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).