This was a great week. Gracie and I drove to Appleton to participate in a national program call Feed My Starving Children. We assembled packages of nutritional foods, full of vitamins and grains that so many starving people need to live. We were told that wonderful people were initially sending food to these third world countries. Finally, a relief worker said please stop sending these foods. The people receiving the food were in such a progressed state of starvation, that their bodies couldn't process these foods. They would be wasted.
So some wonderful people came up with a formula of protein, vitamins, veggies and grains that will help people in their recovery. We saw pictures of an eight year old boy who weighed less than 20 pounds. After weeks and months of nutrition, we saw his progress. He is now 75 pounds and living a healthy life. In our meager two hours of volunteering, our group churned out enough boxes of food to feed 76 children for an entire year. In two hours! What a terrific experience. And suddenly my high gas and electric bill means not so much.
Another high to my week was some special time with my sister. I picked her up Wednesday. To the cottage we went. With Gracie and her friend, Abby. We were a riot. Listening to 80's music and singing all of the words. Making the younger girls car dance with us. I'm sure we laughed more than we ever have. And the young ones followed suit. I'm pretty sure there was some eye rolling going on, too. But never mind, it was more than we could have ever hoped for. We had the time of our lives!
And then the down. On Friday I watched the news about the horrible tragedy in Colorado. A time that should have been fun and entertaining turned deadly. Tragic. The stories that are starting to surface. Not of the grim gunman, but of the survivors and the those who were killed. What wonderful people. These stories define humanity. Not the sick and sad story of the one who caused the chaos. The focus should be on those who overcome. Those who perform random acts of bravery and kindness. Whether it was holding a hand. Closing a door or reuniting friends and family. These seemingly small acts meant the world to people and in some cases saved lives.
Every week has ups and downs. Some are more significant than others. Some say we need to feel the downs to enjoy the ups. I think there is some truth in this. Of course no one wants anyone to suffer tragedy, but how we react often defines us. This was a week that renewed my faith in the need to help humankind. Whether the help is right here in North America or across an ocean, when we join forces we can make a big and positive difference.