Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The One Where Tammie Helps

I remember an episode of Friends where Phoebe and Joey argue about there being no such thing as a truly selfless good deed. When you do something nice, you usually get something in return, even if it's just a good feeling. I tend to agree, but I don't think there's anything wrong with that. So what if you get joy by doing nice things? Even if that's the only reason you do something nice, is that really the worst thing in the world?

I've been in a funk lately. I feel frustrated and stuck and helpless. I've had the remains of a migraine for three straight days. Add to that some sensitive lady issues that are stressing me out that I'll probably have to see the doctor about, and I'm just a bundle of nerves.

And then there's the news. Honestly, I know what's going on in Haiti, but I've stopped watching. That probably sounds callous but I just can't do it anymore. Watching all those people suffering and me not being able to help them only makes me feel more frustrated and helpless. I just want to do something.

I know a lot of folks are donating money to various charities. Which is awesome, but right now all of my money goes to my own personal charity, the "Get out of Florida" fund. So then I thought of making something and donating it to the Craft Hope Etsy shop, since so many of my blogging people are doing this and it seems to be going rather successfully. But I'm not confident enough with my talents and abilities and I know I'd be tempted to go shopping in the name of "needing supplies." Then I thought of just buying something from the shop, but again, I don't want to spend any money and really I'm trying to empty my house at the moment so bringing new things in seems counterproductive. I was at a loss for a way to help.

Then I came across this charity, Little Dresses for Africa, which "provides relief to the children of Africa." (It's a Christian based, well, there's that. I'm hoping that "relief" isn't another word for "Bibles.") But anyway, one of the things they do is gather up homemade dresses and pass them out to needy gals in Africa. I can do this. I know it's not Haiti. I'm not so stupid and privileged and white that I believe for one second that this is the same as providing life saving water for someone. But it's something I can do. Right now. With supplies I have on hand. So that's what I've been doing for the last few days, making dresses. And while I've been doing it, my thoughts haven't been on my problems and I haven't felt as helpless. And further more, it's given me a wonderful feeling and I like it.

Suck it, Joey Tribbiani.

(If you want to make little dresses for needy girls, here again is the link to the charity, and here are the instructions for making the dresses and sizing and mailing info. I've made pillowcase dresses before, but I still found their instructions a bit vague. If you need more detailed directions, head over to this tutorial at Freshly Picked. It's flawless.)


Lia said...

Good job, Tammie! Both for making the cute dresses and for finding something that you could handle doing. I've been planning on making something for Craft Hope Haiti, but today I just read that they are having to pause accepting donations after tonight. Understandably, they need some time to catch their breath and regroup. I'll still make and then donate when they're ready. But I have plenty of pillowcases that could easily become dresses for little girls in Africa, too.

Go to the doctor. I went today (nothing big, just an annual) and she had all kinds of answers and ideas that have given me hope that some of my complaints will get fixed.

I hope your head gets better. I've spent the past three days sneezing every five seconds while clamping my legs as tightly as I can, just trying not to wet my pants. I feel your pain.

Tammie said...

thanks lia...i actually have a few other people around me nagging me to go to the dr. an appointment has been made. im not looking forward to it though.

Daphne said...

That is totally awesome. I donated $25 to Partners in Health, I figured I needed to do something, even if it wasn't much. The talk about how $20 can give a child food for 3 months or something made me decide to quit worrying about how little I felt I could donate and just do it. I love the dresses idea, too.

Hope the doctor stuff is okay. That sort of thing seems to be going around right now (distressing doctor visits, although I hope yours is not distressing at all)

~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

Go to the doctor. Lia's right. You'll feel better just hearing what is said. I'm always self-diagnosing and whatever I come up with is always far scarier than the reality.

And, you're doing a good thing sending dresses to Africa. You're doing something and that counts.

Keep your chin up. You are in a bit of a funk, but this too shall pass. Trust me (I may not be wiser than you, but I'm sure I'm a little older -- so you should listen to me!)

IGEMOM said...

Tammie...on frustrated...agreed...on hopeless...did you say hopeless or helpless I can't recall...either way...agreed.

On lady issues...ditto. I still haven't made an appointment for mine. I'm in denial.

I have considered giving up blogging because I have nothing cheerful to say right now. But I figure my true readers will hang out a might all just improve...

Hmm...yeah I don't know what to do for Haiti victims either. Or Africa...I donated lots of books to a new school recently in Cambodia...I don't even turn ON the TV because it adds to depression.
I adopt animals to bandage my wounds. Because they are left behind, and need someone, and I need them. So, there's that.

alisha said...

i stopped watching too. but i generally avoid the news these days as it's just too much negativity. not that i'm unaware of violence and suffering in the world, but it's soooo much.

what a great idea to do those dresses. you're awesome!

Dani said...

It all counts. Those dresses are just too cute. I can see some little girl in Africa with eyes aglow at her beautiful new dress.

Growing up in a church environment, I actually have friends that do mission work. Not to say that Bibles don't ever enter the picture, but the initial focus is on getting these people the things they need to sustain life. Just to put your mind at ease a bit.

I hope you make it to the doctor and that it puts your mind at ease.

And it's OK to turn off the news. I have been looking at all the images coming from Haiti and it's messing me up. Some of the stories are just horrific. I turned off the TV and have been listening to the Avett Brothers, Wilco, and The Shins while I crochet. I sleep much better.

Hang in there girlie. We are here for you.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I love that you're doing this.
I have been put down for volunteering because I said that we get so much out of it. So basically I was told that we do it for selfish reasons.
Um, whatever. Screw those people.

