Tag: Donate

crochet for charity

Crochet For Charity

Crochet for charity!

Join us on December 18th at 11 AM, when instructor John Ossowski will teach you how to crochet a moss stitch block. The blocks will be made into a blanket and donated to Warm Up America!, a non-profit that donates handmade blankets to people in need. If you can’t make it, but you’d like to participate, you can hand in your blocks at the desk. They must be moss stitch and 7″x9″.

DONATE: Donate By Nan Ressue

Word Count 422

By Nan Ressue

There was the envelope resting quietly in the mailbox. It was one of those long official looking
ones with the Albany Medical Center logo stamped in the upper left corner. My hands were
beginning to tremble and my stomach seizing up as I gingerly removed it from the mailbox.
I knew what this was about but I what I didn’t know was the decision it contained.
“You better sit down first before you open this letter,” I counseled myself. ”It could be
acceptance or rejection.”
“How would you feel if the answer was No? Relieved? Disappointed? Happy?
How would you feel if the answer was yes? Strange thing…the answers are all the same.”

I summoned all my courage, ripped open the envelope, and unfolded the crisp page:
“Dear Donor:
Albany Medical Center is pleased to inform you that your kidney and blood type are an
acceptable match for your proposed donation. An appointment for consultation and surgery is
enclosed. Please contact our office at your earliest convenience to confirm these arrangements.”
Beads of perspiration stood out on my forehead as I tried to envision all that this entailed. Yes,
she would die without a new kidney. Yes, you can continue to live a normal life with only one
kidney. Yes, I am a match for this fragile dear friend. And the deepest, clearest memory of
all…I told her I would if I could.
There it is again. It’s the fear raising its ugly head, calling out, reaching to crush my generosity.
It’s selfishness getting in the way of a life giving gift. Do I have the courage to allow somebody
to subtract a piece of my body and give it to somebody else?
The blessing of insight suddenly explains that a woman can give new life twice: once with giving
birth to a child and again with sharing organs with the dying.
I fumbled in my pocket for my cell phone and carefully touched the numbers which would bring
me her voice.
“Hi Annie…The letter came today with the news we’ve been waiting for. It’s a yes, my dear
friend, with you and I as a match. Please don’t cry. Be happy that both you and I will now live
to see another day. I’ll call you again tomorrow.”
I put my phone back in my pocket and leaned back in my armchair, closing my eyes.
“Yes, you did the right thing,” praised my conscience.
“Just keep telling me that will you please?” I begged “Tell me over and over and over.”

DONATE: The Hero By Peg Scarano

Word: Donate
Word Count: 499

The Hero
By Peg Scarano

I was 24 years old; married for two years; had a decent job in the purchasing department at the
hospital; and some great friends. The marriage was sailing on smooth seas after several months
of riding turbulent waves through frequent, but short-lived storms. I felt good about myself, but
perhaps life had now become a bit mundane and unchallenging.
It was a routine day at work. I was plugging in numbers (manually as computers were not yet
invented) when my phone rang. “Hi! This is Peggy. How may I help you?” It was a co-worker
from the lab sounding rather desperate. “Peg, we have a patient in ICU who is in immediate
need of B+ blood and there is none currently available. Can you help us?” “I don’t know where
to get blood. That’s your job.” “No, you don’t understand. YOU have B+ blood and we’d like
YOU to volunteer to donate for this patient.”
How did they know I had B+ blood? Did I even know I had B+ blood? Whatever, here was a
chance to be a hero and add excitement to my life. How hard could it be? I agreed and reported
to the ER for the procedure with a smile on my face and a strut in my stride. I was asked to lie
on a stretcher and relax. Pretty easy so far! Nurse Nancy came over holding the biggest needle I
had ever seen in my life. It was the size of a garden hose! “What’s that for?” I inquired
unsteadily. Nurse Nancy smiled and stated “This is how we collect blood.” Oh, God. After
countless palpitations, long, loud sighs, search parties seeking a vein and me nearly soiling
myself, they got the needle in my arm. It was awful.
It seemed years passed by before Nurse Nancy strolled over to say, “Oh, dear.” That didn’t
sound good. “What’s the matter?” Apparently, my veins gave up ½ a pint and then closed their
doors. That meant they had to put another garden hose in my other arm. It was horrifying.
Finally, my veins gave up the other ½ pint and the hose was released. As I sat up, my head
whirled, my eyes rolled and I temporarily left this world. The next thing I recall, Nurse Nancy
was forcing orange juice down my throat. Unknown to her, orange juice makes me sick. I
proceeded to expel gastrointestinal material from my mouth making a horrible mess everywhere.
I was so embarrassed.
For my valiant efforts I was told I could go to the coffee shop for free toast. Since my stomach
was definitely empty and nothing is ever free at the hospital, I took them up on the offer.
On my way home, I stopped by ICU to ask how the patient who needed blood was doing. There
was a pregnant pause before I was told he had passed away shortly after receiving what was
supposed to be life-saving fluids. So much for my heroism.

