Friday, May 21, 2010


I am not always someone to reach out to strangers. I am not always the first one to donate money to a good cause. I am not always doing the right thing. That's why I am in big admiration when I come across an organization like There with Care (
There with Care in based in Boulder. Their mission is to "provide a range of practical services for children and families facing critical illness in order to ease the burden of life’s day-to-day obligations during a medical crisis".
They came into our lives after Jacob's long hospitalization last year, since they are connected with the Butterfly (hospice) program Jacob is part of. I will never forget when I met one of their staff members the first time. She didn't just deliver a meal to us, she knew what it is to live with a child that you have no idea what the next day will bring. She lost her beautiful son to cancer, and the connection is right there in her eyes. She knows.
What I love about There with Care is that they really get it. They get what we never have time for. They get what it is to manage seizures at the same time as you're doing homework with your daughter and trying to get some food at the table while you're counting the minutes for the medication to kick in. We always have home made frozen meals in our freezer these days that I can heat up in a few seconds or an excellent dinner at the hospital. We once in a while get a fully cooked meal delivered to our house from one of the organizations's volunteers. If we're living in the hospital, they ask if they can come and clean our house, buy groceries, mow our lawn or anything else practical that we simply can't get to. They give us time.
The other beautiful thing they do is that they assign mentors to siblings. Sarah has a "substitute" grand ma now. She comes in once a week, and spends one on one time with Sarah. They go to the movies, they go and get their nails done, they go for ice cream, they make crafts, they go for a bike ride - whatever Sarah feels like. She has her heart in the right place, and we have probably already started to become "family" despite it starting out as a volunteer assignment. Sarah loves it, loves it, and it gives me peace of mind to know Sarah is completely spoiled, and I can focus completely on our little guy for a few hours.
They also invite our family to participate in really neat events. In March, Sarah danced at a Cinderella ball and ate way too much cup cakes! Tonight, she called herself an artist as she could see her own pictures framed on the walls of an art exhibition. She was recognized together with her brother, and was introduced to Monet and Van Gogh for the first time. Both one of Sarah's and Jacob's pictures were picked for printed greeting cards. The smile on Sarah's face when she realized she has her "own" card and that others were ordering her picture was priceless!
I can't say enough about the people behind There with Care. The founder is a film producer who won an Academy Award this year. She is also an associate producer of the first 3 Harry Potter movies. They all have their lives and stories, but most importantly they have their hearts in the right place. One day, it's my turn to give back to them. It's my own personal promise.
Love, Maria.

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