July 29, 2011
I became part of the ripple of love today. It had all started a couple of weeks ago when a friend of mine introduced me to a lady who was looking for someone to take some handmade bears to Slave Lake. When I joined this lady for an afternoon tea, I was able to find out the full story about these curious bears.
The students at a francophone school, Gabrielle-Roy, in Edmonton had been sewing these bears over their lunchtime since January, 2011. This project was created to help a little baby who had lost her parents in a tragic accident on Christmas Eve. A trust fund was set up for this baby, who was being lovingly cared for by her grandparents. The students at Gabrielle-Roy wanted to help this baby and her extended family. Sewing bears to sell was the solution.
Hundreds of bears were created. These were sold during a variety of fundraisers. One fundraiser was a performance at the school by an orchestra. The students had used bookstands to display the bears upright. The musicians and audience alike purchased hundreds of the bears, raising money for the little baby’s trust fund.
One musician, a cello player, purchased two of the bears and instructed the organizers to “send them to children in Slave Lake.” This cello player knew that there were many children in Slave Lake who had lost their own teddy bears and various other stuffed animals to the wildfire that burned down hundreds of homes in May, 2011.
And that is how I connected with my new friend. She was one of the organizers of this bear project. And she was looking for someone to take these bears to Slave Lake. I was expecting to pick up two bears, and when I got to her house, she gave me two bags of bears! The group had decided to donate all the bears that had not sold at the fundraisers to children who lost their homes in the Slave Lake wildfires.
The incredible ability of a small group of people to create change always amazes me. It was a small group of parents that organized this bear project. And all the children of the school got involved. They gave up their lunchtime activities to sew these bears. And the parents and teachers helped with teaching the children how to sew the bears, finishing the bears when the project became too much for the younger children, and organizing the activities to sell the bears.
This small group of people, adults and children alike, made the necessary effort because they knew a little baby needed their help. After they helped this little baby, they turned attention to other children who also needed their help. And so the ripple of love goes. From a small circle of loving friends, outward further and further until it touches a large group of people.
I believe that a ripple of love never ends. It continues to grow larger and larger until it can no longer be measured by our human standards. As I send the love that is inside these small bears to their new homes, I know that this ripple will continue long after I have completed my role.