Friday, March 26, 2010

How to Help Single Moms with Cancer?

I just got off the phone with a woman named Jody Berens...and I need to compose myself. Jody and her dear friend Andy are the founders of an organization called Singleton Moms that exists to help provide care for single moms who have cancer. The story of where their inspiration and passion came from (and believe me there's passion) is heartbreaking and unfortunately a more common story than you might know, however, it's remarkable. Their friend Michelle Singleton was a single mother of four with a generous and caring spirit, who did a lot to help others. She was diagnosed with cancer at 31 years old. Michelle's life ended after 15 months of treatment to battle it. During the course of Michelle's treatment she was unable to work and really needed support for the day-to-day things and Jody and Andy were there to help as much as they could. When Michelle passed, they wanted to honor her memory and reach out to those whose situation was like Michelle's...Singleton Moms is the result...

Simply put, Singleton Moms started as a group of Michelle's family and friends who wished to honor a brave woman and carry on in her giving footsteps. By allowing single mothers with cancer the time to focus more on their family and recovery rather than their normal daily responsibilities, we feel we are fulfilling a legacy Michelle would be very proud to have been responsible for. Michelle was very blessed to have a lot of friends and family, she knew this. Singleton Moms looks forward to continuing to pay tribute to her memory while helping other strong mothers charge into a healthy and bright future.

As I asked Jody more about how they help these moms, I heard about the journey so far and where they are currently at with needs. This undertaking has required incredible faith and the resources of time, energy and finances. The more word gets out about SM's, the more need has surfaced. If you want to be involved and do something, you can contribute in two main ways:
1) Financially - Sign up for "Gimme Five" on the site.
2) Volunteer - Help a single mom with cancer by being a "Care Coordinator."

Visit Singleton Moms and witness how something wonderful has been birthed from something tragic and how you can be a part of it. Thanks to you Jody and Amy (and your families) for giving of yourselves.
God bless you.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Be A Neighbor

My family and I recently moved into a new home at the end of January. It was sort of bitter sweet, to be honest. We had been at our previous rental home for 4 years, and had created some great relationships with our neighbors there. We were sad to leave them, and at the same time excited for this new opportunity to own a home, and make some new friendships with our new neighbors.

When we moved into the house, it felt like a ghost town to me at times. It seemed like no one ever came out of their houses, and I really missed our old neighborhood. My husband, Zach, is so social and was very positive that we would eventually meet and get to know our neighbors.

And so far, we're having great success. We've met the neighbors on either side of us (and how funny is this- one of them I went to high school with and was good friends with!), and the other we met and they didn't seem super warm and friendly. We did find out that they have a little girl, and they were about to have a little boy any day.

One morning, I took the kids out front to play a bit, and I ran into the husband with his daughter. He let me know that his wife just had their baby a few days ago. I said congratulations, and decided that we should bring them dinner sometime. My husband thought it was a great idea, and he said we should do it sooner rather than later (I'll admit I have a tendency to procrastinate.) So we went over there to ask when a good day to bring dinner would be, and they seemed very pleasantly surprised. They said anytime, and I asked if they liked lasagna.

So that's what I brought over the next night- lasagna, a loaf of french bread, and some cupcakes. They were so warm and friendly, they invited the kids and I right in. They said we should have a play date sometime and get our kids together- awesome!

Now, each time we see them, they smile, wave, and look genuinely happy to see us. It's amazing to me what kindness and a meal can do. I love it. I didn't have to make a whole meal schedule- we didn't know anyone they know yet, or any of our neighbors really yet either. So that wouldn't have worked. But just us bringing that over opened up lines of communication, and now we aren't strangers anymore.

I just had to share that with you all- there is power in kindness and food! And if it's made with love, who can resist? Surely not me!