DONATE: Donation By Sarah McEvoy

Word: Donate
Word Count: 458

By Sarah McEvoy

The crisp scent of bleach sheets filled her nose as she wrung her hands together. She’d
never wanted children so the thought of being pregnant had never been one that had ever
crossed her mind, but here she was awaiting her cesarean.
She was giving birth not to her own child, but to the angel her brother and sister-in-law
had always dreamed of. Reiley had never wanted a child of her own but she has also
never seen someone want something so badly that they could feel the need in their bones.
That was exactly how Ryan and Rosel had explained this to her when they begged on
their knees for her help.
She had donated the very essence of herself to carrying her niece and bringing this little
bundle of joy into the world for two hundred seven days four hours and twelve minutes.
She endured the morning sickness, wore the compression stockings and drank that orange
sludge they forced down her throat in the second trimester. Time was up. She adorned the
blue mesh cap, hid behind the curtain and awaited the wail of a happy healthy baby. She
had prayed for this baby’s health even though she wasn’t really the praying kind, but she
couldn’t mess anything up, her family was counting on her.
Ryan and Rosel had gone through more torment and heartbreak throughout this process
than she had ever dreamed one couple could go through, but still they persisted. Reiley’s
boyfriend had left her days after the embryo was implanted. If she wasn’t willing to give
him a child, but would donate her body to her brother’s cause, he wasn’t going to be there
when she came out the other side sixty pounds heavier, eight longs weeks of healing
ahead and nothing to show for at the end but the scar. Did she make the right decision?
Just at that moment she heard it, the beautiful crisp sound of a baby’s first cry…her baby.
Although she was only the aunt she had donated a lot of time, effort and sleepless nights
to this baby’s life already and she was determined to see this process through to the end.
Reiley held her niece for the first time an hour later. A beautiful button nose, powder pink
cheeks and eyes the color of the Caribbean. Tears streamed down Reiley’s cheeks,
although she had never thought she’d be in this position, she was grateful her Brother and
sister-in-law had given her the opportunity to bring this life into the world to be loved and
raised by a beautiful family, and allow Reiley to share in the immeasurable experience of
having a child and seeing what it feels like to love something so small so unconditionally.

