Saturday, May 19, 2012

If You Can Do It, So Can I.

It had been a long day in the midst of a long week but the basket shipments could wait no longer.

The back of my minivan held two shipments for two customers of the Nyaka Grandmother Shop on Etsy, 105 baskets for a Global Giving "Friend-Raiser" event and the merchandise needed for The Barefoot Mile event planned by a student in Colorado.  Our hardworking intern had caught the flu and was not able to attend to the regular errands.

As I pulled into the local FedEx location, the clock read 8:30pm and I was ready to go home.

I gathered a small box and lugged it inside.  I plopped it on the counter and announced that I would be back with more.  I went back outside and pulled an even larger, heavier box out. 

After two steps, I began to think of our grandmothers.  I thought of how hard they work every day to feed the children they care for.  I thought of the grass thatched huts that allow water to pour inside on little families and the latrines overflowing during the rainy season.  I thought of sore legs walking up and down steep hills to gather clean water.

In my heart I whispered, "Okay, grannies.  If you can do it, so can I."
The grannies trying to teach me to weave a basket.

I then realized that there was no possible way for me to open the door with the load I was carrying.  As I started to look for a place to leverage the heavy box, a woman came out and I asked her if she could get the door for me.

"Of course."

"Oh, thank you. I was just beginning to wonder how I was going to be able to get that door with this big ole box in my arms."

"I was meant to come out at just the right time.  It blessed me to help you."


Wasn't that just the nicest response?

I still had another bag to grab so I went back outside again.  She was getting into her car and I stopped her.

"I just want you to know that the box I was carrying is full of baskets made by the grandmothers of HIV/AIDS orphans in southwest Uganda.  I just visited them and they thanked me over and over for what I do.  I told them about people like you.  I told them that I am a representative of so many people who care for them."

I then gave her a basket as a gift. The grannies would have wanted her to have it.

Lunch With A Purpose Volunteers
We stood in the parking lot for about 10 minutes talking about the Nyaka mission and one of her own interests called the Widow's Might.  She promised to share the story of the Nyaka Grandmothers with her friends and I thanked her.

It blesses me to help the grannies of Nyaka.

It also blesses me to see our supporters give of their time and money to provide clean water, basic housing and sustainable income for the women who work so hard to care for so many children.

If the grannies could, they would hug you tight around the neck for all that you do.

Thank you for being so awesome.


PS - In the next couple of weeks, we will share with you just what you accomplished for the grannies through all of your hard work and compassion on Mother's Day. For a preview, check out our Mukaaka Supporters.

Tashmica Torok, Development Associate
Tashmica has been with NAOP since September 2010.  Prior to joining the Team, Tashmica participated in several different community social justice campaigns in Michigan while managing her family business. Tashmica is a mother, wife, writer, and roller derby skater with the Lansing Derby Vixens.  NAOP's mission speaks to two of her personal social priorities: women and children.  She is inspired by the grandmothers and is constantly celebrating the steps each of NAOP students take to combat poverty with their education.