Were you ever sick when you were a little kid? Maybe you had the flu, or tonsillitis, and you had to stay in bed; you couldn’t get out and play for a few days. If that happened to you, you might remember feeling a bit lonesome during that time.
On the eve of my sixth birthday, I fell and broke my arm. It was devastating. My party was canceled and I was confined to bed with no visitors. I felt as if my whole world had been shattered along with my radius and ulna.
Oh, my friends sent along the gifts they would have given me at my party, but I didn’t take joy in any of them. I was in pain, I felt isolated, and I felt frightened by all the uproar over my arm. Then, this teddy bear was brought to me.
Back then, his belly was a beautiful pearly white, and he had a jaunty bow tie. He was a gift from a man I didn’t know (one of my Daddy’s business associates). That bear came with a note to “Get better soon.”
Somebody I didn’t even know wanted me to get better? I can’t begin to tell you how that improved my spirit. And, of course I fell in love with that bear. Now, maybe that man was just trying to cozy up to my Daddy — but maybe he just had a big heart and wanted to make a little girl feel better. In any case it worked.
It’s now almost 49 years later and I still treasure that bear — a get well gift from a man I never knew. I’m not ashamed to tell you that when I’m feeling blue, that bear comes down from the shelf and sits with me to lift my mood.
Now, a broken arm is a minor childhood ailment. Imagine how a child with cancer might feel to get a gift from a stranger who cared. Imagine it …and then help me do something about it! You can!
We aren’t giving teddy bears. We aren’t giving afghans, like we did last year. But, we are giving gifts to 140 children who will be attending Camp Sanguinity (associated with Cook Children’s Hospital). The recipients of our gifts will be children with cancer and their siblings.
We are giving “medicine bags” with three lucky charms inside. But, you don’t have to make a medicine bag!
Don’t get me wrong, I need more medicine bags. I’m not even close to halfway there. But, I need lucky charms and a note of good wishes from you. Stop right now, before you forget about it, and go to that jewelry box or the drawer where you keep tiny trinkets. Have you got a tiny charm, an arrowhead, a lucky coin, a wooden nickel, a milagro, a miniature figurine (not glass because it might break)? If you can part with it to make a child feel better, then pop it in an envelope with a simple note of good wishes (remember that some of the children are siblings). Maybe even put your first name and where you live.
Send it to me:
P.O. Box 2241
Denton, TX 76202
Another excellent way to help, without getting crafty, is to tell people about it. The success of the Share A Square project (we had more than 400 volunteers from around the world) was because other bloggers posted about the project. I won’t be offended at all — in fact, you will have my never-ending gratitude — if you wanted to post a link to this very article.
When I receive charms, I’ll get them in medicine bags, and we will deliver them next July. Rest assured that I will tell you all about it. You can see some of the bags and charms on my Flickr page by clicking the pictures below.
Who knows? Maybe 49 years from now, God willing, some old woman who survived childhood cancer will pull out a well-loved medicine bag filled with those lucky charms and tell folks about how meaningful it was to receive a get well wish from a person she didn’t even know.