The Challenge: I want you to give 1/4 of your wardrobe to the local hospice.
Since I am a bit meticulous about percentages, the first part of the dare saw me counting out my closet and dresser in order to determine what 1/4 of it would look like. The final count was 91 articles of clothing. After rounding it up, I realized I would be giving 23 things away.
I'd like to say this dare was completely easy, and that I have no silly attachment to my clothes whatsoever. But the truth is, I tend towards sentimental and illogical fondness for anything that carries in its seams a good memory. Clothes can be a bit of a scrapbook for me, and looking through them brought up a lot of fun memories.
But this was a good dare for me to begin with--not too bizarre or stretching. More like a little poke in the right direction. I reminded myself that memories live in the mind and heart, not fabric and thread. Then I folded up a boxful and brought them to our hospice.
The hospice itself is a bit like a worn, loved piece of clothing. It seems a little tired at the seams, but still fitting perfectly. The owners noticed me taking pictures outside and watched suspiciously through the window. Later, when I explained it to them, they laughed about how it had been a dare. "Two good causes at once," said the owner, smoothing the white hair out of her eyes. "Well kid, you can't really beat that."
We talked a little more about this community I was born into: the racial tension, poverty, long-standing feuds between families. We talked about how suspicious we are of one another, and how the younger generation might step in to fill the old gaps. Then she explained how the donations go into the community, how they hand-pick the neediest families and endeavor to meet their greatest needs. Before I left she shook my hand, and I thought it was a bit like putting two strong pieces of fabric together, making them fit so that they can serve another.
I think I will bring some more items there next Thursday. And maybe that is a bit of an excuse to talk to a wonderful woman who is working hard to provide for our community.