Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Day - Book Drop Off Day

I would have to say that Thursday was one of those bitter sweet days that I will remember for a long time. It was the day that I loaded up all 27+ boxes of books in my car to take down to Doernbecher.

The final total (so far) is ONE THOUSAND, SIX HUNDRED and NINETY-TWO BOOKS! I can't even believe it. We still have one more drop box that will be collected and taken down to the hospital next week, so this total is not a final number!

So many books! We actually did have more books than that, but those that were "overly-loved" had to go elsewhere. I didn't feel right taking them to Goodwill, so I ended up taking them down to the Clackamas County Women's Services Center. If you are not familiar, the CCWS supports many shelters for women and children in Clackamas county. Needless to say, they were completely thrilled to get the three jam packed full boxes of books.

So what does 1,692 books look like?

We planned on meeting at the front lobby at the hospital Thursday (Valentine's Day) at about 9:30 in the morning. Cindy (staff member of the Child Life Department), Rachel (Nina's Mom) and Tanya (fellow mom friend of ours along with her youngest daughter Lucy) all met at the front door to drop off the books.

We stood around for a bit discussing this journey of book collecting and how it has been such a great experience for us all. People have asked me how can I possibly do it all? Between the book drive, trying to sell our house, raise two active boys, run a small business all while my husband is commuting over 3 hours every day. How do I do it?

That is an easy question to answer. It really was all there waiting for me to just facilitate it. When I look back at this experience, I can't believe how every details just fell right into place all by itself. The book donation boxes were donated by my dear uncle John, the flyer's were donated by Tanya's husband, and most of the other supplies really didn't cost that much money. Most of the boxes were put into place because of all the other mom's in our playgroup came together to help, and the books, well, they just came all on their own.

Most of the books are going directly into the waiting rooms at the hospital, and because we had so many, they were able to spread the wealth out to some of the clinics waiting rooms as well.

Rachel's mom, who recently traveled to Kenya Africa, brought back a few bilingual, as well as English books about Africa for kids. The really neat thing is we were able to bring some of those books to a patient currently at the hospital for her to enjoy. It was so cool to see her little smiling face when she saw books about people who looked just like her.


I have to really thank (again) the Oregonian and Goshia (the reporter), for helping us share our story and get the word out about the need for books. Did you know that Child Life Department at Doernbecher has very little funding for books and toys for the patients and their families? It's amazing. They have (what I would consider) one of the most challenging jobs at the hospital. Their job is to make the patients stay comfortable as well as their families.

So many other thank yous that I don't think listing them will be enough. Let me just say....

THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR YOUR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO HELPING US ACHIEVE OUR GOALS!! WITHOUT YOUR SUPPORT WE WOULD NOT HAVE MADE IT!

I really don't feel like I have done anything more than what someone else would think of doing, I don't feel extraordinary or even special. I really feel a sense of joy and satisfaction knowing that if Nina was here today, she would have helped us and it would have made her really smile to do something nice. She really did have the greatest most infectious smile.

Will I do this again, also has been a common question. My answer to that is HECK YES! My feeling is that not only is this something that to me, is so personal and so rewarding! So please stay tuned for updates on when we will be doing our 2nd Annual Nina's Books of Love Book Drive.

Here are some more pictures from our drop off day! The first picture is Lucy, Tanya, Rachel and Cindy and the second one has me there on the end.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Feb 1st Book Totals...

Only one more week left to collect books and I am already thinking about next years drive. I spent the last few days taking inventory and boxing up the books so they are ready to go to Doerenbecher on the 14th... Are you ready for the total?

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Can you believe it? It's amazing. I can not put into words how awesome this has been. I am looking back now not realizing how important this really was (is) to me. Each time we have stopped to pick up books, or boxed up books in my kitchen, the kids ask me to "have a turn" looking at them. I tell them that these books are for the boys and girls that are in the hospital.

This last week has been super long and happily now in the past. We started the week off with my youngest sons three year check up. He had to get a shot (or as we call it "a poke"), which always creates a bit of drama and tears. We also had a ton of snow, which in turn allows the entire living world to shut down in the Pacific Northwest.

This morning, my youngest asked me to look at one of the books, and in my usual response I told him that we were going to take these books to the boys and girls that are sick at the hospital. He asked me if the boys and girls have to get "a poke" when they are in the hospital? I had to chuckle to myself because that poke really stuck with him... I told him that yes, they do have to get a poke, and some of them have to have a lot of pokes. I continued with "it's going to be nice for them to have some good books to read while they have to get their pokes." My oldest then piped in with "I wish I would have had a good book to read when I had to get my pokes!"

How cute is that? You have to love the thought process of small children. I am really looking forward to the 14th (our delivery day). I promise to continue to share our progress through the week, and photos from our delivery day.

I told Rachel (Nina's mom), that we had a ton of books... literally, I bet we have a whole ton.