One of the many hats I wear is that of director of a nonprofit organization that supports a school and orphanage in Kenya. The kids live in extreme poverty that we can not imagine (no electricity or running water, squashed into one or two room shacks in the slums of Nairobi). We help in several ways -- finding grants, fundraisers, processing donations, and operating a child sponsorship program.
Last week letters arrived from the children to their sponsors -- three large envelopes full of hundreds of letters!
This involved sorting, addressing and stuffing dozens and dozens of envelopes. I really don't mind chipping away at this project in the evenings as I know how important correspondence is between the children and their sponsors. Some people knit while watching TV in the evening, I stuff envelopes. It's a labor of love.
This also involved spending a good 45 minutes at the post office working with my friendly postman on Friday to get them on their way to the sponsors. Some had to be weighed so that took some time. I had sorted them according to USA regular, USA with extra postage required (because some people sponsor more than one child, their envelopes were fatter), overseas regular, and overseas extra postage required.
Now I HAVE to tell you a story about sending these letters off! Of course, the post office line was growing longer and longer as I was monopolizing one of the three postman. Just as I was feeling a little sorry to be holding things up during the postal holiday season, the postman, reading the return address, asked me what Plant-a-Book International was. I explained that we are a group of people from all over the world that have joined together to support a school and orphanage in Kenya and that the envelopes contained letters from their sponsored children. He was looking at the letters going to Switzerland, Italy, Japan, Canada, Australia, Croatia, Germany, Denmark, Scotland, Finland, The Netherlands, England, Ireland, Spain, France, and all over the USA and he said, "So you are bringing people from all over the world together to help these kids?" I said, "Yes." He said, "The world needs more people like you!" My spirits were soaring when I left there! I couldn't have received a more meaningful compliment.
Tis the season...for giving!