Maria Rose said...

Good for you. Take all the joy you can from it! That's like doing a good deed twice because you're leaving yourself in a good mental (if not charitable) place when you deal with family and friends!

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

Aah, this is why I am drawn to your blog. You are a good person Tammie.

Nice work....and you've given me 2 ideas!

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

So great about the dresses! Hope the dr appt goes well.

Nowheymama said...

Good for you!

Mari said...

Awesome Tammie, they're beautiful dresses! I am a firm believer that every little bit helps!

Hotch Potchery said...

I went and got my lady bits checked out last week, and it was SO not that bad...I have to get a mammogram though FORTY.

Anyways, I think your dress idea is great. Way to go!!

Anonymous said...

So you are doing absolutely NOTHING about Haiti.
You need your money for your OWN charity to get out of Florida?
You have so much yet can't spare anything to help those in Haiti - this post speaks volumes about the kind of person you are. Making a few dresses for African children does absolutely NOTHING for those in dire need in Haiti.
I suggest you switch on your television and LOOK and LISTEN - you have chosen to switch off, bury your head in the sand and pretend it isn't happening.
Could you possibly imagine if that situation was happening to someone in your own family? Or to YOU - I'm sure you would be glad of all the help YOU could get.

hester said...

Hey Tammie - good on you for making the beautiful dresses. It's a great thing to do and if it made you feel good, that's the icing on the cake.

Gee I enjoyed reading all the lovely comments on this post.

I committed myself to making a warm baby blanket for a project to help teen mothers in the Appalachian mountains but am feeling a little guilty as I haven't done it yet. Time to get cracking. It's been 35 degrees C here though so I haven't been able to face touching flannel.

Penny said...

Oh dear, Anonymous seems to be quite the troll.

I love the episode of Friends and then Phoebe lets a bee sting her...

I think it is great how you thought outside the box of how you could personally help someone else with your talents.

Tammie said...

thanks so much everyone for all your kind words. and for the nudges about going to the lady doctor. i have put it off for far too long.

jolly: you are totally right! at this point im self diagnosing myself with a whole host of scary diseases that i (hopefully) dont have.

anonymous: i really feel no need to justify my financial choices to a hate filled crazy. and frankly, i mentioned in my post that what i was doing was of no value to those in Haiti so im not real sure what point you were trying to make. and just because there is a huge tragedy in one part of the world, doesn't mean we should disregard the needs of others. there is always something we can do for someone, somewhere.

i also feel that life can be cyclical. sometimes you can do more. sometimes you can do less. i did what i could at this time.

next time you think about leaving an insane comment on a random blog, maybe you should rethink it and use your time more wisely doing something nice.

you've made your point, but further comments of this nature will not be published.


R.H. Ducky said...

you. are. awesome.

i love that you are making the dresses and donating them. and i love dani's comment "I can see some little girl in Africa with eyes aglow at her beautiful new dress" thoughts exactly.

i also have a few thoughts about "anonymous", but i think you handled that pretty well on your own. and certainly with more class and restraint than i would have exhibited.

kudos to you my friend.

Tammie said...

ducky: thank you. i was wondering what you would think about that, since you've had your own anonymous issues lately.

R.H. Ducky said...

personally i say these anonymous asshats can suck it, and then wash it down with the haterade they seem to love so much. if you're going to call someone out at least have the balls to put your name with your comment.

and that will bring the inevitable argument that i don't use my real name when i blog/comment. well, they can suck it again...i won't be in the corporate world much longer, so my need for anonymity is drawing to a close.


Dani said...

"Anonymous"=pussy. (Is that word too crass?)

If you have the balls to call someone out on their own blog, then put your name on it.

Suck it, Anonymous.
(I'm not as nice or diplomatic as you, Tammie.)

Tammie said...

dani: thank you. and crass is always welcome here. i dont mind.

Tammie said...

alicia: i can see that inevitable argument happening also but i think there is a huge difference between remaining anonymous so as to be professional and remaining anonymous just to not have to deal with any further arguments. i feel like most anonymous people arent after intelligent discussion or debate. they just want to spew their hate and then skedaddle.

Not Your Aunt B said...

Now THAT is something I could do! The dresses are lovely.

As scary as the doc is, I think you should go too.

Anonymous' comment bothered me. As someone who GREW UP in a 3rd world country torn apart by civil war, help those less fortunate. Whether they are down the street or across the world. Shitty things are happening to people everywhere- let's all help out, no? Whatever you can, when you can, as long as you can. It will be appreciated.

Barefoot_Mommy said...

wow, I so hadn't read all of the comments on this post. I agree with everyone. Except Annon. Because that person is just an asshole... not to mention a coward.

I think the dresses idea is really neat. I loved looking through the website with all the pictures of the girls in their dresses. I might have to make some to donate.

hester said...

Mmmmmmm.... I actually had missed "Anonymous"'s charming comment when I said I was enjoying the lovely comments. That will teach me to skim stuff when in a hurry.

You have a great turn of phrase, Tammie. I particularly liked "skedaddle". I would describe Anonymous's comment as uncharitable!

Michelle said...

Tammie, hand made dresses for anyone is such a thoughtful and intimate gift. much love to you and anyone who gives what they can in another's time of need.

Daphne said...

Wow, I missed the lovely comment from "Anonymous"... Anonymous, no matter where he/she comments, always seems to be a complete jerk and a coward. You handled that beautifully. The good you do, anywhere in the world, is worthwhile. Conversely, an asshole is an asshole anywhere in the world, even in blogland. Piss off, Anonymous.