I've been involved with a charity for a year or two now, one that came about partly because of how things unfolded right around the time Q was born. It's not an easy thing to be caring for a special needs newborn, much less his four older siblings, and alone at that. As time has gone on I've been more able to pull everything together, though it still ebbs and flows. I used to get either my teeth or hair brushed, but never both within spitting distance of each other. Get it? Spitting distance? Yeah...
Anyhoo. As time has gone on, Q has not progressed through purees that most babies start out with. He has not gone on to picking up little cubes of cooked veggies. He doesn't make it through a meal without just about guaranteeing that I wear some of his delectable smooth foods. Blueberries don't do good things for a person's fashion aspirations. Because of a variety of other issues, there's also a constant risk of some sort of spitting up -- it's rare to go more than a few days without Q losing some food item that we worked to get into him. Often, that too means that my clothes take a hit.
Enter the dear friend who started Out of the Gray, a charity set up to help caregivers get some of their own needs met, mostly in the clothing department. Before she filed her 501(c)(3) paperwork, before she'd even thought to consider her amazing talent for finding brand new gorgeous clothes in unlikely-ish places to be something she could offer to other people -- women who are somewhat overwhelmed by the demands placed on them.
When times are tough, mamas scramble even harder for their babies, even when those babies are full grown. Women work themselves nearly to death every single day caring for a mom or dad, as that person they knew as parent is being slowly stolen away by a degrading brain. And these are just the typical examples. How about a sister caring for her child-like younger sibling because there's no one left to take on the job? I bet if you think back you'll remember watching moments of pure grace unfold when someone stopped to care so tenderly for a child in a wheelchair, or to scoop up a five year old whose knees are giving out as she learns to walk. If you've looked especially carefully you might have witnessed kisses bestowed on a laughing punkin whose delight may never come in words. There are a million different ways to love our families, many of them honoring courage that defies naming. So. Here's the news: she's helped out three women now, and has more names on a list. That paperwork is in the official government pipeline. A fundraiser is planned for February. And she has a Paypal button. Here's the link: Style with Purpose.