Last Tuesday was an exciting and busy day for the Year of Giving project. As I went out on my journey looking for someone to give my $10 to, I was accompanied by a local TV news crew that is doing a story on the project. I will let everyone know when the segment will air.
Another exciting element of Tuesday was that I was able to deliver some much needed clothes and shoes to Anthony from Day 67. Maureen and Josh from PA sent him some shoes and socks. Darnell from MD had sent me some items for Gregory from Day 71, but Gregory has disappeared. I have not seen him for over a month and the local businesses near where he used to panhandle everyday say that they have not seen him either. One of the items that Darnell sent was a brand new Tommy Hilfiger waterproof jacket. I thought that it might fit Anthony and it did! A big thank-you to Maureen, Josh, and Darnell! Check out this short clip of Anthony receiving the items.
Then it was off to find the recipient of the day. I headed over to the neighborhood of Georgetown and found Mariana. She said she didn’t have time to participate and that she really needed more like $1,000 not $10, so I kept on looking.
Just a few seconds later I spotted a young woman waiting to cross Wisconsin Avenue. Her name was Katelyn. The 21-year-old from Davenport, IA, is a junior at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, IL, just 50 minutes south of Chicago’s Loop. She has been in DC this semester as part of the university’s Study Abroad Program. While here in DC, she has also had the opportunity to intern with Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Katelyn’s home state.
I asked Katelyn where she was headed and she answered that she was walking over to a boutique to pick up her dress for the Naval Academy’s Ring Dance, where her boyfriend attends school. Let me stop and tell you that Katelyn has a beautiful smile. When she started talking about her boyfriend and attending the Ring Dance, she was beaming.
I tried to take copious notes, but I may have gotten this wrong. The Ring Dance is a special ceremony where the second class midshipmen, third year students, receive their class rings. Their date wears the ring around their neck and then during the ceremony they dip the ring into water from all seven seas. This is a pretty big deal for the midshipmen. There is even a website that has a countdown clock letting you know exactly how long until the Ring Dance 2010 as well as the 2011 event! If you were wondering, at the time of this post, it was 20 days, 6 hours, and 40 minutes.
Although Katelyn said she felt like she should do something greater with the $10, she said the money would most likely be used for lunch. Her decision could have been influenced by the fact that it was 2:00 and she hadn’t had lunch and said that she was really hungry.
I asked her what her thoughts on giving were. She flashed her beautiful smile again and said, “I think it’s very important.” In fact, she was on her way back from volunteering that morning at Martha’s Table. She also has volunteered her time at the Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center, and other organizations.
After spending this term in Washington, DC, Katelyn said, “I have learned a lot about myself. I used to think I wanted to go to law school, now I think I might want to teach English.”
As far as those who want to help Katelyn, she thought of two things that people could help her with. The first one is that she hopes to go to Japan sometime soon as her boyfriend’s sister is currently living there. Katelyn would like some tips on how to get good deals for traveling to Japan. Also, with her recent thoughts on her career, she would love to find an English professor who would serve as a mentor to her so that she can better plan her future in order to realize her goal of becoming an English professor herself. Please leave a comment here or drop me a note if you have any advice for Katelyn or know of a potential mentor for her.
As I left, I spotted John from Day 40. He said he was not doing well and had just been diagnosed with Cancer. Every time I have met John, either someone in his family has died or he has been diagnosed with a new life-threatening issue. You want to believe people, but this sounds like too much. For his sake, I hope the stories aren’t true.