2nd Day Of Christmas: ‘Tis The Season Of Giving

IMG_7437Today’s story comes to you in the form of a good deed done by my mom. My mom’s heart will always be the biggest of anyone I know. She has this uncanny way of being accepting and compassionate even towards those who least deserve it. She has the ability to look beyond the surface without judgement. She’s who I want to grow up and become because there really isn’t anyone much more wonderful than my mom.

If I’m correct, my mom has been donating to the Grand Forks homeless shelter; Northlands Rescue Mission for awhile now. $10 or so here and there whenever she could. I don’t think it’s been too regular or anything but I think the mission sends out donation requests periodically and if she can afford it, she’ll throw a few bucks their way.

Bags-of-Blessings-2014-231x300Recently, Northlands Rescue Mission sent out flyers with the tagline “Bags of Blessings.” As we all know, Christmas is definitely coming. Those [believers] of all ages, races, and income levels in some way, shape, or form have Christmas on their yearly bucket lists. Whether you have the money or you don’t; Christmas is special. ‘Tis the season where miracles are possible and kindness is spread.

My mom took part in being someone’s Christmas miracle this year. Instead of tossing the flyer she received like I’m sure a lot of people would do (sadly, myself included) she decided to spread the wealth. Good karma if you will.

On a routine trip to Grand Forks she picked up all of the items on the list including a sweatshirt, socks, shampoo, deodorant, and a few other things. She also bought a gym bag as asked and marked the front of it male also noting the size she had bought for. All that was left was to bring the bag with the items in it to Northlands Rescue Mission and that she did.

The total cost of all the items purchased came to $72 and some change. When I asked my mom what her reasoning was for helping the homeless shelter more than she usually does, she left me with this:

Matthew 25:40 “What you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.” ~Jesus Christ

I’ve been one to judge too quickly and assume things that I do not know.  I’m sure that many people in homeless shelters across the region and country are truly in need of generous help from those like my mom and I hope that I can find the empathy needed towards causes like that. My mom deserves a round of applause not only for buying a few things and donating it to the shelter but for being a damned good person. Coming from someone (myself) who finds it hard to see beyond the grime and the dirt on the surface and actually wonder what the story behind the homelessness is – it really takes a heart of gold and compassion to donate towards a cause that faces so much ridicule.

IMG_7970If you’d like to donate to your local homeless shelter please do so; I’ve listed both Grand Forks and Bemidji’s contact information at the end of this post. They need more help than any of us are probably capable of even understanding. If you chose not to donate towards the shelter, find a cause that you feel comfortable donating towards even if it’s just one time a year.

In an effort to embrace the season of giving and to do some good; I’ve decided to do some research myself and donate a little bit this Christmas season as well. I fully believe that rehabilitation is one of the key factors to solve many of the homelessness cases in the area. I’ll be looking online and around the area locally for a non-profit rehabilitation program to donate towards.

Northlands Rescue Mission – 420 Division Ave, Grand Forks, ND 58201
Village of Hope – PO BOX 1035, Bemidji, MN 56619

Merry 2nd Day of Christmas!

 

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Why Bemidji?

So, it’s been awhile since I’ve regularly blogged.  A lot has happened. A lot of “unexpecteds” I suppose you’d say. We’re moving to Bemidji, MN.

SAY WHAT!?

I know, I know. Quite the change huh? Grand Forks has it all. A growing young city, a great college reputation, stores galore. It has a pretty decent mall, great eating establishments, excellent coverage of local happenings, you name it. I’m a perfect fit for this town right? An eager, 24 year old? Sure, on paper.

I’ve had more people than I can count say “Why Bemidji?” since they’ve heard the news of our moving. And it’s not the typical “Good for you! What made you choose Bemidji” chatter. It’s more like: “Really, Bemidji? What’s there?” Ugh. I’m sick of it.

