassion

Easter Basket 1

There is a group on Facebook that I belong too serving people in need in our community. Of course it is the holidays so there is a big need for Easter baskets. Well my friend and jumped at the chance we always buy stuff the day after Easter anyway so we were sure between the two of us we could pull off a few baskets. We pull all our “stuff” together from our respective houses and off I go with coupons for candy. We have enough for 6 baskets or two families. I am pumped so is she.

Easter Basket 2.jpg

I grab the kids and I make them help. Both know there is no Easter Bunny at this point but enjoy putting things together for the kids. They have fun counting candy pieces out and putting toys in each basket. When done I call the coordinator ask when I can drop them off, she says Saturday is good. So when M2 is in First Communion class M1 and I trek out to the woman’s house.

When I realize where we are going my heart races. My kid knows something is up and asks if I am all right. I tell her that the complex was familiar because over 20 years ago I came to this complex to visit with a woman who I had intervened with during  a domestic violence situation. M1 is intrigued and I relay that the husband was beating the crap out of her and I literally grabbed the guy and shoved him to the ground till the police came. I explained to M1 that it was a stupid decision on it was my part but that there was a 4 year old watching and I felt compelled to do something. I had come to the complex because the woman wanted to thank me personally and the little girl wanted to know “how you got all strong.”

I shook off the uneasiness and found the apartment we needed. The woman opened the door and we walked in baskets in hand. She teared up and thanked us profusely. I asked her if she could not mention it on Facebook as I did not want anyone in the group to know who it was that brought the goodies. She looked puzzled and I explained I just did not want anyone to ever feel like they owed me something because I helped them. She nodded and agreed. When we are talking she mentions that some people backed out and she has 2 more families that are in need. Without a second thought we agreed to take them as well.

We go to leave and M1 confronts me. She demands to know why “you always refuse to be acknowledged” I explain I am acknowledged the organizers know who I am and I am good with that. She looked at me confused and I tried to explain that I really don’t need recognition but it was clear she was not getting it so I tried a new approach. I said to her “OK lets just say we were friends and you were too embarrassed to ask me for something you need. What if you ask a group of strangers for help and then you find out that the person you helped is your friend. How do you feel?” She thought a few moments and said “I don’t know I guess just weird I mean happy you helped but not great because you are my friend.” I nodded and said “exactly that is what I don’t want you to feel” She suddenly understood and I was relieved. The other real reason why is because her birth family members are part of the group and I did not want to embarrass her or them.

Off we go to get M2 and my BFF to make more baskets. The kids really get into it and M2 actually asks me why we do this. I explain that as long as you have some you should share with others because some have none.She looked a little confused but then said “Oh I get it some people are poor but we are not so we have to help.” Yep kiddo got it in one. She laughed and then she said “But Mommy this makes me feel good too” I laughed and said “Yep and that is our reward for helping” and she nodded.

We make the 6 other baskets (sorry forgot to take a photo) and call the organizer to drop them off. We head back and drop them all off. The sponsor is amazed and she asked how I did it. I laughed and said “Nah it was not just me, ALL of us did this it was a combined group.” We all laughed and went out to dinner at the firehouse. We got there and they greeted us warmly (we are regulars at their monthly dinner) M2 jumped up and down and told the greeter that “I was the Easter bunny” The greeter was confused so M1 explained we had made up some baskets for families in need. The greeter gushed over both girls telling the how awesome they were and they beamed. Yep that is the other reason we do this.


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