Monday, December 13, 2010

How can I turn away?

(Photo courtesy of The Glenn's)

Look at these beautiful faces! I wish I could scoop them all up and bring them home to live with us. I think that collecting items for school kits is probably my very favorite! I think of these happy, little faces eager to learn and to change their lives! Education is their ONLY way out of the life they live! They are so grateful when given the opportunity to attend school. The tragedy is that most of the children in this nation are unable to attend school. Many of them, just because of the simple cost of their school supplies are not given the chance to be who they wish to be and to rise above their condition.

With the help of the members of my parent's church they were recently able to complete 100 school kits.

100 school kits!!
That is a total of:
400 Pencils
100 rulers
1,200 colored pencils (100 pkg of 12)
45,000 sheets of paper (600 notebooks)
100 pairs of scissors
100 erasers
100 pencil sharpeners

It's amazing what we can do when we all give a little! I picture 100 smiling, beautiful children given the change to change their lives for the better! I want to see thousands (and dare I say, millions?!) able to attend school because of all of us giving a little at a time to change these precious lives! Let's keep going!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

School Kits

(Photo by The Glenn's)

I have been blessed with such amazing parents! Both of them never ask for anything. I have so much love and respect for them. This year for my Dad's birthday he repeatedly told us that he didn't want anything. Because he is a teacher, we decided that it would be fun to put our money into creating school kits for these African children. We were able to gather:

156 pencils
60 pencil sharpeners
47 erasers
46 notebooks
24 rulers
24 boxes colored pencils
14 pairs of scissors

It was so fun and rewarding to put them together! It is so neat to put one drop in the bucket of change for these people that so desperately need it.

Love you, Dad!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Humanitarian Kits
Hygiene Kits:
2 unbreakable combs (no sharp handles)
4 toothbrushes (in packages)
1 tube toothpaste (6-8 oz- no pumps)
2 bars of soap (approx. 3.5 oz)
2 hand towels (15X25 inches)
All in gallon Ziploc bag

School Kits:

4 pencils
1 ruler (12 inch with metric)
1 pkg colored pencils (12 in pkg)
Notebooks (450 pages total- spiral bound best. Up to 6 notebooks per bag)
1 pair kid scissors
1 eraser (2 inch)
1 pencil sharpener (any size)

Newborn Kits:
4 flat fold (single thickness) birdseye cloth diapers (you can get them at Walmart)
4 diaper pins
1 pair of booties or baby socks
2 bars of Ivory soap
1 newborn gown (not footed)
1 double receiving blanket (complete square 36-40 inches)
All in 2 gallon resealable bag

You can gather items and I would be happy to come pick them up (if you live in Utah)! If not, you can order on line and have them shipped here and we will assemble them for you. Just email me and I will give you my address. You can also send money and we will put it to good use buying the items we need most! If you do them on your own, PLEASE make sure you total your items and let me know so we can add it to our total on the blog! I have found the best deals at the Dollar Tree and other dollar stores. I can't believe how many items you can get there for so little money!

They are very particular about the item's quantity and size. They can only take them as listed above. Let's see how much we can do together! Let's do it!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

If ye have love one to another...

As a parent there are so many trips to the doctor, middle of the night feedings, parent/teacher conferences, volunteering in the classroom, dressing, bathing, feeding, laundry, loving, reading, singing, teaching, all things we do millions of hours a year! Being a mother is so rewarding, tiring, beautiful, taxing, fulfilling all wrapped into one package. I can't imagine life without this gift!

What would I be if I wasn't a mother? I will tell you what sings to my heart and where I plan to end up someday (with bits and pieces along the way) when this glorious role is fulfilled.

I feel I have been plagued with a curse that won't subside. There is a monkey on my back; an angel (or devil) on my shoulder. Here is a piece of my daily thought process.
"I can't wait to get new furniture in the family room. I want to paint it this color, place the couches here, put a big, new t.v. in this area... etc, etc." My mind wanders and creates the space I want to complete. In an instant my mind escapes elsewhere, to a woman I saw in the streets of Jerusalem some 13 years ago. She was homeless, penniless, dirty, hungry, and had two small children clinging to her sides and an infant in her arms. There she sat on the filthy street on a piece of cardboard.It was all I could do to hold back the tears, feeling helpless, standing there, digesting this site. What I had to give her would only ease her pain but a small moment and her life would then continue in difficulty, pain, and sorrow.

I then make plans to do this or that to the kitchen, the yard, upstairs, downstairs etc. Again, my heart pulls me back to another day when we held a fundraiser/garage sale to raise money for the half marathon we were planning to participate in for our nephews with Muscular Dystrophy.
While watching the slew of people come and go, I wondered about their stories. My eyes fixed on a man looking weathered, tired, defeated. I could tell he had spent many years with heavy burdens. Here he was, asking me, "How much?" for an old ripped towel. I wanted to say, "Take it, take it ALL!" If it hadn't been for our cause I would have. "Ten cents," I responded. He gives me a dime. As he prepares to get back in his car with his wife and son, the child doesn't want to leave the boxes of toys he was now enjoying. One in particular. The parents' look of desperation pains my heart and I tell them to, "Take it, keep it. It's okay." The child, elated, climbs in the car with the new found gift, the parents, with gratitude in their eyes. This was so small, so simple, yet profound to them in that moment;
profound to me in that moment, for an entirely different reason.

WHY? Why have I been so blessed? Maybe by the standards of the rich and famous I have nothing. We still have an unfinished driveway, no fence, lots of furniture left to buy, etc. But, we have all we need: Food, clothing, shelter, our health, each other. What more could I ever ask for?

My family (parents/siblings) decided to give up Christmas gifts this year and instead put our efforts into creating relief kits to be sent all around the world. Kits that would aid mothers like this woman in my mind and heart. Kits that would aid men like the one searching through our rummage. I know my efforts may be small, but perhaps over time they will make a dent. Maybe, someday, when I am old and wrinkly, I will feel at peace, knowing that I have done all I could do to help someone in need!

For whatever reason, these and many other people have become part of my life. They are with me daily. Like the children above, whom I have never met. Their eyes, hearts, and smiles have somehow captured my heart and I can't ignore this urge to stand up and make a difference!