Saturday, January 29, 2011

Helping mommies make good choices for their babies!

Leeann posing with Karen and her baby bottle.

Last year Rob and I, along with the kids, got a baby bottle from church to throw our spare change into as part of Options Pregnancy Resource Center's Baby Bottle Boomerang Project.

This year, Leeann (7) wanted one of her own to fill. I'll admit, at first I hesitated to let her take one. Leeann is the kind of little girl that will honestly, truly, without a second thought, give anything she owns to anyone at any time. I have never met a more selfless individual! I was a little fearful that she'd fill the bottle with all of her hard earned spending money, and her car fund, and her college fund too, if we'd let her.That's just the kind of girl she is!

 So, as I wondered to myself how we were going to let her fill her baby bottle (she already has specific predetermined places that different percentages of her money goes), I began engaging in a conversation with Leeann about what she could do to raise money for Options. She and I quickly settled on allowing her to host a coffee shop. After all, her coffee shops have always been fun, educational, life-skill building experiences. I figured that even if she only raised $10 it would be well worth the time spent to continue to teach her about hard work and generosity.

I asked her several days ago what her goal was for how much money she wanted to earn. She only had to think for a few seconds before emphatically determining that she wanted to raise $100 to put in her baby bottle to help mommies make good choices for their babies!

 Rob and I both looked at each other with utter skepticism. That's a tall order! Her last coffee shop only profited $18 after supplies (she and I both learned a thing or two about having too much product on hand). So this time, she baked cookies using ingredients we already had on hand, plowed through a big tub of hot cocoa mix from our cupboard, and served the drinks in mugs instead of paper cups making her out-of-pocket expenses $0. All of the money she would raise would go straight into the bottle.

So, at 10:00 am this morning we were pulling cookies out of the oven (that Leeann made 95% of the way all by herself), putting hot water on the stove, and getting out mini-marshmallows, peppermint baking chips and toffee bits to offer as mix-ins for the hot chocolate.

Making Cookies!

 The 10:00 hour came and went with Titus and I as her only patrons. We started creeping into the 11:00 hour when Leeann dejectedly looked at me and asked if she was going to have any customers today. I assured her that the coffee shop would be open for several more hours and that I was pretty sure she'd get some customers. Sure enough, a few minutes later, her first customer showed up at the door. Much to our surprise, it was Karen Tameling, the Executive Director at Options! Tina, a friend of ours works at Options and told Karen about what Leeann was doing so she stopped by to show her support and pick up a plate of cookies to take to a neighbor. It was a special treat to have her stop by! Tina came by with her boys a few minutes later, and the customers continued to trickle in for most of the day.

Leeann had 28 visitors (29 if you count the lady bug that stopped by), 2 cyber friend sponsors, and one $10 donation in trade for cookies at church tomorrow. She raised a total of $100.39 at the coffee shop, and has another $20 on it's way in the mail (and the baby bottle boomerang doesn't end for several more weeks)! This was all from a few shameless plugs on facebook... I love facebook! Even more than facebook however, I love the many absolutely wonderful people that stopped by in support of Options, and in support of Leeann. With your help she's learning the value of hard work and generosity.

And, the money she raised today is enough to provide ultra sounds for 2 women. Perhaps these women will choose life for their child when they see the beating heart and the unmistakable form of the life that is growing inside of them. Who says 7 years-old is too young to make a difference?

Leeann doesn't yet know that most 14 year-olds that find themselves unexpectedly pregnant, like her birth mom did, choose abortion. Her birth mom chose life. And after 16 months of caring for Leeann she explored the idea of placing her in our care for adoption. Options Pregnancy Resource Center served as a place for her birth mom to explore her options, and really understand the road ahead, regardless of which choice she were to make.

All Leeann knows for now, is that she's raising money to help mommies make good choices for their babies. And that alone is enough for her to want to enthusiastically support Options. I'm so proud of my sweet little girl!


Diana said...

Go Leeann! Thanks for all your hard work! You are inspiring!

Jennifer & DW said...

Holy cow, this made me cry! You have a wonderful, sweet, selfless daughter, and you are doing a wonderful job teaching her amazing skills that will help her go far. If the newspaper didn't write anything about this, they should! Tell her way to go, she is an inspiration!

Marshall's Corner said...

What an amazing little girl you have raised Robin!
This post made me cry too! So inspirational <3

Robyn said...

Thanks for the kind comments everyone. I think it's pretty spectacular myself!

Anonymous said...

Leeann Is an amazing little girl. She is and will continue to make a difference in this world. I wish i would have known. I would have stopped by.