Time Warner Cable is conspiring to prevent my RACs from being accomplished…
Yesterday, I had extreme good fortune to stumble across a featured WordPress.com blog when I was randomly browsing the posts under “Christmas” (there’s a surprise). These posts can range in topics from buying Christmas trees online, creating your own holiday cards, and making that perfect Pumpkin Eggnog Bread Pudding (featured on WordPress.com’s Freshly Pressed page). One in particular, with the post title “Compassion at Christmas,” caught my eye.
The author of the post, Jenn, has been involved with a company called Compassion International for the past two years. This company is dedicated to sponsoring and supporting children in need throughout the world. Every Christmas, these children receive gifts from their sponsors, which in itself is a wonderful act. However, they rarely ever receive an accompanying card, a written joy that brings much happiness to their day. Jenn describes how meaningful a written note can be to these children:
“I think it’s hard for us, in our culture, to realize the significance of a card. As kids we tended to open the card just for show, and so we would know who to thank after we ripped the paper off of the package. The card was incidental, a hassle, a temporary barrier between us and stuff.
But for so many children living in poverty, words of encouragement and affirmation, words of love and care may be few and far between. I grew up among daily words of love and affirmation; words on a card just echoed what I had already heard over and over. Many of these kids don’t have that experience.
So strange as it may seem to us, the kids who only receive gifts but no cards tend to be a little sad and disappointed at the Christmas parties. There is something special about being sponsored.”
I was really moved by her words and affirmations. Towards the end of her post, she informs her readers that even if you can’t afford to spend $40/month to sponsor a child, there is a way to bring them a little joy this holiday season. DaySpring and (in)courage, two Christian websites, are partnering to send greeting cards to Compassion International children without sponsors. Throughout the month of December, young ones in Ecuador will receive your well-wishes and know that they are treasured. You can choose to create a card, personalize it, and send it off to a child for less than $3.
I knew in an instant that I had to complete Jenn’s challenge for my RAC that day. I knew without questioning. I’ve been meaning to grow beyond the scope of merely bringing food with me everywhere to complete my daily act of kindness. I needed to go beyond myself.
However, apparently Time Warner Cable had different ideas. I routed my browser to StudioDaySpring, created an account, customized my own greeting card, and was ready to check-out when the evil Internet Nazi had other ideas. My connection was not allowing me to continue with the process, showing a “LOADING” screen for approximately 30 minutes. At first, I thought I needed to update some plug-ins on my computer, but after 10 attempts to get through, it simply wasn’t working.
Now, my relationship from Time Warner Cable is fraught with fall down, knock-out fights which result in blood, tears, and money being spilt. They’ve incorrectly installed my modem, had to replace that same modem twice, re-installed faulty hardware, and missed several scheduled service calls, leaving me alone impatiently waiting in my bath robe. And now, they had the sheer audacity to come between me and poor Pedro in Ecuador?!? The gloves are coming off!
Unfortunately, no cans of “Whoop Ass” were able to be delivered this morning at 7:14 AM. I was running late, and, as luck would have it, I was finally able to create my card when I used the Internet at my school. Eureka! Success!
It’s rather hard writing a card for a person you’ve never met. You have no idea what their status is in life: are they happy? Are they struggling? Do they even like Christmas? Or God? I did the best I could with my words, even though I still felt they weren’t enough. You can attempt to wish all the happiness in the world into someone’s life, and still feel lacking.
But, this act really showed me that something as small as a card can totally impact a person’s life. A folded piece of paper from a total stranger is enough to lift the spirits of one person…if a simple card can do that, then any attempt at good will is never wasted. You just have to try.
RAC #17: Sending a card to a child in need in Ecuador
Result: the knowledge that even the smallest act can make an impact; a mere $2 deducted from my debit card; an international pen pal, albeit only briefly