Saturday, April 26, 2008

$$$ooo Refreshing!

Alrighty. I don't know what the rules for post-birth-blogging are, but I needed to get this post off my draft list before I start talking about HEAVENLY my little boy is! Real quick, a thanks to Erin's blogging skills at the hospital to announce our newest addition AND thanks for all the good wishes and comments for our Briggs. He's truly been a joy.
It's amazing that it hasn't even been a week since we had our lemonade stand to benefit Garrett's efforts to go to ProjectWalk. This week, Garrett has been getting evaluated in Carlsbad; there are new pictures on his website of some of his therapy, so I hope all of you (especially those of you who donated to the lemonade stand) will check out his progress.
Our preparations for the lemonade stand were full steam by Friday night. Poor Erin had made cinnamon rolls ALL day Friday, so she brought over all she had made and frosted to my house so we and the girls could wrap and tag all the goodies. Because Jerolyn and her girls were really our founders, they had some really good ideas on how to improve our stand, and tagging our cups and cinnamon rolls with Garrett's website was a GREAT idea. They also suggested printing a flyer with Garrett's story so people could understand more what we were doing AND that was a fabulous contribution to our stand. Here's our stack of labels (over 270 www.gogarrett.org labels were passed out to our customers and over 100 flyers were distributed also.)
The girls made some signs and I made a banner, too, Friday night. Here we are labeling all the stuff. Tyler made his contribution to the stand by bringing us Sonic refreshments and hanging some extra signage on Saturday morning.

By the time we set up at 10am, we had customers WAITING for us! Thanks to days of blog and email advertising, we had a great crowd, which attracted a lot of driver-by traffic. There were sooo many good friends and family who came by, and SOO many stories that touched me. Since Saturday I have kept remembering my favorite stories, so indulge me while I share a few of them (and there's no way I can give a personal shout out to ALL the generous people, but I still think you should know of some of the goodness we were part of!) For example, my GREAT friend Angela emailed right after I blogged that she would bring a few dozen homemade chocolate chip cookies so we could sell them also. And she totally delivered (with a nice donation, too)! Erin's famous cinnamon rolls sold out super quick, but Angela's cookies were just as popular and we sold out of them nearly as quick. Once we were on the corner, the Doty family (from our ward) stopped by for a breakfast cinnamon roll and little Marcus Doty donated $5.00 of his birthday money into our jar. It was fun to see our girls' reactions when they saw people they knew stop by to support them. They were just tickled. Another example of the young'un's big donations was my friend Annilee's daughter giving her TOOTH FAIRY money into the jar for Garrett! Now, you know what a big deal that kind of stuff is to kids and the fact that they'd come and donate all that really made my day.

Another donation was made by my brother Dave (and my dad), who watched the little kids. We were on a real busy corner and I couldn't imagine how crazy it could have been with me trying to keep Brock off the street. After Dave relieved my dad, they both ended up visiting us for a little refreshment, and my dad donated again for Garrett's cause. Here's Dave with the little 'uns:

And I know I've said it a ka-jillion times what a great family I have, but if Kourtney is not an example of WHY that's true, then I don't know how else to tell you. Kourt lives CLEAR across town, and showed up bright and early (with a FABULOUS new haircut and color since the last time I had seen her, I might add) to help her cousins help their cousin! THEN, not only did she donate (SO generously), but she ended up working our corner for the entire 3 hours like a CHAMP. She admitted she'd work the corner any day for Garrett and she was whooping it up attracting all sorts of donations and passing his story along to about every passer-by. She held that big 'ol sign and would literally run out into the street as people were passing her bills from their car window. Her fingers were cramping and she totally abandoned her family for the entire morning, but even more great (according to Caylee) is that she gave Caylee one of the cinnamon rolls she bought earlier that morning since we'd sold out and Caylee didn't get to have one. I mean, does the giving ever stop!? No, not really. And I do want to thank Jerolyn, Katy, Maggie, and Ellie for supporting us, too, during their busy day. Really, they were the inspiration and should get total props for the successes we had that day!

I didn't want to take too many pictures of random strangers to post on the blog, but take my word for it, there were a lot of people who we didn't know stop by. It was so refreshing to see so many people so willing to give. Despite all the negativity that is in the world, there is SO much good! One lady passed us $20.00 from her window and apologized for not being able to give more since she AND her husband were out of work. Another couple ladies drove past (toward the end of the day) and said they'd be back with their family. Sure enough, they drove back two cars' worth of people who donated over $40.00 EVEN though we had already packed up all the lemonade. They told us the next time we did this they'd be happy to go to Wal-Mart and buy us some more cookies and goodies so we could re-sell them. SO nice!

Here's some action shots:

Dave taking a nanny break-

The girls filling up cups. Sorry to any of you who got Caylee's cups. She got too excited to fill them up ALL the way most of the time.
Erin ended up taking phone orders for her cinnamon rolls.
And my dad - a true supporter of all lemonade stands and for Garrett!
Here's Kourtney working her corner!
And GUS was happy to be out supporting the cause, too.

And just a couple more stories that really touched me. Our good friend walked over from our neighborhood to check out the crowd and when I talked to him about Garrett's injury he turned around to show me his vertical scar from a motorcycle accident that nearly paralyzed him many years ago. He then put $100.00 in the jar and just commented about how close Garrett's story hits home because that could have been him.

A lady I visit teach (and I say that loosely because she doesn't want/need us to come by all the time) stopped by with her son and donated $30.00 fairly early in the morning. About an hour later she returned with her 10 year old son who donated $10.00 and she donated $60.00 more for a total donation of $100.00, which pays for an hour of Garrett's therapy. She had gone home and read more about his story and was motivated enough to come back to give Garrett a full hour of the intense treatment his needs.

And while raising money was important, I was more touched by the people who came so out of their way (like Spring and Jen Rich from the other end of our stake). My friend from our ward, Kaylene Utter, who's daughter was being married THAT DAY showed up with her hair all done and her grandchildren in tow. Or our friends, the Thompsons, who came to support us even though they have limited family time together while Noel is working in Arizona and only makes it home on the weekends (the girls LOVE Noel and we're thrilled to know he'd come out of his way for them.) My in-laws that came by REALLY meant a lot, too, for their support. The thought that THIS is what an eternal family is all about played through my mind a million times last weekend. Oh, there's SO many more tender mercies that I felt last Saturday morning; there's just not enough time to share them all.

Just to thank and appreciate and to credit those who donated, here's a look at some of our contributions:

We were thrilled to add up all the good will Saturday afternoon and came to the total of $1944.14. Once we were cleaning up, we found $19.00 more in change, which added up to a whopping $1963.14. We were thrilled to call Garrett, who was completely touched and impressed and a little shocked. Later that afternoon, Erin's good friend donated, and then donated again, to bring us up to a fabulous even number of $2000.14. Can you believe it? My expectations were surpassed, my hopes were surpassed, my DREAMS have been surpassed and the giving continues. Just last night I opened our mail to find a check from a couple of my book club friends and we had another friend from our ward stop by to give Mackenzie and Caylee another $80.00 donation. In addition to the lemonade stand and the later donations to my girls and Sydney, our total is now up to
$2230.00 and growing. Thank you a million times over.

2 comments:

The Fatman said...

WOW is all I can say!!

Jerolyn said...

That is SO freaking awesome! I can't believe it. I am thrilled that you guys raised so much money for G, and MAJOR props to you guys...