March 30, 2010

Outreach #7 (Marklund Children’s Home)

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:12 pm by reacheachweek

In honor of Special Education Week (which was last week), my Mom, Addison and I brought donuts and coffee cake to all of the staff at Marklund Children’s Home.  Marklund Children’s Home is a place that takes care of children and adults who have special needs (autism, downs syndrome, cerebral palsy etc…).  The staff here work very hard with these precious people.  They teach, love, and give to each and every resident day in and day out.  I thought they deserved a little recognition (and a little treat) for all of their efforts! 🙂

When we arrived at Marklund the Volunteer Coordinator, Hilsa gave us a tour of the facility.  All I can say is a big…WOW!!  What a wonderful place for people to be taken care of with special needs!  It was so great to see all of the staff interacting and loving these individuals.  I know that God is looking down on this place with a big smile on his face.  If you think of it today, say a prayer for Marklund Children’s Home.  I have added them to my prayer list, as I know that God has wonderful plans for both the residents and the staff at Marklund.

Unfortunately, I ran out the door without my camera last week for this outreach.  I was bummed that I did that, but they do have an incredible website.  Check it out if you have a chance.


March 22, 2010

Outreach #6 (Food Pantry Donation)

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:18 pm by reacheachweek

Last Thursday Addie and I delivered canned goods to our local Food Pantry in Naperville called Loaves and Fishes (creative name, huh?!).  I also asked the ladies in my Women’s Bible Study if they could help donate as well, and they did, so I was able to donate quite a bit of food to the pantry.  It was interesting when I came across the website for Loaves and Fishes; they had a hunger fact that caught my eye.  This is what it read:

Hunger Fact:
In February, we distributed food to 4,126 people,
helped 307 single moms feed their families,
and provided food to 1,633 hungry children
and 479 senior citizens.

Wow!!  Talk about a place that is really serving the community!  I hope to donate more food in the next couple of weeks.  I am reminded of one of my favorite verses in Matthew.

(Jesus Speaking) “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it for me.”  Matthew 25:40

When we serve and love people here on earth we are actually serving and loving our beautiful Savior Jesus!  That is my very heart behind this 52 week challenge.  I want to live out my LOVE for HIM daily!!


Some of our canned food for the Pantry

This is where we dropped off our donation

Addison Helping Mommy

March 15, 2010

Outreach #5 (Spa Day)

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:15 pm by reacheachweek

Last Friday was one of my favorite outreach opportunities thus far!  I joined a group called MOPS (Mothers of Pre Schoolers), a couple of weeks ago.  This group of Mom’s along with some other ladies from the Church that hosts MOPS, decided to bless the women who work at a Women’s Shelter in Aurora called Mutual Ground with a Spa Day!  Every woman dreams of a day at the Spa!  Relaxing and not worrying about anything but themselves for a few short hours!  Well this exactly what we created for these women who work at Mutual Ground putting in tons of hours and dedicating their lives to help protect and love the abused. 

My assignment….manicures.  Now I have had many manicures in my life, but the only nails I’ve ever done myself were mine and my nieces.  This was going to be a little bit of a challenge, but I was up for it!  Thankfully, there was a sweet lady by the name of Marilyn sitting beside me who had a nail salon out of her home, she became my “nail teacher”, and I learned a lot from her that day about giving someone a manicure.  

I had such wonderful conversations with some of the ladies who had their nails done by me.  My heart broke as I heard the stories of the many battered and abused women that they work to help every day of their lives.  I wanted to ask them to hire me on to help because helping women who are hurting and in need is one of my biggest passions in life!  In fact, I’d love to travel around the country and just hold Spa Days for women all over who deserve a day to feel special.  Afterall, if we all looked at ourselves through God’s eyes…every day would feel like a Spa Day!! 🙂 

After about three hours of manicures I had to go and put my daughter down for her afternoon nap.  As I was driving home I began to pray for each one of the ladies who came to Spa Day that morning.  I hope that in the future I can be a part of another outreach opportunity like this one! 

Here are some pics from Spa Day: 

Each lady was able to pick a color for their nails from this table

A Chocolate Fountain in the Relaxation Room

March 5, 2010

Outreach #4

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:10 pm by reacheachweek

Yummy homemade coffee cake!

This morning our outreach was to our pediatrician’s Office.  We absolutely love Dr. Jao, our pediatrician.  The nurses and staff  make sure every one is cared for in a special way.  I always leave Addison’s appointments feeling so thankful to everyone at the office.  I thought it would be wonderful to let Dr. Jao and her entire staff know just how thankful we are to all of them for their hard work and caring hearts. 

I decided to bake a coffee cake and deliver it to our doctors office along with a thank you note expressing our deep gratitude for everyone at the office.  This was my first time making a coffee cake ( I usually just pick one up at our local grocery store), but this time I wanted it to be extra special.  Thankfully my wonderful sister, Kimberly emailed me an easy recipe and it turned out great! 🙂  While I was putting Addie in her car seat I explained to her that we were going to say thank you to Dr. Jao, but I think at this point she just thought she was running yet another errand with Mommy!

When we got to Dr. Jao’s office I went to the reception desk and handed the coffee cake and thank you note to the nice lady.  She said a thank you with a big smile, and I told her I just wanted everyone there to know that we appreciate their hard work and care.  As I turned around to leave I noticed the office was packed with parents and their sick children.  For some reason at this point I felt as though all eyes were on me and Addison as we headed toward the door to leave.  My eye caught the smile of man waiting with his son, I smiled back and left knowing in full assurance that God really wanted me to do this outreach today!

A sign outside our Doctor's office

March 1, 2010

Outreach #3

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:46 pm by reacheachweek

Although, I have been keeping up with my outreach challenge each week, I have been terrible at finding the time to blog about the outreach during the week that I have done it.  I will do my best to get better at blogging on the same week of the outreach. 

Last Thursday Addison and I made homemade lasagna (okay, so Addie ate goldfish crackers in her high chair while I cooked!).  We delivered it to a lady by the name of Jenn who is 32 weeks pregnant with twins. This woman was ordered by the doctor to be on  strict bed rest for the next 4 weeks.  She also has a 2-year-old and a 4 – year old, and a husband who works full-time!  We took on the task of preparing a nice meal and delivering it to her on Thursday evening.  It was so fun to deliver the meal with Addie.  The kids were jumping up and down when I walked in the door.  The little girl who is 4 asked me what I made.  When I told her it was lasagna she looked up and me and said, “I don’t really like that food.”  I sighed and told her I was so sorry.  Her Mom was in the bedroom lying down, so I didn’t get to meet her face to face, but she did email me later on that night to tell me that she was very thankful for the dinner.

Earlier that day at around 3:00 p.m.; Addison and I FINALLY got to visit the nursing home.  We played crossword puzzles with some of the residents.  Addison really enjoyed chasing the dog around that was there.  One of the employee’s brings her dog to work each day, and this dog  just happened to love playing with Addie.  We are going to visit again this week.  We had so much fun and it was so nice to put a smile on the face of so many lonely elderly people.

I am really enjoying reaching out to our community.  I still haven’t planned this weeks outreach yet, but I am looking forward to blessing someone with the love of God! 🙂