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Thursday, December 24, 2009
Merry Christmas to all our friends, our readers and those of you just peeking in. My house is abuzz with little ones wrapping dollar store presents for each other, reading their letters from Santa, preparing cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer and pretty soon the comfort of cooking holiday food. It's funny, tomorrow there will be presents of varying dollar amounts - but from each year to the next, the kids will forget what those special presents they requested were. They will instead remember heading to the dollar store and scanning the aisles for a present for each of their siblings. They will laugh about trying to avoid each other in a small store and hiding in a corner in their rooms trying to wrap the presents all on their own. It really is the little things. The memories that we collect when we least expect it. The traditions that unfold from one year to the next and carrry through generations....
Today, I am enjoying having my family around me. I am begging myself to remember each little one at this age and all the special little things that they do. We went to visit Santa today and two of mine were terribly afraid, one was sizing him up to see if he was the real deal or an elf and another one was just so happy to get home and get ready for him to make an appearance. I can't wait until tomorrow. Seeing the kids happy in the magic of just being a kid....I know I'll be sad when its all over. But for now, I can only make sure to appreciate it as much as possible.
Merry Christmas to each and every one of you and your wonderful families. Those of you that have come to us needing help. those of you that have provided that help. Those who are stressed and those who are blessed. For one day, take the day to celebrate the time you have with those loved ones around you. Watch the magic of the season unfold in your children's minds. Be a kid again tomorrow with them.....
I seriously CAN'T WAIT!
Heather and I are so thankful for all that you have helped us create. We appreciate it more than these simple words can convey. And we can't wait to get back to it next year. But, for now, we are going to appreciate the smiles of little ones, the hugs from our families, kisses from our husbands and love from those around us.
We sincerely hope you do too.
We will be checking emails on a limited basis only and will likely blog only once more before the new year. But, stayed tuned as we have had AMAZING people up to AMAZING things - and you know us, we have to share it with the world.
But for now, the world is right and we are taking a little break....
In love and kindness,
Email Elizabeth & Heather
Thursday, December 17, 2009
This time of year we start thinking about those less fortunate than us and how to give back. And so many of you have done just that. I know many are doing more with less and lots of you have already donated so many boxes of clothes to families in need. Some of you have been Pass It On, Baby! recipients as well doing your part to "Pass It On." Some of you amazing individuals have even donated brand-new clothes. We truly thank each and everyone of you from us at PIOB and on behalf of the receiving families for the wonderful hearts that you have. But there are so many more families out there hurting. We continue to receive more and more emails each day, especially due to the season, of people in need and their story. We are hoping that if you haven't donated through us or you've been unsure as to what kinds of families your clothes might be helping - that we should share just a few of the heart-wrenching stories we have received. We haven't included any names in order to keep their privacy but we hope that maybe there is someone that these stories will touch and be compelled to share their threads of love through our wonderful organization of providing a "hand up" in times of need.
I was told about this website from a very kind lady that was trying to help donate clothes but she didn't have my son's size. So I said to myself that I will give this a try and hopefully I can get some help. I have never had to seek help since I have always been employed, but I have been looking for a job for the past 14 months and still nothing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
My mother works with a woman whose daughter and son's girlfriend both just had babies and live with her. They are all on public aid and the grandmother is the only one working right now. They are in desperate need of newborn clothing for a boy and girl. My mother told them about Pass It On, Baby! and they asked if you could put them on immediately. They need everything (ie: tops, bottoms, socks, sleepers, onesies, coats, ...) Hopefully you can find something soon! Thanks so much! I really appreciate it!
My sister told me about this website in hopes that it could help my family. My husband and I both were laid off this year and have found it hard to find work. My husband had decided to go back to school to get his teaching degree so we moved in with my in-laws. We have two children a little girl who is 3 and a boy who is 2. Both grow out of their clothes so fast it is hard for us to keep up. I would really appreciate any help we can get. My daughter is a 3 but wears a size girls small or 6 and my son is 2 and is in a 3T winter clothes would be great and I'm hoping that I can help donate to those in need when my kids grow out of what they are wearing. Please let me know if there is anything I can do. I can't tell how nice it is to know that there are people who are so willing to help.
