I haven’t written that much on here about the years my husband and I spent as Foster Parents. We have said many hellos and goodbyes in my life. This is a post I wrote a while ago. I still remember it like it was yesterday. I loved being able to provide a home for kids that needed it. I did not like saying goodbye. Not everyone is cut out to be a foster mom or dad but many can learn from this story.
Her arrival time was at 11:30pm. It doesn’t matter the age, color of her skin, her name, or even the fact that she had a gap where front teeth should have been. She might be miss America one day, or she might not. It doesn’t matter to this story if she did not have the finest of clothes like any other princess and her hair was not groomed. She didn’t have a floral fragrance or designer shoes on her feet. None of those things mattered but what does matter is at the moment she walked into the safety that my home walls offered, she matter. She mattered to my family, and my friends, and from then on she mattered to me.
She was a girl taken from her mother due to neglect and abuse. She was a young lady that had an attitude and a toothless smile. She wouldn’t eat her breakfast or the dinner set before her the night before. She wasn’t a healthy eater or mannerly. She was hardened by her happening in situations, but was softened by an act of kindness.
Her hair was braided by my friend and she gazed at herself in the mirror for what seemed like moments that she would try to remember for a life time. After braids adorned her hair, she refused to have them hidden by a hat or a scarf. She colored a picture for the lady that opened up her eyes to her own beauty as a gesture of thanks. When a child her own age handed her a tiara to take home she wore it on her head, and it never parted with her scalp. As her eyes closed shut that night, right above them was a symbol of a princess and a visual sign on the royalty that was before me. She again colored a thank you picture for unlocking a piece of playfulness that was lost. She was a tough girl, but was still an innocent princess inside. She wasn’t perfect and didn’t always act as a princess should, but to a little girl away from the only mother she knew she was doing just fine. Her occasional appearance of a smile said just that.
I often wonder if that if she didn’t have that silver crown given to her, if I would have realized the gift that was given to me. Every women, girl, or lady was once a princess and a part of them will always be. I now know that as I walk past a child in the drug store, or if I glance from my car into the school bus window, or the car next waiting at the light a princess’s heart is inside. It may be hidden, but it is there. I don’t know each child’s story, for every child has their own. Whether these young girls are spoiled or neglected, a healthy eater, or have a hair full of knots they still have a heart of a child. An inner loveliness worth far more then gold. That loveliness just needs to be discovered. This was a challenge but a beauty. This girl left my home and my eyes never set on her face again. I only had her for three days but she made me realize that every girl deserves a tiara, for every girl is a princess.
We can use this post that I wrote so long ago about how everyone can make a difference. Everyone. I encourage you to take a look at our SIMPLE service project that will be coming to a Walmart near you soon. Little acts of kindness and the simplest things CAN make a difference.
I would like to introduce you to my uncle. His name is Jack. He is a well educated man. He came from a very loving family. My grandmother, his mother, was one of the most influential people I had growing up in life. My grandmother and grandfather cared very deeply for all of their sons. They loved them well. My grandfather was a pastor and missionary, and that required them to live in another country for a time. All Americans, living in a different country, they had some struggles. I asked him to share his story because I know that there are kids that are dealing with similar hunger issues in every community in the US. They are there. Around neighborhood corners and across town, kids are feeling that hunger feeling. It is a feeling they will probably never forget. I know my uncle has not. Here is his story.
I remember it like it was yesterday. Rice, no butter, no salt. Rice for breakfast, rice for lunch, and rice for supper. Not a lot of rice, maybe a half cup. Remember no butter and no salt, not a hint of sauce or seasoning. We had the same meal the next day. We had it the next day too. In fact, that was the only meal we had for a month and a half.
I don’t remember for sure, but we may have had an eggplant once. I don’t like eggplant either.
We had been hungry before, but I never realized it. Before we went to the Philippines as missionaries Mom used to make pinwheels out of dough and cinnamon and sugar. She would serve them for breakfast, and the pastor would come by before we went to school and Mom would share some with him. I was an adult before I realized that Mom gave him hers and she went without.
