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Small contributions add up/Ask H.O.W.

Updated on November 29, 2012

“Mighty oaks from little acorns grow,” Geoffrey Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde, 1734.

Today I sit at my computer and contemplate what small part I can do to help my friend, Billybuc, with H.O.W., his endeavor to help the deprived people of the world. I applaud the efforts of Billybuc and other writers who can be generous with their time to start this movement. I cannot jump in with both feet, as much as I would like to because we are beginning our busy season at work at the state legislature. This will go on until at least next June, and I probably will be taking a hiatus from writing for Hubpages. I hope I have time during the few breaks I get just to read and comment on the wonderful hubs I know the participants in this movement will write.

I am getting a small taste of deprivation because my telephone line is down, and I have no Internet. Whatever I write will have to be cut and pasted into a hub later. It is a small inconvenience for me, but it serves as a big reminder of all the people who can’t afford a telephone, let alone a computer and the Internet. Then I think of all the people who can’t afford enough food or decent housing and I feel really blessed. My problem ain’t so bad, after all!

I agree that the more fortunate of us need to share our bounty with the less fortunate, and I believe that charity begins at home. We can look around for small things that don’t cost a lot of time and money to do in our own communities. I think if we each become an acorn, a forest can sprout and grow. Many people will ask, “But what can I do for my small part?” I could run through a list of things, but that has been done already, so I want to share with you the small things that I do. But first I want to tell you the big things I cannot do.

I am partially disabled from a city bus rollover that occurred 2006, but not so disabled that I can’t drive to work and sit at a computer with a roomful of lawbooks all day. Therefore, I can’t do anything that requires standing on my feet for more than a couple of minutes at a time. I also have macular degeneration that has not yet progressed to the point I can’t drive or work, but I fear that day is approaching. Therefore:

  • I don’t run marathons to raise money for causes.
  • I don’t burn bras or join marches for hunger or for injustice.
  • I don't help Jimmy Carter build a Habitat for Humanity house.
  • I don’t drive other people to appointments unless a friend is really in need.
  • I don't write big checks to big charities because my budget won't allow it.

Despite my disabilities and limited income, I have found a few little contributions I can make that don’t impoverish my own family or endanger myself or others. Except for donations I make for major disasters like Hurricane Katrina, I prefer to keep my interests local. I don’t think there is a better time and place to start than by giving a helping hand to hungry people during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. Salvation Army kettles appeared the day after Thanksgiving, so I put my change and sometimes a small bill in a Salvation Army kettle. I don’t miss the money, and by the time Christmas is over, my pathetic little donations may have added up to more than if I had chosen to write them a check.

It is given from my heart, too, because there are no receipts to deduct on my tax returns. The local television stations cover these celebrations, and my reward is seeing the pleasure on the faces of people dining on holiday turkey and dressing and ham they otherwise could not afford.

There are other local organizations and churches that provide this same wonderful service, but the Salvation Army is Mr. B’s favorite charity. The donations stay in the county and we see the results. Our money doesn’t go to pay big salaries of overpaid CEOs.

Okay, that takes care of the holiday season, so how do we participate the rest of the year. Sometimes we donate to the local FoodBank. It doesn’t take much effort or money to buy an extra couple of cans of corn or bag of flour or sugar to drop in their donation box at the supermarket. Occasionally the Post Office has a drive that allows donors to hang nonperishable food items onto their mailboxes, and the mail carrier picks them up. It doesn’t get any easier. Sometimes I write a small check. These moneys are used to buy perishable foods that can't be donated.

The Dorcas House is a shelter for battered women and their children. The Dorcas House solicits donations of good clothing and anything else they can use in the shelter and to set up women victims and their children in new permanent homes. They take opened bottles of shampoo and other cosmetics, too. If I buy a bodywash or hand lotion and can’t use it, instead of discarding it in the trash, I set it aside to take to the Dorcas House, along with items of good clothing I am ready to give up.

