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!
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!
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.
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!
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 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.
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'