I found my way to the polls last election cycle, as many of you did.
Contrary to my kids’ belief, I did it for more than the free donut at Krispy Kreme. (Although, yum.) Regardless of how the results came down, I did my part, expressed my voice, and that was enough.
It’s important to support causes: Getting behind something you believe in.
It’s two main causes. One, platelet donation. I try to go every week, and it’s humbling to know I can sit still for 2.5 hours and save a life. The second is the area Humane Society, especially the Trap Neuter Release program.
What got me thinking about election day.
The woman who gave me my sticker gave me a smile, too. Thank you for showing up to vote! We appreciate you voting today for the <insert name> party today.
My ballot: A mixed bag
Only, my votes didn’t match what she thanked me for.
My ballot was a mixed bag of people I determined would be the best fit for their job. Red or blue, black or white, man or woman. Some won, some lost.
Would she be as overjoyed that I showed up to vote had she peeked over my shoulder a few minutes before?
The thing is, this political party she doled out stickers on behalf of means something to her. I can’t take that away. But I’d never ask everyone I encountered to donate platelets as I do.
First, it’s a pain.
It’s a needle stick and then a couple of hours of sitting still and squeezing a ball every several seconds. Yes, you get Oreos if you’re good and a T-shirt sometimes, too. So worth it.
And TNR … it can be heartbreaking.
I trapped Nash and got all his shots and surgery. Two days later, he disappeared. Sweet boy, 6 months, and my hope is that he has found a new stomping grounds or a happy home.
What I’m trying to say is …
I can’t question for too long that woman’s motives with the stickers. All I know is I did what I thought was best. Like I did with Nash, and like I do with platelets.
These decisions fit my values. Nash’s mother, Jayda, also went through the program. It was rough: That’s major surgery for a mama, and I suspected she was pregnant again. And she’s not as trusting of me as before.
But she looks lean and healthy and still comes back for me to feed. And that lands well with me. She’s safe.
What causes are you behind with all your heart? Just mention them here. Just as this post was not an attempt to get you to donate platelets or trap the neighborhood feral cats for good, I just want to see what you’re into, that’s all. Thanks for the opportunity to steal a bit of your reading time!
A to Z Challenge
A is for A new name for this blog
B is for B is for Bibster, baseball, and a spot by the birdbath #Gratitudeandshit
C is for Cassie Klein, actress and model; an interview for #GirlsRock
D is for Dusting off and writing again
E is for Energy, Facets of: An interview with crystal healer and healing jewelry maker Amanda Fitzsimmons, for #GirlsRock
F is for Football questions for Go Ask Daddy
The Muhammed Ali quote is perfect. I’m totally with you on this one, Eli – I think it’s hugely important to get behind the causes we believe in. At the beginning of each year, one of my practices is to sit down and decide on twelve categories of things I want to support – like stopping human trafficking, planting trees, etc. – something different for each month. And then, I spend a bit of time each month researching to find an organization I can donate my time or money to supporting that cause. I so wish I was wealthy enough to be a major philanthropic player, but just like it’s usually grassroots organizations I most often support, I think we can all make a difference with our contributions.
I make a double red cell blood donation every four months. It’s one consistency in my life.
As you know, I’m also a TNR warrior. Until my health situation brought horrific joint pain to the party, I used to socialize some of the worst behaved cats in the shelter. Friends would marvel at how the snarling, angry cat in the corner would somehow wind up purring in my lap.
One of our former ferals disappeared from his adoptive home over the weekend; a door was left ajar, and Frankie got out. We’re all worried sick, but hoping for the best. In the mean while, we got two more “fixed” in the past week, with four or more to go … because one pregnant mama had kittens over the weekend and I have no idea where they’re stashed.
Animal welfare has been my cause since I was a kid who read the James Herriot novels and dreamed of being a vet. We find the right ways to help in the right time.
The cat shelter, which also does TNR. rEcess, a program to give parents of special needs kids a date night. Homeless ministry. Though i can’t do much, i do what i can.
i work with warm the children each year to shop with underserved families, to get them warm winter outer and inside wear. enough for each child to be warm. i donate time to our local foodbank to raise money for families who may rely on this. working with refugee families in my county to provide them with basic needs as well as things for special holidays. every cat i’ve ever owned has been a rescue and i’ll looking for a baby kitty to adopt soon and give it a home. (kids, animals, and food seem to be my focus)
I admire you for helping both of these causes. I have brought in many cats for TNR and some were fairly tame which is how I adopted Brody and Trouble. 🙂
I used to give blood on a regular basis until my doctor advised against it. I always admired the people at the donation center who took the time to give platelets, but that’s not for me.
I’m more of a volunteerer than a money giver, but the vast majority of volunteer opportunities disappeared with the Covid shutdown. I hope that changes soon.
Wow. I didn’t know about donating platelets. Impressive. I doubt I could sit that long donating. A pint of blood at a time has been my max. When my son was in elementary school I supported his school by volunteering and donating supplies. And I’ll always buy whatever a neighborhood kid is selling to raise money. We live in a rural county where there’s never enough money for education, so they’re always having fundraisers. And there are always families in the county who need help, so I like to adopt a family at Christmas.
My mother-in-law is a regular platelet donor too. It is a big commitment but so needed. Weekends In Maine
I love that she does that! Now and then I’ll get a text that my O blood is in desperate need, but that would exclude me from giving platelets for a while. I’m glad when others answer the call and fill the need!
I’m so impressed by your dedication to donating platelets every single week. That is phenomenal. I tutor reading weekly but that’s a lot shorter time commitment and no needles. (Then again, no Oreos either…)
Thanks, Liz – I’ve had a bad week of having time to do my duty at the moment, but I will catch up Monday. I am humbled by the idea that I can sit in a chair and listen to a podcast (Ologies, which is awesome) with a needle in my arms for a couple of hours and help save lives. (Plus, Oreos for me.)
Tutoring is admirable work, too, and so needed. You’re keeping lights flickering, too. Good on you.