Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Kindness & Generosity

This has been a busy start to our week! Ella started dance class yesterday morning and loved it. Its only 30 minutes (thank heavens!) because that's about the exact length of time that the twins are willing to sit in the stroller without complaining. We got home and they went down for naps, and Ella and I played Zingo. I had a conference call scheduled with other national team leaders for Great Strides at 1pm and I figured I could just feed the kids lunch, put the call on mute and listen while they played. However, during the time of the call, I had 2 different gutter guys knock on the door to discuss estimates. First of all, they were both supposed to be there yesterday. And what are the chances of them both showing up, at the same time, when I'm also on a conference call! I think that I got the most out of everything though. By some stroke of luck, the kids all played mostly quietly while I was on the call. The first gutter guy was giving me his pitch while introductions were still going on in the call. I had the second guy doing his measuring while I was talking to #1, and he didn't have a whole lot to say that I hadn't just heard so we cut to the chase and got his quote, and I was able to go about my call. Another gutter guy came at 4pm and was here until 5:40!!! Who knew someone had that much to say about gutters! Thank you sir, but please get out of my house. I have more important things to do.

I just have to say that hearing from other CF families is so inspiring for me. Some of these Great Strides teams raise hundreds and thousands of dollars every year for CF research. Others talked about the challenges of managing such huge campaigns while being a CF caregiver, because we all know that the passion of a CF parent to fund and find a cure is unparalleled. I could relate. I loved hearing all of their fundraising ideas as they ranged so far and wide. I wish I could do it all, I really really do.

You may recall this post about the Celebrity Waiters event and how put off I was by the lack of genuine care and concern about CF. People were there to rub elbows with other rich people and lost sight of the reason we were there in the first place. On the call today, one man made a good point. CF will never mean as much to many people as it does to you or I. Walking in Great Strides or making a donation toward Great Strides may not be for everyone, and I get that. The key is to find what it is that people will do, will enjoy and will contribute to either directly or indirectly. Every year, they have a St. Patricks Day party, because who doesn't love to drink?! They charge $75pp, they have food and drinks donated, the have bands and friends and fun, and they raise a BOATLOAD of money for CF. This year, they have over 500 people attending! That's over $37,000!!! ($37,500 to be exact!) Others are big into getting corporate donations, recruiting walkers to help raise $ (kind of like the pyramid marketing schemes, only in a good way) or doing letter mailing campaigns. People who have school age children do a lot of work with schools to raise money. One man has been working on getting corporate sponsorships from places like Papa John's, where a portion of all sales nationwide get donated to CF. Its incredible what people are doing! I need to spend more time talking to the people doing this so that I can broaden my reach.

I'll keep doing whatever I need to, whatever I can, to raise money for CF. You might not have time this year to walk, or the time or desire to host a fundraiser or any other type of event to raise awareness and support for CF. I don't have the time either. But I have the desire to have Drew around forever. I know that to ensure that CF doesn't win in our family, I need to make the time.

I got an email today with something in it that I wanted to share - "No matter how tired, discouraged, or overwhelmed, sad, or mad you might feel one moment, you will feel like a brand new brave girl after reaching out to another in kindness and generosity". How very very true. I've learned so much this past year and I think that I am a more kind because of it, and for that I will be forever grateful.

And as for the gutters, I'm probably more confused now than I was before talking to the 3 men who took up way to much of my time yesterday.

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