For my birthday, my Grandma Judy (my mom's mom) gave me $20 dollars. Sweet, I know! So I started thinking about what you could do with $20 dollars. Here are some things I thought of:
Half a tank of gas
Most of a dinner date with Dave
Lunch for a week
More beads (Mom gave me a "make your own jewelry starter kit" for my birthday, so now I'm a little obsessed with beads and other jewelry making stuff)
Put it in our bank account and have it help with bills
A shirt/outfit, skirt, pants... clothes
Put it towards our Savings
Spend it on ice cream or chocolate (very plausible)
Leave it in the card and find it in 6 months. Very nice surprise! (I've done this before)
Put it in my wallet and spend it on random little things till it’s gone. (Can you say 13 Mountain Dews??)
But I thought about it again and I said to myself (because sometimes I need someone who is stubborn and outspoken to talk to me. And I can’t find a more stubborn and outspoken person than me, so sometimes I need a good talking to from myself to me, get it? Good… lets move on…) “I want to make this money count. I want to look at something or do something and say ‘Remember that? I spent my birthday money on that. That was awesome.’”
So here’s what I decided to do. A Service Project! Yay! But I was a little discouraged. What the heck can I do for $20 bucks? It seems like a fair chunk of change for me, but can it really make a difference?
It would buy more than enough ingredients to make a bunch of cookies to take to our neighbors and ward members, so maybe I’ll do that! But then I thought, “Am I really doing them a service taking them a bunch of cookies? In the long run, isn’t that essentially a disservice?? More chub for them to work off at the gym, right? And heaven knows that I would have my fair share of sampling of those delicious things, and I REALLY don’t need the extra chub to work off at the gym.”
Sigh… back to square one. What to do with $20 bucks that’s going to be an actual service?? So I did what I do best. I surfed the net. I started reading the blogs on my blog reel. I skidded to a stop on one of the blogs that I regularly read and… Hallelujah! The heavens opened up and the angels sang and light shone down upon me! There on my screen was a service project, ripe for my serving!
It’s called Calling All Angels.
Neal and Angie Guymon are in charge of it. On May 30th, 2009, Angie gave birth prematurely to their son, Jayden. Born at 23 weeks, he was just too small to survive. So they decided to do a service project on Jayden’s birthday. Angie says, “We decided to donate the blankets to a hospital particularly a NICU for premature babies as I know how meaningful the blankets that Jayden was wrapped in are to us. It is something physical I was able to take home with me and that I can pull out and hold when I’m missing him. We feel the blankets are symbolic because as we were waiting for Jayden to be born, the hospital staff, family and friends surrounded us with their support, love and warmth, just as blankets bring love and warmth to the babies they are wrapped around.”
I don’t know Neal or Angie. The only connection I have to them is that Angie is my coworker’s wife’s sister. So it’s a pretty long connection. But I thought that this service project was a worthy cause. And I did the math and I can do four (two girl and two boy) blankets for $20 bucks, if I do it right. So that’s what I’m going to do.
Blankets have a special meaning to me as well. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a security blanket. I call it my “Deetdee” because that’s how I pronounced “Blankie” when I was little. I slept with this blanket every night. EVERY NIGHT. I took it to church, to nursery, to primary, to the store, to Grandma’s house, I drug it around at home… everywhere. When I got older I stuffed it in my pillowcase and took it to sleepovers and to girl’s camp. I took it to college (yes… all four years) and slept with it under my pillow. When I had a hard day, I took it out and snuggled with it. It made me happy. I slept with it every single night until the night of October 16th, 2009. The night I got married. I did NOT take my Deetdee on my honeymoon. I had a new Deetdee named Dave. But when Dave was gone to Florida, you bet I grabbed my Deetdee out from my shelf and slept with it. Needless to say, this thing its pretty dang ragged. I’m afraid that if I unfolded it, it would all fall apart.
My Grandma Judy made and gave me this Deetdee when I was born and I have never ever parted with it. It’s helped me through 21 years of my life and if I could spend $20 bucks (that Grandma Judy gave me for my 23rd birthday) and offer just a piece of that comfort to a baby and his/her family… then, by golly, I’m gonna do it.
New Goal: By Next Monday, February 14th, 2011, Valentine’s day, I will have four little receiving blankets to give to my coworker, to give to his wife, to give to her sister, to donate to a NICU For Calling All Angels Service Project. All for $20 bucks of birthday money.
Want to be a part of it? Watch this movie to see where you can send the blankets. Or, if you want, you can give them to me before MONDAY, March 28th, 2011 and I’ll send them along. Leave a comment if you plan to participate.