We celebrated Pay it Forward Day by making an Italian buffet for the residents of Ronald McDonald House. We were touched by residents and employees taking the time to share their stories with us. Every face we see throughout every day has an amazing and challenging story behind it; hearing about people’s journeys and glimpsing the courage with which people are facing extraordinary challenges drives home the importance of human connection, compassion, and investing the time to make a difference for others.
Our group’s volunteer commitment to Ronald McDonald House goes back to 2013-14 when a friend of our organization stayed at a RMH during her teenage daughter’s battle with Severe Aplastic Anemia and a bone marrow transplant. We held multiple blood drives in her honor and, having learned about the impact RMH has, added hosting lunches or dinners at RMH as an intentional part of our annual service commitment.
This time we prepared bruschetta, salads, vegan sprout-stuffed sweet peppers, bread-dipping platter, smoked tuna dip & crackers, steamed veggies, shredded rotisserie chicken, tomato basil Gnocchi, Alfredo mushroom casserole, spinach-mushroom tomato sauce, two kinds of pasta, and beautiful dessert cakes from the Publix bakery.
The little things people do that brighten the day or lighten the burden of another are important. A colleague told me a story recently about how a friend of his was experiencing overwhelming challenges that were so heavy she wondered how she could go on. A moment of kind human connection and a smile from a stranger gave her hope, and shifted her focus allowing her see some light. Each act of kindness we give to others is important. William James said, “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It Does.” Everything you do (and don’t do) has an impact; you have to choose whether that impact will be positive.
What kindness will you invest in the world today?
BE. hosted vendor tables at the Central Florida Freethought Community‘s Darwin Day event and at Central Florida Earth Day, where a collection jar was available to support our dinner at RMH this month. Donors at these events collectively contributed 77% of the cost of this event. Thank you to everyone who chipped in to help us make a difference!