Friday, July 18, 2014

Keeping Mitch's Pinky Swear

I posted this picture on my personal facebook page last night.
 I left my kitchen like this for about five hours. I titled it Bake Sale Insanity. It felt like I was begging the universe to send a last minute showing our way. Thankfully that did not happen and we were able to tackle the kitchen later in the evening. But, the mess was all for a really good cause. Isaac and Audrey are doing a triathlon on August 2 to benefit the Miracles of Mitch Foundation. We spent two days (minus baseball, cat sitting, nap time, etc.) baking cinnamon chip scones, brownies, special K bars, and Rice Krispy bars for a neighborhood bake sale. Boy, did we make a mess. Boy, everything was tasty! This is Isaac's third year and Audrey's second  year doing the triathlon. They are raising money to support families who have children with cancer.

some of our happy bake sale customers and one goofy Elliot
Read the link for more information, but here's the cliff notes version. Mitch was 9 and dying of cancer, but still showed the strength and compassion to be sad because so many kids had to stay at the hospital alone while their parents worked extra hours to pay for all of the expenses associated with having a sick child. He shared his concern with his parents and emptied his own savings account to help families at the hospital buy Christmas presents. His family knew he wouldn't be alive to help again the next year, so Mitch made his dad Pinky Swear that he would keep helping sick kids.

Mitch's legacy lives on through the Miracles of Mitch foundation and our family is honored to be a part of the Pinky Swear. Families ask for help or are referred through hospital personnel. The foundation helps with things like car payments, birthday parties, mortgages, or anything that will help families financially so they can be more present for their children.

They raise funds all year, but their biggest fundraiser is the Miracles of Mitch Triathlon. For Isaac's and Audrey's age group they do a 100 yard swim, three mile bike, and 1/2 mile run. Isaac and Audrey are training hard, but they are also holding bake sales and asking friends, neighbors, and families for donations so they can help more kids. Isaac has been mowing neighbor's and friend's lawns and giving half of the money to Miracles of Mitch. Audrey and Elliot are cat-sitting for a few families and anole-sitting for a friend, with half of the money to the foundation. We're trying to work with a local business to have a portion of the proceeds benefit the cause. They are committed and working hard to hit their $1,500.00 goal. (Elliot can't race since he isn't 7, but he helps with all fundraising endeavours.)

In their Miracles of Mitch gear, ready to canvas the neighborhood
 Each racer is given an All-Star. The All-Stars are kids with cancer who are being helped by the foundation. This year Isaac is racing for Domenick and Audrey is racing for Jaimie. If they are feeling well, the All-Stars attend the triathlon so the kids can meet each other.

The triathlon itself is incredibly emotional. First the All-Stars parade in and then the racers follow. It is a sea of orange and blue, of ill and healthy kids, of beautiful, loved, special kids who all deserve a future.

Here are some pictures from last year.

getting used to the water

Elliot the cheerleader

baby cuatro along for the ride with Elliot in his regular spot on the baby

racers heading to the starting line

Tired triathlon finishers

Celebrating a great triathlon and a great organization
I am really proud of Isaac's and Audrey's efforts. I am really, really sad that there are sick kids and mamas bearing the burden of loving someone so hard and being worried sick about her or him. I am heartbroken that Mitch died. I am amazed that his parents turned their horrible, unimaginable hurt and created this safe place for families who are struggling.

I am sharing this here because I want more people to know about this organization and because we want to help as many families as possible. So far the kids have raised over $800 toward their $1,500 goal and we're holding our second bake sale on Sunday afternoon. If you are able to help in any small or big way, here is the link to my kids' fundraising page. Thanks to all of you who have already pledged. The kids really appreciate it.

I'll state the obvious. . . there is no pressure to pledge. I'm just trying to share the word in as many ways as I can think of to help as many families as we can.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate all of the kind words you send me through the blog and facebook and email and real life talking to you face to face.

Happy Weekending!

What are you up to this weekend? 

4 comments:

  1. Yay!! My sorority actually volunteered (they may still do that, I'm not sure) at both races in the past, it is such a great event!

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  2. I too am a mom who lost her son to cancer. he was 18 and has been gone about 4-1/2 years. I commend you and your children for doing what is sometimes impossibly hard which is taking this bad and turning it into something positive and inspiring. stop by and visit our car show page which is how my family is working to "pay it forward" www.tylershipmanmemorialcarshow.com Much love and best wishes to you and your family!

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    1. Daneele, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your son, Tyler. Krys shared the car show website on Facebook a few weeks ago and I read it then. What an amazing story of strength, love, and community. You are doing such amazing work in memory of your son. Love and best wishes to you as well.

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    2. Mitch sounds like he was a wonderful little boy. Your kids sound pretty wonderful themselves :).

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