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Posts Tagged ‘KofC’

One weekend each year, the Knights of Columbus give away Tootsie-Rolls at local stores and collect funds for local charities.  This was the weekend for my chapter and today was the day I agreed to give two hours of my day to this worthy cause.  Hilary (my wife) agreed to keep me company.
Together, we stood outside our local Safeway store (on Willow Pass Road in Concord, CA) and gave away candy.  There is no obligation to give to receive the candy.  We are NOT selling the Tootsie-Rolls, and we make no mention of any obligation to give.  If a passer-by chooses to give, we thank them.  If they don’t, we still wish them a good day and offer a smile.
The variety of folks who come by (some give and some don’t) and the generosity of those who are able to give (and do) continues to surprise me.   God bless you all…  Those who gave us funds AND those who only gave us smiles.
Below are a couple of snapshots of Hil giving away the Tootsie-Rolls…

Hil handing out candy

Hil handing out candy

A closer shot of Hil in her fetching KofC bib/vest.

A closer shot of Hil in her fetching KofC bib/vest.

There are thousands of worthy causes in your local community.  Find one that matters to you.  If you have the funds, donate.  If all you have is time, share it.  Find a problem (big or small) and be a part of the solution…
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Hil and I went to church today (it’s Sunday).  The first reading was from Joshua 24:15 and contained one of my favorite sayings – As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  I like it because it is a simple statement of faith.
Back in July of 2001, I got laid off from the company I was working for (Stockpoint).  I was unemployed until Jan ’02 when I got hired by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to answer their 800 line and respond to tax questions from the public.
That job was really just to get the health insurance.  When I got laid off I had a chance to continue my health insurance with “COBRA” – (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985) – the fake health reform of the Clinton Administration.  But, to continue my health coverage, I would have had to pay $600 for myself and $125 for my family.  Obviously, being unemployed, I had to drop my coverage, but I continued it for my wife and kids.
Anyway, with a new mortgage and no income (unemployment insurance is another joke) to speak of I was desperate for ANY work.  I took the job at the IRS for 1/3rd the pay I had been making at Stockpoint and it had nothing to do with computers, programming or business management.
Even though “marginally” employed, we were still burning through savings like nobody’s business and I was feeling desperate.  I had been under- and unemployed for almost a full year and we were rapidly approaching the point of having to put the house up on the market before we started to miss payments.
I had applied for over 700 jobs in the year and had a total of five (5!) written responses (acknowledgments of receipt) and only three (3!) interviews.
I was out jogging and started praying…  I said, “God, I don’t know what more I can do.  I’m preparing customized cover sheets for every application and REALLY making an effort to spend all day looking for jobs I can both do and companies I can contribute to – but no one is even acknowledging they’re getting my applications…  I’m looking everywhere west of the Mississippi and there just doesn’t seem to be any hope.
“I know I haven’t always been the best Catholic, but I promise you, if you just show me the way forward, you don’t have to DO anything for me, just show me the way, I promise to go back to church, get the kids baptized and raise them in the faith.  After that, I will remain your committed servant.  I place my faith in you and am in your hands.”
The following week (I believe it was Thursday), I got a call requesting an interview.  I said I’d be happy to interview and asked when.  The lady said, “Right now.”
I interviewed for about the next 45 minutes and was asked to a 2nd interview the following week.  I went to that and was offered the job to start the following week (8 Aug. 2002).  I was hired and have now been there seven years.
We started going to church the Sunday before my second interview.  I joined the Knights of Columbus and we got the kids enrolled in Baptism classes shortly thereafter.  The classes took two years and the kids were Baptized and rec’d their 1st Communion.  After that, they came with us for another three years.
About a year and a half ago, our oldest started having a lot of scheduling conflicts between Church and her volunteer job.  While I was not initially in favor of it, I agreed she no longer had to attend Mass with us.  Shortly after that, I told the other two that if I wasn’t requiring the oldest to go I wouldn’t require them to either.  For the most part they don’t attend anymore.
The kids sometimes join us for Christmas or Easter Mass but the only one I require them to attend with us is the first Sunday after Easter.  That’s the Sunday of “Doubting Thomas”.
Hilary and I still go every week.  About a year ago we started driving an elderly lady (who no longer drives) to Mass with us.
If true faith requires public testimony – then God has blessed me with with it.  I have told this story often enough (to family, friends and co-workers) for it to enter into the mythology of my family.
Now, I know a rational agnostic would say it was pure coincidence and the law of averages and a matter of time and blah, blah, blah…
But as for me and my faith, like Thomas, I no longer need to “see” to believe.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
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