We're going through hard times just like everyone else....I desperately need winter/fall type clothes for my 3 kids. We are starting over after having our slate cleaned for us :( My 4 year old sun just busted out the knees in his last pair of pants today at pre-k. The two boys' hoodies have been worn so much since last year that the zippers are broken and they don't have winter coats. My 2 year old is wearing size 2 clothes when she needs a 3 or 4T simply because I can't afford to buy any right now.... None of them have 1 decent pair of shoes, and I mean decent as in the sides and soles not busting out....forget dirty lol...I've exhausted efforts on craigslist and freecycle...nobody has anything for free anymore, I guess because everyone is hurting. If you can help....my 6 year old needs size 7/8 clothes and size 13 shoes...my 4 year old needs 4/5 T clothes and size 10 1/2 shoes....and my 2 year old girl wears 3 and 4T clothes, and needs size 8 shoes....all of them need jackets. Thank you for starting this site!
Thank you again to each of you! We hope that these stories have inspired you to continue sharing our message with anyone you can think of as a donator or recipient. (We especially need donors right now!) And if you had been hesitating to donate through us - maybe one of these stories touched you and inspired you to donate clothes.
Happy Holidays to you and yours!
In love and kindness,
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Heather and I have introduced you to some pretty awesome people out there making a difference. Recently we met our new friend Carrie whose enthusiasm for helping other is just downright contagious – such an upbeat, fun and caring person! We just LOVE hearing from her – she has been amazing in passing along our message, in getting other mommas to join in the fun of helping another momma out and in helping two families out herself. Thank you SO very much!!
Carrie hails from North Carolina. She is a wife to Devin – 2.5 years and counting and a momma to Chatham for 8.5 months! And look how stinkin’ cute this one is….SERIOUSLY!!!
I heard about PIOB from Mitzi @ The Goodson Family Blog. I love reading about moms helping moms.
Here’s my Story:
I spend six LONG days in the NICU with my son, Chatham, when he was born. He had respiratory failure at birth and then suffered from TTN (wet lungs) due to the emergency c-section. While Chatham was only a week early, he was a tiny 6 lbs. at birth and I was not prepared for that – I didn’t have clothes that would fit him, or bottles to feed him with; since he had reflux and wouldn’t take the bottles from the NICU. On night #2 in the hospital I was visited by a mom two rooms down from me , she had a bag of Dr. Brown bottles, preemie size clothes, and a few odds and ends for me to ease my mind. I immediately called my mom and had her bring dinner to the family on night #4 as I didn’t know how else to thank them for their kindness. They left the hospital a day before I did and we celebrated with them just outside the NICU doors.
As I read about PIOB, my mind wondered back to the wonderful friend I made at the hospital and the calmness that came with the bag I was received. I want to pass on that calm, easy feeling to other moms and let them know that people care. And being a new parent is hard enough without having to stress about food, clothes, and bottles.
She is just amazing and right now with so many people stressed at this time of year – its downright calming and grounding to remember that there are people like Carrie walking beside you in this life. Soo - thank you Carrie on behalf of our organization and the mommas you helped along their journey. It is SO appreciated!
In love and kindness,
Email Elizabeth & Heather
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Just to take us off focus of the holiday season for a moment. I thought I would share with you a little about what I've been doing personally for the last few months.
I have been training for nearly 5 months for a 1/2 marathon. Let me first clarify by stating that I am not a runner, never been a runner and not sure I will ever really enjoy running. I did track and stuff but it was mainly for social reasons and I always ran short distances - like less than a mile. So when my gym friend asked me to join her in training and participating in a 1/2 marathon, I really thought she was crazy especially for asking me! :) (I hadn't ever ran more than 3 miles EVER!)
In love & kindness,
Email Elizabeth and Heather
Sunday, December 6, 2009
The holidays should be a magical time – full of wonder and excitement, planning , sharing and celebrating. For many of us, the holidays are exactly that – but this year, there are many, many people hurting and desperate right now. There are pressures on all of us this time of year, but the pressure of trying to figure out ways to provide an adequate holiday for children you love so very much can be, simply put – overwhelming.
So as you might expect, we have had SO many people who are in need reach out for help. We’ve heard heart-breaking stories full of so much pain. Children in need of coats, underwear, socks, parents fighting to get the heat turned back on, people in need of food – its heart-wrenching. It might be just too much if that’s all we heard – but it isn’t. The flip side of this are all the people who write in and ask what they can do to help. So many that send their own children’s clothes along the way, expecting nothing in return. Putting good out there for the simple reason that its what we all should be doing. Treating others as we want to be treated….
