Guest Post by Bernadette Montana of Brid’s Closet – Community and the Season of Giving

Today, on the first day of Winter, there will be 9 hours, 40 minutes, and 50 seconds of daylight in the Northeast U.S. Those numbers will gradually start to shift, increasing first by seconds, then minutes as the natural year progresses, but in the meantime, the nights will be long and cold and difficult for far too many people. Holiday celebrations and the excesses of the season aside, most of us have more than we need. Maybe not financially or materially, but compassionately. Those who take time to step back and assess the value of their own hearts, will find that they have a lot to share this season. Look around in your community. Someone is waiting for a kind word, a kind deed, a gift of your time and attention. These are commodities we all have. They are not subject to financial markets and they do not expire. They are yours to give freely. Take, for example, the story that Bernadette Montana – owner of Brid’s Closet in Cornwall New York, offers  in this guest post:

What is community?

I’ve been thinking about this subject for a while now.  The holidays are upon us, and for some, it is a time to help others who are less fortunate.

I myself, cannot afford healthcare.  I  limit my expenses and try my best to pay the bills.  Being that I am “self-employed”, I struggle with this on a daily basis.  Clearly-we all could use a little help. What might be less obvious, is that we can all offer a little help too.

Two weeks ago, I received a call from a friend who told me about a person who was in desperate need.

Jennie, who we affectionately call “The Hugging Goddess” is on full disability because of health reasons, and she was going to be evicted from her home.  Just one of her problems.

She had a leak in her kitchen.  It wound up rotting out the floors in the trailer home in which she lives.  Because of this, she lost her home insurance.  When hurricane Irene hit, she was flooded.  The water left garbage and downed trees all over her land and the house developed mold.  Then her furnace stopped working.  Now there was no hot water for showers and no heat to keep her home!  The whole trailer was being heated by space heaters.

She went to FEMA for help and was denied because she had no home insurance, and because of the condition of the land, the home association wanted to evict her.

Back to the original call…

Her friend Robin filled me in on what was going on.  I immediately put out a call for help to our pagan community.  Calls where made, The local press was contacted, and used social media (Facebook, Blogger, Twitter) in order to get the word out.  With 24 hours, committees where set up, donations of material and money started coming in, and a cleanup crew was sent to Jennie’s home!

In 2 days, the entire lawn was cleaned up, dead trees where cut down, the furnace was fixed, and a shed was rebuilt.  In the weeks to come, the rotted floors will be replaced, and new ones will be laid down with all the donations of wood, tile and money that came in.  Looking into finding used kitchen cabinets for her as well.

Jennie came into the store to thank me!  She gave me her famous hugs, got all “teary” and tried to give me the last $3 in her pocket! Very emotional…What is community?  It’s about the love we give one another.  It’s about caring and hugs.  It’s about honoring the Goddesses and Gods within each other.  It’s about the pagan community that I am soo blessed to have here!

Many thanks to Bernadette for sharing this story!

Blessings to each and every one of you this holiday season. May the days to come bring you health, happiness, and comforts to enjoy and to share.

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