as i was watching my 8,237th consecutive hour of college hoops, i checked my hotmail account and found an e-mail from matty, my buddy who survived the fall down mount hood weeks ago.
he's gonna be on "ellen" this week. they film monday. not sure which day it'll air.
anyways, he's utilizing his fifteen minutes of fame to do something worthwhile - namely, organizing a large-scale fundraising effort to support the true heroes of the hour, the search and rescue volunteer group that rescued them when they needed them most.
if you're in portland, check out the new lucky lab brew pub in nw prtland on thursday, march 29. they're having a drinkup and fundraiser to help out.
if not, check out missvelvet.net - especially matty's account of the ordeal. it's harrowing, scary and powerful. he's one lucky dude, and he knows it. slowly but surely, he's working his way through it.
i couldn't imagine what that's like.
anyways, the e-mail and website took me a good thirty minutes to read when i realized that i was now twenty minutes late to pick up the dinner i ordered. then again, it's a salad. it's already cold. no problem. so i began my walk to the cafe and spent my time thinking about the whole thing.
simply put, matty's asking for donations for the volunteer group that saved him and also to help out with his friend's medical bills. the cynical new yorker in me said, "why should that burden be on me? it's not my fault it's a volunteer effort." (i play a lot of devil's advocate in my mind).
of course, i'm a softie that will do anything for my friends, big or small. still, i debated. hell, i think about everything. if you read this blog, you understand how obvious that statement was.
that's when i saw the first shooting star i've ever seen in my life.
i grew up in a city. what do you want from me?
i thought it was a UFO at first. when it faded out, i realized what it was i saw, and tried to remember what it was they said about shooting stars. i couldn't remember.
then i thought that matty should thank his lucky stars that there's a volunteer group out there that saved his life.
then, two seconds later, i centered myself, and thought that i should thank my lucky stars that there's a volunteer group out there that saved my friend's life.
so i'm donating. honestly, i was gonna do so anyway because my friend asked this of me, but now my head is clear around it.
it's not my burden, but it's my gratitude.
whether you know him or not, or even care or not, there are times when you have to rely on the generosity of strangers, of volunteers, of good samaritans. maybe they're not mount hood rescue groups, but these people are all born from the same fiber. and you might not even know they existed until you need them the most.
all i ask from you is to think about it, if not them, then someone else.
here's two worthy causes:
Christina Redl Fund
c/o Jason Guppy
0301 SW Nebraska St.
Portland, OR 97239
Portland Mountain Rescue
PO Box 5391
Portland, Oregon 97228-5391