DONATE: Give Live By Mike Cecconi

Word Count 500

Give Live
By Mike Cecconi

When Social Wellness Solutions introduced Give-Life to the world, it sounded miraculous. The
idea you could transfer a piece of your lifespan to someone else was revolutionary and, just like
any other revolution, it took years to settle in as status quo. That was decades ago, though, and
Suzanne’s eyes glazed over the promotional video playing in the clinic lobby. She’d learned all
this in elementary, Social Wellness paid every school district in the country to put a chapter on
its origins into their history text-pads.
Give-Life’s first stunt was “Donate A Week To Deke”, some kid in Wichita named Deacon was
dying from a disease with a name the length of an arm, they had ads all over asking folks to give
just one week off the end of their lives to help him live a little longer.
Millions volunteered, just what Social Wellness needed to get their meat-hooks into the world’s
consciousness. It was astronomically expensive, and it was never one-to-one, the recipient didn’t
get the full time you gave them, it depended on your health and their lack own thereof, a bit like
converting Euros to Yuan. Social Wellness offered it to Deacon for free, to get publicity, and the
accumulated weeks of millions eventually let Deke live to thirty-five instead of just seventeen. A
miracle indeed but now just ancient history.
Social Wellness didn’t Give-Life for free anymore, that’s why Suzanne was there. Four hundred
thousand Euros for a master’s degree didn’t grow on trees. Ten years off the back-end of her life,
when she’d be decrepit anyway, could net her a bit more than that.
By now, Give-Life was mostly just for rich people to crowd-source longer life-spans from the
desperate. The High Hubbard of the Dianetic Church was seventy-four years old but didn’t look
a day over thirty and was said to have three centuries banked. If you were a vid-star or owned a
corp, you could literally buy time and if you could, of course you did. If you couldn’t, you were
folk like Suzanne, in her twenties leveraging off her eighties to discharge her debts.
Rumors were the life-spans collected at her local clinic all went to Baron Trump, emperor of the
Confederate Syndicate out east, but who could say? She didn’t see a point in knowing to whom
she was selling her life away. She remembered her grandpa telling her once how his dad worked
thirty years in a terrible factory to put him through college. The people who bought the things he
built didn’t ask who gave up their decades to make them, after all.
And so, Suzanne signed the paper, stepped into the machine and gave away ten years of her life
so some rich person somewhere else could enjoy wealth even longer. As far as she could see, it
wasn’t any different than selling decades to the factory and this way, no back-breaking labor to
remember. Just a shorter life-span. That was the deal. That’s always the deal.

DONATE: The Gift of Giving By Sam McManus

Word Count 500

The Gift of Giving
By Sam McManus

The bin stood empty by the door to the hall, with a big sign plastered on its face, but not much
else to recommend it to the masses. It wasn’t his fault, Ralph told himself so as to not feel guilty.
After all, this reasoning had worked when he left Marcy with nothing more than a Post-it Note,
three contrite words penned on it in his hand. He hadn’t returned her calls. He was sure she had
also left voicemails, but he hadn’t checked.
No one at Delightful Décor had any inkling what kind of man Ralph was. To them, he was Head
Conceptualist, the man who transformed empty space into something worthwhile and sometimes
transcendent, the man who worked with Jenna. The bin had originally been her idea. The sign
tacked to the bin said “Donate,” the words starkly black against the white of the sign itself.
Theirs was a three-walled office so the door was just for show, standing idly in the middle of the
open space on what would have been the fourth wall. Dotting the empty space to the left and
right of the door were synthetic butterflies. Ralph had always surmised that they were meant to
liven up the space. They moved in seemingly random patterns, except where the door separated
“Perpetual taupe is out,” he told Yolanda Johnson, one of his clients, looking to liven up her
freshly built cape cod.
“But Francis will throw a fit if we don’t use his palette,” she replied, pouting.
“Francis won’t be living in the space,” said Ralph; to him the matter was solved. He had an
ability to size up anything in a matter of seconds; he was utterly inflexible after making any
decision. That’s how he had assessed their relationship in the end, and why he hadn’t bothered
himself with the fallout.
“Well, if you say so,” Yolanda agreed, however grudgingly.
“Be sure to donate when you leave,” Ralph said, gesturing toward the empty bin between the
butterflies. Her eyes narrowed, but she took out her purse anyway. The butterflies slowed their
pace, as if suddenly swimming through syrup. Yolanda Johnson rose from her seat, crossed the
space, and dropped two one-hundred-dollar bills into the bin before exiting.
When she was gone, the butterflies sped up again. Ralph called Francis on the personal intercom
system, and asked him to come down.
“We will no longer be cataloguing perpetual taupe,” Ralph said, and Francis nodded his silent
acquiescence. He had learned long ago to defer to the older man. “Be sure to donate,” Ralph
said, as the younger man started to rise. Francis took off his silk shirt and placed it carefully in
the bin, then left. The butterflies flew maniacally for a few seconds before settling down again.
They mesmerized him. He wondered what would happen if he invited Marcy to come down. He
imagined what she would donate, and found he really wanted to know.
He called her number from memory, and waited.