But the rice was different, we all shared equally in hunger and I was old enough to know why. We lived on “support;” nice people would send the missionaries money so they could serve. But support failed to come in. A check from San Francisco ($50.00, big money back then) got lost or stolen in the mail. It took a month for mail to get to the Philippines, so we didn’t know it was lost for a long time. A second check also disappeared. Hence a month and a half of rice. Just a small portion. No butter. No salt.
I still do not buy rice. When I am being treated with arroz con habichuelas by my Puerto Rican friends I take just a spoonful. I still remember being hungry. Just like it was yesterday.
______________Jack Norton writes grant proposals so that underserved children, youth and families can have a better future. At heart he is an educator. He has devoted much of his life to understanding how people learn. He has taught in the church, in workshops, in the college classroom, at conventions and in community centers. His studies have grown him great respect for teachers and knows how really hard their job is. He believes children learn by playing, especially our youngest children. He travels near and far to take photographs to teach and inspire all. He loves his camera and aims to story tell through his images.
My name is Melissa Garcia and my daughter has Ankylosing Spondylitis……….
My daughter Taylor was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis in March 2013. She is just 17 years old. Ankylosing Spondylitis is a genetic brittle spine and joint disease that her father also has. As a mom it can be difficult to see your child in constant pain. She has good days and she has bad days. So far she is still able to attend school although lately she has been missing more and more days.
One thing that always makes her smile is crafting. It’s one of the things that she enjoys most whether is duct tape, scrapbooking, making cards, friendship bracelets etc. This week we sat down and talked about the shutins at church and how it must be lonely to not be able to get out and about. We talked about how lucky we are that she is still able to do some of the things that she loves and how nice it would be if we might be able to brighten their day just a little.
So we decided to pull out our favorite pink cheetah designed Fiskars scissors and make some cards to be able to send through our ladies bible study ministry. We thought how awesome it would be to get a hand made card in the mail instead of a store bought card.
Supplies we used:
- Fiskars Scissors
- Stamping Markers
Crafting with kids can often be soothing. When you have a child in pain they can often regress and shut themselves out. They may lay around and not want to get up out of bed because the pain is too much. Encouraging your child to do something they love can not only be encouraging but motivating for them. Even if your child can’t physically get out of bed, giving them activities to do like crafting can stimulate them and is good for their emotional well being.
Thanks Fiskars for helping me bring a smile to my child’s face today!
Melissa Garcia is the owner of ConsumerQueen.com and MyRoyalKitchen.com. Melissa is a savings specialist and consumer advocate. She has been featured in Ladies Home Journal, All You Magazine, Wall Street Journal , The Today Show and more. Melissa offers brand consulting, Twitter Parties as well as many other services.
I had asked any of my friends if they would share their gift of crocheting and how they use it for good. I was delighted that Sarah Pinnix stepped up and shared how she uses her gifts to put a smile on the face’s of children in her community. She even included directions with a pattern made for this exact hat. Thanks Sarah for being a Champion in your community.
Whenever I hear of someone in need of a little extra attention, I immediately start to think of ways I can bless him or her. Can I cook her a meal? Can I babysit her kids? Or will a simple phone call show that I care.
One of the ways I show people that I care is to use my crochet skills to make something unique. I can give something special, and no one else will have the exact same item.
One of my favorite items to make is this flowered cloche crochet hat (directions for pattern at this link) for an 18-inch doll. This hat fits American Girl dolls, as well as any other similar brand. Do you know a child in need, or one that could use a little extra comfort? Why not make this little hat and pick up an inexpensive 18-inch doll to show them you care?
This shell stitch beanie
is my favorite hat to make for newborn babies. You could reach out to your local hospital or homeless shelter to see if a new mom could use something like this, especially as fall and winter approach.
I love being a mom. My children mean so much to me. I hope with all of my heart that my children give back to this world more than they take from it. Recently, I came across a book of couple years ago that has remained on the bookshelf through all of the growing up and all of the spring cleaning seasons.
I love to read to my kids. Not just because the experts say I should, but because it creates teachable and memorable moments with my kids. The book is called “The Boy That Changed the World”. It was written by Andy Andrews and has beautiful art work from Philip Hurst. It follows the story of one boy named Norman (or maybe it was Henry, or perhaps it was George?) The story is written on the premiss that every little thing YOU do can change the world and shares the story of how just doing something small can make removed extra “make” a difference. It uses the analogy that just the flutter of a butterfly wing has the ability to create a gust of wind.