Recently we heard from a woman who had a wonderful idea. She asked if we could give her a family to adopt. She knew that there are so many that need some help right now and she wanted to do something. She thought for sure that we had thought of this idea before, but see? That’s why we need you – we hadn’t. Now obviously, not everyone is in a position to do that – but it was possible for her and we are so thankful for her (and all of you, too!!) You know, the sad truth is, this year at my church there were more children on the giving tree than ever before. The same is true for us….we have heard from more people recently than in any of the other months. On a positive note, however, many of those requests did not come from the people in need, themselves. They came from their confidants, their friends…people who are hearing their struggles and really trying to make the path easier for them.
And that’s not the only one, there have been other great ideas, too. We’ve had kind-hearted souls that have thrown moms nights out and spread the word and acting as a group sent out clothes. Momma time AND helping others? Does it get better? =) I don’t want to give too much about this away, because I’m hoping this dear lady will speak for herself on an upcoming blog.
In the end, each of us is on our own path. Each of us knows what we can truly give or do to help others and give back. Even if you don’t think its much – do something. Little actions build up together to change the world.
Peaceful wishes for you all. If you’re stressed, may your burden get easier. If you are blessed, may you feel the need to share those blessings.
In love and kindness,
Email Elizabeth & Heather
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The holidays are officially upon us and with that means the hustle and bustle of cooking, parties, making lists, buying presents, sending cards - goodness, are you tired of just thinking of all of that?! =) So was I....until I read a very important thought for my own life and something I've made a mental note to reflect on each and every day. I've heard it said countless times by countless individuals, but the basic gist is that it is not any particular happening that causes unhappiness, stress or sorrow - it is our resistance to or unacceptance of that happening. I LOVE this thought because it gives me the choice as to how I am going to react that what is happening around me.
For instance, there are LOTS of things that are happening around this time of year that can be seen as stressful. Lots of us have traveling and packing and family, etc coming up. If you start right out of the gate stressing about all there is to do - your frame of mind is already set. If on the other hand, you challenge yourself to view it another way....a positive, an opportunity to grow, an acceptance that you are exactly where you need to be - somehow, the obstacle isn't as insurmountable. Personal example - every year around the holidays we take family photos. I am kind of "nerdy" in the sense that I match everyone up (that's seven people!!), painstakingly plan and shop for the outfits, schedule the haircuts to happen just before the shoot, carefully plan the naptimes - you get it. It's a BIG deal to me -because its often the only time we get the family for a group shot. So most years, photo shoot = stress. But, this year, I wasn't about to let stress steal what should be a joyous and happy moment from me. With the kids growing up so fast, I didn't want this to be another year where I worried and fretted and then "got through" or "survived" the family pics. I wanted to truly enjoy them. So, we met our photographer at a park and just played with the kids while she took pics. They climbed hills, fought with sticks (ok - I said I wanted to enjoy it, but not that they were necessarily angels!! =), ran around and just were kids. My husband and I truly enjoyed just playing with them and watching them explore and enjoy themselves. Like any experience with five kiddos, the day did have some challenges....My children were skipping stones at a man-made pond. I wasn't thrilled about them digging in the dirt for stones, but I went with it and tried to offer sticks as digging (and more importantly, keeping clean) tools. And then it happened. The moment that threatened to throw off my sanity... My second son was balancing on a stone pond wall and reaching out over the pond to get a branch that had berries on it - in hopes of skipping those instead. Of course, in my family - monkey see, monkey do... My third son tried to imitate his older brother and reach for those same berries (wait for it....I know you know what's coming)..and.....accidentally lost his balance and fell COMPLETELY in the pond!! Although I was there instanteously and pulled him out, he was covered in mud, crying, soaking and cold -- and we probably looked like the most crazy family out in the park that day.....BUT, I was able to laugh about it right wawy and make him feel a little better about it too. So we didn't get as many shots as we might have....but we enjoyed our time together and I think that that is what is important. I couldn't change that moment, I could only change my reaction to it. Because of my more relaxed frame of mind heading in to the shoot, I was able to deal with the moment...frankly, one that would have challenged my being able to hold it together. Getting upset, disappointed or annoyed would only have made me miserable and my son even more upset. On the other hand, looking at the humor in the situation of a completely soaked and muddy six year-old who fell in to the pond during family photos, changed my perspective. Someday, it will make a GREAT story! *wink*
I truly believe that each and every moment you are right where you are supposed to be. There is something to be learned from the stressful moments, the sad moments, the challengin ones and all the rest. If you can't change the moment - change your perspective. Enjoy the moments this holiday season - and those responsibilities that you see as a chore - challenge yourself to see things in a different manner or just cut them altogether if you can't.
