my little love note of gratitude to a roof over my head, food on the table, and warm socks on my feet…
One of the things that weighs heavily on my mind living in Seattle is income inequality and homelessness. It is extremely difficult for me to turn a blind eye to the state of things in this city, and I assume that contributes to my ‘meh’ attitude toward Seattle. It’s hard to see the Emerald City as the greatest city ever that so many others seem to believe when I see real suffering on the streets every single day.
It does make me appreciate how good the husband and I have it, especially me because of my luck in marrying a software engineer. (And yes, we know how the tech industry is boosting but also hurting this city.. we know the irony here.) I am forever grateful to my amazingly generous husband for not giving two shits if I work a “real job” or not. He was incredibly supportive of me as I dabbled in photography for a few years after I quit working for an awful representation of a human being that could be Donald Trump’s clone. And now, the hubs is probably even more supportive as I focus on writing my shit story and daydream about being a published author.
I realize that without him though, I’d sort of be up shit creek. That thought is constantly in the back of my mind as I work out a ‘what if’ plan so the puppies and I do not end up on the streets, turning tricks (the dogs literally, me maybe not so much??) on the corner for food and money. Luckily, I know I can probably fall back on previous employment experience to get some sort of job or another. We have money in the bank and a reliable vehicle that would allow me to hightail it out of this expensive-ass city. I want to live more minimally, and I know how to live frugally. I have family and friends who I know would help me out in a pinch. I know I would be OK.
However, there are so many people out there who are not OK.
It makes me sad.
It makes me angry.
It breaks my heart.
So last weekend, the husband and I made a donation to a local shelter in Seattle. We have made monetary donations to charities in the past. While living downtown, we often gave away our leftovers to those on the streets. I have given away dog food to the Seattle Humane Society for their food bank.
Don’t even get me started on homeless dogs.
However, with clothing, I have always just dropped them off in one of those bins. It’s easy. It’s convenient. But, those items end up in thrift stores where people who buy those items may or may not need to shop there.
This time, we did things differently. We went into the thick of things in Pioneer Square. I wanted to make sure the items we had to spare were getting into the hands of those who need them the most.
So, owing to the privileges we enjoy, the husband and I finally succumbed to buying new (read: most expensive articles of clothing we now own) raincoats as our cheap-ish ones we bought a couple years ago weren’t cuttin’ it for the amount of walking and waiting for the bus that our lives now entail in Seattle. But, they are warm, water resistant, and like new. So, we donated those and some other items of clothing and food. I browsed the shelter’s website for urgently needed items and proceeded to the store to pick up toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, and feminine hygiene products. I maybe spent 20 bucks. To us, that’s nothing. To those who need those items but don’t have the money, it’s not nothing. It’s something.
What’s the point here? A blog post of me bragging about how we donated some coats and tampons? Woo! Good job, us, right?
No, not really. I know the husband and I could do so much more than that. But, my point is that any little thing you can and are willing to do does make a difference. It doesn’t take much time or money, but it will make a small, positive change in the lives of some of these people. Find a way to volunteer your time if you can spare it. Find a shelter or charity you can get on board with and make a regular contribution, either monetarily or in the form of goods. A lot of shelters have an Amazon wish list. Grocery stores will deliver online orders and maybe even match a percentage.
The moral of the story is if you’ve got it and don’t need it, give it. Express your gratitude, and share the wealth. ♥
*Image from Artist Point