Sunday, April 22, 2012

Anything is possible

Yesterday I was invited to attend a fundraiser for the Food Bank.  It was a scrapbooking day with Lisa Bearnson, founder of Creative Keepsakes magazine, as a demonstrator and keynote speaker.  Being an avid scrapbooker and card maker, I couldn't resist and said "Yes, I'd love to go"!  I'm glad I did.

First of all, I'll tell you that I forgot my camera.  We were about 30 miles from home and 5 miles from the event before I even thought about it.  That's ok.  Jenny and I both decided to pack light, even though we knew many others would be bringing in cases on wheels full of scrapbooking tools and supplies.  My thought was that I was there to learn and wouldn't have time to do much scrapbooking.  Boy was I wrong.  Many of their vendors didn't show.  Just didn't show!  Those that were there seemed to be trying to unload yesterday's tools, papers and embellishments.  It was really very sad.  The one other scrapbooking event I went to in St. Louis many years ago, had vendors everywhere demonstrating new techniques.  There was none of that.  Hour after hour women (and one man) just sat scrapbooking and visiting with each other.  Since I had brought some paper and photos, I worked on scrapbooking some pages of a trip we took years ago.  But with having just brought a few basic tools and supplies, I soon found myself frustrated.  Jenny needed help on a layout of a collage of pictures she was doing for a Down's Syndrome client of hers, who had just lost her mother.  That one moved me to tears.  Since the day started with registration at 7:00 am, it seemed to drag on forgever.

Howeve, the highlights outweighed the disappointments.  The Director of the Food Bank talked about their needs and the work they do.  She especially talked about their Buddy Pack program.  About the kids who were being fed through federally funded programs during the school year, provided with breakfast and lunches.  However, they were left hungry during the weekend, returning to school the next Monday famished.  Children who are victims of abuse, divorce, drugs, alcohol, and often of parents who were trying to do everything right and yet were victims of the economy and no jobs.  The Buddy Pack program simply was providing these children food for the weekend.  The Food Bank would give the schools back packs filled with food on Fridays.  While the children were outside playing, the teachers would place those packs along with the needy child's book bag to be taken home. 

They were trying to help these kids without embarassing them and giving cause for other kids to make fun of them.  But kids are smart.  They quickly figured out if a child was carrying home two back packs, one must contain something other than books.  But as far as Eva (the speaker) knew, there was no tormenting.  Quite the opposite happened.  The other kids felt sorry for them (something nobody wants, but...) they told their parents these families were hungry.  The community began to pull together and help each other.  We all need to help each other more. 

Then it was Lisa Bearnson's turn to talk.  What a sweet, uplifting, lady.  She talked about following your dreams.  She had been in a lucrative but boring job as editor of Work Perfect Magazine.   (How many remember the Word Perfect program?  Anyone besides me?)  A friend asked her if she could do anything, what would it be? Without hesitation she replied, "I would create a scrapbooking magazine".  And that is what she did.  She admits it wasn't easy, but with the support of family and friends she did it.  She told of how she pitched her idea to a media consultant and he laughed in her face.  He gave her many reasons why it would never work.  The biggest reasons were 1. 80% of new magazines fail (I think she said 80%); 2. She need at least $1 Million in start up money (she had $150,000; and 3. It was the dumbest idea he had ever heard.  I believe she said the first edition sold over 40,000 copies (I really should have taken notes).  Years later she sold her very successful magazine to the consultant's company.  Her message was one of love of life and family.  It was one of believing in yourself.  I came away feeling like anything is possible.  I've never met such a down to earth celebrity (for lack of a better word).  She sat around and visited with whoever would give her the time of day.  She was as moved as I was by the Food Bank's program.  Her appearance was free.  She paid for her own travel, lodging and made a substantial donation to the cause.  She definitely has my admiration.

And today?  I keep telling myself that anything is possible.  I guess sitting from 6 am (have to factor in travel time) til 9 pm is not a good thing.  As I crawled out of bed this morning, I found my left leg would not cooperate.  I think I have a pinched nerve in my hip.  I'm sure, though, with a little heat and careful movement, I'll be good as new in no time.

Here's to sunshine and smiles for everyone!  (Am keeping my fingers crossed the wish works since it is rather dreary here).


Funny in My Mind said...

