This post by Gayle M. Irwin
Someone won Saturday’s Powerball lottery drawing – one ticket holder scooped up more than 400 million dollars. News flash – it wasn’t me!
However, I did purchase three tickets and last week I purchased one. I didn’t win anything last week but this week I got $4.00, winning back the money I put in ($2.00) – my husband and my father each also kicked in $2.00 so we could buy a total of three tickets. I will share the $4.00 winnings with my family members who helped buy tickets – it’s only fair.
Wyoming is new to the Powerball, joining the multi-million-dollar, multi-state lottery a few years ago; prior to that, Wyoming residents traveled to neighboring states, like Colorado and Montana, to purchase lottery tickets. I would often buy a ticket or two when living in and later visiting Montana.
I think many people dream of “hitting the jackpot,” of being that multi-million-dollar winner. Have you ever thought about what you’d do if you won the Powerball lottery, and if so, what would that be? I know I have, and still do. I wonder what that person in Tennessee who won on Saturday will do with all that dough? Had I been the fortunate person, here’s a short list of what I’d do in addition to paying off debt, including the mortgage:
- Create an animal sanctuary with no euthanasia (except for extreme conditions, such as medical reasons) – similar to Best Friends in Utah and Luvable Dog Rescue in Oregon.
- Donate significantly to combat human trafficking, particularly to A-21 Campaign and Shared Hope International.
- Assistance to Elder Care organizations like Meals on Wheels.
- Contribute to the development of water wells in third world countries so villages can have clean water.
- Set up endowments to food banks, rescue missions, and animal shelters in communities where I’ve lived.
- Donate to child health care facilities like Jude, and Native American missions like St. Joseph’s Indian School.
Some of this I already do, on a very small financial scale –how much more good I could do if I’d have won $400 million on Saturday!
For myself, in addition to creating the sanctuary, I’d quit my day job, buy land, and put a home on that property that has a front porch on which I could sit and quietly enjoy my surroundings – and finally finish that darned novel (no, Novel Writing Month hasn’t gone well for me this year!)
Thanksgiving has come and gone. I had a lovely week: time with my pets at home, sharing dinner with a dear friend, delivering books to new friends, then heading up to Montana to spend Thanksgiving with my parents and having a booksigning on Friday night in the community where, in essence, the book writing began due to Sage’s adoption from a rescue organization in that town back in 2001. Pets, book sales, friends, family, great weather, beautiful scenery – life can’t get much better than that. Oh, money is good – it’s necessary, and if one has a lot of it, a lot of good can be done. But, good can still be done without much money: compassion, kindness, nature, loved ones, talent, sharing – those and more are good gifts.
Perhaps I’ve won the lottery after all. I may not have a boatload of money to hand out or to put into retirement, but I do have a boatload of blessings.
How about you? For what are you grateful? With whom can you share your talents, your treasures, your time? I think those are good questions for all of us, especially with the holiday season upon us. We all have blessings, we all have gifts, we all have time – let’s share of ourselves, spreading the wealth of compassion, kindness, time, treasure, talent.
Gayle M. Irwin is a freelance writer, book author, and blogger who enjoys sharing about the pet-human bond. She writes inspirational pet stories for children and adults, creating her own books as well as being a contributing writer to several Chicken Soup for the Soul collections and to Sundown Press’ July release Pawprints on My Heart. Gayle also speaks in libraries, visits classrooms, and conducts presentations for faith-based and civic organizations. She has a two new books this fall, including a short story collection called Tail Tales and a humorous children’s cat book called BobCat Goes to School. Learn more at www.gaylemirwin.com.