Monday, August 13, 2012

The Final Totals and Updates (Miracles Really)

Our Shearing for Hearing event is done and I think it's safe to call it wildly successful.  We raised just over $2,000 with our paypal account that is attached to the Donate button here on my blog.  (Feel free to click on it and donate if you still want to.)  Then, on Saturday we raised $7,085.  Considering that I came up with this idea just three and a half weeks ago, this is a huge number.  It's almost overwhelming to think of how far we came in such a short time.  We had a bounce house, raffle, silent auction, clowns, chair massages, drinks and snacks, face painting, and so much FUN (oh, and a LOT of haircuts!).  Pictures are soon to come.  My goal was $10,000.  If we put the paypal and cut-a-thon totals together, we're just about there.

Those are just numbers, but let me break down for you other things I witnessed as I prepared for and carried out this event. First, people are good.  In fact, they are supremely good. And caring.  And, oh so generous.  I saw shop keepers reach into their own pockets and donate to Raelyn's cause.  I watched a principal and two fifth grade teachers sit in a splash booth and get repeatedly soaked with ice cold water to raise money.  I watched people walk in for $10 haircuts and leave $90 tips.  I saw businesses sending us their best staff to provide haircuts (thank you, Great Clips), drinks (thank you, Red Robin), and chair massages (thank you, Dr. Carpenter), all of which brought in tips that were all given to Raelyn.  I saw well educated, highly skilled individuals willing to do jobs like sweeping hair, emptying trash cans, and selling raffle tickets all in the name of helping a little girl some of them couldn't even pick out of the crowd. I saw children freely spending their hard-earned chore money because they knew "some little girl needs to hear".  I saw miracles.

When this first started, Raelyn's family needed $90,000 to implant one ear. They considered mortgaging their home for it. Then, they got one surgeon to waive his fee and get a discounted implant. The hospital still wanted $72,000 plus $1,200 for anesthesia.  Then, just this past week, they found a surgeon associated with a foundation who felt he could get it as low as $30,000. With our fund raiser, we were one-third of the way there.

I've always been taught (and had firm faith in) the fact that if we present our best, the Lord provides the rest. In other words, if we do everything we can to help ourselves, the Lord will find a way to make sure our needs are met.  I knew that we'd find a way to get the rest of the money for Raelyn to be implanted.  This morning, Raelyn's mom got a call from the surgeon affiliated with the foundation. He got the cost down to $15,000!!!!  That means they are only short $6,000 and are taking out a loan for it. We will do other small fund raisers to help them pay off that cost quickly.  Raelyn will be implanted on the 21st of September. This, my friends, is what I like to refer to as one of God's miracles. And that's really all there is to say about that.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Shearing For Hearing-The Updates

We are making tremendous progress toward our Shearing for Hearing event here in our area. I'm beyond humbled when I go out into the community looking for donations for the auction and raffle, and see the tremendous amount of generosity in people's hearts.  It's almost overwhelming when you realize just how much good there really is out there. Sometimes I wish there was a news channel that only spread good news because it feels like the joy and good in the world is often buried in the media by the sad, angry, and scary stuff.  The good is there, folks.  You don't even have to look far to find it.

We still need some more items to make a silent auction happen, but I think we'll get there. We also need some more tables and chairs, but those will come too.  Then, most of all, we need people to come for haircuts, dunking booths, auctions, and raffles.  If I'm lucky, they'll be feeling generous when they come and the overwhelming feeling of joy that comes with doing something good for someone else come will come over them...and they'll act on it.

Our event in Dallas looks to be on hold or cancelled for now. The timing just isn't right and things aren't coming together. That's okay. Everything happens for a reason and we take the not so great with the really great.  If there are any changes or progress in that area, I'll be sure to blog about it.  Until then, we focus on the event we're doing here and are grateful for this opportunity to do something for someone else just because we can.

One thing that's been really interesting is seeing how my children have been as I've worked day and night on this project. Their behavior has been SPECTACULAR!  They've helped around the house, walked miles and miles in the heat helping me pass out fliers door to door in the area, talked the event up to their friends, and made big plans to help me on the day it all comes together.  In a lot of ways, I feel like I'm being more blessed by doing this than even Raelyn's family, but in different ways.

Even Stinky Liam is helpful. He loves looking at the fliers and telling us all about Raelyn, who's picture is on it. He loves her and it's so sweet hearing him talk to her picture with so much excitement in his voice.  Liam is also making a bit of progress toward his own implant.  Because of the complications last time, our team seems to feel that it's best if we take him to a specialist in New York City for the second one. This doctor has tools and expertise that we can't find anywhere else. The extra expense and unknowns that come with taking him somewhere else make me very nervous, but we will of course do what's best for him at the end of the day.  Right now, it's just discussion and preliminary testing.  As things move forward, I'll blog more on that.

In really exciting news, Miss Mindy had her follow-up hearing screen yesterday. SHE HAS PERFECT HEARING!!!!!  We were pretty sure her hearing was fine, but having the audiologist do the test and confirm it was like taking me to Disneyland and telling me the Magic Kingdom was all mine.  While she would have looked stinking cute in purple hearing aids with hot pink earmolds, I'm thrilled that she will instead just wear little purple dresses with hot pink hair bows. It's a pretty great trade, in my opinion.

So, that's the updates.  They're all happy and exciting.  I've had a few people want more information on our Shearing for Hearing event.  Because I don't like to publish where I am, I have opted not to post the flier. If you do want more information, you can e-mail me or post a comment and we'll figure something out.  As always, I'd love it if everyone would spread the word and share my link so others can hit that donate button up there or just get more informed about the issues involved with hearing loss in young children.