What we give

They're going to get your goat...literally! I photographed this goat in Germany, August 2005.

They’re going to get your goat…literally!
I photographed this goat in Germany, August 2005

“Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.”Ben Carson

“No one has ever become poor by giving.”Anne Frank

WOW, thanks to everyone who participated in the second anniversary blog celebration on Monday.  I will go into all the details below, but the short version is that $2600 in donations are being processed as I write this. YIPPEE!

Before this post gets really silly, I want to start by sharing an article from the NYTimes that was sent to me on Monday by Susan V., a fabulous lady who lives in our neighborhood in Alexandria. (Lucky us!)  Those who chose to request a goat donation will be interested to read this story of how a goat donated to her family literally changed a young woman’s life.

If you were keeping track on Monday, you already knew that we received donation requests for seven goats, three doctor visits, two water filters, one mosquito net, six donations to USO, seven to the ARC of Greater Williamsburg, six to Healing Hands International’s clean water projects (and two to their food sustainability programs) and two to Cerebral Palsy of Virginia, and a partridge in a pear tree plus several anonymous and unspecified donations to various organizations listed.  All that added up to twelve hundred dollars.

Because our donor likes nice round numbers, (s)he decided to round all these totals upward to sort of even things out, which meant DOUBLING that twelve hundred to $2400!  As if that was not enough, yesterday I got a $200 check in the mail from yet another anonymous donor, made out to Cerebral Palsy of Virginia! So the grand total is now at $2600. I hope to be posting some letters from these organizations soon, but meanwhile it was a lot of fun contacting them (“Hello, Madrene, this is Julia…do you guys have at least eight goats available?”) and adding everything up.  And speaking of fun…

My friend Amy, about whom you’ve read here several times before (and who speaks up in the comments from time to time) is currently home recovering from hand surgery after an accident.  I asked her whether she would be willing to use her good hand to do the drawing, since Matt was such a reluctant cheater peeker helper in last year’s drawing.  Like the good sport she is, Amy agreed to do the honors.  For the results, watch this video (or you can scroll down below it to get to the names right away).  DISCLAIMER: We were not drinking anything but TEA when this video was made! We are just normally this silly.

OK, for those who did not have time for the video, the winners are: Sheila, Conrad, Cherie, Ann and Rene — and of course, Amy herself, which was definitely not planned, but was a hilarious surprise.  When she drew her own name out we had a good laugh, but I decided to make it six names instead of five, just so nobody got too suspicious.

If your name was one of those chosen, I will be emailing you to get an address where you’d like your gift card and chocolate sent, and also to find out whether you prefer milk or dark chocolate, with or without nuts.  If you prefer a $10 gift card to Cracker Barrel instead of Amazon, you can let me know that too.  Since Cracker Barrel is my favorite restaurant (they do cornbread right) I always keep a few of their gift cards on hand.

Thanks so much to everyone who helped make this 2nd Anniversary celebration a time to remember. I hope there will be lots of smiles popping up all over the world as the people you’ve reached get a touch of that great Defeat Despair spirit!

The readers of this blog have meant more to me than I’ll ever be able to say (despite my using so many words all the time 😀 ).  I don’t wish hard, sad, or scary times on anyone, but if you’ve ever been in circumstances such as some of us find ourselves facing, you know how much it means to have the warm wishes, prayers and support of other people.  As always, THANKS FOR BEING HERE! ❤ ❤ ❤

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.



  1. Judy

    Well that was sure a whole lot of fun watching this video of the two of you gals! I’m sitting here with a big smile on my face to start the day!

    • Thanks Judy. That’s a fun memory for me, too, and I smile every time I see it. Such times helped me get through so much pain.

  2. I love your goat photo. Their mouths look so tiny compared to dogs and cats. I suppose that if I saw goats often, I might think the other way around – about cats and dogs having huge mouths.

    • Susan, I have always found something so endearing about a goat’s face. Not sure what it is (the eyes seem sort of scary, like a snake’s eyes) so maybe it’s the mouth. Whatever, I think they are so cute, and their bleats can sound so pathetic!

      • Yes, their bleats sound like car horns that are just kidding! 😄

  3. Susan

    Julia, thank you for the reminder about the Beatrice book! I read it to my youngest daughter’s Scout troop when it was new; now I need to find it for my grandchildren 🙂 . Btw your text got buried in the deluge from that busy week and I just found it today while clearing my phone, so I’ll reply back to you there about getting together, which I would love to do!

    • Susan, that was quite a week, wasn’t it! No worries, I lose track of texts (and increasingly, emails) all the time, so I totally understand. Just remember that I DO owe you a lunch! 😀

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