I've been wanting to donate an item to the Jamie's heart Foundation Auction for a few years, and this year, everything worked out for me to be able to do so.
Colleen and I came up with the idea several months ago to donate a quilt basket and we decided on a sock monkey theme. I had the quilt top almost completed for years - like at least two, and have had the actual fabric for three years. Colleen and Kathleen had to help me finish some of the tricky spots a few months back, we pinned the quilt a few days ago and then I got to work machine quilting - a technique I'm still working on mastering! Colleen picked up the quilt Saturday afternoon and brought it back on Sunday bound.
Yesterday while I sewed the finishing touches on the quilt Molly came into the dinning room to sit with me. She loves to chat with me while I sew and it really is a good time for her to go on and on, so I actually enjoy visiting with her!
She wanted to know all about this quilt and who it was for. I took a minute to stop the machine and tell her what I was doing. I knew that her little four year old brain needed it in simple terms so I told her, "A friend of ours had a little girl who was about Lucy's age and she was very very sick. Her heart didn't work the right way and she died. Her Mommy and daddy were so sad but they thought that a good way to help other families with kids who have sick hearts is to give them money to pay for their doctor visits. Colleen and I are making this quilt so we can give it to her Mommy and Daddy, they will sell it and give the money to help other little kids pay for their hospital visits." Molly looked so sad, she even had tears in her sweet little eyes.
"Mom, I want to give them my 'My Little Ponies' to sell." She told me. Immediately my heart broke. "Molly, you don't need to do that, we'll just give them the quilt." She shook her head and looked at me with disapproval on her face. She seriously said just this, "Mom, if the little girl who was sick was named Toompas we would give all of our toys and all of our clothes to sell so we could pay for doctors. We could pretend the kids' names are Toompas like us and then it would be the same." Her words hit me like a ton of bricks. We talk about donations, and go through the kids' toys to donate to the goodwill, we talk with the kids about Kiva (a loan type of charity) and we tell them that their 10% tithe money goes to the church so they can help people in our community... but we've never really done anything hands on... that they could see... and I've never really thought about it!
Kids have this way of making everything so much more simple. If we thought of the poor/needy as family would society write them off so easily? Would our country be in quite so much debt? Would there be as many homeless families? I think all of those answers would be no, or at least much much less.
My eyes opened to Molly in a way I've never before seen her. She got it. Jerry and I strive (and I have to say strive because it's not always easy for either of us.) to live a non-consumeristic life and to show our children compassion and to teach them that material possessions are.not.important... and she got it. I was so proud of her I just gave her a big hug and dried my eyes. She went and grabbed her ponies that she wanted to give away and I got back to the quilt.
It was a good feeling being able to donate our basket to the Hannahs, but the thing that really planted itself in my heart is that donating money is helpful - yes, but what is more impactful to society is doing works and modeling that behavior to our children so that they to will grow into compassionate adults that will actually take responsibility for others.
We are definitely going to be investing more seriously our time with the kids locally.
How about you? You could Start a food drive for your local food bank, sign up for Kiva, or donate to the Jamie's Heart Foundation yourself!
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." - Matthew 6:19-21
Or as Joe says, "Bury your heart in the davey jones' locker."