Sunday, March 30, 2008

About Oprah's Big Give...

I hate to admit that I kind of rolled my eyes when I first heard about Oprah's Big Give TV show. I know. I suck. It's not that I'm not a giving person, I really try to be, but I thought the show would be incredibly sappy and completely unwatchable - full of crying people and never-ending sad stories. I just didn't think it would be bearable.

I was so very wrong.

This isn't a show I've ever planned to watch, but I am almost always home on Sunday nights, so naturally, I've caught it (not to mention it's after Extreme Home Makeover which I love). And I have to say that this show has totally blown me away. I find myself watching it and mentally calculating how I'd spend that money.

Last week, when the contestants had to spend $100k in 24 hours with a $500 max on any one person, I immediately thought of the lot next to St Vincents (I think) downtown where the homeless group lives. Everyone in Baltimore always complains about how that lot looks, but yet the church has only ever shown kindness towards them. I instantly looked on the Internet and decided that I could buy a large tent and two high quality sleeping bags for $600 or so (which is way less than $500 per person). I could outfit that whole community with new tents, linens, and maybe a privacy wall or something, but I figured I could go through $10k just on that site.

After that, I thought about Epiphany's school here in Baltimore and the leak in his classroom, and then I thought about a certain friend's cold and icy window-sills. Katie does work with Big Brother/Big Sister, and I'm sure there's plenty I could do for them. There are so many ways to help, and part of me wishes I could be tested with such a creative and inspiring challenge. But as soon as I even think that, I am once again reminded of the point of projects like this. It's about thinking globally, and acting locally. About dreaming the big dreams, but doing what you can with what you have. I don't have $100k, but I have my youth, my time, and my heart, and this is just a reminder for me to do some more volunteering. I have no excuses except laziness and selfishness. It's time to give back.

For as much crap as Oprah got for founding her school in Africa for those girls, those critics have nothing to say now. Any gift that she decides to share is a blessing, whether here or on another continent. There is certainly no shortage of need on this planet. This isn't the first time, nor will it be the last time that she funds a project so extraordinary, and she deserves our gratitude.


Blogger Jodi said...

You are not selfish. Love you!

March 31, 2008 4:20 PM  

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