I want to be like Oprah

OK... it's not that I'm a big Oprah fan or anything but what I mean by that is her philanthropy.  I've often thought, selfishly so, how cool would it be to have that kind of money to give away?  She changes so many lives with her charities yet she receives so much in the pleasure of being able to do so.  The old saying, "it's better to give than to receive" - it's so true, isn't it? Made this long ago for my friend Jen who LOVES cherries!

I think it's that way with handmade things too.  I mean, selfishly, I love LOVE LOOVVEE to give handmade gifts and love to make things for my business because I put so much effort into the design and creation of each item.  I LOVE it when someone receives it and they are just thrilled with it.  I get so much out of giving and making for people that it is quite an addiction.  Is that selfish?  Sometimes I think it is.  Do you feel this way too about creating for others?  It feels so good - it's such a joy, isn't it?

But this morning, on my way to work, I was listening to the radio - I typically listen to our local christian station, 104.9 the river, and started thinking about this whole philanthropy thing.  As the mother of 3, my ride in to work is typically the ONLY time I am ever alone.  I enjoy these rides to and from work because it gives me a chance to just think.

For my business, I have always said I wanted to do it in such a way that my business becomes a blessing.  Now, I know, in business - it should be all about business and forget any emotion.  Donald Trump didn't build an empire thinking what "good things" he could do for the world, just how to make himself a buck.   But come on ladies, don't we all want to feel like what we do somehow makes a difference?  Touches a life?  Leaves a legacy?  How can I do that in this industry?  In my day job, it's rather simple.  I work in higher education, I work in the environmental field and I get great satisfaction out of working with students to create these amazing futures that help to build a sustainable environment for us all.  Love it.  But how do I do that in other facets of my business life?

The Two Peas charity projectIn the past several summers, the two peas have used my scraps to cover journals and sold them at our local coffeehouse.  They got to keep $1 from each book they sold and donate the other $4 to a charity.  One year it was our local Children's Hospital, one year to a friend of theirs for her walk for JDRF and the other year it was St. Judes.  I loved these projects.  They learned so much from creating and giving and they learned how good it feels to give.

Lately, it seems like we have had our attention drawn to all kinds of kids and families who are in need.  We have a local boy, same age as the two peas, just diagnosed in August with Osteosarcoma.  I was sent a link for this little one who was shaken by his day care provider at 5 months of age.  A family from our twins club has been caring for their twins who came much too early, they have been in the hospital since their birth last November.  One of them got to come home about a month ago, the other is still in the NICU, spending almost the entire first year of life in the hospital.  Last week, I was asked to participate in a charity event for dEBra which is an organization for children with fragile skin.  I was thinking of these children as I was driving in this morning and saying prayers for them.

Not the best photo of me from my best angle but there's the prayer quilt for our pea

to outside the womb

But for the grace of God, I have three healthy children.  I am very blessed that I do not know the heartache and rollercoasters that go along with a sick child.  Not really.  When my littlest pea was in her 22nd week during my pregnancy, I was told she had markers for Downs Syndrome.  They wanted to do more testing but I refused.  I couldn't change it, nobody could change it.  We would love her no matter what the outcome.  She was added to our church prayer list and our pastor brought over a prayer quilt someone had made for her.  This quilt was at church and each person tied a knot on the quilt and said a prayer for her.  My hubby, the gardener, laid this quilt over me while I was in labor and it brought me immense peace to know that those "prayers" were on our little girl.  As soon as she was out, I asked if she was ok.  Our doctor said, "She is perfect.  Absolutely perfect.  I don't think she has downs".  It wasn't until her 2 month checkup when I tearily asked our doctor if she was really ok that she told me, I could stop worrying.  She was really doing just great and really was perfect.  What a blessing.

And so as I'm thinking about these kids, their families, my business I felt like God was telling me that if I wanted to add philanthropy to what I do that this was it.  As our business grows, I hope to be able to do more and more, but to start, I'm so excited to tell you that 5% of each trunk show will go to our local childrens hospital.

If you host a trunk show and you have a childrens charity, I will gladly work with you to donate your show's proceeds to your charity of choice, like JDRF or others for kids.  I feel like this is the time.  Even when we have such a "tight belt" at home, I feel like even this little bit can be such a big wonderful thing.  Especially now.  I encourage you to think about what "little bit" you can do too at this time.  If we all have just $5 or $10 to spare this month, share it with a charity because right now, they are being hit so hard with losses in income.  And they do so much good for those who are hurting.  But for the grace of God, I have three healthy children.  What little bit I can do, I will do and I hope you will join me in doing so.

Found these tanks at Old Navy and added the ruffles on to make a dress.  Turned out so cute!

Of course, I wanted to also share with you some of the excitement of the past week.  Back to school and wow, we were all excited.

Boo!  New shirts for Halloween!

The two peas really love school and our littlest pea surely enjoys having some time with just Mom or Dad.  The two peas were very excited to have me make them some back to school outfits.  I had a lot of fun making them.  I was like a little fairy...made the outfits after they went to bed and hung them in their room to see when they woke up.  They were so excited which is such a good feeling for me to know that their favorite outfits are something that I made.  See, that selfishness again.  I love making things for my girls!  Just love it!  I have a couple more I'll share with you later.

Hope your back to school week went well.  Did you make anything new?  Do share!

September is a super busy month.  I have two trunk shows - including the one charity event, and branching out to a kiosk at the Tuttle Mall the last weekend of the month.  I'll be quite busy and so I might be MIA a bit from the blog this month.  Keep in touch though!

Thanks for all your comments this last month.  I promised that our August giveaway winner would get a stash of fabric for making a pillowcase (how are you all doing on those by the way?) and KimH...thanks so much, you'll be receiving that stash soon.  The two peas are getting quite accustomed to pulling names out of a hat and think its fun to do each month!

I haven't yet decided what to do for September...how about a back to school themed giveaway?  We gave our new teachers a lanyard and key fob and so I think we'll make that our giveaway this month.  Keep the comments coming in.  I love to hear from you!

Have a great week everyone!