When I found out that Madyn was diagnosed with leukemia my brain went into hyper drive. What can I do, how can I help, how can I fix this? Because my nature tells me that I need to fix all problems that come my way. I need to give advice, wanted or unwanted and I need to fix it. Clearly, this wasn't something I could fix. As much as my heart broke from the news; the heart and smile of a 20 month old brought me back. It is ironic that the ones that are sick are usually the ones who heal the hearts of the grieving when it really should be the other way around.
Once I realized this wasn't something I could fix I knew something I could do was raise money for their family, hoping to take some stress off finances and focus their attention completely on the health of their children. So of course, I went overboard a little. I set up a Gold Canyon fundraiser so anyone who wanted to participate could help collect candle orders. I got together with my sister-in-laws and we decided to do a poker night. Well, that 1 poker night turned into 2 on 2 consecutive nights. Along with that I thought "hey, people would donate money to see me shave my head" so I set a goal of $1500 and if I reached that I would shave my head. I had a lot of people respond that they did not want to give money towards me shaving my head so I changed the rules a bit and allowed everyone who donated to vote if I should shave my head or let it grow and donate it to Locks of Love.
I received one donation in the first two weeks and thought...wow I might not even be able to raise money for them. As the month went on more donations trickled in. I was able to see the names of the people who donated and I was blown away by the people who donated and the amount they generously gave. Most of the people did not even know Madyn or her family and yet they still gave. It was such a blessing and so humbling to see God work in the hearts of the community. It is still hard to believe which is why I am stumbling through this post. I just am left speechless by so much generosity.
I do need to plug my business for just a minute not because of the business itself but because of the heart behind Gold Canyon. They do have a wonderful fundraising program that we were able to raise $350 for the Frazier family just by selling candles but that is not the most important part. When the founders of Gold Canyon, Curt and Karen Waisath started the company they said that if it was successful they were going to give back in some way. They started in 2000 an organization called The Prayer Child Foundation. In each catalog there are three or four specific Candles for Kids candles where 100% of the profits go to the Prayer Child Foundation as well as a percentage of all Gold Canyon's annual sales. Since they started the foundation they have given over $2.4 million to help children in need. When I heard about Madyn, I immediately sent in a grant request to the Prayer Child Foundation. During the second week in July I received a check in the mail made payable to Madyn in the amount of $500.00 from the Prayer Child Foundation. I just feel so honored to be part of a company with such a huge heart. I want to share this mostly to thank anyone who has ever purchased Gold Canyon products. You are a part of something bigger.
Well all of a sudden it was the week before our 2 poker nights and I realized I hadn't really planned anything. Sawyer had come down with walking pneumonia and I wasn't prepared. Luckily I have the best family in the whole world. My sister-in-laws had already planned and gotten everything ready for both nights. I basically showed up and enjoyed the festivities. We had about 20 people show up to each night to play poker and support the Frazier family including my amazing brothers and their wives. I just cannot say enough about how much my family stepped up and supported my vision helping every step of the way. I haven't really mentioned Travis in this but it is only because we were one in this. Together we dreamed of how we could help and together we worked to make that dream a reality.
My brother Jason and his wife Jill
My brother Jim and his wife Janelle along with a long time family friend J-Mac.
My brother Jeff and his wife Kara.
The weekend of the poker tournaments Hudson came down with a fever and it turned out to be an ear infection so needless to say, we were exhausted. We spent the next week recouping and getting ready for the "main event." The night I would shave my head if there were enough votes, but mainly to present the family with the money that had been raised over the past month and a half. My sister-in-law, Kara and her parents decided they wanted to do a yard sale that Saturday the 30th and they were going to donate whatever they made to Madyn. So, we threw it all together and made it happen. Let me just say...it was hot but well worth it.
Finally, it was the donation night. The morning started off with rain and thunder which lead to a very humid day. People came and sweated outside for a few hours but never complained. As I started my speech I became emotional thinking back over the last month and a half and everything we had accomplished. I made a list of all who donated, sold candles and/or participated in the poker nights to give to the Frazier family and was overwhelmed with the amount of people who came together. Their family has said thank you to Travis and I but really it wasn't us. We offered the opportunity for people to get involved and they did. It was clearly a work of God moving in his children to help this family.
I was proud to present to them a total of $4,535.00 and the donations keep coming in. I just received yesterday a package from my sweet friend Annie who lives down south over $300 in donations. Another dear friend, Helen, hosted an online auction that also raised over $300. This is what living is about. Not living for ourselves or our personal gain but taking on the burdens of others and coming alongside them. Thank you does not seem like enough but it is the only thing I can really say. Thank you to all who helped to make this so successful. You will be blessed by our God for the blessings you have given to another. And...I get to keep my hair.