Paying it Forward

OW gabeby Gabrielle Crowley

Like many Americans, the day-to-day grind has taken a financial toll on our household. We have had to tighten our belts and cut back on non-necessities to help make ends meet. One of those necessities was being able to fly out and see my family in Utah with my kids. Three plane tickets, baggage fees, and car rentals were just not in our budget.

When the opportunity came to attend the Priesthood event for Ordain Women last  October, I longed to be a part of it and wished for some way I could join my sisters in love and solidarity, as well as see my family. I had done some work behind the scenes with the organization and had a desire to see the many real faces behind their brave profiles. We came up with an idea to have people donate funds or sky-miles to help supporters from all over the country attend. So many generous people donated and we were able to send a handful of women to the event. I was one among them; attending the event became a blessing beyond measure. I later came to understand how deeply blessed I really was this past January. I will be forever grateful to the generous donors and I will never forget the gift they gave me.

You see, not only did I participate in this event I felt so strongly about, I also got to spend some time with my family whom I had not seen in more than two years. To be honest, I was looking forward to a little “me” time too, without my children.

I have previously posted my thoughts and feelings on that beautiful October day. The reason for this particular post is to help Ordain Women, once again, to be able to send women to the Priesthood event this April. This post comes from a place of sincere gratitude and love for those who reached into their pockets to send a handful of strangers to an event in which we were turned away. I am not able to attend the upcoming April action, but I want to give that opportunity to someone else by paying it forward.

So thank you. Thank you to my sisters and brothers, for flying me out to Utah for the event and for letting me see my family. I feel a duty to pay it forward and so I shall. You see, that trip became the last time I ever got to kiss my dad on the cheek and hug him around the neck. It was the last time I got to look in his brown eyes and tell him face-to-face, “I love you Dad.” I had no idea that months later, on a snowy afternoon in January, we would be burying his body.

If not for the donations, I would not have those last sweet memories of my father or the sweet memories of the Priesthood event. I am forever indebted to Ordain Women and the donors for the two gifts they gave me last fall.

I am forever thankful.

Please make a donation today.