By: Melissa Ullmann
As American's, it was a day that started off as any other soon-to-be-fallish sort of day. That day soon became one that we would NEVER forget.
Do you recall where you were on that day? You may have been scheduled to be on an airplane to NYC, or in the local hospital--where staff disappeared trying to determine what their position in this catastrophe would be, or maybe you were sitting in your 8th grade history class, or even possibly called and woken up by your husband to say "TURN ON THE TV!" These are all the stories of my co-workers here at Creative Memories. We were all affected by the events of THAT day.
For me, the one thing that I think about when I think about the happenings of the day, was how this country all came together---unified. We ARE America, and we will prevail! Listening to the news on the days to follow, I remember hearing a story about a young girl in Rochester, MN who sold lemonade, and sent the proceeds to the Red Cross. That struck a chord with my then 7, almost 8 year old son. He went into action mode immediately following hearing this story.
"Mom, I need to go to the grocery store," he exclaimed. Wondering why, he proceeded to tell me that he wanted to do what that little girl was doing! HE wanted to help support the efforts of the Red Cross. We traveled to our small town grocery store where he talked to the store manager, sharing his idea/intent. He was blessed with a gift card in the amount of $25 to support his adventure, by being able to purchase the ingredients to bake cookies, and to buy lemonade.
We baked, and baked--and baked! Countless dozens of cookies, and numerous gallons of lemonade. The following afternoon he set up "shop" at the end of our driveway with his cookies and lemonade. As I peered out the picture window, I remember thinking to myself "THIS is my son!" A mother couldn't be prouder!! He was making a difference!
He flew in the house, so excited about the fact that someone had just stopped to give him $50 towards his donation. After Day 1, we totalled about $200 in his jar. He didn't want to stop there. That following Sunday he took his efforts to church-where funds had multiplied in his jar. After a few more afternoons of setting up his little stand at the end of our driveway, and an article in the local newspaper, we counted a total of over $1,000 in his jar. After matching funds from Thrivent Financial, a total of $1,400 was sent by my son to the American Red Cross, to help those in need in NYC!
That whole experience changed us. It changed our lives in ways that we could have never before fathomed. It changed how we interact, it changed how we will travel, it changed our hearts, it changed our hopes, it changed our dreams, it changed how we show compassion--it changed EVERYTHING!
But, in the end we all learned life lessons. We learned to be PROUD to be an AMERICAN! Proud of our country, and what it stands for!
How did it change you?
I encourage you to document these events in your life, and your childrens lives! They are moments that shape us as people, as individuals, and as a country!