As we celebrate our 25th anniversary this year, we are also celebrating our 10th year as official partners with Ronald McDonald House Charities™ (RMHC). Every month we will share a story about how our demonstrators are making a difference through this wonderful partnership.
House lead Brandy Cox shared this story in an e-mail she sent to the demonstrators who volunteer with her at the Charlotte North Carolina House:
Thank you, ladies, for joining me at the Ronald McDonald House this past month to volunteer your time and talents. It’s so much fun to watch the children and adults too have so much fun learning to stamp. Many times this is their first exposure to stamping, and it’s because of you and your great projects that our Ronald McDonald House friends and family can enjoy the love of stamping and crafting. Thank you for all you do. I know the children, parents and staff at our Charlotte Ronald McDonald House appreciate all you do. . .
The following story touched my heart and my soul. I was so lucky to have witnessed it along with the other Stampin’ Up! demonstrators who were there. I asked Heather (my friend, team member, and fellow demonstrator) to share her story with you.
“As we sat chatting and crafting away with some of the House guests and fellow demonstrators, I noticed a couple checking out our table. At that time our table was very full. . . so I directed them to the table next to ours and offered to bring a project over to them. The couple told me they had never heard of Stampin’ Up!, but they did enjoy crafting. They were a joy to work with and didn’t need much “teaching,” just a little direction.
“While we crafted, we talked about crafts, stamping, and family. It was at that time they mentioned they had a baby boy. He was born premature at 32 weeks. I instantly got chills because my son was born premature at 32 weeks. They told me they lived about an hour away and their local hospital wasn’t equipped to treat the digestive problems the baby was having. He was 18 days old and hadn’t eaten anything yet.
“More chills…my son was born on 9/10/03, theirs on 9/11/11. At that moment it hit me like ton of bricks: I wasn’t supposed to come here tonight just to craft. I was meant to come here and meet this couple, share my story and give them hope.
“That is just what I did too. I told them all about my son’s NICU stay and what a scary time that is. Seeing him at 4 lbs hooked up to all those tubes and not being able to hold him, nourish him, cuddle him was the hardest thing ever, and not having family nearby…even worse. They sat quietly listening to my story and nodding; I was describing what was happening to them right now! We connected. We talked about different procedures and hurdles their little guy, born at only 3 lbs 6oz., had to make before he could come home. I held her hand and with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face I told her the great news—“My son is eight now. The tallest kid on the baseball team and in his class, straight A’s, home runs, best kid you could ask for. I will pray for your son,” I told them. “It’s gonna be OK.”
“They both looked like they needed to hear that. As they walked to the elevator, I told her I would drop her off a few Stampin’ Up! goodies for her to enjoy over the next few days. I felt it was important to share some of the inspiration Stampin’ Up! gives. They were both all smiles as we said goodbye.
“I know I gave them hope and encouragement that they needed to make it through the next week. I dropped off a basket of goodies a couple days later, a pack of diapers, a blanket, two Stampin’ Up! card kits, some Halloween candy, and, of course, another word of encouragement.
“So, you see, Brandy. You make a difference in more people’s lives than you know. I wouldn’t have gone down there if it wasn’t for you. . .you are the one who contacted the local chapter of the RMHC and got this ball rolling. You are the one who got us all together to go down there and volunteer. God has his angels on Earth. I have always felt that you are one of them!”