From our families to yours - Happy Thanksgiving. We are thankful for so very much this year. For your support and encouragement, your kindness and your generosity. ((Hugs)) to each and every one of you!
In love and kindness,
Email Elizabeth & Heather
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
As I listen to people (self included) talk about “sacrifices” or “losses” sustained during these tough economic times, I must remind myself of those less fortunate than I. I can’t help but wonder if I am feeling the pinch, then how are they surviving? Although these thoughts are sobering ones, I am actually thankful for them. I am reminded of the many blessings that I have received and continue to benefit from, even during present times. As well, I am not only reminded of those who are in need, but I am inspired to find ways to help.
For me the recession has meant the loss of a job and clients. However, this has been a great opportunity for me to redirect my time and energy towards helping others. I am the Volunteer Coordinator for one of the organizations that I volunteer with, which gives me a chance to meet many people who are looking for ways to give back. What intrigues me the most, are their reasons for volunteering. Many are unemployed and looking for ways to productively spend their days, while others are looking for community service opportunities to fulfill school or other requirements. One reason that resonates with me so deeply is the search for something “more”. Many of the volunteers that I have spoken with are looking for an opportunity to positively impact our world. The need to feel as though one has done something of meaning is a dominant factor for many of the volunteers. Whatever their reason, most will tell you that giving of one’s time not only impacts the organization and those that it serves, but the volunteer as well. When your efforts and thoughts are concentrated on helping others, it is hard to worry about yourself. Giving of self has way of bringing perspective to one’s life and place in the world. The conversion from name brand to generic is no longer important—and really was it ever? Instead thoughts of loss are replaced with those of thankfulness and inspiration—thankfulness for what one has and the inspiration to help others achieve their own goals and dreams.
While these past two years have meant changes for everyone, I am thankful for at least one aspect of these changes. I think that we have been forced to reassess our own values; what is truly most important and do we really need so much “stuff”? I would be lying if I said that I don’t want to have nice “things” or to be free of financial worries. None –the- less, I have been reminded that what is most important is, not what I don’t have, but what I do with what I have been given.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
As Thanksgiving approaches, we all have much to be thankful for. Even if you find yourself struggling, you have your health or your children or your family – each of us has much to be thankful for. So – in keeping with the spirit of the season, Heather and I want to make sure that you know how much we appreciate you, our readers, our donors and our recipients. From time to time we shine the spotlight on various individuals who have been a part of this little community and today, I’d like to introduce – Mitzi. http://goodsonfamilyjourney.blogspot.com/
And here is what she says…you read enough of my posts and you’ll figure out that my life is lead my emotion – so I won’t lie and say that there weren’t any sniffles while reading her sweets words… =)
I am a woman that wanted kids from the time I could say baby BUT it just seemed that the right guy never came along so I just prayed & waited…I knew God would get to my prayers when he had a free minute J Then one day there was my husband; he was sitting there in his suit & I just knew the first time I saw him we were going to be together forever & he was the man God sent my way. We got married & were again blessed when we found out that we were expecting Brayden; this is when I started blogging & when I found PIOB & felt truly inspired & in awe of both you & heather & what you were doing to help. I actually teared up when I saw what you guys were doing & just knew that I HAD to help (I was meant to help) when & however I could. I knew that it wasn’t that I just “stumbled” onto your blog I knew it was God leading me to it. I am beyond thankful for Lance & Brayden & that my prayers were answered & now I just want to give back every chance I have the opportunity too. I just hope that I have helped lighten the burden/load off of a family that needs it.
She doesn’t need to “hope” that she has helped with many burdens – she undoubtedly has. Thank you, Mitzi, for lending a much-needed hand to families out there. She embodies what I love most – someone fulfilling their dreams turning back to help the next person up.
