Friday, December 15, 2006

Local amazement

Y'know, when I started this thing, I figured that I'd get a much bigger response for Lee from my online buds (and their online buds, and so forth, 'cause that's just the kind of people that y'all are) than from the local community here, of which I'm not really a "member," so to speak, being the atheist anarchist hyperlexic weirdo from New Orleans, much less being POOR, but these people really have amazed me.

As is the usual with situations like this, often times much more is promised by "upstanding members of the community" than is ever actually delivered, but the ones from whom you actually ASK... They are the ones who bowl you over. And this thing has grown so much, so fast, that people I'd never even MET have jumped-in to help.

I wish that I could get access to find out who has donated what to help Lee, but since I'm only a depositor on the account, I can't get that information or even send out proper thank-you cards. So, direct deposits to the bank aside, there are three local merchants who have absolutely blown me away with their kindness & generosity (as well as their patrons/customers, obviously) for Lee.

My local pharmacy, Feliciana Healthmart, and the owners, Mrs. Ginger & Mr. Jimmy, have been wonderful about not only passing out fliers with information about Lee, but also in keeping a contribution jar right next to the register, and every week since they put the jar out, it's been filled --- usually between $50 and 70 bucks a week! Mrs. Ginger is one of the kindest, most big-hearted people I've ever known, not to mention the best pharmacist that I've ever had.

Ricky's (Audubon Liquor & Ricky's Lounge) put out a milk jug for donations, and gathered $125.99 in one week! (And I gotta tellya, having bartended in New Orleans, the truth there is the same here --- LOCALS TIP THE BEST. Tourists don't tip worth SHIT.)

And even though I don't know anyone very well at the local BP gas station/convenience store (independently owned, affiliated with British Petroleum, yes, but run by very compassionate people who work their asses off), they put out a collection jar/jug for Lee from the very beginning, and have already deposited $400 into the bank account, and when I went by this evening to thank the manager/owner for participating in the fund raiser, he had ANOTHER jar full of bills to take to the bank!

And, I might add, he reiterated my long-held view of retail bidness... The TOURISTS don't drop a DIME on a good cause or for good service, but the LOCALS always give as much as they can. And as I've always known, and as most of my online friends have always shown, from Katrina on down --- those who actually have the least are the FIRST to give, and to give the most of what they have! The rich want to keep it to themselves, the working-class and the poor have the compassion to give all that they can to help another, it's just that simple.

So if y'all ever find yourselves in our neck of the woods, please drop by these bidnesses and show them some love.

Also, and I can't let this go by without comment --- Lee's fellow employees at Fred's have reached into their own not-so-deep pockets and slipped money into the bank account on the sly, because even though none of them are rich, they love her too much to not do SOMETHING. It's no small wonder, when I became a regular resident up here (my parents moved up here in '87, but I was only a visitor until '03, when I came back from Miami) --- that the people who work at Fred's were the first people to reach out to me with anything resembling friendship.

Also, when it comes to who jumped-in-first, I've heard a lot of talk about how every church in the area has SAID that they were going to do everything possible to help Lee, but since I don't know who deposited what, I can't really hold anybody's feet to the fire about whether they delivered or not. When you're raising money like this, you can't EXPECT anything, you just have to be grateful for what does show up. But Grace Episcopal Church, one of the oldest churches on this continent, did call me and promise to contribute, very early-on in this fundraising campaign, and we know that they actually delivered. I'm not very good, myself, at communicating with religious leaders, obviously, but I at least have the manners to say "thank you" when they help someone about whom I care very much.

Now, those of you who are familiar with my regular blogging and my comments on other blogs know that there is no love lost betwixt myself and the local school board, after I was illegally denied employment as a substitute teacher and blackballed from subbing in TWO parishes because of my atheism.

And when it first became known that Lee's brain tumor was reaching life-threatening levels, a certain member of the school board was the first person to "volunteer" to Susan that he would move heaven and earth to raise money, contact people with money, and try to help find the right surgeons/facilities. When nothing was heard from him or his after a couple of weeks, Susan gave up on him, as he is widely known for being far more about politickin' than actually DELIVERING.

But since I put out these fliers all over town and in the neighboring communities, kids in the elementary, junior-high and high schools started taking those fliers in to their teachers and principals, saying, over and over again, "WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING TO HELP HER!!!"

And thus said school board official was shamed by "his" own students into finally RETURNING SUSAN'S CALLS (a week after she gave up on him), but again, nothing came of it. At least, that was the last that we heard of the school board wanting to help.

Then today, I get a phone call from a lady who identified herself only as being "from the school board," who wanted to "let somebody know" that they had just deposited money into the account. Isn't that just wonderful? When you least expect it... People finally do what they've promised, and they make sure that you know about it.

Oh, sure, I'll catch hell again for editorializing on this blog again, I'm sure, but y'know, sometimes you have to take that risk, 'cause the truth needs to be told. There have been DOZENS, probably over a HUNDRED anonymous donors directly to the bank, and online donors who don't want to take any credit for anything, who just want to HELP --- and they've never asked for so much as recognition for their efforts. After all, if you're doing it for the "credit," for the attention, then it's not really "charity" at all, is it.

Now, on another topic, what's got me worried, as wonderful as it is that the "Save Lee" movement has spread to multiple parishes, is that certain people, like the aformentioned TICK, might be putting out "fundraising" jars/jugs/raffles/other schemes IN LEE'S NAME, but that the money will NEVER reach the Bank Of St. Francisville.

And no, I don't personally have the energy, time, money, or mileage left on my truck to go hit every establishment in the tri-parish area that MIGHT have a collection jar out, but believe you me, kids, we're keeping an eye on said TICK.

Did I mention that, as soon as she found out that we were doing this, that we were trying to SAVE LEE'S LIFE, that the TICK called Lee IMMEDIATELY, making that girl feel GUILTY and really SHITTY ABOUT HERSELF, because OTHER PEOPLE WERE DOING THINGS TO HELP HER, of our OWN FUCKING VOLITION I might add, and DEMANDING A ***CUT*** OF THE PROCEEDS?!??!!??!?

There have GOT to be laws against this shit. And once we can get Lee the surgery that will save her life, you can betcherass that I'll be exploring every possible legal option to have the TICK incarcerated for a long, lonnnnnnngggg time.

So, we have good news, and we have iffy news. Sometime this coming week, I look forward to giving y'all some idea of how much money has been raised overall, as well as an appointment date for Lee with the ENT group in Baton Rouge. They've been going through all of her medical records, her CT scans & MRIs & x-rays, etc., for a couple of weeks now, and I'm hoping that they'll come up with a solution that will not only save her life, but allow her to remain HERSELF, above all else. 'Cause as ornery and snarky as she can get sometimes, Lee is definitely a one-of-a-kind original who cannot be lost.


At 4:51 AM, Blogger Terrible said...

those who actually have the least are the FIRST to give, and to give the most of what they have!

That's one of lifes little phenomenons that always makes me go hmmmmmmmmmmmm.... and shake my head in sadness for the losers who have more then they need because of their fellow humans but won't give anything back. And in awe at those who have been shat upon most of their lives but are always willing to give. It's almost as if we live in a world with 2 seperate and distinct human species.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home