A simple phrase, but when done, can make a huge difference.
I was contacted by WCCO to see if I was interested in coming in to film a commercial. Umm, okay, not quite sure what I was signing up for...but if it had to do with sharing the mission of Jack's baskets and celebrating people with Down syndrome, sign me up!
The PSA is to feature people in the state of MN making good happen. I was humbled to be asked and honestly felt incredibly uncomfortable looking at the camera and saying, "I make good happen." Why didn't they film the part that said, "You can make good happen!" The amazing things that have happened with the baskets is because of the love and support we have received from our family and friends, which has allowed us the time, effort, motivation, and determination to make a change! So...YOU have made good happen!
If you have ever experienced an event where you have seen community come alongside people in whatever their situation or circumstance, you know the amazing ways people give.
Give. I'm not specifically talking of giving money. Giving of a person's gift. Their talent, their strengths, their time, their prayers, wisdom, and their stories.
When we gave birth to our oldest son, Luke, meals were dropped off at our door at least two nights a week. We couldn't believe it. People knew that when a new baby was in the house a prepared meal, let alone a shower, was never going to happen.
I will never forget the visit I got from Tracy after Jack was born. A mama that knew exactly how I was feeling and listened to all my fears and questions. I really think one of the reasons Jack loves people is because the first three months of his life he was being passed from guest to guest as they filed in the front door daily. I will never forget the love from our community. You were the hands and feet of Christ.
When we had a miscarriage in June, a college friend I hadn't seen in years called me and shared her experience and how she knew how I was feeling. After I blogged about losing this precious baby, I got tons of messages from women that had experienced the same pain I was going through. Thank you for sharing your stories and helping me find hope in such a dark time.
I remember after years in recovery from alcoholism, my dad offering his time to meet with someone that was trying to complete their first steps in the program. People would call our house and my mom would listen to their stories and offer words of encouragement. My parents would meet with other couples that were walking the same path as them.
After experiencing days in the NICU with her premie son many years ago, a high school friend reached out to me and asked if she could make hats for the baskets and share in the joy of celebrating these babies. My inbox and mailbox continues to be filled with donated items for the baskets. You are making good happen.
Opal Services, a company that strives to make a positive environment for people with intellectual disabilities, contacted me last month to say that they had chose Jack's Baskets as their organization to give their fundraising funds from their company's annual basket event that happened this past weekend. I got an email this morning that they had a check for $1,300. They are helping change families stories.
A college roommate emailed me and told me that her daughter's 6th birthday is coming up and wrote that her daughter said she didn't need gifts but wanted to help others. She reached out to me asking if we could put together something where they could help with the baskets instead of doing gifts. What an impact my friend is making on her daughter and those around her.
Whatever your gift, don't hold back. It might be the encouragement and strength someone needs that day. A phone call, a hand written letter, a gift card, a quick visit, a handmade item, a meal (homemade or purchased...food is good either way ;)), a hug, affirmation of a job well done, an ear to listen. Maybe your gift is to speak up for those that can not speak. Advocating for those that don't have the resources that you have, giving them a voice. Making people aware of their circumstance. You were made to make good happen.
My homegirls and I just had our 6th annual favorite things Christmas party and one of the gifts we were given was a book named You and Me Forever. It's a book on marriage. But the profit of the book goes to get women in South Africa out of sex trafficking. You can find the video here.
Last night our family was able to be a part of an amazing event called Adopt a Family that has been a tradition for the hockey program that my husband now coaches. We walked into a garage that was filled with presents that the hockey team had gone out and purchased gifts for a specific family in need. The boys had wrapped gifts for the three young boys and the items were donated by those that live in the community and the booster program. Here is a picture of the gifts.
Along with seeing all of these gifts, one of the seniors handed a check to me saying they also wanted to help support Jack's baskets. I was in tears. 11 families will receive baskets and will be impacted by this generous donation.
After packing the gifts in the cars, the hockey team went over to surprise the family. Three boys and their mother received the Christmas they never thought was going to happen this year. After a tough year, no money for necessities. The oldest son didn't have boots that fit him and in MN they are a necessity! Along with boots, they got bikes, legos, PS2, and many more items boys love. It was pure joy watching this family open gifts that were only wishes.
Those that organized this event gave their time, energy, and effort and I can only imagine that they left with much more joy than the boys opening their presents.
You can make good happen. What will you do?