August 11, 2010


From my experience, you find two general types of families at a children's hospital. The most common are the ones who get rightly annoyed when things go wrong (and they always do) and then let everyone know about it. Not necessarily in a rude way, but before you leave their room you know that the nurse on the night shift botched the IV, the pharmacy got their drug wrong, their doctor doesn't come by until mid-afternoon, and the people in the next room are noisy. I'd probably fall into the first group. But there is another type, a rare breed. When you leave their room you have no idea about the botched IV, mixed-up drug, missing doctor, or noisy neighbors. What you do know is how deeply grateful they are to the doctors, nurses and staff who are taking care of their child.

One of my good friends Missy fits into the rare breed category. Her son was diagnosed with brain cancer a few years ago, and I was able to spend quite a bit of time with her at the hospital. She was always gracious, kind, and grateful to everyone around her, regardless of the circumstances.

Her son is now in the remission phase, and their family is giving back. They are spending two months in the Philippines working at a children's home. The stories they tell are the kind that make you feel guilty for your plush life here in the states. For running water, electricity, and utensils. You can read her blog at here. (This is one of my favorite posts)

True to her generous nature, Missy is offering me a way to purge my guilt, and my junk. They are sending over a 40 foot container next week, and need people to help fill it with supplies. Almost anything is accepted. Used clothing, food (expired food storage!), old appliances...the list goes on. They tell a story about bringing 100 spoons to give to the poor at one of their feedings. It was mayhem trying to pass them out because everyone was desperate to have one. Anything is appreciated.

So...skip the garage sale. Clean out your closets. Go through your food storage and get rid of those 24 cans of green beans you know your family will never eat. And give it to a good cause. You win because your house gets de-cluttered and you end up skinnier; they win because they can really use the items. Missy says that while the people are incredibly poor they are happy and so grateful for everything they have.

If you are interested in helping out, let me know (

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