Monday, January 08, 2007

Kindness and Generosity

Over the last couple of months I have been amazed, thrilled, thankful and humbled at the response I’ve received for humanitarian aid. Some of you responded immediately and sent items that have unfortunately sat in my office waiting to go out – Thursday – I hope!! (I’ve been part of two previous humanitarian projects that got canceled at the last minute. Keep your fingers crossed that this one won’t fall through.)

My family has been wonderful. Luke did his Eagle Scout project of collecting school supplies, hygiene items, toys and clothes. Family and friends were incredibly generous with donations as well as cash. My parents, Janae’s parents, my brother Chris, one of my Dad’s cousins – Carl Smith, and my good friend Dave Scott all contributed large amounts of change. I’m sure I’m leaving out names and I’m sorry but know how grateful we are to you. My aunt Merleen Fox my cousin’s wife, Melissa Fox our neighbor Jaymie Jorgensen, and many others donated or sent several boxes of donations. It’s been wonderful.

I got connected with a group called Soldier’s Angels. They send out care packages, supplies and all kinds of cool things to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have been incredible. Right before Christmas I received a case of coffee/hot chocolate mugs that I got to pass out the day before Christmas. It was fun. They’ve also sent almost 100 fleece blankets that I’ll pass out to the kids. They’re sending boxes of hot chocolate as the chow hall never has any. I also found out they’re sending a box of donated jungle boots. Finally, I got a box of office supplies, magazines and candy for the soldiers. They’ve been great. I’ve been contacted by at least 5 different representatives from Soldier’s Angels and they’ve all committed to sending all kinds of things. Their biggest concern is that no soldier go unloved or unsupported.

Finally I want to thank Brian Regan’s manager or publicist as well as Brian himself. If you don’t know who the comedian Brian Regan is, he’s all the rage at home. Seth introduced us to him last year and we all love his comedy. He was in concert in Salt Lake this last weekend and Janae bought tickets for her and the boys for Christmas. They were so excited. Well I got the brilliant idea to contact him via his website. I sent his "people" an e-mail telling them that I was a soldier in Afghanistan, that it was Janae’s birthday, that the whole family, except for me would be at his concert, etc, etc, and could he say hello to them for me. Well his publicist did one better. She e-mailed me back and said that she would leave backstage passes at the box office so they could meet after the concert. I told Janae two days before the concert and she was so excited. She didn’t tell the boys until they got there and of course they were ecstatic. I called Janae on her cell phone 15 minutes before the concert started (told her to turn off her cell phone but glad that she hadn't yet) and I could hear the excitement in all their voices. The report was that the concert was incredible and meeting him after the show was even more so.

I guess what I’m trying to say is thank-you to all the people out there who love and support us. As I said, I’ve been so overwhelmed by the love and support that we’ve received from complete strangers as well as family. It has humbled me beyond description. I just hope that when I get home I can give the kind of support to our troops that I’ve received since being here. The pure love of Christ is alive and well.

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