Daily Illuminator

March 6, 2016: A Charity Event Like No Other . . . Board Game Style!

I was scrolling through Reddit the other day when I came across the most interesting thread I'd seen in a very long time. Dambedani, a woman who manages a game store in Maryland, offered to give away board games to anyone who messaged her with no want of reward! After reading through the thread, I found that this was a legitimate promise and signed up for Diamonsters, which I've been eyeballing for months but school and my newborn have kept me from actually purchasing.

It was only when I mentioned this giveaway to a coworker that I noticed how much she was putting into this. These games aren't from the same publishers or anything that might have given her a drastically reduced rate. To send out thousands of games, even at distribution prices, is no cheap feat. I wonder how she paid for this, and after a little digging I figured out her secret. Love, modesty, and honest compassion.

In a follow-up thread, she is keeping everyone up to date on how the shipping is going. That's where I found this beautifully simple nugget that is Danielle's story.

"Five years ago, my husband and I were homeless. We were both in the Army, left from Korea to the states and had nothing. We were in debt, panicked, and . . . killed ourselves to get where we are now. We both had worked two jobs, we'd go days without seeing one another, but we finally had the means to . . .not have to decide "Should we pay for food, or for gas?" I know first hand how much it sucks not to be able to afford simple things, in this case, board games. At the end of the week, you want to buy something for yourself because you worked so hard and deserved it. But you can't. Because other things are much more important. So you sacrifice your happiness. Again. I just want to provide a little nice gesture for people who deserve it. And everyone deserves it because everyone, no matter what their past is, their financial situation, their future will be, deserves a little happiness. No matter what."

With a tear in my eye, I couldn't help but be humbled by the sincerity in which she really does just want to help people. Well, I'll be doing what I can to pay it forward in my own ways. One of those ways is getting her story out there for those who need just a little bit of encouragement to pick themselves up. After this, I can safely say, I do want to live on this planet.

Danielle and her husband manage game stores in Maryland. Each is in charge of their own Marbles: The Brain Store, National Harbor and Bethesda locations respectively. If you want to show your admiration for her kindness and charity; she accepts lunch for her employees in the form of pizza, beer for her husband, siamese cat artwork to her reddit mailbox, and donations to your local children's cancer wards.

For anyone interested in the final results of her giveaway, she posted one final update. For those who didn't see this in time or who were left out, she added ". . . there will be another chance!"

-- Joshua Surfus

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