Back at it with another Books for Charley update! Just 1 left after this before we get to our BIG Omaha donation and our grand totals for 2014. But let's not get ahead of ourselves....next up is an update from our friends in Michigan!
Our Michigan Books for Charley collection looked a little different in 2014 than it has in years past. It was still fronted by our adorable friend Aly and her mama Jenny, but this year they decided to make their final donation to somewhere a little closer to home. You might remember that the books collected in Michigan have traditionally found their way to the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. When we first asked Aly's family to participate in Books for Charley back in 2012, Aly was still having pretty frequent follow-ups with her surgical/cardiac team at Mott. Fortunately, two years later Aly has continued to THRIVE following her surgeries, and as a result, her family isn't traveling that direction very often. That is 1000% awesome for Miss Aly - but it didn't make the whole book donation process the most convenient.
Enter - Plan B (Which I love just as much as the original Plan A!) Back in April Jenny emailed me and asked if it would be ok to split up this year's donation between a few special places. Some would go to the pediatric floor at their local hospital, some to Aly's cardiologist's office, and last but not least, to an organization known as Sisters by Heart. I couldn't have been more excited.
Some quick info on Sisters By Heart for those of you who are unfamiliar with the group...
Sisters By Heart is a group of heart moms who came together during their CHD journey – some of whom were fortunate to meet prior to their CHD warriors arrival. Knowing the challenges and difficulties we faced upon diagnosis, and more so, upon bringing our HLHS fighters into this world, we created Sisters by Heart to reach out to and to support parents of the newly diagnosed. A major aspect of our mission is to send care packages to new mothers (and fathers) who are at the beginning of their journey. We want them to know that they are not alone and provide resources and understanding while their child undergoes care and treatment from birth throughout recovery.
Jenny happens to be the Director of Outreach for SBH and is currently housing all of the contents of the above mentioned care packages. When she asked if she could include Books for Charley books among those contents there was no hesitation behind my YES.
"Knowing your child is going to be born with a critical congenital heart defect is devastating... for everyone.. Not just the parents. Siblings are also scared and confused for many reasons. It's hard to explain to a child why your parents are spending long days at the hospital and why their little brother/sister has to stay there. Siblings can take a backseat to a sick baby and that's hard on them too."
We feel so blessed that Sisters By Heart has given us the opportunity to be a small part of the amazing work that they do. PLEASE, if you know anyone with an HLHS child or expecting an HLHS child, send them over to http://www.sisters-by-heart.org/ and encourage them to introduce themselves to this amazing group of heart mamas.
So anyway...now that I've rambled on forever...I suppose I should get to the good stuff!! Books for Charley: Michigan edition collected a grand total of 186 books! WHOOHOO!! I love it! And they were even kind enough to share a picture with us of one of their SBH book recipients. One of my favorite things ever is finding out where our books land, and this picture absolutely made my day.
Thank you Jenny, for continuing to help us honor our sweet Charlotte and for thinking outside the box to spread the Books for Charley love to other heart families. We are forever grateful to your family and to all of the people who help drive your collection year after year. YOU'RE ALL AWESOME!!!
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