|Sorting and organizing the goods.|
I had briefly mentioned in a recent blog that we took up a collection of needed supplies for the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge: NYC at our "3 Birthdays for 2 Diamonds on 1 Day" bash. However, more than a passing mention is needed. In lieu of any gifts for us, we asked that people coming to our party bring a little something off the wish list of needed items provided by Hope Lodge staffers. What are needed there are the everyday items that provide the comforts of home for the Lodge's residents.
Hope Lodge was our home for the whole of summer 2011: July 5-September 2, following a one-month stay in my quarantine room at Sloan-Kettering. Hope Lodge was also my home this past March when I lived there for another two weeks while undergoing daily radiation treatments at Sloan. All of their housing services and programs are provided free of charge to patients and their families forced to be far away from their homes to endure vital cancer treatments. It is an incredible place.
This special place on W 32nd street, just steps from Penn Station, is more than a home away from home for us, it is a place of healing, understanding, and safety where I literally learned to walk again and where we forged lifelong relationships with people we hold so dear to our hearts.
With so many people coming to our home, we knew we could take up a pretty decent collection to pay it forward to Hope Lodge for the love and support it and its staff and volunteers showed us, so that those living there now, and in times to come, could also find a place of solace and healing.
When I wrote that by the end of the day, the large box we had put out for collection was brimming over, I meant this seriously large box:
As so visibly evident in this case, people in our lives: childhood friends, high school friends, college friends, family, colleagues (current and former), neighbors, are just the most damn giving people out there.
Craig and I opened one card that contained at $500 check made out to Hope Lodge. I instantly started ugly crying, so moved by this selfless act of generosity.
We knew that we could pool our resources to make this a donation that would last Hope Lodge through many clients to come, but were so humbled and honored by the end result as we were sorting through it all last night knowing how thrilled the staff will be when we roll this special delivery into Manhattan.
At the start of the collection, the big box looked awfully silly with our contribution of a half-dozen eco-friendly dish soap bottles at the bottom, but by the end of the evening that sucker was over-full.
Here’s just a sample of what we’ll be trucking into Manhattan thanks to all of your generosity:
-13 metal mixing bowls
-gift cards for Target, Kmart and Whole Foods
-enough ground coffee to brew 3,140 cups
-4,550 sugar and Splenda packets to sweeten it up
-1,720 mints and hard candies (perfect for patients’ dry and sore post-chemo mouths)
-a Blu-ray player and a DVD player
-lots of office supplies, books and DVDs
-37 dish towels for the shared kitchens
-4 hand mixers
-7 full sets of luxurious bath towels
-4 bath mats
-countless other kitchen, living and cleaning supplies from broom and dustpan sets and boxes of detergent to packets and packets of sponges and sets of wooden hangers
As I say over and over, the people in our lives are nothing less than incredible. We are proud and humbled by each of them, and are so thrilled to be able to channel that positive energy into such a tangible display of compassion toward the perfect strangers that will benefit from these gifts.
If anyone else is interested in helping to support Hope Lodge, here is a link to their “Wish List” of supplies and contact information if you were interested in sending a monetary donation.
Thanks to all who contributed! We will be delivering the goods next month. It’ll be a good day no doubt.
|Front half of the pile.|
|Rear half of the pile.|
|In awe as we spread out the collection of donated items.|