Donations

Along with the rest of the holiday activities I finally decided where to make charitable donations. The first one came right after I wrote “Year-End Donations” on December 18, 2009. There was a UConn women’s basketball game on CPTV as I was hustling to get Christmas cards in the mail. In between writing cards and addressing envelopes, I called to make a pledge. At the end, I said to the woman, “Tell Harriet that Liz and Larry say ‘Hi!’ ” Harriet Unger is the producer for the program and was Larry’s high school classmate. After I hung up, I said to Larry, “Oh, she’ll never get the message” and wandered into my study to look for stamps.

Not 30 seconds later, Larry yelled, “Liz, Liz, Harriet just mentioned you! She said, ‘Liz just called with a pledge. Thanks! The rest of you should do the same!’ ” Of course by the time I got back to the TV, the game had resumed.

Then I had to decide where to send the rest of the donation, and I began to think about who had helped me most in the past year and who might need help in the coming year. The latter was easy, as the demand on the local food pantry has skyrocketed with the awful economy and lack of safety net. Every time I drive by I see more people coming out with bags and bags. I don’t foresee the situation improving any time real soon, and I’m sure the donations fall after the holidays.

The other part didn’t require much reflection, either. I’ve been traveling around the state doing research over the past year, and the place that helped the most was the one I wrote about yesterday, the New London County Historical Society. Ed Baker, the executive director, and librarian Tricia Royston helped me immeasurably and made available resources that other places lacked. When I first visited, the research room was in transition, but Ed and Tricia and the volunteers searched out resources in the vault and in the stacks. Ed emailed me an image from one of the newspapers when my attempts to print off the microfilm led to abject failure. Having made the decision, I took the check with me when Anna and I visited on the 27th. Yesterday’s mail brought a wonderful thank you letter from the president of the board of trustees. I’ll be headed back over there in the summer even if I don’t need to do any research, just to sit in that beautiful, restful garden.

Getting the check to the food pantry proved more daunting that I could have thought possible. The place is within walking distance of my house, but I had intended to stop on my way from taking Anna to the airport (after I returned the library books.) I drove by the place, and the parking lot was so full I was going to have to park on the street in a spot where people come flying past. I didn’t want to risk having my car door ripped off. Plus I figured the volunteers were probably overwhelmed. Then I remembered that Deb was holding a fund-raiser that night for the food pantry. She was showing a movie at the local watering hole, and the price of admission was a non-perishable food item.

I had intended to go to the movie, but I had been sneezing all day and realized that even if it was just allergies, people wouldn’t appreciate my sharing. Since I had the check all ready, I gave it to Larry. Deb was thrilled. She said they did well, except that people who forgot a food item kept trying to give her cash. She said, “No, no, no. Check or food. No cash because I’ll spend it buying shots for everyone!” Not a good use of money intended for a food pantry.

All in all I felt good about the donations because I kept them more or less local and maintained my goals to diversify my support.

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One Response to “Donations”

  1. Betsy Says:

    A wonderful use of your donation funds!

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