Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Small Change - Month One Recap

January’s Small Change Challenge was to get involved with Make A Child Smile.

Make A Child Smile’s January featured kids were Nicky, Ashlee and Caroline.

I didn’t make a huge production out of it, I just said “Hey, Sunshine, I’ve got an idea!” I showed her the kids’ pictures and told her (mildly) why each child was spending so much time in the hospital. I got her to empathize with them by asking, “Wouldn’t you be so sad if you had to be in the hospital all the time? Do you know what we can do to cheer them up?”

She really doesn’t need an excuse to get crafty, but she was very excited that I was going to be sending her art to someone and had been assured it would, well, make them smile.

She got to work and carefully chose items to paste onto the cardstock.

As soon as the neighbor kid left, Ninja Boy became highly interested in what we were doing. He started asking questions about the kids – which Sunshine promptly answered. She carefully explained to him that these kids were all very sick – even gave him general descriptions of their ailments. She said, “And I’m making them cards that say I hope they feel better.” I was a little surprised when he wanted to help. He’s not a super-crafty guy and also has a really hard time empathizing with people. But he got in there and made Nicky two cards (a guy thing, I guess).

We decided as a family that we would do this every month. We spent about an hour making them – the hardest part of it all was getting them to the post office (note to self to buy bigger envelopes this month!).

I’m getting very excited about my upcoming party for Cheerful Givers. Next week, I will be hosting a Birthday Bag Blitz at my mom’s house (it’s so much bigger!).

My mom and I have been buying out every good deal we can find. I’ve known that I was going to do this for a while now, so when Target clearanced out their excess of Christmas toys, I hopped on it! (Seriously, “guys” for a DOLLAR!) I’m also going to a surplus store at lunch tomorrow to see if I can pick up a few more things.

It really wasn’t hard to plan the party. I used evite to send out my crafty invitation and also posted it a couple places around my office. We’re planning a small lunch that day, so I’ll have to get to the grocery store, too. I’ve been stocking up on toys, bags, tissue paper, etc. The plan is to meet at my mom’s house, sort the toys by age/gender, then form an assembly line of sorts. I’m going to print some cute little tags today to write the contents on. That’s not a requirement, but I think it will help the parents and organizations get the kids something they’ll really like, given there is enough to choose from.

The kids were initially confused about what was going on. They found the bag of toys and thought they’d hit the jackpot. After they were over the shock that they weren’t for them, they started to get excited. Sunshine has been trying to get me to buy just about everything for it. Hats, candy...even a pinata! However, I’m not big on cone-shaped hats. Especially ones that require an elastic string around my face. And with all the kids that are going to be there, I think candy would just fuel the fire.

The hardest part was getting people to RSVP. Seriously, even with evite, where all you have to do is click a button…it still looks like this:

I even updated it and re-sent it, asking people to please respond. This just doesn’t settle well with me. I can handle a “No” just fine…I can NOT handle not knowing how many people are just going to show up that day. I mean, what if all 22 unresponsive people just SHOW UP?? That’s a far cry from the ten adults (and X amount of kids) I’m expecting. I’ve been planning for a few extra with the seven “I don’t knows”. What if there’s not enough food? What if I don’t have enough bags? OMG, what if I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH BAGS???

Okay…I’m alright. I guess I’ll just buy extra. Really, who can’t use more gift bags?? Right? Okay, NOT FRANTIC AT ALL.

I’m definitely looking for more ideas on how to get people to respond to invitations if ya got ‘em. (I have this problem with all kinds of invitations, even birthday invitations that have “Please respond by XX-XX-XX” written right by the phone number).


You’re going to have to check back tomorrow for the new challenge, as Beth has been very busy lately. That’s okay, though, because it’s Valentine’s Day and I have some egreetings to send.


Jodi said...

I love that you got so many people involved!

Diane said...

I'm so impressed as your family is so crafty. Love the cards. We added stickers all over ours. Will check out your group later, as I have to run.

Beth said...

Love the cards, thanks for participating! And I'm pointing people to Cheerful Givers for the next challenge. Their president emailed me after seeing a link from you to them and one to me here.