Why we do this
These words were penned nearly 5 years ago and still ring true. This is one of the many reasons why our family leans into this program each year.
Wednesday October 31, 2018
Dear Friend of our Foundation:
As I look back on the last month and all the logistics and joy of our Halloween Costume events, I first want to send out the most heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make this all possible. To those who gathered and donated costumes, we could not have done this without your generosity. To our new incredible friend, thank you Dan Burda for your help in creating such a wonderful buzz and being a collection spot for over 370 costumes!! Amazing. To all my dear friends who helped sort and organize over 700 costumes, you girls are the best. And to all our amazing volunteers who helped us at our five wonderful events, your willingness to help share the love and joy and interact so beautifully with all the kids is truly a gift.
Although each event was special, there were two in particular that touched my heart very deeply.
We were at a local shelter when one family came in for their costumes; a Mom and her four children. Mom was clearly through a lot, she had a fresh black eye and she just looked completely exhausted. Her two youngest daughters were quiet and sweet. Her older daughter was quite the character and we had some trouble outfitting her, but she finally settled on a Mulan costume. Her son who was the oldest at age 14 really got to me, perhaps because he reminded me of our son Noah. He was quiet when he first came in and went about looking for a costume on his own. He found an adult Captain America costume, as soon as he put it on you could tell he was pleased. He couldn't help but smile when we made a fuss over his muscles! He started interacting with the younger children and seemed to embrace his new identity.
I sat down and had the sweetest conversation with him at the craft table. He told me he forgot how fun it was to do arts and crafts, that he loves to draw and he's had the same notebook for a couple years now and it's almost full. He told me his Dad didn't like him to do stuff like that. I asked about his friends and he said he hadn't seen them in a while, but stays in touch on social media. When I asked how he liked where he was staying, he told me they'd only been there for three days. We talked about school, he was being home-schooled but it wasn't going well, he is planning to start school again soon but is a little nervous. I could see he was not sure about opening up at first, but then spoke so sweetly and shared so much. I could barely hold back my tears as I sat next to this brave young man trudging through adolescence in a vulnerable life situation. He deserves better.
His Mom started to relax as the evening went on, she even picked out a costume for herself - a beautiful Cinderella gown. Her eyes lit up a bit when we told her how beautiful she would be. They were the last family at the event and as they were leaving, I told them how sweet it was that all the girls were going to be princesses, even Mom. They had their hero, Captain America to watch over them all, her sweet son could not help but smile. It was such a gift to meet this family. There was no denying the severity and desperation of their situation, it was all right there on their Mother's face. I can't stop thinking about this family.
Another special moment came in the Hill District, I met an older girl with her younger brother and sister. As they were leaving, I asked if they found costumes; they did and the big sister asked "do we need to pay?" I told them the costumes were free and I learned these were going to be a surprise for their Mom. The younger girl said, "Mom is going to be so happy. She won't have to worry and now we will have money for other things." My heart was so full at that moment.
You can see some images from the costume events - Follow this link to see your love in action!! -> HALLOWEEN!
There are many more moments I could share, but you should all know that even the smallest act of kindness, like donating a Halloween costume, can have such an impact on someone else. You may think it's no big deal, but to someone who is holding onto a normal life by a thread... it CAN make a huge impact.
The terrible tragedy that occurred this past weekend in our own beautiful city is evidence that what the world needs right now more than anything is love and understanding. It's not our job to judge or fear each other because of religion, skin color, sexual orientation or life situation. Our job is to share love, kindness, understanding and truth whenever and however we can. It doesn't have to be some grand gesture. Every act of kindness no matter how small can have an impact far greater than we know.
Thank you to everyone who helps us spread love in honor of Emma through our foundation, we are forever grateful for all the support and generosity. The road ahead is wide open and we appreciate you continuing on this journey with us. We challenged everyone last year at our fundraiser with our T-shirt slogan... How Will You Change the World Today?
The world needs you now...
BE the change.
Peace & Love,