Sunday, December 14, 2008

So much to do, and so little time! That always happens at this time of year. Here are a few things we have been doing this week. I hope you make it to the end of the post, it's so exciting!!

We have been busy collecting toys for our toy drive for Schneider's Hospital. A BIG GIANT THANK YOU to all of you. We have received so many wonderful toys, and so many nice donations too. The student council at Colby and Hannah's school decided to hold a raffle, collect money and purchase toys for the toy drive. They have been such an amazing support to us for Hannah's Cans for Cancer, with the BIG fundraiser last year, as well as their donations for the toy drive. They dropped off the toys on Friday night after they went shopping...what a great collection of toys. Thank you so much! Also, Colby's class along with another 6th grade class collected toys in their classrooms. Colby's teacher sent a note that in place of teacher gifts this year, they would like the children to buy toys to donate to the toy drive instead. How great is that? Colby's teach (and all of the teachers there) are just terrific.

Each day we arrive home, Hannah checks the toy donation box, and each day, there are more toys. Thank you to all of you that took the time out to buy the gifts, then drop them off. Wait until you see all of the toys we have collected, it's amazing! This is truly what Christmas is all about, helping others. I feel so fortunate that Hannah is doing so well and we are collecting toys, rather than in the hospital. We are blessed.

Tonight we separated all the toys into age groups. We put them all in big boxes, so when we get to the hospital we can easily find an appropriate toy for each child. Mrs. Santa was dropped off tomorrow, so I'm all set. Santa and the elves will be arriving shortly. The girls and I also finished shopping for the family we are adopting. Those gifts we will wrap and put together for the girl and her mom. We will be delivering those gifts also on Wednesday, along with the gifts for the other 2 families that have been adopted by another local family that reads Hannah's blog and asked to adopt 2 families this year, WOW!! 

We also had a party and collection for our overseas troops at the 4H this weekend. We arranged to collect items of need for our troops to send to Operation Moms (Men/Women of Military Service) Cookies. They are a not-for-profit organization that collects items and packages them to send to our military service men and women. Each 4H member purchased items from the troop wish list, and collectively we put together an amazing group of items. We also made cards to go along with the items, expressing our thanks for their service, and well wishes. The clubs really had a good time making the cards and they looked great. Here is a picture of the group with their items and cards. 

Today Hannah was adopted! WHAT?? I learned of an organization called Friends Of Jaclyn (FOJ)from someone else's blog. You can read about this amazing organization in-depth online at their website. From their site, FOJ matches a child with a college or high school sports team based on geographic location. Once the team and child have been matched, there is a ceremonial adoption. The child is surrounded by 20 or 30 new friends that rally around him or her. A deep bond is formed between the child, the child's family and the sports team. The relationship is a priceless gift. The gift is in the relationship; a child is gaining a loving support network and the team is gaining an insight into the value of life and the power of love. The result of this connection is mutual respect, support, friendship and love. I contacted Denis Murphy, Jacqlyn's father, and he responded very quickly. He has been working for a few months now to match Hannah up with a team, and notified us a couple weeks ago that the Hofstra Softball team was looking for a girl to adopt. It was a match!! We met with the team and two of their coaches today. What a wonderful group of girls, they were so welcoming and down to earth. Hofstra ia a Division 1 softball team, and very good! They won the NCAA championship last year and we hope to be there this year with them when they win it again.

We ate breakfast with them, met them all, and shared Hannah's story. They had sent the girls both t-shirts a couple weeks ago, and today they presented both of them with their own official softball team jerseys. The girls were so excited and Dave and I were just humbled to see these college girls so interested in being involved with little Hannah. We saw where their team played, and heard about their demanding workout schedule, and dedication to their team. They are like a family, and they made us feel like a part of that family. Maybe they don't know how much this means to Hannah and to our family, but it is a support system that we didn't have before. It seems to come at such a perfect time, with Hannah dealing many emotional issues. They asked Hannah to be their bat girl at their games, so I hope we get to attend many of their games this year. Their official season starts in February, so we are really looking forward to that.

I spent some time talking with one of the girls on the team whose boyfriend was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma just days before she signed with Hofstra. He went through chemo and radiation, and she went with him. They thought he was in remission, but it recurred in a new area. He passed away. I felt a bond with her because, unfortunately, she knows what Hannah has gone through.

Here are a few photos from our visit, including a big group hug. Hannah said she is going to put together a video from our day with all of the photos, so when she is finished, I'll share that here. 
I'm off to wrap presents...thanks for visiting,



Kathy said...

Hi Kim and Team Hannah,
Wow, you have been busy! Your family is such a good example of giving back! You are doing such wonderful things. I can't wait to see photos from Wednesday.
That 's great Hannah was adopted by the Hofstra Softball team. What a great relationship you are already forming with them. That is such a good program, for the kids and the athletes. My mom went to Hofstra!
Have a wonderful time Wednesday!
Love, Kathy and Team Kelly

Anonymous said...

Hi There Kim!
Oh My.. You guys have been so busy! I love it! I love that Hannah is doing so great this Christmas and you guys are geared up to give back! I am so Happy for you guys!
Enjoy your gift giving extravaganza~ I can't wait to hear all about it.
Pass out hugs to the girls from us and save one for yourself!
Hugs and Happy Holidays!
Amy.. Kasey's mom