The idea that Hopeful Threads could be a springboard for something more, a new outreach or ongoing care for a specific need, is one of the most touching and inspiring things about being a part of this community! I find myself overwhelmed with excitement and humility when you share how you have taken ONE SMALL THING from Hopeful Threads and turned it into something very personal and much bigger. Today, I've asked Stacy from Stacy Sews and Schools to share how she has done just that in her own community. Disclaimer....she has some super kind things to say about us too and I promise I didn't bribe her! ;)
Take it away Stacy...
First off I would like to say how in AWE I am of you, Kristy and Hopeful Threads! It is just amazing to me to see how many different charities and people you and your readers reach. I think you, the blog and the readers are AWESOME!!!!!!!
When I saw the project for August - "Give Hope" US Foster Care it connected with me right away. You see, I went to foster care once. It was only for a day but it made a HUGE impact on me. I was lucky in that I had other options and called my Dad to come get me from a few states away. Most kids do NOT have another option.... Most kids go into the system and stay there.... And when they go into foster care the majority of them go with NOTHING. That was me. When I was picked up at school all I had were the clothes on my back and whatever was in my purse. I was 16 and scared out of my mind. Who were these people they were taking me to? Were they nice? What did they expect of me? Where was I going to end up? To say I had trust issues would be putting it mildly. I believe that most kids in that kind of situation are going to have trust issues.... They should have been safe at home but for whatever reason, their home lives were such that they had to be removed from them and put into the care of strangers.
THAT is why this project spoke to me so much. These kids need so much love. They need so much HOPE! Hope is a big word. What if we can give them a little hope and a little love?
What if I could do this ALL the time and not just one month. How many kids in my own back yard could I reach? CAN I do something like this?? The answer was yes, I COULD do it, with lots of help..... LOL
I called the lady that was in charge of foster care in my area and asked her a few questions. Is this something that would be needed in our area? What would she like to see in the bags? What was the age range that she was seeing the most?
I started off thinking that I might be able to do it all on my own and quickly found out that no... I could do a little on my own but to really make an impact I needed to get more people behind it. So, I called my pastor and ran it by him. That's when I started calling it Bags of Hope and Love. My pastor thought it was an excellent idea and invited me to speak to my church about it. Let me just say that my church family was realllllly amazing. They embraced the idea fully and firmly. I had so many donations coming in that I had to dedicate a closet to JUST Bags of Hope and Love!!! And my friends were amazing, too. I had a ton of donations coming in from all over the country. People were donating fabric to make the bags as well as the items to go in the bags. Something like that can really help you see just how many good people are still in this world. One of my friends even took this idea before her church in Indiana!! Now they are doing Bags of Hope and Love, too!!!
When we decided to move I was a little heartbroken. One, I didn't want to leave my church family and two, would anyone take over for me there? Would Bags of Hope and Love still be there for those kids? Yes and yes! I made an announcement before church that we were moving and that I was looking for someone to take over me there. After church a sweet lady came up to me and said that she wanted to take it over! WOOO HOOO!! It would still be there for those kids! :) AND after I am settled here I hope to get another "chapter" started in this area! SO many more kids to reach!!!!!! So many more needing a little hope and love!
So, you see, YOU can do it. YOU can get out there and make a difference! If I can, anyone can! Just take that first step and see what happens! ;)
I want to give more props to Kristy. If I had never seen this project on Hopeful Threads it would have never occurred to me. THANK YOU, Kristy, for ALL that you do!!!!!!
Here's a link on my site that explains a lot, too.
Thank you Stacy. Thank you for all you are doing for children in Foster Care. Thank you for sharing your story so personally. What a perfect and beautiful reminder of the difference One Small Thing can make!
"When you let your own light shine, you unconsciously give others permission to do the same." ~Nelson Mandela
SHINE ON STACY!!!!!