Dan and His 2020 Stimulus Check – The Stories

Two weeks ago, I posted a blog asking for your help in finding a worthy home for my 2020 stimulus check.  Click here for that blog.  It turned out my goal to give away $500 wasn’t enough to meet all the needs.  We gave away nearly $700.

Here are their stories from the people that we have supported.

Stim2 superhero

We learned from Mary (married to my Arizona State roommate Rich) that friends of theirs had a niece born at under two pounds who lived just three months.  When these friends themselves became pregnant, they too had a preemie who was at great risk.  Their son survived; in gratitude, they support the Superhero Project, a non-profit that raises money to support NICU families and babies.  Click here to learn more about the Superhero Project.  Hannah and I are all in.

Stim2 brazil

Our friend Nancy from our Arizona days writes of her student from Brazil who wants to pursue a medical master’s degree.  The young man lives with his uncle’s family in the basement of another family’s house.  He is an only child and his mother (no father) is in Brazil.  He talks to her daily and worries about her health.  Hannah and I appreciate our chance to support this young man.

My colleague at Nevitt Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona, Diane, first suggests supporting a cat shelter in Scottsdale, then how great it would be to have breakfast with an elderly friend from Chicago.  This all leads to what’s in her heart.  She’d like to reconnect with a long lost friend over breakfast whose life has been filled with challenges.  Hannah and I support Diane’s efforts.

Stim2 rwanda map

Despite the Southwest connection of the first three entries, Hannah and I have made a few friends since our Arizona days.  One of them is Rose, who worked with Hannah at the Visiting Nurses Association of Portsmouth, NH.  Hannah was the Hospice volunteer coordinator and Rose a nurse.  Rose writes of a wonderful, hardworking couple from Rwanda. The wife was taking English classes before Covid-19 hit, and her hubby worked at Bowdoin College in food service.  They have a beautiful baby boy.

KGUA icon

Our California amiga, Tree, says she will donate to her beloved, local radio station and non-profit, KGUA. KGUA stayed on the air 24/7 during the wildfires, public safety power shutdowns, and most recently, the COVID-19 health crisis. This year, due to the virus outbreak, their annual fundraiser event was cancelled so donations at this time would greatly help them to continue the outstanding work.  We, too, will support KGUA.

Our local friend Mandy nominates her niece who raises three kids, two of whom have special needs.  In addition, her niece works three jobs (nurse in the schools, at the local hospital, and a summer camp for special needs children).  This summer camp is not opening due to Covid-19.  She never complains or asks for support because she is too busy serving and caring for others.  We’ll step up.

Stim2 AFSP

Our neighbor Laurie asks us to support the virtual walk she will do with her daughter to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  Due to Covid-19, they cannot walk sixteen miles overnight in Boston as they did last year.  Done.

Hannah’s friend from the College of Nursing at Arizona State, Patty, nominates a co-worker.  (By the way, Hannah was a student in the ASU nursing program for a semester plus, having aced the prerequisite Organic Chemistry to get in!)  Patty’s friend’s unemployment check hit a glitch, and glitches take a long time to fix due to the staggering #’s of people applying for unemployment.  Even though she and Patty were furloughed in March, her friend has yet to receive a check.  She has diabetes, with an expensive monitoring system.  Glad we can help.

Stim2 SAFER bags

Andy’s New York Food Bank in Action

 

Our son Will’s college roommate at St. Michael’s College near Burlington, Vermont, Andy, offers us the opportunity to give to their local food bank, Schuylerville (New York) Area Food and Emergency Relief.   The Food Bank collects large donations of food from the food industry and distributes it to charitable agencies serving 23 counties from Plattsburgh to Newburgh; they provide over 35 million pounds of food a year to 1,000 agencies.  We’ll do more than just give them food for thought.

From our daughter Molly’s Family: 

Stim2 Max

Max’s neighborhood ice cream smorgasbord

Max wants to have an ice cream smorgasbord with our neighbors – he is requesting $25 to buy ice cream from Sully’s and toppings.

Owen would like to buy groceries for the local food pantry and also donate some money – he is requesting $20 for us to buy some groceries and $20 for us to give to them directly.

