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Thursday, December 11, 2014

MONKEYS IN BARBADOS!

Hi Marcia,

Mark, the kids, and I had a great time making our monkeys on a relaxing evening in our hotel room.  Two days later we took them to the children at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados.  We were not able to meet the kids, but, left them with the receptionist who had trouble finding someone to give us permission to visit the ward after hours.  Luke especially was reluctant to give his up, but, did so knowing it would comfort and give joy to a sick child or out of obedience to his mother.  I hope more the former.





















We had a great time in Barbados.  The people there were so polite and friendly.  The streets were so clean, yards uncluttered and everyone seemed calm, pleasant and well dressed.  We really enjoyed the food, sunshine, and warm ocean waves.  Being together was, of course, the best part.

Hope you and your family has a very blessed Thanksgiving.

Love,

Linda and family










Linda and I met last month in the mountains.  She fell in love with the monkeys.  How hilarious is this.....  She had 2 days to pack, but made it her priority to get socks and supplies to pack for their family trip to Barbados. 

Wouldn't  it be great to have the story of the 5 kids who received one of the vacationing monkeys?  

Linda....your family are great monkeymakers!  BRAVO!


This is the coolest picture ever!  MonkeyLove! 








Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A BITTERSWEET FAREWELL TO CHILDREN'S MERCY

Kodak moments.  The brain seems to take a photo and we are able to recall exactly where we were and what we were doing...like the day President Kennedy got shot.   And the day Ian got diagnosed with leukemia.

March 2008.  I was driving to the gym. I got the call.  Three year old Ian had been sent from the doctor's office to the hospital.  His blood count was alarmingly low.  The doctor suspected leukemia.

Within a short time, the diagnosis was confirmed.
 If you've had a sick child, a very very sick child, you understand.  It's pretty much an ongoing nightmare.  But you don't wake up for awhile.  And you do keep on going.  And going..........





               A month before Ian was diagnosed




Ian's treatments for leukemia lasted for the next three years.   Ian and his mom, made many trips to Children's Mercy Hospital.


You get to know the staff pretty well under the circumstances.  Enough kind things cannot be said about them.  Lives depend on them and their knowledge and compassion are invaluable and leave us with a great sense of gratitude.

I say this from experience, because within the year, I received my own diagnosis:  Stage 2 Breast Cancer.

Will and I visiting Ian's family in October 2010 in Kansas City
I promise, I was not trying to steal the attention.  It just happened,  and then I had a lot of time on my hands.  I wanted to do SOMEthing worthwhile.








At some point, I found the video about Brittney, a teenage girl with a chronic condition.  She was a very sick girl, but she found ways to bring up her spirits while blessing the lives of others.   She created coloring books for kids in the hospital, and she made sock monkeys with love.  Here is the link for Brittney's Video:  God Will Lift Us Up:

https://www.lds.org/youth/video/lift-us-up?lang=eng



What an inspiration.

 I learned how to make Sock Monkeys.

Family helped, and after awhile, we finally had two bags of monkeys which Ian took to Children's Mercy.

  That is how this blog began.  Ian loved the experience.  I did too.  After all, its MonkeyLove.


Ian Age 5
Ian finished his treatments at age 6, and last March, was his final appointment at Children's Mercy Hospital.  Why?  They are moving.   Corie reported that it was kind of a sad day.....a lot of good relationships had been developed, and a lot of strong, and emotional attachments.  It's a close knit group  at Children's Mercy.

One of Ian's favorites at the hospital,  was his nurse practitoner, Christy Gordon.  After checking him out, and hugs, she said, "Ian, can I ask you for a request?"

 "Sure!"

"Right before Christmas, could you send us a bunch of SOCK MONKEYS?  That was the best gift we've ever gotten.  Of all the things we have received, the kids loved the monkeys more than anything!  And when you send them, could you write a letter telling what made you start making them?  Its really special that someone who was a patient here is doing something for everyone.  Could you tell them about how you used to be a patient here, and now your'e better?  It would bring a lot of hope to the kids who are going through the tough things now."

It's almost Christmas now.  30 monkeys are ready to go in a box.  Ian is writing his letter.

Merry Christmas to the kids who are at Children's Mercy, and kids everywhere who are going through challenges.  You are brave.  Your beautiful smiles brighten up the room.  You are dearly loved by your Heavenly Father.  He will lift you up.














JUSTSERVE.ORG

 JustServe.org.  Its a community website.  Here is a part of their official description:





What is JustServe?

JustServe matches churches, civic organizations, non-profits, and governmental agencies that need volunteers with volunteers willing to help. JustServe.org links you to service opportunities in your community so you can make a difference wherever you are and however you want to serve.
Once we know what the needs are, we tell you about them here on JustServe or through Facebook, and then you can go and help get the job done. We make it easy to sign up and show up, on your time and in your way.
JustServe.org is provided as a service by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Following the Biblical admonition of the Savior to "love thy neighbor as thyself," JustServe provides opportunities to relieve suffering, care for the poor and needy, and enhance the quality of life in the community. JustServe is not for proselytizing or publicity for the Church—simply a service to match community volunteer needs with volunteers.

In our city, we're seeing that JustServe works!!!

Last month, for example,  the Methodist Food Bank (a local church that has been providing food for the needy in our city, for years)  posted their need for extra food for Thanksgiving on JustServe.   As a result, over 100 bags of food, in addition to turkeys and hams were delivered to their food bank.   One of the volunteers who worked the day the food was distributed, related that after the turkeys ran out,  there were a few more people standing in line to pick up their food.  The volunteers didn't know what to do.  "Have Faith!", one of them said.  "Something will turn up." Sure enough,  in a few minutes, someone drove up with just the right amount of turkeys.

 JustServe is making a difference.  One turkey at a time...one project at a time...one Monkey at at time.....

I found out about the website two months ago.  "What a great way to get the Monkeys out there!"  Indeed.... I have started to get a few calls and emails from people who are interested in helping:

A 7th grader named Emma contacted me yesterday.  She's a member of a Junior Scholastic program at her school AND she sews!  She is looking for volunteer hours.  What a better way to volunteer than to make monkeys!  I can't wait to meet you, Emma.

Another woman named Sue called. She's a recent empty nester and is looking for a good way to use some of her spare time.  She's been spreading the MonkeyWord to others that she knows.  Thanks Sue!

 Debra contacted me, anxious to learn the art of Monkeymaking. We're getting together soon.

I have always known that there are a lot of MonkeyLovers out there, but now with JustServe, we will be able to find each other.  My hope is that we can keep a steady stream of monkeys to the advocacy court and the Children's  Hospital.                                                                                                                                                                                                            
One out of the 30 monkeys going to
Children's Mercy Hospital for Christmas
"Every stitch stitched with love"
JustServe seems like its kind of a Craig's List for Community Service.

A monkey is a small thing.  A very small thing.

This Christmas video reminds me that it really is the small things that matter.  To the giver.  To the receiver.


 http://www.mormonchannel.org/christmas-videos?v=2919740155001#.VIW5-7gAZ_k.email

Merry Christmas to all!