Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Word of Thanks

Below is a letter I wrote to be incorporated into a quilt that some volunteers made earlier this year to show their love and appreciation for Camp Sunshine.

Camp Sunshine is a retreat in Casco, Maine where families who have critically ill children can go and have fun! The sessions are totally free for families, and is often the only respite any of them get while their children are ill. They also run two bereavement sessions each year for families whose children have lost their battle. Needless to say, everyone who goes to camp falls in love with camp.

Read my letter, and then read on to see how you can help!

I think too often it is the volunteers who get all the thanks around here,when in reality we should be thanking all of you for so many things.

We thank you for greeting us with giant hugs.

We thank you for letting us hear your stories.

We thank you for having the nerve to get on stage to sing and dance and let loose.

We thank you for running back to your rooms 100 times a day for bathing suits, towels and sneakers.

We thank you for unlimited text messaging plans so your children can be in contact with us year round.

We thank you for not getting upset when we let the kids “talk smack” on the volleyball court, when we feed them too many marshmallows, or keep them up all night during the camp out.

We thank you for giving us a run for our money in the prank call department.

We thank you for laughter, and we thank you for tears.

We thank you for giving us something to look forward to several times a year.

We thank you for sharing all of your children with us, the ones we have met, and the ones we only know in spirit.

We thank you for letting us hold your babies, and for letting us watch them grow up into wonderful young people.

Most importantly, we thank you for opening up your hearts, and your lives, and allowing us all to become family.

Camp Sunshine is truly an amazing place, but in order to keep offering award winning experiences year round we need YOUR help. My good friend Joey Cerato started a fundraiser 5 years ago (when we has just a tiny little boy). His idea was to get a few friends together, collect pledges and jump into the ocean on New Years Day. Sounds ridiculous, but his plunge alone has raised over $87,000 for Camp Sunshine, and it has inspired other people to do the same all over the country.

So what can you do? I'm not asking you to's seriously not fun at all. It's freezing and wet, and cold, and windy, and sandy, and just really gross in general. I do that part, because I know how important Camp Sunshine really is. All I need from you is a little money. I have set a goal of $500 this year, and think, with your help I can really do it. All you have to do is follow this link, type in your info and away you go. No donation is too small, or too big. Let me know if you have any questions! And THANK YOU all in advance!!
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Monday, September 21, 2009

A Letter from 12 Year-Old Erica

Recently I have acquired several rubber maid containers of old memorabilia that got left behind at my parents house. You know you are getting old when your parents drop off everything you had left at their house. (I suppose it could also be related to the divorce...but whatever.) ANYWAY, in these containers is everything I thought was important enough to save from middle school to my early college days. This has been nothing short of a hilarious adventure.

Some things in the bins include:
old birthday cards (including one were my dad wrote that I was 13, crossed it out and wrote 14)
the playbills to every show I've ever seen (there are lots)
my shot records (very handy)
many many many letters and postcards from friends
notes passed in church (did we EVER pay attention, or were we just good at multi-tasking?)
USM veiwbook, along with my acceptance letter
old photos
many pages of Japanese homework, and my full yearbook write up translated into Japanese (all of which I can read...but have NO IDEA what it means)

I've also found a stack of very special letters. You see, during youth group at the beginning of every year we all sat down and wrote letters to ourselves. The letters, as I remember were to reflect on the previous year, and look ahead to the next year. We were given some scripture verses to reflect on, and time to write these letters, which would be mailed to us at the beginning of the next year. The most interesting letter that I encountered (and the only one I would share with all of you) is written by 12 year-old me. Here it is, in it's entirety, without all the spelling mistakes, because I can't type like that.

January 8th, 1995
12 years old

Dear Erica,
1) Be Kind, treat others as I want to be treated
2) Love those who hate
3) Be nice to everyone (don't fight with family)
4) Keep room clean
5) Do all homework first
6) Be more patient
7) Don't always want (greedy) don't put myself first. Not that I really do.

This year I was confirmed into this church. I really like this church and the people too. My mom was pleased but my dad never was very religious, come to think of it I don't know if I even ever told him. We had a little luncheon with Aunt Sharon, Nana, and Aunt Nancy. I think I'm a good person, I try. I've gotten better over the years.

See (read) ya next year "96"
Erica around here it's Caca, Kuck or just Ka (will I have a new name?) 96=?+Answers

The back was the best part- I wrote only a few words, but they were the best words of all it said:

"Cool" Words as of January "95"
Anus (which I spelled Anis)

Was I the most awesome 12-year-old or WHAT?? I really just needed to share that with all of you, even if you don't laugh as hard as I have for the last 2 hours. Seriously though, why did I think it was a good idea to write anus on my church letter. WOW!