We believe that "paying it forward" is not a seasonal effort...it is a mindset. There are givers ....and takers...and we believe that we are "heart first" people....and that is where our lives and practice are rooted.
Our alternate passion (besides real estate) is cooking....we love it ! Rarely from "a book"...with inspiration from the Farmer's market, the pantry...or just because...a recipe is rarely repeated in exact ingredient proportions. Before my Grandmother passed away...she gave me her cookbook full of treasured family favorites. I never opened it until after she was good. Examples of directions are..."Bake until done...Add just enough...." and so I have followed her pattern of just enough and some of this or that in our culinary creations..often as winter approaches...a variety of soups that have stacked frozen portions in the freezer for warming us on the chillier days to come...but I digress.
The freezer (new bigger and better one) has some supply of something that can be taken to someone who has lost a family member, is returning from the hospital, is newly widowed....whatever the need that we feel a home cooked meal will fulfill. We have a large collection of disposable containers and pans that fit entrees, sides and sometimes the sort of TV dinner sectioned approach so that no has to return dishes.
We have regular collections for the food pantry which always include the necessary from baby food to pasta...but a little bit of fun sneaks in with powdered drinks and popcorn. Being poor doesn't mean no fun.
This season finds us doing our traditional "family adoption"....David is especially fond of finding toys and I love dressing little girls from hair accessories to socks with colorful designs...feeling as though you "fit in" is more important than the toys...so we do both.
We believe that helping small businesses prosper is a "give back" to the community. Having owned a marketing agency in another life, we have several that we work with in different ways. Some we help with a marketing plan, some with referral goals to them, others with execution of their plans from graphics and printing to planning special events. Building awareness, customer loyalty....and watching them prosper is a great feeling and so appreciated while they tend to the areas of their businesses that they do best.
We are active members of the Collaborative Family Council of Wisconsin and this year will chair a major fund raiser for the Collaborative Foundation of Wisconsin. This organization funds divorce services for people who are otherwise unable to afford them thru some pro bono work from members and donations from the foundation to cover the out of pocket expenses.
The Women's Center benefits throughout the year with different things from their wish list which could include pantry filling to items for the "Secret Gift Shop" that children give their Mom's....and dressing the beds with pillows, sheets and blankets for the shelter part of facility. Tears come easily when I cannot begin to imagine the courage it takes to leave an abusive home with nothing and forge ahead to a new life .
This year we lost a neighbor to cancer and she sought treatment thru an organization that has a mission in using alternative methods to the treatment of this horrific disease. Believe BIG has a great deal of hope and health to offer people suffering with the ravages of this disease and we now include them in our charitable giving.
Live every day with some thought of the other person...the friend who lost a job, the neighbor who lost a wife, the abused woman who lost a home...believe that you can make some difference in how they look at life...and you can....we know we do. Amen and Women