Sunday, March 02, 2008

Paying it forward.

In the interest of disclosure, I wanted to share a few things regarding the money raised on my behalf for the window film fund. As of Friday, I've only spent 10-20% of what Berlie sent me (the remainder after film costs). I have some orders in for UV blocking clothes and special sunblock lotion and a few wide brim hats. It has come to my attention that there's a local agnostic family whose son was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. Braden is two years old. Because of his recent diagnosis, it is going to be necessary for his mother to stay with him at a hospital in Southern California until he is stabilized and able to go home with the appropriate standard of care. I was informed, by a mutual acquaintance, that they are struggling to make ends meet while mom is taking off work. I've been where they are. P1 and P2 have health issues. P1 had severe hydronephrosis and grade V viseocouretal reflux. She had multiple surgeries between 1995 and 1999. Her last surgery was an emergency nephrectomy. P2 has WPW (Wolff Parkinson White). Essentially, he is prone to tachycardic episodes and was on beta blockers for most of his life. In 2005, he underwent a catheter, cardiac ablation. I've been where these parents are and it breaks my heart. There's nothing comforting about finding that your child has been diagnosed with a serious condition. And, it creates hardship for the family. In Braden's family's case... lacking mom's income is making it hard for them to make their mortgage payment this month. The mortgage is $832. They also are spending a bunch of money for dad to drive back and forth to Southern California to be with his son. I don't think any parent should be faced with the choice of being with their child or defaulting on a mortgage. So...I hope you'll understand when I tell you that I took $1000 and paid it forward to Braden's family. I sent along a note telling them how the money was raised and that it was the generosity of you guys that made it possible for me to help. I take no credit for it. I hope this doesn't offend anyone. I know you donated the money with the thought that you were helping me. But, I couldn't see this need and not help. Maybe I'm wrong to tell you about it after the fact? If you're upset with me for passing this along because it wasn't where you wanted your money to go, then I apologize.

30 comments:

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Sounds like a damn good cause to me. What I dislike is when you donate and a big percentage of your donation goes to admin costs.

So no offense from me PM, the money is going to people who need it not a church that is going to skim money of the top. I would even mind if they were religious.

Varjosiili said...

That's such a wonderful idea! I can't see how any of us could take offense that you wanted to pass the good fortune forwards.

I'm going to feel all warm and fuzzy for days, knowing we've helped _two_ families now.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

@Sean - I feel the same. That they're agnostic is kind of irrelevant. I wouldn't have mentioned it if it hadn't been for the fact that I hear that Braden's grandparents asked a church for help on the family's behalf and were denied because of Braden's family not being registered members. I was flabbergasted. It made me think of the past discussions here (and on Berlzebub's blog) about the lack of an atheist network for situations of this nature. I just can't even imagine turning down anyone with a need...especially a child. I don't really see the church's standpoint that they will only spend money on parishoners or "directly on the child". My opinion is that said child probably likes having a place to live and would be traumatized to learn that their illness hurt the family's financial situation. That's something no child should have to believe or think for even a moment.

@Varjosiili - I know it probably seems silly that I'd seek opinions on this, but...in a way, it's not entirely my money to give away. It was collected for a specific cause and I think anytime you deviate money from a specific cause, that you owe it to the donors to inform them and explain. I agree with you, though: I like the feeling I got from paying this forward. It was amazing to send that envelope with the acquaintance and hear that the dad was visibly relieved and truly thankful. The acquaintance said it was obviously a weight off his shoulders. That's what it's all about, as humans, isn't it? :)

lesliepear said...

No offense at all - a very kind jesture on your part. One of my LJ friends has a son with cystic fibrosis.

Poodles said...

What a great idea. As you could see from my blog the church doesn't even help their members sometimes. GGGRRR!!!

Maggie Rosethorn said...

That is a wonderful idea, Pmomma. The fact is, the money was given to you to spend as you saw fit. This is a need you saw and felt the need to answer. Good for you. And lots of hugs and warm fuzzies, too.

Hugo said...