Tip would like to support Black Lives Matter – Boston because we are committed to learning more, becoming anti-racist, and raising our children to understand white privilege. We are committed to learning, growing, speaking up, and acting for justice and equality.

Stim2 Owen

Owen figuring which items to buy with his $20 (among pasta, cereal, and cans of corn)

Molly would like to support Bail Bonds because “There can be no equal justice where the kind of trial a man or woman gets depends on the amount of money they have.” I’m requesting $50 for the local Massachusetts fund.  By the way, Molly’s family is going to match our gifts to the food pantry, Black Lives Matter, and Bail Bonds.

Stim2 Owen with bags

Thanks to these folks for coming through for Dan and Hannah.  Their stories make me realize that in addition to giving some money away, my companion goal was to strengthen our connections and further build relationships with others.  By others letting us know of the folks in need, Hannah and I become a little closer to the families in bold listed above who brought these stories to us.

Dan and Hannah with Owen and Max at the Acton (Maine) Fair

Living within an hour of our grandsons, Owen (7) and Max (5), each month Hannah and I spend two to three afternoons/evenings with them at their home in the Bay State.  Regularly, we also have “24 hours of Owen and Max” where the boys come to York for a day and an overnight, so our daughter Molly and her husband Tip get some time to themselves.

Acton 4 Owen first day

Acton 4B Max on first day

Acton 4A M, O, and M on first day

Our grandsons with their teacher mom!

There was no better gift for Hannah and me, as parents of young children than when we had my mom and dad come to Maine to take Molly, Robyn, and Will for three days/ two nights.  Manna from heaven. In bowling terms, it was a 300 game.

Acton map Y to A

With “24 hours of Owen and Max” beginning, we drive inland from our home on the coast of Maine this late August Thursday to a small time agricultural fair in the little burg of Acton (population 2,427).  Get these prices.  Parking is $4, the admission for Owen and Max is free, and Hannah and I pay a mere $8 each (Fridays seniors are $4!)

Acton 1 Han and Max

Eating fair food and the oxen pulling contests are at the top of the boys’ list.  Normally, in teams, oxen pull pallets loaded with concrete blocks up and down the dirt grandstand show path.  Unfortunately this year, we arrive after the oxen pulling and settle for the oxen strutting their stuff for the assembled small crowd of folks and judges.

Acton 1A Max as cow and H

Undeterred, we’ve brought pbj and veggies with humus for lunch.  Ah, but the boys have their sights on bigger fair fare.  You see, we give each one $4 to spend on whatever food they want.  Right off the bat, and before lunch, they each opt for a $2 bag of buttery, movie-style popcorn from the local Rotary club.  With the planned-for lunch no longer on their minds, we walk the midway to find how they will best spend their final $2.

Acton 3 Max on ride

Max low riding

And then we hit gold.  While ice cream cones everywhere are $3 or more, $8 funnel cakes and over-priced deep-fried anything is everywhere, we stumble upon two young men raising money to go to India to build a dam for the local population who are selling one scoop cones for a dollar.  One simolean!

Acton 2A ice cream guys

The next generation is in good hands with these young men looking out for the world

Owen opts for strawberry and Max mint chip, a personal favorite of mine.  Going down easily, the $1 cones mean they still have a greenback left.   They want another cone.  Wouldn’t you?  It’s their dollar; their choice takes Hannah back to a favorite childhood memory when her dad gave her money for three cones in one afternoon.

Acton 2 Fire and Rescue

Acton Fire and Rescue Team with three loyal supporters

While waiting for the carnival rides to open at 4P, Hannah notices two guys and a young woman from the Acton Fire and Rescue Squad sitting on a picnic table.  Hannah turns to Owen, Max, and me and suggests that we buy cones for the three and their nearby chief.  I approach the three and say, Have I got a great offer for you!  To thank you for your service, we’d like to buy you each a cone.  Can we?  How could they say no!  They can’t.  They don’t!

Gratefully, today we celebrate another of our 24-hour days with Owen and Max, this time at the Acton Fair!