Sunday, March 15, 2009

Karma Isn't Always a Bitch

About 10 years ago, things were not going well for me. I got sick. I left my job. My boyfriend was married, but somehow forgot to mention that tiny detail to me. I was alone and depressed and feeling very sorry for myself. This sounds like a Country & Western song, but I promise it isn’t. I found a new job and things were turning around, but I wasn’t going to get my first paycheck for a while.

A friend loaned me $200. I told her I didn’t know when I could pay her back, but I would as soon as I was able to. She told me not to. She said that someday I would be in a position to help someone else out and I should give the money to him or her. This stuck with me for so long because it was just really, really, kind, but also because she didn’t have an extra $200 to give to me. She was living paycheck to paycheck and had recently been living in her car. I asked her how she could do this and she told me that when she needed it, someone helped her and asked her to do the same when she could.

There’s a non-profit organization that does stuff like this every day. Modest Needs helps people who need urgent assistance to make it until the next paycheck and before they get sucked into the cycle of the vile Cash and Go loan sharks or government assistance/dependence.

I’m posting this for two reasons. The first is that you may be in a position to help. If you’re looking for a charity organization that helps people who need unexpected, but basic things like to replace a dead car battery or glasses because they broke the pair they’ve been wearing for 10 years and don’t have any extra money in their budget to have them fixed. Or to help someone pay for the vet bill because their dog had a tumor which needed to be removed.

The second reason is that you may need help or know someone else who does. It’s a good place to start. Modest Needs won’t just give someone money, but will help with an unforeseen expense and will issue a check directly to the vendor. It won’t take away all their problems or make them rich, but it may help them sleep a bit better without worrying how they’re going to fix the broken water heater or pay that delinquent medical bill.

I urge you to check them out, particularly the “thank you” page.

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