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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
How we work
We are an online community of kind-hearted individuals who directly donate gently loved children's clothes to mothers who could use a little kindness. The wonderful donating mothers lovingly box up the clothes that they once loved their own kiddos in and send them for another mother to love on her children via the US Mail - Parcel Post. If you are in need, know someone in need or want to help by donating, please contact us at email@example.com. If you can't do any of these but would like to spread our message - thank you kindly! ~ Elizabeth & Heather