First of all, I want to thank everyone for their comments and interest in the Year of Giving. Monday was the 6th day the blog has been live and I have had almost 300 visitors to the blog and over 550 hits. Thanks to all who have left comments or sent me personal notes of encouragement. I urge you to share this site with all of your friends and family members.
Yesterday I was invited by my good friend Chris to go to the Redskins game. My brother, Ryan, and I were to meet up with Chris and his coworker Anna at the New Carrollton Metro and then drive over to the stadium.
Ryan and I met up at Metro Center and were going to catch the Orange Line out to New Carrollton. There are 13 stops, so I figured I could try to find someone to receive my $10 today!
Jameela was sitting right next to us, so I thought I would start with her. I realized I didn’t have $10 on me, so I had to borrow money from Ryan until I could repay him later that night. Good thing he was there! Now armed with his $10, I started talking to her. Jameela, an attractive thirty-something woman originally from Brooklyn, was bundled up in a white snow suit. I asked her which stop she was getting off at because I wanted to make sure we had some time to talk. She said she was getting off at Minnesota Avenue, which was about 7 stops away and I figured we had enough time.
She quickly asked me if I was a journalist. I started to answer “no” and then found myself saying, “Well, kind of I guess.” I mean I am not a journalist that is trained and gainfully employed in the traditional sense, but I am journaling about my experience which I guess makes me a journalist of some sort. Unlike some of the other people I have approached, she was not skeptical of my intentions. She accepted the $10 and revealed a beautiful, big smile.
Jameela is a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) at a DC long term care facility. She is working on becoming a Registered Nurse (RN). I didn’t realize that there was much of a difference, but after doing a quick research on the web I found that there appears to be a variety of additional skills and responsibilities associated with being a RN. She says she loves working in her field and serving as the eyes and ears for physicians. Although often stressful work, she says that the benefits of helping others in this profession is personally rewarding. She mentioned that she did some work at Walter Reed Army Medical Center working with veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq. Working with quadriplegics and those with mental illness due to their service gave her a greater appreciation for her life.
So what is Jameela going to do with my $10? She said that she was going to add it to her savings that she was using for Christmas gifts for others. Specifically, she said that she would probably put it toward an iPod nano for her god-daughter. I noticed that we were at the Stadium Armory stop which meant that Jameela was getting off at the next stop, so I needed to wrap things up. I asked if there was anything else that she wanted to share and she said that she has started writing three books and nearly finished one of them. Hopefully one day she can finish them all and get them published. I wrote the blog address down for her and she tucked it away in a pocket of her winter outfit. I have asked a company to sponsor some business cards that I could hand out with the blog address on them, but I have not heard back from them yet.
After she got off, my brother and I debriefed how it went. This was the first time he has been with me when I have given $10 to someone so I wanted to get his input. Overall, he had some good feedback. However, one item he pointed out was too funny not to include here. I mentioned that I liked that she intended to use the money to do something for someone else. He responded, “Yeah, she seems like a really nice woman…I mean she is going to buy an iPod nano for her gardener!”
God-daughter. Not gardener I told him.
Oh, and the Redskins lost.