Friday, June 17, 2011

Using My Bloggy Powers for Good

This post has nothing to do with RPatts.

As most of you are probably aware, every once in a rare while we put the poop jokes on pause and take a very brief break from our normal go-to topics: sex, sparklepeens, and inappropriate obsessions. We get a little serious. Not super-duper-serious (hardly ever), but a liiiitle bit more serious than the norm. This is one of those times.

A little back-story is in order - walk with me, people...

A few years ago, I read an article in the paper about how there are parts of Maine where many elderly people - most of whom had worked their whole lives in factories - are struggling to get by. I was really touched by it, and ended up sending one of the people I read about a check. It was mostly a way for me to remember and honor my grandmother; the woman in the article said that she just wished she had the money to get her hair done, but that she had her cats and lovebirds so she was ok... My grandmother was always very put-together, and I though it was sad this woman couldn't afford a trip to the beauty parlor every once in a while (and she had to scrimp just to put food on the table and keep the heat on). I wrote to her that I hoped she could go get her hair done, and since then we've corresponded occasionally.

Over the winter, the gang here at Twitarded sent her a care package of sorts... I went and bought some goodies for her birds (and kitty treats) as well as some stamps and stationary and other things for her and a little cash (she lives on a very limited income). I didn't hear back from her for a while; I though she might have passed away or maybe thought I was a wackadoo for sending her things and wanted to be left alone (I am a wackadoo, but not for that reason). Then one day a month or so later, I received the following letter from her -

Dear Snarky,

Sorry I haven't written to you before. I have been ill and in the hospital for my heart. I have a pacemaker now so I feel a lot better.

I want to thanks you for the nice gifts and the money. It is sure appreciated.

I didn't have any pain in my heart but I was sitting watching T.V. and started getting cold couldn't get warm so I went to bed around 9 PM and got so I couldn't breath. My son came in and ask me if I was O.K. and I told him no I couldn't breath.

So my grandson called the ambulance and they were afraid I wouldn't make it to the hospital but I did haha.

They put a mask over my nose & mouth to help me breath, and rushed me to the hospital then to the emergency room & operated on me. They put in a temporary pacemaker until they got the permanent one in.

I was in the hospital in intensive care for 6 days then in a room for 3 days until I went home.

Then my left arm and hand got real big so I had to go back to the hospital. They said it was the gout and they gave me medication for that so it's back to normal now. So I feel pretty good. I will be 85 July 9th.

How are you feeling, fine I hope? Write and tell me all the news.

And I can't thank you enough for the gifts and money.

There aren't many people like you in the world. I didn't even get a card while I was in the hospital from any of my children or inlaws, or friends. So I got your gifts and money and I was delighted.

Thanks a million.

A friend always,

Violet Booth*

Needless to say, I was pretty touched by her letter and very, very happy to have made her day when she came home from the hospital. It was a small act of kindness but it had made a difference to someone. It made me sad that nobody had sent her anything in the hospital, and I told myself that when her birthday rolled around, I was going to try to do something special for her.  With her 85th birthday just around the corner, I'm planning on sending a card and whatever presents I can muster - hopefully some flowers and a gift card and some other little treats.

If anyone would like to contribute to the kitty, you can do so via Paypal to I'll even post a follow-up with some pictures of whatever we send so that you can be certain we're not secretly soliciting funds for margarita night or other debauchery. Even even if you don't chip in for this one, please take a moment to think about how a simple, random, thoughtful act can impact someone's life and make them feel special. Things like this can make a difference, and it doesn't take much to make someone who needs a hand (and would probably never ask for one - this is a person who worked in a factory all her life and barely gets by now) feel special.

*Name changed slightly to protect the innocent from being associated with our smutty blog. : )


  1. You fucking rock. I'm in Maine, too, and I know the factory retirees. Thank you for calling attention to them. xoxo, and I'll send a gift. - Cullenboyz

  2. Thanks so much! This is win-win - it makes someone feel awesome to receive a gift, and it makes us feel good to help. : )

  3. What an awesome way to really help those in need who would otherwise just fall through the cracks of our country's broken "system." You've inspired me to help someone in my own community:) Mama Snarky would be so proud!

  4. @anon - that's fantastic! if you (or anyone else who is inspires) wants to send me an email to detail what they did or whatnot, i'll post in a follow-up later on the blog! pay it forward, right? yes i know that's corny but still...

    : )

  5. You know I'm in like flynn. There are so many people out there that just want to know that someone is thinking about them. I'd be happy to do a little something for Violet. :)

  6. Hey STY,
    In the past three months I've added extreme couponing to my list of bizarre hobbies that make me an old-lady-26-year-old (machine embroidery, cake decorating, and gardening don't help my case). All the same, I have amassed a small collection of free shampoo, soap, razors, toothpaste, tooth brushes, etc. I'd love to pass some along if you think she could use some of them. My grandma's on a fixed income (not nearly as dire), but she's liked those things simply because it saves her money for other stuff. I could probably also find some good deals on cat food, too.