In love and kindness,
Email Elizabeth & Heather
Sunday, November 8, 2009
November is Adoption Awareness Month.
Did you know that purple is the color that represents adoption?
Did you know there are over 100 million orphans in the world?
Anyone that has adopted or has been touched by someone that has adopted, understands the amazing blessing brought to them by the sacrifice of another.
Adoption = to take as one's own
Today I wanted to post about different way in which we can "adopt". Have you ever adopted the burden of another? .... taken on someones struggle and adopted the solution as your own? Sometimes there are those that have such a need for help. They are completely dependent on anyone willing to reach out to them. People who's stable situation changed in the blink of an eye by an unexpected event. Sometimes it doesn't take much to lose what took years to accomplish. Right now there are so many that have lost their jobs and are losing everything they spent years to build. Let's reach out and "adopt" someone today!
If you are like me you have an over abundance of clothes and/or shoes that your children can no longer wear. They are packed away in boxes that are taking up way too much space in your closet, basement, or garage. One of the waiting moms had ordered 3 Red Thread Stitches creations from me back when I was fundraising for Mia Hope. There was a change in plans on their adoption journey and she asked me to donate them to "Pass It On, Baby!" I asked her if it would be okay to take the money she had given me and purchase outfits. Instead of sending 3 outfits, I was able to purchase 12 outfits! When I contacted the wonderful ladies that run this charity, I was touched by the need for basic things such as underwear and shoes. These families are desperate for ANYTHING to clothe their children in because they have nothing due to job loss.
November is also a month of "thanksgiving". Even after 6 months of unemployment in our home this past year, we have so much to be thankful for! If you find it in your heart to "adopt" a child that needs clothing...new or used.... please click on the link below and see what you can do to help. There is an "immediate" needs section on the sidebar. These families are in urgent need of clothing. Thank you for allowing "adoption" to become a part of your world. I believe there are blessings waiting for those who share their abundance.
We want to thank Robin for this wonderful blog post and to Michelle for supporting us through sharing Pass It On, Baby!'s message. So we extend this idea of "adoption" to our Pass It On, Baby! community. What a wonderful way to show how thankful we are to our blessings by helping out a family and adopting their burden with your solution - kids clothes. So simple - so impactful. Even if you don't have clothes to donate and you have a few extra dollars for charity this holiday - I invite you to consider purchasing clothes for a family who desperately needs it.
I want to end with a quote that Robin posted on her blog under PIOB's blog button. It truly represents why we feel so strongly about Pass It On, Baby!
"Sometimes I would like to ask God, why He allows poverty, famine and injustice in the world when He could do something about it...but I'm afraid He might ask me the same question." ~Anonymous
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Each time you help someone in need, it is bittersweet. You feel wonderful for actually helping another person on the way, but at the same time, you know that the person or people that you are helping are struggling. They are dealing with the struggle, itself – not to mention all the emotions that go along with it. I don’t know how aware I was of this, until recently, when I found myself in a conversation with a friend. She has been having a rough go of it. They had some problems with a business they owned that fell on hard times and they were just at the point of beginning to dig themselves out of a bad financial time. She was telling me how she was recently hit with two fieldtrips in two weeks for each of her two children and that the cost would be a total of $120. Now that’s expensive for anyone, but when you are handling current expenses on top of past expenses, that becomes impossible. So, as hard as it was, she pushed down her pride and called the school and explained her situation. The school was great about it and even contacted another agency on her behalf to offer help with Christmas for her children. She was SO thankful for the help and offer, but like any of us, was struggling with her pride. Every Christmas, she had been the one that picked the angels off the trees at Target and other stores and donated toys to children in need. How could she reconcile that she was now the one in need?
Let’s be honest – it’s HARD to ask for help. It’s hard to be honest when you are struggling. For whatever reason, we’ve somehow tricked ourselves in to thinking that our financial success or hardships are the same as our worth. Soooo not true, but that doesn’t change the fact that for many of us, taking a hit to your paycheck or family income is the same as tarnishing your self-esteem and how you feel about your world. And so it was for my friend. Not only was it hard asking for help in the first place, but when additional resources were offered, it was equally hard to accept.
