Wednesday, January 11, 2012
An Unforgettable Birthday
Yesterday, I had the awesome opportunity to purposefully spend a day making an impact in my world. I would have written about it sooner but to be honest, I was exhasted. I also needed to spend some time processing everything that we had seen, heard and experienced.
We started out our day quite early. I was up about 5:00 so that I could finish getting everything ready for our day, including some homemade cinnamon rolls, yummy! Our first stop of the day was Eleos Coffeehouse, the vision of Dan and Wendy Smith. It is located in the urban core of Kansas City. We had the chance to learn more about what they do and how they make an impact of the neighborhood where they are located, which is a "tough" neighborhood. We packed up 40 bags full of food and supplies for the those that don't have even the basic of necessities. My eyes were opened to the needs of this awesome one-of-a-kind ministry and I am excited about continuing to find ways to make a difference there. We also purchased a large dispenser of coffee to take with us and deliver at our next stop.
That brings us to our next location-Truman Medical Center in the Emergency Room. My sister, Heather, works there so it was fun to be able to meet some of her friends and drop off fresh coffee and homemade cinnamon rolls.
We then headed to the Kansas City Rescue Mission. I'm sorry to say that I didn't even know it existed. I can't wait to go back and get a full tour! We dropped off some donations and cupcakes there.
I have the opportunity to make a meal for a family with a sick baby at Children's Mercy Hospital and am looking forward to making their stay a little easier. I don't know this family personally but I do know that their beautiful little girl that is about the same age as Bella, is fighting for her life. Please pray for this family, I cannot even begin to imagine what they are going through and have been going through for the past year. We were officially finished in Kansas City and it was time to head back to Olathe.
We had an appointment at Aberdeen Village which is a nursing home/assisted living facility. I have to say that this ended up being one of my favorite stops of the day. We divided up into three groups and got the chance to help out in different areas. My dad and husband also had the opportunity to donate blood here. I really wanted to do the same but since I'm running a marathon in 5 days, was told that it would probably be best to wait. So, I signed up to donate when I get back from my race. I and three of my children got to sing with a group of sweet folks and my daughter, Natalie, got to play her flute for them. Others in our group called "Bingo" and then the last group got to participate in a craft. A sweet little lady that we met loved on my kids and brought them back to her room and gave them candy. Everyone there was so welcoming and it really touched me!
When we finished at Aberdeen, we headed to our former neighbors whom we love and miss and gave a flower and kisses to her. Not too far away from there, we went to the park that we frequently ran at and cleaned up a portion of the trail. What a beautiful day we were given to be outside!
We were all getting pretty hungry so we headed to Chick-Fil-A and bought lunnch for the vehicle behind us. We also picked up lunch for our children's pastor at church, Pastor Scott, and dropped it off along with goodies for the other staff.
At that point, the three little ones were pretty tired so my older sister, Stephanie, met us and took them so that we could continue on. Thanks, Steph!
We then headed to a fire station that I frequently run by, Olathe Fire Station # 3. We stopped in unexpectedly and they were so kind and welcoming. We did bring brownies though:) They went out of their way to show the kids the huge tanker truck there and even treated us to a very special surprise. This stop ended up being one the kids' favorite stops!
Next, we went to QT and a laundromat. At QT, I bought several people's drinks and even had the chance to give a Wal-Mart gift card to a mom there with several young children. She was so sweet and mentioned that she needed diapers. I won't ever forget her face! At the laundromat, the kids tried to hand out quarters to people there for their laundry. It's interesting to see the different reactions that people have when people unexpectedly give them something.
We were then going to feed the meters in downtown Olathe and found that we don't have those anymore. I guess its been a while since I've been down there. The Olathe Police Dept was our next stop where we dropped off cookies. The gal there was a bit suspicious I think and couldn't figure out why we were bringing food to them. My sister, Heather and I latered laughed that they might have thrown our cookies out because the person there wasn't sure about us:) Anyway, we went to the Highway Patrol also and gave them brownies.
We had so much fun at the next stop, the Olathe Animal Shelter. We dropped off supplies for them, including towels, blankets and laundry detergent. We were fortunate enough to get to hold some beautiful puppies that they had. There was some begging for a pet after that stop, as I'm sure you can imagine.
I was excited to head to Olathe Medical Center where we visited the Emergency Dept and the pediatric floor. The girls helped put together a basket full of fun things for kids to do while waiting in the ER and then we brought a balloon up to the Pediatric Floor for a little boy hospitalized there. We also brought cookies for my fellow staff there and got to say "Hi".
Onward and upward, we continued on. I have to admit that the day was getting long but we only had a few more stops to make. We stopped next at Mission Southside. It serves many different purposes but specifically, we brought food for them which they use to fill up backpacks for those kids here in Olathe that are below the poverty line and would otherwise go without. The kids bring the backpacks home on the weekends when they don't get school lunches so that they have something to eat. We also dropped off some clothing. They hold Free Garage Sales 1-2 times/month where those in need can come and get the things they need for absolutely free!
We then had the neat opportunity to stop in and see another couple that we had the privilege to live next door to. We brought them a flower and just visited for a while. We're always excited to see Ann and Lee.
My mother wasn't able to participate in the day with us because she had to work so we headed to Price Chopper and bought drinks for all the pharmacy staff (non-alcoholic, of course).
Just a short trip across the street was where we ended our day by donating some more clothing at Savers. Its a store that benefits Big Brothers, Big Sisters.
Whew! What a day. If you count it up, not quite forty different tasks but we certainly had the chance to impact over forty people. What a huge blessing! I will never forget this birthday. I want to thank those that helped, from giving ideas to actually helping me as we drove all over accomplishing those tasks.