  7. Tears rolling down my face as I type...Snarky you are such a sweet heart. My Grandma was just in the hospital with a lung infection and my Mom was there with every day, sometimes three times a day, as was my Dad. I even stopped by a couple of times in between my busy work schedule. Sure, we're a close family so we wouldn't think of doing it any other way, but so many elderly people either don't have someone, or their someone doesn't put in the effort.

    I'm sure even just your letters make her day.


  8. Wow, what a lovely post and a lovely gesture STY.

    I work for a cancer charity here in NZ and as part of the emergency assistance we provide families, we often give vouchers, either for groceries, petrol or carparking costs.

    It never fails to amaze me that you can strike some people (and I am generalising here) who almost have a "what can I get? what am I entitled to?" attitude. Umm, this is a gift to you. We are a charity. There is no entitlement.

    But what I really want to say is that I am continually astounded by families who have virtually nothing to their name, whose lives have been torn apart by receiving a diagnosis like this, which means disruption to their whole lives - and yet they are SO GRATEFUL. They often want to repay us, or give something in return.

    It is absolutely humbling, and touches my heart on a daily basis, just how much a small gesture can mean to someone in their time of need.

    Imma stop rambling now. Clearly I haven't had enough social interaction today. Laters x

  9. You are amazing, and so, so kind. I knew that already though :)

    I've thought for years that a lonely elderly person is the saddest thing possible. To have lived a long life and be alone at the end of it...breaks my heart. My grandparents had friends and the love of our family until they passed, and I hate to think that not everyone has that. Happy to participate :)

  10. Snarky - isnt ther a address where I can ship you some stuff? I remember an address on te page but cant find it. I can go through my cabinets, im sure to have extra toothbrushes and lotions- I can ship to you.

    Email the address to I can get something out to you.

  11. I'm donating!!! I wanted to suggest one way to help...if there are enough funds donated maybe someone could contact the local utility company and see about paying her heating bill (or buying heating oil if that is the case) for her if she still lives in her home. If not then perhaps getting a gift card at a local grocery store for her to use as she needs would be good too.

    Thank you STY! what a great message - pay it forward!

  12. I forgot how much that letter made me cry. My job entails listening to people bitch at me all day long & hearing their fabricated sob stories of how horrible their life is & how I'm just making it worse. It's so sweet to see an unassuming person be appreciative of simple gestures. It makes me the teensiest bit less cynical.

  13. Well here I am getting all sappy and sniffly AGAIN as I read the comments!

    You guys are awesome - I am sure that Violet would welcome whatever we will send her way - the article I read that started this whole thing for me made it very clear that most of these people don't ever think of asking for help - they count their blessings and always say that someone else out there has it worse. Which I suppose it true, but nevertheless - it doesn't mean that they couldn't use a hand themselves, you know?

    I think a gift card (or cards) for local merchants would be great - also awesome because it's putting a little money into the local economy.

    I'll send my address to anyone who wants me to send something to include in the package I'll be sending (the UPS store where we used to have the Twitarded mailbox went out of business last year). I would just give out her address (I tracked it down on the internet myself so it's not like it's a secret) but i kind of feel weird doing that???

    If I end up with a lot of things to send, I'm going to send out multiple care packages to people in need.

    ILY all!!


  14. I am crying all over again. That letter made me cry the first time you shared it with us. So freaking wonderful. It also reminds me why I heart you oh so much. Group hug please. **sniff**.

  15. ladies I wish i was in your community i miss my granny I lost her 20 years ago, this letter made me cry, people can be so mean and can be just as wonderful as you. I send her my love million miles away. lamia aka apotamkin

  16. Beautiful.
    You know I am in.
    I love you.
    Thank you.
    I am at a loss for words as you can read.

  17. Sniff, That is so touching. I'll do my part....

  18. Thanks everyone!!! I actually sent a little note to Violet hinting that she should let me know what she needs - I figure that's the best way; want to get her what will do the most good!

    Will keep you all posted.


  19. @STY - What a great post! The internet has many powers indeed.

    I love the thoughtfulness of this and you ladies warm my cynical heart. Thank you.

  20. See now. If everyone would help a little, life would improve alot for everyone. I will donate as soon as payday rolls around. Won't be much (the dollar to rand exchange rate is still steep) but I figure every little bit...

  21. STY, u r a beautiful-sarcastic-smutty-rpattzloving-redhaired angel & the world would be a better place with more people like you in it :)

  22. Hey, I can't spare money but I can send items, like shopping bags or a purse or something if she needs one. Send me an email, and let me know. This is very sweet of you :)


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