Ahhh Fat Tuesday. I remember you, long long ago. The hurricanes and masks and beads (bought, not “earned”) that littered the streets as happy Spring Breakers ran wild. Those were the days… And now? Adulthood. Which leaves 2 choices: do something grown up – like drink a bottle of wine, because wine is sophisticated, and delicious, or suffer through a horrendous hangover tomorrow while pretending I’m not staring at a blank computer screen waiting for lunch so I can go take a nap.
Also on the agenda today: deciding what to give up for Lent. Will it be fried food? Alcohol? Cookies, chocolate, candy, or even all sweets? Or the most blasphemous… CHEESE? Well I propose something different. Stop using Lent as a dieting tool and make it about something more important. Something rewarding. Something that benefits others who have come to know the true meaning of sacrifice. I promise you this will leave a much better taste in your mouth than the left over Thin Mints you are glaring at every time you open the freezer (but you can’t just throw out thin mints….)
I bring you The Lent Project.
What is it you ask?
It’s very simple.
7 weeks, each Friday, I will donate to a charity of choice. It may not be a lot, but it will be something.
Luke 21: 1-4 1 As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
What I promise not to do is blow half my paycheck on shoes, or nights out, or concert tickets and then justify skipping a donation because I am “poor.” I will give something that is substantial to me, and the sacrifice may be not affording something else that I want. But I am willing to bet that the result will be much sweeter.
Below are my charities. If you aren’t sure what you are doing for Lent, I encourage you to join me. It’s a win-win situation. Or pick your own charities. I am still looking for one more so please feel free to comment below with recommendations and why that charity is near and dear to your heart. My charitable donations don’t end with the Lenten season. If you post a charity and tell me why I should donate, I promise to donate in the future, and I mean that. It might not be tomorrow, but I will get to it.
1. March 11: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
In honor of a very dear childhood (and still current) friend, who kicked cancer’s ass well before 25, and didn’t lose a single ounce of spunk along the way. Girl can also rock a wig like none other. So this one’s for her.
2. March 18: Susan G. Komen
In honor and memory of countless women: family, friends, and strangers. For those who have found lumps, lost bumps, and never gave up. Also a shout out to Zeta’s national philanthropy – breast cancer – can’t deny that didn’t play a part.
3. March 25: Red Cross through SMCDallas for #dallas4japan
Funds will be matched 1 to 1 by Aquent
4. April 1: The Jessica Fertitta Scholarship Fund
In memory of Jessica Fertitta (5/10/1985 – 2/17/2011). If you don’t know the story, you can read a little bit about it here http://bit.ly/e64dK0. I’ll be attending a Celebration of Life party this weekend, where I will be donating and of course buying a FRAT shirt in her honor. If you would like to donate, you can send a check made out to “Benefit of Jessica Fertitta” to the Michelle Smith account at the Community Bank of Texas in Beaumont or send money through paypal (ask for details).
5. April 8: Heroes for children (shout out to @KateOLynch and @BethLynch for the recommendation).
This organization is similar to St. Jude but Texas-centric. It provides financial and social assistance to families, within the state of Texas, with children (0-22 yrs of age) battling cancer. I love this quote – “Enabling families to focus on the most important part of treatment – the child.”
6. April 15: Scottish Rite Hospital
TSRHC treats Texas children with orthopedic conditions, such as scoliosis, clubfoot, hand disorders, hip disorders and limb length differences, as well as certain related neurological disorders and learning disorders, such as dyslexia.
7. Sunday, April 24: Donation to my family’s church in Southlake, TX: White’s Chapel
For providing me with stability, strength, knowledge, and many great memories throughout my life. I cannot describe how thankful I am that my family became involved with this church while I was young.
Please feel free to pass this post along and encourage anyone to join in on their own little mission. There are so many things we can do besides give up diet soda.
I’m off to find the baby in the King Cake. Happy Fat Tuesday y’all!