Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Some amazing people.........

This summer as our family has worked hard getting crops planted, hay baled and now silage chopped. We have had the privilege to see some amazing things among the groups of people we spend time with. Our rural country church had vacation bible school in June. For their daily offering, the kids generally pick a charitable organization to contribute to. This year the Central Missouri Food Bank's 'Buddy Pack' program was chosen. This story starts back long before VBS, as many of you know our kids go to church with, are in 4H with, ride the school bus with, etc etc etc the same set of kids mostly. Last fall our 4H club was presented with a program on the Buddy Pack program by a good friend of mine, Shelley Becker. She works at the food bank as their grant writer. While the parents were concerned that maybe the facts and figures were over their heads.........those kids turned around and the next meeting planned to go and volunteer at the Food Bank. One day after school the moms gathered everyone up and we went to the food bank and made some huge amount of Buddy Packs up, I wanna say about 400, in less than an hours time. The kids were thrilled, amazed and ready to go back and help again. The Buddy Pack program is near and dear to the kids' heart. They see some of their classmates helped by this program weekly throughout the school year. It makes their hearts feel good to know that they could help with their own skills in a program that they see working. The Buddy Pack program is a bag of food sent home in backpacks every Friday throughout the school year with nonperishable easy to prepare foods that are healthy for the kids to eat. This helps families who would otherwise struggle to feed their kids. I don't know the actual percentage, but I know as a substitute teacher, in a class of 20-ish students, I have seen as many as 5 or 6 qualify in a classroom. We are so thankful to live in an area that works so hard to help families with kids, get them fed! Now fast forward to summer, with that memory of helping in their minds, when asked what group could we help with our VBS offering, they shouted in unison---Buddy Packs!!! And helped they did!! I takes around $180 per kid to sponsor this program through the school year, and I think at last count its getting close to 9,000 kids that are helped in the central Missouri region. Well 30 Tulip VBS students and their families, raised $740 dollars in a weeks worth of offerings to pay a yrs worth for 4 kids to get Buddy Packs, plus a little extra!
If that was amazing enough to witness, remember how I talked about my kids hanging with the same kids in about everything that they do? Well another project my good friend Shelley is involved in is the Central Missouri Honor Flight, which takes WW2, Korean and Vietnam War veterans to Washington DC to see their monuments and to just honor them and thank them for their service to this country. This spring we had Shelley back to a 4H meeting and another program was shared, this time on the Honor Flight. After watching this program the kids thought it would be great to try and help this group as well. It was decided that we would raffle off a quilt to try and raise money to sponsor a veteran to go on this Flight. Having been given a lot of scraps by my quilting friend Dee and after going through my own stash, I came up with the idea to do a 'Patriotic' quilt, we were selling the tickets around the 4th of July, it was to raise $$$ for veterans, it seemed like the thing to do. After getting the quilt pieced, I sent to another friend of mine Jan who has a long arm quilting business. She quilted it for us. When I went to pick it up, instead of a bill there was a note that said, 'If it wasn't for 4H I probably wouldn't be sewing as a business, 4H was a big part of my life growing up and I am so proud of what you all are doing, so I am donating the quilting at no charge!' What a wonderful woman, she's that anyway, but wow, what a great way to help. During the local fairs, our 4h members sold tickets and the quilt was drawn for at the end of our county fair. The winner is already enjoying it at her house. We added up the ticket sales and found that not only do we have enough to sponsor a veteran (takes about $300) we are just a few dollars short of sponsoring TWO VETERANS..........I mentioned that on facebook the other day and I think that through more friends, we will be ready to send the Central Missouri Honor Flight a check for $600 from our 4H club.
Now as anyone who pays attention to anything at all, you know things aren't good with the economy, haven't been for a while now, certainly this summer's drought has been rough on farmers in many areas. I would guess 90% of people involved in these two projects are rural people and several were involved in both projects, with a little hustle we were able to help two very worthy causes. And what we have gotten out of these experiences have been amazing. So proud of our friends, neighbors and family. Thank you for reaching into your hearts and finding ways to help others even when much wasn't to be found in your own pockets. You are amazing!

Links to the Charities I mentioned are:

Wishing the silage chopping would get rained out,
From Tulip~

1 comment:

Shelley Becker said...

On so many levels I thank you, Kathy. You not only have generously & directly supported two programs I cherish (Buddy Pack & Central MO Honor Flight) but you are showing all of us (young & old) how to do more than "like" something. You step up and make a difference in your actions, your words, and your heart!