An organization called CareLink provides many services to people who are housebound, including the wonderful “Meals on Wheels” program. This is a food program for shut-ins who have problems acquiring and even preparing their own food. A volunteer takes one hot meal a day to each recipient on his or her list. The recipient is charged on a sliding scale depending on his or her ability to pay, and meals are provided free to those who can’t afford to pay. A Meals on Wheels volunteer may be the only human contact a lonely person receives during the day. I became acquainted with this wonderful program when my mother, who lived 100 miles from me, had hospice home care. She received a hot meal each day at the price of $1.50 each, and it was so generous that she rarely ever finished one. Anyway, I have a soft spot in my heart for this program and donate several times a year. Who knows, I may need their services someday.

Sometimes we get so concerned about people in need that we forget their little four-legged family members that pay such an important role in their lives. People should not be forced to lose the love of a pet when they lose their income and are at their most vulnerable. The elderly should not be deprived of a cat or dog companion just because they can’t afford to feed them or spay or neuter the animal. An occasional donation to a pet clinic that provides free or greatly reduced prices to poor people would help keep these services going. When a customer uses a credit or debit card at our local Petsmart there is an option to add an extra dollar or two onto the purchase. This helps to keep the no-kill shelters going and to enable them to take in more animals that people are being forced to give up. I hope it comforts these distraught people to know that their beloved family member is not going to be deliberately killed. I try to add an extra dollar at least once a month.

I did not write this hub to toot my own horn. I wrote it to illustrate that it is possible for people who do not have a lot of money or who are partially disabled, or both, can plant their own acorns. You have similar worthy organizations in your area to which you can contribute your time or money. If 100 people dropped fifty cents into a Salvation Army bucket or wrote even a $5.00 or $10.00 check to a local charity to feed hunger in each city in this country, see how those acorns could grow into a big forest!

Poverty is no respecter of persons or seasons.
Poverty is no respecter of persons or seasons. | Source

Adding a P.S.

As you can see the telephone line has been fixed, and my computer is back up and running. Yesterday in the mail I received solicitations from the FoodBank and Meals on Wheels (what a coincidence!). I am going to figure out my Christmas budget and split a donation between the two of them.


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    • Cantuhearmescream profile image


      5 years ago from New York


      Well, I'll toot your horn and I'll do it with a passion! This is excellent and beautiful, as are you! There are so many things that none of us can do and I fear that is exactly what stops so many from doing anything at all. What a perfect example you have made of yourself, to prove that we can still do some things, even if we can't do everything. Let's hope others can jump on board!

      Very Awesome!


    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      5 years ago from Beautiful South

      HoneyBB, I think the whole country is in mourning over Sandy Hook and want to help ease the families' pain. Just this weekend I saw on TV that a high school girl in a small town in my state had just held a successful memorial and drive to help the victim's families. Thank you for reading my hub in memory of the little girl.

    • HoneyBB profile image

      H Lax 

      5 years ago

      The programs you have mentioned here are perfect examples of how almost anybody could help people less fortunate or animals less fortunate than themselves. This is the 6th hub I have read in 26 honoring the victims of Sandy Hook. I read this hub in memory of Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06, female

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      5 years ago from Beautiful South

      Thanks B., for the compliment. This year I have had to do more things like writing checks to food banks and dropping coins in Salvation Army kettles. It has been a really busy season for me. I just wish I'd had time to do more. Well, maybe someday when I retire??? And thanks for being my friend.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 

      5 years ago

      After reading your Hub MizB...I think YOU are a pretty Special Lady, who should toot her own Horn! You are Helpful and Supportive and so giving. We all wonder what in some small way we can do, and you dear Lady have paved the way. Very Inspiring. Thanks dear Friend.

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      5 years ago from Beautiful South

      Paula, I really, really enjoy doing things for old people, and now that I "are" one, I'm just glad that I have the means to do small things. You know what my favorite Christmas thing is? Walgreens displays Christmas trees with the names of people in nursing homes who don't have anyone to give them gifts. I love getting a name and fulfilling their Christmas wishes. They want so little and it doesn't cost much at all. Maybe I should do a hub on it. Thank, my friend.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      MizB.....Your attitude is wonderful. Knowing our limitations and accepting what we can and cannot do is the first part. But you go further by offering your time and energies, to make a difference....and each and every thing any individual does in the spirit of giving and sharing, is a beautiful thing.

