Sunday, December 20, 2009

headaches and volunteering

Once again it's been a while since I've written. Lots of little things have been happening that have been keeping me busy.
Ashley has been suffering from migraines, this last week was a hard one. She missed 2.5 days of school because of the pain and the accompanying symptoms. The Imitrex would work for several hours at a time, but nothing seemed to keep the pain gone for more than about six hours. Finally on Friday I took her in to the clinic to get a shot of Imitrex and some anti-nausea meds. She slept for about 20 of the next 24 hours and finally today she seems to be herself again. It's hard to see her in pain but it's frustrating too. More than ever when she has a headache, she needs to eat well and drink extra fluids, but when she's in pain and nauseous she doesn't want to eat. It's a tough cycle. Yesterday Christopher and I had to pretty much force her to eat and drink. Today though, since the pain is gone, she was eating good food on her own.

On Thursday night, since Ashley was feeling okay for a few hours, I took her and two of her friends out bell ringing for the Salvation Army. The three girls wore Santa hats and gave out candy canes to the donors and to kids who came by. We were between the doors at Shopko on the north side of town. I was surpirsed at how many people donated money, many more than I have seen in years past. Several people thanked the girls for volunteering their time. People seemed surprised to see teenagers giving their time for charity.
That got me thinking...Christopher and I have always given our time and money to causes that are important to us and we have raised Ashley to do the same. We have tried to teach her that giving your time, talents and money is part of being a good person. It surprises me how many kids have never done any volunteering. Many of Ashley's friends were in my Girl Scout Troop and have volunteered as a group. It seems like the kids who were not in Scouts or who don't go to church have never really had the chance to volunteer. Why aren't their parents doing volunteer work with them? There are so many worthy causes, groups and individuals who need help.
I'm going to summarize here, for myself, some of the volunteering and causes that we support.

Henry Vilas Zoo - Annual donation plus Ashley volunteers as an "Animal Ambassador" teaching younger children and familes about the animals.
Olbrich Botanical Gardens - Annual donation and yearly service project cleaning up outer grounds.
Church - Ashley volunteers her babysitting services during meetings, we give financially and both Christopher and I teach and serve on committees. Ashley volunteers her piano talent and time as the pianist for both of the churches youth choirs.
Salvation Army - We volunteer as bell ringers.
Karmenta Nursing home - Ashley used to volunteer by spending time with the residents.
Girl Scouts and PTA - these are groups that I used to be very involved in, but have not been in the last few years.

Looking at this list, I feel like we should be doing more. There are other casues that we give money to, not much, but we do our best. We do give money to WPR and I have been thinking about working the phones at the next public television fund drive.
I started writing this thinking that we were doing pretty well, but now I see that we have so much more to give.

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