But here’s the thing. (You knew there was a thing, right?) I don’t care about turning 40. Sure, when I’m reading People magazine and see a list of “Who’s hot at 40″ I always compare myself to them, but honestly I wasn’t really in Gywneth Paltrow shape before I was 40, so why care now?
I’ve got a pretty good life and am quite happy and sometimes when repeating stories of my youth, pleasantly surprised that I’ve made it this far. I’ve already traveled all over the world, so there’s not this urge to say “I have to go to Paris by the time I turn 40!” Although there’s always a piece of me that wants to go to Paris…ahhh…bread and mustard and soup. And cheese…But, I digress. Let’s just say that I’ve seen some stuff and don’t have the need to go anywhere this year.
My friends have started texting and emailing asking about trips and such and asking what did I have planned? Seriously, I have nothing spectacular that pops into my head. Sure, I’d love a weekend at a friends farm or my family’s ranch in Texas but don’t want to spend the money when we’re saving for other things. And yes, a weekend in the wine country is always nice but we don’t have family here to watch kids to make it easy. And I like spending birthdays with my kids, since they’re pretty much my life.
And then I read an article about a woman who donated 40 sleeping bags to homeless people in her city for her 40th birthday and what a great experience it was for her. And it got me thinking. And you all know how I love thinking.
So, here’s the deal. This year for my 40th birthday, I want nothing. Well, I want nothing in the form of a gift. I do want something, though. From 40 of you, anyway.
I want 40 of my friends to each commit to donating $40 either in the shape of a gift card of cash, to a charity that is close to my heart. Covenant House. For many complicated reasons that I won’t get into now, when I was 15, my sister and I were homeless for a week in Southern Florida. They have locations all over the US, not just in Florida. Covenant House is a place where teenagers who need a place to go can find a hot meal, a warm bed and someone to listen to them and hear them about what’s happening that’s brought them to where they are.
They helped us get back to family within a few days with warm smiles and kind hearts. While we were there we met a few kids who’d been there for months. There were some who’d had substance abuse issues and others who’d been mistreated by parents, etc. But it was a sanctuary. And I’ll be forever grateful that when we needed a place to gather our bearings and stay safe, we were able to find Covenant House. Not all teenagers are so lucky.
So, is there are 40 of you who would step up and let me know if you’ll be able to contribute, we have some time to work on this.
My Birthday isn’t until May 2 and I would love to be able to take our donations to them on my birthday. Even if I only raise 40 bucks, it will be worth it. But if I were able to donate 40 donations of 40, it would be spectacular.
- Stacey Nakamura
- Sydney Ackerley
- Meagan McGovern
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