I've decided while I'm trying to find out what I want to do when I "grow up", I can be of service to others. I still have no definitive answers for what I'm supposed to be doing with the rest of my life, but I know there are things I have but no longer use, skills I possess which lay dormant at the moment, and a fierce need to DO something worthwhile - so I've been on a mission this week.
My closets always need work. I have clothes I don't wear and things tucked away that rarely see the light of day. Yesterday I pulled out some of those things and bagged them for donation. I called the Women's Center - a refuge for women and their children who have left abusive situations - and asked if they might be able to use clothing, shoes, purses, linens, bath and body products, and toys. The woman to whom I spoke seemed happy to have someone willing to donate those things. She gave me the address of the center and thanked me. I'll be taking those things to the center later this week. They're already in the car.
Recently, my mother gave me 20 flannel lap robes she had made (she calls them "blankies") for distribution to nursing home residents. This is her own private mission and she's been making the blankies for years. I placed them inside a protective container, along with 15 others she had previously given me, and stored them in my utility room. I don't know why I was storing them instead of taking them to people who could use them. Perhaps it was because in the past, I'd taken them to my church where the women from the sewing group chose when and to whom they would be given. I no longer attend that church, so it was up to me to make sure the lap robes were used as my mother wished.
Today I called Friendly Nursing Home in Germantown, Ohio and asked if the staff would accept lap robes for the residents. The person to whom I spoke said they would be thrilled to receive them. I packed the blankies into the car and went to the nursing home this afternoon, with the intention of taking the bags of lap robes into the home and letting staff members distribute them. I took along my camera, just in case they'd allow me to hand out some blankets myself. A very kind activities director met me at the door and said, "Let's go to each room. The residents are going to love this", and they did. So did I. As much as possible, we allowed each resident to choose which lap robe she wanted.
My mother has made hundreds of blankies but has never seen any of the people in nursing homes who received them. I hoped to take pictures so she would see to whom they'd been given and feel good about doing such a nice thing. As we handed out the flannel blankies, I asked permission of each person before taking his or her picture. Most were very glad to pose and many of the ladies loved the chance to show off their newly painted nails. I think receiving lap robes was a highlight in their day. One lady sweetly offered me a dollar for her blankie. Some asked, "Is this mine to KEEP?". One woman had such a difficult time deciding which blankie to choose that she softly asked, "May I have two?". We had plenty so it was a pleasure to be able to grant her request.
I made some new friends today, incuding the resident kitty named Bear. Leave it to me to find a nursing home that has a cat. I was asked to come back and give a crochet lesson and I will definitely make time to do that. I left the nursing home feeling happy that I'd showed the residents someone cared about them. I told them about Mom and that she'd be so glad to know they received her blankies. It felt good to do something for others and reminded me of how thankful I am for my life and my home.