Friday night my home and the homes of several of my friends were turned into blanket factories. An initiative called Operation Blankie has been started to get warm soft blankets to every elementary-aged child who was displaced by the flood. I sent out an email asking for fabric, machines and time to be donated and within 24 hours we had a dozen flannel and fleece blankets packed up and ready to go. I was so glad to finally have a justification for all the fabric I’ve been hording. I’m sure Dan’s happy that I bought so much when it was on sale for $1/yard.
Thank you to everyone who donated money to help with flood relief. I know that many of you donated through the Red Cross and the United Way. Nearly 60 of you also sent money directly to me which I used to purchase a few specific items for people in need and so far $1800 in Home Depot gift certificates, K-Mart gift certificates, and Visa gift cards. I took them down this weekend.
On Saturday Dan and I had the best date ever, a full day rolling around in the mud in small town Washington. A friend volunteered to take both kids for 12 hours so Dan and I could drive down and work. Dan’s usually quite the dainty computer guy so it was fun to see him get down with his dirty side.
We spent most of the day removing belongings from an older man’s basement. The entire basement had been filled and a couple of feet into the main floor. Years of antiques, tools, documents and photos were damaged, some beyond recognition.
Luckily the fabulous Mary had emailed me offering to volunteer her time to clean and restore photos damaged in the flood. She was already working on some from a family Dan had helped the week before and she kindly took Bob’s stack of WWII photos and wedding pictures. This project will likely take her hours… weeks… months to complete.
Watching everyone jump in to help these strangers has given me spirit, real Christmas spirit for the first time in years. I have cried more than I’d like to admit as I’ve received donations and offers of time and skills.
I honestly sort of fell into this project and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done because it’s involved a small amount of effort from me and the huge reward of sitting back and watching people exercise compassion. Thank you so much for giving me this gift.