Wednesday, June 27, 2012

12 in 12: June 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 June: 

- Take 1 bag of food to the food shelf. We donated two bulk packages of noodle soup (12 per container) to the collection container at Cub Foods. They, in turn, bring it to the local food shelf.

Sophia and Olivia with the food they are donating this month.

- Volunteer 1 hour at a community organization that is chosen each month (can be the same one or different one). We are continuing to donate our time to the African Library Project. We are in the process of collecting 1,000 books so a children's library can be established in Lesotho, Africa.

Olivia and Sophia with some of the books they received
for the library in Lesotho.

The girls had an article written about them in the local paper, and that resulted in some more donations of books which was exciting!

Although not an organization, we have been helping my mom in her transition from the Transitional Care Unit to assisted living apartment, and finally home on June 27th. It's been a four-month journey that began with a fractured ankle on February 28th.

Mom holding a stuffed bear at Costco.
Sophia and I helped her shop for basics that she will need
when she returned home on the 27th.

Sophia and I also picked out flowers for my mom and I planted them in the middle of June in containers. We've been watering the flowers so that they were ready when she returned home.

Five containers of flowers. 
There's also a container with tomato plants
for my mom/the girls' grandma.

On June 27th, we helped my mom/the girls' grandma pack her belongings at the assisted living apartment, work with the moving company, go grocery shopping, help unpack some of her belongings at home, and set up the containers of flowers along the front walkway.

- Donate 1 bag of clothing to a second-hand shop. We found a bag of clothes to donate to Family Pathways this month.

Sophia with a bag of clothing.
The money that Family Pathways earns from the sale of clothing and
other items is used for its programs that 
support those in need in the community.

- Donate 1 bag of toys and other non-clothing items to a second-hand shop. I cleaned out a small dresser and found a bag of household items and toys that we donated to Family Pathways.

Olivia holding a bag of toys and household items.

- Donate 12 books that we no longer read to organizations needing books. We donated 32 books this month to the African Library Project. We are excited that these books will help children in Lesotho, Africa, learn to read.

Sophia and Olivia with some of the books
we donated this month.

- Donate $12 to an organization that helps individuals, animals, or the environment. Sophia and Olivia wanted the donation to support the animals at Northwoods again this month. We all are very committed to helping this organization find permanent, loving families for the animals who are there.

Casper is looking for a home without other cats.
It sounds like he was being picked on by the other cats.
He is such an affectionate cat.

There were many new cats, dogs, and kittens this month. There were a few animals that we recognized from the previous month. I was so surprised to see Lucy - a gentle lab still there. The owner had to surrender her because he had to go an assisted living facility that didn't allow pets. If Lucy was good with cats, I would have adopted her in a minute. Hopefully she finds a new home soon.

Sophia with a young lab. He was a happy, friendly dog.
Lucy, the other lab, is in the kennel next to Sophia.

- Write 1 letter to someone who has made a difference in our lives. This month I wrote to Sr. Ruth Ann who works at St. Therese. I first met her back in October when my dad moved there. She was a reassuring and compassionate person who provided my dad and our entire family with a lot of support through a very difficult time in our lives.

She also provided support to my mom when she was at the Transitional Care Unit at St. Therese from March 1st-May 19th. She listened, talked with, and prayed with my mom; and took her to mass when she was able to go.

- Donate 1 bag of pop cans to places that collect them to raise funds. Sophia and Olivia chose Northwoods Humane Society as the recipient for the cans this month. The last time they donated here (in April), it was raining. I think they were happy that it was a sunny day when they dropped off the cans. 

Olivia and Sophia putting the cans in the can collector.

The cans are recycled and the money earned is used to support Northwoods as they find homes for the animals who come there.

One of the dogs at Northwoods who needed a home.

- Donate 1 bag of Purina Kitten Chow to Northwoods Humane Society (where Gretel was adopted). We donated the Kitten Chow this month and got to see lots of kittens who would be eating the food. 

There was a cute little black kitten that looked just like Shadow. The kitten was equally as vocal as Shadow. There were more litters of kittens in other cages - all needing families to care for them.

The girls holding Kitten Chow and $12 to donate to
Northwoods Humane Society.

The kitten who looked like a miniature version of Shadow.

- Spend 1 hour outdoors doing projects that help wildlife. We continued to feed the birds at the feeders we have here. It's been fun this month because the parent-birds and showing the young-birds where the feeders are and how to find food. 

Sometimes the parents will feed the young birds, and other times the young ones are old enough to eat on their own. The ones that are learning how to fly will flutter their wings quite a big - even when they are eating or sitting on a branch.

Two birds at one of the feeders.
The one in the back is a young cardinal.

- Make and randomly drop off 1 toy for a child to find as part of The Toy Society. This month I hand-embroidered a little pig from wool felt and stuffed with wool from sheep I raised. 

Toy that was made for a child.

We chose to leave the pig, along with a note explaining that it was free and left to be found, at Interstate State Park in Taylors Falls, Minnesota. We put the pig by the loon in the Visitors' Center (the loon is Minnesota's state bird).

The toy waiting to be found.

- Share 1 time the gift of music or singing with others. Sophia and Olivia each played the piano when their grandma returned home.

Above: Olivia playing the piano with her cousin Addy looking on.
Below: Sophia playing the piano for her grandma.

Olivia also brought her glockenspiel along, and played some of the songs she's learned. Olivia just started percussion lessons this summer and the glockenspiel is the first instrument she is learning how to play.

Olivia playing the glockenspiel for her grandma.

(As a side note, the glockenspiel is "composed of a set of tuned keys arranged in the fashion of the keyboard of a piano. In this way, it is similar to the xylophone; however, the xylophone's bars are made of wood, while the glockenspiel's are metal plates or tubes, thus making it a metallophone. The glockenspiel, moreover, is usually smaller and higher in pitch.")

No comments: