And her promise:
"It will be something
that no store carries.
It will fit.
It doesn’t need to be wrapped.
And for someone who yearns
to live in security
and comfort at home,
it is the ultimate."
We lost our Dorothy in the fall of 2014 shortly after she celebrated her 100th birthday. Our Dorothy was always concerned whether people “…are still giving to the fund?” Her periodic notes let us know that our work meant something very personal to her as a recipient of home care and as someone who believed others should have the same help when they need it too. Without riches to share, still she sent a donation every month. She wanted us to assure that “Dorothy’s Gift” would continue after she was gone, and we promised. She made sure her family understood that "Dorothy's Gift" was her greatest legacy.
This is her story... written in 2005.
"She doesn’t have a lot of money, but she isn’t poor. She makes ends meet and that is all. She is quite advanced in age, alone now at home, and managing quite well. Her last birthday was a “big” one. Lots of cards were sent with love and congratulations and gifts of money. Her name is Dorothy.
Dorothy gets a little help from us here at AV Home Care Services with her cleaning and household chores. For this support, she pays a cost share every month, calculated according to her income and expenses. She doesn’t miss a payment. A while ago, Dorothy started sending a little bit extra with her payment every month. “Use this to help someone who needs it,” she wrote on a slip of paper that came with her check.
We were quite touched by this simple gesture of one person in need reaching out to help others with the little she could spare. Since then, we have received other payments from Dorothy in excess of what she owes, a little here and a little there, and each time we are struck by the kindness and trust of this humble woman.
“Dorothy’s Gift” has thus evolved, a cookie jar of contributions used to help someone, anyone with a pressing need and no solution for today. Dorothy’s Gift “buys” flexibility to address needs when they arise, a precious commodity in these days of red tape, wait periods and eligibility guidelines. Dorothy’s Gift “buys” dignity, too, by enabling recipients to pay a small cost share calculated against what they can afford rather than actual dollar value of the service.
We hope you will consider a one-time or periodic donation to Dorothy’s Gift here at A.V. Home Care Services. We hope to build this fund in the spirit of a remarkable woman with a resolve to make a difference. There is an expression, “Pay it forward,” probably unfamiliar to Dorothy. It means to give what you can to make your difference in the world, expecting no return, trusting that the good will multiply.