The other night I got to participate in Paragon Pals after our Club’s meeting. Paragon Pals collects personal items, mostly for women, that we bag and then donate to various shelters, or those in need. I really feel this is a cool project our club does because it helps people in a different way outside of the normal food, money, educational and so on donations. Then it made me wonder why did I think ‘normal’ just then? And I realized that the kind of products we’ve put together tend can fall into ‘vanity.’ Vanity can be viewed as bad because it’s not needed to survive. It’s vane or superficial. However, vanity can also provide good. For example, I’m one of those women who colors their hair. Every time the hairdresser finishes, and I look in the mirror I feel like a million bucks. I feel like I can take on the world and achieve anything, and the only change was a ¼ of an inch of hair color… Do I need to color my hair to survive? No, but that little bit of vanity changed my outlook on the world and of myself.
As I was stuffing the bag for these women it got me to think about if that little change in hair color affects me emotionally the way it does, how would I be if I didn’t have the day-to-day personal care items that I take for granted. Sure, these women don’t need these items to survive, but if by getting them it allows them to change how they feel about themselves and that change helps them get out of a tricky situation I think vanity is good and can lead to positive changes in the world. I love when my hair is clean, and I feel good knowing that someone else can have clean hair because of me and the Paragon Pals! Clean hair can help when that person goes on a job interview as well. So maybe these items are necessary.
The bags we put together will be donated to Haven House Emergency Shelter in Hamilton, Ohio. Haven House provides temporary emergency shelter and food to single fathers with children, single mothers with children, married couples and families, entirely without government funding of any kind.An added bonus this year besides donating these bags to Haven House was that the donations members collected throughout the year had some excess of certain items, and we were able to donate those to female veterans!
Being part of an organization that helps others is a win-win situation for all! It makes you feel good to be part of something bigger than yourself, knowing that you helped someone, even if it was in a small way. It then helps those who receive the donation. Personal items may not seem like much, but to those who have none, it may mean the world.
Sally L & Jessica R