You know in life, as the old saying goes – “Sometimes you’re the bat and sometimes you’re the ball…” and I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. When you’ve been the one on the receiving end of charity, it means a lot more to you when you do have the opportunity to give back. You know, firsthand, what those families may be dealing with. It becomes less about yourself and how proud you are of yourself for giving, and becomes truly about helping the other person on the other end. Why? Because you’ve been there. I thought it was a great thing that she was accepting the help…she needed it and she would be someone to put that kindness right back in to the world – the way we believe it should be.
Times are less than ideal right now for so many people – so if you are fortunate enough to be able to help out – the timing has never been better. Whether its Pass It On, Baby! or another of the many, many worthwhile charities, make a difference. If money is tight for you, drop off some Halloween candy at a local food pantry or gather some neighbors together to send some Halloween candy overseas to our soldiers. Volunteer to serve Thanksgiving dinner at a Shelter. Visit the dollar store and pick up some coloring books to drop at a local shelter or church – rest assured, you are making a difference. And if you happen to have children, make sure to do it while they are watching. These little moments build together to form their character. And these little characters we build in turn, become our future society. Its your daily chance to change the world….. =)
In love and kindness,
Email Elizabeth & Heather
Friday, October 30, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
From the beginning of this blog and this organization, Heather and I have talked about creating a community…a community of kindness. We mentioned that we feel that we learn from others as the issues are brought up and talked about how much we learn from others’ points of views and ways of living life. But, you might sit back and ask yourself – why care about a community? If you are doing good and heading in the right direction yourself – why worry about what other people are doing?
That is a GREAT question – and I’m very glad you asked…LOL! =) Now, I’m pretty sure there is no definitive answer – but I’m going to give my best go at it. Its part of human nature to stumble along whatever path you might find yourself on. If you are on a religious path and trying to lead the best life you can, you will sin. If you are on a diet, you will have moments of weakness. If you embark on a life trying to help or serve others, you will have moments of selfishness. You get the idea…. Yes – “to err is human”… however, your “community” may be the difference between making a single mistake and getting yourself right back on track and actually leaving the path altogether.
The idea of community is nothing new. From the time the US was settled, we set up communities of similar beliefs…the Quakers stayed with the Quakers, the Reformists with Reformists, etc. A lot of it had to do with just simple commonalities between the people, but in my opinion, much of it goes deeper than that. To put it simply – those on a similar path as you, many times just get it. And so when you stumble and fall in front of them, they know how to help you back up – they are all working toward a similar goal. Its sort of like the alcoholic that has a sponsor. Almost always, the sponsor is a recovering addict themselves. Why is this? Because they get it. They know what to say, how you might feel, what you are struggling with, etc. So for me, when we embarked on this little journey, I wanted it to be a community of sorts. Yes, to learn, to share, to challenge, etc – but also to help. I’m just a mom trying to do a little good out there, who sometimes falls far from the path and has to dust herself off and realign her priorities again and again. Who battles with materialism, who gets distracted, who works at being positive and good, who deals with lots of frustrations…and sometimes I need a helping hand. And many times they come from people who we hear from…
You’ve read our stories of people out there making a difference, like Tammy. You’ve heard our stories of people building others up, like Louiseza. You’ve heard stories of heartbreak and loss, hope and rebuilding, second chances – choices to love your fellow neighbor. And so have I. We’ve cried the same tears as you did with these thankful mothers dealing with so much and we’ve rooted along the way with so many also. And selfishly – I need it. It helps me….but I’m betting you do too. Its good and its pure and it makes a difference, one child at a time. It refocuses me. It gets me out of my own little world of wants and plans and puts me back in the here and now. It opens a world up to me that I might never see.
Remember when I was really upset about passing by homeless family in the suburbs simply because I was distracted and then just didn’t get to go back and help? The suggestions we got back then helped me. I took them along the journey. I’m a Midwestern girl, born and raised –and recently traveled to the West Coast. Call me naïve, but the amount of homeless on the streets was like nothing I had seen before. I was sad, I was shocked, I was a little overwhelmed at how this could be happening….and like has been said before, you truly can’t help everyone. So my husband and I did what we could. We helped those we could with donations and for those we couldn’t help in that manner, we tried simple kindness like talking directly to them as people, instead as if they weren’t there or didn’t exist. It seems silly, because I was nervous and intimidated when I was alone without my husband…but I looked each person in the eyes and greeted them and smiled. I felt a little stronger because some of our readers had shared their ideas beforehand with us on this very topic.
