Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cookies for Callie

It has been too long since I've blogged, but extra time these days is extremely rare, and normally doesn't last long enough for me to sit down and dedicate the amount of time that this post deserves. Having said that, I'm going to attempt it right now because Konnor and Mckenzie are playing Disneyland Adventures on the Kinect, and Parker is trying to break the vaccuum right in front of me...

Last weekend was Cookies for Callie, and it went great! I am lucky enough to know some really amazing people who had amazing suggestions, ideas, abilities, and items to donate. Several months ago Mckenzie wanted to do a lemonade stand for my fundraising so I wrote a little Facebook inbox to several of our friends with kids and asked if it was something anyone would want to be involved in. We had a great response and one of my friends, who is the biggest example of living life charitably, mentioned that she had planned on doing a yard sale later in the summer and donating all of the money she made to GSF. Everyone thought it was a great idea and we started planning. One friend called around to local churches to find a place to hold the sale. We worked through lots of different schedules to find a Saturday that we could make work, tossed around lots of ideas, and we set the date. Then we all got crazy busy with Summer vacation, kids, family, church responsibilities, work... you name it. These women are among the busiest that I've ever met. When I realized it was only two weeks out we got back to work finalizing plans, making fliers, advertising on Craig's list, and letting everyone know that if they wanted a way to get involved and help, but didn't feel they could donate money for whatever reason, this was the way to do it. We bought matching Never Give Up t-shirts, wristbands to sell and got lots of change for Saturday morning.

Let me say that this was one of the most amazing things that I've ever been a part of. People went all out for this. For Callie. For GSF. Some even for me. So many people had so much to donate that I had to go collect items on Thursday AND Friday before the sale. We had two friends bring their lemonade stands for us to sale our baked goods and drinks from. On Friday several of us went to the church to collect and sort. There were people I knew well, people I had never met, some I had seen once or twice. I got to the church at 5 o clock and never sat down once. Loads and loads of stuff were brought in. Some people brought things both days. We had several people sorting and pricing all night. We filled (and I mean FILLED) two big rooms full of stuff. Not just any junk either. People donated a Play Station 3, a Prada bag, Vera with tags still attached, a beautiful acoustic guitar, $400.00 shoes (several pairs, in fact), there were baby clothes, luggage, text books and hand made cards...almost anything you could imagine. Not to mention the beautiful home made cookies and cupcakes and truffles and... Several women asked if their husbands could come help the next morning, some people even volunteered to have their teenage sons come out. At 5am. On a Saturday. When we finally left at 9 that night most of our items were not priced, despite the hard work put in by a group of people working a maximum effort. When I got home that night I thanked my mom for keeping my kids, got them all ready for bed and to sleep and then sat down to make signs. I didn't even close my eyes that night. Parker was sick and I felt like I was too from being so nervous. At 4 am , I got dressed and loaded up two caffeinated sodas, a water, signs, markers, money and my nerves into Aarik's truck. When I pulled into the church parking lot a few minutes early I expected to be the first one there, and alone for awhile, but just ahead of me my sweet friend and her husband were pulling in. She's pregnant, and had other obligations that day AND her baby shower that evening that was planned around this event. Within minutes we had an army in. Moving tables, chairs, and boxes full of sale items. Organizing and setting up tables, pricing things and making magic. I couldn't believe how smoothly it went. We were ready to go before sale time and good thing since we had a few early shoppers. Everyone did more than their share of work and it was very obvious how much love they felt for Callie, and her parents, and grandparents, and for this cause. As tired as we all were the day of the sale was fun and went by quickly. There were a few times that seemed like things weren't going as we had hoped and there weren't many shoppers, but then it would pick up and lift our spirits. Callie came for a visit. Lots of friends and family showed up to help, and shop and make cash donations. One man came before work and then again afterward. One of the elderly women from our church ward came at 7 and stayed a few hours to help. Some of our kids stayed the whole day, some for a short while, and they ran the baked goods table (and one ran the show. Seriously, girlfriend was on top of things!) It was so beautiful to watch every person come and say "I'm sorry this is all I can do" "I wish I could do more" and then to see what it all came together to be. Beautiful to see that if every person would jut do as much as they can do, no matter how big or small they feel their contribution is, that something beyond great can be accomplished. At the end of the day we had another small army come back in and clean up and drop off leftovers to the closest Goodwill and just like that it was over.

When we first decided to do this, I hoped we would spread awareness and make $500.00 or more. With all of the hard work put in I changed that goal to $800, just enough to reach the $2000.00 goal I'd set several months back. We actually raised $1970.00 for Cookies for Callie alone!!  Amazing! I wish I could thank each person individually, though no one did it for any type of praise. People kept saying that I was in charge, but really this small army of people made this whole thing happen. Good people, with big hearts, who want to make the world a better place however they can. I can't speak for Josh and Aimee and Callie or any of the other local SMA families that helped with and were thrilled about this event, but they were so grateful for all of the work that went into this event. We are planning to make this an annual event and are so excited for next year! I'm going to post a few pics and then I have to run (literally). I've missed two weeks of long runs between sick Parker, seriously painful shin issues and the exhaustion of the wonderful weekend this event brought on. Hope to find time soon to post about my recent issues with clumsiness and losing important things, more about running, my new job teaching cycle and Konnor and Mckenzie starting soccer!! Thanks again to everyone who made this happen!!

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