Friday, December 2, 2011


A few Sundays ago in church, we heard one of my favorite Bible passages from the Book of Proverbs, about a virtuous wife.  This part really speaks to me:

"She obtains wool and flax and works with loving hands.  She puts her hands to the distaff, and her fingers ply the spindle.  She reaches out her hands to the poor, and extends her arms to the needy..."

I personally don't know what a distaff is, and I don't use a spindle; but I do sew things every day and I do work with loving hands, so I feel like a modern-day version of the virtuous wife.  But the last line bugged me, because it's been a while since I could say that I have reached out to the poor and needy.

On Monday, as on most Mondays, I drive my daughter back to college, 45 minutes away in Richmond, Virginia.  When we get off the highway in Richmond, there are 5 or 6 stoplights to go through before we reach her dorm; and at every stoplight, there is a different rough-looking man, holding a cardboard sign that says something like "Hungry, please help".  If we happen to be near the front of the line at the stoplight, the man walks slowly past our car, looking right at us, holding his sign prominently.  I've always looked straight ahead, ignoring them as much as possible, and feeling very uncomfortable.

But not any more!!  I've decided to do something for them.  Apparently, the standard thing to do is to wave a dollar out your car window, and the man will come over and get it (I saw that happen this week). 

When I got home, I pulled out the cash box that I haven't touched since I stopped doing craft shows a couple of years ago, and lookie what I found:

Those are all the one-dollar bills I had for making change in my craft booth.  I had no idea I had so much money sitting around--it looks like about $100 in ones.

So here's my plan:  I want to give each person I encounter $2, plus a snack (they must get hungry and thirsty standing there for hours on end); I will bag it up like this:
I'm thinking of adding a hand-made card like the one next to the baggie; but I'm not sure what to write on it.  "Have a nice day"?  "Don't worry be happy"?  Hmmm.  I don't want to sound like a dork, or worse, insensitive or condescending.  What would you write on the card?  Help me out with your comment, below.  Thanks.


Alexandra Abarca said...


Dada tu linda iniciativa le pondría:

"has vivido muchos ayeres,
te quedan más mañanas por vivir,
en cambio solo tienes un hoy para vivir,
vívelo como si fuera el último que te queda"


Costa Rica

Leslie Andersen said...

Here's a translation of the previous comment:

Given your pretty initiative would put:

"You have lived many yesterdays,
you are more tomorrows to live,
however, only have one day to live,
live it as if it were the last thing you have left "

Thanks, Google! The translation is a bit rough, but it gives us the idea.

And thank you, Alexandra; that is a very inspiring verse. I will use a version of it on some of my cards.

Anyone else have a suggestion?

Unknown said...

this IS the Christmas spirit in full force ESPECIALLY with the personal addition of something to eat, a little piece of nourishment. It's been a while, I have to say, since I bought breakfast for any of the down and out that I see in NYC near work. (Sometimes I dont like to give money because of the concern that it will be used to buy drugs. So I would ask how they like their coffee, etc.). Thank you for this reminder, Leslie. You are giving way more than $2 and some food--you are giving a very big blessing and helping those who we are called to help!

LimeRiot said...

Thank you for the inspiration, Leslie. This is a wonderful idea. I too often try to look away or avoid eye contact. No more! I'm going to feed off of your holiday spirit and do some giving myself!

Unknown said...

how about "someone cares." what a wonderful thing to do....

Jinx in the Garden said...

I love this idea! I hope it spreads far and wide! I plan on keeping a couple of these in my van at all times. It really is a lovely idea.

I think a simple "I hope this brightens your day a little bit." would be perfect. It's not too cheesy, too sentimental, too personal, or too preachy. It sets the tone just right, telling the receiver that you just wanted to do something nice for them and make their day a little better.