Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My friend Eilleen

The December bag was donated to a non profit group suggested by and in honor of my friend Eileen, so it is time to say a little about this dear person. Eileen is a tiny woman with an enormous heart. She is the most generous person I have met. Despite that fact that she lives on a small retirement pension she is constantly giving to others. She not only makes monetary gifts, she gives of her time and energy. She picks up breads and pastries to donate to food shelves, several times a week. She organized a quilt project for patients at a Kidney Dialysis center. She buys quilts to donate to our Quilt Guild's annual sale at Loring Park, which is used to raise money for several non-profit community programs.

I have only known Eileen for a few years, but we have recently become close friends. She is better than a stand up comedian, and constantly makes me laugh (deep, hearty laughs) with her story telling and impersonations. Last month she spent a week in Mexico with Michael and me, and we had a great time together. This included a lot of laughing, as well as good times eating and drinking. Eileen loved Mexico as much as we do, and she motivated us to use our limited Spanish and get to know the people around us, learning the names of taxi drivers, street vendors, and waiters on the beach. She defnitely enhanced the quality of our experience, and I would love to travel with her again.

Eileen is more than a generous volunteer and natural comedian. She is a skilled and dedicated teacher. She is trained in Special Educaiton, sign language, ESL, and early childhood. Although now retired, she has returned to her former school to work with the students there part time. Even if the school had not be able to pay her, she would have continued to help out anyway ,becuase that is the kind of person she is. She is a life long teacher and I know that she has touched many children's lives in ways they will never forget. She is also a devoted mother and grandmotherand I enjoyed learning more about her family as she searched for the perfect gifts for them on our vacation.

This year (2009) Michael and I are going to try to do one service project together each month, to help those in need in our community. Eileen has not only inspired us to do this, she is helping us to locate places in need of our time and effort. The world is a better place because of Eileen, and I am very proud to have her as my dear friend.

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