Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saying Thanks


Today we celebrated Kenny's 13th birthday.  It was replete with the traditional LaJoy Birthday Cake with sprinkles and toothpicks, a few specially selected gifts, thoughtful cards...and hugs.  Lots of them.  He was surrounded by those who love him and consider him to be an essential part of their family.

It is a far cry from where he was on his 8th birthday 5 years ago.  In fact, he didn't even realize he had a birthday, didn't know he turned a day older on a special day of the year, had never had a birthday party, a cake, presents...or hugs from a mom, dad, grandmas and siblings

An orphanage is not a place where the individual orphan is recognized often, if ever.  It is lonely, it is lacking in not only extras, but most essentials...essentials like food, clean clothes, medical care.

In 24 hours, those connected with our family via the blog and Facebook have elected to step forward and help us raise money so some of the orphans of Kyrgyzstan will feel special and cherished, even if only for one single day...Christmas.  Thanks to all of you, we raised over $1000 in the past 24 hours.  Thanks to you, there will be little Kennys halfway around the world who will jump up and down with delight, who will be more excited for Christmas than any day in their entire bleak lives..

And if you think it is solely about the gifts, think again. It is because someone remembered them, someone sent them long distance love.

Dare I ask it?

Can we do more?  For every few dollars raised, another child feels loved.  I hate that any children will be left out, and of course we can't take care of every orphan in a country.  But can we love a few more?

If it were for me, I'd never ask. But it isn't for me.  So I will. Can you spare $10?  Can you and your family sit down to just one meal of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and talk openly about how much was saved on that one meal to be sent for Christmas in Kyrgyzstan?  Can you give up one six pack (OK...who am I foolin', one 24 pack!) of Diet Coke and offer up that in exchange for a child's heart?

I'll tell you what I am going to do, aside from taking a pie in the face.  If we raise another $500, to total $1638, I will donate the equivalent of all my Diet Coke money through the end of the year.  Embarrassed to admit how much that might be, but suffice it to say that it will help us reach at least $1738 :-(

Kenny and Angela have already donated a significant amount this year, let me share the story with you over at John's blog.  I must say, sometimes our children set the example for us.  When it comes to giving, with no allowance and no steady job, only from money earned here and there (and most of it was 3 days of pulling terribly 6' high weeds), I'd like to share what dream they made come true for a young girl in Kyrgyzstan.  Read about how they became Dream Agents. I hesitated to post this link, for I do feel giving is best done when not highlighted, but maybe it will serve as an encouragement for others to see what they can do as well:

The annual Christmas Pie Challenge was started by our family on a whim, and it has grown to something I never imagined that night typing curled up on the couch as I giggled at the thought of raising money by having the kids whack me with a pie.  It has become a huge community undertaking which has spread throughout the United States and parts beyond.  I love what we all can do together!!!  I love what a mere $10 here or $25 there can accomplish!

Please, join us, reach out, offer not just your dollars, but your love and hope for a better future for all the children of Kyrgyzstan, and symbolically let every orphan on earth know they are never alone.

And to those who have donated, our sincerest gratitude.  I know some of you may know what an orphanage is like, but many of you have never set foot in one.  How I wish I had never done so as well, for my soul would not be forever haunted by what we have seen.

But then, who would speak for them?

You and I, that's who.  And we are doing so this week, loud and clear.  THANK YOU....THANK YOU!!!!


Anonymous said...

You get it to $1738, and I'll pitch in my Diet Dr. Pepper money till the end of the year. I think my contribution may match yours. Do you think that with all this product endorsement in your blog we could get Coke and Dr. Pepper/Pepsie to kick in matching amounts. Or we could have a tea versus coffee versus soda challenge. Vote for your favorite beverage by donating. We could even add an "other" category for those whose favorite beverage includes water.

Keep those pies acomin',

Tammy said...

Happy Birthday Kenny! What a difference from where you were 5 years ago to where you are now! I have no doubt that you will continue to be the handsome, charming and brought young man that you already are!