The following letter was sent by the craft coordinator to all 2008 craft teachers after camp telling them of our first craft basket winner, Mary, and to share with them what their kindness brought to her.
Hello again, Ladies,
I wanted to relate a story to you of which you are a part and for which I have received the necessary permission to do so. It all begins with my asking if you would be willing to donate to our very first attempt at the craft basket. First one of you stood, and then there were 2; soon there were 4 and then came 8. I knew then that we might be able to get this idea off the ground and not fall flat at the attempt. I was absolutely stunned at the $682 that came from a small seed planted! But the best is yet to come. Often kindnesses are rewarded far beyond our expectations...thus the following story. As the winning number of the basket was read, met by silence from the audience at Skit Night, the lady next to me was reading her tickets. Again the number was offered up. I heard her quiet voice say, "Is this the ticket...is this the number??" "It is!" said her friend, "Stand up!" And she did. Tears of joy slid down her face, chokes of delight and that same quiet voice saying, "My mom is here!"
Let me explain further. This lady, Mary, is a wonderful person who 3 years ago took on the enormous responsibility of raising her 3 grandchildren alone after the sudden death of her beloved daughter. Mary had been to our camp for the first time last year and her probability of coming this year was in danger for her mother had become quite ill and had been in the hospital for several weeks. Despite her own hospitalization, her mother, Lucille, desperately wanted her daughter to come to camp. It was the only time Mary could treat herself to some much needed "me" time. Sadly, Lucille passed away 10 days before camp. Beyond belief was the fact that at the funeral for her incredible mother, her stepfather had a stroke. Hurdles that we only read about. Mary's grief was overwhelming but she decided to honor her mother's wishes...she would still make the trip to camp.
So now you can understand the words that Mary quietly uttered as those tears of joy and grief and gladness and disbelief slid down her cheeks at winning the basket. "Mom is here." It was because of your kindness and generosity that you changed the complexion if only for a little while for someone who deserved and needed the love of others. I remain grateful to each of you for your offerings to this new project and because Mary is my friend, I thank you for her. So you see, kindness comes in all ways with rewards that we cannot even imagine. Thank you so much.