When I was in 5th grade a new family moved into the rental house next door. Out of the four children who lived there, two were the exact age as my brother and I.
We were delighted.
Well, I was delighted because I was a born extrovert who loved making new friends. I’m probably projecting those feelings onto my brother. Nonetheless, we played together during the last summer before ‘playing together’ became ‘hanging out’ in 6th grade.
In their backyard, we were invited into an old, dilapidated greenhouse. The wooden structure was rotting from disuse and weeds grew up between the stepping stones. Some of the heavy windows were leaning in on themselves or littered on the ground.
The potential was enormous.
The next day we brought our offerings together. Leftover paint, discarded dishes, pillows and a few books all piled together to improve the livability of our new digs. We repainted the wood – complete with our own handprints – and the loose windows were pressed back into place. We even hung up some sheets like curtains.
Once we were done, we rested comfortably in the space we created from the best of what we could find to share with each other.
This weekend I hosted the first orientation and advocacy training workshop for volunteers of The Firecracker Foundation. We announced it’s existence about a month ago and the response surprised me. Out of 25 spots available, 21 people registered and 17 were able to participate.
That’s a lot more people than I expected.
They were each required to obtain a DHS Clearance as well as proof that they were not listed on either state or federal sex offender registries. They had to register for the training and give up 4 hours of their day on a Saturday and Sunday of the same weekend. The commitment was big.
They jumped through all of the hoops with a smile on their face and joy in their hearts. Again. I may be projecting.
Come Saturday morning, they were there and ready.
I was there and nervous.
I don’t know if you are aware but I have never done any of this before. I’m basically making this up as I go along. However, let me also reassure you that I am not flying by the seat of my pants. I’m humbly asking questions, seeking advice and asking for a lot of help.
There’s a little flight too. I dream and plan and hope for what this foundation can be in spare moments, notes, emails and phone calls to friends. I have high hopes.
I am then taking all of the best I can gather, piling it up and making it an offering to the community. I am not alone in my efforts.
Together we are learning how to protect children, how to serve their families and how to take care of ourselves through the process. As a team we are gathering the best of what we have to offer and laying it at the feet of a community of children who have been injured. We are helping them renovate and rehang the windows.
In my mind, that greenhouse is being fervently repaired and tiny buds are starting to sprout.
As most things do, it will flourish with love.
Spring is certain.