The fact that we are able to use this business to share blessings with others is not one I take for granted. It was a goal from the very beginning. I honestly struggle with how much of our "pay it forward" initiatives to share with you, our readers, as I never want goodness to come in the selfish form of "what's in it for me" or from a place of boastfulness. Although, with that said, I have also learned that sharing the joy of giving with others is inspirational in more ways than one. It truly does just that, shares joy...and then I'm totally selfish for not sharing!
Ok, beyond my personal issue here, I am so happy to share a recent RuffleButts moment. One of our team members by the name of Tristan Lazor visited Haiti on a mission trip this past year. Tristan is a gentle but wise soul who inspires me daily by the foundation of her faith and commitment to others. So when a sweet letter from a Haitian orphan randomly appeared in my mailbox one day, I knew just who to enlist for help with this project! Tristan pulled together the perfect RuffleButt's gift and sent it on its way down to the country that is close to her heart.
We do this type of stuff fairly often around here, but once it's sent on it's way, we don't hear much about it. This time was different. We received the sweetest email from the organization and saw a link they posted to their own blog sharing the story. While we already had the simple joy of giving, their thank you made the experience beyond rewarding. Seeing a blind Haitian orphan jumping with joy in our ruffled creation..it just doesn't get much better than that!
So, I'm sharing our joy with you today. Watch the video, then count your blessings. It's also a great teachable-moment tool for your kiddos. My daughter talks about Angeline and this video almost weekly. It's pretty amazing that such a simple thing could bring someone else such a big smile, especially when our kiddos take these good fortunes for granted. When I started RuffleButts, my initial motto was "spreading ruffles and sharing smiles". While we don't use that so much today (while totally genuine, it sounds a little cheesy), it is still very much ingrained in who we are. And what a beautiful smile she has!
Three Angels Blog -- read here
I'm not sure when exactly it happens, but there is a day post-parenthood that you open your mouth and your mom comes out! The 1st time I noticed it, I giggled to myself and then realized my mom had a few great sayings that I have carried forward into my own parenting. I have compiled a list below, gathered from my mom and the moms of those close to me, in no particular order. Would love to hear your top mom-faves too!
- Treat others as you want them to treat you. (Not how they treat you, how you want them to treat you...my kids somehow get confused on this one often!)
- Sharing is caring.
- Always wear clean underwear (then my mom would elaborate with the "if you get hit by a bus and have to go the hospital, you want to have on clean underwear...I don't think I needed the explanation looking back!)
- It's less about words and more about actions.
- You can pick your nose and you can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family.
- Don't judge a book by it's cover.
- Give more to your community than you take from it.
- Anything worth having is worth working for.
- Before making a decision, do the newspaper check...would you be proud to have your decision/action on the front page of tomorrow's newspaper.
- No matter who comes in and out of your life, always stay true to yourself.
- Things are much more enjoyable when you have earned them.
- Drink lots of water and use moisturizer daily.
- Put the seat down.
- Be a person that builds others up, not one that tears them down.
- Always tell your loved ones how much they mean to you, even when they drive you crazy.
- It's not what you say, but how you say it.
- Sit up straight.
- This too shall pass.
- Smile at people, it's a free gift that goes a very long way.
- Be kind & have courage (this was borrowed from Cinderella's mom)
- People who seem the least lovable, need the love the most.
- Always have your own money.
- Live life with gratitude.
- When you feel alone chat with God.
- Find the positive, it could always be worse.
Visit our Pinterest Board for more fun mom advice.
It has long been a part of RuffleButts foundation to pay our blessings forward, but I've never wanted to toot our own horn. Mark and I have made these decisions pretty quietly for the most part, often not even telling our own team members. Following a sermon from my pastor at Gateway Church here in Texas, I knew I was doing everyone a disservice. I realized this Sunday that giving people the opportunity to bless others and sharing the joy of giving is an amazing thing. So this is my 1st step to sharing our charitable initiatives with you, our incredible customers!
As some of you may know, neuroblastoma touched our lives in a life-changing way back in 2009. It was not until 2010 that we shared this publicly and it turned our life and business upside down. I was blessed to have an amazing little girl by the name of Layla Grace touch the lives of my family and we will never be the same. This little lady is no longer here on Earth, but she is in my heart forever. It is because of her that childhood cancer has become a passion of our company.
Now 6 years later, we have relocated to the great state of Texas (which happens to be the home state of little Layla Grace), and have become involved with Cook's Children's Hospital here in Fort Worth. When I learned of a local event called The Blast, which was started to honor the promise one young friend made to another, to help find a cure for children suffering from this disease, I knew we had to be a part of it. The little girl that started the event was only a child herself at the time and started the the run/walk as a part of this promise to her friend, who passed away at the age of 7 from the disease. Last year the event passed the $1 Million mark in funds raised to help Cook Children's Medical Center with neuroblastoma clinical research. I am determined to help her in this cause!
I am so very proud of the RuffleButts team for rallying behind us with this event, many of them committed to showing up very early Saturday morning to participate in the run! If you are here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, we would LOVE to have you join us at The Blast, Saturday March 26th. If you are not in the area, but would like to contribute to this initiative, we would love to share with you the joy of giving!
We are truly honored to have been a part of this event, and as the leader of our business, I am extremely proud to see my team rallying behind a cause so near and dear to my heart. ~Amber