It’s official. My numbers just won mega millions in the Virginia Lottery.
How I wish that were true instead of just wishful thinking. But sometimes day dreaming about such windfalls helps us come up with our wildest dreams and leads us to achieve more in life than we thought possible. It isn’t hard to imagine five ways in which winning the lottery would change my life.
Cat Rescue at Home
My husband and I volunteer as feral cat rescuers in our neighborhood. An adopted family of felines resides inside our 1,200-square-foot townhouse. Another 15 to 20 cats dine twice a day outside. This means we get up between 4 and 5 a.m. and go to bed around 11:30 p.m., 365 days a year. There are no vacations or overnight trips. We have no help.
I would be thrilled to use some lottery winnings to hire part-time help so that we could get away from time to time, educate our neighbors on what we’re doing and find sponsors willing to adopt or at least pay for neutering the growing number of ferals. Winning the lottery would also allow us to trap and transport injured cats to the vet – something we can seldom do because of limited personal funds.
My biggest dream is creating a hospice for homeless animals. This requires buying or leasing land. Anything within an hour’s drive of Washington, DC is quite pricey to purchase or lease and downright hard to find.
Obtaining at least a few acres with the necessary buildings, paid part-time help, food and medical care, fees to get 501(c)3 non-profit status and other expenses would initially top $2 million.
The hospice would be the last home for tired, sick and abandoned cats, dogs, horses and other animals. Adoptions would be very rare since people unfortunately shy away from animals so down on their luck. The model for the hospice would be Angel’s Gate in Delhi, New York.
Once operational, the hospice would be a challenge as far as continued yearly funding. Lottery winnings in the millions would assure its financial health when donations fell short.
Benedictine Pastoral Center (BPC)
Located in Bristow, Virginia, the BPC home to an elementary school, ministries such as family counseling and transitional housing for women and their children, a monastery of Benedictine nuns and retreat facilities. As Benedictine Oblates, my husband and I are called to support the needs of this monastery. Winning the lottery would allow us to give the sisters around $5 million to continue and ultimately expand their work.
Easing Burdens of Chronic Illness
Crohn’s disease has been responsible for most of my 101 hospitalizations and 5 major surgeries. Winning the lottery would end worrying about finding (and keeping) a part-time job in my retirement years. It would also take the galloping escalation of health insurance premiums and the cost of thousands of dollars of medications each month out of the realm of fear and disbelief.
The Wedding of Her Dreams
My daughter, who was born during an earlier marriage, and her fiance are hoping for the wedding of their dreams. They want a storybook setting, a three-week honeymoon and the proverbial “Ooooh!” dress. This is pretty hard for families on a budget in the DC area to accomplish.
Winning the lottery would allow me help my only child’s dreams come true. The newly-married couple wouldn’t owe thousands for a wedding cake, gown, favors or a wedding planner who rounded up all these things.
Do our wildest dreams come true? Sometimes. Winning the lottery takes one major action on my part, though: I’m heading out in the rain to buy a ticket.
Virginia Lottery site
Angel’s Gate site
Benedictine Pastoral Center site