Thank you to all who participated in our grand giveaway. Each company is stellar for giving big and we hope to have motivated each of you to give back in a big way.. beyond your normal routine and responsibilities... always. There is a big need and honestly, it's a big feel good. Little compares.
There was one application that stood out above the rest. And although I'm thinking that many of you may think that she's pulling off a give that would be impossible for you to match, I believe that there was much thoughtfulness, sacrifice, planning, faith and compassion that allowed this to come about. That was our point. This is huge and we're thrilled to honor her. And hope that she may motivate you to do even more. But more than anything, we're excited for her and her family and all those who will be changed by their service on multiple levels.
Justyn's "big give":
I think it should first be said that I think giving back, especially if you involve your children, can be such a wonderful experience that I am not fully certain it feels as if you are giving much away.
A year ago my husband spend 6 weeks in Kenya working with an organization providing medical care to underserved HIV positive patients. Technically he was "giving" but the experience proved to be very personally rewarding to him. When he arrived home we began talking about going again as a family. At first we began thinking in terms of another 6-week visit. He is in a fellowship and has not yet had a chance to begin his career so a short stint in between fellowship and a "real" job. As we continued to think about it the ideas got bigger. We finally decided that the gap between training and career would be the best time to make a move and allow our children to live in a radically different culture and develop a real understanding for how very full their life in this world has been and it would also give my husband a chance to practice medicine in a way that is truly rewarding to him in rural Kenya. Finally, with the help of his program, we were able to arrange moving our family for a full year in 2009. Doing this will involve selling our home and our car and storing our things…. We have four children there are a lot of things ;)
That is my husbands give – although the children and I will be helping where we can and as a home schooling family with four small children I can not help but feel that my work wont change much – just in a very new place. I had been trying to think of a way to be involved and to let my children feel that they to were making changes in their lives for the betterment of the world. After reading about this challenge on tangled and true the wheels started turning. I started discussing with my children what we could do as we prepare to leave in the next year that would make the world a better place….. My daughter Isabella (age 7) suggested we "give away all of our things". Hmmmmm.
After a couple of days of considering the idea it began to make sense. We had already decided that we would pack for this year long move with no more than two pieces of luggage a piece - only the essentials – shipping nothing, but that leaves the matter of storing all of our things (beds, dining table, piano, shelves, and so on) for the year that we are gone. Why? We began having children when my husband began medical school – we were poor. Really poor. It was the help of our friends (and programs like WIC) that allowed our family to thrive, that allowed me to be home to nurture my babies and nurse them and that allowed my husband to pursue medicine. It seems amazing that after starting our family life with only (REALLY) a king size bed and box spring that we would store dressers and beds and tables for over a year when there are so many who don't have these things. So we began thinking about what we would keep – a few mattresses so that we have beds when we get back, photographs, a few special textiles that I collect, my husbands hand tools for the day when we hope he will be able to spend more time woodworking, a few special baby toys we would like to share with our grand children – it really was not coming to much.
So we have made it into a home school project - discussing to whom we would give our things. The girls insist that the piano go to someone who has little girls who want to play but no piano. My three-year-old son, Basil, wants to see his toddler bed go to "a wild boy". I have someone in mind for our dining table and computer desk and the children did a bit of Internet research (with help) to find a local organization that would really use and appreciate a lot of their playthings. Everyday we have a new idea for a new home for one thing or another. We know that coming home and starting over in 2010 is possible for us, an adventure really, and seeing our furniture and dishes, and beds and toys going where they will be used and appreciated will only add to the adventure.
Sooooo - We commit to give…. well, pretty much all of our possessions to organizations and families that can use them before moving our family to Kenya in 2009. This means of course that if we win some of the prize items will also go to new homes but I think this is part of the lesson of the environmentally friendly companies you have chosen.
Thank you and congratulations, Justyn and family! Be sure to email us with: 1. The color of Oeuf Lounger you would like and 2. Your choice of 30 FLOR Toy Poodle tiles.