Saturday, May 7, 2011

Best Mother's Day Gift EVER. Seriously.

Sure, I could get a gift card.

Or jewelry.

A spa treatment.

Been there. Done that.

I've NEVER, however, been given THIS.

As a volunteer with the Hero Program, I write press releases, letters, and do some light fundraising. I've learned how to write grants, and I also get the chatter going on the Hero Program FB wall. Words.

Words. Words. Words.

Nothing wrong with those words.

But, just yesterday, I was informed that one of the children supported by the Hero Program is being denied treatments that can greatly increase the length and quality of her life. Insurance paid for only 2 out of the 10 medically recommended treatments for Leah, who, along with her sister, has Dravet Syndrome. The cost of each treatment? $55,000. Yeah, cause we all have cash like that stuffed under mattresses.

This kind of situation revs me up. When medical professionals are in support of treatments, only to have the insurance company deny them, I get mad.

And then, I get moving.

I shared with Harper and Zane about the situation and asked if they would like to help by donating proceeds from a yard sale we were planning

"Let's do a lemonade stand, Mom."

Harper. God love her.

So, she, Zane, and our neighbor, Missy started at 9:00, when it was still chilly, and threatening rain. There wasn't time to make a sign, but we were set with Hero bracelets (want one?) and brochures. As yard sale goers do, many just peeked at what we had to sell, ignored the jumping children holding a sign, and kept on moving.

Harper wanted to give up, "Nobody is paying attention to us."

"Well, figure out another way. Find another way."

That's when the umbrellas came out. A basket filled with Hero bracelets and brochures was packed up, and off they went on foot. To crash other yard sales.

After hoofing it, and bringing in quite a few donations, the sun came out. We decided to change locations, get the lemonade crankin', and picked up two more volunteers.

Briefed on the situation, the extra boys flagged people down and then Harper gave the presentation.

As I continued manning our yard sale down the street, a woman approached me.

"Are you Joline?"


"Thank you. I'm Leah's Mom. I saw your post on the Hero FB wall and my husband and I decided to come over and say hello. We introduced ourselves to your children."

I hugged her. And cried.

What else was there to do????

You gotta know that I've not met ANY children supported by the Hero Program and only 1 other parent, so now, meeting Leah's parents, helped me see that the families are not just words . . . they are flesh.

As the afternoon continued, the group of kids offering to help, increased. A rap was conceived. The Macarena was performed curbside. The final total for donations?

$220 and change.

Anyone wanna match it?

Happy Mother's Day.

I received the joy of watching my kids run and problem-solve the Lemonade Benefit, along with sunshine, and steam-cleaned carpets (thank you, George).

Why would I want anything else?

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