Friday, August 31, 2012

12 in 12: August Update

During 2012, Sophia, Olivia, and I are doing a special challenge that we've named 12 in 12. We are doing 12 different activities that help people in need, animals, or the environment. 

This is how we did during August: 

- Take 1 bag of food to the food shelf.

Olivia with a donation to the food shelf.

We donated a 12-pack of Ramen Noodle Soup to Community Helping Hand.

The gentleman at Community Helping Hand 
had a huge smile on his face when 
Olivia handed him the soup.
She, in turn, was even more excited about 
donating to the food shelf.

Although this isn't the largest donation we've made this year, we also purchased food for making a healthy snack for 20 people (adults and children) for Project Home that will be at the UU church during September. There are 26 churches who help provide shelter for families who are homeless.

We are happy to be able to provide a snack to the 20 people through Project Home next month, so we opted to put more of our money towards that project. Pictures of what we are going to be doing will be posted with the 12 in 12: September Update.

- Volunteer 1 hour at a community organization that is chosen each month (can be the same one or different one).

We are continuing to help with the African Library Project. This month, the Sharing Shop at Lakes Free Church asked if we wanted to go through books that they had in the shop. Sophia, Olivia, and I sorted through a dozen boxes of books - including reading books, curriculum, and learning tools.

Olivia and Sophia with 5 boxes of books.

Because we are sending books to a primary school, we could only select those items which fell into the age bracket of the children who will be using the books. We were very happy to leave with five boxes of books for the African Library Project - including a dictionary for each grade level!

Donate 1 bag of clothing to a second-hand shop.

We donated one bag of clothing to Family Pathways during August.

Sophia and Olivia with a bag of clothes 
and two bags of other items.

Donate 1 bag of toys and other non-clothing items to a second-hand shop.

We donated two bags of non-clothing items at the beginning of the month. (See photo above.) In addition, we had three bags and a toy mailbox to Family Pathways in the middle of the month after cleaning Olivia's closet.

Three bags of non-clothing items and a toy mailbox.

We also had another two bags on the 29th of the month after cleaning my office closet.

Two more bags of items to the thrift shop.

Donate 12 books that we no longer read to organizations needing books.

We donated 16 books to Family Pathways this month (they were included in one of the bags that is pictured above). These books were ones that were ones that the African Library Project couldn't use (e.g., the reading level is above fourth grade, there was only text and no pictures).

We also donated four bags of curriculum to the homeschool co-op that meets at Lakes Free Church. Hopefully these resources will be of use to families who are looking for curriculum to augment what they are using this year.

Donate $12 to an organization that helps individuals, animals, or the environment.

We donated $12 to Northwoods Humane Society this month. Unfortunately, when we delivered the donation, they were not open yet (they open at 3:00 p.m.).

Eddie is looking for a new home.

So, we left the donation along with the bag of kitten chow at the back door and called to notify them of the donation when we came back home.

Alakazam is looking for a family to care for him.

Write 1 letter to someone who has made a difference in our lives.

I wrote a thank you note to the people from whom we adopted Eenie, Meenie, and Miney from many years ago. Although Miney isn't with us any longer, Eenie and Meenie are, and have been wonderful additions to the family.

Mom Dad and Eenie

My Dad/the girls' Papa petting Eenie.
This was about five weeks before my dad died.
(Taken on November 27, 2011.)

Eenie, especially, is a cat who the girls enjoy (and vice versa). He is very patient; and likes to sit on laps and be pet.

Dad Eenie and Sophia
My Dad, Sophia, and Eenie at the nursing home.
He had been in the nursing home for 17 days at this point.
(Taken on October 20, 2011.)

His special role, by far, was being a therapy cat/visitor to my Dad when he was in the nursing home. Eenie provided comfort to my Dad when his world seemed confusing thanks to Alzheimer's Disease. Eenie also was very good with people when Sophia and Olivia took him to the Alzheimer's Disease/Dementia Unit at the nursing home.

Had the people not offered the kittens for free to anyone who would take them, Eenie and the girls wouldn't have had that opportunity to connect with their Papa and others who have challenges with their memory during the past year.

Donate 1 bag of pop cans to places that collect them to raise funds.

We were surprised to see that the can collector at Northwoods Humane Society was completely full and there were bags of cans that were next to it.

Sophia and Olivia with a bag of cans for Northwoods.

The money they earn from recycling the cans will directly help the animals they care for until they are adopted.

Flash looks like he would be a great companion!

Donate 1 bag of Purina Kitten Chow to Northwoods Humane Society.

We donated one bag of Kitten Chow to help the kittens who are living at Northwoods and who are waiting for a family to adopt them.

Olivia with $12 and Sophia with a bag of Kitten Chow.

There seems to be kittens at Northwoods each month, so we know that the food is needed and will be used.

Wylie is a kitten who is available for adoption.

There are many cats and kittens that need homes at Northwoods

Spend 1 hour outdoors doing projects that help wildlife.

We continue to fill up the feeders with a variety of bird seed and "nectar" for the hummingbirds and butterflies. There is constant bird traffic at the feeders throughout the day which is interesting to watch.

Two beautiful, colorful birds at the feeders.

One morning, on August 29th, there were easily a dozen birds at the feeders, the bird bath, in the (overgrown) garden, and in the trees. There was even a rabbit eating the weeds and tall grass near the feeder.

The bird bath has been busy as well with birds drinking water as well as taking baths in it. The water needs to be changed and filled about every couple of days. 

Make and randomly drop off 1 toy for a child to find as part of The Toy Society.

I hand-embroidered a toy elephant using wool felt, cotton embroidery floss, and stuffing from sheep that I raised.

Elephant toy that I hand-embroidered.

Olivia picked Gammelgarden Museum as the drop-off point for the toy. We picked the gazebo this month (another month we chose the slide).

The drop-off spot for the elephant.
We always wonder who finds the toys and 
what their reaction is when they see it is free.

We are hoping a child finds the toy soon and enjoys playing with it.

Share 1 time the gift of music (piano and/or harp) or singing with others.

Sophia performed on August 1st at the county fair at the preteen talent show. She auditioned with another harpist in July and was selected to perform at the show.

Sophia introducing herself and Elizabeth as well as
telling a bit about the song they were going to play.

So, Sophia and Elizabeth played "Edelweiss" on their harps in front of over 200 people.

Video of the girls playing "Edelweiss."

Olivia played the piano for her grandma after we came back from a trip to southeastern Minnesota.

Olivia playing the piano for Nana.

Olivia played a piece she had memorized, and promised to bring some music the next time she visited so she could play more songs.

The only ones among you who will be really happy 
are those who have sought and found how to serve.
~ Albert Schweitzer ~

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