Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More lessons from a child

This might take a more serious direction.  For those who came looking for a daily dose of snark, you may not find much.  Just warning you...

There is so much pain in the world these days, so much devastation from natural disasters that we have no control over.  Many of us watch the news and wonder what we can do to help.  There are volunteer and donation opportunities and yet many of us are left confused as to where to start.  Yesterday, I spent the morning on the phone and on email talking to people asking how I can get involved, how my family can help.  Where can we give, where can I go to move branches, can I house someone for a while, and how do I get organized and get a fire burning under my friends and colleagues to do the same?

Then I learned that my friend's basement had flooded over the weekend.  My plans of picking up a chainsaw (as if anyone would let me use one!) took a bit of a turn.  My friend needed childcare so she could spend the morning dealing with her basement.  Another girlfriend offered to watch her boys, but she didn't quite know what to do with them in her limited space.  Since the wet weekend, the park seemed too messy, so we came up with an idea to have a "pizza party" at my place with all 6 of the kids.  They had a blast and it was easy for the most part. 
My point is this: sometimes, when you're looking for an opportunity to help, it comes from a source that you don't necessarily expect, but is just as important to someone.  I had set out to help strangers and ended up helping a friend.  My heart still aches and will continue to ache for the victims of the tornadoes in Minneapolis, Joplin and LaCrosse and I still want to do something to help.  Sometimes our desires to help and our budgets, calendars or logistics of children/family care just don't match up enough to allow us to do what we desperately desire to do.  My daughter taught me a lesson today, like she so often does.  Sometimes it's best to simply pray. 

When I showed my sweet daughter some of the pictures of the devastation, she became very sad.  She asked me if she could "draw a note for the hurting people who lost their houses."  She was so worried that no one would get her message, so I promised her that I'd send it out on FB and ask my friends to share it with their friends and the people who needed it would get her note.  She sends this message (with a little spelling help from Mom).
We do want to get more actively involved.  Today, we brought some water and work gloves down to Urban Homeworks, an organization in Minneapolis that is organizing volunteer crews (yesterday, May 23, they had 600 people show up to work!)  To all of you who have been affected by the disasters around the world, we are praying for you and intend to keep on doing so!

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