FUN-lanthropy = The art of learning about, educating your friends and giving back time and/or money to a charitable organization that does real good in our big bad world… while having a blast doing it. (It should be noted that this word was fabulously invented by TV personality and Board of Directors member for non-profit Mending Kids International, Dorothy Lucey.)
#MendingKidsLove = Something you’re going to take notice of this season via social media and click on (explanation below).
By now, you’ve all figured out how much fun I like to have with social media (most online moms do). Twitter gives me my news. Facebook makes me (re)consider my priorities. Instagram makes everyday life seem more beautiful. This blog itself makes me think more insightfully (through the lens of motherhood) and fulfills a need to create and share my life’s work and challenges in a way I never thought possible. Social media is a HUGE part of my life (5 years ago I would’ve smacked myself for saying that). It is what it is, I guess.
So I figure: Putting my FUN obsession with all-things-social-media to good use is a good thing. Like, shamelessly spreading the word about how all of us can DO GOOD this season (even from the comfort of our own home). My husband has talked the talk and walked the walk for as long as I’ve known him (about 7 years) as a frequent volunteer surgeon for all sorts of non-profit organizations that travel the world DOING REAL GOOD. As a plastic & reconstructive surgeon he finds *true joy* in repairing kids’ deformed hands and fingers so that they can function properly, fixing areas around the eyes that they can experience unobstructed vision, removing heavy and painful tumors that can easily be comparable to the size of a grapefruit (or larger). Let’s not forget about that priceless sense of normality, self worth and dignity that the child experiences after it’s all said and done. We got to talk about it with Dorothy Lucey (the originator of FUN-lanthropy herself) and her fellow beloved LA news anchor Ana Garcia on their podcast.
Sitting next to Andre and listening to him tell stories about what he does reminded me why he loves to do what he does so much. And to think I once complained about him traveling away from home on one of these missions because my house alarm went off in the middle of the night. Bad wife. Terrible person. Heartless mother.
This summer, I met a Mending Kids patient of his… IN PERSON. Her name is Faith. It was the first time I’ve met one of Andre’s patients… we were at a Mending Kids meet and greet with a few of their recent patients and surgeons who help them, and I was so nervous I could hear my own heart beating (kid you not). Faith is a young woman (around age 20) with a range of visible, complex problems in her hands and face (one eye is closed shut, plus she’s blind). Trying to hold back tears was a serious challenge for me that day. She held out her arm, I shook her disfigured hand (that she was born with) as warmly and with as much love as I’ve ever tried to put into a handshake, looked into her sweet face and honestly remember praying in my head at that exact moment: Please God, don’t let me cry right now in front of this brave girl named Faith. PLEASE GOD. (I didn’t cry. Her genuine gratitude for the series of surgeries she was receiving from my husband – just so she could function closer to ‘normal’ on a day-to-day basis – made me smile instead.)
Then I thought of Faith’s mother… and all the other kids’ mothers.
And then I thought of my two lucky and healthy little rug-rat girls at home and CRIED FOR FAITH when I got in our car.
Then I got mad at all the senseless circumstances around this world that so many innocent people – KIDS – are forced to endure.
Since I’m pretty much homebound these days (try taking a 2 and 4 year old along on a mission to “help”… YEAH RIGHT), I’ve created a FUN TWEET-POST-AND-BLOG MISSION of my own to unite nearly 100 popular social media influencers to spread the word about what Mending Kids does via social media (we’ve all been in cahoots). We’re hoping that some of you become inspired to donate a bit of hard-earned earnings to help these kids that have NO HELP available to them. We’re used to having hope available to us in this country… some kids’ ONLY HOPE is Mending Kids.
I’ll break it down: Giving $10 is a fabulous and much-valued start. $50 covers the cost for medical supplies for one surgery. $100 pays the cost of medicine for one surgery. $250 provides the entire cost of one club-foot surgery performed in-country (that’s when surgeons correct a turned-in ankle so that a kid can WALK). I’m ashamed to say that many of my dresses and shoes hanging in my closet have higher prices than this… you get my point? CLICK HERE.
Our ‘tweeting mission’ to educate, inform and inspire – titled #MendingKidsLove – is off to an amazing start and runs through Giving Tuesday (December 2, 2014). Search Twitter, Facebook & Instagram for #MendingKidsLove and click-click-click the links you see. Donate $10 or donate $10 zillion. Know that you are spreading hope, faith (see what I did there? “Faith”) and LOVE to little people (and their parents) this season.
The best part? Over 91% of donations go directly to fund surgeries. From everything I know, this non-profit is about as legitimate as it gets, folks.(I wouldn’t be involved if it wasn’t – and neither would my hubby.) Last year they provided 550 surgeries to 550 kids in need around the world. That’s A LOT. Consider Mending Kids for your holiday giving. And feel free to join our party on social media by tagging #MendingKidsLove.
HOW IS YOUR FAMILY SPREADING LOVE THIS SEASON?