Sunday, August 31, 2014

Pre-sister Hugs

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago (before July 5, 2012) there was a world without Sister Hugs.  There was emptiness, need, and desire but no Sister Hugs.  There were sleepless nights, baby projects, and talks to God, but no solutions to this strong need to do more; to be more.  I've always known it wasn't about me, that I needed to initiate something, to listen, but that it involved many others.  The problem was, I didn't know what or how. 

If we listen, God's message will eventually be heard.

There is a need for a comforting home for girls in their 20's, a place of safety and learning, a place like Grandma's house used to be.  A place to learn some skills like sewing and cooking and gardening, etc.  learn to shop and be a family.  I saw a need for Nana's Place.  The biggest problems were pretty big obstacles - no money to start and run it and who was going to live there to help oversee the place?? Where would we find the right young ladies to help?  Field of dreams played over and over in my head "if you build it, they will come" 😊 however, that little thing called $$$ seemed like a pretty big thing.  

Fast forward to the 4th of July, 2012 - fabulous day at my sister's with family.  Normal obsessing on my part over Nana's Place...came home full of whirling thoughts and concerns.  Pulled up my iPad and randomly stayed up for hours just scrolling and roaming.  Probably around 2 in the morning, I was reading a blog from someone in New Zealand talking about The Sisterhood and the work they do.  I quickly went over to their page and started reading about an angel named Sophie in New Zealand.  She organized friends and strangers alike to help people in need... A little bit from you and a little bit from me will combine to create a lovely basket to someone needing a lift.  

It wasn't Nana's Place, but it was certainly a beautiful idea.  I contacted her for info and a blessing to follow her lead.  That same day Sister Hugs was born!!  Friends were contacted, word spread, our first nomination was unanimous, we received donations and shopped to fill in the rest...and woila!!! ...our first Love Bomb was created. (See picture - Love Bomb #1!!) A few days later the first basket made a transition stop, and I left the state for Portland, Maine.  Sandy then hand delivered our very first Love Bomb to Mary,  filled with precious gifts from many generous hearts.   It was filled with chips and salsa, a comfy blanket to hug her, hair and bath products to pamper, chocolates, gift cards, a mug, a magazine...and, not sure of the rest but know it was a beautiful collection of love being showered on someone who was hurting.  

We have seen a lot of change in our two plus years.  We have grown, many faces are the same while others change.  We have done many projects beyond the love bombs, but they remain our constant.  One thing that's great about our love bombs is that they don't simply exist at Christmas.  I have done "adopt at Christmas" projects, but need is present 12 months of the years, 24/7.  While we can't help everyone,  we can work on one, or two, or our current 9 at a time and make a difference in their day.  

No, it's not Nana's Place.  Maybe someday it will be; God only knows.  What we do know is that we are making a difference.  I saw that in the eyes of the recipient we met yesterday.  We are each just an individual tool in God's workshop.  We are blessed to be the hammers, nails, screwdrivers, and wretches that the Carpenter uses to create His masterpieces.  

May you all feel the blessing that you are today. 

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