I agree with all the other comments, the money was donated for helping people so as long as it doesn't go to a religious organization it's all good.

Perpetual Beginner said...

I couldn't ask for a better way to use the money, so no offense here at alll, obviously. Best of luck to them.

Arkonbey said...

Good job!

'nuff said.

Nikhil Rajwade said...

But PMomma I thought we atheists are supposed to be mean, selfish, soul eaters!? We cant go around doing good deeds and helping other people! What will the 'others' think!!

Super PMomma! Keep up the good work! Good luck to Braden and family.

reddhedd said...

You rock!

Mephitis said...

I think it's great and I'm glad to have had a minescule part in helping.

Xena said...

I think it was the perfect thing to do with the money. Good choice.

Tanya said...

Offended? How could anyone be offended by such a generous thing! I hope the money really helps out that family. They sound like they could use all the help they can get.

Seven Crows said...

I don't mind at all. Lately I have been bother by reports of how much of money donated to the large groups like Save the Children etc doesn't actually get used for the stated purpose. Organizational expenses, fund raising efforts, lobbying suck up far to much of that money.

So even though I can't write these kind of donations off on my taxes I try and make as many as I can so I know that 100% of my donation is being used.

fdqpink/Baal's Bum said...

I second or third every positive comment here Well done PM!

reVAMPed said...

Are you sure God didn't tell you to do it?

What a wonderful thing *YOU* did. I've always believed in the "what goes around comes around" philosophy.

Bravo.

Psychodiva said...

lovely idea Posummomma :)
please keep us up to date as to how the little lad is getting on :)

HolyAtheist said...

Good job on doing what the church wouldn't do. I love it when people who claim the moral high ground get owned by the very people they detest as being immoral.

RHM said...

As far as I'm concerned, the money was for you to do what you will, with no need for we donors to know the specifics.
But, I appreciate you sharing some of your choices - paying it forward is a great thing!

the chaplain said...

Nothing wrong with spreading the love around as far as it will go. Good decision.

Berlzebub said...

Thanks for the update, but I told everyone that the remainder of the money would go to you and the P-Family to "use as you see fit". Still, it is good... actually great... to know that the money we raised is helping out two families. Please keep us posted on how Braden is doing, and if I can do anything else to help.

You wouldn't happen to know if Braden's grandparents are still attending that church, would you? My parents switched churches, because of something similar.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

I'm not sure, Berlzebub. I know that they are extremely unhappy and were with Braden all day Sunday (at the hospital). I've never met them, so I'm not sure what sort of people they are or how deep their devotion to one church runs, but...if that were my grandchild and my church refused to lift a finger after years of tithing...

Knitterman said...

angry? upset? heck no. It think it is cool you were able to get the window film, PLUS protective clothing, PLUS had some leftover to help someone else. Brava! I first came here because of Berl's post on the collection, so I'm very glad to know the gift is moving forward.

spurge said...

I am quite the opposite of offended.

Sounds like they really needed the help.

Good work Possummomma.

ozatheist said...

I agree with all the other positive comments.
I donated with the good intention that the money was going to a worthwhile cause. If that worthwhile cause (that's you Possum) thinks someone else is also in need of a bit of help then I have no problem with that.

I appreciate your thoughtfulness to let us know what you are doing with the money. It sounds like it's in safe and kind hands.

Joe said...

Add me to the approval bandwagon. Its nice to see good tiding passed forward to others in need.

Carrie said...

Agreed on all counts... this sounds like a wonderful use for the money, and I am so glad we could all help not just one family in need but two.

Anonymous said...

Hi, just saw your post. I'm one of the many people who put a little money in the pot for you. I mention that now only because I want to say that the only thing nicer than having helped you is that you were able to extend that help to other people as well. Well done, and thank you for increasing the value of everybody's gifts!

Mrs Tilton said...

Hi, just saw your post. I'm one of the many people who put a little money in the pot for you. I mention that now only because I want to say that the only thing nicer than having helped you is that you were able to extend that help to other people as well. Well done, and thank you for increasing the value of everybody's gifts!