A little over a year ago, my then kindergartener came home from school and told me his friend and classmate needed a new heart. After that day we watched, learned, worried, prayed, cried, rejoiced, begged, loved and hoped along his friend’s journey through the transplant and post op process. For months, that class full of sweet 5 and 6 year olds sent cards, gifts and love to their buddy as he recovered at home. But most of all, they just missed their friend. They wanted him to come back to school and sit with them at lunch and play with them at recess and laugh with them and sing silly songs with them. Then one day, he did. He came back to school and they had a party. My son had a dentist appointment that we raced back from so he could be there for the party.
A little over a week ago, I saw a post that my son’s friend was creating a team to walk in a fundraising walk for The Lionhearts, three families who have walked a courageous road with a child born with the congenital heart defect, HLHS. I talked with my now first grader about walking and raising money. We signed up to walk and were assigned a goal of $125. The next day, both my boys were brainstorming ways to raise the money. Naturally, they defaulted to a lemonade stand. But since it is January and 30 degrees out, I suggested coffee. Immediately they came up with “Happy Hearts Coffee Shop” and began making posters and planning the event.
This past Friday, in the cold, wind and rain, my boys set up their coffee shop on the sidewalk in front of our house. From 7:30 – 8:30 AM, the generosity of our community overflowed. In that one hour, neighbors strolled up to our tent for hot cups of coffee. But really they came for more than the coffee. They showed up to be a part of something positive. They came to tell the stories of those they had known who struggled with heart disease. They wanted to be connected to the good that is giving.
In that one hour on a freezing, wet morning, our neighbors and friends donated $328.00 for the team!
My boys were able to see how their efforts effect others. They learned that when you put something good out there, the good comes back like an avalanche. They were able to feel that specific joy one feels when they know they have truly helped another, truly made a difference. It was awesome. Our hearts were, in fact, happy.
***Please take a moment to click through the link above to The Lionhearts page. If you are able, donate to honor these families and help win the battle for HLHS.