Friday, February 08, 2008


Lenten Living
I'm not exactly a textbook Catholic, after all I have two empty seats in my minivan that serve as proof. But Lent, the 40 days before Easter, is here. That means doing some penance, and doing without. No meat on Friday. Giving up something we enjoy. When I was a kid it was potato chips and mint chip ice cream. Now I'm a grown up. The stakes are higher.

I just learned of a family with a child with autism who is in need. They can not afford to heat their home. In New England. It's damn cold here in New England. I learned of this family from an autism list I am on for families with three or more kids on the spectrum. There are a lot of us on that list. Too many. We decided to send the Mom donations. Autism may bankrupt the checkbook, but never the soul.

If you would like to send a donation to this family, send me an email. You can send a check to me. I'll make sure it gets to Mom.

8 comments:

Kim Stagliano said...

kim stagliano at g mail dot com

Erica Orloff said...

Kim:
Email me your address at

erica@ericaorloff.com

I'll get you a check.

E

Amanda said...

Trust Kim to make me realise how lucky I am when I'm feeling down. We might have our problems but we are at least warm, fed and watered.

Can't send a cheque but I do send love.

Kim Stagliano said...

Thanks, Erica and Amanda. I wrote a piece for Huffington in '06 talking about the year my family - MY FAMILY - was a name on a mitten on the Giving Tree. My husband was out of work, autism had wiped us out for the most part, and some kind soul reported that to the Church. Jesus, it was so hard to go and pick up that charity.... I was sick to my stomach. Until I got home and just marveled at the kindness and cried at the out pouring. I'd been donating the the tree for so many years. And here I was on the other side of the box. I needed that. It changed me. Or maybe it just brought out a better part of me that had been squelched by the hubub of suburbia where what you have and how you look and what's on your front door matters. No more. Not for me. Our life is superficially very different, four years later. Yet where it matters - in our hearts and actions, we're a thousand times better off. A little adversity can be a good thing. A lot of adversity can be a tolerably thing. But NO ONE in America should lack for heat.

Erica Orloff said...

Kim:

I once read in interview in which Owen Wilson, the mediocre actor, "riffed" on the Dalai Lama. He just mocked him mercilessly, despite the fact that to many Buddhists, the Dalai Lama is a holy man. What offended Wilson was that the Dalai Lama was asked how do we solve the problem of poverty in America . . . and he said, simply, "Share."

Buddhists believe we should talk LESS not more, so sometimes that simple expression gets misinterpreted. But take away policy and all the rest of it, and it really is quite simple. Share. I have enough to share. You through the years had enough to share. And you hope, like the Mitten Tree, that if you were in need, someone would share with you.

Peace,
E

Kim Stagliano said...

Erica, it goes right back to that fabulous little book about "ALl I need to know I learned in Kindergarten." Share. Yes. That sounds much better than charity, doesn't it? Think Exxon will SHARE their bazillion mofomillion dollar profits with any of us or will their execs and top "share"holders simply continue to fart through silk and crap on golden toilets while many can't afford the $3.25 (here in CT) per gallon to gas their car?

Erica Orloff said...

Kim:
Don;t even get me started. LOL!
;-) My kids can't keep up with all the companies we routinely boycott for policy decisions. They're like, "Mom . . . can we buy this cereal?" (General Mills) and I tell them no for this boycott or that one. "What about this? Can we eat this?" "No. Boycotting them over their policies toward migrant workers."

And so on. It's actually very sad. I earn a good living, but it's not going very far these days,
E

SmartlikeStreetcar said...

Kim...

We still live below the poverty line, but this year should be better for us. Two years ago, I was so sick that I couldn't leave my bed for three months, and Kristina still wasn't legal in Canada, so we shivered in the dark, using each other for warmth as often as we could. My new wife often cried herself to sleep, and I have never felt so desolate and alone.

So I know. We can't send much, but I will send a little. I'll contact you offlist for the details.