Please welcome Sheila, from Pennies of Time, to 52 Brand New. If you haven’t checked out Pennies of Time, I really hope you will. This wonderful family completes an act of service every day. They are truly an inspiration. In fact, we just completed an act of service that you will read about later this week *just* because I read Sheila’s latest post.
I am from Pennies of Time and am thrilled to be a guest here at 52 Brand New! I am impressed by the varied and meaningful experiences that Danielle takes on with her kids
At Pennies of Time, I am a mom of two young boys (4 and 6 years old), and we complete an act of service each day. We are excited to share with you our NEW experience in completing a 5k Walk for The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Recently, as a family, we walked 5 kilometers to help raise money for two friends: brothers Tanner and Caleb. Both boys have cystic fibrosis. This was a new service act for my boys. They had never taken on such a distance to help a young friend!
Here are a couple of numbers about cystic fibrosis that may help you understand why we think it is important to help:
2 – The number of times each day that the boys get vest therapy.
3 – Caleb’s age. He was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at birth.
5 – The number of breathing treatments each boy goes through each day.
6 – Tanner’s age. He was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at birth.
24 – Tanner and Caleb take 24 pills per day.
37 – The life expectancy of a person with cystic fibrosis is 37 years.
70 – Approximately 70,000 people worldwide are affected with cystic fibrosis.
Clearly, the day-to-day routine in managing cystic fibrosis is more than any child should have to experience just to stay healthy. This is a cause that we felt strongly in supporting!
We were so excited on the morning of the walk. The weather was EXTREMELY cold and windy for a spring morning in Texas! We bundled up, packed our picnic lunch, and were off to the park where The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation was set to have a Great Strides Walk.
Our team, the “J” Walkers had quite a turn out with 29 walkers! “J” Walkers comprised almost a third of the entire group that showed up to support The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation that morning. A great turn-out to support these two kids!
Fun music played in the staging area, breakfast was available for munching, and the walkers were excited! Excited to turn in the money they had raised, excited to gather together for a meaningful and “close to home” cause, and excited to get moving and WARM!
As balloons were given out to all who wanted one, we gathered at the starting line. The kids were huddled at the front, so excited to begin . . . and, once released to start, the kids very quickly out-distanced the rest of the walkers.
For my 4-year-old, he lasted, um, about 1 kilometer before he asked his dad for a piggy-back ride. And, his dad did oblige with that ride. He wasn’t the only dad providing support for the younger walkers so that they could finish the entire 5K with the rest of the group.
My 6-year-old ran the enter 5 kilometers. He was determined to do it and do it well! (Just one small break to wash his hands after he stopped to pick up a DEAD turtle he found and carried a distance before I realized, gag!)
As is my habit now, I looked for those doing the good, reaching out to others during the experience. My heart was touched by the following:
- The family that always had a balloon ready to give up when a young walker inevitably lost his or her balloon. Someone in that family would RUSH to the young, forlorn walker to give a replacement balloon. I overheard someone in that family say to the other: I just can’t bear it when kids are sad!
- The 4 employees from Old Navy that volunteered their time to help cheer on the walkers at the event. They stood out in the cold to clap, cheer, and hand out bottled water. Such a delight to see how the children LOVED having someone on the sidelines cheer for them as they struggled to run the distance! (yes, it was a WALK but many kids RAN the distance)
- The different teams that had gathered friends and loved ones to raise money and show support. Each one had a name to unite them in the cause to raise money and fight this life threatening illness.
The most touching, and sobering, moment was when a family, walking in memory of a loved little girl who had passed away due to CF, finished the walk and then all stopped and gave each other a quiet, simple, giant group hug. In that moment for me, the entire park was just one huge . . . well, quiet hush . . .
. . . In one of the largest states in the US, in a suburb of a large city, in the middle of a national park, standing in a huddle, a family took a few moments to unite in memory of a little girl that they remember and love. A moment to support one another, to love another, to honor their little girl, and to share in the grief that they still experience.
For me, it was the perfect illustration of why we serve. We serve to let go of that natural tendency to focus on ourselves. We serve to teach ourselves about things we don’t experience every day. In all, though, we serve to support and love one another.
Our family enjoyed this new act of service. On the drive home, my six-year-old said that it was one of the best service acts that we have done so far! (And, no, I don’t think that it was because he found that really cool turtle!)
For more information on cystic fibrosis, check out The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
To see more of our service adventures, visit Pennies of Time. Need ideas on service acts or random acts of kindness? Check out the Pennies of Time Pinterest Boards.