"Can't you bake cookies?"
In July of 2009, my oldest (eldest? I never know which I should use no matter how many times I look at the "rules") son went to New Orleans for the ELCA Youth Gathering. It was an amazing experience for him. 26,000 young people and chaperones descended upon the city for worship and work...they were there to use their hands to help rebuild after Katrina's devastation. *J*'s group helped rebuild a therapeutic riding stable....he said it was the hardest he has ever worked, and it was "awesome".
Each evening the entire group was at the Superdome hearing amazing speakers and musicians. Through the glories of livestream, we were able to watch some of the goings on too. We found ourselves incredibly moved by these speakers...but one of them touched my heart and got me to thinking (and I'm still thinking...I tend to over think things. :) )
This is a snippet of what Viola Vaughn said... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dF94PUiP3WQ
The program she runs is called 10,000 Girls. Look it up!
That Youtube video doesn't have the part that got me thinking. What began as homeschooling her own grandchildren grew into educating lots of girls and when she told these girls they would need to raise funds to keep things going one of them said to her, "In America, don't girls sell cookies?" She told them yes, they do. The girl responded, "Can't you bake cookies?" And bake they did! They have a bakery now and they're learning life skills and how to support themselves. How awesome is that?!
And I thought: I can bake cookies. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what my "cookies" are going to be...but I recognized that I need to do something to make a difference. I over think the logistics and legalities of things until they feel overwhelming and undoable.
Not the case with a woman that attends church with us though. She saw a story on the news about local children who could not attend school because they didn't have shoes. She began collecting clothes, found a place to store them and began reaching out to local schools and agencies..and she is meeting a need. http://www.wearnshare.org/
I believe each and every one of us has gifts we can use to "bake cookies". The key is figuring out exactly what our gifts are and how to use them...and not being afraid to try. (As with just about everything, I'm working on it. ;) )