Supporting Others a Good home-Remedy

By Suzy Barile

“Sorry, we’re getting ready to move,” I said, pointing out the “For Sale By Owner” sign by the sidewalk to the young Cary High football player who rang our doorbell on a hot Saturday afternoon and asked if I’d like to buy a coupon book to support the team.

But then he asked if I’d like to make a donation. “Let me see if I have any money,” I replied.

Patiently he waited. Waited as my dog continued to bark because she thinks anyone coming to the door – well, actually, anyone within her eye-and-ear shot -- wants to be her friend. Waited while I went upstairs to find my purse, all the while wondering what an appropriate donation was to replace the “no thanks” I’d already given to the $20 coupon book. Waited while years of fundraising events flashed through my memory.

So what if I was moving? Couldn’t I support the local high school football team? My own daughter had played soccer all four years at Enloe High.

What about the dozens of fundraisers Jen had participated in? There were red velvet holiday bows for the Cary Sister City’s youth trip to Le Touquet, France, and cookies sales for Girl Scouts, and T-shirts for church youth group, and tickets for “The Little Match Girl,” “The Music Man” and “Spring Dance Recital,” and the two quarters I sent weekly for pencils from the Lacy Elementary School store. She never did use them – they were too pretty to sharpen.

What about the fundraising I’d participated in over the years? Most especially were the Beanie Baby auction and yard sales and brick sales and Lazy Daze food booths to fund the Kids Together Playground. Ten years of raising money. I always hoped no one I asked to help would say “no.”

What about my mom, who was a substitute teacher during the late 1980s and early 1990s? She’d loved teaching, supported every student fundraiser, even annual yearbook sales. When she battled cancer, dozens of Cary High students sent her well-wishes, then came to her memorial service after she lost the fight.

What about all those years I’d worked at The Cary News, writing editorials and covering stories about making Cary a better place to live?

I couldn’t have been gone two minutes.

“I’ll take the coupons and give them to my sister,” I said, holding out a check.

The young man appeared puzzled, then saw the check was for $20. He handed me a coupon book, offered his thanks, and turned and walked away, clearly with no idea that his polite request for me to support the Cary High Imps football team had led to such a soul-searching journey.

“Have a good season,” I replied.

copyright 2010