Reader poll: Who left the best comment?
Yesterday's Buck-a-Hit Day was a nice success, and as a group we're going to give more than $4,400 to Oregon charities as a result. But there's one bit of unfinished business: We have yet to designate where $250 of the charity loot will be going. That decision will be made by whoever wins our contest as author of the best comment posted here yesterday. And the judges in that contest are you.
We never said what "best" was supposed to mean, and so you can vote based on any criteria, or none at all. Here are the contestants, in chronological order:
1. Frank Dufay:
I'm home to prepare for a party tonight, dreading cleaning so still hanging in bed with the ol' laptop. I'd feel remiss if I didn't mention where my wife's a volunteer, "Forward Stride."2. Swimmer:
I'm not a horse guy. Frankly, I find them more scary then a pleasure. I'll get on one reluctantly.
That's not true for the kids and teens I see out at the barn. Physically or mentally disabled, their parents bring them for regular rides as part of their therapy. A boy who can't walk can exercise muscles he couldn't otherwise on the back of a horse. A girl whose handicaps left her shy and dispirited becomes someone altogether different, smiling with pride as she takes charge of "her" horse. And along with the few professional physical therapists, a community of volunteers, mucking stalls, holding kids on the horses, giving them new confidence as well as real, sustainable physical changes.
When I visit I may leave with mud on my shoes, but I'm always, always amazed at what this group does for those kids.
Thanks for the suggested donation sites; I had lost track of Jean McMasters. It is good to see she is still going strong with Human Solutions. She was so dedicated when I ran into her about 20 years ago volunteering in the Old Town area. Left a little something at that website as well as Sisters of the Road; we are truly blessed having those folks helping people reconnect with society. I happened to be listening on the radio when one of the founders was talking about our brothers and sisters that have fallen on hard times. That type of faith and belief in the good and possibility of people no matter who they are touches your soul and makes you want to be a better more compassionate person.3. Al:
Thanks for doing this for charity. This year and for the last few years we've given Christmas livestock to some of our family members. Last year it was goats, this year sheep. Now, I don't mean that we showed up on the doorstep holding a bleating sheep; instead, we gave a gift through Heifer International.4. Teacherrefpoet:
HI is an organization that helps needy people all over the globe become more self-sufficient through the gift of livestock and training in animal husbandry techniques. Each family receiving an animal agrees to "pass on the gift" in their community by giving the first offspring of the animal to another family. So the sheep that we gave can help a whole community!
I think our idea is catching on, because this year my brother in law and his wife gave us a gift in the form of a donation to Doctors Without Borders.
We really feel good about the money that we give in place of traditional gifts. Christmas for us has become more of an opportunity to help others, and less of an opportunity to consume... and get gifts that we don't want or need from our relatives. We don't know the people who are receiving our gifts of the sheep. What we do know is that we are really helping someone who has the motivation to make very good use of the gift we have given them, and that it will improve their lives, and the lives of their children. And that gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling that I don't get from any other gift I'll be giving this year.
I'd like to pipe up to give the $250 to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.5. Jake:
I lost a 21-year-old former student this year to leukemia. I had never lost a student before, and it felt bizarre and unnatural for me to outlive one. Julia was a great kid. While I was her teacher, she danced in a local performance, she gave me tickets. It turned out that the performance was the day after my dad's big heart attack. I thought of not going, but my family convinced me that staying 24/7 at the hospital would drive me batty, so the then-girlfriend-now-wife and I went. Julia actually got me to forget about some of the worst troubles I've ever been through.
Cancer's a major bastard to take away any kid, let alone a kid as kind and talented as Julia. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is not a chic or posh charity -- it's rather old school. But I do NOT want to outlive another student, so I'd love to see some money go to stop that disease.
Thanks for reading.
Threw a bit of money your way, Jack. I know it ain't much, but I'd rather $10 go to one of these great organizations than some of my jackass relatives that I feel obligated to buy for.6. Cassie Fessler:
These types of kids should send some of mommy and daddy's money they needlessly blow to groups like this. They'd earn some respect, which they have very little of right now.
Happy holidays everyone!
Jack, I have been reading your blog since Margi wrote about the Welches con man, but have not felt a call to comment until today.7. Portland Native:
Several years ago, we at the Sweet Home United Methodist Church developed a new mission statement. Since that time, we have been responding to God’s call by feeding the physical, social, and spiritual hungers of all people. We cooperate with Sweet Home Emergency Ministries to provide a free meal for 60 to 100 in our dining room every Friday evening.
This last Sunday was our third year to fill Christmas baskets as an act of worship. We are small but mighty! Just 30 people spent 20 minutes stocking food boxes for 26 needy families. That included a turkey, canned food, five pounds each of sugar and flour, snacks, bread, fresh vegetables, milk, pies, stuffing mix, butter, and that is just what I can remember. We also made sure that everyone in each family received a wrapped gift.
The families are invited to come to the front door of the church to pick up their boxes.
This year I seem to be especially reflective about how much my family has and how so many struggle just to get by.8. Gerry Van Zandt:
And this is is happening right now! in the USA. Children have gone to bed hungry tonight.
It is just not right.
Do any of us need that 80 gig Ipod, the new cd or dvd, the latest 60 inch flat screen tv?
Could we down size just a little bit, and help feed the hungry children in this country and places like the Congo, or Darfur?
The corn used to fill up an suv with ethanol one time, could feed a family of 4 for a year!
Think about it!
Just think of the amount of REAL goodwill one less CoP useless monetary boondoggle would purchase. With this thought, I make my donation.There you have our eight finalists. Vote here, and we'll announce the winner tomorrow morning. Whoever wins, gets to steer $250 of the Buck-a-Hit Day collections: