I'm such a bleeding-heart. It's really ridiculous. And it's not just during the holidays, although I admit it gets worse this time of year. I am constantly moved to help others, but it almost always requires the one thing I don't have: money. Of course, if I had mass amounts of money, I'd still be broke b/c I wouldn't be able to stop giving it away.
I don't feel like I have to help EVERYONE, but I'll hear stories about people and/or organizations who need help and it's literally as though I'm being called to step in & assist somehow. It took me many years to understand what people meant when they said they found their "calling". Now I know. And now I have to figure out a way to use what I have (which isn't much) to fulfill the needs of many. Which shouldn't be difficult b/c that's pretty much the job description for being a wife/mother.
One thought I had was organizing a group of people to pool all our resources to make an impact. Organizing is something I enjoy, but I'm not visible enough in my community to be able to organize on a grand scale. Hell, I couldn't even organize a big enough group to make a few Blessing Bags for a handful of local homeless folks. How the hell am I going to convince an even larger group of people to fill the needs of a myriad of folks? I love my friends with a passion, but I'll be honest: many of them are flaky. (Love ya buddies. *fist bump*) So to pull off anything big, I'd have to rely on random people I don't know. And frankly, I don't know how I'd talk a bunch of strangers into basically using their resources to fulfill my calling. Most people want tax write-offs and recognition for good deeds. I would provide neither of those.
Then there is the fact that to gather a group of strangers to help another group of strangers is usually more successful when you've got your eye on a specific cause or demographic. I don't feel moved to help one specific type of person or cause. I read ads on craigslist or in the paper. I hear stories from co-workers and friends. I'm not moved to help every single time; it's very random and sudden. I do tend to gravitate toward abused and neglected children and teens b/c of my past, but I also have a soft spot for lonely seniors, single parents, struggling young couples and/or families, and the occasional animal rescue league. I'm too erratic in my notions to be able to form a foundation b/c I couldn't offer specific goals. I can't say "donate $____ to my foundation & I'll sprinkle it through the community at my whim like a big ole' bag o' fairy dust." I'm not Tinkerbell, for crying out loud.
The reason I wanted to do foster care so bad was b/c I am a helper. The problem is, I have to consider my family's needs before anyone else's and the two instances when we fostered a child, my family was relegated to the bottom of my list of priorities. Foster children require a lot of time and attention, which is not something I can give without neglecting my husband & child. I'm just not willing to do that to them anymore.
Sometimes I wish the world jaded me the way it seems to do everyone else. Maybe then it wouldn't be so frustrating when I can't do all that my heart tells me to do. Obviously that's no way to be and not really want I want. But it certainly seems easier than having this big old heart without the bankroll to match.