Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Looking Back on 2014

Looking back on 2014, it was an interesting year. My wife and I always said we'd like to be more involved in helping others through charity work and it would be a good way to teach empathy and community responsibility to our six-year-old daughter. Something that was driven home in my wife's childhood, but was a little foreign in mine. Like many things, I'm often just talking out my ass, though when Abby says something she wants to do, it's hammered in stone with the force of a falling cartoon anvil.

So, acting as our family conscience, my wife, through work or on her own, got us involved in a series of charitable organizations, events and simple giving situations. She's awesome, that girl. Without her, I'd certainly be much less of a decent man.

Here are a few things we were able to manage in spite of our lack of free time and monetary standing:

The Alzheimer's Walk, the Breast Cancer Walk, the MS Walk, the MS150 Bike Ride (Abby donated time, I cycled 150 miles and we raised about $700, I also sold my sailboat to get the bike I rode for the event. No easy task, I might add.), Abby shaved her head for the American Cancer Society's "Shave to Save" event and raised around $3000 (and looked amazing!). Our daughter Gwen donated toys and kid clothes to families in need after a fire.

We delivered baskets to shut-ins at Thanksgiving for the MS Society, Gwen's class made cards for the MS Thanksgiving baskets. We baked cookies for two local fire houses and the police department at Christmas and we volunteered one morning to handout groceries for Crosslines food pantry.

Abby joined the MS Walk Committee, MS Bike Committee, MS Board and Alzheimer's Board.

And lastly, I grew a beard through November for Gwen's school charity. Not sure what the money raised went for, but the only point of it was showing my kiddo I was involved. She thought it was pretty cool.

I don't think 2015 will be painted with quite the broad brush that 2014 was. We're consolidating our efforts a little more. But we still plan to keep the ball rolling. I'm looking forward to it.

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