Ever tried to locate the limit of the Upper Valley's imagination and capacity for creative charitable giving? It is like identifying the midpoint of the sky or naming the exact color of kindness: you can try, but you will inevitably fail...and happily so.
On this fourth day of the 19 Days of Norwich, Hanover, White River Junction, Lyme & Beyond, we'll turn our attention to a special auction. In this online forum, individuals, businesses, artists, and local fire departments offer goods, services, and experiences in exchange for donations to the Upper Valley Haven.
NFD is auctioning off a fire truck ride...
The variety and generosity of the offerings would make a Christie's auctioneer swoon...Seriously, how many auctions do you know that have milk ("Whenever we have extra milk, we always bring it to the Haven, where they refer to it as 'liquid gold.' We wish we could do more, so this is another way we can help. The winning bidder gets 11 gallons of delicious farm-fresh milk and it helps raise awareness about our milk, which we feel is the best quality-for-price around," says Chris Gray of Norwich Farm Creamery), music ("Musical performance is what we have to offer 19 Days and the Haven. We don't run local businesses that can offer 1%, but we still want to help out however we can," says Brian Cook), carrot cake ("I am donating a Killdeer Carrot Cake because it is a specialty of mine which I can make and bake for this special occasion to help raise money for other special people in this community," said Sandie Anderson), and a cubic yard of compost to help your garden grow next spring and summer? There's lots more, from sushi platters and coffee cards to hand-knit mittens, jewelry, or a driving lesson in a Porsche. In other words, something for everyone this holiday season.
If we stop and think about the auction holistically, though, we find that magic circle of giving again. There's the local artisan who donates a necklace. That person feels good. Then the bidder buys it for a loved one for a birthday or holiday present. The bidder scored a two-fer: charitable donation and holiday shopping done in one click. The recipient wears the necklace, deriving pleasure from its beauty but also its origins. And, finally, the person/people/families/neighbors who benefit from the generosity at the Haven. Perhaps the necklace bid helped feed a family in the coldest part of winter. Maybe it helped the Haven to connect someone to the important services they need. It is possible that a bid in an online auction, which feels anonymous, will help someone who lives right next door to us in our community get some assistance when they could most use it.
The story is the same for any item that sells in this auction; switch out "necklace" for "compost," and the results are the same. One bid from one person creates this whole network of Upper Valley people who become connected in a positive manner, whether they know it or not.
Since the auction takes place in cyberspace, a world without borders, not confined to the Upper Valley, it seems wise tomorrow to focus on the BEYOND part of the "19 Days of Norwich...and beyond." Stay tuned!
19-4=15 to go!