**REPOST** This is a requested re-posting of a diary that I wrote and published on 04/10/2011- Please enjoy the diary, but more importantly, please donate to this amazing cause! I know that times are really tough, but if you have even $5, this cause is so very worth every penny!
I know every mother thinks her child is special. I am absolutely no different- the only difference is, both of my kids really ARE special! Beantown girl (hereafter known as BG) and beantown boy (BB) look no different than any other 15 year old girl or 12 year old boy, but looks are definitely deceiving in this case. This is our tale of family fund raising for the troops!
BB and BG are, as I stated above, your typical kids. They fight with each other; I can't get either one to clean their room or make their beds =) But in many respects, they aren't typical kids at all. They lost their grandfather(my father) last July after a short illness. Their aunt, my sister, has been battling stage IV ovarian cancer for 2 years and both of my kids have been through the wringer with this situation. My sister is like their second mom and her illness has really hit both kids hard. During the first
year of her illness, everything kind of came to a stop for all of us as we concentrated on helping her get through multiple surgeries and chemotherapy. Both BG and BB floundered a bit. Beantown dad and I had to break it to them that there would be no participation in outside activities, at least for awhile, since dad needed to work and I needed to be the caregiver to the family. That was 2009. In 2010, we decided it was time to return to some sort of normalcy- let BB go out for baseball, had BG participate in choir and band competitions. All was going right in our little world. Auntie was still struggling with chemo and hospitalizations, we just got better at managing everything-- and we just needed some "normal". Then my dad passed away in July-
admitted to the hospital on a Thursday, I was removing him from the ventilator on Saturday. Quick, painful and devastating. Once again, our world was upside down, only this time, we still had auntie with cancer, grandpa gone and the new responsibility of taking care of grandma. Two great kids trying to just be kids in a very grown-up world.
O.K., that's a little bit of the back-story. Now, on to the reason for the diary. When we were going through pictures to display at the funeral home for my dad, the kids came across his pictures from the Army. My dad hated every minute of his time in the Army, hated being away from his new bride; however, he was proud of his service to our country in the time of war (Korean War, to be exact). My husband and I had several great conversations with the kids about the Service, about war and about sacrifice. A month later, BG and BB and I were having lunch and talking about donating some things to Goodwill, cleaning out closets and getting rid of old clothes and making room for new school things. The kids were talking about wanting to do something for someone- both said that they felt like they had so much and there were some people who didn't have anything. A family member had just gotten back from his third tour in Iraq/Afghanistan and beantown boy said maybe we could do something
for someone in the Army- we could do it in honor of grandpa! DING, DING, DING-- it all came together for me. We came home and I got out a notebook and pen and handed it to my daughter. Write down some fund raising ideas- think of what we have seen done for all of our activities over the years, I told them. As they began brainstorming, I pulled up a couple NFTT diaries and printed them off, handing one to each child. I asked them to read through and tell me what they thought of donating to this cause. The rest, as they say, is history. Now, don't misunderstand, during these economic times, making any sort of headway with raising money has been a struggle- which has also been a good lesson for my kids. If you want something, you have to work hard to get it!
Here are a few pictures of some of the things we have done- bake sales being a major money maker! The flower cupcakes were a big hit! The bracelet is something my daughter made and took orders for in December. She made 7 bracelets for her classmates and sold them for $10. The girls gave them as Christmas presents.
Now, as I write the ending to this little story, my 2 kids are boxing up things from their room and the garage, labeling everything with a price tag for our upcoming garage sale. Hopefully we will raise a decent amount of money for the troops; whatever happens, though, I know I can never put a value to what my kids have learned! They will tell you, this fund raising thing is so easy, even a kid (or 2) can do it!