Thursday, June 13, 2013

Selling Shoes and Selling HOPE

Our elementary lunchroom table for selling paper sneakers for JDRF. 

A few weeks ago, my youngest daughter initiated a school project for her Student Leadership Council that involved selling paper sneakers for JDRF at lunch time.

It was a very simple and easy way to help spread awareness of the need for a cure of type 1 diabetes.

Not to mention, it was also a fun and colorful way to decorate her school.

Paper sneakers.  I'll always think they're cute!

All we needed to do was to send a letter home with directions to send school children back to school with some spare change to donate to JDRF.  In return, we offered the families a chance to sign a paper sneaker with their child's name.

We hoped that the project would sell about 200 paper sneakers.  At $1.00 each, our estimated total would be $200.00.  Not bad for the last week of school and some spare change.

Instead of achieving our small goal, our school wowed us with even more!  $349.50 to be exact! 

My youngest daughter was amazed.  One little idea blossomed into a big way to help JDRF step closer to a cure for type 1 diabetes.

As a parent volunteer for the project, I felt pride in helping my daughter's vision to be realized.  Not only did I want to see her school earn money for JDRF, I also wanted her to know that she (or her sister) were not alone in fighting this disease.  I wanted her to know that people, especially kids, truly cared about her.  Really, I wanted her to know that an entire community of families, teachers and friends rallied around to say LET'S END TYPE 1 DIABETES!

Youngest Daughter receiving her award for Student Leadership Council's Community Service.

It thrilled our youngest daughter.  Her school cared!

Not only did it make an impact on our youngest daughter, it also had an affect on one younger student.

During his lunch hour, he ran up to the donation table and slammed down a rumpled envelope. 

I smiled and asked him if he would like to write his name on a sneaker.

He said "Yes, please" in a small voice.  So I asked him his favorite color and peeled one off for him to write his name on.

While he was writing, I opened the envelope and gasped when I saw a $20 and $10 dollar bill staring back at me.

"Wait, does your mom or dad know that you are giving us $30.00?" I gently asked.

The little boy looked me straight in the eyes and said "Yes.  It is my money.  My mom knows that I would rather give you all of the money in the world than to have diabetes anymore. I want to buy a cure and give back my diabetes."

Startled, I nodded my head in agreement.  I had forgotten that other students were living with type 1 diabetes too.  In fact, our tiny elementary school is home to four students; all in separate grade levels.  Afraid to say much more as tears were threatening to spill, I smiled and said, "I will do everything I can to help make that happen."

And I will.  So will my youngest daughter.  And my oldest.  And all of you that continue to do everything you can to help us eradicate t1d.

One day, type 1 diabetes will simply no longer be. 

It's important for our kids, all of our kids, to have this hope.  It's what gets them through the daily ins and outs of having their little fingers poked, receiving their injections of bolus and basal, of managing blood sugar swings while playing or studying, of stopping what they are doing to attend to their care plans..... all of which is HARD.

They need to know that this isn't something that is forgotten about.   That we have people in our world that care.

What I wanted to do more than anything was to give that little boy a hug and to tell him that he is wonderful and amazing just by being who he is and living fully with type 1 diabetes.

But instead, I simply smiled and handed him a stack of shoes and asked if he would like to decorate the school with his name. 

That cheered him up and with a big smile, he called over his friends and asked them if they wanted to help write his name too.  Which they did and before long, 30 sneakers proudly showed one word:  "LANCE".

And then, I told him that I thought he was a hero.

For all of the heroes out there...... we won't give up.





Marjorie said...

Oh dear, made me cry at work lol

Naturally Sweet Sisters said...

:) It was one of those moments that broke my heart too.... still thinking about him and hoping he knows how much all of us want a CURE!!!

Scott K. Johnson said...

Wow! Congratulations! And what a great story.