Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Event of the Century

“If it is to be, it is up to me.”

I have been tossing the idea of a fund raiser for Brain Health Research for several years.  The first time I heard about NARSAD (now Brain & Behavior Research Foundation) and what it did, I knew it would be one of my favorite causes.  I loved the fact that 100% of donations go to funding scientists and doctors to study the brain. In the last 6 years I also have discovered most of our population is affected in some way with Autism, ADHD, OCD, PTSD, Schizophrenia, Depression or Bi Polar.  Almost every family I meet is dealing with at least one of these areas. Yet, this foundation is a pretty well kept secret.
I decided it is time to change this.

There are 11 letters in the two words brain health.  When I realized this, I knew my idea for a fund raiser had to happen this year.

If it is to be, it is up to me.  So I have begun planning an ‘11’ party/fund raiser.  The date, of course, will be 11-11-11.  I will capitalize on the number 11, use, overuse, and probably abuse it. 

The first item on my agenda to make this happen: get some others on board to help me.  I hope to enlist the help of ‘11’ people, including myself, and form a committee.  At the time of this writing, I have 4 great members.   We will meet each month until 11-11-11 on the 11th at precisely 7:11 p.m. 

Next item – rent the hall to hold this spectacular event.  I have begun this process.

Other ideas I have rumbling around in my brain:
  1. Sell advance tickets for $11.  Tickets will also be available at the door.  Get the ticket printing donated.
  2. Offer a simple, but delicious homemade meal for $11.  Get all ingredients donated.
  3. Sell t-shirts that promote Brain Health awareness for $11.  Get the t-shirts donated.
  4. In conjunction with the meal, have a bake sale.  Plates of cookies, cupcakes, etc will contain ‘11’ instead of 12.  Of course, all baked goods will be donated.
  5. Have a silent auction, asking donations from local businesses, craftsmen and anyone who wishes to donate.
  6. Have information tables with free literature on different areas of brain health or brain disorders, such as NAMI organizations, etc.  Basically, ‘Where to turn for help if your family is affected.’
  7. Sell Silver Ribbon campaign items.
  8. To help defray expenses, ask business and individuals for a donation of $11.  Extra money will be donated.

Ready, Set, GO!
Let’s have a party.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Baby And A Herd Of Goats

A baby and a herd of goats

Deuteronomy 26:7 (New International Version)
… we cried out to the LORD, the God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice …

The silence of the night was interrupted by a sharp cry as I bolted out of bed. Glancing at the clock I groaned.   My footsteps were hurried as I rushed to my infant’s crib.  I had rested my weary body for a mere 2 hours.  Kathy was up again.  Her tiny knees were drawn up to her tummy, fists clenched, and her rough pimply skin was fiery red.  She cried inconsolably. After a clean diaper I nursed her, rocked and soothed her back to sleep. This was my daily routine.  Allergies to milk, fibers and environment had made my 3rd child’s world a sentence.  Her petite body was covered in an angry rash while cramps invaded her abdomen.  Sleep for both of us came intermittently.

 I tried everything to bring Kathy comfort. Breast feeding was my first choice of nourishment for her, but Kathy reacted severely to foods I was eating.  I tried several formulas, but she vomited them.  So I continued to nurse her. I chose my food with care and avoided things I knew triggered a negative result for Kathy.  She found some relief residing in a front infant carrier, tummy to tummy.  Often she rode there all day, the warmth of my body soothing hers.  Exhausted,   I cried out, “Lord, what do you want me to do?  I have tried everything for her.” 

Days later, while visiting my great aunt I shared my frustrations about Kathy’s situation.   She told me of a family that fed their children goat’s milk.   They were the healthiest children she knew.  After much searching I found a can of evaporated goat milk in a health food store.  It was very expensive, but I purchased it, diluted it as directed and fed it hopefully to Kathy.  She didn’t react.  She slept!  I saw her first smile!  Excited I returned to the store and obtained another can.  I used it sparingly because of availability and price.  But I had hope.

A month passed.  I went to vote at the neighborhood polling center. While there Kathy began to wail again. The elderly gentleman registering me inquired about her distress.  I explained our situation about her allergies, the goat’s milk and our lack of it.  Russell, as I soon came to know, lived nearby.  Upon hearing my story he smiled.  “I have a herd of milking goats.  Come get some milk for your daughter.”  For the seven years Kathy lived on goat’s milk, I had an abundant supply of fresh milk for her.  Shortly after her need for it was gone, so was the goat herd.  The market for goat milk had dwindled and the herd was sold.

Thank you, Lord, for answering my call and supplying our needs.  Thank you also for giving me the grace to hear your voice through people you placed in my path.

Mona Rottinghaus