I was working out the other day and a news story was on the TV screen above me. The coverage was on communities “taking back” their communities. The particular story was from Chicago where several students have been killed in a wake of violence in the streets. The commentary flashed to a video taping of the beating prior to the deaths of two of these students…it was horrifying. I literally stopped working out, covered my face and just sat there shaking my head as the tears streamed down my face. From that taping, they flashed to protests going on where people from various communities, with various agendas had come together with a common cause of taking back their streets. It was amazing to see this…they were actually getting so much attention and help – there was so much energy in the air, just by coming together for a common cause of goodness. Because my dear friends, there is power in numbers – there is strength in a community. Several kind actions rippled out – do change the world. And maybe Margaret Mead said it best, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
And so – for these simple and not-so-simple reasons, I ask of us to build this community. I hope to share and gain strength from you all. I hope to learn and impart wisdom. I hope to stop my judgments and look on all people with love. I hope to help children and parents who think that the world has forgotten them – it hasn’t. This world isn’t a dark, cold place. Its full of love and kind people. People who send boxes of their own children’s clothing to mothers they will never know. Why? More like – why not? Because it means so much to us all. When I was in California I stumbled across this saying along the beachfront. While some may interpret it as talking about the earth itself, I choose to take it as the people who inhabit this great planet.
In love and kindness,
Email Elizabeth & Heather
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Hi friends! I am so happy to be writing to you today….We’ve had some great guest bloggers and a little break to share a recipe between moms (and I LOVED Heather’s blog on inspiration in the community) – but I’m back and ready to chat! =)
I draw inspiration from so many in our community as well as others that are out there, day in day out, making a difference. Today, though, I am drawing inspiration from all of us here that are a part of Pass It On, Baby! We finally took the plunge officially in May of this year and began this little circle of kindness. Heather and my conversations started out talking about “if we help 12 people this year and they go on to pass along the kindness – just imagine.” It’s October and we’ve helped more than 32 children on their way. Surely not as many as other organizations, but we stand proud and happy to be out there making a difference. And simply put – we have. 32 children and their parents are out in the world today knowing that there are people who care.
And we do. Many, if not all of us, have been there…. there are times in your life where you could USE the helping hand. The farther that I travel down this path with PIOB, the more I look back in to my past to see all the people that have helped me get to the moment where I am.
Years ago, while still in college and finding I was pregnant with my first son, I was really unsure and scared. Initially, I wasn’t at the point of feeling all the joy and excitement that accompanies a new life – I was overwhelmed. I had a friend of mine that I told all my secrets to. She knew my worries, my concerns, my whole thought process during that time. At some point, she told her mother. It wasn’t long afterwards that her mother came for a visit. She asked to spend some alone time with me and took me shopping. She bought me a cute trendy outfit that would take me through the first several months of pregnancy. She took my friend and I out for dinner later that day, too – but she spent a solid day with me and for once, I wasn’t scared, only excited. She helped me along my way….
I’ve lost touch with that friend, over the years, but I NEVER forgot how that mother made me feel. They didn’t have a lot, I’m sure that the outfit and dinner was a sacrifice – but it shaped me. I’ve thought so much about her along the way…if you ever end up in Shelbyville, Indiana – let Pauline Wright know she changed a scared girl’s life.
He’s 13 – turning 14 now….he is one of the best things that ever happened to me. I told him about Pauline and the difference she made and told him that it was a gift to us – a gift that he too must find a way to give back. And so the circle continues…..helping another and paying the kindness forward.
When I initially had that first baby (I have five now – so that seems, at times, so long ago) I was in no position to give back, as some of our recipients might feel also. But you don’t know where the years will take you, and you don’t know where you may pass that kindness along, or who you may be influencing.
I guess I really wrote to say, thank you. Thank you for the sacrifices, the kindness, the love and the community that you have given Heather and I. We hope that the number 32 becomes 64 and then 128 and so on…there are so many kiddos to send some love to. We hope that you will continue to share in our journey, to pass our word along and to inspire kindness as you can. You never know who is drawing from your kind action and bringing it forth in to the present.
In love and kindness,
Email Elizabeth & Heather