When I was in 3rd grade, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and left an estimated 1,800 people dead and many more injured, homeless, and hopeless. Being a child, I couldn’t comprehend exactly what had happened, but I knew one thing. That the people affected needed help. They needed hope.
I don’t know why Hurricane Katrina affected me so much as a 3rd grader, but it did. After hearing about the immensity of the devastation, I decided that I wanted to help as much as I could. I gathered up some lemonade mix from my pantry, propped up a table at the end of my driveway, and held a lemonade stand. I made signs saying “Proceeds go to Hurricane Katrina” and that was about it. It was simple, but it made a difference. I had people come up, buy a cup of lemonade, and tell me to keep the change on a $10 bill. As a 3rd grader, that was a huge deal. When all was said and done, I had raised about $140 for disaster relief for Hurricane Katrina and I couldn’t have been more thrilled.
A few weeks ago, when the news about the earthquake in Nepal spread, I couldn’t help but think back to my 3rd grade self. The enthusiasm and fearlessness I had when it came to helping others. A child-like mentality. I didn’t worry about the logistics of things. I didn’t let fear of failure get in the way. I just did it because I wanted to help. And in the end, I did.
After hearing details about what’s been going on post-earthquake in Nepal, I felt like it was my responsibility to do everything I could to help out. It was a weird feeling. I mean, lots of natural disasters have happened since Hurricane Katrina and I hadn’t felt this sort of inclination toward those. So why Nepal? And more importantly… How can a broke college student with a full time job this summer help out? I don’t have money and I don’t have time.
I believe it was God who placed this sort of “broken-heartedness” for Nepal in me. I believe that He wants to use me to help. After God set this passion inside of me, I started praying about ways that I can help. I knew that I was being called to do more than just give $20 to an organization. God wanted me to provide ways for others to get involved. He wanted me to empower and encourage others to make a difference with me.
When natural disasters strike, it sometimes becomes overwhelming for people to help. There are hundreds of organizations asking for donations. Some people get skeptical. Some people think they don’t have enough to give, so they don’t give at all. Some people don’t even think about it. Some people just don’t care enough. I wanted to wipe all those excuses away. I wanted people to be able to give as much or as little as they want, assured that 100% of the money will go to an accredited organization that will directly help Nepal.
As I thought more about this, I began brainstorming ways to raise money for Nepal. I thought of doing another lemonade stand. I thought of a bake sale. I thought of a concert at a coffee shop. I thought of lots of ideas, but none of them were cutting it. I knew that when I thought of the right idea, it would light a spark in me.
And, when I was trying to take a nap in my dorm room one afternoon, the spark was lit. Right as I was drifting to sleep, I thought of creating greeting cards. Immediately, names of people that could help me came to my head. Ideas for designs were being drawn up in my mind. There was so much going on in my brain that I got up, grabbed a notebook, and wrote everything down. I started researching every little detail. I knew without a doubt that this was what I was supposed to do.
I started asking some people to be on my team. I picked a mission organization to partner with. I contacted local businesses about selling cards. My dream was turning into a reality.
I’ve had many doubts throughout this process, but I’ve had to remind myself that God is faithful. If He calls me to something, He will equip me. I keep looking back to my 3rd grade self and it reminds me of what child-like faith looks like.
I don’t know what this will all end up looking like. I don’t know how long it will last. I don’t know a lot of things, but I do know that I serve a God who is for me and will help and provide. He’s been faithful so far and I expect Him to be faithful until the end, as He promises.
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/greetingcardstosupportnepal