DONATE: Donate, Donate, Donate By Marea Needle

Word: Donate
Word count: 480

Donate, Donate, Donate
By Marea Needle

Dear Lord, today we are gathered here in your presence to honor you and your only
son Jesus. We have taken this holy day of Sunday, a day of rest, to come together and
unite us like the Trinity.
This day we bless what is given to us: our breath, our family, our friends and our
freedom. What is more important than that? We arise from restful sleep, put on clean
clothes, eat breakfast and go to school, a job, or as divine mothers, tend the home and
children. We don’t stop enough to think of the lowly, the forgotten, the starving, and
homeless. Do you think Jesus would? No! Not by all the angels in heaven would he! He
would lay down his life for the downtrodden, no matter what! O God above give us the
courage, the strength, the wherewithal to remember these forgotten souls who live in the
sewer, scavenge for discarded food in trash cans, live under the dumpster or by
abandoned railroad tracks. These are God’s children, the ones who society, like us; yes,
like us, often forget as we sit in our comfortable living rooms watching TV. Dear Jesus,
put loving thoughts of giving into us for God’s meek flock. Let them feel what it is like to
sleep on new sheets in a bed on a full stomach. Let them know what it is like not to wear
rags. I pray for this congregation to be open to God’s will and let his love wash over you.
We have all heard: “The meek shall inherit the earth.” Let these poor ones have their
days of glory. Simple days where they are happy to be alive, smile at a sunny day and are
able to say with gratefulness: “Good Morning Neighbor.” We know charity begins at
home- so let us begin here- in God’s home. Jesus preached to help the poor. We are his
disciples, so let us follow what he preached.
Mother Teresa said: “The fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love is service.” So let us be of
service to our fellowman. Give of our time, give of our faith and donate! Some of you
may think, how crass to bring up money, but my dear congregation, in this world money
can be for the Lord’s work or for the Devil’s deeds. It is the user of it who decides which
way he will go. Let us take the hand of our parishoner who sits next to you now and rise
to join me in one vast prayer.
“To the God that made us all, may we loosen our ties to greed, write a check; maybe
more than one, just donate till it hurts; to feel bereft like the poor. Amen”.
Silently he adds: ‘ and let these riches flow unto me.’

DONATE: One More Battle In The Final Frontier By Josh McMullen

Word: Donate
Word Count 498

One More Battle In The Final Frontier
By Josh McMullen

Lieutenant Colonel Clint Holbert donated his body to the Space Force just 19 days ago. He
rocketed up into space just 13 days ago, and within a day, was already patrolling the orbit around
Earth for enemy craft. All he had seen in his time was a bunch of merchant ships floating
gracefully down into the atmosphere, disappearing under a blanket of clouds.
He sat in his captain's chair, leaning back to face the ceiling. The trade season was winding
down, and the number of merchant ships slowed to a trickle. A full contingent of 30 officers and
198 enlisted spacemen, and here we are, just watching merchant ships come in, Clint thought.
Like most of the battle-hardened officers before him, he yearned for the heat of battle.
Clint stepped into his office and watched the big blue marble that held his home. The Soaring
Eagle was an all-in-one science, exploration and battle cruiser, and soon would be fitted to do all
three of those things, but for now, was sitting in its figurative dry dock, with contractors working
on it around the clock. Clint sighed as the world rotated below his feet and went about his duties
as captain of the ship.
One day, the monotony of merchant ship duty was broken by klaxons on all decks. Clint bounced
out of bed excitedly, assuming if he could not go to the action, the action was finally coming to
him. He heard the announcement that enemy ships were within sensor range and would be
arriving in Earth orbit within a few hours. He listened for his ship in the mobilization
announcement, but only became more and more crestfallen with every ship that was listed. When
the message ended without any mention of the Soaring Eagle, Clint turned on his heel and sat
down dejectedly in his chair.
He came to a sudden realization. This was his ship, and he would not be reduced to a desk job on
his own ship, when the enemy was sitting on his doorstep. He sat up confidently and pressed a
nearby communication button. “Holbert to Engineering,” he said boldly. “What's the status on
our fittings?”
“Still a few hours away, Captain,” a voice said. “They just finished the warp drive, and all
computer functions should be up within the hour.”
“Belay those orders, Chief Engineer,” Clint said brashly. “We're heading out of dry deck and off
toward Saturn, at the highest warp you can give me.”
He knew that somehow, the higher-ups would find out. He knew the risks involved with taking
on a fully-powered enemy ship with one that was barely functional. Honestly, he didn't care. The
smell of battle flooded his nostrils and he longed to engage the enemy at once.
“Head off for Saturn, airman,” Clint said to the young man running the helm. “Warp five, if we
can manage it.” He smiled as the engines hummed to life. “Ready all available weapons, and let's
get ready to rumble.”

