Recently my friends Patti and Donna invited me to become a part of a local volunteer group of women called “H.O.W. : Helping One Woman.”
The idea appealed to me because it’s kind of like “Real Housewives” meets “Queen for a Day,” only there are no annoying cameras following you around, and no mean women. Only really nice ones who get together and talk and laugh and eat and help out.
Participation means you shell out for the cost of your dinner at the H.O.W. meeting (it’s at a different restaurant each month), and put in a $10 donation that’s designated for a special woman who can use a helping hand. This was sounding like something I could handle.
I like the idea of a quick in-and-out approach to helping someone. The immediate gratification appeals to my sense of timing. I guess others agree with me, because when I walked into Casa Velasco last month it was an amazing sight – our meeting room was packed with women ready to jump in and help out. They even had to bring in extra tables!
Here’s how it works: You meet at the appointed restaurant of the month, put your $10 donation into the official glass bowl that’s prominently displayed, and find a place to sit. That’s pretty easy, huh?
You will be given a form if you want to nominate a woman you know is deserving of the “pot.” That is, the money in the glass bowl. You just complete the form and place it in the other available bowl.
I nominated my friend, Tess Adams, a local mom who’s also a school bus driver/custodian. Tess was injured at work and has been disabled for the last few months.
As the old saying goes, “When it rains, it pours.” Tess was diagnosed with a brain tumor, thankfully benign, that had to be surgically removed.
She’s a super-mom who always has time for everybody and I knew that Tess and her family could use a break… and a little extra joy in their lives.
Much to my heartfelt delight, Tess was chosen to be the recipient of the H.O.W. gift collected for the month of August. Tess is overjoyed and so appreciative, and I am so excited to be a part of this group.
It is really touching to see who you are helping. Sometimes you donate to a cause and you never really know where the money goes or what the story is.
In the case of the July H.O.W. recipient, her plan was to use the money she received from the women-helping-women for propane. For me, it wasn’t so much about knowing how she was going to spend the money, it was just seeing her relief at having one less thing to worry about.
Many of us have been in this position, and it feels warm and fuzzy to be able to help out a little. Community generosity is surely one of the best things about living in this mountain area.