I’ve had more people look at me like I’m a moron than take it as it is and accept that maybe I don’t care for the legendary night life in GFunk. I like shopping, sure. But I don’t go regularly enough to where I need it to be the staple of the city I live in. And have you seen the water attraction of the city? The river that splits East from Grand? It’s a milky, polluted brown. I wouldn’t let my imaginary dog go in there.

So, with that being said. I’m moving to Bemidji because I want to. I want to live in a smaller (not so busy) city. I want to live where “lake life” is a day to day lifestyle not just a weekend getaway in the summer. I want to live where the tourists flock (because I am a tourist). I want to live in Minnesota again. I want the home-town feel instead of the Canadian invasion whenever I go uptown. I want to find my “home” and I can’t do that in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

I hope that’s good enough reason for those of you who don’t get it.

And who knows, maybe Bemidji won’t be my final resting place. Maybe I’ll want something more. Maybe I’ll regret it. Maybe I’ll miss GF. Maybe I’ll want to run away to New York or duck down in the woods where no one can reach me. Maybe I’ll want to live where Judy Garland grew up or where I can see Lake Superior out of my window.

I have time to figure it out. Some people don’t get it and some people do. I’ve just learned from this dramatic change to be more accepting of peoples choices regardless of what I think. We all have a reason for the things we do and even if we haven’t verbalized why to you; it’s in your best interest to respect each my decision even if you don’t get it.

Follow Up: TTGS

I figured I’d fill the blog-o-sphere in on my weekend adventures. With the help of my mom’s willingness to also go shopping, we decided to treat ourselves to a few new things after my last rant on WP.

I dug into the savings that I’ve been hoarding away for a rainy day and shopped until my feet hurt. (I’m glad I did.)

It was definitely a confidence booster to go place to place around town. I haven’t really gone shopping since I started loosing weight and I don’t think my mom had either. I’m so used to getting what I need rather than what I want. Over the past 4 or 5 years I’d only buy one item (like pants) because I needed them and my old pair (Yes, pair. I’ve very rarely allowed myself to have more than one or two pairs of pants at a time.) were getting worn out. It was both a breakthrough and a reality check for me. I was more realistic with what size I actually am rather than hoping I’m a size or three smaller than the tag shows. I made sure to grab a few different sizes before heading to the fitting room so that I wouldn’t be overly disappointed when something didn’t look as I’d hoped.

Obviously, I’m no where near where I’d like to be physically. To be honest, I don’t really see a change in how things fit because, like I said, I’ve never made “looking good” a priority until recently. But finding things that complimented my current body size nicely rather than just buying the cheapest thing on the clearance rack – it really felt good. And having my mom as my harshest critic yet biggest supporter really made me feel confident about my wardrobe choices.

I can’t wait to do it again in another 30 or so pounds.

Meet Raven.

I’d been casually looking at vehicles for the last few months. I had negotiated prices a few times and was this close to purchasing at least three times. But something always got the best of me, my conscience. Fast-forward another couple of weeks when I got the “I want to trade-in my vehicle” bug again; I started looking around for the zillionth time. I’ll cut this story short and just jump ahead to the exciting part. I decided on a 2014 Toyota RAV-4 and… I. Love. It!

With that being said; meet Raven. (Name coined by my one and only S.O.)

I was able to rid my negative equity with my sweet negotiation skills (I like to think that’s what helped me anyway), put a minimal amount down, and drove home with my color of choice.

About 2 years ago, I totaled a car that I’d had since high school in what I consider a freak accident. My dad was able to loan me his truck after my wreck but it really blew having to fill it up and rely on someone else’s vehicle to get around so last time I car shopped, I did it quickly. Ultimately, I ended up with a vehicle that I didn’t love. Through hard work and determination, I was able to change a situation that I didn’t like.

We have a little thing going around work for the community to get to know us better because, after all, we are a newspaper. So, if we wanted we could fill out a short survey and submit a photo. Yesterday, my summary was featured. Give it a thumbs up and share if you’d like! Check it out here! #WeAreTheHerald