One day Martha Bear® and her grasshopper companion, Airborne, were cooling themselves in the shade of the Pine Tree Place at Stately Martha Manor.
Martha, who is a large white bear crafted with no eyes by her dear Jane Marie, got to thinking out loud. "You know, my good friend, we are so very blessed.”
Airborne’s tiny eyelashes fluttered and he awoke, mildly surprised that he had fallen asleep. "Hmm? Oh, yes. We are blessed, indeed,” and those tiny lashes slipped to once again cover his minuscule eyes.
But Martha Bear® continued talking. Her words kept her friend from dreaming more grasshopper dreams so Airborne stretched his wings and hoppie legs, and flew to sit on Martha Bear’s forearm.
“I thought of a way we might help others less fortunate.”
“What would that be?” Airborne asked intently.
“We need to promote a charity on our website.”
“That’s a fine idea,” he agreed. "But which charity?”
“Well, I think we should ask all staff members for their suggestions. Then, we'll choose the best one by employee referendum, with the approval of Jane Marie and Nancy, of course.”
And so the word went forth by e-mail, by voice mail and by snail mail to any and all who worked at the GraciousJaneMarie.com / MarthaBear.com Southeastern Branch in Florida and the greenlightWRITE.com World Headquarters in Oklahoma. And that word got a quick response. A list of charities was compiled with only two restrictions coming from Jane Marie and Nancy. One vote per staff member and staff members could not vote for the charity they’d suggested.
The ballots were tallied. Here are the staff sponsors of the top five vote getters and a brief description of their charity. Coming in at:
And the #1 entry overwhelmingly chosen by all for its compassion, importance and pure necessity was:
Many congratulations were sent to Martha Bear®, but nearly all contained the same question: "Why did you choose Helen Keller™ Worldwide as your charity?"
Martha Bear® responded, "I thought about the American Cancer Society and the March of Dimes, both fine charities. But since I was born with no eyes, Helen Keller™ Worldwide seemed a logical choice. Unfortunately you know, not everyone can see with his or her heart as do I. I want to lend my assistance to the prevention and treatment of blindness whenever I can.
A collective sigh of understanding passed through the Florida and Oklahoma website offices that day. Everyone agreed that giving to others was, indeed, a better thing.
The End - For Now
click on the photo of the open prairie buffalo to enlarge it
summer - fall 2004 Nature Conservancy's Spirit of the Buffalo public art project in OKC
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