Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Getting and Giving

I was setting up my seller account on ebay one evening, and as I worked on posting my first item for sale, saw that I had the option to donate part of my proceeds. I was stunned to see, at the top of the list, Gift of Life Transplant House. It seemed fated - I didn't know that this organization, which had been so important to my family, was so well-known. I immediately chose it as my charity, and boy, does that make me smile!

I am a giver by nature. I give love, I give a shoulder to lean on, I give anything I have and you might need. But I have never yet been in a position to do much in the way of monetary giving. Now I see, I can easily begin making some contributions.

Not only do I want to give, I need to give. Because through the course of my life, I have received so much. The Transplant House is very special to me, as my family was one of the first to live there. And we lived there many times. We stayed in the very first transplant house, before they purchased the large building they occupy now. When the house was full, we even stayed in the convent!

My father was a four time kidney transplant recipient. I was 8 years old when he had his first transplant, and I have a lot of memories of the way friends, family, and strangers alike supported my family and gave from their hearts and their pockets.

I remember the fundraiser at a local high school basketball game. I remember the farmers helping to bring in the harvest the year my dad had his first transplant. I remember all the wonderful families we met at the Transplant House, and the friendships that emerged.

The Gift of Life Transplant House in Rochester, MN, provides housing at a very reasonable rate for transplant recipients. A transplant recipient at Mayo Clinic has to spend a lot of time at the hospital before transplant, and has to stay within a few miles of the hospital for at least a month following surgery. The Transplant House was founded to help the families of transplant patients bear the financial burden that this brings, and to give them a supportive, home-like environment to live in - instead of a hotel room. Families cook together, eat together, play games and watch tv together. Individual rooms don't even have televisions, to encourage the residents to interact.

So, although I am still not able to do much in the way of making monetary donations, I realized that I can do this - as I sell my work on Etsy, and Ebay, I can donate part of what I make. From every sale, I take what I think I can spare, and I put it in the donation account. And it makes me so happy to do so, because finally, I can show my support and gratitude for all the giving I have seen from others in my life. Granted, volunteering and other acts are as important as donating money - but from this distance, the best I can really do for this particular organization is send my donations.

My craft fulfills me in many ways, but perhaps this is the one that is the most important.

To learn more about the Gift of Life Transplant House, visit http://www.gift-of-life.org/

3 comments:

tanyBUG said...

great blog post. I am glad you have found a way to give back!

katelynjane said...

What an incrediable story! It's amazing to hear your experience.

Sidewing Creations said...

Hello, I just found you, your etsy shop and blog through a thread you posted on etsy. I really like your work and your blog. I was interested to read your posting about the Transplant House. If you should visit my blog you'll see a small list of my favorite charities. These are close to my heart for one reason or another. I suggest that you post a permanent link, so people visiting your blog will be able to find Transplant house, learn about its good work and hopefully make donations.