      Small steps take us forward just as large strides do. Your heart is pure and genuine. This is truly what H.O.W. is all about. Peace & Love!

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      5 years ago from Beautiful South

      You know, most of us really don't think about the things we do. We just do them, but these little things make me really feel good. Thanks for your comment.

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 

      5 years ago from Minnesota

      It sounds like you have found plenty of ways to help support those in need, even with whatever limitations you have to work with. Thanks for this very positive and uplifting hub.

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      5 years ago from Beautiful South

      Great, thanks! There is so much about HP that I don't know and right now I don't have time to learn.

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 

      5 years ago from New York

      We just made a BUTTON LINK that connect other hubbers with your H.O.W. hub. Is not that we copied and pasted your job on that site. Is a way to promote HP's articles and hubs related to our cause. Have a blessed day MizB!

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      5 years ago from Beautiful South

      Glad to know that, thanks, LDC. BTW, I just corrected a minor typo. Will it show up?

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 

      5 years ago from New York

      Morning MizB, we did post your hub with a link to this article. Great to have you with us, and thanks for following that tradition from your seniors.

    • MizBejabbers profile imageAUTHOR

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      5 years ago from Beautiful South

      Wow, I posted this late yesterday afternoon and what a surprise with all these wonderful replies this morning! I almost didn’t write this hub because I felt like I was writing from a selfish angle. I savored each and every reply and want to thank you all, , Billy, Linda, marcoujor, Lord De Cross, Pamelagg, and MelChi, each of you said something special in your reply.

      Billybuc, I tried to link it with your H.O.W. hub, but I couldn’t get any of them to come up. If you can get it to link, please feel free to do so – and anybody else for that matter.

      I had so many plans when I was younger. I had worked at a local historic museum, and I had planned to volunteer there, among other things, in my senior years when I retired. I also loved it when I saw the “old folks” volunteering to do patient services at the local hospitals. I admired my mother and aunt for the volunteer work they were doing in their senior years, and I had planned to continue the tradition. However, when your body gets as banged up as mine, sometimes you have to change the plan.

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 

      5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      The message in your hub is amazing and I agree with you 100%. Even if we only give a small bit....whatever we can afford to, if it seems small to us - it will probably seem like a fortune to those that are in need. We need to stop being so selfish and saying, "I don't have money to help", when in fact, if the majority of us really thought about it - we can forgo that extra cool drink we don't need, or whatever else we can live without to help as often as we can. Great hub for HOW! :)

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I think doing a little is no different from doing a lot in that you are giving from your heart. If we each do just the best that we can it is not the quantity of giving but the act. This is a beautiful hub.

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thanks so much MizB; shame on the young and rich! Well they never had it like us... way back when a heart was a heart. Your words were heard, and it shows that we all can make a difference in this crusade adding our time and expertise. I back Bill and Linda in thanking you dearly. Have a bless day, and hope you enjoy the holidays with a peace of mind.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Miz B and may I also say Linda,

      I respect you both so very much for doing what you can and as you have said, it all adds up so beautifully.

      This is starting to remind me of a huge jigsaw puzzle...where we are the pieces and none of us are the same shape or fit in the same place. yet, we are working to collaborate and coordinate and one day when the puzzle is all put together, there will be some answers.

      In the meantime, I believe H.O.W. is spreading like wildfire. With ideas, come answers. Thank you for your thoughts which spread even more awareness with solutions.

      Voted UP and UABI. Excellent writing.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 

      5 years ago from Central Virginia

      MizB - this is what it is all about; doing what you can! Like you, I don't have a lot of money and the macular degeneration is making it hard to find work since I got laid off in April. I can't drive at night and I don't drive outside the city anymore. So, I do what I can and wish I could do more. We all have to work within the confines of our abilities and resources or, we are simply creating another problem. Kudos to you and MrB. for all that you are doing. Great hub and a great addition to Bill's efforts.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, thank you so much for joining our efforts. It is greatly appreciated and this is a wonderful hub illustrating what can be done with very little. Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart.


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