When I scrapbooked every weekend with Creative Memories, I was loyal to Lisa's magazine. I used to spend every Sat. in a room full of women talking and getting page after page doe. I even went on a retreat with some of them to KC. After we bought the restaurant, I gave up.
I think they use the backpacks in Springfield, I heard it on the news a while back. That is a fantastic idea. Maybe I should try to do that here in my town.

Rita said...

Sorry there weren't decent vendors there, but it sounds like it was worth the trip for the speakers. Next time you should bring lots of stuff with you so you will be prepared either way--LOL! I hope your leg is better. :)

That corgi :) said...

I've heard of that backpack concept, I think our local food bank does it too; it is a wonderful program and so appreciated; glad to see kids aren't being teased about it! I do remember Word Perfect, LOL; it was the first word processing system I worked on and it was just about perfect, LOL, I did like it; very user friendly.

Anything is possible indeed! Sounds like it was a good time all in all even though some parts of it didn't fall into place with vendors.


Charade said...

I like the concept of the backpack food program. It's unbelievable that in 2012, even with a poor economy, there should be a hungry child in this country. Our family donations go primarily to causes that feed others, but it's apparent we could be doing more ourselves.

Toriz said...

That's really nice about the reaction of the kids who noticed the other kids had the food backpacks, and what happened as a result. :)

Your wish worked where I am; it was a beautiful day here. I spent a good hour at the park with Kero, and a lot of the morning in our little yard. And there were lots of smiles too; first because of the nice weather and the time out in it, and then because I published my very first book this afternoon (go to my blog for more details).

Yep; anything is possible if you put in the effort! :)

Queenie Jeannie said...

It sounds like the very best and very worst of scrap meets! I can't believe they didn't have vendors lined up, etc! Wow! And you had to pay money to go??

So happy to hear about the buddy pack program! I know in Georgia there were kids that went hungry A LOT and it was always sad to see. Especially in our own country!!!

I hope your leg feels better really soon! We had one glorious day of sunshine on Saturday, and now we're back to dreary rain too. Oh well, might as well enjoy it while we have it....August will wind up being hot, hot, hot! Hugs!

Pix said...

Deanna you forgot your camera?! Hope your leg starts to feel better quick! The Buddy Pack program sounds like a wonderful program. It stayed cloudy cool and windy all day Sunday. I curled up on the porch with a book. I been trying to not spend as much time on the computer :)

Nezzy said...

What a wonderfully upliftin' post sweetie. Our church is active in the backpack program here.

I had a little Middle School boy once who was so malnourished his hair was fallin' out. We contacted Family Services and were told that, "malnourishment was not a priority and that I we could take pictures of physical abuse they'd take action." Grrrrrrrr!!!

We had no such program back then but made sure this boy had food over weekends and holidays.

Yep sweet sister, anything is possible. I'm so happy ya got to go.

God bless and have a super great week my friend!!! :o)

AliceKay said...

Raising money for a food bank is a very good cause. Sorry to hear so many vendors didn't show up for the fundraiser, but I'm glad the speakers made the day enjoyable. I've never heard of the Buddy Pack program, but it sounds like a great idea.

This country needs to start taking better care of it's own. It gives so much to Third World countries, and yet we have children in this country going hungry on a regular basis. Education is heading in that direction, too. Too many budget cuts in public school funding, yet lawmakers still collect their big salaries and pensions.

We had about an inch of snow right here where I live when we woke this morning, but some areas around the county have several inches. Western Pennsylvania is getting hit hard from what I've been seeing on the news. The local Weather Channel just said there's another 1 to 3 inches of snow heading our way tonight and tomorrow morning. I mowed lawn Saturday afternoon between rain showers and shoveled a little snow this morning. Crazy spring weather.

I hope your leg and hip are feeling better by now. *hugs*

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

I think the Back Pack program sounds like a wonderful program. It's amazing to me that in this country of so much wealth that there are hungry children, but I know it's true.

Hope the leg is much better now!

Intense Guy said...

So uplifting. There is absolutely NO reason for ANY child to go hungry in this country - and if even one does... shame on us.

I remember Word Perfect quite well - I resisted the "change" to Micro$oft Word for years. I even wrote WP macro's professionally. :)

Ahh, the good ol' days!

Intense Guy said...

*hugs ya gentle*

I hope that leg is feeling fine today.

Missouri Gal said...

Hard to believe kids go hungry in the USA nowadays but I don't doubt it.
I used to love scrapbooking. I haven't done any in a long time.