Monday, February 1, 2010

New Year, New Decade

Well, here we are- my 30th birthday is coming to a close. How do I feel? No different than I did at 29! I can't quite believe that I've started a new decade- I've left my twenties forever and here I am- starting something new and special. There were a lot of great things that happened and I want to keep that going. Of course, there were a lot of struggles too, but that is to be expected. I do know that I've learned a lot in my twenties and I'm really grateful for that. I also want to make sure that I hold onto that wonderful youthful energy that I had back when I started PS when I was 23. It's easier to get a bit more cynical, a bit more jaded as one gets older and I don't want that to happen to me. There is something so magical about the energy of youth and I want to hold onto that spark forever. I had a wonderful birthday weekend and I'm so grateful for my family and friends who made it special. It is wonderful to have people in your life who care about you.

On the flip side of that- there was a bizarre incident that happened on our PS Facebook page on Friday. I've been working hard to find an organization that we can partner with to donate stuffed animals for children in Haiti who were victims of the earthquake. I've been having trouble finding someone who will work with us and on Thursday, I spoke with one non profit that was extremely rude and dismissive to us. I shared our frustration on our Project Smile FB page- of course, I'd never mention the non profit that I spoke with, but I did write about the interaction I had. A number of people posted sympathetic comments about what happened. The next night, I went on our page and saw a comment that was written by someone. It was an angry, mean spirited, attacking comment- she said we needed a "REALITY check", that children needed emergency items, "not beanies", that we should consult a particular Hierarchy of Needs writing, we shouldn't name another non profit (we clearly didn't) because they've been doing it a lot longer than us. There was more, but I can't remember.

Now obviously, I know that the children need basic items and we're not trying to throw the medicine and food off the airplanes in order to send stuffed animals, but, according to news reports, there are large amounts of emergency items being sent to Haiti and there are thousands of traumatized children there who have lost all their personal belongings. There were images on TV of children making kites out of household items and of kids playing with sticks in the streets. What is wrong with trying to send stuffed animals to help comfort these children? Why would anyone not want to give them something soft and cuddly to hold? How anyone could have a problem with what we are doing blows my mind. I do know the woman and evidently she has a personal problem with me- I don't know what it is, but to attack the work that Project Smile has done- to trivialize our mission like that is heartless and completely uncalled for. I don't understand what motivates someone to be so mean. In the end it doesn't matter- we're going to keep doing our work, keep trying to bring a smile to kids who have been hurt and traumatized and we're going to keep relying on the kindness and generous support that we have received from so many wonderful people who believe in our work.

On that note, I'm off to write my list for work- it will be my first list written as a 30 year old! Then off to bed- I was going to read, but I'm getting too tired. Until next time friends..

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