Today I am writing from my heart and asking for your help. Last weekend my family and I took a road trip to visit my husband’s side of the family in Georgia and while we were there we visited with lots of his aunts, uncles and cousins. On the way home I could not stop thinking about one of his cousins who was 11 years old. I knew I had to try to think of a way to help her and her brother. Without saying too much about her real parents, she and her older brother, 13, started living with an aunt and uncle a few years ago and soon after they started staying with them her aunt passed away. Her aunt and uncle already had two kids of their own, who are now both over 18, but her uncle was injured during time he served in the military and then again on the job, so he was in the process of getting disability. Long story short - this family is living in what I can honestly say is poverty. Sometimes I throw a pity party for myself over a bill that is going to be late or because I don’t have the money to eat out but the season of life they are living through right now is so much worse than anything I have ever witnessed. I don’t want to give too many details because I don’t want to embarrass or make anyone upset with me.
I remember going through middle school, my dad was unemployed and couldn’t find work. He would do odd jobs here and there but my mom was the only one bringing in a steady pay check. They had very little extra money and there were three of us which meant I didn’t get new school clothes or cool school supplies. I might get a new pair of jeans or a shirt here or there from Walmart or JCPenny clearance racks and now I would be fine with that, but in junior high the girls were mean. All I could think about was being made fun of or not fitting in because of my hair cut or clothes and deep down it still hurts. It did shape me into the person I am today, but on that drive home I thought about how his cousins only had a few worn outfits and worn out shoes. I thought about how they weren’t going to have the money to buy school clothes or school supplies at all so what they had would have to do. My heart hurts so much for them that I have tears as I write this.
I asked my husband if writing this post and asking for your help would offend anyone but we both agreed that it wouldn’t, so today I am asking for your help to buy clothes for this 11 year old girl who will be starting 6th grade in the fall and her 13 year old brother who will be in 7th grade. They are both going to be coming to stay with us for a few days at the beginning of next week and I would love to take them shopping for school clothes and supplies and maybe take them to get their hair cut too. All I want is to make them feel confident and excited to go to school this year.
When I first met the 13 year old boy it was a few years ago right before he started living with his aunt and uncle full time and they had come to stay over Easter. We made sure that Jared had a basket too and when he woke up that morning he made the comment that Santa or the bunny had never come to see them before so why would they start now. His aunt told me that until they started taking care of them they were probably never told they were loved. Talk about hurt your heart!? Just thinking about that right now makes me want to hug all my kids tight.
So this is where I need your help. My husband and I have set aside what we can but it won’t go far. I have brainstormed three ways for people to donate and any amount will make a difference $1, $5, or whatever you can spare. If you can forego your Starbucks this afternoon I would be so appreciative. As you take part and help in any way that you can, either by donating or helping to spread the word, I will be posting again next week with pictures from our shopping trip and I will also be sharing pictures on Instagram in real time so follow me there to see those!
The first way you could help is by purchasing ad space here on Poofy Cheeks for the month of July. All profit from ad space will go towards operation back to school. You can purchase ad space HERE.
The second way you can help is by purchasing solid color hair ties from my shop throughout the weekend. All profit from now until Sunday at 11:59pm will go towards operation back to school. You must purchase the hair ties HERE.
The third way you can donate is by donating through paypal via the button below.
If you can’t donate today I completely understand! If you could help by spreading the word that would mean the world to me! Share on facebook or tell a friend. I was a little hesitant to do something like this, but I know that through my blog and blogging connections I have a voice louder than I often realize!
Below are a few 8x10 printables I created and I would love for you to take one and be constantly reminded how even your thoughts or prayers helped these two in more ways than you may ever know. Click on the picture to be taken to the PDF.
From the bottom of my heart – Thank you!