09 November 2010

Generous friends and strangers

I’ve always been uncomfortable about asking people for money, which may stem from my days as a Credit Manager. In my opinion, there never was a more thankless and soul-destroying job than debt collection!

So, I’ve avoided seeking sponsorship for my volunteer work in Cambodia and have funded my trips from my own savings and from selling personal possessions on Trade Me, New Zealand’s version of eBay. I’ve also been using Trade Me to buy second-hand books for the Anjali kids and to buy embroidery floss for my friendship bracelets project.

And it never ceases to delight me when strangers, upon learning of the reason for my purchases, freely donate additional items. One kind woman, a former teacher, included several extra books she thought might prove useful, as well as Boris, an incredibly cute and hairy hand puppet – I know he will be an instant hit! Another woman sent twice as much embroidery floss as I had paid for; she was clearing her deceased mother’s possessions and felt her mother would approve of the donation.

My friends have also been generous. Sue, and her daughter’s family, have given me a bundle of clothes the children have outgrown, Rosie has donated gold thread to give the bracelets an extra sparkle, and Carol has lent me books from her volunteering days to glean extra craft ideas.

The generosity of these friends and strangers is heart-warming.