It is nothing short of miraculous what a group of individuals, children as it is, can do when they put their faith in action. This past Sunday, New Life Church in New Lenox, IL, made the Lucky Cast Club their faith in action recipient. Families were asked during the month of January to donate gently used toys to be offered in a toy fundraiser later in the month. The story of our children was then relayed to the children in the form of a relatable children's tale. We found the story so moving we are inspired to create a similar children's book to share with new families entering this process. Through their efforts & generosity $400 was raised to help fund future projects sponsored by the Lucky Cast Club.
Our club does big things with a extremely small budget. We depend on the generosity of others and huge hearts such as those at New Life Church to help us meet the needs of families and centers treating Infantile Scoliosis. In our two years in service we have been touched by so many. Hundreds of sponsors donated children's DVD's, pajama's, toys and more to help us provide comfort for many children, not just those with Infantile Scoliosis. We have had a dream to provide car-seats for casters over the past few years. We have, to date, purchased and distributed 7 Britax car-seats to friends who need to safely transport their children from point A to B. After very little discussion it was decided the money raised from the Toy Drive would purchase 4 Excellent Used condition Britax Marathon seats. As if by miracle, after receiving the news of the generosity of New Life Church, we purchased our first seat of 2012! It was in perfect condition and a fabulous pink floral cover. Since the hospitals can only distribute NIB seats the seller agreed to ship it directly to our friend in Kansas who has been waiting 6 months for such a gift. Imagine the fear of having your child being diagnosed, going under general anesthesia, & having to purchase new clothes, bedding for many, & then have a normal convertible car-seat simple not work. That is what we faced nearly 2.5 years ago. We had went out and spent nearly $300 replacing our infant seats with convertible car-seats only to have the hospital car-seat specialist tell us the seat wasn't a good fit. Their height and girth in cast makes finding a carseat that will work and be safe hard. Both of our new seats were purchased more than 30 days in advance and they were past the Babies R Us return time frame. It was after my parents went together to give me an early Christmas present of a Britax Boulevard that I started the search for gentle used Britax seats. Britax is one of the few carseats that are made with a steel reinforced frame. They sell replacement parts for all but the structural components of the seat. They are said to be one of the safest on the market and thankfully a perfect fit for most kids in cast.
When we started this club we knew we were taking a risk. It started with a simple $50 donation. Over the years the we have hosted "Fun" raisers as well as fundraisers to help keep the ball rolling. Many of the founding families came from a background where we noticed other groups begging for funds yet never knew where the donations were going. We knew enough to know we wanted every dollar raised to be redistributed to those who needed it. We have always stayed true to this model. If you donated $200, then $200 would fund parent packs, portable DVD players, books for DVD's, etc... Money would go towards tangible proof of donation rather then a promise of something. It has never been our goal to educate the educated, rather support their efforts. This is a Faith in Action in itself.
In 2012 our club has grown and with it our needs and dreams are mounting. I have eternal faith that all our needs and goals will be reached. As we are still a club, it is of the utmost importance and at this point a necessity that we achieve 501C3 status. I am setting this as an intention and a promise to our families we will find a way to make this happen. It doesn't matter if we have gifted grant writers on our side if we don't have the appropriate status to accompany our good intentions. We will host our first large scale "Fun" raising event this fall/winter & are looking forward to sharing family events in the coming year as well. Our mission to Dream Big hasn't changed. We are a community of dreamers who like New Life Church are willing to put our Faith In Action to reach just one more person. If you are interested in getting involved we are always open to extending our reach. If you have a Gently used Britax seat you would like to donate to our car-seat for casters program or possible sell at a reasonable price, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We do need a guarantee the seat has never been involved in an accident. Cosmetic issues can be addressed we just want to ensure the seats structural integrity.
To all of our friends and donors, you have given time, talent, & heart to our organization. You have shown Faith in our projects, encouraged our dreams and embraced our futures. We would not be where we are today without each of you. For our members, the heart of our group, you are the very definition of Faith In Action. Your awareness of the families traveling this journey with you shows an understanding of what makes us each a integral member of the team. You lift others up when they can't walk and find joy in the everyday miracles. You have made each moment better by having you by each others side. Thank you for another amazing year!
Until next time, Keep it Curvy~
Catie(Scoliosis Sucks) D.