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HUGS, HOPE and PEANUT BUTTER (standard:non fiction, 2206 words)
Author: MarshaAdded: Mar 15 2002Views/Reads: 1951/1355Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
When I became disabled, I thought I couldn't do anything worthwhile anymore. I was very wrong. Now I'm doing the most worthwhile work of my life!
 



HUGS, HOPE, AND PEANUT BUTTER 

"Love and happiness remind me of sticky peanut butter. 

When you spread them around, you can't help but end up getting some on
yourself! " 

By Marsha Jordan 

When my little grandson received third degree burns, I learned firsthand
how helpless a loving adult feels when your little one is suffering and 
you can't take the pain away. This experience helps me to empathize 
with parents of critically ill children. 

The mother of an eleven year old dying from brain cancer told me that
she felt like running into the street screaming, "My child is sick. 
Won't somebody help me?" It saddens me that so many parents are 
desperately searching for SOMEONE who cares and who will help them 
through the ordeal of watching their helpless child suffer. So I 
decided to BE THAT SOMEONE and do as much as I could. I've found it 
amazing how much I CAN do, even though I'm disabled. Maybe the very 
fact that I AM disabled is what has allowed me to do so much. I have 
the time that most people can't spare. And I have the ability to 
understand what it's like to be sick, frustrated, and afraid. So 
actually, my misfortune has become an asset in this situation. 

In 1998, due to complications of an autoimmune disease, I lost my
eyesight. Fortunately, I regained some vision, but I was no longer able 
to work. Suddenly I had a lot of time on my hands. This could have sent 
me into depression feeling that my life was empty and without purpose. 
Instead, it propelled me into a new direction. God had big plans in 
mind for me! I simply did, each day what God gave me to do, and it 
gradually grew until the Hugs and Hope Club for Sick Children was the 
result. 

Because I belonged to online prayer chains, I often received e-mails
requesting prayer for sick children. I decided to post their stories 
and pictures on a web page in order to network with others who wanted 
to help these kids too; and so began my little ministry in the fall of 
2000. It started as a small and very part-time hobby and it's 
mushroomed into a full-time job and a huge organization with over 500 
volunteers worldwide. 

My disability was a new beginning simply disguised as an end. Since my
web site went up, I've received hundreds of e-mails from distraught 
parents begging to post their child's story. Though suffering parents 
may know in their heads that God cares about them, during their 
struggles they sometimes need a real live person "with skin on" to show 
that love to them. That's what the club's volunteer "hug-givers and 
hope restorers" do. They mail out hundreds of packages of "happy mail" 
to our "club kids" and provide much needed moral support to their 
parents. We also send Bible story books to the children, and family 
Bibles to their parents. 

The Hugs and Hope web site features children from all over the world and
receives hundreds of hits each day. It also features a chat room so 
that families of the sick children may communicate with each other, 
sharing ideas, providing encouragement, and contacting organizations 
and individuals to help families of children like Nathan. 

Nathan and his little brother PJ have the fatal Batten's Disease. Their
parents are desperately trying to raise the $100,000 they need each 
month for medical treatment to save their boys. By posting their story 
on our web site, we were able to find musicians who volunteered for a 
big benefit that helped to raise money for the family. We wrote to 
television stations and, as a result, the boys were featured on the 
show "48 HOURS." 

It's true that when a door closes for you, God opens a window. He opened
a big window for me, allowing me to be part of so much more than I ever 
thought imagineable. I thought being disabled meant that I was not able 
to accomplish anything worthwhile, but I was so wrong! Now, with God's 
power and guidance, I'm doing the MOST worthwhile work of my life. 
Instead of feeling bad about what I can't do, I concentrate on doing 
what I can and helping families battling childhood cancer and other 


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