Today was a big day! Oliver and Ed traveled down to Iowa City for his treatment and I stayed behind to help out with the fundraiser. Amy, my good friend, and I ventured into the cold along with several volunteer gas pumpers and window washers to raise money for all of Ollie's expenses. There was family, life-long friends, church family, friends of friends, co-workers of friends and family... People I had never met were volunteering in the cold to help us out! We stopped by Logan Avenue for about 20 minutes to see how things were going. We then stopped by College Square in Cedar Falls and helped for several hours. I can't tell you how nice the employees at the Hy-Vee gas station were!!! One of the employees was my neighbor in my elementary school days. She ran out of the store and gave me a big hug! They provided hand warmers and hot chocolate for all of our volunteers! It was awesome to see the little ways that people were helping out and how generous and kind people were! We then headed over to Crossroads in Waterloo and I met the manager there and she gave me a big hug and we talked for a while. She was great and hilarious, too! ( I did 'tweak' my friend, Meg, as well as my little man, Oliver!!!!) They also provided food and hot cocoa as well as hand warmers to keep us all warm and toasty! I think it was like 8 degrees today! VERY COLD!!! Seriously... my butt and thighs were FROZEN!!! After a few hours there, we went back to Logan Avenue and finished out the day there!
This day was truly amazing, not only for me, but for a lot of the volunteers that were helping out. It restored my faith in people... in the overall goodness and kindness of perfect strangers. It was utterly A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and faith building.
Tara Thomas, a local TV news anchor, announced the event on Thursday as well as Friday morning. The local newspaper also had a small write up about the fundraiser as well. My friends had passed out countless fliers about Oliver and the fill'er up to many friends and businesses around the Cedar Valley. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!
I can't express how grateful I am to EVERYONE who played a part in how successful this was. Not only did it far exceed what anyone expected it to, but it really taught me a lot about people and again... restored my faith in them. You see and hear far too many stories of people only watching out for themselves the root of people's actions being selfishness. I was amazed... OVERWHELMED at so many different things I saw and heard today. I invite people to leave comments here about feelings they had, stories to share about your experience today. I talked to a good friend of mine who was brought to tears MANY times throughout the day because of the kindness of others. People didn't HAVE TO stop by today. They didn't HAVE TO donate. They didn't HAVE TO offer up hugs and kind words. They didn't HAVE TO offer food to the volunteers working in the cold. They wanted to and they did. It's one thing to WANT TO help out someone and it's another to actually DO IT. This has strengthened my testimony of service. It has strengthened my testimony of love and kindness. When we are serving others, we are in the service of God himself. We are serving His children. It's easier to serve them when we have a Christlike love for them. It has made me realize what I was lacking in my life and has made me want to be better -- to serve others more fully and to be aware of where the need is. I am so grateful for events in my life that are helping me to be more like Christ. I was told that there are many miracles happening because of this crisis in our family and this is one miracle... to look at my life and change what needs to be changed. I have so many different emotions swirling around inside my head right now. Sorry if things don't make sense. I feel like I just need to get it out even if it's in a jumbled mess! I'm brought to tears just remembering what happened on Friday. I just don't know how to thank everyone. I am amazed.......................