Showers and Other Things We Take for Granted

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Shower in the Cart,

When was the last time you thought about how fabulous it is to be able to take a shower –in private–whenever you feel like it? To brew fresh coffee or tea, zip through the drive-thru on the way home or zap leftovers in the microwave. Without giving it much thought, we can turn on the computer—or even our smart phone or tablet—and talk to folks around the world.

If you’re like me, these are things we simply take for granted—until they stop working. Then our day gets disrupted, our schedule derails and we gripe and grumble.

What if we’d never had any of those things?

That’s the case for much of the world’s population. Statistically speaking, if you live in America, even if you fall below the poverty line, you are wealthier than most of the world’s people. It’s not something I think about as often as I should. But recently, I was hit over the head with just how blessed I really am.

Years ago, I spent six weeks in the Philippines and the street children there will always have my heart. I visited the squatter villages and shared a meal with a family in their cardboard box home. (Click to read more about it in Why Your Words Matter.) So I love what an organization called Lift The Lid is doing to help Manila’s street children through The School in a Cart. For many of these children, this rolling classroom is their only chance at an education and a better future.

But here’s something I never thought of: If you live in a tent or cardboard box house, how do you get clean? For many, it’s a barrel of water and a dipper, (hopefully a bar of soap, too) and they scrub up on the street, fully clothed.

Lift the Lid and The School in a Cart are trying to improve that basic function. They are doing a small fundraiser to offer the street children both cleanliness and privacy–something many have never experienced. They’re creating shower cubicles that can be attached to The School in a Cart and then afterwards, packed away so classes can get started.

Shower in the Cart,

Fundraiser for Shower in the Cart, Manila, Philippines,

Would you take a moment to check out Shower in a Cart project? A very small donation can make a big difference in a child’s life and future.

“I shall pass through this life but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness I can show, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it. For I shall never pass this way again.”
~Etienne de Grellet

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Other things you may want to check out:

-Are you smart about online safety? How conscious are you of what you post to Facebook? I hope you’ll check out my blog on the CAN website called, Balancing Visibility and Safety Online (Part 1)  for tips to keep you and your family safe online.

-Mark you calendars for Tuesday, September 3, 2013. Barbara Vey, who has a blog called Beyond Her Book at Publishers Weekly, is doing a HUGE book giveaway that day. She’s giving away THREE copies of Angel Falls, so be sure to stop by Beyond Her Book  to enter. Would you spread the word, too? Thanks so much.

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    The Conversation

  1. Jan Jackson says:

    Wow, thanks for sharing this, Connie. We do take a lot for granted. My internet was down yesterday due to a fried router and I was grumbling. I remember during the hurricanes back in 2004, I was without power for 12 days. I showered in my driveway in my bathing suit with a hose. Tends to put things in perspective and bring life down to the basic necessities. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Connie Mann says:

      Hi Jan, 12 days? Wow, good for you keeping things in perspective. I understand about routers. I love technology–when it works. I’ve had all kinds of computer/email issues the past few days and I so want to grumble. Then I remember how blessed I am. It’s like a thwack in the head. Instant attitude adjustment. 🙂

  2. Sara Goff says:

    Connie, thank you so much for your post! You are a true friend to me and the street children of Manila. 🙂

    I was on a family vacation last week and didn’t have Internet. In keeping with your post, we complained about it all week. Can you imagine if the hotel didn’t provide showers?!

    Thank you again for teaming up with us at Lift the Lid in making a difference in the children’s lives. We will continue to stand behind these underprivileged schools the best we can.

    • Connie Mann says:

      Hi Sara,
      You’re so right. Oh, the luxuries–and necessities–we take for granted! 🙂 I love what you and Lift the Lid are doing in Manila and in other places around the world. Thank you for sharing what you’re doing so we can get involved and help spread the word!

      I am blessed to call you friend…

  3. Alfredo Olavidez says:

    Dear Connie,

    I was visiting a childhood friend, a son of a former missionary couple to the Philippines way back in the late 50s, in Nebraska in1992. He lived in a mobile home which as you know did have facilities for showering and . . . My friend either had to come to his parents home to take a shower or . . .The city where he lived did have facilities for showering for a fee. That was where he brought me when I needed to take one.

    this was where I got the idea of a private shower for the kids.I thought of one not for a fee but for them to learn the importance of privacy, a rare commodity for street people and kids. the one we have is not the ideal but at least the kids do shower in private. We want them to experience things that will make them wish they do and strive to have them for life.

    • Connie Mann says:

      Thank you so much for sharing the story behind the idea, Alfredo. I hope it makes a difference in the children’s lives. So thankful for all you and School in a Cart and Lift the Lid are doing in Manila!