Eliza Grace is quite the mighty girl! I have to thank her for helping our family find more meaning this Christmas season as we committed to another year of sewing and selling bears. Before I give her all the credit, I have to say that this labor of love is something our entire family takes part in. I had the idea to ask the young women in our ward to help sew with us one night. That idea expanded to including the relief society, sister missionaries and activity day girls. Prior to this activity, Eliza and I collected donations of fabric, stuffing and ribbon. We were so touched by people's willingness to give and help us sew.
Here's a look at our set up the night of our activity. It was pretty basic but that's because my ideas are pretty basic! Ha!
Our Bishop even stopped by to help!
That night we completed 25 bears
and had a head start on several more!
Our family finished up 25 more!
My friend Jill had the idea to sell the bears in front of a grocery store.
We were so grateful for Fresh Market for happily agreeing to our request!
After setting up shop,
Dad took the boys home who were both getting over an illness.
Lottie and Eliza helped sell the entire time.
We were there less than an hour and a half.
They went fast!
A woman who works at the school for the Deaf and Blind bought ten bears!
She also gifted us with Santa hats so that we looked more festive as we sold the bears.
We had a sweet group of carolers stop by near the end.
We raised enough money to send 11 girls to school! Adding to that achievement is my sister in law Liz who lives in New York. Her activity day girls saw what Eliza did and wanted to help! They did a service project and ended up earning $400.00!! That means we will be sending 19 kids to school in Nepal next year!
Eliza will be delivering the two checks to Choice Humanitarian in person the week following Christmas! Sitting on that blue couch in our basement, while watching a Christmas show as the kids stuffed bears is a memory I hope they someday cherish as much as I do.
This project coincided with the height of Henry's violin performance schedule and the beginning of an illness that would slowly cycle through each one of my kids. The timing was brutal and my stress level was high. But! With Heavenly Father's help, we received the right type of donations at the right time. The weather cooperated. The volunteers showed up and generously gave of their time and supplies. We sold the right amount of bears and were able to surpass our goal with donations that came in after we sold out of bears. When our cause is one that will help others, Heavenly Father will help us.
This year our Church has encouraged everyone to #LightTheWorld. We've been asked to serve others the way that the Savior did. Doing our best to participate has made the holiday season more meaningful. Sewing bears and seeing Henry share Christ's light through music are two of the ways that we did this. However, I have to add that the small acts of kindness that I see in my home are equally important. Here's an example: Forrest is given two skittles at the end of preschool each day for good behavior. The other day, when I picked him up, he was holding tightly to an orange skittle. His sweaty palm helped that orange coloring spread all over his hand.
"Why don't you hurry and eat that so I can hold your hand while we cross the street." I said to him.
"No, Mom! This is for Lottie! I am saving it for her!" It was darling. He had held fast to that little skittle for a long time so that he could share with his sister who was super appreciative. As much as Forrest "takes" he is certainly learning how good it feels to share and give. And that makes me so happy.
And finally, a video: