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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Fevers and fuhgonkies

Warning - this post contains a bit of a rant.

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Last night it was my turn to sleep on the little girl's bed.  Henry has had a long stretch of being healthy, but the preschool germs overtook him once again.  Instead of having two tired parents, I decided it would just be easier to sleep in Henry's bedroom.

Even though he had a really restless night, he was up at 6am.  He decided he wanted his fuhgonkies (blankies) and a Phineas and Ferb marathon.  We snuggled close and started to watch episodes we've seen at least a thousand times.

During one of the breaks, there was a story about a little girl.  She said that before her 7th birthday she started dreaming about all the gifts she wanted.  She was really excited for her party, and all the toys she would get.

As she was waiting for her birthday, she heard about an orphanage in Guatemala that had 100 children.  None of them had shoes.  In that moment she decided that she didn't want presents for herself anymore.  She wanted people to bring shoes for the kids.

This courageous little girl spoke in front of her church, sharing the story about the kids who needed shoes.  She asked if they would donate shoes for her birthday.

The day of her party she got over 300 pairs of shoes!  She talked about how good it felt when they boxed up and shipped the shoes.

She was only 7 and she 'got it'.

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The winter after I got back from Haiti, Sofia celebrated her 9th birthday.  I remember going out and buying her birthday cake and cupcakes to share with her class.  It cost 75 bucks.  I was sick.  How could I spend that much money on cake?

Do you want to know what $75 can buy?  What $75 can do to help others?  Check out this blog:  Second Mile Ministries and you'll see how far that money can go. (While you're there, please consider donating.)

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Just a few weeks into his preschool education, Henry got an invitation to a birthday party.  Jason knew what my reaction was going to be.

"You have GOT to be kidding me!  He's only THREE!  Why is it starting THIS EARLY?!"

As you can probably guess, I really don't like kid birthday parties.  To me, they are excessive.  I cringe every time an invitation comes home in one of their backpacks.

Henry went to the party.  He brought a gift.  And he brought home a bag full of plastic toys.  A bag of junk that would break in a matter of hours, that is, if he even remembered about it.  I just kept thinking about the good that money could have been used for, instead of plastic toys that would end up in a landfill.

Why do we have this tradition?  Why do we spend all this money on cake and party favors and matching plates and napkins and presents that our kids don't need?

Why?  

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Think about the difference that could be made if just 5% of the kids out there did what that 7 year old little girl did.  If just 5% decided to take that celebration and use it to care for those who don't have.  Donate shoes, clothing, medical supplies, good ol cash.

What a difference they could make.

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We are here to add what we can to live, not to take what we can from it.   ~Unknown

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