This sadly neglected blog needs to be updated with wonderful news...Simon has made it over the $1000 wall!!
Honestly, I jumped into the Angel Tree this year, because they needed a few more people just before the start date of November 1st. I didn't have a very clear plan of how I was going to raise $1000 in two months, one of those months being December, when everyone's budget is stretched already. I've spent hour upon hour designing, cutting, stitching, & assembling ornaments...so much so that I'll be glad to not see a piece of felt for a few months! I've pestered my friends & family via Facebook with updates & shameless plugs to get people to support Simon. But by the end of November, I had realized that I had reached the limit of what I could do...everyone I knew had heard, some people had donated or bought times to support Simon, & his grant was sitting at $242. At that point, I decided I'd be happy if I could just reach $500!
Then one day, I checked Simon's grant & found it was up by about $300!! I was shocked...you see, I knew where every dime had come from up until that point. Looking back, I think that donation was the fruit of a $5 donation to another Angel Tree child...a donation that put Simon's picture on a Christmas tree in a church somewhere. I think a family took his picture off that tree, prayed for Simon, & asked The Lord what they should give. I am so thankful for that family...
Another day I decided at the last minute to take the few craft items I had on hand to a craft fair at my friend's church. Despite having rather a good turnout, I had only one sale, to my friend's sweet mother-in-law! But God had plans for that fair...my friend & her husband decided they would give all the proceeds from her sales that day to Simon, too. Their act of generosity caused the amount for his grant to be three times more than I would have had from my sales alone!
I continued to fill orders leading up to the date I had set for my Etsy shop to close. I knew I needed some time to fulfill my own obligations for my family before Christmas. My household was being a bit neglected as I spent my free hours working on filling orders. I didn't have any energy to spare, as I'm expecting our 7th child & was experiencing the joys of first trimester exhaustion & generally feeling ill. I earned maybe another $120-150 before I closed the shop, & I'm still filling the last of those orders. But I was still not to the goal, & I had really exhausted my options. Ever notice how God sometimes waits until we absolutely know He is the one moving the mountain? A family member told me she had received a check for $275 from her health insurance company, & she was going to donate it to Simon! Once her donation was made, Simon's grant reached EXACTLY $1000. On the nose.
I wrote all this to show everyone that this isn't my doing...yes, I worked, & I shared, but when I had done all I could, He stepped in & opened hearts to Simon's need. He is the One who powered the generosity of strangers, friends, & family. He gets the glory for the $1068+ that sits in Simon's grant from this Angel Tree fundraiser. He values these children...He values Simon enough to do that. The money isn't the biggest hurdle, though. Simon needs his family to find him, to take a leap of faith & commit to bringing him home. That is what this is really all about. Families for the fatherless. If there's one thing I've learned over the last 6 months, it's that God is faithful, & that He will make a way for the willing, when the time is right. I trust Him, & I'm praying for Simon to be home with his family before the next Angel Tree. If he ever comes to mind, maybe you'd like to pray the same prayer?
Last but not least, I want to thank every single person, from those who donated $5 to those who donated $300...thank you for seeing the need, for being a part of making a difference for this one...Simon!