Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Cards for Ollie

'CHRISTMAS CARDS FOR OLLIE'
December 2010


Since last Christmas had the recent news of Oliver's diagnosis looming over it, I wanted to make THIS Christmas more joyful and happy for him. I thought of how much he loves getting mail, snail mail that is, and seeing his face whenever he'd get the mail and there would be a card for him, usually from one of my Grandma's church friends or a one of the 'Random Thoughts from Random People' -- (a middle school teacher and former co-worker of my mom's has sent numerous letters, quotes and pictures from herself and her students to Ollie throughout the year. She was anonymous at first, but then my mom somehow realized who was sending them).

Seeing him light up when he realized someone had sent him a special card, sparked an idea, 'Christmas Cards for Ollie'. I figured so many people send Christmas cards and I thought 'what a great way for Ollie to realize how much he is loved and prayed for'! So I created the request for cards page on facebook and was SHOCKED at how many cards he started receiving!


Ollie with one of his first cards from a local family of a little girl that had cancer. Her website:
Karsyn's Krusaders

Ollie, Finny and Bear all looking at cards! Finn and Jaren wanted to get in on all the action!

Love from Aunt Sue. Of course a kitty would be on the card! :O)

Cards...

... and more cards! "And I thought THAT was a lot of cards! Then boxes and boxes came!" - Oliver

Christmas package from the Stuarts. Their sweet little boy, Rex Stuart, had DIPG, like Oliver. Every time I see anything 'Toy Story', especially Buzz Lightyear, I think of him!


He received a few from friends and the majority was from friends of friends and perfect strangers! The first couple of days he got like 10 or so and after a few days our mailbox would be full!



Then our mail lady had to drop off letters and packages off by the box full!!! It was U-N-R-E-A-L!!! Ollie would be opening cards for HOURS!!! He got so many that he let his sister and brother help him open them and share in the fun!




Grandma had fun seeing all of the cards for Ollie.

Finny had fun pushing the boxes of cards around. I think it helped him learn to walk!


I didn't realize how moving an experience it would be for ME. I cannot believe the kindness of strangers. It was overwhelming at times and I was moved to tears just watching Oliver opening his cards. Each card from someone that took time out of their day to honor Oliver and spread some joy to little boy they didn't even know. Each card from a person or a family that has their own hardships and worries. I just couldn't believe the kindness. Individuals, families, schools, businesses, churches... so many people showing love to Oliver and our entire family.




Gifts from the Meek family. They put together a football fundraiser down in Des Moines back in June for Oliver. He was an assistant coach for the day!

He even got a card from Santa, complete with a photo to put on our fridge!

LOVE this picture of Finny looking guilty as he grabs cards and flings them all over the living room!

Look at all those cards!


Ed's dad's co-worker told him that she heard about Oliver on the local Christian radio station, Life 101.9, and the request for Christmas cards! So many people heard about that and sent him a card.



A man and woman representing a local motorcycle group dropped off lots of cards, a neighbor who lives around the corner came by with her daughter with some gifts and cards, a couple of kids from Four Oaks brought a gift and cards for Ollie, and so many more I can't possibly name them all!!! THANK YOU!




Brice, Natalie and Guy with Oliver

The prize for the largest card goes to... the Horan's! :O)

This was a common sight for a few days! :O) I think Ollie got a total of 5 large bins full of mail.

What a goofball!

video

Old Chicago restaurant in Iowa City sent over 75 cards from their workers and patrons! Just unbelievable! People were stopping by and wanting to meet Ollie. He said that he was famous like the president!!! :O)

One of my FB posts... December 20, 2010 - "There are so many cards... I just can't bear it!!!" Oliver -- getting the mail today! He was singing Christmas carols today... "I LOVE Christmas carols!!" One of his favorites is "Jingle Bells". He was also singing, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" paired with some wacky dance moves of course! :O)

This Christmas Oliver has received over 2,000 cards from all over the US and a few different countries as well!

(* indicates states he has NOT received cards from). I'm still counting cards and he's still receiving a few here and there.

UNITED STATES

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

*Connecticut

*Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

*Kentucky

Louisiana

*Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

*Nevada

*New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

*Rhode Island

South Carolina

*South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

*Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

OTHER COUNTRIES

Australia

Canada

England

Germany

Hungary

Israel (Palestine)

Japan

Norway


THANK YOU to everyone that took the time to send Oliver a card and make his Christmas so special this year! Thank you for your continued prayers and love for Oliver!


STORY IN THE LOCAL NEWSPAPER...
'Flurry of cards cheers up ailing boy in Waterloo'



2 comments:

Natalie Palmer said...

"Eden I have twinner PJ's with you!!!"--Natalie

Shar said...

thanks for the pictures! i love it! and what a nice article...hugs to your family. always thinking of you guys.