I live in a house full of junk. I have hundreds of books that will never be read. I recently did a massive purging of cookbooks down to a select few that I actually use. I'm swimming in art and doo-dads. There is no physical item I want for Christmas.
But you know that the homeless are near and dear to my heart. I've discovered a very small, Orthodox homeless shelter in New York City that caters to immigrants from the ex-USSR who live with significant addiction problems, usually under the pier at Brighton Beach. They have only five beds but can sleep about 14. They need $200,000 for a downpayment on a larger facility (man, New York is crazy-expensive). So in lieu of presents, I'd really love it if you donated some money to this shelter. You don't even have to do it in my honor. They pray for everyone who donates, which I think is wonderful. If I ever get to NYC, I'd love to see this place in action.
If you do decide to donate in my name, just a word to the wise: In church I'm not Chandler--I'm Elizabeth. In Orthodoxy, you take the name of your patron saint--mine is Righteous Elizabeth, Mother of John the Baptist (Elizabeth also happens, conveniently, to be my middle name). Since this is an Orthodox organization, I'd prefer to do things properly. :) In fact, if you're really awesome, if you donate you could write down some variation of this:
Please pray for Elizabeth, who desires the restoration of her health.
(Yeah, mental illness and food allergies causing fatigue and brain fog are getting me down.)
I don't mean to sound sterile and forceful--it's 4:30 AM and I'm tired--I just want to put out there in love that I want something unorthodox (HA!) for Christmas.
Thanks for reading. I always appreciate and love my loquacious readership. :)
St. John of Kronstadt House for the Homeless