We All Have Our Crazy

We all have some version of crazy in us, trust me.

My crazy is my loyalty. I will be loyal to the end, no matter how evil people can be to me. Case in point, my life in 2006-2008. I moved to South Carolina with my then boyfriend and I thought things would be peachy for the rest of my life.

I was wrong.

Six months later, I had an engagement ring on my ring finger…right beside a broken pinky due to the fact I didn’t iron a polo shirt collar. I continued to live a life of lies, hiding bruises under long sleeve shirts in summer weather and standing up for the person who took me down so far.

It was easy to hide, and hide I did. I was hours away from family and surrounded by people who only knew what little I shared. I was not myself, the strong World Ready Woman produced at Chatham.

Finally it went far enough that I called the police, but the only thing that came of that was a long overdue breakup followed by months of repeat offenses until I finally cut the ties for good.

You are probably wondering why I am sharing this, and why tonight in this time of holiday cheer. It is because we all have our crazy.

You see, I was in tears an hour ago…

I was chilling after a busy day and decided it was time to buy some toys to go toward Michelle’s Christmas Crazy efforts. She buys toys each year to go to people in need…specifically women and children in domestic violence shelters. Women who are in (probably worse) situations than I was in.

The tie for me is helping to provide for women who are where I would have been if I had kept on pushing my crazy against someone else’s crazy. And so, I felt it right to pick out some toys and purchase them for the cause.

But let me get back go those tears. As I looked through the toys, I connected. There were toys for all ages. Toys for kids of every race (love! I picked out a Kira Barbie). There was a Princess Tiana costume (Arianna demanded I buy this for the kids). And then, the tears.

A Little People airplane. Mom, are you still reading and crying too? You see, my parents and I got this for Arianna to celebrate her first flight. The flight that moved her to PA after I decided to move home with my ‘ill girl following a year of dealing with pain, pregnancy, and emotional behaviors after my breaking point. In the cart it went.

For the ‘lil ones who are safe from broken homes. For the ‘lil innocent children. For the child who has to deal with painful memories of mom and dad. For me working toward getting over the crazy and healing, learning that everyone is not out to get me.

Any ‘lil bit to do something to help others and to get to a world free of domestic violence, hate, and true crazy…replaced with a world of love and fun. Arianna and I were blessed to get out and move past the crazy. Not everyone is.

If you have a few moments, read up on Christmas Crazy and consider a gift from the wish list for the kids at Center for Victims and Alle-Kiski Hope Center. Michelle will do a good kind of crazy with it, trust me.

Do Unto Others

…as you would have done to you.

Recently, Mr. Burgher, our ‘lil Burghers, and I became #smhero (Social Media [super]Heroes) when we helped out with The Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project. I was charged with the challenge of taking a Tote Bag and filling it with food when I visited the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank for the #BlogMob. This was an easy task, but we knew we had to do more.

First, we decided to have a Tote Bag Drive for ‘lil Miss A’s birthday. We asked that our family and friends bring their gifts in a reusable grocery tote bag instead of worrying about wrapping them or bringing a gift bag (because I honestly have a ton to “regift” in my stockpile).

We got a few questions like, “are you sure that you just want the gift thrown in a boring brown bag”, and the answer (obviously) was “YES!”. Our peoples came through amazingly–some even brought extras–and we ended up with 20 tote bags to donate to the project. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We will definitely continue this tradition for future parties.

Here are the bags that she got—we missed the boat on getting a pic with her and the bags before we turned them in, oops!

Then, I took the challenge to my office and asked my immediate co-workers to bring in totes. We’re working on expanding it to our department (and maybe the entire corporate office), but just through a week or two, we collected 20 bags.

I still needed to fill up my #smhero (Social Media Hero) tote with food for the Food Bank, so I gathered that together. Mr. Burgher was not happy with what I came up with, and he took a handful of bags from ‘lil Miss A’s party and filled them with goodies (toothpaste, pads, body wash, razors, etc) from his couponing trips.

We set up time to do the drop off after we participated in the Heart Walk. While we were there, I kept noticing people with totes from a vendor and I hoped we’d be able to connect with them and get some of their totes to add to the 41 we had to drop off. When I approached them, I was given 12 bags; however, Mr. Burgher noticed that there were still boxes of them behind the tent. Before we left the parking lot, he ran over to ask a different person if they would consider giving an entire box of 100 bags—they said yes! All we had to do was ask.

So, we met up and dropped off 153 tote bags, some filled with food for the Project. The good feeling hasn’t worn off yet! You can check out the incredible story that was on the Tote Bag Project’s website here.

Have we inspired you yet? I sure hope so! If you have reusable canvas grocery bags (aka tote bags) and you would like to donate them to the Project, either check out their site or get in touch with me. They’ve been able to donate over 7,000 bags to those who need them, and the potential to do more is huge. If all of you donated just one bag, we could make a difference in the lives of many. When I visited the Food Bank, I saw many people carrying their food in a multitude of containers (luggage, laundry baskets, pockets) and I know we can do better. Are you with us?