Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Camp Forget-Me-Not

Today has been a busy day for me - lots of meetings and LOADS of emails for some reason. Every second Wednesday at United Way, we host an "Agency Brown Bag." This is an opportunity for all of our 48 partner agencies to come together, eat lunch and hear a speaker that may or may not pertain to their particular agency. Well, today's speaker cancelled at 11:15, and the lunch starts at noon, so we were in a pickle. I haven't had the opportunity to speak to all of the agencies about Project PASS (Preparing Adults for Self-Sufficiency), and I thought this would be a great chance to let them know about an initiative that may help their clientele. Now, those of you that really know me, know that I'm pretty outgoing. I'm shy and reserved at first, but I eventually warm up to you. Well, I hate, I mean HATE public speaking - but for some reason, I was really excited about talking about Project PASS, so it went well all in all.

Anyways, to the real point...after the main speaker, there is a chance for agencies to "brag" or announce things going on in their agency. Faye Knox, who is with ALIVE HOSPICE, talked about something that really touched my heart. Alive Hospice, which provides loving care to people with life-threatening illnesses, support to their families, and service to the community in a spirit of enriching lives, has recently started a camp for children and teenagers who have recently lost a loved one in their life - it's called Camp Forget-Me-Not. This camp helps them grieve over their loss in a fun setting.

And here comes the tear-jerker.

At the end of the camp, the camp participants have a butterfly release, but before they release the butterflies, they "whisper" a message to their loved one and then release the butterfly. Faye says it is an absolutely heart-wrenching moment, but so inspiring. Their hope is to teach the participants that death is a part of life, and it doesn't have to be a bad thing for the rest of their life.

This was especially close to my heart, because, as some of you know, I went through three deaths in my family within a matter of weeks during my freshman year of college. My aunt and uncle were murdered on October 9th, 2002, and my father died from lung cancer two weeks later. Although my father and I did not have a relationship when I was growing up, we had just re-connected months before. It was absolutely traumatizing to me, and I only wish I would have had services like Camp Forget-Me-Not to help me work through my many emotions.

At the camp, the participants are asked to design a Christmas card. Alive Hospice then chooses a design to print for the holiday season, and they sell them in packs of 12 for $10. This year's card is ADORABLE (it has the cutest snowman on it) and was designed by Will Moss, who recently lost his father. On the back of each card, Will's picture is placed, as well as a description of Camp Forget-Me-Not. I ask that each of you that read will at least visit the website to see the wonderful things Alive Hospice does - the website is You can purchase greeting cards on the website or at MidSouth Bank, The Clay Cup, Reeves-Sain Drug Store, Heavenly Ham and many other locations in Murfreesboro.

Psalm 27:4-5 One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.

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