“No. Thank You.”

28 04 2009

Within the past 72 hours, I’ve been blessed to say that to two individuals that I’ve helped and it’s been the most AMAZING experience. On Saturday, I joined my BFF Ash, her mom, aunt, and another family friend at The Glass Slipper Project. The Glass Slipper Project provides  prom gowns to high school girls who might not be able to afford them due to financial circumstances. Actually, let me correct myself. The Glass Slipper Project provides a gown, shoes, a handbag, accessories, and even makeup for the girls.


Ash, Mama Tate, Auntie Iris, KB, and Miss Audrey

Ash, Mama Tate, Auntie Iris, KB, and Miss Audrey



I had the pleasure of being the personal shopper for Miss T. After 3 trips to the dressing room and 10 gowns later, we found a gown that she loved and felt amazing in…Score! Moving on to shoes, she found a pair of heels that wouldn’t cramp her style and (of course) matched her dress. After we conquered accessories and makeup, our time together was up. I’m not going to lie…I kind of wished that the day would continue on forever. Or at least the feeling. We spent over an hour together, and for that hour, NOTHING else mattered. It was all about helping her get dressed for a night that she would hopefully remember forever.

As we hugged goodbye, she said “It was fun hanging with you. Thank you!” My response…”No. Thank You!”

Smile 🙂

Fast forward to yesterday…While strolling to Kinko’s, I was approached by a 40-something year old woman who told me that she was just laid off and while waiting for her unemployment, she needed food to feed her children at home. As her voice cracked while explaining her situation, an instant lightbulb that told me, “Do this.” As we were walking the few blocks to a neighborhood convenience store, she told me about her oldest daughter, a freshman in high school, who was celebrating her birthday on that day. 

“Mom, I know you’re waiting for your unemployment, but do you think that you could bake a cake for me today?” the daughter asked earlier that morning.

“When she told me that this morning, I just broke out in tears,” Miss Rose told me. I’m not going to lie…As Rose was talking, I felt a lump forming in my throat. As the daughter of a mother who often had to choose medication over clothes, or scrounge up dollars for our school field trips, I was familiar with the tears of a mother who wished that she could do just a little more…Give just a little more.

When Rose and I arrived at the store, she asked if I could just get her a can of chili for the kids. “Absolutely. And, don’t forget the supplies for the birthday cake,” I replied. After our mini-shopping treat was complete, we walked back outside and I gave her an extra umbrella for her walk back home and two hugs.

She said “Thank you.” I replied, “No, thank you.”

In both of those experiences, I don’t know who was more grateful. Me or them. Giving is not just a transaction of dollars or products. It is a demonstration of the human spirit. As we continue to hear stories of our neighbors, our friends, or even strangers going through hard times, none of us can afford to act like we’re living in a bubble. 

While some would say that the emotion tied to both of my experiences is directly related to my past and how I grew up, I have to say that it’s more than that. I’m reminded why I love to give. It’s not because I want you to read my blog or for the tax credit, it’s because I’ve been the recipient of kindness and my donations are the price I pay to be alive. There’s no other way to describe it…




4 responses

28 04 2009

Wow Karyn. That is really inspirational. You are truly a beacon of selflessness. Thanks for sharing, chica!

28 04 2009

Looks like you’ve been doing some wonderful things this week. I heard about the Glass Slipper Project on the Today Show and I’m not an emotional person but seeing those girls in their new Prom dresses almost brought a tear to my eye. I am planning on going through my closet and donating some of my formal dresses. The second story was just as touching. Keep doing what you do!

28 04 2009

KB – Beautiful story! It actually motivates me to try and do things, even if on a smaller level, each and every day. Actually, today as I was at work getting ready to head downstairs for come coffee, a lady walking around my floor asked if there was a bathroom. You need a key to get into it so I walked her there and unlocked the door. She proceeded to thank me and let me know how she was on her way to a job interview. Definitely a small gesture but I’m glad I was able to help her pull herself together… Who knows, maybe I’ll hold the elevator for someone! lol…

28 04 2009

Luvvie – Thanks, girl 🙂

@DD42 – Yeah, it’s very touching. It took a lot of strength not to start crying but when you think of what it means for the girls, you can’t help it! My BFF, Ash, is planning on starting a program in DC! I’ll have to keep you posted!

Ishea – LOL! It’s always the small things, girl! I hope she gets the job…It’s hard out here. Shoot!

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