DONATE: Special Intentions By Terry Rainey

Word Count 500

Special Intentions
By Terry Rainey

Cold and gray outside, one week till Lent, time of reflection, denial, regret and guilt,
Sister Mary Xavier’s favorite time of year. For our upcoming Lenten coin collection, SisterX
had let us anonymously submit special intentions for its use. I’d told Herman that anonymous
was Latin for pain in our ass, which is what we called Rebekka Kane. I gathered the proposals
so I read most before placing them on Sister’s desk. Suggestions included Women’s Lib,
Ecology, European Gypsies, Save Arachnids, Defense of Spiro Agnew, Polish orphans, Vatican
restoration, OLPS basketball team socks, the space program, and Biafra.
Sister chose Organ Donation Awareness, Rebekka’s submission. Of course. Rebekka’s
relatives lived on Pittsburgh’s South Side. She’d brought her grandmother’s potato dumplings
for SisterX and became her ally and confidant and spy. Rebekka’s grandparents attended St.
Casimir Parish, and even though SisterX had gone to Our Mother of Sorrows, St. Casimir was
her hero saint, as he’d died a virgin, wore a hair-shirt, and slept upon the bare earth. He was
patron saint of youth and of bachelors. Small wonder about his bachelorhood, considering his
bed and the hair shirt.
Organ donation was lunch topic that day. What would we need in the afterlife? Even in
heaven, we’d want to play sports and watch Bonanza. What good was heaven with no eyes? TV,
we were sure, got perfect reception there.
Rebekka was donating her entire evil body but my friends were much more modest about
their donations. Kevin was giving up fingernails; Martin his small toes, helping some future
doofus to dance, thereby reducing Martin’s purgatory time; Herman his appendix; but I was
jealous of Rebekka and claimed that I’d also donate all my parts.
However I regretted my pronouncement, and then felt guilty about my regret. That night,
in bed, I caressed my comfortable t-shirt, thankful that it had no hair, and I beseeched God.
“Dear Lord in Heaven, sorry to disturb You, but in the morning I may be dead, and how
will I feel about that rash decision regarding organ donation? How is afterlife without eyes,
ears, tongue, liver, and knees? Could I still kneel? Can I take some things with me, a
basketball, a Ping-Pong paddle, and insect repellent? Is purgatory filled with swarms of gnats?
Is this one of Your tests, like when You asked Abraham to kill Isaac, and then You told him You
were just kidding? If we do give all our parts away, would You do a miracle and make us whole
again? Would Rebekka Kane, for example, be back in one piece, but have smaller feet and non-
smelly breath? For all this, I pray. PS, God, forgive me for my mean judgments about St.
Casimir and some of my unkind thoughts about Rebekka. I also pray I won’t die a virgin. Thank
you for Your many blessings, especially for this week’s game against St. Norbert of Xanten, and
for Susan Timberlake. Accepting Your Almighty judgment and apologizing for the wicked
virginity thought. Amen.”