On Monday, I put Oprah on, as I had been told that all audience members on Oct. 30th had been given $1,000.00 and asked to give it away, and record their generosity on a camcorder they had been given....I'm very glad I tuned in.The creativity displayed by these new philanthropists was really something to see.The recipients of all this largesse included a young woman who had been shot in her face by an abusive boyfriend; a young child at a cancer-facility;a 68-year-old-man, learning to read;poor children at one school receiving new shoes, and then holding a "Walk" for books for other children, confined in the hospital......you get the idea...
The cliche' used to be "One Good Deed Deserves Another."
I think to be accurate, we should rephrase it to say:
"One Good Deed Creates Another."
I have been blessed to experience this, myself....In 2003, I had an idea germinating:to hold a huge event for all types of artists and writers to connect, and express themselves.But I wanted to raise money for a worthwhile cause. I thought again and again about WHO should benefit. But once I decided, I told no one. In fact, I did not even write down the proposed recipient.I simply continued hosting Open Mic after Open Mic,in hopes of having a great turn-out at my event, and guess what? Within a few weeks, I noticed large numbers of women showing up to read poetry, essays, etc...When I would ask why they would suddenly come out to the various Open Mics, all would tell me--individually--that they felt a need to express themselves, because they'd just gotten out of an abusive relationship, or that they were now homeless, or living in a shelter.
I remember feeling those down-y fine blond hairs, on my arm, saluting again---the chosen charity I had in mind:
Shelters--all catering to victims of domestic violence, as the charity I wanted to raise money for--money for books--
so that these women and children who had nothing, could have something to help them feel empowered....
I remember thinking Well, I must be exactly where I am supposed to be, because this is so strange that all of a sudden, I am meeting women with these backgrounds, with these stories I had been imagining in my head...
Months later,in January of 2004, just days before my "Three-Day-Jam-a-thon"
(a 48-hour-non-stop-celebration of art, music, theatre, poetry), I fretted quietly in front of my computer, wishing I'd had the foresight to order some prizes for the children who would attend, and participate on Saturday of the weekend-long event....
I did not pray at that time--- as for years I had been a hard-core Atheist, or Non-Theist, as I liked to call myself--- but I sat quietly in front of that computer, hoping for some way to get prizes for children. I told NO ONE.
I went to bed at approximately 1:00 A.M., and had a wonderful dream, that all would be well..
Later in the day(it was already 1:00 A.M. when I went to bed), I checked my e-mails, and nearly deleted one, as I had never seen the address, and knew to delete any unfamiar address, as it was probably SPAM...but before I pressed Delete, I glanced at the Subject---and it read "Prizes For Your Event".
Even before I double-clicked on this new e-mail, which had been sent just as I had retired for the night(1:15 A.M.), I was breathless...
The e-mail was from a young woman who had begun a new business, and she had put "Writers' Conferences, Atlanta" in Google, and information about my event had come up. She offered to give numerous ribbons, awards, certificates, for the opportunity to advertise her business!
Of course, I immediately responded--and Ms. Diane Sears, of www.coolstuff4writers.com
provided not only $250.00 worth of goodies for the event, she also paid for the beautiful banner which stated proudly "3-Day-Jam". I insisted she put Cool Stuff 4 Writers Presents before it, as without her,I would not have had the great success I had....
This was the beginning of my renewed journey to Faith. To a belief that when you are where you need to be, and you ask the Universe for something---however awkwardly---