Learning what it means to contribute
Its tough to be a working girl in Tahoe. Ive got a steady job, Im happy, but sometimes it seems that Im just getting by.You probably know how it is or at least you did at some point. Meanwhile, those wonderfully warm senior citizens need food donations and doe-eyed children need coats and books.Designer boots and shiny cars dont make me jealous. The ability to give freely does. I fantasize about writing big cardboard checks . . . and then I drain my paycheck into my gas tank. Sigh.Affluence can be fabulous thing, but sometimes wealth isnt viewed so positively in our working class communities. The big pocket books drive up the hill, wave hello, buy a house, a latte and drive away. We grumble and honk at them in the roundabouts, wishing that they would give a little more effort. But I got to thinking about it as I sat cheering in a packed room at the Queen of Hearts luncheon Thursday. I realized that Im rich too. I dont have a lot of cash, but I have a huge Rolodex and an even bigger desire to contribute. I can give time. I can give energy. And thats just what happened with the Queen of Hearts Womens Fund. Some of those big pocket books decided to give, inspired by the possibility of something greater than themselves. The checks poured in big ones. I didnt have an extra $1,000 lying around to pay for my membership, but boy did I love the concept: One year, 1,000 women, $1 million, and one heck of a legacy. I gazed longingly at the Queens roster of royalty.And then the Queens did something remarkable. They opened their Coach and Louis Vuitton bags and started writing checks, not in their own name, but in the name of others. They wrote checks for students, for waitresses working overtime, for young single moms just trying to get by.And for me too. Thats how I became a Queen. Someone recognized the big desire in my little pocket book, and helped me climb aboard the Queen train. Now I, and dozens of others like me, will learn what it means to contribute. I have a voice and through the Queen of Hearts Fund it will be heard. Then, one of these days, when Ive got an extra grand to spend, I will remember the Queens. Paying it forward will be a beautiful thing. A special thanks to my Queen Mum, Lynette Eddy. Sierra Sun reporter Christine Stanley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.