Man, there really just are not enough hours in the day lately!
I have so many different post ideas floating around in my head right now, but finding the time to be able to sit down and actually write them all out has been proving more difficult than I’d like. It doesn’t help that Jay was gone away for work again this past week, and my day job has also had me working a little extra in the evenings occasionally, too.
On top of that, we are in full swing BUSY mode in the world of Usborne books with holiday shopping! Most of my evenings have been devoted to that business lately, but I absolutely LOVE it. So even though I’m busy, I’m having a blast. And speaking of, I’ve been meaning to share a little update on the book drive that I arranged!
Back in September, I arranged a book drive to raise money for our local children’s hospital (The Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center). I reached out to many friends and family, as well as local businesses, and with the help of many, we raised $1575 to purchase brand new books for the hospital. But on top of that, Usborne matches 50% of any funds that are raised, so I wound up being able to order over $2300 in books.
The day the shipments arrived, I was absolutely giddy.
A couple of weeks later, after working around different schedules, it was time for me to go over to the hospital to meet some of the staff and deliver all of their books.
From the moment I walked into the hospital and started speaking with their incredible Director of Development, I could already feel myself starting to get emotional. He was so gracious and beyond appreciative of the new books they were receiving, and continued to tell me how he’d never be able to truly explain just how much these books mean to the hospital.
We continued to walk and talk, and I received a very nice tour of many areas in the Children’s Hospital. Talk about a wonderful place!
Along our tour, we also met up with some of the hospital’s child life experts, and as we continued talking and they shared stories with me, I found myself tearing up on more than one occasion.
I heard stories of children who wound up coming into the hospital unexpectedly, bringing nothing with them, and finding comfort in their special reading time in their library. I learned about children who came through the hospital with no books at home, and being gifted a book during their stay just brightened up their entire day.
I heard a lot of really wonderful, heartwarming stories as we continued to walk the halls, but as we’d pass by certain things like a chemo treatment area, or I’d hear a baby crying somewhere, I couldn’t help but feel on the verge of tears at any given moment.
What I expected to simply be a very nice gesture of donating books to the hospital ended up not only being incredibly heartwarming, but also completely emotional.
I’m sure it was a mix of a lot of things, like the immense appreciation combined with the stories of heartbreak, but as soon as I got back to my car, all I could do was sit and cry. I was completely and utterly overwhelmed. I was so thankful to have the opportunity to give back to the community and to those in need. I was an emotional mess thinking about all of the young boys and girls who come through that hospital every day, some with conditions that no child should ever have to deal with.
I swear, motherhood has wrecked me (I mean that in the best way possible), in terms of always worrying about my own children and empathizing with others, and I left that day just wanting to be able to come home and hug my own babies.
I also left that day wanting to do more. To give back more, even to be a part of the hospital in some way. I’d love to be able to do something as simple as volunteer to read to the children; but honestly, I find myself so emotional in those settings that I fear I truly wouldn’t be able to hold it together. I really do not know how those of you out there who work with children in these kinds of settings do it. You are true superheroes, and I tip my hat to you.
So in the end, what started as a simple and kind gesture to work with Usborne to donate books to our hospital, really ended up having a much more profound impact than I could have imagined. I am incredibly grateful for the entire experience, but most of all, for everyone who helped donate towards our book drive. I couldn’t have done any of this without all of you, and I look forward to doing it again next year! <3