It’s after 2 am and I’m in San Antonio, TX. Julie went to bed several hours ago but if she’s anything like she’s been lately, she’s not sleeping.
Neither one of us seems to be doing much eating or sleeping, lately.
We are still waiting for the surgeon to nail down a date and in the meantime, worry is consuming both of us.
So, rather than bother her with the things rattling around in my head in surfing on the Internet.
Julie and I make a comfortable salary. Both of us in the six digits and we don’t have a lot of outgoing bills.
Because of that, when one of us gets the urge to spend its pretty funny how drastically different our tastes are.
Julie buys materialistic things. Big things. The truck, the boat…etc.
I’m fine with that. She works just as hard as I do so she is free to spend our extra money however she sees fit.
Me? I’m not so extravagant. Oh I like to splurge on myself once in a while but the most expensive thing I bought for me was a Glock G43 gen 4, recently.
My ex never allowed guns in the house and I have always had a healthy appreciation for them so I now own a few.
I have a Glock G22 gen 4 which is a .40 caliber. It’s the gun that I keep in my truck when I am traveling by car. It’s big and hefty. I love the way it feels in my hand. The recoil isn’t bad at all and it’s the gun I used to qualify for my concealed carry license so I’m a pretty accurate shot.
This latest one is a sub compact 9 mm. It’s so small that I can literally carry it in my front pant pocket and no one knows it’s there.
I bought it on a whim. Literally. I was at the store getting ammo for the practice range and saw it in the case. At $529 I decided I had to have it.
It doesn’t have the same stopping power as the .40 but with the right ammo it will do the job.
I use it for trips like this. Ones where I’ll be flying to my destination and renting a vehicle. It’s small and right now, the states that I travel in have reciprocity agreements with Illinois and Texas so it’s legal for me to carry them in my vehicles.
It may seem like a Rambo-esque attitude, but keep in mind a lot of my job sites are in remote locations and the work is typically done at night. Luckily, (knock on wood) I’ve never needed to use them.
Now…those are the types of things that I will spend money on. Guns, prints of famous bridges, vintage books, etc. Not tonight.
Julie’s cancer has me in the mindset of how badly things could get and just how much worse they could be if we weren’t financially secure.
I can’t imagine having to worry how to pay the co pays for her visits or treatments. I don’t know how we would survive the emotional burden that would come from stressing about medical bills and lost wages.
There are those who do have that fear and that reality to face.
I’ve always felt that it was my responsibility to give where I could. Donate my time, knowledge and yes; money to charities that can do the most good.
I have spent some time with Habitat for Humanity. My skills in construction came in handy but with my limited time, I’m no longer able to do that.
When my mother had cancer, I gave to St. Jude’s. Yes, it’s a children’s hospital but watching her suffer made me realize that someone who was going through that with a child would be devestated.
I’ve donated blood, I’m an organ donor and I have even spent time at the University helping out with collecting household items when the tornado hit a small Illinois town near our home.
Tonight I came across another charity that I had heard of but hadn’t spent too much time researching; Donors choose.org
This charity is one where teachers can submit a project that their class is doing and ask for donations to help offset the costs.
The organization reviews the request, researches and verifies the costs that the teacher says are associated and if it all checks out, they post it for people to donate.
All donations are tax deductible and you can even choose which projects you want to donate to. It has it broken down into states and cities so you are able to find a location near you if you choose.
My ex is a teacher and I remember how we spent so much of our own money to buy school supplies and classroom items because there was no way the kids could afford them.
I went through the map and picked out an elementary school art class in Albuquerque, NM.
Why? Well, I have projects in New Mexico so it felt like I was giving something back and because it was the only school in the entire state posted on the site.
A few clicks and I was able to fund the remainder of the amount that Ms. Keyes needed for her classes to undertake a mural reconstruction at their school which needs many repairs.
Anyone who has ever been to New Mexico can tell you that a lot of the towns and villages don’t put a lot of money into their public buildings so I could definitely envision a school that teaches children from the nearby reservation as being below standards when it comes to modern amenities.
Now, I’m not saying that you should rush out and donate to this organization. It may not be something you are compelled to do.
It is, however, something I think is worth looking in to if you, like me, feel it’s your duty to give a little back.
Just a suggestion.