Amazon shares this description of the book:
“The Boy Who Changed the World” opens with a young Norman Borlaug playing in his family’s cornfields with his sisters.One day, Norman would grow up and use his knowledge of agriculture to save the lives of two billion people. Two billion! Norman changed the world! Or was it Henry Wallace who changed the world? Or maybe it was George Washington Carver? This engaging story reveals the incredible truth that everything we do matters! Based on The Butterfly Effect, Andy’s timeless tale shows children that even the smallest of our actions can affect all of humanity.”
The book’s story asks one continuous question: “was Nobel Laureate Norman Borlaug, Vice President Henry Wallace, Inventor George Washington Carver, or a Farmer Moses Carver that changed the world?” The truth is this question is one we answer when we make choices in our life, good ones and bad ones. We all have the potential to make a difference.
Our SIMPLE Giving program aligns right with this book by making it easy to give items to kids in need to help them thrive. The program provides the opportunity to donate these items at a Walmart checkout register! It might just be just a toothbrush to you but a little flutter of kindness could be a kind gesture that could make a huge impact for kids in your community.
Who knows? Maybe YOU could be the boy (or girl) that changed the world.
Last week, My family and I took part in a pretty awesome campaign. Thanks to Tyson when you buy a bag of nuggets this month at SAMs Club they donate a meal to feed a hungry belly. How fantastic is that?
I love doing these projects with my own kiddos. As a mom, I know we are making great memories while also instilling traits of great character and service.
You can become a hunger hero too! Here is how.
1. Head to your local SAMS club.
2. Feed your family with a bag of Tyson nuggets sold at Sam’s Club from August 17 to August 31, 2013.
3. Done! (Tyson is going to give up to 308,000 meals! Isn’t that great news?).
You already know Tyson® Fully Cooked Chicken Nuggets are amazing, now you can be incredible, too. Your family can be super heroes for a child in need, and all you have to do is buy a bag of nuggets.
Tyson Foods will donate a meal* through Champions for Kids for every bag of nuggets sold (up to 308,000 meals). So put on your cape, add nuggets to your basket, and proceed to feed!
Visit http://www.beahungerhero.com for complete details.
Cape attire is optional!!! 🙂
Seems like everywhere you look these days everything has a common theme: Back to School! There is Back to School clothes shopping, Back to School supplies and Back to School orientation. I figured I would challenge you to one more Back to School thing, Back to School cleaning! Yes, cleaning and by cleaning I mean the closets.
Last year, I realized that as I was buying new school clothes others were in need. It stuck me as my children’s closets and drawers were overflowing some children had none. Cleaning out the dressers and closets is one of those things that I continually put off. My kids dread it because I constantly am having them “try on this and see if it is to small!” In the end it is so worth it. Families are in need right now and having a clean and organized room starts us off on the right foot for the school year. The trick is getting them to a destination quickly so others can clean fill their drawers before the first day of school.
So, we challenge you to……
- 1. Grab your family. (Nothing brings a family together like giving)
- 2. Send everyone to their rooms with a mission to return with clothes that no longer fit or will not be worn this school year.
- 3. Take all clothes in good condition to a local thrift store or donation bin.
This is a truly simple way to be of service to your community. Be a CHAMPION!
Beyond our many simple service projects here at champions I always look for ways to get my kiddos engaged with helping those around them. It is important to me that they bring something positive to the world.
I was delighted to find Jellyfish Wishes.
is a way to brighten a child’s day while your kid can use his/her literary and writing skills. You send a card to a nominated child that is sick and staying in the hospital. These card brightens days of sick kids across the nation.
You can check them out and visit their web page.
This Month’s Simple Service Projects:
Elmer’s Bag it Forward
Dole4Kids Back to School Snacks
We are so excited to be able to share our story here on our new blog with you. We hope it is here that you can be encouraged to make changes within your own community. We love to hear the stories across the internet on how and why you are becoming CHAMPIONS for Kids. We are interested in your community and would love to see where you are seeing the needs in your own community. We are also looking for a couple guest posts too. Below is a survey. If you are a blogger we would be honored if you take a couple of moments to answer these questions.